Fight Night Round 4
|a game by||EA Sports, and EA Vancouver|
|Platforms:||XBox 360, Playstation 3|
|Editor Rating:||8.5/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||7.3/10 - 3 votes|
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|See also:||Fighting Games, Fight Night Series|
While combat and fighting games mostly have been well-received for fictional formats, officially licensed boxing games tend to fizzle out as opposed to stay at the top for long. One game that tried very hard to break that issue, though, was Fight Night Round 4.
The game itself was released back in 2009 and was headlined by boxing legends Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson. Boasting over 45 licensed fighters and a career mode, was Fight Night Round 4 a knockout hit or a 12-round slog?
The last quality boxing game?
With the rise of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and primarily the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), boxing games fell away drastically. Majorly developed MMA games became the go-to point for those looking for real-life boxing and fighting. As such, popular games like Fight Night started to fade away from popularity – over ten years since its release, many could argue that Fight Night Round 4 was the last quality boxing game.
The game received positive reviews upon release, seen as a high quality game that flowed well, looked good for its time, and made boxing feel genuinely exciting once again.
The undisputed boxing champion
While few games have come along since, it would be fair to say that FNR4 is the last quality boxing game that came out. It offers a high-intensity boxing experience that feels very much like the best of the MMA games that have come out since. While it was authentic, it contained some of the kind of fast-paced madness you might expect from a more arcade-y boxing game.
The fighting system was as developed as we got to see from a boxing game, really, and it became a common choice for not only boxing fans, but fighting game fans. For once, it was a boxing game with a deep enough fighting system to keep others involved and excited.
It looked great, albeit dated by 2021 standards, but it maintained a strong frame rate of 60 frames per second which keeps it well in-line with modern fighting games. The depth of the fighting system and its career was very impressive, but there were some pretty noted critiques as well.
For example, the game was quiet limited when it came to the new Legacy Mode, which was seen as needlessly difficult in the eyes of most players. Also, for a game about fighting, it was easy to spend far too long in the menu systems. Add in a career mode that suffered from strange spikes in difficulty, and it was hard to put up with the commentary after hearing each of the generic lines one time too many.
Add in poor loading times, and FNR4 is a product of its generation.
- Great blend of fighters both (then) present and past
- Outstanding depth in the actual fighting itself, producing great fights
- Wonderful presentation of top level boxing in an authentic way
- Career mode(s) could be somewhat arduous to play
- High difficulty spikes could make progress harder
- Loading times annoying, mixed with limited commentary