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Fight Night Round 4 (Xbox 360)

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23 Reviews

Genre: Sports / Release Date: 2009-06-26 / Published by Electronic Arts

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    23 Reviews
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      03.02.2011 17:38
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      An all round fantastic game for any boxing fan.. shouldn't be missed.

      ** This review is also on ciao.co.uk by Honest-Dan**

      Having owned the game since the day of release I can honestly say I still play this game to this day, there are so many great features within this game.

      The graphics and likeness of each of the boxers is incredibly accurate from their appearance to each characteristic. The roster of boxers available is excellent with a huge selection of well known faces such as Muhammed Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Ricky Hatton and of course ''Iron'' Mike Tyson.

      In my opinion the most important game feature within a boxing game has to be the career mode and in this case ''Legacy Mode''. This mode gives you the opportunity to fight with a real life boxer or a user created one, in your chosen weight division.
      The great part about this mode is you start from scratch and progress as you take on more opponents, you can see and feel your fighter getting more powerful and quicker with each fight. This is achieved through doing the necessary training modes which adjust certain aspects of your boxer from hand speed to head and body movement, although these training modes are not straight forward and do require some skill to get the maximum attribute points available. There is the ability to skip training sessions, but this way you only acquire the minimum attribute points which does affect your fighter incredibly once you get higher in the ranks.

      What is great about this game mode is the ability to import your created or downloaded boxers into your career mode. This is achieved by downloading user-created boxers online from the EA Sports community, this enables you to throw David Haye, Nikolai Valuev, the Klitschko brothers and loads more into your career mode which you will fight along the way to becoming champion.
      Initially there was a slight bug upon release which is common among various games, the bug prevented you fighting against imported boxers in Legacy Mode, but thankfully this was fixed with a downloadable patch.

      ::: In the ring :::
      In my opinion this has been massively improved since the previous version, fights feel more authentic and competitive, the boxer's animations from punches to ducking/swaying are smooth and incredibly realistic.
      I feel the most impressive inclusion within fight is the uncertainty that you could get put on the mat at any moment, the power and stamina gauges/bars are there as a reference but it can only take one sweet punch and your fighter will go down, which is a fantastic moment if you're struggling throughout the fight.
      Another great improvement is the way fighters go down, in the previous versions I felt the boxers were like puppets once they had been knocked out but this version has made it a more crisp and realistic animation.
      The only downfall within the ring is the inclusion of illegal blows such as low blows and headbutts. I feel these are not necessary and should of been available as one of the options for the fight, as this tends to get exploited online which ruins the whole experience.

      ::: Online :::
      The online mode is very good but it isn't without it's flaws, originally I couldn't wait to compete online for a World Championship and at the beginning I had some fantastic fights.
      Unfortunately there are a few minor flaws regarding spam punching and with illegal blows, although fighting against a spam puncher isn't common you will come across an opponent who will literally throw the same punch over and over again completely eliminating your ability to fight back and ruining the fight.
      But this shouldn't put you off this game as the pro's definately outweigh the cons.

      ::: Overall :::
      This would get a 5 star if it wasn't for the unfortunate online issues, but I still regard this as a definate purchase in my eyes and the best boxing game I've ever played. Looking forward to the next installment.

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      02.10.2010 02:31
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      This game shows how uncompetitive the boxing video game market is.

      Whilst only looking on the surface, Fight Night Round 4 seems to have evolved but once you scratch and dig at that surface, you will quickly find that no real evolution has taken place and that it is not close to simulating the sport of boxing.

      If you have played the previous game from EA (FNR 3), playing this year's edition you will of course notice a graphical overhaul seeing as it's the first in the series on next-gen consoles. No longer will you have boxers looking like they've come straight out of a horror movie, when they are near 100% for cuts. Instead, there is more realistic bruising and cuts. Cut scenes look much better, especially in the pre-match face-off of the boxers where one's opponent is slightly faded to give more depth perception. The arenas look better as well with special lighting effects adding some glamour to the occasion. The replays for the knockouts are more realistic, with the man being put down not possessing the laughably rubbery face that he had in the previous title.

      The animations are rather limited. One cannot punch in a clinch which is a frequent occurrence in boxing matches. There only seems to be one animation for each move on each hand. It wouldn't really be too hard to add in different animations for each punch. They don't look the same in real life all the time. Straights feel too arcadey, like you're just throwing a long jab. Surely the boxer should be twisting their torso to throw the straight?

