Fight Night 4: Old School Rules and Ring Rivalries

We chat with producer Brian Hayes to find out what the deal is behind Old School Rules and Ring Rivalries.

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The downloadable content for Fight Night Round 4 continues to roll out from the folk at EA Sports. In addition to a several paid DLC packs adding extra boxers to the game, EA has released free title updates, including the much-ballyhooed button controls to the game. The latest DLC, available in December, will include two new features: Old School Rules and Ring Rivalries. The DLC will be available for Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network next month and will cost 800 Microsoft points or $9.99, respectively. To learn more about the Old School Rules and Ring Rivalries feature, we recently chatted with Fight Night 4 gameplay producer Brian Hayes.

Tyson vs Holyfield.

GameSpot: Before we get to the details: How does EA Sports go about planning its DLC? Are these packs planned before the release of the game? Are they potential features that simply didn't make it into the final product? What determines whether or not a DLC pack is going to be released?

Brian Hayes: Yes and no. Prior to the release of the product, we make a tentative schedule of dates we'd like to release DLC, but the boxer list, game modes, and game updates aren't flushed out until we receive feedback from our users. We're in constant contact with our community members on the Fight Night 4 forums, and we use this information to determine the potential appetite and content for our DLC releases.

GS: What's the number-one request Fight Night 4 fans have had for DLC since the game's release?

BH: The biggest requests have been for boxers, and we do our best to go after the guys people are asking for, but as we have mentioned in the past, negotiating contracts with each fighter individually can be a tricky process.

GS: What is the Old School Rules mode? Are the fighters boxing bare knuckle?

BH: Old School Rules mimics the way people used to box before the establishment of the Marques's of Queensbury Rules. The fight is not divided into timed rounds; instead, the boxers only return to their corners for a break when one boxer is knocked down. Also, there is no judging; the winner is determined by the last man standing. In our game, the boxers are still wearing gloves. Modeling the hands and creating new physics collision volumes is a tricky endeavor. Bare knuckles will have to be something we look at if we update this mode in the future.

GS: With the ref only in there to count for knockdowns--and not stop the fights based on damage or penalize fighters for illegal blows--do these fights tend to go longer than a typical match?

BH: They tend to go a little bit longer than normal matches in my experience. But sometimes a single round can last a long time if neither boxer is able to put his opponent down. I've had fights go on for over 12 minutes before a knockdown is scored. It can be a real test of your endurance.

GS: Should you even bother with defense in an Old School Rules match? Is there a particular style that works well in this type of match?

BH: Defense is just as important as always. It's still the best way to create an opening for a big punch, which is a great way to hurt your opponent and put him on the floor. What really changes is the long-term strategy in these matches. Without regular round breaks, the boxers are unable to recover health and stamina the same way they do in normal matches. Coming out very aggressive can pay off, but if your opponent can weather the storm, he might have an advantage later on if you expend too much energy.

GS: What is the Ring Rivalries mode?

BH: Ring Rivalries is kind of a quickplay mode where we automatically select the boxers, venue, and round length to re-create some of the greatest rivalries of all time. With our roster of fighters, including boxers we have added via DLC, there is quite a list.

GS: How did you decide which fights should be part of this mode? Could more rivalry fights be added in the future via DLC?

BH: We just looked at our roster and identified which boxers had faced each other in compelling matchups previously and put them on the list.

GS: What are some of the standout ring rivalry matches in your opinion?

BH: Well, we have classics like Hagler-Hearns, Ali-Frazier, Tyson-Holyfield, Barrera-Morales, Morales-Pacquiao and controversial fights like Whitaker-Chavez. We even went out on a limb and put Pacquiao vs. Cotto on there. The fight is on November 14, and the DLC drops on December 3. We're thinking that some people are going to want to relive that fight no matter how it goes down in real life.

GS: Will the presentation differ for Ring Rivalry fights? If you win a deciding Ring Rivalries fight (such as Ali vs. Frazier III), will there be a special presentation or achievement attached to it?

BH: Unfortunately, no. We had difficulty securing the rights for imagery and archival footage that we wanted to incorporate.

GS: How are you handling boxer attributes between the different fights? Have you done anything to mimic the real-life pace or events of the actual fights (like the flurry of activity in the first round of Hagler vs. Hearns)?

BH: First off, the boxer attributes can vary from the attributes in normal Fight Now mode. For example, in Ali-Frazier I, we give Frazier a little bump and Ali a little dip in ratings to mimic where they were in their careers. For Ali-Frazier III, we give them both little adjustments from their ratings in the first fight. Another example would be some of the earlier Pacquiao fights; we have to adjust his ratings to be on par with the weight class he was in at the time and not drop him in as a welterweight juggernaut against a little Erik Morales.

