Fight Night Round 4 Review
- Posted July 10th, 2009 at 18:14 EDT by
- 23 Comments
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Fight Night Round 4 is not perfect, but it's the best simulation of the technical and strategic elements of boxing in any game to date.
- The fighter variety and excellent A.I.
- The superb graphics, animation, and physics
- Most of Legacy Mode, including its options
- That some of the damage and effectiveness of moves seem inconsistent
- The mundane details in Legacy Mode
- The pointlessly difficult training mini-games
Fight Night Round 4 pushes the bar on all fronts. If you like your games dazzling and shiny with sweat, blood, and bruises galore, Fight Night Round 4 pleases. Or do you want the real side of boxing, with strategy, anticipation, clever ideas, comebacks, and surprises? Round 4 satisfies that desire, too. Simply put, Round 4 pushes and punches the boxing genre forward.
Compared to its predecessor, Fight Night Round 4 is more technical and aims to be more like real boxing, and this shows in every element of the game. This is, for the most part, a good thing. It shows up in computer behavior. Ali fights on the outside, but is highly unpredictable, like his forebear. Tyson is highly aggressive. Jermain Taylor is highly orthodox and by the book, and exceptionally so. George Foreman is highly aggressive yet still has reach. Curiosity alone makes the exhibition matches worth playing, since the most of these boxers haven’t fought each other. It’s not just the time periods: you can mix up the weight classes and see the effect that Foreman would have on a lightweight.
The controls use mainly the analog sticks, with the left stick being used to move and the right stick to punch. Out of the box, Fight Night Round 4 does not come with button-mapped punching, which is a possible dealbreaker. Or rather was, since EA caved to complaints and is releasing a patch in September that will add the button-mapped punching to the game. Until then, it’s analog only for punching. The computer (and other players) are easy to beat at first, but the old strategy of aggression, paired with smart timing and blocking, doesn’t work quite the same anymore, for various reasons.
One is the boxers’ varied abilities. Each boxer’s stats include height and reach, and there are different fighting styles as well. The most noticeable factor is inside and outside fighting. Boxers with longer arms will do better by staying away and tagging their opponents from a distance, while inside fighters have to get in if they want to succeed. The other styles are not quite as noticeable at first except when the computer is using them, but these differences open themselves up to players who play the game for a long time and who play competitively.
The fighting system also highly rewards counter-punching. An uppercut will do moderate damage by itself, but an uppercut used to counter a whiffed attack will almost always make the announcers mutter something about what a great punch that was, and the boxer who takes the hit will take a considerably larger amount of damage. In later fights and against expert players, mastering counterpunching will be a requirement, and it does not come easily. In fact, counterpunching is important to a fault. Some of the damage seems inconsistent; you can get 15 solid hits in on your opponent, and it seems like little is happening, but get in one or two counterpunches and you get a knockdown, or at least a temporary depletion of most of your opponent's stamina bar.
This is all for the sake of making the player appreciate the strategy and mental game that goes into boxing, though, and Fight Night Round 4 does well at opening players’ minds to those aspects of boxing. As long as players put in the effort, the intricacies of boxing really open up and the abilities can be mastered. Simply put: it takes time, and it’s a hardcore game.
Other features are more realistic, too; the way the punches bounce off the body, the way punches can go around blocks, the audiences and arenas, and the updated career mode. Even the create a boxer option is more realistic, since you can go to EA.com and upload a photo of yourself (or anyone else) and translate it into a digital face for your new boxer.
The Legacy Mode in Round 4 is a moderate improvement on Round 3’s Career Mode. Instead of simply fighting through a series of boxers, you must manage your boxer and pick the right fights at the right time, as well as partake in training. The phone calls and emails are ... (continued on next page)
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Dragonfly | Azurium
- 1:17pm EDT - July 10th, 2009
i think fight night was a bad game. so many people played it and didnt eat any cookies with me. bad bad game!
- 1:19pm EDT - July 10th, 2009
I did like the demo, but they way you had to block to make any serious damage took over a bit too much to me. Could this be fixed/changed with an update? Because it was awesome otherwise..
