Knockout Kings 2002
Review of Knockout Kings 2002
Not really sure what it is, but EA has such slow load times. Is it the fact that EA develops for multiple platforms? When you get past that little annoyance, you see that the graphics on this game have improved dramatically. Not only are the boxer’s movement’s fluid and natural, but the texturization of the skin and the shadow effects are fantastic. There are no noticeable polygon edging in the rendering of the characters, everything is silky smooth looking. They also do a fantastic job with the girls in bikinis who hold the next round placards. While the graphics are exceptional, there are a few problems that are notable. When there is a knockdown, there is, of course, a replay in slow motion. The replay sometimes shows the boxer’s glove passing through his opponent’s face rather than the hit and contact. Other times, it looks like a bad kung-fu movie with the blow never hitting the opponent. So…the replays have bad collision detection!!
Adding to the fun is the fact that playability is so easy and yet pretty sophisticated at the same time. As you’ve come to expect from EA, there is an easy set of basic moves that help you on your way. Then there are more difficult moves that you can add to the repertoire, as you get comfortable. There are even a few illegal moves that are in the arsenal. Be careful, it’s a quick way to get disqualified if you use it too much though. The referee doesn’t show up during the fight, but you hear him and see him only when the decision is announced (after another long load).
The game modes are simple. There is the quick-starting exhibition mode, which is one or two player, and tournament mode, which you compete in a single-elimination tournament. There is the career mode where you have a create-a-boxer feature that you can set your own attributes and compete against the full slate of boxers. This is where you can rise to the title of world champ.
Getting started is easy, just go to exhibition mode and select the boxers. The defaults are great to get started, but they turn off the health monitors, so you can pummel the living crap out of your opponent (or vice versa), but he keeps coming back after each knockdown. This can get fatiguing on you, as the player, since mashing the buttons over all those rounds gets pretty tough. Turn this on and then Butterball will fold up like a tent when Ali gives him the thrashing of his life (as he would have done in real life).
This is also beneficial when boxing another human player in head-to-head action. Otherwise you have to wait for the decision to say after nine knockdowns, you indeed are the winner.
The sound effects and controller feedback are both excellent. You feel the punishing blows to the body through the controller. The sounds of the hits are realistic. The ringside blow-by-blow could use a little improvement. Some of the canned phrases don’t fit what’s happening. You’ll be getting ready to put the other guy out and you hear the commentator’s state that your boxer is looking fatigued—huh?
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'Knockout Kings 2002' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Tom Downey © Absolute PlayStation
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