Ready 2 Rumble: Round 2


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 7

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8

We need Punch-Out in this generation of consoles. Nintendo's classic still stands as the greatest boxing series ever, but if it never gets a third game, Ready 2 Rumble is an adequate replacement. Originally launching on the 9-9-99 with the Dreamcast, R2R was an outstanding arcade boxing title and one of the better launch titles. The PS2 also had the pleasure of a R2R game at it's launch, a sequel that isn't a technological leap, but still features rock solid gameplay that has garnered this series praise.

Most of the games features remain the same. You can still take a boxer through a career mode, training him in various ways with excellent interactive mini-games. Exhibition matches are available and a new elimination mode can be selected when you have multiple players. Boxers are unlocked through the career mode and include some famous celebrities including Michael Jackson (white glove and all).

Basic gameplay has hardly changed in anyway. There are now multiple levels of the "rumble" meter. Once powered up, you'll become a boxing mad-man, crushing the face of your opponent with each connecting blow. The higher the rumble, the higher the power/speed increase. It's all a bit confusing since each level of the meter requires different button combinations to activate, but this allows you to only use one level instead of all three.

The minor graphical upgrade is a disappointment and hardly a major improvement. Characters costumes move independently now, but polygons constantly cut into each other, a glaring problem that should have been dealt with before release. Regardless, the expressions on the characters are great and the real-time damage is a treat.

Michael Buffer returns as the ring announcer and a light, bass filled soundtrack plays during the fights. The sound of fist connecting with flesh is very convincing, adding to the overall experience. Each boxer has individual taunts, some of them particularly priceless.

This is a great sequel that leaves little room for error with the minute changes to the gameplay. Die-hard boxing fans may be disappointed by the complete lack of realism, but this was never the intent of the developers. This is an easy to pick up arcade boxing game, still one of the best ever conceived. Still a shame this isn't Punch-Out.


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Last updated: Sunday, April 22, 2007 08:57 PM