Ready 2 Rumble Boxing

a game by Midway
Platforms: Dreamcast Nintendo 64Nintendo 64 GameBoy Color PSX
Genre: Sports
Editor Rating: 8/10, based on 3 reviews
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See also: Championship Games, Boxing Games, Ready 2 RumbleGames, Fighting Games
Ready 2 Rumble Boxing
Ready 2 Rumble Boxing
Ready 2 Rumble Boxing
Ready 2 Rumble Boxing


Are you ready to step into the ring to try the most innovative 3D Boxing game ever made for the Sony Playstation? Great! Let’s Get Ready to Ruuuummmmbbbleeeeeeeee!!!

Ready 2 Rumble Boxing brings you 16 different fighters that do battle in two basic modes, with some of the best animations, action, and graphics ever assembled into a PSX console game. I was truly surprised at how good a job they did on this game. The boxers look so life-like and real that you just might wonder if you are really playing on a Playstation and not something newer. Of course it does not quite measure up to the Sega Dreamcast, but it will surprise you as to how many of the Playstation’s capabilities they were able to harness. I have actually played the Sega Dreamcast version of this game and the PSX version is really not too far behind, even though the Playstation hardware is much older technology. It’s a wonder what they can do with the software!


You have the choice of playing in the Arcade Mode or the Championship Mode. The Arcade Mode lets you jump right in and start boxing against a human or computer opponent. You pick your boxer and fight your way to becoming the next Champion. The boxers look very realistic and they each have their own personality, mannerisms, actions, and phrases. Some of the reactions the boxers have after winning a fight are hilarious. You set the basic parameters of the fight as to the length of the rounds, number of knockdowns, and the skill level of your fighter. As you’re fighting, you will get plenty of feedback from your coach. He’ll tell you how good or bad you are and isn’t afraid to put you down. One minor problem with the commentaries fielded from the sidelines was that I occasionally experienced a few comments that sounded like Alvin and the Chipmunks. The comments would sound very fast and as if someone had sped up a tape of them. You can still understand them (sort of), but they sound kind of goofy. I do not know if it was a problem with my Playstation in particular, the game that they gave me, or if it is a mistake that will be found on all of the Ready 2 Rumble games. I have not been able to try out another copy of the game, so I’m hoping it is an isolated problem with either my console or the software copy I received. It is not a big deal, and only happens once in a while. Most of the comments are fine and pretty entertaining. You’d better stay on your toes and come up with a decent strategy or you’ll soon be lying on the ground and out of the fight. There’s even a realistic referee that comes out to call out the 10 count when you get knocked on your keister. They really did an amazing job with the graphics and the camera angles, which actually move throughout the game. When you move your boxer into a different position, the camera will follow you and change positions. Most boxing games will stay in one place and not give you the realistic feel that you get from Ready 2 Rumble boxing.

The other mode of play is the Championship Mode. The main goal here is to train your boxer to become a Champion. You will fight for money to build up your gym. As you build up your gym, you will be able to improve your boxer’s training by purchasing equipment. You can participate in prize fights for some quick cash and place wagers on your fighter to make even more money. You can enter title fights to move up in the rankings, but it will cost you some money to do so. Exhibition fights allow you to take a saved boxer from your memory card to a friend’s house to compete for money against their saved fighter. When you train your boxer, you first must buy the equipment and then work out on it through a series of small little exercises. How well you train determines how good your boxer will be. The training includes Aerobics, punching bags, weight-lifting, vitamins, and nutrition. The beginning of each match in both the Arcade and Championship modes is started out with the voice of announcer Michael Buffer, who gets the crowd psyched up with his famous "LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!", followed by the introduction of the boxers. Luckily you don’t have to listen to it each and every time, because it does get old fast. You can bypass it whenever you’d like to.