      The first time I played the game with a friend, he didn't really know the controls (which haven't changed that much from FNR 3), and so he was basically playing no defence, thus he was just leaving himself open a lot of the time. Despite me constantly throwing punches at what was essentially a dummy, my opponent didn't seem to take much damage. Only once I had played the legacy mode several times did I realise that the game is won and lost on counter punching. This is what fundamentally makes the game unrealistic. Counter punching in this game can just be done by waiting for the opponent to make a punch, and then by blocking, leaning or the opponent missing, the camera will zoom in for a second which is a signal to you that you should punch. If you connect with your opponent, you will be able to inflict more damage on him than if you did with a regular punch and he was wide open. Knockouts will usually occur from a counter punch which is not at all representative of real life.

      The legacy mode is the bread and butter of the game but there are no changes really worth mentioning. The speed of the game favours outside fighters immensely who have the unrealistic ability to fire of multiple punches with the same pour even with the same hand in a few seconds, which makes choosing an inside fighter undesirable.

      All in all, a lack of competitiveness has caused EA to produce a game that will appease casual boxing fans but the hardcore and the just generally sport sim fans will not really be impressed by.

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      08.07.2010 14:19
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      The best boxing game on the market

      Fight Night Round 4 is one of EA's annual attempts to create the greatest boxing game known to man. In essence, each game is essentially a slight reworking of the previous one with slightly newer features or opportunities to add further history to your characters.

      Released in 2009, this has been the most recent of the series and generally has received good reviews. For me the trouble with such a review is that you have to take into account what extras it has from Fight Night Round 3, rather than simply reviewing it as a new game, if like me you own its predecessor.

      The game itself is slick and the fighting, using one of your xbox joypads to punch and the other to move the fighter, is easy to get the hang of, in no time, using practice mode you will understand how to block, weave, parry, jab, hook and throw haymakers, you can use buttons to add special moves when fighting too.

      The game has a number of options, you can fight in one or two player mode or online, you can also enter a career mode where you create a fighter or customise a world famous fighter and create a career for him. This is good, but as with the previous incarnations, after a while it does become a tad familiar and in need of update. Nonetheless it is a challenge, as you do tasks to gain strength, speed and skill in the gym to make you stronger, or faster during fights.

      You can play as a number of fighters from 2009 or the past and recreate epic fights, the game is great fun when you recreate these challenges and the game is visually stunning.

      For me, this is the best in the fight night series, the punching dynamic is more realistic and opponents are slightly smarter meaning you have to think more about beating them rather than finding one weakness and continually exploiting it.

      The game flows quickly and you will lose hours if not days to it, it is available second hand for £7.99 in Game or in Amazon for £14.99 but Fight Night round 5 will be out next year and already looks awesome!!!

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      03.07.2010 06:49
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      the best in the series

      Fight Night Round 4 takes the Fight Night series to new heights, with vastly improved graphics and an all physics engine, Fight Night is quickly making a name for itself as the best boxing game in the world. With some of the best boxers in the world as well as some current boxers, this roster is by far the greatest roster of any Fight Night game or Knockout Kings game combined (Knockout Kings was the original game that EA produced before they evolved into Fight Night, replacing the button punching with the much loved and hated stick punching).

      Names such as Diego Corrales, Joe Frazier, Joe Calzaghe and Lennox Lewis all make an appearance in the game, not to mention one of the biggest selling points of the game. Mike Tyson, for the first time ever, Mike Tyson has appeared in a EA sports game, looking like his younger more respectable self, Tyson has drawn new fans to the game worldwide as he is known as one of the most recognizable boxing legends in the history of the sport.

      Gameplay

      For veteran Fight Night fans, the new controls implemented might rattle a few bones. The new "Total Punch Control" put into the game has made a slight difference to the game play, but one that isn't all that too hard to deal with, instead of the user having to hold down a modifier button to target the opponents body, all body shots can now be done through the one stick, with a flick to the left or right of the right analog stick and your boxer will throw a hook to the body, or a diagonal flick downwards either left or right to throw a body uppercut. While these new controls do take some getting use to, eventually you'll be slugging it out with the best of them even if sometimes you want to through hook to the head and end up targeting the body, its something that can be worked around.

