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Fight Night Champion
by Paul Byron on Wednesday 9th Mar 2011

Boxing Clever

There aren’t that many Boxing games on the App Store, even fewer good ones, so Fight Night Champion was a welcome sight when EA announced it was coming to iOS.

The game launched alongside the console release, but there are certain important differences. Having learnt from their many previous iPhone releases, EA have decided that using touch screen and tilt controls makes more sense in a Boxing game than any sort of virtual stick.  It’s a decision that will divide many gamers who have yet to encounter something quite like this in a fighting game.

But before all that you’re greeted with the intro, a polished affair that hammers home the many famous boxers featured in the game, 20 fighters in all. Right through the game this quality is maintained, from the modes on offer to the detail on the fighters.  It’s a far cry from MMA which, compared to Fight Night, looked un-finished.

Fight Night Champion

Graphically, it’s the best looking fighter around on the system.  Damage to your player is shown in real-time on the fighter; sweat pours off their head, eyes swell and the close up detail during power shots is amazing on a retina screen, from the gloves to the stitching on the shorts and even the spit from their mouths.   You can almost feel every shot hit home as the slow motion replay plays out and your opponent falls.

The announcer and commentary are worthy of a mention too, in-game commentary is much better than EA’s usual efforts and it feels as if they are commentating on the actual game rather than coming out with random phrases though, at times, you’ll still hear the same line repeated all too often.

But the main talking point of this game is the control system.  The screen uses swipes and presses to perform moves.  Tapping lightly will give you a quick jab, swiping up will provide an uppercut and holding then swiping performs more powerful moves.  Defence is treated in the same way, with two fingers pressed on the screen. 

Fight Night Champion

The movement is tilt based, which takes some getting used to, but after a little practice you can see why EA chose this method.  Tilting means you can control direction, dance around your opponent and (with fingers on screen) avoid shots by leaning.  When many people first play Fight Night they’ll find themselves tilting the device too far one way, which may make it hard to keep up with what’s going on in the ring.  Finding that sweet spot where you only tilt a little and keep full control is the secret to this and after a few fights it starts to become second nature.

To help you with the controls, a small question mark icon is hidden away in the bottom left of the menu.  This will take you through the basics.  Yes, it’s a lot of text to take in, but it’s well worth reading as some of the moves aren’t too obvious.

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