Review by Damooster
Reviewed: 03/08/02 | Updated: 03/08/02
This game should've been great
This is definitely one of those games that you'll really love or really hate. I am a big fan of Knockout Kings 2001, so when this game came out, I was expecting an improved copy of last year's game. What I found, however, was a game with a new engine and totally different style of game play.
Gameplay. The game play is TOTALLY different from last year. EA Sports did not just take last year's game and make improvements on it...they made a completely new game with a different theme. You will definitely think ''arcade'' style when you first play. But it's not bad. The game focuses more on ''flashier'' gameplay. The footwork is very nice, even though I believe you stand toe to toe a little too much. The game controls can get a little confusing. If you want to step back, for example, you have to press down despite the angle that you are currently at. It can be quite irritating at first, but you soon get used to it. Also, they took out clinching for some reason, which I happen to believe is an imperative part of boxing. There is no longer the ''combo'' button, but you can still link punches together easily.
Gameplay = 7/10.
Graphics. The graphics are actually pretty good. If you like what EA Sports did with NBA LIve 2001, you'll like this game too. The action is right on the fighters, and you can see when you get a cut or if swelling starts. They also have facial expressions, although they are kind of hard to see.
Options. I am kind of disappointed with the options portion of the game, and this is directly attributed to the career mode. You can create a boxer (like last year), but just like last years version, there is a limited number of costumes you can choose from. The career mode itself kind of stinks too. If you lose 3 fights before you win the championship, you have to start over. If you win the championship, you can only defend it 5 times before you are forced to retire. If you also lose 3 times after winning the championship, you are forced to retire. The Fighter Pyramid is actually pretty decent. You start on the bottom level of they pyramid, where there are 6 other fighters. You have to defeat 4 of those fighters in order to get to the next level of the pyramid. At the next level, you have to beat 4 of the 5 fighters prior to advancement. If you beat all 3 of the fighters in level 3, you get a title shot. There is a also a tournament mode this year, where you fight a single elimination tournament with 4 or 8 players.
Sound. I'm not very fond of the commentary. It is repetitive and boring and I have even had some glitches with it (I jabbed him in the head and the announcer said ''watch those low blows''). The sound track, on the other hand, is awesome. There are 5 songs that are off the hook.
Replay value. I have not played this game enough to give you an accurate and fair opinion, but I can tell that I will not be playing this game as much as I played KK2001.
Overall, this is definitely a start from scratch period for the Knockout Kings series. I am satisfied with this years game, and I am confident that next years game will be much better. For now, however, we're going to have to make due.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
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