As far as the AI is concerned, it's always up to the users to do their part. If you go into Hagler vs. Hearns and start running and hiding, then the AI is going to adapt to that behavior, and it won't necessarily play out like it did in real life. It takes two to tango, as they say.

GS: Thanks for your time, Brian.

Discussion

32 comments
croweyp
croweyp

i agree absolutely awesome. More and more old boxers everytime. None better than Joe Calzaghe, best fight night round 4 character

undead39
undead39

this game just gets better and better every time they come out with one this game get 5 stars in my book!!!

aaronemilio
aaronemilio

they need to add some taunts like in round 3 and have any wieght fight another weight, they also should update stats for some boxers like pacquiao and tyson or allow gamers to do it ourselves and when we fight online have it reset to default stats to have online fair play.

Doolz2024
Doolz2024

Instead of an illegal blow, you should be able to press B when you're Tyson to bite Holyfield's ear!

snake3rules
snake3rules

EA should burn for all the dlc ripoffs theyve released this year for every sports game they make ... its pathetic and offensive abuse of their consumer base ... If that merger or whatever goes through, I can see why MS and EA would be good bedfellows....

ohjtbehaaave
ohjtbehaaave

RIP OFF!!! I love FN4... but these should be game modes on the Disc when it ships! When did game makers all of a sudden decide that $60 was not enough to charge for a game... and via DLC a game could cost you well over $100 dollars!!! Tiger 10 is ridiculous if your dumb enough to pay $7 bucks for new courses. I'm really getting tired of devs "Holding Back" content we should be getting on the disc... and then charging us for though DLC! It's a total Scam... total turnoff... and totally entering dangerous waters to the point we are being so ripped off by the gaming industry we just might go find a new hobby! The DLC scam is something that could kill the gaming Industry one day if enough people get fed up with it.

houdeany
houdeany

it would be awesome to have bare-knuckle. Only problem is that they'd have to adjust the damage, and cutting stats to like 200. And they'd also have to add in new sounds for the skin on skin contact.

pilot_riaz
pilot_riaz

Cost 800 Microsoft points or $9.99 Why does Gamespot always put this in dollars? I thought Gamespot.com is UK based? The reviewers on here never sound American Why they never put £?

owen666
owen666

Old School should be bare knuckle

chenzo22
chenzo22

is that a created version of holyfield? i can't find him on the game at all. how do i get him?

harrysboy
harrysboy

Not heard one thing worth paying for, just a lot of useless features that you don't notice when your using them. As one guy said earlier tattoos would be a good option or at least a really in depth editor, u know maybe more than 10 haircuts!

jerkface96
jerkface96

Tyson ear biting jokes never get old.......

zaiwen
zaiwen

pacquiao's the man, & come this Saturday.. he's still the MAN

SpideR_CentS
SpideR_CentS

WestSideAzn - If you have a gamecrazy near you (or anyone else thats looking for this game on the cheap) its only $19.99 I think.

punchultimate
punchultimate

@psycho325 i disagree. the gameplay is much smoother in 4 imo. i really hated how you had to parry punches in 3. it didnt make any sense and if you were parried then you couldnt do anything but get hit. in 4 it's a bit more realistic because if you dodge or block it makes the other boxer get out of step and you have an opening to hit them. of course this is just my opinion. both games are good fun

psycho325
psycho325

personally i wasnt impressed about 4 and the fact that they are adding content to it suprises me. 3 was better hands down. the gameplay was much more fluid than 4.

ej1041
ej1041

I hope they change their minds and give us this update for free!! lol

ej1041
ej1041

manny pacquiao. that is all I need.

mattguy_c
mattguy_c

I WANT MY TATTOOS!!! AAAGH! That's it, I'm going to Gamestop right now and selling this stupid game. I've been patient. I posted politely on forums. I sent a kindly worded email to the developers.I even threw a brick through the company's window. I'm sure I'll be sorely missed, but EA will have to go on without my support. Farewell, Fight Night 4. We had some good times back in 2 and 3, but you're a cold-hearted b**** who ripped my heart out. Never again.

Xxann
Xxann

if they ever do release bare knuckle fighting that is gonna be so bad ass to watch the slow-mo

GoddBless
GoddBless

Sounds cool and new boxers are always welcome.

chesucks
chesucks

Damn, I wanted to fight bare knuckle. :-(

tremor33
tremor33

I've been waiting for this one to hit the bargain bin... any day now...

sleepychicken
sleepychicken

How are these two things being charged for? New boxers, new venues, etc... ok, but a round timer option and a quick match feature? Sorry, but these things should be in the game or be a free update.