Every time you inflict a certain amount of damage on an opponent you will get one letter of the word "RUMBLE." When you’ve completely spelled out the word, you must quickly press the L1 and L2 buttons at the same time. Your boxer’s gloves will glow and you then must press the X and O buttons at the same time to unleash your boxer’s "RUMBLE FLURRY." This is a move of intense speed and power that will be tough for your opponent to block. You must keep your defenses up and make sure to block your opponent’s punches or you’ll soon get knocked to the floor! When you do go down, you’d better get back up and open up a can of whoop-ass! After you hit the floor, always make sure to repeatedly hit any of the action buttons together over and over again. This will help your "health meter" to rise up again and allow you to get back on your feet. Likewise, when you knock down your opponent, start pressing your buttons to build back your health while you wait for him to get back up from the canvas.


I think I have already conveyed to you how good the graphics in this game are, but you just won’t believe how realistic and life-like they are until you actually play this game! I have played a few other boxing games on the Playstation and nothing I’ve played before even comes close to the realism they’ve put into Ready 2 Rumble Boxing. Some of the background graphics are slightly blocky, but the details, actions, and facial expressions on the boxers are second to none on the PSX. I’m sure you will agree.

Bottom Line

This game is a lot of fun and quite unique. I would strongly recommend this game if you are even remotely interested in boxing action. It’s nice to see how good a game can be made when they put the extra time and effort into it. It really shows here. So many games out on the Playstation do not make full use of its full potential. Not so for Ready 2 Rumble Boxing! With only a few minor flaws, Midway has truly delivered a solid knockout punch!

Download Ready 2 Rumble Boxing

Game Reviews


A few years back, the boxing world found an unlikely hero to latch on to. The reason this hero was so unlikely was because of the fact that he was not even a boxer. He was Michael Buffer, the ring announcer. Nothing got a fight started quite like his famous phrase "Let's get ready to rumble." Jump back to today and this has to be the most annoying and overused phrase out there. Old Michael Buffer went and slapped a patent on the phrase and milks it for every penny he can. Well, it looks like his next area to saturate is the videogame world. Even his annoying phrase can't change the fact that this game kicks ass.

Ready 2 Rumble Boxing is exactly what you would expect; a boxing game. You will not find any real boxers and it definitely leans towards the arcade side over simulation but it is an all out blast to play. There are 16 fighters with distinct fighting styles, combo punches, special rumble flurries and a championship mode that will keep you playing for hours. This is one of those games that you will play so much your hands will start to get sore and you won't even have to throw a punch.


In my opinion, boxing has been a very underrepresented genre in videogame history. There have been a few attempts at it but if you count up the number of fighting games, boxing makes up only a tiny percentage. Well R2R takes boxing and adds in some of the more arcade elements that make other types of fighting games fun and creates the most fun boxing game released to date. I guess it really does not matter how may boxing games have been released in the past as long as the current games are fun, right?

So what makes this game so fun, you ask? Let's start out with the fighters. There are 16 different fighters and each and every one of them has a personality that will either make you love or hate them. Take every stereotypical race and make a stereotypical boxer out of him and that is what makes up the field of boxers. Now let me clear one thing up. When I say stereotypical, I don't mean it in a bad way. It is done in a classy and humorous way. For example, one of the boxers is named Afro Thunder and he is a scrawny African American with a huge afro. His afro is so exaggerated, it is humorous. Other characters include Salua, a former Sumu wrestler with the belly to prove it, Tank Thrasher, a 290-pound former crocodile wrestler that needs to pull up his shorts (the butt-crack is funny). There are a couple of bouncy female boxers and a number of other male boxers but I think you get the idea. By the end of the game, you will get to know each and every one of these boxers and their style inside out.

