Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear oh dear oh dear.
Ready 2 Rumble Revolution is the worst Wii game to pop through the VideoGamer.com HQ letterbox in recent memory. It's a cartoon boxing game with the worst controls ever seen in a cartoon boxing game. And it single-handedly destroys the memory of the fun Dreamcast original.
The motion sensing controls, like in so many other third-party Wii games, are utterly unresponsive. But they're so bad in Ready 2 Rumble Revolution that they make the game unplayable. A simple jab, for example, is triggered by flicking the Wii Remote (right hand) or the Nunchuck (left hand) forward. To uppercut you need to thrust either upwards. So far so very Wii Sports boxing.
The game comes crashing down like a pack of virtual cards, however, when you leave the tutorial mode and start fighting AI controlled opponents. To do a hard punch you need to move the Wii Remote or Nunchuck to the right or left first, then do another movement. So, for a heavy right hand uppercut, you need to move the Wii Remote to the right, then up. Actions like these give the Wii an embolism.
It simply can't work out what you're trying to do. 90 per cent of the time your caricature of a boxer (based on racial stereotypes and celebrities, two of our favourite things) will do a move in direct opposition to the one desired. Even ducking, which involves moving the Wii Remote and Nunchuck forward, doesn't work properly; you're more likely to throw out a pathetic jab.
If the game's complete inability to accurately translate your waggling into animations is frustrating, the delay between the two will make you tear your hear out. To win fights you need to be able to weave punch, sway and duck; all three trigger a slow motion, Matrix style dodge and open up your opponent for a big hit. The only problem is they're impossible to do. Even when you can see a punch coming there's no guarantee that your dodge will be detected in time, or even detected at all. It feels as if the Wii's listening to what you're doing through a piece of string tied to two yoghurt pots. And when the message does get across, it's so distorted it's gibberish.
The AI boxers, though, don't suffer from the same problem. They speak the same language as the Wii. So while you're breaking your back trying to get your boxer to avoid a simple, telegraphed punch, your opponent will effortlessly duck and dive without breaking a sweat. The upshot? Trying to play the game properly is an exorcise in futility. You're better off mindlessly flailing your arms. Six-year-olds probably won't mind. Everyone else will hate it.
It's a shame, really, because without waggling the game would be good. The button press commands work, as you'd expect. Blocking (Z and B) works and so does parrying (blocking just as a punch is about to land). Movement via the Nunchuck control stick is solid, and you're able to dash about the 3D rings as well as you'd like. The graphics, too, aren't bad. The cartoon art style won't be to everyone's taste but the crowd, from a distance, looks decent, the arenas are colourful and the boxers themselves are well animated. If Ready 2 Rumble Revolution had traditional controls, or, dare we say it, was on the Xbox 360 or PS3, it would probably be worth buying.
As it is though, it's not. As it is it's awful. As it is it's a disaster of a fighting game. If the boxing in Wii Sports is Amir Khan, then Ready 2 Rumble Revolution is Frank Bruno.