Real Boxing – Review (Vita)

written by Stephen Hanley on 22.9.13 realboxing2

Real Boxing is, as you would expect from the fairly generic game title, a boxing game made by Vivid Games that was previously available on iOS and Android. It is up to you and your custom created boxer to fight your way through the career and obtain the three titles possible. If you were to judge a book by its cover, then this game has badly ported game written over it from the introduction, but look past that and you have a knockout title.

Running on the Unreal Engine, I was excited to load up the game for the first time to see how well it looks on the Vita’s OLED screen. My disappointment when I saw a rather choppy intro movie cannot be measured as all excitement I had for the game was quickly disappearing and I prepared myself for below average game. Thankfully, they left all the awful at the intro, with the rest of the game running quiet smoothly, along with looking fantastic due to the use of the Unreal Engine.

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Your first duty as future heavyweight champion is of course to create your character, and the game has a fair few customisation options available out of the box, with more content including hair styles, clothes, tattoos and more available later in the game by spending the cash you earn through fights. Once you’re finished customizing your character you’re brought to the menu within the game where you can access your quick fights, career, multiplayer, the gym and settings.

Perks which allow your boxer different abilities or resistances against knockdowns etc. can be earned via the gym. The gym consists of 3 mini games in which you simple press the right button at the right time. Keep doing it and you unlock a perk which you can then equip, with more perks being unlocked later in the game as you progress through your career.

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Your career consists of 3 tournament based competitions with you battling to enter the final four and ultimately win the title. While being a generic way of setting up a career mode, it does its job and doesn’t feel out of place, especially as within career mode there are additional challenges which can be done in the fight to give you extra money or attribute points to use on upgrading your boxer.

Each fight look beautiful and it is within the actual fights that the unreal engine shines of the PS Vita. Movements are crisp and fluid and while the earlier stages of the career are rather easy, the overall experience is fantastic. The game looks and feels more like a Fight Night game than an independent game which is a credit to the team behind this port. The only issue I personally have with it is the control scheme they offer for the buttons as all your left punches are tied to the D-Pad which not only feels awkward, but unless you’ve extremely large hands it means you have to take your fingers off the analog stick thereby you can’t move while attempting to use any left punches. Whilst you can do these punches with the use of the right analog stick, it feels hamfisted and more often than not I found myself just using right punches as they were controllable through the buttons.

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Whilst the starting moments of the game are enough to put a lot of people off, when it comes down to gameplay and the enjoyment of a game, Real Boxing is a winner. The use of the Unreal Engine really gives this game a fantastic performance when it comes down to having a match. While it isn’t perfect, the game is a lot of fun and certainly worth the few pounds that they publisher wants for it. Overall, if you’re looking for a fighting game on your Vita, give Real Boxing a bash.

3-5 stars
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