Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
The thrill of the ring, the feel of the canvas under the feet, and massive punch in the face - it's all found in the latest sports sim released by Sega. Starring James "Buster" Douglas, the former World Champion, this is a one or two-player game with the aim being to knock seven bells out of the opponent.
In one-player mode, Buster fights five boxers, each successively tougher. The pugilists have four statistics: Power, which determines the strength of punch, Recovery, which shows the speed of damage reduction between rounds; Footwork, the quickness of the boxer's movement, and Super Punch, the number of mega-blows available.
The buttons control the left and right punches, and the joypad adds further options - for example, pushing down- right while punching makes a head blow. Holding down both buttons builds up a Super Punch, which can smash the opponent right across the ring (unless he's sensible enough to get out of the way!).
Victory comes through a knockout, a technical knockout, or a Judge's Decision, in other words on points. So put on the gloves, step through the ropes and put in the mouth guard - fifteen rounds can be a long time...
Heavyweight Championship Boxing had all the potential to be brilliant - the excellent control method, fast action and nicely animated graphics all give a great first impression. However, when you get into the game and discover that there's only five boxers to challenge you, it soon becomes very dull. Even the two-player mode is marred because you always have to fight with the same boxers, and one is much better than the other. If you're really keen on boxing, try Rocky - it's just as good and is much cheaper. This, sadly, hasn't got the long-term appeal or challenge to make it worth its rather heavyweight price tag.
A potentially good boxing game ruined by a complete lack of long-term challenge and a very limited two-player.
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