Amstrad Action1st December 1985
Published in Amstrad Action #3
FB's Boxing and the rather disappointing Rocco both showed the action in a boxing ring from behind the boxer's head. This new simulation presents a side view with the boxers able to move around the whole ring.
The task is to defeat six opponents to gain the 'Amsoft Belt'. Each opponent will have slightly different characteristics to the others although they always appear as the same animated character. The ring is shown from an angle above one side and the boxers can move anywhere within it in pursuit of one another.
The blue and red boxers appear from their respective corners at the start of each of up to 15 rounds of action. You can play one or two player games or even watch them fight in demo mode. Each fighter has a number of moves he can perform: left and right jabs to head and body, hooks to head and body, and an uppercut.
If a punch connects with your opponent then it decreases his energy gauge and increases yours. A large number of missed punches can reduce energy as well, so accuracy and efficiency are needed. If energy reaches zero then the boxer is knocked out. But resting and dodging the opponent's blows can give a respite in which the energy bar will increase.
A boxer can also find himself on the seat of his pants in the ring from a particularly well-timed blow. These can result in knockouts although usually they just draw a count of eight or nine, after which the fight continues.
The six boxers are of increasing difficulty to beat. A certain Roland makes an appearance, as well as those two famous fighters from the Two Tribes video, Mikhail and Ronald. The last and toughest boxer is Jeff (whoever he is) but the differences between them all are negligible.
The detail on the animation is good although it's sometimes difficult to make out what's going on in the close quartet fighting and whose punches are actually landing! The advantage this has over previous boxing games is the fact that you can have a two player game, although these are somewhat slower and less spectacular than the deadly strikes in a game like Fist.
I was almost ready to throw in the towel before the end of the first round, but my trainer wouldn't let me disgrace myself. So I persevered and slugged it out with the various opponents, although I failed to see any significant difference between them. The graphics give this a victory on points over other fistic games, but it loses by a knockout on gameplay.
P. Two player action.
P. Detailed fighting graphics.
P. Variety of punches.
P. Long 15-round fights possible.
N. Controls are difficult to master.
N. Impossible to tell when a punch will knock a fighter down.
N. There's an easy way to beat all six fighters (if you can find it).