By our last count, the Genesis had nine boxing games available for it.We’ve already eliminated James “Buster” Douglas Knockout Boxing, but that still leaves 8 others, which is about 7 too many.So today, we’ll be looking at all the boxing games.The best one gets a Seal of Approval and an automatic bid into the Top 100.The other seven get eliminated.Also, since real boxing matches are scored by a panel of three judges, we will be using a similar format, with Brad, Stryker, and Mr. Do! all weighing in.
No need to drag this out any longer – the following boxers are no longer in contention:
George Foreman’s KO Boxing
Brad:There’s an aura of weirdness surrounding this game that just makes everything feel a little bit off.I’d say that it seemed like the people who made it had never actually seen boxing, and were just going off of other people’s descriptions, but that’s not quite it.It’s more like it was programmed by space aliens, who had never been to Earth before, but maybe saw some boxing matches on HBO or something.I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but this game is weird.
Stryker:Really?I can put my finger on it.It’s having my opponent put his hands up like he’s being robbed at gunpoint every time I land a punch. It’s having George Foreman wink at me for no apparent reason on the title screen.It’s the lurching, hunchback-like shuffle of the referee and the way my opponent does a “bikini girl pose” after I lose.This game didn’t seem very good, but there’s a chance that I might have just been thrown off by how damn strange it is.
Mr. Do!:Holy shit, am I fighting Adobo from Double Dragon?
Foreman for Real
Brad:Considering that George Foreman had one of the most successful comebacks in the history of boxing, it’s kind of ironic that his second Genesis game is even worse than the first one.
Stryker:You know how some people incorrectly think that George Foreman actually invented the Foreman grill, when he’s really just its spokesman?Well, I’m guessing part of the reason might be that he doesn’t go out of his way to deny it.On the other hand, if you were assume that he programmed this game, he’d probably cave your face in.I know I would.
Mr. Do!:I love the Foreman Grill!It’s kept me from having to learn how to make real food.Oh, and this game sucks, by the way.
Evander Holyfield’s Real Deal Boxing
Stryker:I played the hell out of this game when I was in high school, and it’s still awesome now.The only reason I’m getting rid of it is because its sequel, Greatest Heavyweights, is almost the exact same game, except with a bunch a famous boxers in it, too.I don’t see any real flaws with this game, though.
Brad:Well, I can only think of one – on the main menu, one of the choices is called “The Greatest”.If you select it, it takes you to a picture of Evander Holyfield and shows you how much money he’s won in his career.This will eventually change to you if you beat the game, but it still strikes me as a bit egotistical.I mean, you’re already the final boss in a game named after you, there’s no need to keep rubbing our faces in just how awesome you think you are on every single screen.
Mr. Do!:Gotta love a boxing game where the training benefits of lifting weights are about equal to that of adopting an all-steak diet.
Brad:In one match, I managed to score 4 huge uppercuts in quick succession on my opponent, knocking him down and swelling both of his eyes shut in the process.Most referees would have stopped the match at that point, but not the sadist refs in Chavez II.Then again, maybe the ref knew what he was doing, because my opponent got up off the mat with more energy than he had at the beginning of the round.Mmmmm, realism.
Stryker:The point of view is taken from more or less right behind the boxer you’re controlling, so that he obstructs your view of your opponent, which makes him hard to hit, or dodge his punches.Additionally, on the rare occasions that you actually can see the incoming punches, they always look devastating since they are coming right at you, whereas your own punches are obscured, and don’t look menacing at all.Even in matches that you’re dominating, it still kind of feels like the computer is kicking your ass.
Mr. Do!:Somehow, Chavez II managed to come out a year before the original Chavez.Learn how to fucking count, and maybe then I’ll start taking your game seriously.
Stryker:This game kind of plays like the classic Mike Tyson’s Punchout! Except without the Mike Tyson or fun.
Brad:Instead of Tyson, the final match in the game is against super heavyweight fighter Butter Bean.From everything I’ve seen, Butter Bean is a nice guy who just happens to be really good at punching people in the face.Tyson, on the other hand, is an insane, cannibalistic rapist – pretty much the real life version of a video game boss.
Mr. Do!:Super heavyweights?That’s a generous way of phrasing it.These are some of the most out-of-shape boxers you’ll ever see outside of John Goodman’s underwear drawer.
Boxing Legends of the Ring
Brad:Hmm… let’s see…this game has some kind of well-known boxers, like Larry Hagler and Sugar Ray Leonard, and uses the same game engine as the horrible Chavez II.Greatest Heavyweights has Joe Frazier, Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis, and a ton of other really famous former heavyweight champions, and is basically the sequel to the very fun Evander Holyfield’s “Real Deal” Boxing.Yeah, not too tough of a choice here…
Stryker:There are certain things in boxing that will get you automatically disqualified from a fight – biting off an opponent’s ear for example.Likewise, reusing the Chavez II engine should be an automatic disqualification for a boxing game.It’s like the video game equivalent of a boxer blatantly kicking his opponent in the groin right in the middle of a fight…
Mr. Do!:…and then stabbing him in the neck.
Muhammad Ali Heavyweight Boxing
Brad:A big part of why Muhammad Ali was a great boxer was because of his mobility – he could move in close, land some punches, and then get the hell out of the way when his opponent tried to hit him back.Thanks to this game’s horrible control, your opponents will also enjoy that advantage over you, as your fighter basically stays rooted to one spot like a Rock’em Sock’em Robot.I don’t know why walking from one end of the ring to the other would be such an ordeal, even when your opponent isn’t anywhere near you, but it is.Now every match feels like boxing against Muhammad Ali, even when you’re playing as Muhammad Ali.
Stryker:I just couldn’t get over the Jekyll and Hyde routine that my opponents kept pulling on me.During odd numbered rounds, I would dominate, get knockdowns, and have my opponent on the verge of losing.Then would come the even numbered rounds where he’d suddenly turn into Ali, Tyson, and Lennox Lewis all rolled into one.Nothing quite like seeing your opponent get saved by the bell, only to come back and knock you out cold in the first 30 seconds of the next round.
Mr. Do!:It was probably just some bad animation, but it sure looked like I was mixing a lot of low blows into my combos.“Jab! Uppercut!Dong Punch!Dong Punch!”
So that leaves only one Genesis boxing game – Greatest Heavyweights. Congratulations, Greatest Heavyweights, you’ve earned a Seal of Approval, a spot on our Top 100, and an exemption from getting made fun of for today.Don’t worry though – once we start ranking the games on the Top 100, you’ll be subjected to so much additional scrutiny and eventual ridicule that you’ll probably start to envy Chavez II.