Break some noses with your Vita.
Boxing – there are not really many places to go with that in a videogame. I suppose there is a choice to make the game comical and quirky, or to keep it real and make the game as much of a simulator as possible. Otherwise, I guess it is just a matter of two people in a ring, knocking seven bells out of each other. Real Boxing, by Vivid Games for the Vita, does the best it can with the subject.
And it happens to be pretty damn good, especially considering that the game has made the move from touchscreen mobile devices to the Vita. The Vita version of the game isn’t considerably different to the mobile versions, with both using Unreal Enigne 3 to ensure the game looks very nice. However, coming with the Vita version are more options where the controls are concerned, which will be handy for those who found the touchscreen controls a little slow.
To complement the touchscreen controls, the Vita also manages to pack in a choice of analogue sticks and face buttons giving the player plenty of choice when it comes to how they beat on their opponent. The button controls are a huge improvement over the slower and more restrictive touchscreen controls, and the player has access to a wide range of different punches with both left and right fists. The all-important guard is set to the right shoulder and can also be used to initiate a dodge and counter with good timing.
But before the player can get into the to and fro of fighting in the ring, they must first create their boxer. The options here are pretty generous, allowing choices when it comes to skin tone, hair style, outfit and even tattoos. Then begins the journey of making your boxer into a sport-leading powerhouse.
For this, there is the career mode which offers three different tournaments. The first tournament will not offer too much by way of challenge, which only sets the player up for a surprise when they attempt the second, much more difficult, tournament. The player will earn points to upgrade the different attributes of their boxer as they finish fights, and so will likely find themselves heading back into that first tournament to earn more points.
There is also an online mode that will allow the player to take on other fighters, which makes improving the boxer even more important, especially for bragging rights. Following that, the player can take on quick matches if they need to get into the action quickly, and some mini-game style gym exercises that will also improve your boxer.
The content may be somewhat limited, but at least the gameplay is thoughtful and tense. There is no button mashing here, matches will come down to each player waiting it out and looking for the perfect opportunity to strike. It is as much a game of waiting as of a powerful right hook, not that the strength of a good punch should be understated. If the player happens to go down, they will have to mash the shoulder buttons to get up again before the count finishes, with each subsequent knock down becoming more difficult to recover from.
Priced at £7.99 for Vita, it could be said that the price is too high considering the cost of the mobile version. Even the addition of the extra controls and the improvements in the way the game looks may not make up for this high asking price. That being said, it does play incredibly well on the Sony handheld and is an entertaining spare time filler.
Vivid Games’ Real Boxing is exactly what it says it is – a real boxing game for the Vita. It may have very limited appeal beyond the fans of boxing, but the solid gameplay and good looking visuals are sure to win some fans. If some quick hit gaming with some quick hits is what you are after, then real Boxing may well hit the mark.