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KO: Ultra-realistic Boxing

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs




Copyright 1999, Data Becker

Billed as an “ultra-realistic boxing game,” unfortunately Data Becker’s KO is anything but. Although it does look like a decent boxing game at first glance, it doesn’t take long before the shallow execution and inaccurate controls rear their ugly heads to ruin your enjoyment. The experts at Heavyweight News says it all about what makes KO a horrible real dog that got only 47/100 on their score:

“The gameplay is what knocks out KO Boxing. Moving around is simple enough, but throwing a punch involves a combination of directional movement and pressing a button. For example, if you press forward and hit the ‘offence’ button, you’ll throw a jab. There only seems to be three different punches you can throw though. A hook, a roundhouse and a jab. There are three buttons in total, one for offence, one for defence and one for combination. Controllers nowadays have more than 3 buttons, and this game needs to take advantage of that. It also needs to take advantage of punch location. Is there a difference between throwing a body punch and a head punch in KO Boxing? Personally, I couldn’t tell where I was throwing the punches, not to mention the punches were being thrown about 2 seconds after I initiated them. How does one throw an uppercut without throwing a combination? Why isn’t there a button for each punch selection? How come there are only 3 different defensive stances one can take? How come jabs are so weak? Although some might argue otherwise, boxing is a sport of strategy and KO Boxing does a horrible job of representing that. There’s no strategy in KO Boxing at all. Throw punches until you’re tired, then defend until your strength is built back up. Repeat this as many times as possible and call me in the morning.

I’ll give credit where credit is due. Data Becker has an engine here that looks pretty good graphically. What they need to do now is focus on gameplay. They need to grab those official licenses, they need to expand their punch selection and include body selection when throwing punches. They need to improve game control, include more strategy and create an overall boxing experience. I’m unsure whether KO Boxing is going to become a yearly event, but if it does I hope they’ll address those issues for the next version. If this is a one time offer, I’m afraid it doesn’t make it past the first round.KO Boxing is far from a knockout…”

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