      As well as the new controls, there is also a new physics engine in place which changes the game up completely. The team behind Fight Night used Fight Night Round 3 as the basis to sell Round 4, showing the audiences just how bad Round 3 was. Pointing out things such as the invisible wall users had to deal with when trying to fight on the inside against their opponent, or the awful parry system which many fans hated. To combat these flaws from the previous game, the team decided the best approach would be to completely start from the ground up, this time with a better physics engine. So now instead of a missed punch just being a missed punch, in Round 4 punches will slip and slide off of the gloves of your opponent, while not being direct hits, still doing damage to your opponent. But the new engine was used for just more than punch connection, there is also now the height and reach factor. No longer can taller boxers pick apart the shorter men, the playing field is now even in Round 4, with the shorter stockier fighters being able to muscle their way on the inside, landing powerful uppercuts and hooks while standing face to face with their opponent, but should the taller fighter be able to push away from his man and stay on the outside, lets just say the shorter fighter will be in for one horrible night.

      Another mode that has been completely revamped in the career mode, now known as the "legacy mode" in which you take your boxer from the ground up and fight him to the top of the ranks in hopes of becoming the greatest of all time, cementing your boxing legacy. You start your career as an amateur fighting you way to become a pro, from there you can set your fights as often as you like. You can choose to set your fights literally a month between each other, just allowing your time to heal, but if you should choose to take that path you will only be allowed to partake in 1 training game per fight. The training games for Round 4 are some new and some old, while they can be very frustrating to perfect, if you can pull off an all time great score, it is very rewarding. But back to the fights, if you choose to set your fights few and far between, you'll be treated to multiple training opportunities as many as 4 per fight, but with this you won't climb the ranks as fast but you'll have a much better fighter.

      The best thing about career mode is the AI, no longer do you feel like your in a sea of robots, simply moving up the ladder. Now you feel like your just another fighter making his way through the ranks, while others go up and down around you and the belts are constantly switching hands. To help you feel like your surroundings are moving along as well, there are all new awards, every year fighters from each weight class get nominated and awarded with such awards as "upset of the year", "boxer of the year", "fight of the year" and many more.

      But with its positives, it also has its negatives, while the flaws are few and far between they are easily noticeable. The first thing I'd like to touch on is the lag players suffer offline. Due to the new physics based game play, combination punches now feel a lot less reactive, you can throw a 4 punch combo, only for the combo to actually finish 3 seconds after you stopped pressing the controller, which makes training games extremely hard, especially ones which require split second changes from head punches to body punches.

      The second problem is the create a boxer mode, it seems to be the most dumbed down version of all the games, no longer can you mix and mold your boxers face at will, instead you are given a set of pre-set faces to chose from. Another option is to use EA's "Game Face" a tool that allows players to put their faces in game, I myself have had mixed experiences with it as have a lot of people. Where some say it works well, others say the complete opposite, that their in-game boxers look nothing like their real life counter-parts despite constant tweaking. But it's not just the face's that are lacking, a lot of other things are as well, such a body tattoo's and an abundant lack of facial and head hair. But while the external choices are slim, they make up for it with the insane amount of boxing styles, stance styles and boxer A.I style.

      Audio

      The audio has always been constantly great in all Fight Night games and Round 4 is keeping up the tradition with a huge play list of songs, some familiar and some that you'd never heard of before, but once you do hear them, you'll wonder how you could have missed such great tracks. As well as the music the commentary is also greatly improved, and slightly over looked. Teddy Atlas and Joe Tessitore are back for Round 4 and have really made the game complete. The things you'll hear from the commentators will be eerily life like. Things no other game has done, for example, you could be winning a fight, get rocked and then decide to box on the outside, and the commentators will pick you on your hesitance to trade punch with the other fighter and note on how getting rocked has changed you style of fighting, or vice versa, if you get rocked and then decide to come out all guns blazing the commentators will pick up on it.

      Round 4 is by far the best in the series and I can't wait to see what we have in store for us with the next release of Fight Night.

      I give Fight Night Round 4 4/5

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      30.06.2010 12:38
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      Leaves its competition out for the count and improves upon its predecessor in just about every way.

      I've been playing boxing games since I can remember. From Evander Holyfield's boxing on the Mega Drive to Rocky on the PS2, I had always been interested in the boxing genre. Having played Fight Night Round 3 on the PS2, I was thoroughly impressed with the level of detail in the game and the fun gameplay. So much so that I decided to get the same version on the 360. Sadly, this disappointing offering only presented better graphics as an incentive to be played.

      Fortunately, EA went back to the drawing board and came back stronger with FN Round 4. Better in every way, this is the new heavyweight champion of boxing games.

      Presentation

      As to be expected from most EA games, Round 4 has a high level of polish. Menus are large, clear and centred between the imposing faces of Muhammad Ali to the left and Mike Tyson to the right. Couching the bottom of the screen is a constantly moving dry ice cloud which gets you into the feel of the game. Sound is as expected from a boxing game. A mixed bag of tunes offers enough as entertainment while on the menus, and fits the boxing genre pretty well.

