Victorious Boxers: Fighting Spirit 2. The K.O. Review(with a link to an interview I did)

Beats me, but, I guess it was fun to be interviewed and finally be asked about one of my favorite hobbies. There are two other interviews there, but, being that none of those other guys write for this blog, I figured I'd get greedy and leave them out.

So, I've been playing a lot of Victorious Boxers 2 lately. It is a REALLY fun game. Very well done. It's probably the most fun boxing game I've ever played since the Super Punchout days. And, of course, you can't forget Mike Tyson's Punchout. Me and two other people have been rumored to beat the grumpy Mr. Tyson. Not many can say that. Not even the dudes in the pro ring that actually beat him. Consider yourself lucky, fortunate, God and some other things if you did beat him.

Anyway, the gameplay is some of the best in a boxing game ever. The left analog stick allows for all of the movement in the ring and with a simple tilt of up or down, you can go for low body shots. Double tap down or up and you'll sidestep accordingly depending on your angle in the ring. Angle, you say? Well, the game runs on a funky mechanic. It's not like the Fight Night games where it feels SLIGHTLY 2D in terms of the combat. For me, the game always felt tight around the waist. It didn't allow for a lot of free movement. In Victorious boxers 2, you're allowed a lot of that free movement. And with this game, you get that feeling of freedom. You can corner your opponent and pummel them to death and go for the K.O. or you can outbox with jabs and right-straight counters.

More about the angles: The game mechanic with the analog stick registers as a full 360 degrees of movement. Meaning, you have to rotate the analog stick from the position you're in. So, if you're player 2 and are standing on the right side of the screen, you rotate 360 degrees counter-clockwise in order to move around into the left side of your opponent. Tapping up on the analog stick lets you move forward(don't ask me how) and up/down double tapping is your sidestep. It's very unique and once you get the hang of it, the game becomes something more than just a boxing game based off a boxing anime. It becomes.....technical. Can't forget about being able to sway and duck. Tapping forward, ever so slighty, will allow you to duck and slightly back will allow swaying. So, everything in this game bases itself off of the analog stick.

And as for the buttons, you have left jab, right straight, left hook and a right hook. Square, triangle, X and circle respectively. L1 is your guard button and R1 is your special button. L2 and R2 are technique buttons. Basically, you get to do quick uppercuts during battle.

Of course, some of the moves in this game are greatly exagerrated. But, it is based off of Jyogi Morikawa's popular manga(In Japan, at least) Hajime no Ippo(Fighting Spirit to the American crowd). You have Ryuichi Hayami's Shotgun punches which is just a barrage of constant lefts and rights. No boxer can pull off such a move at such a speed. But, for the sake of the game, we'll let the imagination run wild. Some of the special moves can take away the balance of the game, some don't. Some of the moves are just ,downright , hard to nail. Hayami's Shotgun punches can be spammed, but, they take a long while to knock you out and can be countered with a low body shot. So, against the computer you're king with such a move. But, against a human player, you won't find yourself spamming it to death.

The graphics for this game shouldn't really turn you off either. Granted, it may have been a 3rd year PS2 title(I may be wrong). But, the graphics are fairly good. The character models are pretty accurate to their manga counterparts and they move pretty fluidly in combat. The only real downer is story mode. Kinda. Throughout the story mode you'll find that the game will re-use the same backgrounds over and over again. The crowd in the arenas aren't exactly the most lively either. But, since the boxing action is so intense and requires your most undivided attention, you'll find yourself giving less a damn about the backgrounds and chances are, you'll be skipping through the story mode just to get into the ring.

The only reason why I stated such a thing about the story mode is because, like myself and countless fans of the series, we've seen the anime and are currently reading the manga. So, we already know how it all goes down in the game and just want to play as our favorite characters.

And with a total of 70 boxers in this game, you'll find yourself playing over and over again. Not everyone plays the same and it takes a lot of skill to actually win in this game. The A.I. is incredible and leaves no room for error. There will be times where you'll find yourself at odds with certain opponents in the story mode. It's very tactical. And that's what I love about this game.

No comments: