Rage
Ubisoft
Sports
1-2
11.12.02

Rocky


Rock-E! Rock-E! Hey all you Rocky fans! If you enjoyed the storyline from Rocky (I-V), now you can be part of it by defeating everyone from Apollo to Ivan Drago, and of course the final street fight with Tommy Gunn. Ubisoft even included the one and only Mr. T. The great thing about this game is that it's fun and doesn't take a lot of time to beat. The game can simply be conquered in one full day of game play. I must warn all gamers that this game is quite addicting. There isn't anyway that anybody can fight a couple rounds, defeat a couple boxers, and put the controller down. Even after you beat the game, you will find yourself craving an intense match-up against some scrubs from the "Rocky Saga!"

Tutorial

To control your boxer, L and R are evasive dodges. L is also used as the block button, followed by the directional pad depending on which way you want to move your body or gloves. The R button is also used to throw four different types of uppercuts when combined with the A, B, X, and Y buttons. The main punches are as follows: Y- head jab, B- body straight, A- body jab, and X- is a head jab. The "Back" button taunts your opponent and raises your health and power meters. The left thumb stick is used to move the boxer. If any of these controls are uncomfortable for you, they can be reset in the setup menu.

Graphics

As far as how the feel of the game is, it's comfortable. When I throw a punch, it lands quickly. Combos are fast and blocks are responsive. The control gives you a feeling like you are really boxing. Sometimes I can feel the hits. I'm not saying the controls are amazing, but I would have to say they are above average. As for the graphics, the game will suck you in and keep you at the edge of your seat. You won't have to worry about it being a typical treacherous boxing game that blisters up or numbs your fingers from intense pounding on the buttons! The rounds are just long enough to get the damage you need to get done in each fight. The thumb stick is smooth as opposed to moving around the ring. The combos with assistance from the R and directional buttons are easy on the fingers as well. Finally a boxing game that doesn't cramp up my fingers! The damage done to the boxers face looks good. During some fights, fans throw and smash bottles in the ring. They usually toss them at the losing fighter. And they only act like this in the earlier Rocky movies when Rocky was still residing at his trailer trash hometown. The graphics are eccentric. There's nothing bad about them. But then again there is nothing for me to really rant and rave about either. Not only is the game fun to interact with, but it is also fun to just sit there and watch the fighter's pound on one another.

Gameplay

Here are four game modes to be played. They are sparring mode, knockout tournament, movie mode, and exhibition mode. The sparring mode is to help you learn and perfect your boxing skills against 1 of 3 hardened sparring partners. The knockout tournament is unlocked after completing the "Movie Mode." You can have up to 16 boxers in it. The levels you can choose from in the knockout tournament are bronze, silver, and gold. The exhibition mode is fun to spar with friends after everyone has been unlocked. When all unlocked, you can select between 30 different fighters. You can fight with these characters in Philadelphia, Big Rock, Queensbury, New York, Titan Beach, Reid Stadium, Moscow, The Chapel, Liberty Hall, 8 Ball Club, and Outside Gym. As for the Movie Mode, this is what the game is all about. The movie mode starts off by letting you choose from 3 different levels of difficulty: novice, contender, and champion. NOTE: I recommend that you start out on contender level to unlock all the boxers faster and to develop a confident fighting style. After beating the game on this level, I guarantee you will still want to beat the game again on the Champ level. Unfortunately, the novice level doesn't unlock characters. In movie mode you basically fight through all the Rocky movies, (I- V) right on up until the outside brawl with Tommy Gunn, which is the last fight. You start off obviously as Rocky from Rocky I and work your way to the Rocky V clashing with all of the bosses of the 5 Rocky films. The point of the game is to start off as an upcoming challenger, Rocky Balboa, to reign as Heavyweight Champion challenging 20 tough opponents. Your attributes are key to build up. You have 5 basic attributes that need to be built up which are as follows: You have your Strength that indicates Rocky's power. Strength is very important to build up. It makes it easier to knockout your opponents. Next, you have your speed, which is just as important to build up as strength. The speed enables you to throw more punches and quicker combos. You need speed to keep up in the later rounds. Stamina isn't as important in the game, but with higher stamina, you are able to take more punishment. Determination has to do with Rocky's ability to get up off the canvas after being knocked on his ass. You really shouldn't have to waste much on this either. Lastly, there is movement, which is key to build up in the later rounds. Movement controls the direction you face toward your opponent and the speed you move around the ring. Be sure to build each of these attributes wisely. After each fight, you only get 2 sessions to build either of the five. If you so happen to lose, you get 3 continues. When using a continue, you only get one extra session to build up attributes. After each fight, attributes may slightly drop a couple of points. Now, earning points is easy in some cases, but very hard to do for others. By practicing more and more in the movie mode, you will find out what you are best at building up. When building attributes you can get anywhere from 1- 10 points each session. If you are horrible at any of the training modes you can use auto-train, which will give you an automatic 5 points toward any 1 of the 5 sessions.

The sessions are as follows: For strength you hit the punching mitts by throwing the corresponding punches your trainer tells you to throw- ex. R+A, R+B, R+X, UP and A, UP and B, A, Y, B, etc. Building strength is very easy. For speed you hit the speed bag, which isn't too difficult. This is done by tapping A and B and A and B together. Once again just follow the trainers directions. You must try to keep the blue bar at the bottom of the screen within the highlighted marker. As for stamina, it's a pain in the ass. You have to jump rope by timing the green curser with A. This is all about good hand eye coordination. Next, you have the determination, which are sit-ups. This is simple. Tap A and B as quickly as possible to do 3 sit-ups then hold X to tighten your stomach. You just keep repeating this until the time is up. Finally, you have movement with the heavy bag in the meat locker. This is also a pain in the ass where you have to get off as many combos on the bag as possible staying within the green shaded area. Along with the four modes you have the option to select Gallery. If you're a Rocky freak, then you can spend your time watching the Rocky movie clips.

Replay Value

Rocky, as I said earlier, is addicting, but then again so are drugs and alcohol. Just because it's addicting doesn't mean I'm going to do it all the time especially because you start building a tolerance. I think what I am trying to say is that I've played and beaten the game so many freaking times that I can defeat any boxer on any level in my sleep.

Sound

The sound was very loud. I felt like I was an old man with a brand new hearing aid. The sound coincides perfectly with landing of the punches. Of course you have the main Rocky theme which is nice to hear since I'm playing "Rocky." I gave the sound extra points alone for having the classic old-timer rocky theme for Micky when he comes out to fight.

Bottom Line:

You can get the game for $20. Maybe even $15 if you look hard enough. It's by far worth it. Add this game to your collection. It can come in handy to play at family outings or get-togethers. Think about it, EVERYONE loves Rocky. Rocky is one of those games that in years from now, you will pop it in and still know how to fight in it. Kind of like Mike Tyson's Punch Out and how everyone remembered the code to get to Tyson (007-373-5963)! And that's what Rocky will do for you because it is based upon THE 5 Rocky movies. Rocky is a Legend. I have his theme song in my head right now. Dah Dah Dah...Dah, Dah, Dahh!

Related Links:

Official Ubisoft Website

-Bobby Bernauer




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