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"A Future Classic That Pulls No Punches"

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This thread has been linked to the game 'Rocky'.
Thu 19/02/04 at 18:41
Regular
"Copyright: FM Inc."
Posts: 10,338
There are games that come and go. Some you'll miss completely unless you keep up to date with all the goings on in the industry. One such title is 'Rocky' on the PS2, developed by Rage.

In much the same way that Suikoden (an old PSX RPG) now fetches upwards of 50 each time it makes an appearance on e-Bay, Rocky is going to go the same way. It's hard to get hold of even today. Most of the major retailers stopped stocking it a long time ago, and I was lucky enough to find it new sitting in an electrical wholesaler's bargain bin for the princely sum of 9.98.

Boxing and wrestling not your punchbag? Don't worry about it, it's the 'experience' that counts. Not only do you get to play as the original Italian Stallion, you get to play as Rocky II, III, IV and V as well in the main Movie Mode of the game, taking on every adversary that Rocky ever went up against in the movies.

In between each bout, you get to 'train' Rocky in a number of different areas like Strength, Speed, Determination, but the strategy comes into play when you realise that you only get two training sessions between bouts, meaning only two of your stats can be bumped up at any one time in preparation for the next fight. Each training mini-game, be it button-mashing to aggregate pushups or timing your button presses carefully to get Rocky pulling off tricks with a skipping rope is fun in itself, and quite challenging when you realise that you only get one shot at it to add between 1 and 10 points to your chosen attribute at the end of training based on your performance.

Old Mick is there urging you on, you can take your choice of sparring partner out of your fellow stablemates to practice your combos on (and there are a LOT of combos), practice in Exhibition mode to see how you fare against your next opponent, jump into a Knockout Tournament to see how you compare with the best, or dive straight into Movie Mode and start unlocking cut scenes from the movies, new arenas to fight in and new opponents to fight against.

Where Rocky really excels, though, is in the ring itself. Other boxing games are either too arcadey or too unrealistic to worth bothering with, but with Rocky you get to see the blood flying, hear bones crunching, bodyshots landing and knocking the air out of opponents, plus a major bonus is the ever increasing facial damage you can inflict on your opponents with endless combinations of left hooks, right hooks, face jabs and uppercuts.

The number of rounds in each fight varies depending on the type of fight, you can adjust settings such as 'Saved by the Bell' meaning that you can force the referee to continue a count to the end rather than have your prone opponent go back to his corner when the end of round bell dings at a count of 9 in the penultimate round, you can take it easy on Novice or test yourself on harder settings, you even get to fight Mick himself as well as Rocky's statue if you get far enough to unlock them.

I usually hate boxing games, but only because they never portrayed the sport in such a realistic manner. The Rocky movies set the tone for the ultimate boxing movies, and now you've finally got a game that both lives up to its license AND manages to let you box as you've always wanted to, i.e. by jumping in a ring and dishing out damage that not only looks realistic, it FEELS realistic.

9/10 (1 mark deducted for no online component, but then seeing as this was released before the Network Adaptor...). Another point deducted from SR for not stocking it anymore :P
There have been no replies to this thread yet.
Thu 19/02/04 at 18:41
Regular
"Copyright: FM Inc."
Posts: 10,338
There are games that come and go. Some you'll miss completely unless you keep up to date with all the goings on in the industry. One such title is 'Rocky' on the PS2, developed by Rage.

In much the same way that Suikoden (an old PSX RPG) now fetches upwards of 50 each time it makes an appearance on e-Bay, Rocky is going to go the same way. It's hard to get hold of even today. Most of the major retailers stopped stocking it a long time ago, and I was lucky enough to find it new sitting in an electrical wholesaler's bargain bin for the princely sum of 9.98.

Boxing and wrestling not your punchbag? Don't worry about it, it's the 'experience' that counts. Not only do you get to play as the original Italian Stallion, you get to play as Rocky II, III, IV and V as well in the main Movie Mode of the game, taking on every adversary that Rocky ever went up against in the movies.

In between each bout, you get to 'train' Rocky in a number of different areas like Strength, Speed, Determination, but the strategy comes into play when you realise that you only get two training sessions between bouts, meaning only two of your stats can be bumped up at any one time in preparation for the next fight. Each training mini-game, be it button-mashing to aggregate pushups or timing your button presses carefully to get Rocky pulling off tricks with a skipping rope is fun in itself, and quite challenging when you realise that you only get one shot at it to add between 1 and 10 points to your chosen attribute at the end of training based on your performance.

Old Mick is there urging you on, you can take your choice of sparring partner out of your fellow stablemates to practice your combos on (and there are a LOT of combos), practice in Exhibition mode to see how you fare against your next opponent, jump into a Knockout Tournament to see how you compare with the best, or dive straight into Movie Mode and start unlocking cut scenes from the movies, new arenas to fight in and new opponents to fight against.

Where Rocky really excels, though, is in the ring itself. Other boxing games are either too arcadey or too unrealistic to worth bothering with, but with Rocky you get to see the blood flying, hear bones crunching, bodyshots landing and knocking the air out of opponents, plus a major bonus is the ever increasing facial damage you can inflict on your opponents with endless combinations of left hooks, right hooks, face jabs and uppercuts.

The number of rounds in each fight varies depending on the type of fight, you can adjust settings such as 'Saved by the Bell' meaning that you can force the referee to continue a count to the end rather than have your prone opponent go back to his corner when the end of round bell dings at a count of 9 in the penultimate round, you can take it easy on Novice or test yourself on harder settings, you even get to fight Mick himself as well as Rocky's statue if you get far enough to unlock them.

I usually hate boxing games, but only because they never portrayed the sport in such a realistic manner. The Rocky movies set the tone for the ultimate boxing movies, and now you've finally got a game that both lives up to its license AND manages to let you box as you've always wanted to, i.e. by jumping in a ring and dishing out damage that not only looks realistic, it FEELS realistic.

9/10 (1 mark deducted for no online component, but then seeing as this was released before the Network Adaptor...). Another point deducted from SR for not stocking it anymore :P

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