      As new modes are selected, the backgrounds change. The legacy mode background switches to a boxing gym, a neat touch that offers variation in the game surroundings. Information is clearly displayed in all modes but none moreso than in the legacy mode. Showing what ranking you are, what reputation you have, what messages have been received and your popularity you are always switched on to what is expected of you. This is testament to the improvements made from Round 3, which felt too basic too often. The presentation has been overhauled to this end and changes are overwhelmingly positive.

      And that's all before you've even entered a game. And this is when the real fun starts. The graphics are nothing short of stunning. From ring entrances to the actual fight, you will be gob-smacked by the level of detail in the game. Your boxer's muscles flex and tighten with every punch, block and manoeuvre. Sweat pours from them as the fight wears on, blood hits the canvas over well-timed punches and the crowd reacts to the in-ring action. The difference from the previous iteration is stark, and both games look like completely different beasts. Movement has been improved, as has animation as your boxer hits the floor. No more are the rigid, unconvincing falls experienced in Round 3 and boxers now hit the canvas differently according to how they've been hit. This really makes the game feel more realistic, and, coupled with awesome, crunching sound effects and breath sounds after body punches, offers a convincing recreation of professional boxing.

      Gameplay

      The game is fun to play, and easy to get into. But my goodness me is it hard to master. Using the right analog stick for all manner of punches, it is an effective system which is quickly, effectively cleared up to the newcomer in the tutorial at the start. This is one tutorial you should NOT skip if you want any chance in the game. With a differentiation between body and head shots, with movement of the stick up for the head and down for the body, it is an easy system to get a grip of and you will soon be landing punches left, right and center.

      Blocking is a harder art to master. Well-timed blocks lead to the opportunity to counter, indicated by a slick camera movement mid-fight. Blocking all the time, however, leads to punches making their way through. To master the game, then, you have to reach a balance between offensive and defensive play. If you do find yourself on the canvas, the system to get up has been tweaked: you now have to steadily move the right analog stick to the centre of the on-screen indicator and then lift it to get up. Easy in early rounds but punishing in the later ones, it is a sound system and much better than the previous iteration's. Corner games have been (pleasingly) overhauled and simplified, meaning you get back into the thick of the action in no time. Though gameplay can seem awfully fast at times, if it was too realistic some heavyweight encounters would feel boring and tiresome, so I for one welcome the renewed speed of the game.

      In terms of game modes, there is a wealth of options both on and offline. The legacy mode is much deeper than Round 3's (and much harder), exhibition matches obviously make an appearance but, most importantly of all, is the new 'create a boxer' mode. This is the highlight of the game, with literally thousands of items customisable, down even to the gum-shield. What's more, you can input your own entrance music via the 360 dashboard (though I believe this isn't available on PS3) and even put your face in the game. Unlike FIFA 10's need to download intensive software, you simply upload a couple of photos to the internet, download them via Live and your face is rendered. It isn't totally flawless, but hey, it isn't half impressive to take part in your very own boxing career.

      Don't go online without any experience though. Seriously, don't even bother. The level of competitors online is actually ridiculous, and it's just frustrating for the average boxer on the game. More often than not, you'll find yourself on the receiving end of a barrage of punches and a couple of round two knockouts. Not the best way to experience this game at first. On the plus side, there was no lag and connection was very quick.

      Summary

      What can I say? Graphics: check. Sound: check. Depth of gameplay: check. It's all improved. It's all fun to play. And it's all now quite cheap to have on your 360, available for under £15. For the boxing fans out there, it will be hard to find faults with the game, and this should be crowned the new undisputed champion of boxing gaming.

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        22.04.2010 19:22
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        The best of a not very great bunch

        Flawed but still the best boxing game around

        Ive been playing this series since it was called Knockout Kings on the original Sony Playstation and every year its improved and built on the previous version. Unfortunatly, with Fight Night round 4 they seem to have changed the fighting style so much you do kind have have to relearn quite a lot. Despite the claims from EA that the many different fighter styles can create random and unpredictable fights every time the only real skill you need to learn is how to throw the all too powerful counter punch. Its hard to work out if using this punch so often means your harder to hit than Ali in his prime or if your just exploiting a huge flaw in the game engine.A lot of the time I play I do try to keep it realistic and jab and move but after landing five or six combos and only taking off a small amount of the computers health its easy to just fall back into the dodge and counter routine killing off any hope of a simulation type fight.

