Imagine being able to put any two (famous) boxers from this century into the ring and see who would be the real champ? Knockout Kings is a great idea that is so long overdue that itís now out of vogue and yet was unfortunately released prematurely. Go figure.
How long has it been since Mike Tysonís Punch Out was released? Maybe 11 years? And yet sadly it is one of the best boxing games (along with Super Punch Out) that is available for video game pugilists. Now thatís one horribly embarrassing track record. Imagine if racing games hadnít really evolved past Pole Position. Evil thoughts donít get much nastier than that nightmare. The question begs to be asked, "Why hasnít boxing evolved as a viable sports video game genre?" It has action, colorful characters, mucho donero... so what gives? Well, people just donít give a crap anymore I guess, and Iím one of Ďem. Letís face it, boxing is boring. Kids donít care about boxing, they care about snowboarding. They wouldnít even care about boxing on snowboards. Boxing is an old manís sport. Games like Knockout Kings just drive that point home. How many 16 year olds really care if Jake La Motta could beat Leon Spinks? Does the real Jake La Motta care? Or is he dead? Who knows? Letís make a game anyway! (Iím giving you an artists rendition of the brainstorming session that lead to the creation of Knockout Kings.)
First off, all of the players look like they were made out of about 34 polygons. This game looks almost as bad as Segaís putrid Virtua Fighter (not the later re-mix) for the Saturn. This doesnít even look like a first generation game to me. Pure Polygon Poop.
Not only do the characters look poor, but they all move as though they were sucker punched by Tyson for about 20 minutes before entering the ring. If you ever connect a punch it will feel as though you were hitting some guy made out of 34 polygons with a pillow. Real power! We are talking sluggish, folks. No matter what kind of punch you do, it feels like itís actually YOU throwing the punch rather than Sugar Ray or Ali. That just ainít right.
The create a player feature is fun, but doesnít add much to the gameplay once you get your Frankenstein into the ring, because heís as slow as ever. It certainly isnít worth the price of admission thanks to the overall package.
If you are a real boxing and buff and actually care about who could beat who, this is about your only chance to do it. Just donít expect it to be much fun. In this day and age with fighting games like the Tekken series, Virtua Fighter, Street Fighter etc. It would appear that plain old boxing is just, well....plain old. Not recommended.