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Don King Presents Prizefighter!

The first competitor to Fight Night Round 3 since the games release has finally arrived, but will Prizefighter dethrone the real King?

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C'mon Kid: The main draw-in of Don King Presents: Prizefighter is the career mode. In the career mode, you will be able to create a fighter using a pretty robust amount of options, then train and fight your way to the top.

Along the way you will have to make choices such as whether you want to increase your publicity, or lock yourself in the gym to train. You will also have to deal with a variety of temptations such as going out with a Penthouse Pet or training for your upcoming fight.

You will also have to fight against stacked odds in a number of your fights. You will have to fight against a fighter with vision impairing substance on his glove, or having to win by KO because the judges are corrupt.

These realistic elements add a layer of depth that FNR3 lacked, but isn't significant enough to be praised for greatness.

While the career sounds great on paper, the game doesn't pull it off well enough. There are five different training exercises that you can perform, such as heavy bag, speed bag, jump rope, focus mitts, and shuttle run.

These are all just mini-games in which you simply mash buttons or hit specific buttons as fast as you can. The training feels a little shallow, and won't amuse you for very long.

The fact that your attributes increase at a mind-numbingly slow pace doesn't help the feel either.

I Can't Remember: As if the career wasn't interesting enough, the gameplay is even more disappointing. Unlike the revolutionary Total Punch Control that FN features, Prizefighter goes back to the Stone Age with classic button mapped punches.

One of the biggest flaws in Prizefighter are the complex and unresponsive controls, and you will undoubtedly be fumbling with the controls even after several fights. There are 31 different types of punches that you can throw, each with its own unique input.

You can jab, throw a straight punch, or rip into your opponent with either a left or right hook, depending on which face button you press and in order to do downstairs, you hold the right trigger to go to the body.

That's not even where it gets really complex; to throw an uppercut, you have to press two face buttons at the same time, hold the right bumper plus a face button for stepping punches, and the left bumper with a button for a signature punch if your meter is full.

While it is possible, after time, to get used to the controls (to some degree) the controls are way to unresponsive and difficult to be user friendly. The key to winning your bouts is to simply mash away on the buttons and hope for the best.

Down For The Eighth Time Tonight: In addition to the overly complex controls, the overall experience is just as bad. While in the ring, you will notice that the fighters all fight alike, and that they move like robots in an unpredictable and skittish way.

Another of the many flaws is the outrageous amount of clipping. Whenever you throw a punch, there will be some kind malfunction happening.

Sometimes your jabs will go through the fighter's skull, and other times his limbs will deform out of his body and jerk around.

In addition to those various flaws, you will also be subjected to ludicrous fight behavior. In Prizefighter it isn't uncommon to be knocked down three or four times per fight and still win by easy KO.

Whether it's you or your opponent, someone is always laying on the canvas waiting for their chance to take you down.

What's Boxing Without Two: The addition of online play had a shot at being a paradise away from the horrors of fighting against the CPU, but unfortunately is nothing more then the CPU offer. When you fight against online opponents, your punches have even more lag then before.

You will constantly get hit by punches thrown upwards of one second ago, and this fact really takes you out of the game as you wait to see if you were hit by something.

Rent vs. Buy: Despite Don King's spouting of how good Don King Presents: Prizefighter is, the game really fails to satisfy you on a regular basis. The extremely difficult controls and the totally unrealistic boxing overall will disappoint you in every way.

While the roster of over thirty real fighters is welcome, the cast can't bring this game up from mediocrity and an overall bad experience.

Additionally, the graphics can't compare to those of Fight Night Round 3s in any sense. The game doesn't have as much of a clean, or life-like feel as FNR3 did, and isn't very impressive overall for a next-gen title.

Overall, Prizefighter doesn't do enough good, and way too much bad to be worth $30, let alone a mighty $60.

Report Card

Overall, Prizefighter doesn't do enough good, and way too much bad to be worth $30, let alone a mighty $60. (Krakrabbit.com)


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