Developer: Raz Games
Publisher: Raz Games
Review Context: I’m a big boxing fan and I’ve enjoyed playing games like Fight Night Champion and Punch-Out!!. I’m starving for a new good boxing game with longevity.
Date of Playthrough: May 26
PC Specs Game Played on:
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i3 CPU 540 @ 3.07GHz
RAM: 8 GB
Video Card: GeForce GTX 950 2GB GDDR5 ACX 2.0 SC+
Disclosure: This review is based off of a review copy.
Boxing Champs, developed by Raz Games, is a boxing game I had no idea existed until recently, but I was thrilled to review it because I am a big boxing fan. Unlike games for other sports, not many boxing games exist, so the opportunity to try out a new boxing game was one I couldn’t miss. Boxing Champs isn’t a AAA game, but in my mind a boxing game doesn’t need to be if the gameplay is fun and engaging.
Boxing Champs is very different from traditional boxing games, as you can quickly see from one look that the game has a cartoony avatar type look with an isometric view while fighting. This is a departure from games we’ve seen before because there are no licensed fighters, just avatars, stats, colorful attires, and nicknames instead like Money, Too Fast, Pac Man, plus many others. This isn’t necessarily bad thing because the game is presented as an arcade-style boxing experience.
Boxing Champs only single player mode is career mode, which puts you in a ranked listing with many other boxers in your quest to become undisputed world champion by defeating the four belt holders at the top of the rankings. Entering this mode is interesting, as you need to create a boxer from scratch where you will choose the nickname, hairstyle, body type, and colors of your hair, skin, shorts, and gloves. All of these choices are aesthetic and have no bearing on the stats of your boxer. You then have to assign a limited number of stat points to various categories to start in career mode. Interestingly enough, the game also has a mode to create a boxer outside of career mode, but those avatars are not allowed to be imported into a career, which is something that should probably be changed. When I first started the game I created a boxer and was annoyed I had to go through the process again in career mode. The difference between the modes is that in “Create a Boxer” there are no stat limitations, so you can literally put everything to max stats if you want, another thing I’m not particularly fond of.
As you go through career mode, you will continue to move up the ranks and be allowed to choose your next opponent. Every win will give you some stat points to improve your boxer, with varying ranges depending on how well you did in the match, although the game doesn’t really explain how the stat points are determined by. Theoretically, you could farm stat points by fighting boxers in the lower ranks to be much stronger by the time you are near the top. I found the career mode experience to generally be fun, but also I found myself cruising all the way to the top very quickly. It did take me around two hours to be be undisputed world champion, meaning I defeated the top four ranked boxers that each had a title.
As advertised, the gameplay of Boxing Champs has that arcade feel, especially if you get knocked down. When you get knocked down you have to continuously press a single button, in my case “A” on the Xbox controller in order to get up. Everything really does fly by in the game because each match is 3 rounds maximum, another very arcade-like setting. Playing with an Xbox controller, the right analog stick serves as a “Full Punch Control” system, allowing you to punch with jabs, crosses, or uppercuts depending on how you press the right analog stick and in what direction. I generally found the controls to be pretty good, but constantly using the right analog stick does get tiring. Thankfully, the buttons on the controller can also be used for each action. By the end of my career mode I was mixing using the analog and buttons, a scheme I found most comfortable. One of the things I was generally impressed with is the movement, as you can easily choose to fight a “stick and move” type style and still find success. It’s ultimately up to you how to choose to fight, but the game does a good job in higher ranks of punishing you if you’re not holding the block button or if you are fighting with a depleted stamina meter. The game also has one-punch knockdowns, which does add realism to the experience. As someone who has played other boxing games, I didn’t find the isometric view to be a huge factor in my gameplay experience, although it is kind of hilarious seeing the big heads looking up as you move around. This does sort of give the game a Rock’em Sock’em-like appearance. I did feel an adrenaline rush whenever I strung together a combo that took a huge chunk of the opponents HP bar.
Although Boxing Champs does offer local multiplayer, the quick career mode makes the game feel enormously short, making me feel starved for more content. Playing this on PC, this game desperately needs online multiplayer, which is scheduled to come later. The game could also use more single player content and stat caps to sharpen the experience to make character building more strategical. Boxing Champs fun gameplay and a good foundation of a game that needs to be built upon in order to make it successful and also give it longevity. I look forward to the online multiplayer update and anything else that may come in the future.
Boxing Champs is scheduled to be released on May 30th for PC.
Similar Games Liked:
Fight Night Champion (PS3)