It’s been a while since a new boxing title was released, but it’s time for Vivid Games to change that with Real Boxing for the PlayStation Vita. Does it come out fighting and land a knockout punch, or is it more like going 10 rounds with Mike Tyson? Read on to find out.
Game: Real Boxing
Developer: Vivid Games
Publisher: Vivid Games
Vivid Games can certainly feel pleased with the work they have put into the graphical side of Real Boxing. It more than uses the power of the PlayStation Vita, and the fabulous OLED screen brings the action to life. Boxers, arenas and crowds are all represented really well, with fantastic detail going into each one of them. It would’ve been nice to have more visual feedback after a round of boxing though. Even if you had knock 10 bells out of your opponent, it doesn’t really seem like you’ve done much damage. I would’ve liked to see more in terms of black eyes, cut lips and swelling. That the only real negative, in what is an otherwise fantastic looking game.
Sadly, Real Boxing’s sound leaves a lot to be desired. It almost feels like all audio in the game has just been put together at the last minute. The commentary is just downright awful. It’s far too repetitive and lacks any sort of emotion at all. All other sounds, including the punches and thumps, are just far too generic. The Vita is capable of some great things on the audio from, but Real Boxing just doesn’t utilise any of them.
It’s all well and good having flash visuals, but a boxing title is ultimately (like most games) going to be truly judged on its gameplay. There is no point playing if fights feel like a total grind and each round becomes just as lacklustre as the last. How does Real Boxing’s gameplay fare? Well, my views are quite mixed really. It’s tagged as a simulation, and as far as first attempts go it’s fun at times, but that’s it. Nothing more. The career mode is the main attraction, seeing you start off with a new boxer. You’re given the ability to personalise him right down to his clothes and attributes, including strength, stamina and speed.
There are three tournaments in which you can enter, with each one being a little bit harder than its predecessor. The controls are relatively simple, with punches and jabs all mapped on to four face buttons on the Vita. You block with the right trigger and, if timed correctly, you enter a cool slow-motion period that allows you to deliver a fatal punch, knocking your enemies health right down or even delivering a KO! If you do get knocked out yourself, multiple presses of the L and R buttons repeatedly will see you return to your feet. However, get knocked down more than three times, and you’ll struggle to get back up to fight another day. If you’re new to boxing games, don’t worry, the game features a relatively easy tutorial that teaches you all the basics. I found matches to be easy enough, but there is a huge difficulty spike in the middle tournaments which fight frustrate some players.
Real Boxing does, on the whole, offer an package that should keep most occupied for a while. Each tournament in career mode features nine matches, with you deciding the length and amount of rounds per match. There is also an online vs mode, allowing you to test your fighting skills against the world. If you’re super skilled then you might want to enter the European Championship, a mode which is aimed at the best Real Boxing players. You’ll need to hurry though, it’s only avaialble until the end of the month!
Real Boxing is a good first attempt to bring boxing to the PlayStation Vita. With its fun and fluid approach, both veterans and newcomers to the sport will find some enjoyment in the game. More work is required on the part of the development team if it’s to be called a true simulation, however Vivid Games should definitely be satisfied with their first attempt. Real Boxing certainly fought valiantly, but has some way to go until it’s classed as a truly knockout boxing title.