|Playstation > Whats New > PlayStation Reviews > Staff Review|
|A.P.I Review:||VICTORY BOXING 2|
No.1 No.2 No.3
|Game Type:||Boxing||Memory Card|
|Review Date:||October 1998||Dual Shock Compatible|
Setting the Scene
It must be almost two years ago since the original version of
Victory Boxing appeared on the scene and knocked me out stone cold. I
stated then how amazed I was that more boxing games hadn't been released
for the Playstation, considering that there is hardly a week goes by
without some sort of boxing title being contended on TV.
I also said that developers would monitor Victory Boxing and should it be perceived as a one round wonder, then they would return to concentrate on the kicky-fighty Tekken type beat-em-ups. However, if it proved a knockout, then the flood gates would surely open.
That all seems such a long time ago and surprisingly very little has happened since then. In fact not only have there been no further releases in this sporting genre... but Victory Boxing was never actually released on NTSC format.
That is about to change as we believe a deal has been struck to launch Victory Boxing across the States. Furthermore, this sequel, which is about to be launched by JVC Europe on PAL format, should quickly follow.
With over 30 individually styled professional boxers Victory Boxing 2 pits you against the best of the best of the boxing world.
Take your character on the long and testing journey from the seedy back street venues and sweaty gyms of the non-professional pugilist right the way up to the dizzying heights of World title fights where the best battle for multi-million dollar purses and the glory of victory.
Victory Boxing 2 is not just about fancy special moves; packed with strategy and a definite simulation edge, you must decide where your fighter's weaknesses lie and train him or her to overcome them. As you progress through the game you'll be offered handy hints and tips from your trainer Jackal - Spar with him at his gym and learn invaluable moves that set you on the road to stardom.
The original Victory Boxing game, like an ageing boxer, has finally stepped aside to make way for fresh talent. Coming from the same stable as it's older brother, Victory Boxing 2 retains many of the finer points of the first game and adds to it a whole host of improvements.
Prepare to insert the gum-shield because the CG intro is simply jaw
dropping. Drop your guard for one second and it will smack you right in
the teeth! Two boxers. One black, one white. One bald, one blond. One in
the red corner, one in the blue. Two gladiators of the ring performing
routine stretching exercises on the ropes. A colorless flashback of the
battle plan is interrupted by the clang of the bell. Sweat flowing through
the crevices created by super pumped up muscles. Fists hammering into each
others bodies at an alarming rate! The lights go out! Who was the
victor...? You decide!
If Victory Boxing was the apple of your eye then the sequel will be the peach in your dreams. I was suitably impressed by the original games visuals, although the boxers were a little sluggish when moving around the ring. Victory Boxing 2 has been sharpened up on all accounts and movement is much more fluid. It's not quite Tekken 3... but it belongs on the same bout.
As in the original game your chosen boxer actually grows in stature as his career moves on. Watch as his body structure increases, his muscles expand, he even seems to grow taller. When finally crowned World Champion he actually has muscles growing on his muscles, they are bulging out all over his body and he looks absolutely awesome. Should your boxer take a pummeling then his body gradually becomes battered and bruised. Red burn marks are spotted around his body, cut's and bruises appear on his face, while a couple of shiners are usually the only reward for a challenging nights work.
There are thirty boxers in all, but only a few are initially available for selection. They come in all shapes, sizes... and sexes. Henry "Slate" Dyson looks like the blond Russian out of the Rocky movie. There's marvelous Marvin Woods, Lennox Hedges, Meldrick Manson... say, those guys names are almost famous. There are quite a few female fighters that will cross your path on route to the top. Some are formidable opponents, so don't write them off because of their girly looks.
When first setting off on your boxing career the stadiums will be virtually empty but progression through the ranks sees the crowd gradually grow to capacity. Victory Boxing 2 has discarded with the sparring sessions which were a compulsory penalty for losing a match. The training bouts remain which take place in the gym.
A fight may be viewed from up to seven different angles. This includes an excellent first person perspective that will have your head ducking and weaving while playing the game. In this view you may be subjected to 'red outs' and blurred vision. Talk about reality! After each fight you may wish to view a replay to study your moves. Victory Boxing includes an excellent facility, using a floating camera to view all the action in fast or slow motion.
Sounds and Effects
"Ladies and Gentlemen. In the red corner..." screams the
gruff voiced announcer as he introduces the fighters. "Round One...
