Knockout Kings 2000


Review by Matt Paprocki

EA Sports


Graphics: 8

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8

knockoutkings20001ps1.jpg (35482 bytes)Last year, EA took it's first shot at the boxing ring but fell flat. That simulation of the sport just didn't work in video game form. This year, EA has battled back and pulled a complete 360 and produced one of the better boxing games in this generation.

It's rare to see an EA game change so much in one year (yet alone at all). A simple roster update wasn't enough so they went all out and revamped the entire game engine. The punches now hit harder and fly faster, a great change from the slow and methodical pace of last years game. If this is still too much of a simulation for you, take on the arcade mode where no rules apply. Classic matches are easily recreated thanks to the expansive roster of new and old.

The game is no slouch when it comes to the graphics either. All the greats are rendered in perfect 3-D. Even cover boy Muhammad Ali looks flawless. The fluidity of these boxers in motion is astonishing, recreating all the trademark moves that these pugilists are known for. The crowd is hard to see past the first few rows, but this saves the PlayStations processor for the boxers, obviously the most important part.

The soundtrack features tons of adrenaline pumping songs that take players through the menus. Each boxer has their own theme song that they come to the ring with and the enthusiastic announcer blares out the combatants names. The corner crew scream orders at the in-ring pugilists while the crowd taunts when someone hits the mat with a huge thud.

Controlling these beefed up fighters is easy enough that to the responsive and accurate controls. The initial button setup is a bit on the confusing side, but this can be altered to your tastes. Moving around the ring, ducking out the way, and blocking are simple enough that anyone can pick up a controller, getting right into the action.

Though Midway's recently released Ready to Rumble has cornered the market on over-the-top boxing games, Knockout Kings 2000 fills a nice niche. It's not the slow paced, weak hitting game from last year. This is what boxing is all about. While some may have appreciated the deep sim that last years game was, this is the game for the mainstream boxing fans. This is a huge step up from last years pitiful attempt.


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Last updated: Friday, October 07, 2005 08:45 PM