        Outside the ring the career mode is a bit up and down, the options to create you fighter are pretty good but when you know the styles are little more than cosmetic it make you wonder why bother to create what you think is the perfect fighter. Once you have made your boxer you then have to train him between fights using a series of mini games that can be too tricky to be fun so you might find yourself letting the game do them for you.

        As you expect from a game from EA the presentation is high quality and theres a good selection of current and legendary fights to pick from.

        So to finish its not a perfect game but its the best available at the moment and superb in two player mode .

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        06.03.2010 18:17
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        fan of boxing bu this game

        I first got fight night round four when it first came out last year. I am not a great fan of boxing but this came has drawn me into the sport. This game is a vast improvement on the previous fight nights and is much better than any other fighting game on the market today.

        First of all there is a wide range of superstars to choose from, each with their own unique fighting style. From Ali to Tyson to Hatton and Calzaghe there is someone out their for everyone to choose from.

        Next fight night round 4 looks great, the developers have incorperated physics into the design making the punches that land look great. Playing this games on a high def tv makes you think you are actually just watching the big fight live on tv.

        The legacy mode in this game is also good, it is interesting as you fight your way up the standings and try and become the greatest of all time. However i did find that after completing this mode once I got rather bored of the game as their was not much else to do.

        Overall fight night is a great game and a must for all boxing fans.

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          28.02.2010 18:29
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          Good game top of its field, by default but still.

          Punched out.
          As a long time fan of the fight night series i was very hopeful for this game, this expectation did lead to a a bit of an anti climax due to this game being too similar to its predecessors. That said it is a fantastic game. There are two main game options for single player career and fight now. With multiple famous boxers including the two on the box in Ali and Tyson this is a surprisingly addictive way to play the game. And with a friend you'll probably lose hours of your life. The Career option is where the single player can while hours hours building a boxer of any type you like.
          The matches are where the game really takes on a life of its own. The main idea is obviously to punch your a=opponent. Ea force you to use the analogue controller to throw the punches which makes for a more realistic game, although occasionally your little dude does something unexpected! The blocking energy and stamina are all well thought out and make for a flowing intuitive system.
          A solid game that will entertain and being a good game facing very little competition it stands out as the pinnacle of boxing games.............still its not better than superpunch out on the snes but will any boxing game ever beat it?

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            22.01.2010 20:20

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            Great game, great music for rap lovers, good selection of celeb boxers

            This game is possibly the best boxing game I've played so far, at least in the FN series. I'm pretty good at completing boxing games so beating the AI opponents were actually shockingly simple...just work the right cross until they fall. I won and defended the titles with shocking ease, however, the game itself has lots of features and some good celeb boxers. Having Tyson in the game was good, he carries his famed one punch KO power but at the same time, he can be easily beat with the jab, more so because of his short height if you play with a tall boxer. The music isn't to my taste but it's good for you rap lovers. I haven't managed to get online with it yet but the ability to scan a photo online and create a boxer using your looks from your photo sounds exciting, if maybe rather embarrassing. It has plenty of replay value, I have completed the game a number of times using different boxers, some that I have created and then there are those celeb boxers whose careers you can re-create in "history". The only thing I don't like is the new control scheme, I prefer the old fashioned buttons but since you only need to use the right cross to beat AI opponents, it's not much of a problem, really. Overall, a great game, just hope the next one allows us to use the old fashioned button control scheme.

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            05.01.2010 01:03
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            A near perfect game in evreryway only letdown by a few silly flaws

            The reason I am reviewing this game is simply because no game have I been able to pick up and play almost every time I get the 360 out.
            The fight night franchise from EA has been very successful even from the very first games, but round 4 has put the icing on the cakes and a frilly dress and figurines. Put simply it's a masterpiece.
            I brought this when it was released back last June (2009) and I am still playing it regularly.
            It plays just like a classic heavyweight fight you used to see on TV.
            Ea have managed to capture the atmosphere perfect, the tension is crazy and the commentary is some of the best I've heard in a sports title
            This games stands out in the visuals department. I don't know how they done it but the replays make you wince with the level of detail. See the shock wave of a punch ripple over your opponents face, and watch your fighter's arms and chest muscles tense when the blow connects. Clearly EA have added a lot of 'attention to detail '
            The control system is classic fight night, swinging punches with the analogue stick and blocking and weaving with the shoulder/trigger buttons.
            It's not easy to swing the right punch you want bout when you do and it connects its very satisfying.
            A new feature and one of the best it has to be said is the counter punch system. If you manage to dodge one of you opponents shots if you quickly connect with a punch of your own it can be devastating. This works very well and helps keep the pace of the fight up.
            When your opponent is dazed and ready to drop you get this high pitch sound just like the ringing he's got in his ears and as in real boxing he will constantly try to clinch with you.
            EA have kept up with the brilliant facial damage from the last game swelling, cuts everything you would expect to see. You can even see cuts opening more and bleeding more as the fight progresses.
            There are a few bad points but the gameplay is so intense it doesn't even matter.
            The cut man has been updated but is actually a lot worse and I actually prefer round 3's.
            And the legacy mode has no real depth to it you just work your way up the ranks.
            However this game is special as I said at the beginning it keeps you hooked I am yet to get bored with it. Every fight is different and you never get fed up with landing a flush counter punch and watching your opponent stagger.

