On June 23rd, Electronic Arts will release the newest entry into their acclaimed Fight Night series with what is possibly the most heavily anticipated version yet, Fight Night Round 4. With only a few weeks left before its release, we’ve had the opportunity to test the game out, and here are our thoughts – – –
The demo we’ve played gives us a short tutorial on the game’s new Total Punch Control system (more on this later) and then allows us to take part in a three round fight between Ricky Hatton and Manny Pacquiao. The game looks and feels like it has made many improvements over the previous installments of the game.
Graphically, the boxer models look considerably more realistic than in Round 3, and boxer animations are much more fluid and life-like. We’ll wait to delve into the intricacies of the controls till after the official release, but suffice it to say that the game plays much more realistically and steers clear of the “parry, haymaker, repeat” fighting that really hampered the online play of Round 3.
Many issues complained about by fans of the series appear to have been addressed. A few of these include the ability to fight on the inside, a better balance between punch types, and a new corner man system. Although for the most part issues have been fixed and improved, there is one new issue that has caused a stir among the Fight Night community. EA has done away with the ability of players to use the face buttons to control punches. Players will now all be forced to use the Total Punch Control system of using the right analog stick to control punching. For those who enjoy the TPC system, this is no problem. However, those who prefer using face buttons will be faced with a steep learning curve with the TPC.
Joe Tessitore has returned as the ringside play-by-play announcer in Fight Night Round 4, but this time he’s not alone. He will be joined by the boxing coach and analyst, Teddy Atlas, who is well received in the boxing world for his work on Friday Night Fights as well as with advising young, up-and-coming boxers.
Another complaint about the previous Fight Night games was that the roster didn’t have the boxers people wanted to use. Mike Tyson is a prime example. In Round 4, EA pulled out all the stops and made the most comprehensive roster of boxers in a Fight Night game to date. Below is the full 50 fighter roster –
Amin Asikainen Anthony Mundine
Arementa Arthur Abraham
Arturo Gatti Billy Dib
Carlos Monzon Corey Spinks
Diego Corrales Eddie Chambers
Edwim Valero Emanuel Agustus
Erik Morales Fernando Montiel
George Foreman Jake Lamotta
James Toney Jermaine Taylor
Joe Calzaghe Joe Frazier
Jorge Armando Arce Julio Caesar Chavez
Kelly Pavlik Kermit Cinteron
Lennox Lewis Manny Pacquiao
Marco Antonio Barrera Marvin Hagler
Miguel Cotto Mike Tyson
Muhammad Ali Nate Campbell
Nonito Donair Paulie Malignaggi
Pernell Whittaker Ray Leonard
Ray Robinson Ricky Hatton
Roberto Duran Roberto Guerrero
Ronald “Winky” Wright Roy Jones Jr.
Sergio Mora Shane Mosely
Thomas Hearns Tommy Morrison
Victor Ortiz Vinny Paz
Vivian Harris Yuriorkis Gamboa
That is quite a list.
With better graphics, better animations, more realistic gameplay, and a huge roster of boxers; Fight Night Round 4 looks to be the best boxing game to date. Check back after June 23rd to see if Round 4 lives up to these lofty expectations.