- 1:27pm EDT - July 10th, 2009
dragonfly do you have any idea how annoying you are?
- 1:34pm EDT - July 10th, 2009
I didn't play but the demo, it wasn't just the lack of buttons, they mention it as a negative, but it just seems the damage didn't feel right. You'd pound and pound and nail good punches and it feels like ur getting nowhere. I don't know if I'd want to mess with the difficult career mode if it has tons of useless crap to do that are tedious. I'll stick to UFC. I also don't like how the camera seems pulled back, ur not as close to the action.
- 1:43pm EDT - July 10th, 2009
Ooooh, someone gets their a** kicked alot, 8.5 is a low ball score. Though I gotta say, everyone praises the graphics, but I think they are sub-par compared to Round 3. Looks more plastic than before. Inclusion of Tyson was nice.
Dragonfly | Azurium
- 1:51pm EDT - July 10th, 2009
@3, blinky: yep, i know. it's fun tho.
i just had a watermelon. was yummy yummy in DF's tummy.
- 2:44pm EDT - July 10th, 2009
this game sucks ill stik to UFC
- 2:45pm EDT - July 10th, 2009
Yeah because UFC is soo good...
- 3:08pm EDT - July 10th, 2009
i have UFC and Fight Night Round 4. This game is fun. I like that you really have to dig into someone to rock them. UFC is fun, but MMA is so dynamic that it's hard to make a relatable game. I train MMA, and I've trained boxing. FNR4 is fun because it's more relatable. UFC has too many flash knockouts and I feel that some of the fighters are given iron chins prolly because of biased developers. In FNR4, I love the gratification that I get when knocking down Ali with Suga Ray Robinson. UFC's Career mode needs more work.
- 5:13pm EDT - July 10th, 2009
The weak punches in FN4 put me off a bit. I suppose its better than FN3 when it was a matter of who can haymaker hook faster
- 5:34pm EDT - July 10th, 2009
looks pretty cool i tried the demo it was prett freaking cool
- 7:00pm EDT - July 10th, 2009
The demo was sweet but won't pick this up based off of how boring round 3 got
- 7:49pm EDT - July 10th, 2009
@5 i think a trip to the opticians is in order for you if you seriously think that FN3 graphics are better than 4,s seriously the PS3 version of FN3 had boxxers that were coverred in Baby oil they were that Glossy it was that unreal.Anyway.. I love FN4 with the way they have gone with the Game.. But there are some issues with the Total Punch Control as sometimes its too Responsive i.e throwing Punches i never Meant or Sometimes its Unresponsive were i try and throw left Uppercuts. And basicly my Boxer just stands there
Anyway i traded UFC in for FN4 as UFC got silly in Somefghts were you could be Smashing your opponent. Then out of Know were i would just get High Kicked once and it would be game over.
And as for Brock Lesner Jeez seriously the First time you Fight him you have No chance as once he gets you on the Floor its game Over
- 8:47pm EDT - July 10th, 2009
I think UFC is much better. I rented FNR4 and the graphics were great but I'm laying down punches and they do nothing. UFC if you land a nice solid punch you can knock them out instantly. People complaining that there are too many Flash KO's need to increase the difficulty. As flash KO's happen all the time in real life.
- 10:25pm EDT - July 10th, 2009
They give you 3 games to giveaway and you give the same score as ufc 2009 that BTW has 3 times less things "We Dislike". GREAT. the demo sucked
- 11:47pm EDT - July 10th, 2009
mmm. Who has been rating this game around 6.
jamesobachand | snake2112
- 12:13am EDT - July 11th, 2009
The giveaway fight night isn't very hard to say what the song is since it get's posted by one person. Everyone else just states the same thing. It's kind of funny.
- 1:32am EDT - July 11th, 2009
i played the demo, there no strategy whatever. i like the graphics anyway.
- 2:22am EDT - July 11th, 2009
if you ask me. Fight Night Round 3 is way better and looks more real.
- 8:29am EDT - July 11th, 2009
Why do people keep comparing FNR4 to UFC? They are two completely different sports for those of you who don't know.
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