Ready 2 Rumble is probably the best boxing game ever made. Sure we've played really fun games like Mike Tyson's Punch Out on the old NES and the Knockout Kings series games of late but if you are looking for a truly fun and exciting arcade style boxing game to play then Ready 2 Rumble is for you! This game is not really a simulator in the sense that it was intended to be 100% realistic but rather it was made in true Midway fashion by allowing you to box with a little bit of creative imagination as well. Some of the stuff you are able to do which I will explain in detail really makes this a very unique and well thought out game.
The first thing that you will notice is how easy the controls are to master. Usually when you pick up a boxing game it seems like it takes forever to learn how to administer a true beating in the ring. Realistically you should have the basics down within 2 - 3 rounds of action which is very quick. The characters move very smoothly and respond to your commands with astounding accuracy. There are multiple fictional characters to choose from including several hidden ones as well. Each character has several special moves and combo's and most notably there is a feature in the game that allows you to charge up a Rumble Meter by hitting your opponent with power punches. Once this meter is filled you can make your fighter's gloves glow and then unleash an unstoppable flurry of a beating that'll surely make for some exciting visuals. There are several modes in the game including an Arcade mode, 2-Player capability as well as a Championship Circuit where you can train and build your career from scratch with any of the available characters.
The graphics are very pleasing considering the console this game was released on. Every character is very well drawn and has a multitude of expressions along with a personalized style of fighting and taunting. There are several different arena's in which you can box and the fighter introductions are also very cool to watch. The only shortcoming would be the fact that the audience is not as detailed as could be but since your focus is inside the ring rather than outside this should not be overly noticeable.
There are quite a few different camera angles for you to choose from so everyone can find the right point of view for their tastes. Just the mere fact that this is the case makes me rate this section a perfect 10.
FMV's, MUSIC and SFX 9/10
The cutscenes in this game are really cool. Each character has a unique introductory clip as well as as 2 different victory FMV's. (These can be quite humorous to watch) Winning championships also treats you to a unique victory clip depending on which character you played with. The music is very catchy but will become a bit redundant after several hours. It is a Hip Hop type of song that is very repetitive without any type of verses in between. As far as SFX are concerned I think they were very well planned and executed. Each character has a variety of comments and your trainer has quite a few comments and jokes while you are going toe to toe in the ring. The introductions are done by Michael Buffer which is very cool and appropriate addition to overall feel of the game. It gives you the feeling of being at a real big time bout.
REPLAY VALUE 10/10
Ready 2 Rumble can provide you with countless hours of replay value in my opinion. In order to master the game you have several championship classes to move through as well as a host of fighters that you can train and build their stats from scratch. You also have Arcade mode which allows you some fully maxed out game play. 2 Player mode obviously allows for endless replay value provided you have a friend to play with you.
All in all I think that Ready 2 Rumble is a must have for any boxing fan or sports enthusiast in general. The game is very easy to learn and the gameplay is unbelievably fresh and fun. Also the fact that the characters are all fictional and unique kind of like how Mike Tyson's Punch Out was, adds to the overall fun time that you will have while playing it. If you like fun games that include great commentary, funny remarks, solid gameplay and good graphics then Ready 2 Rumble should already be in your console.