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FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4 ( XBOX 360 / PS3 ) 
Fight Night Round 3
93%
Looks Fantastic
Great Roster
Decent Legacy Mode

Finally, after three years in the making another round Fight Night is with us. The
boxing wilderness in the gaming industry has had us all wondering at times if the
sport has been abandoned, especially with the rise of UFC making its way onto the
latest generation of consoles. In this latest edition EA have pulled off something
I've not seen since Codemasters rush job of their boxing title on the old console
in 2002 - that of the inclusion of Iron Mike Tyson. And, what a mean rendition of
the legend too. Infact the 48 boxers in the game all look superb. Muhammad Ali,
Roberto Duran, Lennox Lewis and Carlos Monzon are all there together with their own
distinctive boxing styles, stances and stinging haymakers should they decide to lay
on the pain. If your favourite fighter isn't included, no problem. The creator a
boxer feature allows for not only importing a photo from the EA Game Face servers,
you can also fine tune it to almost match those included with the game. The EA
Sports World is already showcasing hundreds of designs by creative gamers,
including an incredible ones of Chris Eubank, Floyd Mayweather Jnr, the Klitsckho
brothers and David Haye all available for download to your console. There are
drawbacks to this however which I will touch on later.

The in the ring mechanics almost echo those of the previous version. The total
punch control never needed too much changing anyway and those who loved FNR3 will jump right in with the pugilistic goodness. The flicking jab, the rolling uppercuts
and circling body movement with the left and right thumb sticks all respond fine.
This time though, clinching has been added using the buttons as has the ability to
push your way out of being trapped in the corner. This makes for a variety of
boxing styles for the gamer to play. Infighting is still great, but if you designed
boxer has a long range, jab and move and then tie up an opponent can be fantastic
fun. Of course you may prefer to simply head butt your opponent, but do it too often
and don't be surprised to incur the wrath of the referee.

The left-right thumb stick work between rounds are now replaced by simply allocating
points to either your boxers damage, stamina or health. The better you do in the
round, the more points you get for you corner team to work with. You are now
rewarded for efficient work in the ring. Wing away with 100 hooks and land with less
than 25% of them will now only get you moderate points between rounds. If you land
with lighter, but connecting shots then you will have significantly more to play
with. Other factors like stunning an opponent, or even dropping him yield great
bonuses to get more use of the ice packs and water bottle.

The legacy has seen a massive improvement on the game. Gone is the beat boxer A, B
and C to again meet your rival for the fourth time. You are now part of a living,
breathing dynamic boxing world. Purists who understand the sport have been crying
out for this since the twentieth century and to give EA credit they've gone someway
to bringing it about. Rankings are now dynamic. Fighters rise up them, their
records change, world titles change hands and fight cards are all now viewable in
the calendar. There are now also three governing bodies per weight class, allowing
for multiple belts to be held at the same time. While all this information is
available to the player, I would have loved to actually be able to view the fights
on the fight card as CPU vs CPU. Especially the title fights. Nevertheless the EA
FightCast allowing for you to see a round by round breakdown of the fight is now
there.

The games allows you to import you own photo onto your boxer and then adjust lots
of facial features to personalise your pugilist. Personally I found it to the best
renderer so far having both added myself and other fighters in the sport.
Unfortunately at present there appear to be problems with imported CABs in the
Legacy mode where showing custom photos of created boxers can freeze the console. A running battle is currently taking place on the EA forums regarding this and
developers have announced a patch is currently in the works and should have been
rolled out by the time you are reading this.

Both PS3 and XBox 360 versions are visually identical, run smooth as glass and just
ooze fun whether played online or locally with a second person. The importing of
your own custom ring entrance music is exclusive to the lucky XBoxers, but as this
has also been linked to freezing on some users title screens it may have been a
blessing for the PS3 gamers.

Unless boxing disgusts you, I challenge anyone to to pick up the controller, swing
away and not enjoy it. The addition of the legacy modes dynamic rankings, fight
scheduling and opponent fight history really absorbs you into the career mode, even
more so if you've added your GameFace to the boxer. Assuming the game freezes are
addressed in the next patch, pound for pound Fight Night Round 4 is the undisputed
boxing game on the market.

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