|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Gamick Studios||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Destineer||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Dec. 5, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
He can charge his punches, try to hit you in different areas, or whatever else he thinks of. He can even use his amazing ability to dodge even the quickest jabs with perfect accuracy (he will, on your second punch, quite often). You'll still win, more than likely, and if you don't, you can always try the also-useful "block a lot, but let off a whole slew of punches when your opponent pauses for a moment" strategy. Whenever you lose, you can simply re-start the match, a feature that might be nice in a more difficult game but that makes little difference here.
Another issue is the anger boost; it's way too powerful. It's nice for the game to give people a chance to come back when they're getting pummeled, and it's also an incentive to use timed dodges instead of blocks, but when you're all fiery-eyed, you can do a ridiculous amount of damage in a very short period of time. So can your opponent when his eyes are burning.
Also, there doesn't seem to be that big of a difference between characters. They vary in their speed, strength, and resistance ability, and they become more aggressive on the higher difficulty settings, but one never gets the sense that certain animals have truly different styles. The animal world seems an obvious place in which to play up differences in personality, size, and survival techniques, so this is a shame.
The final problem is that, overall, the difficulty is way too low. With a minimal grasp of strategy, you can run through the three Championships with ease, and the single-match mode (where you can unlock a bunch of opponents and rings, not that there's any real difference between them) isn't any harder. (In multiplayer, of course, the difficulty depends on whom you're playing, but the blocking quirks get even more annoying when there are two people exploiting them.) Yes, this is a game designed with kids in mind, but even they will likely tire of it quickly, and there's nothing remotely challenging in store for anyone of a double-digit age.
In the end, Animal Boxing's main success is that it pioneers a boxing system fit for a better game. Like the Super Smash Bros. series' special-move system, it has essentially no learning curve, so it's something we'd like to see again. Animal Boxing itself is, unfortunately, plagued by balance and difficulty problems too severe to forgive.
CCC Freelance Writer