Fight Night Round 4

Fight Night Round 4 Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3

The next instalment in EA's popular boxing sim series.

Review Verdict Read Review
9Out of 10
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Round 4 begs to be watched in slow motion
Round 4 begs to be watched in slow motion

Round 4 begs to be watched in slow motion

A completely valid tactic is to play for points, slugging through round after round and playing it safe. It won't make for a classic (indeed, the best fights get added to a kind of virtual scrapbook), but a win's a win. In fact, during the game's Legacy Mode (the meat and bones of Fight Night Round 4) you'll often have to grind out results. The danger of a flash knockout or a sudden swing in momentum means that you'll naturally veer on the side of caution if you think you're on top, rather than taking some risks and opening yourself up to a counter. With your fighter's stamina to take into account, too, it pays to be smart.

Those disappointed by the career mode in Round 3 will be pleased to find that Legacy Mode in Round 4 is considerably more impressive. As well as trying to increase your rank you need to rise up the ladder of greatness, from Bum and Prospect to Ring Legend and Greatest of all Time. Each of these Legacy Ratings requires certain objectives to be completed, such as winning a Friday Night fight or getting below a certain rank. During your career, in which you schedule your own fights and take part in six varied training mini-games to increase your stats, you're essentially just fighting again and again, but the way it's structured is far better than the almost non-existent career mode in Round 3.

Despite the huge improvement in this area the career mode isn't nearly as engaging as that found in Don King's Prizefighter, but there's a decent sense of progression and towards the end of your career you'll likely genuinely regret a few mishaps during your early fights, which will probably be the difference between ending your fighting career as a plain old champion and not all-time great. The email system seems largely pointless, giving you vaguely important info between each fight, and the sense that you're actually becoming this superstar boxer could certainly have been greater - there are awards and better fighting venues, but Prize Fighter comes out way ahead in this area, even if it's more or less all it did right. The fighter roster is quite excellent, though, giving you a mix of current favourites and all-time greats, across all the weight classes, and the Create a Fighter tool is top of the class too - the face mapping is a must do activity, if only to see yourself as a ripped 6'8" goliath.

As well as the time consuming Legacy Mode there's the expected multiplayer functionality, including online play. This too has seen big improvements over Round 3, so now you've got an online world championship, boxer sharing, video uploading and rating and the ESPN online news ticker (even if it's sometimes a bit too American focused and a little out of date). Fighting with a friend (or enemy) is the best way to experience the game as you're more likely to be punished for sloppy fighting and the pay-off for landing a devastating punch is far greater. Thankfully the online performance was solid during our handful of fights, with little noticeable lag.

The physics engine makes the fighting much more realistic

The physics engine makes the fighting much more realistic

We've got this far without mentioning the presentation, but it's a highlight of the game. Fight Night Round 4 looks staggeringly good at times, with the illusion only being broken when the game registers a knockout blow for a punch that appeared to do little more than graze a cheek. The fighters look incredible, the physics-based animations are superb and the slow motion replays can be drooled over again and again. Fight Night Round 3 looked great for the time, but this takes it to another level. It all runs at a silky smooth frame rate too, which gives the fights a sense of speed that Round 3 simply didn't have. It's a shame that the commentary becomes repetitive after only a few hours, but I guess we can't have it all.

If you're into boxing you're going to love Fight Night Round 4. The physics-based fighting is simply brilliant, the career mode will last you an age and the online functionality is solid. If you're not into boxing Round 4 is simple to learn, so you could still become the next Mike Tyson or Muhammad Ali with a little practice. It's not perfect, mainly down to a slightly soulless career mode, but it's still a significant step up over Round 3 and more or less an essential purchase.

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User Comments

djohnson77's Avatar


I think this game just plain ass blows, the movement is difficult, the haymakers are hard to access and hit anyone with, the game is not true to boxing at all too focused on counter punching and the game gets repetitve and boring .5 out of 5 a big ass boo!
Posted 07:44 on 27 August 2011
guyderman's Avatar


in Career Mode the mini-games are a bit of a at first, but too hard to get max points on, and even if you do, it doesn't boost your attributes enough. Ugh. I think you should be able to get more points from how well you actually perform in fights...

