Venom Games
Ubisoft
Sports
1-2
09.29.04

Rocky Legends


For the second time, Ubisoft has gifted us with the most happening boxing game of the year. The fictional, but most respected fighter is back for another action-packed fight to the finish. He is joined with three other brawlers ready to prove their worthiness to the line-up. The game is back and improved to undergo another path of on setting excitement and breath defying punches that will literally pull you from your seat. The movies are legacies, so it's time to join them. Whether you like it or not, you can join the legend or be the legend…in Rocky Legends!

Graphics

After playing Rocky, which was released in 2002, it is evident Rocky Legends has come some way. The graphics are more concrete and bring you into a greater feeling of what boxing is all about. The characters have hundreds of new combinations which can be performed. The boxing stances and punches resemble a life-like animation which has an effect to absorb you into the game. There are new arenas to fight in which entails new rings. In every fight you have a crowd who boo's you if there isn't any pouncing going on. As in the first video game, there are still fans throwing debris into the ring, such as bottles and refreshments. The game has adapted a faster fighting style and an upgraded style of movement for the fighters. When in training mode you can see the difference in the settings to speculate on each detail of each boxer. There is more bruising! With more bruising, comes more blood!

Gameplay

Compared to the first Rocky game, there is a compelling difference within the gameplay. First of all, there are some added modes and features to the game play menu. For instance there is the typical career mode. In the career mode you can choose from four different fighters. The fighters are Apollo Creed, Ivan Drago, Clubber Lang (Mr. T), and Rocky Balboa. If you choose to take Apollo's path, it will result in an end title fight against Rocky as in the movie, Rocky I. If you choose to take the route of Clubber, his last fight results with Rocky, as in Rocky III. For the Russian Ivan Drago, his career includes the fight in Vegas against Apollo (who can forget that incident), and ends with the title bout against Rocky (as in Rocky IV). Now if you choose Rocky, this is where the fun is at. Your title bout is against Apollo. After you defeat him, you have to fight the other two guys. After you defeat Drago and Clubber, you go back out in the street (as you did in the first Rocky game) to duke it out with Tommy Gunn. I will later get into the Rocky Career.

Other modes are exhibition match, knockout tournament, survival mode, training, practice, shop, and the extras. I'm sure you all know what exhibition mode, extras, and practice mode pertains to. The knockout tournament gives you an opportunity to challenge three different levels, for three different titles. The training is probably the most difficult part in the game. Being able to practice training is great new feature which UBI has added. On top of that, pending on the four fighters you choose from, they each train in their own unique gym's with their actual trainers. Pretty sweet, Heeh? If training for Rocky weren't enough, you can also unlock his ability to "chase the chicken." For the survival mode, I'm still trying to debate whether this is even necessary or not. Basically it is the only mode which needs to be unlocked. It can be unlocked by purchasing it from the shop. In this mode you pick a fighter and fight as many fighters as you can, (in an unlimited time period) until you get knocked the fudge out. As for the new shop feature, you spend your playing credits to unlock new fighters, new arenas, and bonus movie trailers.

In the Rocky career mode, I found this to be substantially more fun than the career mode in the Rocky 1 video game. To give you a general idea of the game, I will tell you a little about what I have encountered. First of all, when you find yourself winning matches, you will have the option to choose who you want to fight. In doing so, when climbing up in status, you have the option to skip certain fighters, to challenge the higher ranked fighters. For the simple fact that it is vital you build up your strength, speed, and movement, I advise you fight all the fighters. Technically, when you get good in the game this isn't important, but for the first time it's a lot of fun and will make it a whole lot easier on yourself. Another quick note is if you don't plan on getting knocked on the ground more than twice in any matches, then you don't have to build up your determination attribute. Right about when you get to rank four, Burt Judge, is when it gets tough. I thought besides going all 15 rounds with the champ Apollo, Burt Judge was my toughest fight. When you fight the third, second, and first ranked guys, you need to step up toe to toe with them, and knock them out quick. If you don't, it will lead to a long, finger- exhausting fight. The champ however, will be a long fight. He will hang 'til the end. But the best part of this mode is after Apollo is defeated. As I said before, you will then fight Drago, and Clubber. These guys are like a walk in the park. Finally, the last fight is a replica to the ending of the first Rocky video game. You are outside, same scenario, but better graphics. Again, you have the final, yet easiest fight of the game...Tommy (Blows) Gunn. UBI Soft must have a personal vendetta against Tommy Gunn. For some reason they put him out to be the biggest skirt. Without a doubt, you can't top the ending when the Don King look-a-like is knocked out by Rocky after he defeats Gunn. So what is UBI to do? Do they keep the same outcome for both video games? Hell yeah they do, you can't change a movies ending. Although they do repeat this, they do have about 3 minutes of actual trailer footage cumulative from all the Rocky films, which is pretty cool. Overall I was very impressed with this gameplay.

Sound

The sound is this game is efficient. You have your crowd screaming and cheering you on. Then you have your crowd booing when you're not fighting. In between rounds both of the coaches in turn talk to the fighters. You have the referee in the ring that is loud and able to understand when he counts, except for when you are in Russia. He actually counts in Russian, which is really neat. There are taunts in the game which are nothing special. Then there is the sound effects of punches and hits which are very realistic and lively sounding. Before you come out to the ring, the theme songs for each fighter is played while you hear a loud roar of the crowd. This sets the tempo for the electrifying feeling you get which makes you want to start the fight and beat the piss out of your opponent. As for the trailer scenes, it's the same quality as a DVD. Who's to complain about the sound? It's very clear.

Replay Value

This is a game worth the money. You will play it over and over again. After you win a title with one fighter, then you have a chance to win it with three other fighters. There is a lot to be unlocked. The more you unlock, the more gameplay the game has to offer. If you are a boxing fan, then there is no doubt you will get use out of this game. This game is so good, I'm stoked it's going to take away the replay value of the first Rocky video game. But overall it is a game which you need to buy and add to the Xbox collection. It is worth every mother-funking penny.

Bottom Line:

There is no doubt about what I have to say overall! This game is great. I have played many games where I played the game, reviewed it, and never played them again. This game on the other hand, I will be going back to try and unlock more stuff on different levels of difficulty. I feel when I play this game, I need to perfect my fighting style to be the best. That's what the game is all about, being the best. To be the best you have get the game. It will not be a disappointment. This will probably be the last Rocky game they make for Xbox, so it will be a legend within itself. Compared to Fight Night, Rocky Legends gets my vote. If I were allowed to be unfair when I write reviews, I would give this game a 10. But as we all know, nothing is perfect. I am very critical when reviewing games too. Keeping this in mind, and with my physical involvement of sports (football, baseball, and wrestling), I think it is a good bet for you to listen to an athlete with an appreciation for sports and "snatch" the game.

Related Links:

Official Rocky Legends Website

-Bobby Bernauer




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