Mexico's most popular sports hero is now Mexico's most popular video game hero. Julio Cesar Chavez the boxer is a devastating 140-pound tiger. Unfortunately, the video game is a routine 16-bit game.
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You'd better be up on your Spanish, because the screens and most of the manual are in that language. The abundant options are the game's strong points. You fight as one of the 24 challengers or as Chavez himself. Each boxer is ranked in power, speed, and condition, so you know if you've selected a top-ranked fighter like Speedo Garcia or a bowser like Ron Ronaldo. Despite his recent loss, Chavez is rated el supremo in every category. You can also create and customize seven boxers of your own, to be saved on the battery back-up and used in the Career mode.
The fights themselves should be dominant, but regrettably they aren't. The actual battles are ordinary. Fighters lumber around the rotating ring and throw the usual assortment of punches with moderately effective controls. The side-view graphics, seen before in Riddick Bowe Boxing, also keep you uninvolved -- there's absolutely no blood or visible damage as these big, cartoony boxers get pummeled, and the onscreen meters are only somewhat helpful. The sounds also lack any life. Thunderous sound effects, rowdier crowds, and a better variety of taunts would've enabled this game to go the distance.
- If you're in danger of being knocked out, retreat and your energy will build back up -- but so will your opponent's.
- Work the body. This Is usually the key to scoring a knockout.
This game's certainly no bum, but it's not the SNES champ it wants to be. Take away the hero worship of the title character, and you've got an average fighting game that finishes in the middle of the pack.