Review by NextBigThingBrock

Reviewed: 04/04/05

Finally, rappers and video games DO mix.

Back in the 1980's through the 1990's we have seen many video games where they slap a music genre and put it in a video game hoping to make a successful mix. The games in particular fall under the rap category, where we have seen many failures in games involving 80's rappers with basketball, Wu Tang Clan, and so on.

Fast forward to the year when Def Jam Vendetta came out, many people have thought Wrestling and Rappers would have mixed. Indeed it was a great idea on paper, but the game itself had a varied reaction. Sure many people like wrestling, and races of all kinds are partial or definite fans of rap music, however the game itself caused many problems for me. The controls were awful and I found myself victim of many of the tag team matches they threw in it. Don't get me wrong, that game was not as bad as some people have thought and the Blazin moves were awesome, trash talking before the match was nice, real rap music during the game, and the graphics were great but it was just not enough. It needed something different. Def Jam Vendetta is found in game stores cheap.

EA Games decided to try the rappers/video game formula again, did it pass or did it fail? Well now I start the review of Def Jam: Fight For NY and break it down for you.

When I bought this game, I looked at the back of the box and it does promise what the box says. The game itself looks so mean looking it'll pop right out of the box and attack you! Kidding. Dare I say this game does topple Def Jam Vendetta as far as gameplay, graphics, story, and controls.

What does this game have that Vendetta didn't? First let me say that the amount of characters is amazing. Sporting more than 40 famous rappers, plus some of the popular original characters like Ex Masa, Dan G, and Pockets are back. Many more matches are in this game, plus much more rap music to bump to while playing the game.

Gameplay: 8/10 - After sampling a few tryout matches I must say I am pleased with the gameplay. The controls are slightly the same however it is a step up from Def Jam Vendetta. I found myself getting used to the control scheme and within minutes I was pounding the hell out of the computer player. This game still has a wrestling style to it since you have to grapple to pull off moves, and a mere few of the arenas are wrestling rings which I find no big deal since now they made the game more hardcore by tossing in many interactive game stages with lots of platforms, walls, and cars to throw your opponent into. The game now has lots of cool weapons which break away after three/four hits to avoid cheap victory. Shovels, Bricks, Lead Pipes, and more are at your disposal, plus the crowd gets in the action too if you throw your opponent in the crowds direction. While playing the blazins are back and just as crazy as before, unrealistic it is, but very fun watching what each one looks like. The game is a challenge though and won't wimp out on you so knuckle up and prepare to enter my next part of the review.

Story: 9/10 - The story mode is the thing you need to unlock most of the arenas and fighters since most are locked. You'll find yourself in story mode often not just to do that, but to also get to dip into many of Def Jam: Fight For NY's new features. The story starts out from where Def Jam Vendetta left off were bad guy D-Mob is being handcuffed and taken away. As D-Mob is being driven, a van comes up a totals the cop car and D-Mob crawls out of the vehicle to escape and catches a glimpse of the person who set him free. This takes us to the new Create-A-Fighter mode where you can choose a preset fighter or create one from the get-go. After that D-Mob takes you as his new crew member and you'll be treated to your try out to see if you are good enough. Soon you'll see yourself ready to get your real first match but before you do so you should train up with Henry Rollins and get muscled up, get some new clothes from good ol' Snowman, hop over to Stingrays for a haircut, ice yourself with jewelry from Jacob the Jeweler, and maybe even try a tattoo from Manny. As you progress in story mode you'll unlock more stuff to wear, ink on, or new hairstyles.

Graphics: 8/10 - The graphics are impressive to say the least. I can go on and on in this review telling you of the graphics alone but I'll keep it minimal. The rappers themselves look just like they do in real life. Snoop Dogg looks like Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes looks like he does, Fat Joe is as...well you get the picture. However there is a little flaw, the crowd is not as good looking as it did on the box since they brushed it up to look good. If they were gonna make the rappers look like they do, why not the crowd look the same way. Some arenas are a little too dark to even see in and many times after being tossed in the crowd you may be getting stomped on. The weapons are decent, but stuff like shovels and beer bottles have no shine to them. The coolest part of the graphics is the facial damage during the fighting, blood will shoot out of you when hit with a shattering punch and spill on the ground and even stay there. You'll see the damage done to you after the match, you could have a busted lip, a swollen eye, or one really messed up looking face. Really cool.

Sound: 10/10 - Rap music from top artists, funny announcers, crowd yelling, actual voices of the rappers before and after the match, punches that sound so hard you felt like you got hit yourself. Need I say more ?

Replayability: 6/10 - This game is fresh from the start, it does however wear down after story mode is completed. This game is a wise choice to have a few friends to hop in a go into 4 way battles and see who is the last man standing. If you bought this game for yourself, I'm sorry to say but you've milked out all you can. Sure, using your created fighter to buy more clothes and jewelry is good, but then it gets to be boring after a while. This game does lack one thing that could have made it last, that being online play. Once this game is complete should you go play it again? Every once in a while I do, but its best to stick with a few friends and play.

Final Score: 8/10 (Not an average)- Def Jam: Fight For NY does have strong points. Its good for anyone who likes a challenging fighting game. Rap fans will love this one for sure. It was worth my $49.99 when I paid for it weeks after it came out and is a good game to pop in the PS2 when you are bored. However though, if you prefer to seek anything else like online play, you'd be better off renting this game or buying a fighter/wrestling game with online action.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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