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            16.11.2009 16:32
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            Best boxing game ever.

            Having been a huge fan of FNR 2 on the PS2, this was one of the first xbox360 games I purchased after getting the console itself and the visuals just blew me away. It looks as near to the real thing as is possible. The boxers, rings and arenas add a very authentic atmosphere to the game. The controls are slightly different now but still easy to get used to. Career mode is now called legacy which works out okay. It could have done with a few more things to do rather than just choose a date to fight. There are more training mini games now too. But this isn't really a good thing. Most of them are frustrating and I found myself hitting 'auto-train' more often than I should. So it isn't perfect but it's imperfections can be almost completely forgiven because the fights themselves are just fantastic. Watching mike tysons face contort under the force of a huge right hook never gets boring. Although I did notice that the boxers don't seem to get damaged at all. There are sliders in the options to increase damage but then the ref stops the fight. They seem to have tried to counter this by adding another slider to decrease the refs 'awareness'. If you do alter the sliders then you do see some damage - small cuts around the eyes. No burst lips or noses. The damage in FNR2 was perfect. (haven't played FNR3). But still it is a great game. Just because I like to beat my opponent to a pulp doesn't mean anything really. :)

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            16.10.2009 11:25
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            Worth A Look If Boxings Your Thing

            Boxing games can be a bit hit and miss these days, more than Ricky Hatton, but one game that has never failed to entertain has been the Fight Night series. The 4th instalment does not disappoint, after the success of Round 3, EA Sports seem to have took on board everything the fans have criticised and made amends. However Round 4 is not without its flaws, but it still stands as probably the best boxing game on the market today.

            Round 4 revolves around a newly styled career mode, in which you create your boxer, his style of fighting, attributes and weight class, and basically start at the bottom and work your way up. Your fights are based around a fight calendar, you can set fights for any date you like, but the less time between fights mean the less training sessions you have, however if you continually leave long period between fights then your boxer will age quickly and before you know it it'll be time to hang up your gloves. The career is an entertaining affair, and finishing it should keep you going for a while. Although I found once I had finished the career, won all belts and was declared "Greatest of all Time" there wasn't a lot to do, even getting to this point the game become quite repetitive and tedious, the only thing you can really do is start a new boxer and play through it again. If making your own boxer isn't your thing, then the game allows you to jump in and choose one of the 46 boxers on offer, including Tyson, Lewis, Ali, Foreman and many many more. What I couldn't figure out though, is that the game claims to be the first boxing game to include Mike Tyson, but didn't he have his own boxing game at one point?

            Within seconds in the ring, you should notice the graphics. They are excellent, the best we've seen from a boxing game, but at the same time Fight Night has always had a high standard of visuals so you almost expect it now. Boxer move fluidly, every punch looks realistic and even the way your fighter moves around the ring looks like the real thing. It's the attention to detail that impresses me most, for example, land a big hit and you'll see blood and spit, perhaps even a mouthguard fly out, it's the little touches like this that make the game special. The sound leaves something to be desired. The menu music is mostly rap music, and while I'm not a fan, it does fit in nicely, however when we get in the ring and the commentators take over that's when things start to go wrong. I was actually impressed with the level of commentary, especially the fact that you can choose your boxers name from a list of preset names and the commentators will use that name, however after about 5 or so fights they start to repeat themselves in a BIG way. You hear the same conversations over and over and over again. Eventually I turned off the commentary and put no my own music in the background, it was better this way.

