Review: Real Boxing (PSV)

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Title: Real Boxing
Format: PlayStation Network Download (222 MB)
Release Date: October 15, 2013
Publisher: Vivid Games
Developer: Vivid Games
Price: $9.99
ESRB Rating: T
Real Boxing is also available for iOS and Android.
The PlayStation Vita version was used for this review.

Gameplay:
After making the rounds on iOS and Android devices for the last year, Real Boxing is making its PlayStation Vita debut. Real Boxing is a very straight forward game. Once the very nice looking opening cinematic is over, you create a character to take through a career of tournaments. You’ll do this using a simple customizer which gives you basic color options for clothing, hair styles and tattoo’s. You start with 1000 credits to purchase your equipment and not everything is available at the start since some items are in a higher price range. Once you have your character dressed up you can use the rest of your credits to purchase upgrades to your stats for strength, stamina, and speed.

Now you are ready to enter the ring with a few game modes to choose from. You can choose to do a quick fight against the AI or head straight into the career mode. The career mode is simply three different tournaments that get gradually more difficult with every fight. This is where the gym comes in. You can hit the gym and either work through some training options or use any credits you have acquired through winning fights to boost your stats. The training options are small quick time event games that will help you increase each area of the three stats. You have the body bag, jump rope, speed bag, and a general sparring to choose from. Sparring is the only training available at all times with the rest being available after finishing bouts in the career tournaments.

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The actual gameplay is similar to the Fight Night series. You use the left stick or D-Pad to move around and the right stick or face buttons to punch. Using the stick allows for more fluid punches and gives you quick access to the three punch types: jab, hook, and uppercut. Pushing the stick up and slightly left or right gives you a jab left or right depending on what side you push towards. Pushing the stick left or right throws out a hook, and pushing the sticks down will unleash and uppercut.

During the bout you have a heath meter and stamina bar which depletes as you throw punches. You use the triggers to block, dodge, and clinch. You can also choose to use all touch screen controls which uses taps and swipes to achieve the punching and it seemed to work fine, but with physical controls I’m not sure why you would want to use this option.

Visuals:
Real Boxing is a good looking game from its opening cinematic to your character’s entrance for a fight. The boxers look great with fluid animations that really feel authentic to the sport. As for most sports games the backgrounds do not fare as well during a bout, but still look good and give you the feeling of decently full arenas including the flashes from cameras. The only area visually that will stand out as a bit of an afterthought is the look and animation of the ring girls.

realboxingring

Audio:
For the most part the audio is good in the bouts. Crowds cheer and react when you land a good punch and the sounds of the hits are good. The only thing that will get annoying is the limited dialogue that the announcer has with only a handful of different phrases. The menu music is limited to one track that plays on repeat.

Online/Multiplayer:
Online consists of single or tournament fights that include local games that you can host or join. Leaderboards also give you a chance to see how you stack up against players from around the world and your friends list. Like any game with an online component the quality will depend on the connection.

Most matches I played felt completely smooth, but a couple matches the lag was pretty noticeable. The main issue with the online is the lack of a matchmaking system linking you up with someone in the same skill level. Most matchups were against someone with a much greater skill level than me with the bout ending within the first round. On occasion I was able to fight an opponent at the same level leading to a more evenly matched fight where I actually had a chance.

Conclusion:
If you’re a boxing fan or you’re just looking for a new sports game, you can’t go wrong with Real Boxing. It offers a good amount of gameplay for the price point along with not taking up too much space on your memory card. With great graphics and tight controls Real Boxing is an excellent sports game to add to any PlayStation Vita library.

Score:
7.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Vita’s built in screen capture feature.

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