There are few series that ended as terribly as the Rocky series. Bad acting, Sly not even fighting, and a Don King look-alike? Sylvester Stallone said he was thinking of making a Rocky VI, but I don’t know how he could top the crap he showed me in the series’ 5th outing.
The series one blunder and my jokes about it aside, the Rocky movies were some pretty good stuff. Though on the surface it looked like just showcases of some intense boxing action, in moments of the movies excellence they could unbelievably raw views of the human spirit at its brightest. The series also left behind a trail of memorable characters and scenarios, which Ubi Soft apparently thought would work well within a videogame. Hence, we have been given Rocky.
Now, it would of been easy for Rage simply to turn on some rock music, headbang on their keyboard, then look up after a month and see what they came up with, but it appears the developers have actually taken some time to flesh out this viable license. This is the way the game works: You play as Rocky (duh) as he goes through the ranks fighting against such popular Rocky characters as Apollo Creed and Clubber Lang. You will fight using the game’s fighting interface, which requires you use more skill than raw button mashing, and you will be scored by the "Ten Point Must System" which essentially means whoever lands more punches in a round gets ten points and the other guy gets nine, or eight if you really put a hurting on him.
Fortunately, thanks to good execution on the part of Rage entertainment, this formula works very nicely. The game is easy to pick up and play, as button mashers can survive for a little while, but hardcore gamers will find joy in mastering all the game’s combos and such. You will also have to pace your fighter, and fight strategically during matches, looking for openings instead of just going all Bruce Lee on the other guy. This is heaven for anyone whose been looking for a good boxing simulation as of late, as the game’s gameplay amply feels the void.
What doesn’t fill the void though is the game’s audio or its graphics. Nothing is terribly god awful about either of them, it’s just that both of them are so painfully mediocre. The game’s graphics for example feature bad character models, and some of the animations look stiff. The audio is also amply dull, with sound effects that sound just too alike, and a total lack of music.
Still though, these small things are hardly enough to bring Rocky down. The game’s beautiful strategic gameplay does justice to not only the Rocky license but also the sweet science itself. If you’re in the market for a good boxing game than do yourself a favor and check this game out. Trust me, not even Sylvester Stallone could drag this solid game down.
Platforms: GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox