Fight Night Champion

Momma Said Knock You Out

Fight Night Champion is a winner, but it's by split decision.
Author: Scott Rodgers
Published: March 5, 2011
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“I hate Isaac Frost!”

If you came into the TPS offices at any point the past few days that’s exactly what you’d hear me saying. Some variations more vulgar than others, but all with the same sentiment. Really, I can’t think of a virtual character this side of a Long Gui from this generation that has frustrated and left me at such a loss. I had an easier time dealing with the bosses in Demon’s Souls than this Randy Orton rip-off. Looking over his stats, he’s like the players I made in Madden as a kid that had 99s in everything. I mean for cripe’s sake, the guy has knock out potential in every punch, from jabs to hooks to straights.

So I guess Champion Mode is a great place to being this review of Fight Night Champion. This story mode follows Andre Bishop, a young, up-and-coming middleweight fighter from Philadelphia. Without spoiling anything, the odds are almost always against this long distance relative of our lovable editor-in-chief. Everything in the world is thrown at him; from a bought off referee, to legal corruption that ends up with him landing in the slammer. It’s a story of redemption and I can’t give enough kudos to Will Rokos, the pen behind it all (he also wrote Monster’s Ball, but people remember that film more for Halle Berry).

All of the characters are voiced well and the animation throughout the cutscenes is near flawless. For some purists of the series it will be frustrating to have a story mode that is more objective based (for example, protecting cuts, landing body shots, etc.) than just letting the best boxer win. It’s a lot like Punch-Out!! in that regard, in that every fight is different and requires you to learn your opponent’s weakness and exploit it. The game even has Mike Tyson, but he’s nowhere to be seen in this work of fiction. I have nothing but good things to say about the mode, that is, except for a certain boss fight referenced above.

I have no idea what they were thinking. Looking around the web it seems that everyone is calling the routine which must be followed to beat Frost a spoiler. So I’ll tread lightly here and just say you have to survive for some time before you have the opportunity to defeat him. It’s a drastic change of pace from the rest of the fights, which usually call for you to go toe-to-toe with the opponent. I get that Frost is built up to be this unstoppable juggernaut who has never even been knocked down, much less defeated, but the fact I have to dance around the ring without throwing a punch for the majority of the fight is aggravating and really boring. Then again, if I so much as stop moving for a split second I’ll be KO’d from a simple jab. Apparently, Isaac Frost has infinite falcon punch potential.
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