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Knockout Kings (GB)

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      22.04.2009 00:16
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      "Knockout Kings" is a video game released for the Gameboy Color console in 1999 by Electronic Arts. It is a sports game with boxing being represented. In the United States, the game received a rating of "E" by the ESRB panel which deemed it suitable for all ages.

      Knockout Kings takes popular prize fighting champions and pits them against each other in the ring. In a sort of "dream fight situation", the game offers the opportunity to select names such as Muhammad Ali and Floyd "Money" Mayweather for a bout against one another. There is also a create-a-boxer mode where the player can designate certain attributes to his or her design. It is generally a well thought out game but does not handle very well. The physical attributes of the boxers are very out of place which could have hinted towards a comical, arcade style game but did not impress me on the Gameboy platform. The heads are gigantic against smaller bodies which makes following the punches difficult; it's hard to notice when a glove actually connects to the opponent. There are health gauges to support the player but these take attention away from the match at hand and can cost the player valuable seconds in attack. The boxers have also been implemented with the ability to move in a full 360 degree circle, allowing attacks from eight possible angles. This could create some difficulty for the player as directional arrows are also required to execute certain attacks; A tap of each arrow and the "A" button will throw a different style of punch against the opponent.

      The graphics of this title are excellent and come across as being very well designed. It is unfortunate that so much detailing attention went into the larger than life heads as the bodies all appear to be very generic in appearance. Nonetheless, what is presented is of a higher quality and I was able to differentiate clearly between the boxers. I also found the soundtrack to be of an excellent standard. With numerous effects and even cat calls for the ring girls in between rounds, the game is a very enjoyable listen throughout play.

      Overall, Knockout Kings is well designed but poorly executed. It serves to me as eye candy as opposed to something with considerable replay value. It may appeal somewhat to boxing fans but would not likely engage those outside of the sport.

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