EA Games Fight Night Round 3
Dodge, block and punch
- Get in the Ring mode
- Occasional frame rate stutter
Fight Night Round 3 is easily one of the top boxing games ever released.
Price$ 119.95 (AUD)
EA Sports' marquee boxing title slams on to the PlayStation 3 with authority.
As in the other console versions, the best way to play Fight Night Round 3 is to dodge, block, and throw punches using the PS3 analog sticks; tap the stick up to throw a jab, circle it around to swing an uppercut, and so on. It's a remarkably immersive system, but in an odd twist, the PlayStation 3's Sixaxis controller suffers slightly in this style of play. The Sixaxis analog sticks have a slightly looser, smoother feel, which works well for many first- and third-person shooters, but for Fight Night, I prefer a slightly stiffer feel. Your mileage, of course, may vary.
The only other gameplay change worth noting is the new "Get in the Ring" mode, which plants you in a first-person perspective. Though the core gameplay remains the same, Get in the Ring offers a much more immersive presentation. It's more chaotic and visceral. You'll begin to rely more heavily on quick jabs in order to "feel out" your opponent's distance from you in preparation for a haymaker or combo. Another key change is that your fighter will gradually lose his vision and hearing after taking big punches, making dodging and blocking even more tactically important. Get in the Ring is the single biggest argument for buying the PS3 version of Fight Night Round 3, and though it's not necessarily revolutionary, it's an excellent step for the boxing genre as a whole.
Fight Night Round 3's audio and video presentation will please, but not floor you. As a whole, this PS3 port looks ever-so-slightly more appealing than the Xbox 360 version. Tiny physical details, like beads of sparkling sweat on the fighters' foreheads and chest, look absolutely sensational, though we noticed that the 3-D crowds in the backgrounds look more pixelated than they did in the Xbox 360 version. The visual experience is also hampered by an occasional frame rate stutter, though these brief, rare lapses usually only occur during especially busy replay videos. Otherwise, the game is a great demonstrator of the processing power of next-gen consoles like the PS3. Very little has changed about the sound design, though several of the voice-overs have been slightly adjusted (the referee sounds somewhat different as he counts down towards a KO).
Aside from that, there's not much to differentiate the PS3 version of Fight Night Round 3 from its Xbox 360 predecessor. If you've got to choose between one version or the other, it's hard to go wrong, though the PS3's Get in the Ring mode is a tempting bonus. Otherwise, it's pretty much a draw.
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