previews\ May 7, 2009 at 8:00 pm

Fight Night Round 4 - PS3 - Preview 2

Pre-E3 2009 PreviewE3 2008 GameZone Previews

When Fight Night Round 3 hit the next-gen consoles several years ago, it marked a true revolution in the boxing game genre. Offering some of the most impressive graphics around at the time (they’re still not too shabby by today’s standards) and some engaging and realistic boxing mechanics courtesy of dual analog stick controls. Now, EA is prepping up their follow up, Fight Night Round 4. While the game doesn’t really shake up the mechanics of its predecessor too much, there are some key additions here and there to the formula to keep things interesting.

Playing through a two-player match in the game, there were some changes made to the interface, in that the game actually has one this time around. The game adds in a HUD (heads up display) whereas Round 3 relied on the boxer’s physical appearance and condition to determine what kind of shape they were in. The game has three different bars at the bottom of the screen for each boxer; a health bar, a stamina bar, and a block bar. This is a nice touch for those who would otherwise be frustrated with the game and its lack of information.

Additionally, the framerate has received a boost. Whereas its predecessor looked just fine running at a steady 30 frames per second, Fight Night Round 4 runs at a solid 60 frames per second. Impressively, the game doesn’t take a hit to the graphical representations of the licensed boxers, keeping all of the realistically rendered fighters in all of their glory while running silky smooth to boot.

Aside from those changes, the core mechanics of the game are just as engaging as ever. In a match that pitted Mike Tyson against Muhammad Ali, the game’s analog stick controls for punching handled as well as they ever did, and the boxing was smooth and fluid. While the real deep gameplay features weren’t on display, the sweet science was definitely well represented.

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