            The controls used are a bit strange. They have introduced a new analogue control system, which works pretty well but if your not used to the previous one its going to take you a while to get the hang on it. Apparently there is a way to revert the buttons back to the button basher method, using the controllers face buttons, but I could not find it anywhere, so I stuck with the default scheme and eventually it worked fine. The problem is its very hard to get a punch to land exactly where you want it, even when you do become proficient at it, stringing combos together can be quite hard. In the ring the setup up is as you would expect it. You have a health bar, a stamina bar, and a guard bar, you need health to stand up, you need stamina to throw punches and you obviously need guard bar to block. Round 4 also introduces a damage bar, the higher the damage you take the more chance the fight has of being stopped. The old healing system of Round 3 has gone, and now is a lot simpler system, you gain points based on your performance in the ring, during the break you can spend these points to regain a section of health, stamina or damage.

            To sum it all up, Fight Night still remains the dominant boxing series across consoles, and Round 4 is no exception to this. It looks great, plays well and while it does get a bit boring in the end, play online or with a friend and you'll at least triple the life of the game. The sound is a bit disappointing, but this can be overlooked, and when you do you will see Fight Night as an enjoyable, and the most realistic, boxing simulation on any console to date.

            Andy Creighton

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              12.10.2009 21:56
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              A Must Have For Boxing Fans

              I would not call myself a huge fan of boxing, however I do like to dabble into different types of sport games, and after hearing positive reviews of Fight Night Round 4 or I thought its time to check this game out. The main promotion for this game is being able to pit two of the greatest fighters of all time against each other. Mike Tyson vs the legendary Mohammed Ali. To be honest it is just good to see that joke fighters like Audley Harrison aren't included in these type of games.

              This is the sequel to the 2006 game Fight Night Round 3 which was also very successful, but I have to give credit to EA here. What they have done is listen to what the people wanted changed from Fight Night Round 3, and ironed out all these little mistakes into making the most complete boxing game to date. The only other platform this has been released on is the PS3, however their are strong rumours that it will be released on Windows in the coming months.

              There are a number of different playable fighters here from the two I mentioned above through to lower weight fighters like Ricky Hatton and Manny Pacquiao. I do prefer playing with Mohamed Ali just simply because he is the best and it does feel very realistic.

              The start of the game is simply a quick training session where you are taught a few of the various moves. The cool thing about this is the use of the analogue stick which you can use to swing the different types of punches, including hooks, uppercuts and jabs. Along with this you can pull haymakers and make taunts.

              The main tactic in this game is to position yourself. You want to block and weave at the right times and you need to know when to make the right move. It is challenging and the legacy mode is excellent. You start of as an amateur and can work your way up all the way to the greatest of all time. I myself am still at the early stages but it is very realistic and I can already sense the satisfaction from getting to the top.

              Their are other modes available like the standard exhibition where you can fight with people in the same weight class, however the online play here is hit and miss. It is a hit in the sense that their is barely any lag which is great. You can have smooth fights but the problem for me is the gameplay. Whilst in legacy mode you have to be tactical and pace yourself, in the online mode pretty much all the opponents are just all out attack, and then you have to resort to this method as well and well its just not as much fun.

              The graphics however are amazing and you can see the sweat and spit flying from their face as they are hit with punches. The boxers look great and I really can not fault this game at all in this department. If the online play was slightly better I would say this is the perfect boxing game, however it still gets 5 stars from me.

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              09.09.2009 14:48
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              Great sequel with only minor niggles

              Fight Night Round 3 was an excellent, excellent game, and unquestionably the best boxing game I've ever played. It's fighting system was unmatched, its graphics at the time were stunning, and it more or less made me buy an Xbox 360 after seeing it at a friend's house after picking my jaw up off the floor. Is round 4 a worthy successor? You bet, but it's not perfect.

              To start with, Round 4 has all the big names that were missing from round 4. Tyson, Ali, Lewis and co are all present and correct, and EA's total punch control returns for a second very successful outing. Punches are thrown as you would expect by using the right analog stick, it's a very intuitive system, and I'm glad to see it return. The game looks even more visually stunning than Round 3 - boxers look fantastic, and their actions look much more fluid than in the previous game, especially falling down for a KO. Being able to photograph yourself for a boxer's face is a great addition, as is being able to enter the ring to your own music.

              The campaign feels longer than Round 3, indeed it probably is, and it's great to take your pathetic fledgling boxer and turn him into a world class powerhouse. At first, it's a good challenge working your way up the ladder - you'll get knocked about a lot, but you'll learn a lot too. However, when I reached the top ranks, I was nigh on invincible, and able to KO any opponent within 2 or 3 rounds, only retiring because of advanced years and becoming too susceptible to cuts and bruises to be able to continue. In Round 3, I found the difficulty increased a fair bit as you worked your way up the ladder - I'm not sure why this was changed.

