STAFF REVIEW of Knockout Kings 2002 (Xbox)


Monday, March 18, 2002.
by Stephen Cameron

Knockout Kings 2002 Box art Well, EA Sports has beaten the other publisher out of the gate, with the Xbox?s first boxing title. Is it good? Hell ya!

Knockout Kings 2002 is the kind of game that really helps you get though those days when someone has thrown you over the edge. Besides, its therapeutical features, KOK 2002 features such celebrities as the great Mohammad Ali (One tough cookie), Trinidad, De La Hoya, Holyfield and Lennox Lewis just to name a few. I?m seriously not the kind of person to watch professional boxing on television, nor on Pay-per-view, but I really enjoyed this game! My brother and I had a blast beating the crap out of each other. Which speaks highly for the multiplayer aspect of the game.

I found it funny to watch you and the other player charging each other, and start (without delay) pounding the crap out of each other! And watching the other boxer fall in slow motion to the ground?.too funny.

As for single player, I proceeded to create myself a ?custom? boxer and see how far I?d get. Much to my surprise, it was not easy to beat the boxers, in order to reach the top. I also found that the game was true to life, that your boxer is retired automatically, if he sucks. When you win fight, you are awarded points to ?boost? your boxers traits, thus you have to make sure that you distribute your points to speed, power and other boxer traits evenly.

The only thing I can find annoying with KOK 2002 is the frequent loading times. It seems to loading almost after everything. They need to fix that.

Overall, despite the loading times?Knockout Kings 2002 is a boxing game I can truly recommend to anyone that likes this genre of game. I truly enjoyed Knockout Kings 2002!


The controls on Knockout Kings 2002 for the Xbox are very responsive! And the controls are in the EA Sports, EA Big tradition, when the game loads you are displayed with a complete chart of the controls. Let me tell you, you?ll start pounding in no time, and look like an expert right out of the gate! Left trigger is to block, and the right trigger is to do a upper-cut combo, and the other buttons are for your punches. The black button also allows you to your boxers ?special? move, which is usually a move of death. The white button is the button that if you abuse it too much, you?ll get booed off the ring! It a ?low-blow? move, I will not into details, but you very well imagine what it means.

You even have the ability to ?taunt? the other boxing, which can upset you opponent, and maybe get under their skin. From what I?m told boxing is a head game, not a game of strength (which I?m sure doesn?t hurt to have).
Overall the controls are super-easy to jump into and the gameplay is quite fun!


Now, right off the bat you can tell it?s a PS2 port, but none the less it lives up the Xbox?s standards of good graphics. The boxer?s skin even shines in sweat, and you?ll even catch your boxer throwing a little sweat when you get a blow to the ?old-melon?.

The attention to detail is quite remarkable in this game. They got it down to loosing your mouthpiece when you get a punch in the mouth, ouch! And, you actually see it flying out of you or the other boxing?s mouth. Overall the graphics are not 100% up to Xbox standards, but none the less they are quite acceptable.


Now the sound is a mixed bag. The sound effects are as realistic as we all know about boxing, which in my case is not very much. But, the if you have a Dolby Digital set up in your living room, you will hear the sub-woofer box kick in when you get a few shots to the head. The game does support true Dolby Digital right out of the box! Woohoo!

As for the music, well, I?m not a rap lover, nor I don?t hate it. But it seems out of context in this game, maybe it?s just me. I was really hoping a more ?Rocky-like? soundtrack. But, during game play you forget about all of that. You don?t hear the rap over and over. Overall the sound is fantastic (Dolby Digital), and the music is ok.


Suggestions:
Online playablity, and less loading time on the Xbox version. Other than that keep up the good work!


Overall: 9.0 / 10
Gameplay: 9.0 / 10
Visuals: 10.0 / 10
Sound: 9.0 / 10

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