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Real Boxing PS Vita Review

Real Boxing PS Vita (1)

It is often said that boxing is a dying sport. The popularity of Ultimate Fighting Championship, and mixed martial arts in-general, is on the rise, whereas boxing disappears from most people’s radars for months on-end, only to resurface for two or three major prize fights a year. In truth, boxing is alive and well. The recent Mayweather/Alvarez bout lined Floyd Junior’s pockets with a staggering $40 million. Arriving hot on the heels of the Pay-Per-View knock-out is Vivid Games’ Real Boxing for the PS Vita.

Real Boxing forsakes the over-the-top zaniness of Nintendo’s Punch-Out!! series, as well as big-name stars of the sport, in favor of a more generic approach. The game starts with you customizing your own boxer, who basically doubles as your profile for the game. After your prize fighter is set, you can jump into a simple quick fight, a career mode consisting of three tournaments, or local or online multiplayer. Winning a fight rewards you with money and upgrade points that increase your fighter’s stats. Completing certain challenges in career mode fights also pays out upgrade points, money, or both. Another way to tweak your fighter is the perk system. Doing training exercises before a fight fills a meter that unlocks benefits ranging from reducing the stamina drain for certain blows to assisting with getting up after a knock-down.

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Upon playing Real Boxing for the first time, most dedicated boxing gamers will have EA’s dormant Fight Night series spring to mind. Punch controls are mapped to the right analog stick (as well as the face buttons and directional pad). Right stick punches are almost exactly the same as Fight Night‘s (minus the quarter-circle motions), resulting in a responsive, easy-to-use control scheme. Holding the L button modifies your shots into body blows, if the need to shake up your fighting style arises. Pressing the R button not only covers up, but with perfect timing, can activate a slow-motion counter-punch opportunity that triples the damage of a blow. Landing a series of jabs and uppercuts that floors your opponent feels satisfying and keeps you coming back for more.

Graphically, the game is rather impressive. This is thanks to, ironically, the Unreal Engine. Character models and arenas are rich with detail, be it cuts, bruises, and blood on the faces of the fighters or snow falling on the outdoor venue in Russia. Landing a knock-down shot sends the opponent to the floor in a heap of physics. Unfortunately, the presentation is not all championship gold. Shoulders at times look disjointed or unnatural. Another physics engine problem is that the counter-punch system will activate even though the supposedly dodged punch clearly connects. I also encountered an odd glitch during an exhibition fight where both the knock-down replay and the ten-count animations wouldn’t display. On top of that, half of the ring ropes were gone. Those glitches lasted throughout that one fight.

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Repetition is one of Real Boxing‘s real faults. You’ll see the same entrance, ten-count, victory celebration, and ring girl animations over and over again. In some cases, it’s because there was only one animation captured. The repetition extends to the audio, as well. The play-by-play man will say the same “Yes! This kid totally deserves it.” quote each and every time you win. It’s not that the announcer himself is bad, he just wasn’t given enough to work with.

Despite the presentational shortcomings, Real Boxing delivers a knock-out where it counts; the gameplay. Simply put, it’s fun to play and tough to master. Perhaps the best endorsement I can give is that I will be keeping Real Boxing on my nearly-full Vita memory card well after the review period ends. Boxing fans should have no qualms about chomping into this $9.99 download title.

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A copy of Real Boxing was provided by for review by the publisher

It is often said that boxing is a dying sport. The popularity of Ultimate Fighting Championship, and mixed martial arts in-general, is on the rise, whereas boxing disappears from most people's radars for months on-end, only to resurface for two or three major prize fights a year. In truth, boxing is alive and well. The recent Mayweather/Alvarez bout lined Floyd Junior's pockets with a staggering $40 million. Arriving hot on the heels of the Pay-Per-View knock-out is Vivid Games' Real Boxing for the PS Vita. Real Boxing forsakes the over-the-top zaniness of Nintendo's Punch-Out!! series, as well as big-name stars…

Review Overview

Gameplay - 80%
Story - 60%
Aesthetics - 75%
Content - 75%
Accessibility - 80%

74%

Good

Summary : The PS Vita's first boxing game delivers a strong showing in the ring, delivering a visual TKO.

User Rating: 3.16 ( 4 votes)

About Eric Blue

Often referred to by his nickname "Blue", the upbeat Eric 'BlueSwim' joined Tech-Gaming as its fighting game, pro-wrestling, and Sailor Moon expert in 2011. Although his heart belongs to the classics of yesteryear, this jack-of-all-trades gamer doesn't shy away from playing the modern-day greats as well.

31 comments

  1. Looks like the fighters look a little derpy when they are boxing.

  2. I remember thinking no game could top Buster Douglas Knockout Boxing. Ever.

  3. Wasn’t this an iphone/Android game. Those $2.99 to $9.99 jumps just to play on a dedicated portable always piss me off.

    • True, but I’d much rather play with stick that a virtual pad. Especially for something like a boxing game.

    • The Vita version does not feel like a cheap port of a mobile game. Trust me, it’s worthy of being on a handheld. There’s also no micro-transactions/in-app purchases on the Vita, either.

  4. You should do a giveaway for the game. Just saying.

    Good review, Eric Blueski!

  5. Vivid as in Vivid Entertainment? I’m familiar with their work. ;l

  6. How the online community? Is their voice chat to trash talk?

    • The online community should be pretty active on account of Vivid running a tournament where the winner gets a PS Vita. Be warned, you’d better get your stats as close to maxed out as possible before setting foot online or else you’ll taste canvas (speaking from experience).

      If there is voice chat, I can’t say I experienced it first-hand. Also, I always keep my mic off.

  7. Are there low blows?

    I’ve like to see a Vita MMA game. I know they have one, but I heard it’s awful.

    • There are no blatant low blows, headbutts, or ear biting.

      I’d also like to see a good MMA game on Vita. Pro-wrestling, too. Fire Pro Wrestling Returns on Vita would fill both voids very well.

      • What the status of Fire Pro? Last I heard they made a Xbox 360 game that everyone kind of ignored.

        • The only Fire Pro thing of note since that game came out is that Returns hit PSN as a PS2 Classics title earlier this year for $9.99.

          Oh, and the cover for Fire Pro G on the PS1 was in one of the Sony TGS briefing slides a few weeks back. Sadly, that’s it. 🙁

          • Answer honestly…

            Did you cheer when you say it?

          • I totally did. XD

            But not as strongly as I did when the PS2 version got announced for America. When I read that on Destructoid back in 2007, I, literally, nearly fell out of my chair celebrating. Like, “almost fell on my ass while flailing my limbs around in giddiness” kind of cheering. I don’t think I reacted that strongly when Fire Pro A was announced as a U.S. GBA launch title. Ah…. memories….

          • If you are reading d-toid you’re part of the problem. 😉

          • LOL! Actually, I really don’t read D-Toid much now. Same goes for Kotaku. I get my news from Joystiq, NeoGAF, and Twitter.

  8. “Real Boxing delivers a knock-out where it counts; the gameplay. Simply put, it’s fun to play and tough to master.” That should be something to look forward to every game out there. Great job, Blue! 🙂

  9. Is there still a PS+ sale on this?