              Leading on from that comes my biggest gripe with the game, which is that it feels a little dumbed-down since round 3. The between-round recovery game has changed from a game of (admittedly minimal) skill to one of simply choosing whether you'd like to recover health, stamina or heal damage. Also, parrying punches has changed for the worse, in my opinion, requiring you to perfectly time a high or low block to be able to respond with a high-powered punch. It took quite a while to get used to, and isn't as effective as it was in round 3.

              All that said, it's still a fantastic game, and certainly one of the best boxing games you'll ever play. It's more fast paced and a little more arcadey than it's predecessor. If that appeals to you, you should definately pick this up. If you'd prefer more of a challenge, Round 3 might be more up your street.

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              03.09.2009 19:27
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              A stunningly presented, brutal boxing game

              note: also appears on Freeola.com (username: Reefer, I can verify that this is my account on request)

              By the fourth Fight Night game, expectations have risen pretty high, particularly after the last game essentially swore in the current generation of gaming, with its revolutionary visuals that serve as a snapshot for the term "next gen". Fortunately, this fourth installment isn't just another baseless cash-in from EA, and in fact hones and refines the few flaws abundant in the last game. This is THE definitive boxing game.

              What's first most striking about FNR4 is the control change, but fear not, for there is a quick tutorial to help you to get to grips with the new commands, and the learning curve is such that it's very easy to quickly adapt to. My only real complaint is that the Haymaker no longer requires you to roll the analogue stick around, and instead you simply have to press a shoulder button, which does put a dampener on the immersive aspect of the game somewhat. That said, for other moves such as jabs, the streamlined, minimalistic approach to the controls is something of an improvement.

              What really seemed to work in this game, though, was the counter system - it provides a pretty accurate reflection of how it works in real boxing, with a small window of time to land a hurting on your opponent, evidenced by a close in with the camera. It is something of a challenge to master, but when you get there it makes fights so much easier. In fact, after a few hours' play, the game does become devilishly easy if you can perfect counters, as the AI is rather rigid and doesn't have much of an ability to adapt to your style, which is a tad disappointing.

              The real bread and butter of the game comes with the series mainstay - the Legacy Mode - which has been considerably refined since the last outing. This is a far more hands-on and technical approach to boxing, and the plethora of statistics maintained about each match, and even each punch, are utterly staggering. It enables you to improve as a boxer in much the same way as a real boxer might do so by rewatching tapes of their performance, and therefore makes things seem more involving and more immersive. Also, the cartoon-like rival system from the last game has been entirely reworked, so that there's less focus on animosity between you and your opponent, making it seem less like a gimmick from a wrestling game.

              The elements of customisation are also rather impressive, and EA have implemented a Photo GameFace system that allows you to put your boxers online for viewing, and also to view other players', of which there are some rather amusing recreations of characters from the Rocky films. The online mode really is the treat of the game, with you being able to challenge for titles, defend your belts, and unlike a lot of online combat games, where those who've been playing for months have a massive headstart, Round 4 actually reduces all your stats to an equal level, meaning that the best player really is the one who wins. My only real criticism is that if you're not paying attention, you'll end up fighting someone of a vastly different weight class, resulting in a mismatch that, whilst hilarious, may involve you being quickly pumelled.

              It's somewhat passe for anyone that's played the previous game, but yes, Fight Night Round 4 is a visually stunning game that displays some of the most entrancing and exciting graphics on any next-generation platform. Texturally, it's virtually faultless, and at a distance, it looks as though you're pretty much watching a real fight. These are among the most photorealistic visuals ever put into a video game. Not only that, but the character animations are fluid and incredibly realistic looking, and there are little nuances animated in the face and bodies of the fighters, meaning they flinch when a hit is coming their way. The fighting commentary is also pretty decent, although like so many games involving commentary, things get repetitive very quickly, and there are the odd errors and glitches, like the commentators speaking the wrong fighter's name.

              Despite a few foibles, this is a first class sports game and an even better boxing one - it improves on the few flaws of Round 3, and gears things up with an utterly astounding presentation, as well as comprehensive statistics that'll satisfy even the most ardent boxing fanatics. It isn't perfect, but the flaws are largely inconsequential. This is the only boxing game you need.

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          • Product Details

            The champ is here! EA SPORTS challenges you to step into the ring with Fight Night Round 4. This highly anticipated iteration of the critically acclaimed franchise has perfected every jab, slip, and punch in the sport of boxing to bring you the most realistic fighting experience to date. With an advanced physics system, stunning graphics, and deep gameplay and feature enhancements, Fight Night Round 4 is putting the science back in the sweet science.