Conclusion: Otogi 2: Immortal Warriors shares many similarities to its predecessor both for the good and the bad. The storyline is a refreshing change from what we’re used to seeing in third-person action games, yet some gamers may have some difficulty sticking with the Japanese mythological focus.
Conclusion: EA Sports did a strong job of reviving its boxing franchise with Fight Night 2004. It’s fun, deep and delivers a better sim experience than any of the Knockout Kings’ games. But EA needs to take that emphasis on realism a bit further with Fight Night 2005. Clinching and a more realistic fighter damage model need to be added, and players should be able to drop a foe with a well-timed punch or combination from time to time.
Conclusion: Fight Night 2004 is the first boxing title in recent memory that will shape the next set of boxing titles to come. The Total Punch Control scheme has a bit of a learning curve that must be overcome, but eventually the controls shine and boxing fans will enjoy the freshness of this setup. At first I was ready to send my controller sailing out my front window, but patience prevailed and I found myself immersed in the feel of the game.
Excerpt: Up till now, most boxing titles have simply been exercises in button mashing: You face your opponent, smack the jab, hook or uppercut button as quickly as possible and attempt to knock the other boxer down as quickly as possible. In this sense, strategy was basically limited to the fastest fingers on the keypad. Fight Night 2004 redefines this flaw of boxing games with the new Total Punch Control.
Excerpt: To many people, boxing seems to be a dangerous sport between two savage men hell bent on beating the life out of each other. While it’s true that some boxing matches can be incredibly brutal and vicious, these dismissive opinions don’t take into account the skill and strategy within the sport. A boxing match is like a chess game, with fighters trying to outwit and outmaneuver their opponent to deliver the knockout blow.
Excerpt: “Fight Night 2004” is another attempt by EA to create a decent boxing game. Its previous attempts, the “Knockout Kings” series, resulted in either sluggish, plodding gameplay or an unrealistic button-mashing mess. So EA took two years off and debuts “Fight Night 2004” with new features, fighters and gameplay. Let’s see how it turned out.
Excerpt: Boxing games have gone through an actual de-evolution over the years. Many boxing titles from the 80's required quick reflexes, the ability to defend yourself from your opponent, and a little strategy. But there have been a huge glut of boxing titles since around the time Ready 2 Rumble Boxing was released about five years ago that embrace some sort of "arcade-oriented" style. In boxing games, this means you need to basically mash the buttons faster in order to win.
Excerpt: Over the years, the boxing genre has been trying to get more and more realistic, but most attempts to date have fallen flat in one category or another. Electronic Arts has made several good attempts with its Knockout Kings series, but even here some aspects of the games weren't as real as they could have been--and perhaps should have been. This year, EA Sports did to its boxing game what it did last year to its baseball games--it started over.
Conclusion: Fight Night 2004 is a little uneven then, there is no Xbox Live support as usual, but overall presentation is excellent, if a little 'urban'. And that control system is a sensation. I can forgive its few shortcomings, and let's be honest, what would EA have left to implement in the inevitable annual update if not for a few omissions here and there?…… Cynical? Me? With my reputation?
Pros: Looks great., Career mode is solid., Total Punch Control - Eureka!, The best simulation of boxing in existence.
Cons: Big Tigger should just put a sock in it., Too much Hip Hop, no option to import own tunes., Career mode is somewhat limited in scope., No Live support, which is business as usual, but still a crime., Single player could prove repetitive.