Another thing that makes the game so much fun is the simple fighting system. Make that simple, yet complex. The different punches are controlled by the four buttons on the face of the controller and blocking is controlled by the trigger buttons. Each boxer has a secret move that is usually easy enough to pull off. You will also get a different type of punch depending on the direction you are holding on the stick. For example, holding down and pressing the Y button, you will throw a hook. There are a few more combos but they are not any more complicated than this. This makes the game fun for the whole family to play. You don't have to worry about little Billy memorizing the 53 hit combo sequence and beating up on you. There is none of that. The one other thing that adds to it is that if you land certain types of punches, you will get a letter. If you spell out RUMBLE, you can hit the trigger buttons and unleash the rumble flurry. This is usually pretty tough to block and does some decent damage.

The real fun of this game comes when you play a championship. You start with a broke gym and a couple of inexperienced fighters and it is up to you to build up your gym and the fighters in it. You can either fight prizefights for cash or title fights for cash and rankings. Why would you need cash? Because the only way that your boxers will get better is if you train them and training costs cash. But that is not all. You don't just buy training. You actually only pay for the right to train. It is up to you to perform the skills needed to actually do the training. There is Aerobics training which requires you to hit the correct button in a sequence (similar to Parappa). There is the sway bag training, which requires you to remember a set of moves and then repeat them. Speed bag training requires you to use a combination of punches on the punching bag. Heavy bag training makes you pull off the type of punch that flashes on the screen in less than three second. Finally, you have weight training. This has you trying for as many reps as you can by keeping a meter between two lines. Each of these requires a lot of practice but they are essential for building up your boxers. Building a gym makes this game worth every penny you will pay for it.

I did have a couple of minor complaints with the game. First, and most importantly, the championship mode gets too easy once you build up your boxer. Prizefights are easy to win so you can build up your bankroll and train the hell out of your fighter and then he or she will be unstoppable. I got to the point where I would never lose a fight. Hell, I got to the point where I would never even get knocked down. After building up my third of fourth boxer, this started to get boring. To make things fun, I would try taking a boxer that I had not trained much as far as possible. This added a challenge.

Another minor complaint is that I only had one fight that ended with a fighter being counted out. Most of the fights ended with three knockdowns or by decision. I think that it would have added more to the drama if you did not know if your guy was going to get back up or not. It would have been nice to be able to turn the three knockdown rule off. Minor complaint but worth mentioning.


Talk about a cool looking game. To go along with the boxers personalities are graphics that do them justice. Each fighter has a very detailed and distinct face which actually bruises and swells during fights. It would have been cool if they would have taken this to the next level with cuts and blood but as it stands now, it is still really cool. One nice touch was that during the championship mode, the crowds would be very small but as you work your way up, the crowds start to grow and before you know it, you will be fighting before a packed house. Oh yeah, and as annoying as he is, they did a great likeness of Michael Buffer coming out and announcing the fights, and yes, he says it.

Bottom Line

This is another solid launch title. If you are looking for a fun game that anyone will be able to pick up and play, this is the game for you. I really like the depth added by the championship mode but I wish it was a little more challenging. The fast paced, action heavy gameplay will keep you going fight after fight and the great graphics will have you laughing out loud. What are you waiting for? Go pick up a copy of this game.

In Ready 2 Rumble Boxing, Midway has created a game with the kind of intense look, sound, and action necessary to merit the catch phrase "Let's get ready to rumble!"

Ready 2 Rumble features 17 different fighters, each with a different fighting style and special moves. It is played in two different modes: arcade and championship. You start off with access to 13 fighters in arcade mode and three in championship mode. As you advance boxers in championship mode, you gain access to more fighters, eventually getting all 17. Once you have advanced all 17 fighters to champ status, you have won the game.

Gameplay, Controls, Interface

Movement in R2R is centered on your opponent. You use either the analog stick or control pad to advance, retreat, and circle the opposing fighter. Since the Z-button is not used in the default settings and you have complete ability to reconfigure the controls, there isn't the bias toward using the analog stick that most games have.

