Fight Night Round 4 Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3
Round 4 is a solid improvement on Round 3
Round 4 is a solid improvement on Round 3

Round 4 is a solid improvement on Round 3

When it comes to beat 'em ups I'm not an expert. I can throw a dragon punch and make Blanka electrocute people, but that's more or less it. Boxing games are different though. For whatever reason a boxing match feels more tactical - it's a sport not a video game. Of course, hardcore Street Fighter fans will argue that their game is far more tactical, but in Fight Night Round 4 one wrong move can see your fully fit brawler hitting the canvas as if he's just been sniped from the top tier. There's no Sonic Boom to the face, just a solid upper cut to the chin.

Fight Night Round 3 set a new visual benchmark on its release three years ago, but it was the total punch control, with your boxer's hooks, jabs, uppercuts and more all performed with a flick of the right analogue stick that made it stand out. It was far from perfect though, and many people switched to the more traditional button control scheme. EA has refined this system to make it far smoother in Round 4 and as a result there's no option to use buttons - it's total stick control or nothing.

Jabs are performed by flicking the right stick diagonally forward left or right, hooks are straight movements to the right or left then up, and uppercuts are diagonal down and then round to up. On top of this there's a full set of body punches, performed by holding down the Left Trigger/L2 and flicking the stick straight in one of six directions. Haymakers are now performed in combination with Right Bumper/R2, you can throw a signature punch with A/X, an illegal blow with B/Circle and clinch/push away with Y/Triangle.

It's all incredibly intuitive and rarely will you try to throw one punch and perform another. Perhaps more crucial to the gameplay is the defensive side of the controls. Your boxer's movement is mapped to the left stick, and it's essential to get into the optimal position for your fighter's style: up close if you want to get in your opponent's face, or from distance if you've got a long reach and want to control the fight with your jabs. Dodging is performed by holding Left Trigger/L1 and moving the left stick in the desired direction, blocking is Right Trigger/R1 and the right stick, and you can weave by moving the left stick down or up and then round and towards your opponent.

Train hard to get into shape for your next fight

Train hard to get into shape for your next fight

This is it as far as the basics are concerned, but simply throwing some punches and randomly moving your head about won't get you very far. The key to a successful fight is timing. Time a dodge so that your opponent swings and misses and you'll gain a split-second opening that will allow you to counter punch, potentially stunning him. The same is true for a well-timed block, again giving you a small window to counter punch in. A successful counter punch will cause a momentary yellow glow and if you're lucky will throw your opponent back in a dazed state.

When stunned your opponent won't regenerate health so they're highly susceptible to being knocked down. In this state your opponent's movement is also slower, their punches are less accurate and their blocks aren't as water tight. This makes a quick flurry of attacks essential, or in the reverse a quick retreat with your gloves raised the only viable strategy. A fight may be moving along completely in your favour, but the counter mechanic means that it only takes a small misjudgement to find yourself on the back foot and against the ropes.

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User Comments

djohnson77's Avatar

djohnson77

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

guyderman

Quote:
in Career Mode the mini-games are a bit of a drag...fun 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

justbrett

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 drag...fun 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

Wido

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

guyderman

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

hotwadd

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

Wido

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

guyderman

Quote:
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

tyson

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

guyderman

Quote:
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

Wido

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

guyderman

Quote:
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

Wido

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
9
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: 2,010 436
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