Looking at Victorious Boxers, I definitely agree with Chi in that most people will be far from impressed by what they see. I certainly was.

While Chis evaluation of the ingenious control scheme is right on, a basic game engine burned onto a CD and sent to stores is not nearly enough to make a well-rounded title. I definitely think the creators of Victorious Boxers were onto something here, but unfortunately they must have taken a jab to the chin and went down in the first round, because they certainly did not go the distance.

As mentioned in the main review, there are no training portions, no stats to distribute, you cant make your own boxer and theres nothing to do at all except for box. While boxing by itself is basically okay, I need more than this to keep my interest. Outside of straight duking, Victorious Boxers is the textbook definition of "bare-bones". Incredibly, there are barely even any story bits between matches. The most you get is your coach spouting the same recycled phrases over and over while you roll your eyes in boredom. There is no suspense or drama, and any feeling of achievement is stripped bare due to the complete lack of emotional involvement. By comparison, even Punch-Out on the SNES knocks Victorious Boxers cold. In that game there was a definite build-up and mounting tension to the games structure. Fight a few palookas to advance through the circuit, and then watch Little Mac train on his bike to prepare for the title bout. Not much, but it was something. In Victorious Boxers, every single match is a "final" of some kind, and the entire affair becomes one long, uninterrupted string of matches that become impossible to tell apart. After the first few bouts, you could care less.

As if the lack of any substance to the game wasnt bad enough, the control scheme isnt exactly flawless, either. While its above average in most respects, theres an inexplicable lag when Ippo needs to turn and face his opponent. Instead of instantly swiveling to face the other boxer or maintaining a constant lock-on, he will often face the same direction for a moment or two after his opponent has danced away. This small delay in Ippos targeting is more than long enough for the enemy to land a few good hits, and for you to throw punches far off the mark. In my opinion, if the game is only going to do one thing, it had better do it damn well. It doesnt.

Victorious Boxers is a game that has a better-than-average control scheme and a few good ideas, but could never have been a contenderthey should have just thrown in the towel and went back to the gym. Rating: 3.0 out of 10

Brad Gallaway
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