This would be good - I hate the mini games on FN4 and the so called mini game between rounds is pathetic - again was way better on FN3.

Played about another 4 hours last night and the main game itself is really good - still hate the controls though ;)

*EDIT - 7-8 hours ofr play now and still no problems with it freezing - I must have heard wrong!
Posted 08:43 on 03 July 2009
justbrett's Avatar


This game is super rad. Just got it a week ago and it’s all i’ve been doing with my time. I mean, having Mike Tyson in the game was enough for me to like it already, but they’ve improved so much the last one – the corporate ads aren’t as omnipresent and annoying, the game play has less of a pre-determined feel to it, and they actually have some cool music (rad remixes of Tokyo Police Club’s “The Baskerillve’s” and El-P’s “Flyentology” amongst others).

It still kinda sucks to play online because most of the gamers are just random button mashers who over-punch instead of trying to fight realistically, but if you play with friends that actually know about boxing than this game is fun as hell…you can easily emulate Ali’s rope-a-dope or Tyson’s peek-a-boo styles. I guess the only other negative I have is that in Career Mode the mini-games are a bit of a at first, but too hard to get max points on, and even if you do, it doesn't boost your attributes enough. Ugh. I think you should be able to get more points from how well you actually perform in fights...but it's a minor complaint compared to an overall awesome game.
Posted 00:19 on 03 July 2009
Wido's Avatar


Not had any problems with the PS3 verison Guy. I would of got the 360 verison but without XBL the PS3 version all the way. I prefer the 360 controller as I have FNR3 on the 360, but I have got used to the PS3 controller.
Posted 10:46 on 02 July 2009
guyderman's Avatar


Ok lads! - I'm weak! - I caved and bought it (damn my inability to pass a game and not buy it!).

My verdict after about 3 hours play.

Looks lovely but no where near as agressive feeling as FN3 and I've barely seen a cut appear so far. But the fighters do look great and interact with each other amazingly well.

Customising fighters is useless on this game - a real let down - I used to like being able to spend my money on buying new equipment which would add bonus points towards your fighters skills - now I can choose what colour to have my Reebok logo and which out of 80 standard faces I can have - not as much fun and not worth bothering with!

Training games are not as good as on FN3 - one of them (sparring) is just another boxing match - but with head gear on!

Controls - I still stand by what I said previously - yes they have been improved from the stick control an FN3 but I still find the stick method very unaccurate and so many times it jabs instead of hooks, hooks instead of uppercuts which leads to me either missing punches I intend to pull off or landing a lucky punch that I didn't intend to do!

Will still give it more time and will carry on trying to get on with an awkward control system - but face buttons were way more accurate.

*Edit - I understand there is supposed to be a bug in this games that makes it freeze quite a lot - I played for 3 hours or so last night and it didn't freeze once - has anyone else had a problem with it?
Posted 08:33 on 02 July 2009
hotwadd's Avatar


im not any where near as pleased as i thought i would be...ea are now famous for messing around with good solid games and seem to make them worse or less playable....ive only had this game a few days but still feel a dissapointed with it, i couldnt keep my hands off round tthree and still play it today...the jurys out at the mo soo well see i guess
Posted 18:50 on 30 June 2009
Wido's Avatar


Indeed, Guy. I for one wouldn't want to use a steering wheel just to play a racing game. We prefer what we are used to and when changing things can have to says in the matter.

1: Ruins the game.
2: Made the game a lot better.

With FNR4 with the use of the analogue stick being the main control. It feels more fluid and better. You can still pull off combos, but you have to time it right whilst watching your stamina.

I have only pulled off 1 KO in the first round against Eddie Chambers. Kept on leaning out of the way of his punches, and hit hard with a haymaker to stun him and let loose. I chained up at least 8 9 punches then finishing him with my signature punch (ducking uppercut).

So far I recommend a purchase and the UK chart also says buy this game! As its No.1 :)
Posted 15:51 on 29 June 2009
guyderman's Avatar


surley the people who are complaing are the ones who sit there 'button bashing' the pad like there's no tomorrow.

