Review by Megnetto

Reviewed: 04/10/00 | Updated: 04/10/00


I was playing a demo game version of Contender. Before the game, there was a intro, followed by the initals J. V. C. in big red letters. This was the company that might made the game, but it surprised me because it wasn't mentioned on the package. I realized that they made a game similar to this called Center Ring Boxing.

The gameplay goes like this: you create a fighter, male or female, to fight 30 other boxers before taking on the Champ. You climb through the ranks of one of the six weight divisions in order to increase your fighter's speed, power, and stamia. Along the way, you'll get a trainer named Snake, (who looks like the main character from Escape from New York) who give you tips on fighting and combos. There are also a practice sparring mode and a two player mode.

The graphics on the game look like a rough draft of Virtua Fighter. It's blocky and full of lines. Less polgon, but the pixel and the texture mapping are nice. The animation is smooth, but a bit slow.

The CD has six tracks of music, most of it used on the fighting stage. I like two out of the six themes. The rest are okay. The sound effects are realistic and separate. You can tell whether you block a punch or got hit by one. The sounds of ring announcer and the trainer shouting add a touch of realism to the game, but after awhile, you'll get tired of hearing the same old words again and again.

The controls are different here then on Contender. There are three main buttons, one for jab, one for hook, and one for gaurd. You combine the first two for an uppercut (there is an option to have an extra button for the uppercut). You use the d-pad to move and dodge your opponent's punches. Combine the d-pad and the buttons in order to block head or body, and punch left or right. They are accurate and fast, except for the uppercut which has a little delay. With timing and practice, you'll get use to it. There's another button for taunt, if you want to have fun seeing monkey flips and other insults.

What I like best about this is the ability to create players and store it in a memory cartrage. Then you can take it to your friend's house and use your character against his. There is also 12 play views and a fully adjustable replay mode. You can show your friend's defeat again and again in many different angles. After you beat the champ, you'll get a secret character to play. The replay value is high on this one.

Before Contender, or any other game, there was Center Ring Boxing. The first 3-D boxing game for the Sega Saturn. Contender may have better graphics, but the gamplay is the same, even slower. So if you have the Saturn, try to get this game. If you do, enjoy!

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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