Mike Tyson Boxing

Game Boy Advance

Review by Matt Paprocki

Ubi Soft


Graphics: 6

Sound: 4

Gameplay: 3

Overall: 4

Even though it's still fairly young, the Game Boy Advance has become the home to boxing games. Punch King, Boxing Fever, Counter Punch, Rocky, and the game reviewed here, Mike Tyson Boxing. Even with the variety, there are still very few boxing games actually worth getting deep into. Rest assured that MTB is a member of the latter group.

In typical fashion, you'll be offered the usual array of modes from the world title quest to the standard exhibition bouts. Obviously the meat of the game lies in the world mode. You'll train your boxer in various ways (though never interactively), make sure you eat enough, rest, and challenge various other boxers. Once challenged, you'll have a few weeks to prepare before stepping into the impressive mode-7 ring. The huge black outline around the boxers hinders any sense of realism, but not as much as the inane control scheme.

Power punches are not a matter of pressing a few buttons at once, but actually charging them by holding one down. This of course leaves you wide open to a counter attack should you wait just a second to long. Simple jabs can be activated by a quick press, but the lackluster and unresponsive controls make this a game of luck. Trying to throw a punch to the body is a finger bending mess requiring use of the shoulder buttons.

None of this really matters until much later in the process though. The inept AI will take countless jabs to the face, all the while trying to get in a major blow to your player. Only after 10 shots does it wise up and back off. Then, the entire routine repeats itself. Later, top tier boxers simply dodge everything thrown at them making a victory impossible.

If anything saves this game, it's the fact that you don't actually have to step into the ring to play. The managerial mode (which is turned on in the options screen) just puts you in control of training and booking. It's mild time-killing fun to see if you can train a champ, but once he's too old, it's time to call it quits. Still, doubtful anyone would buy a boxing game and not actually expect to fight.

If you're dying for some in-ring action, you can do much better than this licensed mess. If you actually have no desire to throw some punches, you may be able to find some enjoyment managing a champ, but this is only for those not looking for a fight. A possible sequel with a more refined control scheme may be welcome, but this one is surely bargain bin fodder.


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Last updated: Saturday, June 11, 2005 06:26 AM