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Real Boxing Review
Review Score:

Real Boxing, Vivid Games’ realistic boxing simulation, is now available from the app store. Featuring outstanding visuals, intuitive controls, and gameplay ripped from the ring and crammed into your iDevice, Real Boxing delivers the goods and has the brawn to back it up.

Real Boxing Pros:

  • Gorgeous graphics, realistic animations, and exciting gameplay
  • Soundtrack featuring rock tracks, as well as crowd noise and color commentary
  • Controls are intuitive and easy to use
  • Customizable characteristics and training option to improve boxer attributes
  • GameCenter integration provides online matchmaking and an achievement system

Real Boxing Cons:

  • Controls don’t feel as responsive as we’d hoped
  • Bit of a learning curve for effective fighting

Real Boxing affords you the opportunity to duke it out with a bunch of beefed-up contenders vying for boxing’s biggest prize. You lace up your gloves as Seth Holden, with the added bonus of fairly deep customization of Seth’s appearance (hair color & style, tats, trunks, shoes, gloves, etc.) and the ability to hit the gym and engage in some timing-based training exercises meant to increase his strength, stamina, and speed. Once settled on a look, you can enjoy a quick one-off match or start your career, working your way through the ranks toward your ultimate goal. You can select from a number of options including number of rounds, length of each round, fight location, and opponent. The gameplay itself is quite engaging, presenting you with a behind-the-back viewpoint of your boxer as he bobs and weaves in the ring against his opponent. The two naturally approach each other and back away as needed, with your inputs providing the necessary punches, blocks, and dodges that will hopefully keep you upright until the end. You tap either side of the screen to throw a jab, while hooks require inward swipes from either side and uppercuts require upward swipes. There are buttons for blocking and dodging, as well as clinging to the other boxer for needed rests. Getting knocked down is inevitable, and you’ll need to tap the screen rapidly to gain enough strength to stand back up before the ref reaches his ten-count. The controls were easy to master, though they didn’t always seem as responsive as we’d expect. Perhaps certain moves can only be performed within a pre-determined proximity of your opponent, but it just felt like we were repeating gestures over and over without seeing our boxer performing the corresponding moves. An additional control method utilizing your own physical gestures via the front-facing camera is available, too.

The standout feature is certainly the graphics, giving the whole experience a realism that’s unmatched by any mobile boxing title we’ve come across. Character movements were clearly of utmost importance, as the motion-capture quality animations lend further credibility to the game. You can almost feel the force of the punches landing, which is an odd sensation for a game controlled by your thumbs. Character models show increased facial trauma as the matches drag on, adding additional visual pop to a game that very closely mirrors actual bouts. Each boxer has a health bar and stamina bar that represent how close he is to hitting the canvas and how effective his punches will be if landed, respectively. It is the recharging stamina bar that directly affects the sensation of landing a crushing blow or a weak jab, though blood seems to splatter from the boxer’s face regardless. Behavioral cues appear on-screen from time to time, warning you to block/dodge or attack, a helpful aid as you get your feet wet with the game. A well-timed dodge can open up an opportunity to counterattack your foe. Miss your chance, however, and he could leave you reeling before you know what’s hit you. It’s a game that forces you to pace yourself rather than allowing you to throw flurries of punches, rewarding you for tactical know-how rather than just spamming the screen with swipes and taps. The soundtrack provides the requisite upbeat, rocking jams that serve to keep your adrenaline pumping. Crowd noise and color commentary are also present.

Replay value is very good, as the career mode is enjoyable, the customization options are deep (money earned in matches can be used to purchase additional choices, as well as speed up the training process), and there is even online multiplayer via GameCenter so that you can take on friends around the world if the AI is not to your liking. GameCenter also provides achievements to earn. A universal app for $4.99, Real Boxing is an impressive 4.5-Dimple title.

Real Boxing Review, reviewed by Kevin on 2012-11-24T01:43:37+00:00 rating 4.5 out of 5



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