|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Aki Corporation||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Atari||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 17, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The Wii really ought to be the place to go for boxing games. The Wii-mote/Nunchuk combo is perfect for acting out the sport's moves, and the boxing game from Wii Sports proved right at the console's launch that it's possible to craft a simple, engrossing, and reasonably responsive control scheme. Yet for some reason, no subsequent game has improved on that scheme or even matched it. Ready 2 Rumble Revolution, a true disaster of a video game, is the latest in this long line of Wii boxing failures.
You view the fighters from the side, move them in all directions with the Nunchuk joystick, and execute moves by swinging your arms (holding down the C button to specify body blows). There's a pretty healthy variety of punches available: you can jab, hook, and uppercut, and even wind up for more powerful shots. Defense-wise you can dodge in various ways and, of course, block.
The problem is that the developers didn't take nearly enough care in making sure the Wii could differentiate between all these inputs, and didn't include support for a Gamecube or Classic Controller. They forgot one of the fundamental laws of Wii design: it's possible to be precise with the Wii-mote's pointer function, but the "waggle" function won't reliably pick up moves that are only subtly different from each other. In other words, unless developers start relying more on buttons and less on waggle, it's not possible to have many more punch types than Wii Sports had.
The result is that the control issues overshadow every other aspect to this game. It's so bad that even a simple overall strategy, such as trying to use mostly jabs to take advantage of your character's superior reach, is tough to pull off. You end up simply flailing, hoping for as many hits as you can manage, while your A.I. opponents block and strike with a fair amount of precision. If their "rumble" meter fills, they become ridiculously overpowered and pound you with even less mercy. It takes about two minutes to get fed up with this game, and while you can improve your success rate in eliciting the moves you want, you'll never get anywhere near 100 percent.
It's a shame, because while the game's other features don't exactly scream "blockbuster," they do show a fair amount of effort. Take, for example, the fairly detailed and good-looking graphics. The grainy-filtered cutscenes that introduce the game are well above average for Wii visual quality. The zany, over-the-top style won't make anyone laugh out loud, but it could have made for a unique and fun experience. The characters, many of them parodies of celebrities, are colorful and well-drawn, and they move with quirky animations that fit the feel of the game. (Some may be offended, it should be noted, by some crude racial stereotypes and by the impossibly hourglass-shaped lady who struts through the ring between rounds.)
Meanwhile, in terms of sound, there's some comically exaggerated voice acting (especially the announcing), buried-in-the-background music, and well-done if repetitive sound effects. In a better game, this in-your-face visual and audio style might have become grating after some time. As it stands, you're usually too busy screaming about the controls to even notice any of it.