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The More Things Change The More They Stay The Same

Reviewing: X Seed Games Victorious Boxers: Revolution  |  Rating:
Kevin Roman By Kevin Roman on
Badge: Publisher | Level: 5 | Gaming Expertise:
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The last game of this series, Victorious Boxers 2: Fighting Spirit, had several problems due to character balance. Some guys would either never stay down or never get knocked down regardless of how many punches you throw. If you took off TKO's, some guys would never stay down since there would be no limit to knockdowns. Lastly, the game lacked any vocals whatsoever and had a dull story mode. Victorious Boxers: Revolution has better graphics though some clipping can happen; in a cutscene, Miyata was floating above the floor. The cutscenes have cel-shading and the boxers can bleed. The best part of it all is that you have cutscenes in the middle of the matches, making them feel like the anime. It is also nice to get a feel for how boxers are getting beaten up; you can just sense the moment (they have no health bars) when they're about to get knocked down (they control sluggishly and wobble around punch-drunk) and the animations look great.

The story mode skips some fights (such as Jason Ozuma) but fortunately this improved presentation makes up for it. It also has a faster pace than the anime, which I like because at times pointless things would be in the anime, such as a dragging flashback. It captures the anime well enough without you needing to know much about it and the dialogue is good. They even show some cutscenes for learning new moves like the boxers did in the anime. They also show cutscenes of a finisher if you fought well enough in a match you're supposed to lose. The anime is about the boxing career of Ippo Makunouchi and the challenges he faces preparing for matches.

The game has multiple control systems but the main issue is how you have to block or back off for the camera to readjust once your opponent goes out of sight. It feels a bit stiff but fortunately this doesn't take long to get back into the fight. However, the load times can be a chore at about 15 seconds although rematches can be done immediately.

The control is pretty decent though it takes a while to get used to. The sound is mediocre with some of the actors (perhaps the Japanese version spoiled me) and they could have used the best theme in the anime, Naked Fang. The main issue of the control is getting off the wrong type of punch (like a straight punch instead of a hook, but fortunately it works better for body blows in which you duck before punching) but fortunately the game is fun to play although it has its flaws; try it out if you are a fan of the anime Fighting Spirit (aka Hajime no Ippo). I like how this game is not button mashy; you better get good at dodging/blocking and getting a feel for when to use your specials.

Unfortunately, like the prequel, character balance can be an issue, especially in the sparring (versus) mode. Do yourself a favor and do not fight Takamura unless you really feel you're perfect at dodging. I always criticized the anime for making Takamura too strong; it translates to this game. I also fought Takeshi Sendo (a weaker opponent than Takamura) with Ryo Mashiba and landed about twice as many punches as Sendo but got knocked down about 3-4 times as much. At least the game is a nice workout and allows classic and Gamecube controllers should you not like the swing (dodge by tilting wiimote or using the nunchuk's analog) and pointer (you attack and dodge by a cursor).

Update On Apr 02, 2009: Don't bother with pointer mode. The opponent will move too fast before you can line up your cursor and punch them. Just stick to swing mode or the controller; I only hit my opponent about 1/3rd of the time with pointer mode as I did with swing mode. It is also easier to do specials by holding a button on swing mode instead of moving your cursor in a specific way in pointer mode while holding a and b.