Published on October 30th, 2013 | by Don Parsons1
Real Boxing Review
Summary: Not a replacement for the big boxing games, but still an enjoyable romp in the ring.
Boxing is one of my favorite sports to game. I played nearly every Fight Night game, as well as half a dozen boxing games on the Super Nintendo. Even the Fight Night entries on the Sony PSP had me engrossed for hours. Pummeling people as a fictional powerhouse is just satisfying, there is no other way to put it. And now I can do so on the Vita with the mobile port of Real Boxing.
Real Boxing gets straight to business. There is no story, no shenanigans. The game simply opened with letting me create my boxer from a small handful of choices, and customize the starting skill point allotment. As per my usual character build, I focused every extra point into strength and left stamina and speed alone until strength was maxed out.
Between the few game modes, free bout, tournament, and online, about 90% of my time was spent in tournament mode. It would have been nice if the tournaments had a difficulty setting because I steamrolled through the first two (which consists of 9 matches, assuming you make it to the finals). Since all of my points were put into strength, it only took about 20-27 hits on average to KO my opponent. Usually, this happened within the first round and I generally only took a dozen hits and never hit the mat myself. My third match into the third and final tournament though, I hit a rather random roadblock. I got knocked out in the first round, and despite hitting him as much as usual, he simply absorbed pretty much everything I threw at him. If this had been a gradual spike in difficulty, I would have simply rolled with the punches, but because all of the previous 21 opponents fell with the same exact ease and no challenge had been introduced, I was pretty pissed off and immediately turned off my Vita.
What convinced me to come back was the fun gameplay. Because Real Boxing does control really well for a non-AAA developed boxing game. It’s not overly complicated, but the basic control of my boxer was part of the joy. Using the right analog stick controlled which punch I threw, working the opponents body was accomplished by holding one of the shoulder buttons, while the remaining shoulder button engaged blocking and countering. Simple.
When I did finally regain my composure, I decided to finally spend all of the money I had earned in the previous fights on skills. Not only was I gaining 2-3 skills points per win, but I had been accumulating cash which I could spend on frivolous things like haircuts, shorts, and skill points. Up until this roadblock, I had not needed to spend those on skill points. So I dumped the rest of my cash on a bunch of skill points and got back into the ring.
As mentioned, up until this point the game had been a cakewalk. I was still enjoying it mind you, but there had been no challenge. Now, even after spending all of my cash on more skill points, there was a challenge and it felt good. In the final six matches, every one of them had a slow build with an epic ending. For three rounds, we would stay at the same health, trading blows. Eventually, I’d counter enough to take the lead and finally knock my opponent out. These final moments stood with me even after finishing the game, making me momentarily forget about the problems.
The most notable problem I have is the games failure to motivate me to keep playing after finishing the last tournament. My skill points were maxed out. The customization left me disappointed. And there is no.career.mode. Multiplayer is dependant on other people playing, so that is not a good fall back answer, either. Realistically, there is only an hour or two of memorable gameplay and about three hours of decent gameplay.
The admission fee is $10, giving players of Real Boxing general admission seating to what feels like a random boxing event. For the price, that’s fair because there is some fun to be had in it, and, until a solid replacement comes along and offers front row seating to a heavyweight title bout, it gets the job done.
This review was written based on gameplay with review code supplied by the developer/publisher. For more information on our review policies, read here.