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 The Final Word game review

Contender -- 989 Studios

Well, it's been quite some time since I last enjoyed a boxing game. And for those of you who have been reading us for long enough might remember it was Foes of Ali for the 3DO. Let's face it, boxing games usually bite. But now there is a new contender (pun intended).

989 Studios latest release of Contender marks yet another solid title for the group. When I first saw the game I was, needless to say, hesitant to fire it up... but I'm glad I finally did (a little bit of deadline presure helps as well ;p ). The game was actually a lot of fun. The graphics were decent. The sound and music were all really well done, helping to give you a good bit of immersion into the game. Play control was actually really good as well, for what appeared at first to be nothing more than "shuffle-shuffle-punch", but ending up being quite a bit more.

Speaking of play control, you can't just stand still and random button push on this puppy... atleast not if you plan to make it high in the rankings. You have to perfect your blocking and dodging (footwork) skills if you want to have a chance of surviving. As for hitting the opponent, you really need to develop a good rhythm if you want to win at this game. For example, one of the characters I picked allowed me get a good combination going where I would slam the other player a few hits, and then back-fist them to the head, usually knocking them down.

There were only two things that really bothered me about this title. One, how on earth did this game qualify for an "E" (Everyone) rating. Excuse me, since when did two adults beating the crap out of each other constitute a game suitable for "Everyone", let alone children? Also, I know I don't really follow the sport (at all), but for some reason, I thought boxers had to wear padded head-gear these days. I sure didn't see any head-gear while I was playing the game. Heck, it didn't even look like these characters had mouth-guards on. That's a detail that someone should have caught.

Anywho... Sure, this fighter isn't for everyone, there are no fireballs, or magical flying attacks. But those have never really been my speed anyways. I like a fighter where you just get down to business... beating the crap out of someone with your own two hands. And that's just what Contender delivers. TKO!

>>>>> 23.5/25 <<<<< R.I.P.
Graphics 4.5
Sound 5.0
Gameplay/Control 5.0
Longevity/Playability 4.5
Overall 4.5
Total 23.5