Before I get started reviewing the excellent Fight Night Champion, I have to tell you how this came about...
When I redesigned the blog I wanted a catchy, memorable name. Perhaps some play on 'Game Over', an obvious video game reference. Of course everyone and their frickin' uncle has a blog these days, and pretty much all the clever names have been used. I tried every variation of the 'Game Over' theme I could think of but they were all taken already. As you know, I ended up settling on Game Over... continue? but my quest got me thinking... is there a 'Game Over' website (my thinking being that at some point in the future I might want my own actual website)? So I googled it and came across http://www.game-over.com.
As I looked over the site I noticed that they were looking for contributing writers. On a whim I sent off a quick email linked with my blog with a note saying "Hey, this is my work." sort of thing. To be honest, I didn't expect a response... but I got one.
Stephen, the editor-in-chief of 'Game Over Online,' got back to me saying he liked my stuff and was willing to give me a shot! Would I be interested in writing for them? There was no pay, but they'd send the games for me to review. "Holy fargin' snit!!!" I thought to myself! Our conversation went something like this...
Me: So no pay, but you send me the games?
Me: What happens to the games when I'm done? Do I send them back?
Him: You get to keep them.
Me: So let me get this straight... you'll send me games I would have spent 60$ on anyway and I get to keep them after I review them?
Him: *A rather tired* Yes Simon...
Me: Then you are paying me!
followed by a loud "Woo-Hoo" and an ill-advised happy dance
Cool, huh? But what's even better is Stephen sent me a list of all the games coming out for like the next three months saying pick the ones you'd be interested in that aren't already accounted for. I was expecting to be told what games to play (giving the new guy the rubbish if you see what I mean), not given my choice! I didn't want to seem too greedy or anything, so I looked over the list and named a couple that no one else had dibs on. Fight Night Champion immediately leapt off the page. Ironically, I had already reserved it at GameStop with a gift card I got for Christmas.
And lo and behold, I was sent a copy of Fight Night Champion to review for 'Game Over Online.' You can read it below, or go here to read it on the site!
I'm now officially (in my mind at least) a (semi)professional game reviewer! I started the blog to waste time at work and get my two cents out there in the ether, I never really expected it to go anywhere. It was just for a laugh... but once I got going I realized how much I missed writing. I'd forgotten just how cathartic it can be. Just goes to show that you never really know what can happen if you just try sometimes... it's a funny ol' thing life, ain't it?
So special thanks to Stephen at 'Game Over Online' for giving me the opportunity. And a big 'Thank you!' as well to everyone who has helped me edit my work and given me criticism, both constructive and otherwise. It's been greatly appreciated.
Oh, and you know how I reserved Fight Night Champion? Well, since I got my copy a decidedly different way I went back to the GameStop to change it. Put that money on TopSpin 4. Guess what I'm reviewing next? Yup, TopSpin 4. Should be here tomorrow... guess I'll have to head back to GameStop and transfer it to something else!
The following is a true story...
I was known as "The Warrior" and woe betide anyone stupid enough to step into the ring with me. My record was 7-0, all wins coming via knockout. I'd just been sponsored, money was coming in, and I was moving up the ladder... life was good. Then I ran into Fritz Perkins.
Fritz cleaned my clock, knocked me out cold in the third... and do you know why? Because I foolishly went to a party from my sponsor a week before the fight. Apparently I had such a good time that I couldn't get my stamina back up in time for fight night. My punches had nothing on them and I looked like a zombie as I stumbled about the ring. All Fritzy had to do was wear me down then land that one sweet shot that left me reeling... and I had no one to blame but myself!
As a fan of the pugilistic arts I've played every Fight Night game that has come along. It has been two years since we last stepped into the ring, and a lot has changed. The new 'FSPC' system takes a bit of getting used to, but after some practice you'll be layin' fools out left and right with your left and right. The 'Champion' mode is fantastic, EA is really on to something here. Not only is the classic "hard-luck" boxing cliche still an enjoyable roller-coaster ride, but the top notch production values really draw you in making it more credible. Now, if only we could have some sort of hybrid between the 'Champion' and 'Legacy' modes so I could be the one to be in the middle of the drama. As it stands, Fight Night Champion is the best in the series to date for me, making the sweet science all the sweeter.
If you want to read more of my specific thoughts about the game, follow the link to read the full length review at Game Over Online!
Score = 9.1 / 10
P.S. Oh yeah, remember Fritzy? I challenged that punk to a rematch straight away. I made sure I trained hard and had a good nights sleep the week before the fight. And I beat... his... ASS! Knockout in the second. Hit im' so hard with a left hook he took five steps back before falling on his butt! Served the bugger right, messing up my undefeated record...