"I am very surprised about the general lack of interest around the Ready 2 Rumble Boxing franchise. I have found both games in the series to be fine examples of beat' em up gaming that avoid the dullness of many boxing games by emphasizing funny characters, outrageous moves and a filling bouts with colour and spectacle guaranteed to raise a smile from even the most serious of gamers. "
I am very surprised about the general lack of interest around the Ready 2 Rumble Boxing franchise. I have found both games in the series to be fine examples of beat' em up gaming that avoid the dullness of many boxing games by emphasizing funny characters, outrageous moves and a filling bouts with colour and spectacle guaranteed to raise a smile from even the most serious of gamers.
Gameplay: 9 This game offers plenty of fun for seasoned beat' em up experts and button bashing newbies alike. Each Fighter has several strengths and weaknesses. A big Fighter like Butcher Brown hits very hard with his heavyweight hay makers, but if he's up against the lightening fast Afro Thunder he may not get a chance to land one. There is a big roster of characters to choose from with more unlocked through beating Arcade mode. Most are well balanced, trading strength for speed, longer reach for less stamina.
Some characters are deceptively strong, for example punk fighter Freak E Deke looks like a skinny nothing, but he has a very long reach, hits damn hard and can take punishment far better than some of the heavyweights. On the other side a brutal and fast Fighter like Jonny Blood will kick ass in the first round but knock him down twice and suddenly his stamina drains much faster and the opponent can't take him in a war of attrition.
The Rumble meter is back and can be powered up 3 times over, on reaching the third level of power-up you can knock your opponent out of the ring with one blow for an hilarious K.O win. Some characters are more effective in Rumble Mode than others and this is where the strategy of the game really comes into play. The controls are simple, jabs on two buttons, hooks on the other two, ducks and bobs on the triggers, hooks, uppercuts and hay makers delivered in conjunction with the analogue stick. Compared to the huge move lists for Tekken or Soul calibur this seems very little. But the real strategy is picking your fighter, playing their strengths, making use of the ring and planning your tactics with the rumble meter.
My only criticism with the gameplay is that the AI is pegged at a high level even on easy mode, and the lack of infinite continues can make Arcade mode very frustrating, same with Championship mode where it really becomes unfair that you can get so far through it then lose everything after only three defeats.
Ready 2 Rumble really comes into its own in two player. The lack of intimidating move lists, reversals, counters etc etc mean this has been a favourite game to bring out when have a games night with more casual gaming friends. The amusing characters and their taunts are often imitated by the players and its quite a sight to see a grudge match between Bill and Hillary Clinton (secret characters), being fought by my sister and her boyfriend!
Audio/Video: 8 This game looks gorgeous! All the skin moves and looks realistic, a bit too realistic in the case of obese boxer Mama Tua! As the fight progresses bruises appear on the faces of the boxers, they stagger around when knocked out and have great, colourful costumes and personalities. Afro Thunder's huge hairdo deserves a mention here! The sound is great to, no real music, but the voice samples are clear and funny and activating taunts during a fight is a must!
Replayability 9 Like most beat' em ups there are plenty of secrets to unlock and getting final character Rumbleman is a big challenge. After the secrets are won this has been a game that always gets a spin on games night when we want to have a laugh and wind down.
Buy or Rent? If you played and enjoyed the first Ready 2 Rumble then this is whole heartedly recommended. If you are unsure rent it first. This is neither a traditional boxing game, nor a traditional beat 'em up. Its a glorious, silly, anarchic game in a genre of its own and I think it's great. Come on, any game that lets you beat up Michael Jackson has got to be worth the money, hasn't it?
Community review by falsehead (March 08, 2004)
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