Ding Ding! Seconds out. Round 3!
There's a lot of bad things to say about EA and their evil monopoly. But when they produce sporting games of the caliber of Fight Night it's hard to stay mad at them. Before Fight Night came along with it's total punch control system, boxing games were mostly glorified contests of button mashing. The punch control system is so utterly intuitive and easy to control that you'll soon seem to be some kind of pro as you duck and counter your opponents with consumate ease.
Ok, so we've seen all this before with Fight Night Round 2 on the Xbox.. what does this super sexy Xbox 360 version give us? Well in short, the most realistic boxers you've ever seen in a video game. Honestly, if you squnit at your TV you'd swear you might actually be watching a real bout.
The bit that everyone comments on though are the slow motion 3D knock out sequences that take place when you clock your opponent sufficiently hard to put them down on the canvas. The way that their faces ripples with the force and blood and sweat goes flying off is almost poetic. In fact it's so good that you'll end up watching them even after you've seen it for the 100th time.
But although the visuals are jaw dropping, it won't keep you glued to the game once you get used to them. Fortunately FN3 has gameplay in spades to keep you going. I've been fighting in the light middleweight class for about 4 or 5 weeks now. I started with a scrawny looking guy who I've slowly moulded to perfection thanks to the training mini-games which help break the gameplay up a bit.
I've won and lost the championship belt a couple of times, but I always come back for the rematch to see how badly I can whup the guy (or get whupped) this time around.
If you played Fight Night Round 2 to death, then it might be difficult to justify parting with the cash for what is essentially the same game with some slight modifcations and a big graphical boost.
If you are a Fight Night virgin however, I can't think of a better game to keep you glued to your joypad for a few weeks whilst you beat all the various modes and then come back for more.
Even if you've only got a passing interest in boxing games, you be hard pressed to find a more enjoyable gaming experience on the 360 at this moment in time.