As far as launch line ups go the PS3 line up was not the best, the only few good launch titles were Call Of Duty, Resistance, Motor Storm and Fight Night. But don't let that phase you. The games that were top of the pile were there for a reason. Fight Night is one of those titles. This stands head and shoulders above most of the other launch titles and rightfully so.
I always start of my reviews with the graphics as it's the first thing you notice in a game and it's also what people are most interested in when buying a PS3 title. So let me just say that Fight Night contains some of the best graphics seen on the console yet. It's becoming increasingly difficult to explain graphics without pictures. On PS2 reviews I used to say how smooth it is, how pixelated it is etc etc. However none of that applies to this game as not only does Fight Night contain zero pixelation but if you're hooked up to a HDTV then it will look almost real. Yes that's how good the graphics are. Don't forget that this is a launch title. Remember the launch titles on the PS2? Well compare those graphics with a PS2 game of today. The difference in graphics is extreme. For example Shadow Of Memories or Bouncer from back at launch compared to God Of War 2 or Final Fantasy 12 from today shows a major improvement. Well the same will be true of the PS3. Fight Night has excellent graphics but imagine the graphics we'll be seeing in a year or 2.
GAMEPLAY: EA always try new and innovative ideas and this time they actually struck gold. Buttonbashers will be disappointed to learn that the usual 4 buttons do nothing in this game (apart from taunt, headbutt and grab). Instead you use the Right Analog stick to punch your opponents. Confused? Don't be as it works brilliantly. You use the stick to punch by pushing it to the right for a right-hand jab, to the left for a Left-hand jab. Those are the 2 most basic punches. Try different movements with the stick for a load of different punches. Block is done by holding R1 and moving the right stick. To block a right hand punch you push the stick up while holding the R1 button for example. The same goes for dodging, you hold L1 and use the left stick to dodge. To be honest the controls are difficult to explain in words. You just need to try it to see how well it works. It takes some getting used to at first but after a few matches you'll realise it's the best control setup for this type game.
GAME MODES: There are 3 main modes: Career, Play Now and Get In The Ring.
Get In The Ring is a normal fight however the camera is viewed though the eyes of your character. It's more of a novelty though then a proper fight. As your boxer takes damage his vision gets more blurred, he starts breathing more heavily and his heart rate start to race. It's a more realistic experience then a proper fight but less fun. Being face to face with your opponent might sound cool at first but it's a lot more frustrating. Your opponents moves are harder to judge due to not being able to see his body movements for example. It's a fun mode for a few laughs but the novelty wears off quickly.
Play Now allows you to fight any opponent and choose any character including Mohammed Ali. This is also where you can play 2-player. 2 player is always fun of course. No online ability though unfortunately.
Career Mode is the main mode in the game. You create a character then fight your way to the top until you retire. First you create a character using the impressive but flawed Create A Character (more on that in a moment). then you need to sign a contract and get a trainer. Before every match you can train using 3 mini games including weight lifting and punching bag to increase your skill. Your skill increases based on Strength, Speed, Endurance, Jaw Strength, Body Strength etc etc. If you win a match you gain money and fame which gets you closer to the top. With your money you can buy items such as Shorts, Mouth Guards, Sneakers, Gloves, Tattoos etc etc. Most items effect your stats too. You can buy a pair of gloves that makes your hits stronger for example or buy Sneakers that make you faster. That's a pretty nice idea and implemented well too.
LOADING TIMES: This is where Fight Night lets you down. The main loading before fights isn't too bad, around 10 or 15 seconds however it's the loading of items in Create A Character and the Shop that really annoys. At the start of career you have to create your own character. Sound and looks cool at first till you start trying out different haircuts for example. As you look though the items available each item takes about 15 seconds to load. If you don't like it and go on to the next then that's another 15 seconds. This is a real shame as it makes customising tedious and frustrating.
Overal: Fight Night is a brilliant game to impress your mates with it's outstanding graphics and controls. It's let down slightly by the shallow career mode and poor loading times during customising. I'd recommend getting it though as it's fun to play nevertheless.