Review by Matt Paprocki

UBI Soft


Graphics: 8

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 7.5

Overall: 7.5

Very few bona-fide classic films actually translate well into the video game format. Actually, it's never really been tried that often (Thankfully, Casablanca wouldn't exactly make a great game), but at least Rocky turned out to be one hell of a ride. Even though it's slightly simplistic and not exactly realistic, it still manages to capture the feel of those 5 classic films.

Though it's been tried before (the Sega Master System and ColecoVision also had translations), none have come close to the re-creating the films in this way. The meat of the game is the "movie" mode in which players take control of Rocky himself through all 5 movies. Each "movie" ends with a bout featuring the main puglist from the appropriate film after battling lesser fighters along the way. Training occurs in between each fight which adds to Rocky's stats, allowing him to progress easier through the ranks. Other modes include a tournament, versus, and arcade mode. Definitely not a vast variety, but it's enough to keep the game going for awhile.

The movies are represented well. From the opening pan shot of the chapel to the last blow to that annoying promoter from Rocky 5, it's all here. Before the big fights at the end of each movie, a CG clip mimicking the films is shown, featuring the actual voices from the movie. About the only thing missing from the movies is the soundtrack. Granted, Gonna Fly Now is in there, but where is Eye of the Tiger? Hearts on Fire? No matter how good that one song is, it's still only one song and it becomes tiring after a while.

The gameplay definitely leans towards the arcade style of boxing. The variety of punches available to players is limited and all the boxers feature the same basic moves, with the only exceptions being the "super" punches which are hard to pull off (not to mention random). The varying degrees of boxers still makes for some great fights, however. Also, some of the so-called lesser boxers are MUCH harder than the main fighters like Clubber Lang. Slight tweaking in this department would've went a long way towards making this one a classic.

Capturing the look of the films is definitely a must and the developers have done a fine job. Boxers will bruise and get cut as the fight progresses, looking downright deformed by the end of the fight, keeping with the tone of the movies. Blood is also slightly over the top so those who are slightly squeamish might want to stay away. The crowds are represented by low-res, low polygon count people, an improvement over the usual flat texture found in other games. With the exception of the music, the sound comes off a little under par. Constantly repeated quotes from the crowd are annoying, and the corner trainers don't really have a whole lot to say.

The simplicity of the gameplay will turn off hardcore boxing fans and the constantly changing difficulty level won't help, but the sheer fun of beating the living hell out of Tommy Gunn is worth it. Any fans of the movies will eat this one up due to it's faithfulness to the films. Go rent the movies, rent the game, and the get psyched up to take down Ivan Drago.


Go to Digital Press HQ
Return to Digital Press Home

Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:31 PM