Ding, ding!" The crowd roars on every attack, reaching fever pitch
when an opponent is flattened. Every bone crunching blow is exaggerated to
the umpteenth degree with the more powerful special shots cracking like
home like the sound of thunder. All through the fight you can hear
constant advice from your corner such as "use your guard", "back
off" or "take him out!" All helpful stuff..... not!
If my memory serves me well the music is exactly the same as the original game. Not spectacular but serves a purpose.
I said this before and I'll say it again, if you expect to pick up
the control pad and perform a 10 hit combo or press six buttons rapidly
and knock your opponent into the sixth row, then you are going to be sadly
disappointed. I am glad to say this is not martial arts. Nor is it kick
boxing. It's not even back street brawling. Victory Boxing is the old
school of fighting with a jab, jab.....jab, jab.....jab, punch. Without a
defence the prosecutor will have a field day.
Sounds boring? Nothing could be further from the truth. In Tekken 3, you can select a character and defeat all challengers in a dozen fights. Imagine being able to select King as a young cub and groom him through the ranks, building him yourself into a champion fighter capable of the skill, speed, stamina and special moves to make it to the top. This provides the satisfaction and lastability that keeps you playing Victory Boxing.
Learning the game is fairly simple due to the fact that you initially set out with only the basic attack and defence moves. As you progress up the rankings special abilities are awarded. Diving straight into the options menu allows you to customize the game modes to suit your ability. Along with the usual tweaks and turns there are three difficulty settings and an option to switch on the TKO. A Technical Knockout is awarded if any fighter hits the canvas three times in one round.
If you own a Dual Shock controller then the vibration feature may be activated for purely attacking moves, defensive, or both. The effect certainly won't strain a muscle but adds a little to the fun of playing. The face buttons offer low and high guards, head and body punches while the shoulder buttons allow your boxer to weave the upper part of his body to avoid oncoming blows.
There are three modes of play. An Exhibition fight involves single or two player versus bouts from a selection of ready made boxers. Many will only become available after you have won a few titles. A Tournament offers you the choice of several fighters with different attributes. The challenge being to guide them through the rounds of a knockout competition.
The real deal is the Road to the World Title. Here you get the chance to take a budding youngster and groom them into the Champion of the World. There are eight boxers up for grabs. Weight and speed varies while gut's, stamina, life, power, endurance and patience are all qualities that are gained through experience. You are allowed a certain amount of freedom when choosing your next opponent with four or five possible contenders waiting to pick a fight with your boxer. Try to pick on someone who is on their way down the ladder rather than an upcoming new talent who is out to impress.
Now you will probably hit the canvas within a few minutes of the first round. This will happen over and over again unless you learn from your defeats. Don't go charging in thrashing away at fresh air. There are two scale bars at the top of the screen representing strength and stamina. Should your strength fall below half way then back off and defend until it has fully recharged. If you receive a blow when your strength is sapped then it's lights out and the count begins.
As you move up the ranking, you will be shown several lethal combinations by your personal trainer. First you must work your way up to become the local champ. This opens up the opportunity to have a crack at the National crown. Succeed here and the top ten boxers in the world are patiently awaiting.
After each bout the statistics are shown for punches connected and knockdowns, while a report of your fight appears on the front page of Boxing News. Rather than be subjected to the usual boring loading screens Victory Boxing 2 shows a selection of trivia facts and figures.
Value for Money
If you don't own a boxing game then Victory Boxing 2 will not
disappoint. Remember the rules though: a jab, jab.....jab, jab.....jab,
If you already own the original game then don't you think that it's about time you upgraded it?
Here is a list of the improvements over the original Victory Boxing:
*The game engine has been improved - not only do fights look better but the action hits you harder and faster than before.
*More blood and guts have been added to the game due to the demands of the games playing public.
* The time wasting text-based commentary from the Don King lookalike has been dumped.
* The lurid Japanese-style graphics have moved towards a more European sports-based one.
* The character's artificial intelligence have been improved making them "ring smart" not just cannon fodder for your fists.
* The whole fighting experience is now Dual Shock compatible so you can really feel every punch and blow.
* Boxing News, the boxer's Bible to brings you greater realism and "boxing facts" section.
* Now boxers will flinch and grimace when you hit them.
* New in-game FX like "red-outs" and blurred vision and the awful Japanese guitar riff has been ditched!
Boxing 2 is a first class boxing sim that differs from the normal crash,
bang, wallop of beat-em-ups. I love the way that the smooth motion
captured technology allows you to watch your boxer grow in stature.
Be warned as it has a gameplay that grows on you, rather than smacks you straight between the eyes. Still... it's nice to play a fighting game that requires thought and tactics rather than rapid button pressing.