The point of view options in R2R are tremendous. There are six different camera options you can use, each of which highlights a particular aspect of the game. Normal mode rotates with the fighters at a medium distance, with Player 1 on the left and Player 2 on the right. This keeps the controls consistent and is the easiest mode to use -- you still get good detail. "Rotate About Players" mode slowly circles the fighters at a medium distance. This gives you a better look at the fighters but can catch you off guard when the left-right directions reverse.

"Ringside View" and "Rotate About Ring" modes are like "Normal" and "Rotate About Players" modes, respectively, but from the edge of the ring. While these modes give you a better view of the ring, you lose detail, particularly in the "Rotate About Ring" mode. First Person Player 1 and 2 modes are from the first person view of Player 1 or 2, somewhat like the arcade classic Punch-Out. While this mode makes maneuvering and fighting more difficult, it gives you the best possible detail of the fighters. It is definitely worth learning to use.

The game is all about fighting and it doesn't disappoint. Only six buttons are used in the game -- High and Low Blocks, High Right and Left Punches, and Low Right and Left Punches. These basic commands are used in different combinations with the analog stick/control pad to perform various punches, blocks, and dodges. Additionally, each fighter has a number of special combo moves, which allow for truly impressive attacks. The fighting is very easy to learn for all levels of players, and the customizable controls give people who specialize in certain fighters a chance to become truly brutal. The different fighters come with various fighting style options, from slugging it out toe-to-toe, to hit-and-run tactics.

Arcade mode is straightforward and can be played in one or two player modes with any of 13 (and later up to 17) fighters. Championship mode consists of building up the fighters to the level of champion. You start off with three fighters, adding more as you advance in ranks.

You have several options in championship mode: training, title fights, prize fights, exhibition fights, and trade fighters. Training allows you to spend money on a number of training regimens to increase your fighter's Strength, Stamina, Dexterity, and Experience. Title fights give you the chance to advance your fighter through the ranks to champion. During prize fights you can make money from the match purse and by making side bets. Exhibition fights are similar to prize fights, except that you play against another player's gym and the wager comes out of the loser's gym. The trade fighters option makes it possible to exchange fighters with another player's gym.


There are two different ways to play R2R multiplayer. You can play the standard arcade style of one off matches or you can interact with other people's gyms in championship mode. Exhibition matches allow you to build up your fighters while playing with another player, reducing the solitary nature of the storyline mode. The ability to trade fighters with other people gives you a whole new level of interaction, allowing you to build up your gym without actually using all the fighters yourself. While it's a cool idea, in this case, its usefulness is limited to players not interested in advancing all of their fighters.


The graphics are great! They move smoothly and don't suffer from the overly angular look of many 3D games. The fighters have good detail on near views and you get to see them get bruised as they take a beating. You even see their faces contort when taunting. Unfortunately, the farther back the camera is the worse the detail gets, becoming annoyingly grainy at ringside view. The audience detail varies considerably -- at times, you are almost able to pick out details from spectators. Other times, they look like a flat multicolored panel in the distance. This is not a big deal, since you are generally too busy to notice the audience much. Still, it could have been more consistent.


They sound effects for R2R are excellent. The designers included a full array of sound effects for virtually everything you do in the ring, including taunting your opponent. While the taunts don't appear to have any actual game effect, they are entertaining. They even got Michael Buffer to do the voice of the announcer! The music is also good, both catchy and appropriate without getting irritating.


Normally, storyline modes do not allow for interaction with other human players. The ability to fight other peoples' boxers in exhibition matches was pretty cool. The fact that you can bet money on these matches as well as gain experience gives them a genuine impact on the storyline version of the game.

Bottom Line

Ready 2 Rumble is a great game with strong graphics, sound, and gameplay. The championship mode offers multiplayer interaction not normally found in the storyline parts of fighting games. While fighting game fanatics will probably get bored without some of the fancier moves, most people should be quite happy with the options available. This is definitely a worthwhile game to play. It should provide enough hours of gameplay to be worth buying outright.

Snapshots and Media

Nintendo 64/N64 Screenshots

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