I've never oncehad to 'Button Bash' using the face buttons as my fighter does what I intend for him to do. Playing using the sticks actually made me revert to the 'Bashing' style of gameplay as it was not as reliable to pull of the moves that you want to do - combo's are no where near as quick to pull off and countering is pure luck nine times out of ten.

I'm not trying to say that people shouldn't use the stick method - if they are comfortable with it then brilliant - just don't take the option away from people who are not comfortable with it.

For me it makes the game feel slow and too unpredictable - would people be happy playing a driving game if you could only play with a steering wheel?
Posted 17:15 on 27 June 2009
tyson's Avatar


I have been playing FNR4 for a day now, and its 100% better then FNR3.
Having to use the stick is not a problem, i dont see how it is, surley the people who are complaing are the ones who sit there 'button bashing' the pad like there's no tomorrow. Simply the best boxing out there now.
Graphics are stunning, and the gameplay is sweet as a nut, not to mention the online fighting too..11/10 from me peeps....
Posted 10:53 on 27 June 2009
El-Dev's Avatar

El-Dev@ ghostdog25

Maybe your naked eye can pick up a lot more than the those at Digital Foundry can with their tests.
Posted 03:22 on 27 June 2009
guyderman's Avatar


In all fairness maybe if EA had two different control system layouts for this game. Buttons and use of the analogue stick for FNR4, then everybody will be saying that FNR4 is the best

Exactly my point - I have no doubt that the game itself is better than FN3! It looks amazing!
Posted 00:48 on 27 June 2009
ghostdog25's Avatar

ghostdog25@ El-Dev

well I own PS3 and 360 and the 360 looked better by far on the demo compared to the PS3... so I bought it on 360. I have been playing the game non stop and hasn't frozen on me at all... NEVER.
Posted 22:44 on 26 June 2009
Wido's Avatar


Maybe so, but I think it has improved from FNR3. The use of the analogue stick to me makes the experience a lot better and adds more spice.

In all fairness maybe if EA had two different control system layouts for this game. Buttons and use of the analogue stick for FNR4, then everybody will be saying that FNR4 is the best ;)
Posted 21:43 on 26 June 2009
guyderman's Avatar


With the face buttons, yeah easy controls and it won't be a challenge...

More accesible controls - where it does what you want it to do when you want it to do it - does not make a boxing game easier if made correctly!

If it's only a challenge because there is a chance that 50% of the time your fighter does a haymaker instead of a hook then it's not a challenge I'm intrested in taking - I want the oponent to beat me because it's a better fighter than me - not because my fighter isn't doing the type of punch I want him to do.

Regardless of the people who will want to use the analogue sticks to box, there will be other people who will get frustrated with the controls and just give up and trade the game in.

FN3 held it's price for a long time and was actually quite hard to get hold of for a time as everyone kept the game to play again and again - I guarentee that no matter how good the game is on FN4, (and it looks amazing - I really want to play it!), this game will drop in price quite quickly and be making plenty of appearances in the pre-owned section if people don't like the control scheme.

An accesible control scheme is THE most important thing in a game! and the fact that the developer has taken away peoples choice of control is a massive mistake.
Posted 16:22 on 26 June 2009
Wido's Avatar


I like FNR4. Its feel more realistic and the use of your brains. With the face buttons, yeah easy controls and it won't be a challenge... The use of the analogue stick throwing off punches I personally think its a good way of playing a Boxing game.

Sales are still going to be strong for FNR4 besides people not wanting to pick it up because it doesn't suit for you.

Good review. I have got this game today alongside with Ghostbusters. I'm perfectly fine now till Oct :)
Posted 15:18 on 26 June 2009

Game Stats

Fight Night Round 4
Out of 10
Fight Night Round 4
  • Boxing is fast and smooth
  • Looks brilliant
  • Physics engine is superb
  • Legacy Mode feels a little soulless
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 26/06/2009
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3
Developer: Electronic Arts
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: Sports
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 2,064 269
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