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Fight Night: Champion

Platforms: X360, PS3

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Fight Night: a knockout

Already an established brand with many fighting game fans, the latest Fight Night game, Champion, launches this week, with the addition of a bold innovation for a fighting game: a storyline. It follows protagonist (and
pugilist) Andre Bishop as he struggles through the boxing ranks, going from chump to champ in a five-hour tale that's captivated many critics. Praise for the plot of a fighting game? You better believe it.

It's enough to earn it top marks, from Game Revolution, for one. Despite coming in a sceptic, Jesse Costantino says Fight Night Champion's storyline "succeeds where so many other sports games before it have failed." It blends elements from classic boxing movies like Rocky IV and Prison Shadows, he says, with snippets of real-life stories
from the likes of Mike Tyson, producing a result that's admittedly derivative, but "still feels unique and fresh."

1UP's Mike Phillips joins Costantino in lavishing praise on the tale, calling it "an interactive Rocky movie...a truly bold, ingenious idea." Phillips is not quite so impressed with the game's performance in the ring, though, raising issues with its movement controls, its lack of feedback, and its judges -- who, he says, "are apparently looking for something other than smashing the other dude's face in." A balanced B+ is his verdict.

Over at IGN, writer Hilary Goldstein isn't quite as impressed with the storyline as
other critics -- he calls it "flawed but enjoyable -- but still delivers a thumbs-up to the gameplay in general. A healthy 8.0 is his verdict, in fact, and he notes the game's detailed visuals (which are realistic enough to make it EA Sports' very first M-rated release) and the welcome tweaks made to the control system.  It's "the best the fighting engine's been for the series," he says. "It's a great step forward."

Will it make you eat lightning and crap thunder? That's probably up to you,
although with an average critical score of 85%, it's definitely looking like the king of the ring for this week.

Get More Game Details | Buy from Amazon

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Get More Game Details | Buy from Amazon

Call of Duty: Black Ops -- First Strike

Platforms: PS3

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