Real Boxing Review: no pain, no gain in Vivid's challenging boxing sim
- Posted September 3rd, 2013 at 11:41 EDT by Steven Williamson
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Tactically challenging boxing bouts keep you coming back for more.
- Great quality production and animation
- Excellent control scheme make fighting intuitive
- Online tournaments to win prizes
- Training games wear thin after a while
- Slow-paced bouts won't be for everyone
- Overpowered shots by the opponents
In between bouts, activities such as the speed bag and skipping rope test your timing skills (and patience), though perks, including the ability to get up off the floor faster following a knock-out, motivate you to dip into these mini-games. Though it’s instantly familiar and incredibly repetitive, going to the gym is a necessity if you hope to complete career mode.
Career Mode consists of three progressively difficult tournaments each consisting of nine fights. 27 fights doesn’t seem like a hell of a lot, but the bouts can be incredibly challenging so the likelihood is you’ll play some of them multiple times before heading for the online multiplayer mode, which even consists of the European Championships and the chance to win prizes.
Real Boxing looks great. We’re not talking Fight Night quality here, but the intro sequences capture the atmosphere of a big fight and the boxers' faces and bodies are well detailed with sweat pouring down them and bloody noses appearing throughout each bout.
And it’s during the fight that Real Boxing really shines thanks to an excellent control scheme, impressive animation and challenging fights. If you’re expecting fast-paced battles then you’ll be disappointed as each bout is deliberately slow and more about watching your opponent’s moves carefully, counter-acting efficiently, clinching when you need to rebuild strength and then delivering the crucial blows exactly when you need to.
Touchscreen controls offer something a little different and they’ve been mapped well to Vita. You can tap on the left and right of the screen to jab or swipe to hook and uppercut. However, the fact that your fingers are constantly moving across the screen actually obscures the view and makes it harder to counteract to moves.
Skipping and the training mini-games get repetitive
By far the best way to play Real Boxing is with traditional controls and Vivid has done a superb job at creating a control scheme that really works and feels intuitive. While the boxer can be moved with the left analog stick, all punches can be carried out with the right analog stick, while using the shoulder buttons allow for modifiers so you can attack the body. D-pad and face buttons can be used as an alternative to the analog sticks.