Rocky is one of those iconic films that you would think would have more games than it does. Well Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions is here to add to the small list, confusing name but Rocky all the same, time to ring the bell Stallion.
Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions features your favourite Rocky/Creed characters ranging from the Italian Stallion to the aforementioned Creed son and then what I presume are a bunch of original characters shoehorned in.
I’ll be perfectly honest, I’ve seen Rocky up to Rocky Balboa so my knowledge on all things “Creed” is rusty but I’ve asked around and can confirm at least some of the boxers are fictional, not a problem but as a game touting a licence it does throw a few spanners in the works when previous games had boxers like Spider Rico who is currently absent from this roster.
What you do have is a mixture of licenced characters and some comically over the top stereotypes, much like classic OTT boxing/arcade game Ready2Rumble, it’s worth pointing this out for those of you looking for a pure movie experience.
The games made “story” mode is confusingly called Arcade mode and will take you through the story of each boxer, this is usually fights broke up with dialogue and training events such as QTE button presses and endurance rounds where you’ll be hammering buttons to run on the treadmill.
Even with the licenced characters, liberties have been taken and fortunately in amusing ways, such as when Rocky and Apollo built up a bar tab in Mexico and Rocky went several bouts with the local champ to settle it, daft but fun.
The characters have no voice acting aside from the odd iconic voice line, the rest is grunting and other non-committal sounds, they do have “Gotta Fly Now” and “Eye of the Tiger” and actual commentary in the rings set in arenas so there is that which is honestly quite nice.
Visually the game adopt a cartoony feel while falling in line with character likenesses though some of the original characters tend to standout like sore thumbs, a certain Viking imparticular.
In terms of level of detail and graphical fidelty id put it around PS3/360 era but the performance of the game is buttery smooth and I didn’t experience any slowdown which I’d take any day over console melting graphics.
The actual core gameplay with this title is naturally when you’re in between the ropes or fighting in an alley because even the most keen of pugalists needs to throw hands in the streets sometimes.
The combat wasn’t at all what I was expecting, going for a much more arcade feel than something along the lines of say Fight Night. You have a standard attack, power attack, block, dodge and a “special move”, your aim is to knock out your opponent usually 3 times or if your lucky to the count of 10.
Combos are the order of the day here and are usually input with directions and ending with power moves, perfect dodges or blocks will open up opportunites to put the hurt on your opponent, an example would be something like Standard punch, forward, standard punch into Power attack.
You’ll build metre with every punch you connect and when this is full you can unleash a devistating power attack, these take a huge chunk of health off your opponent but often come with a large tell which a keen eye will make sure to dodge or block.
So is Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions worth a purchase? Well yes and no, personally I’m all in for the OTT characters and Arcade style controls and the fact you have to unlock characters is such a throwback I couldn’t help but love it.
On the other hand I can imagine people after a more pure experience would feel confused and let down by the product, it’s a bizarre pairing here that wouldn’t be for the full demographic it’s aimed at.
If you want a fun arcade experience with a sprinkling of Rocky franchise this is a fun experience, especially in multiplayer though if on the other hand you want a boxing simulation with Rocky characters you’re going to be left wanting after this one.
A fun arcade boxing title which tiptoes the line between licenced and original a little too thinly
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