Every 12 months, gamers can choose from two or three decent football, basketball, hockey and soccer video games.
But for unknown reasons, quality boxing games emerge with the frustrating frequency of a comet -- they arrive on shelves every 15 years or so. Electronic Arts already had a boxing game with the steady-but-not- spectacular Knockout Kings franchise, but it started from the beginning and relaunched the series -- much as it did with MVP Baseball last year. Fight Night is an improvement in every way, managing to accommodate serious boxing fans while delivering entertainment to those who can't tell Sugar Shane Mosley from Sugar Ray Leonard.
Both those boxers are playable characters in Fight Night, along with 30 other famous pugilists from the past and present. But the best feature is the create-a-boxer mode, which allows players to generate a boxer in their likeness and rise up the ranks from an unknown brawler to a Caesars Palace headliner. It's a tribute to this game that the largest gripe is the inability to pick your boxer's nickname or choose his hometown EA gives you a short list of nicknames and big cities -- "El Periodista" and Oakland are not included.
The detail possible allowed when forging a new face and body is almost creepy. Unless you have a third nipple or some really weird tattoos, chances are a boxer can be cloned in your image.
aboit Although female boxers would be a nice addition -- didn't these guys see "Girlfight"? EA has been making the most advertising noise about its innovative punching format in Fight Night, which lets players use the left thumb stick to move and the right thumb stick for jabs, hooks and uppercuts instead of the repetitive-stress-injury-inducing button mashing on the controller.