We got our hands on a demo version of a little-known but impressive Dreamcast boxing game in Japan.
While we've gotten a chance to play only a demo version of Victorious boxers, it's easy to see that the game's design has been greatly influenced by its comic book counterpart, or at least on the surface. Once you begin playing and learn the intricate control scheme, Victorious Boxers will seem more like a hard-core simulation.
Easily one of the most impressive aspects of Victorious Boxers is its unusual control scheme, which lets you move your fighter and throw punches, all the while bobbing and weaving. Never before has a boxing game offered such all-encompassing controls. You can use the analog sticks to bob and weave while the buttons and shoulder buttons control your fighter's punches. The fighters, to a certain extent, stay automatically focused on one another, which lets you simply concentrate on your footwork and combinations. While a little awkward at first, the game's control scheme quickly becomes second nature.
The AI of the computer opponents is extremely advanced, and not only because they all pack a bigger wallop than your fighter or can withstand more of a beating, but also because they actually react to your punches and movement within the ring. You'll see the fighters duck, parry your punches, and even land counterpunches of their own.
Graphically, the game looks as though it's shaping up quite nicely. The character models of the boxers are all very smooth, and they look incredibly faithful to their comic book counterparts. While Victorious Boxers isn't the best-looking game we've seen on the PS2 so far, the game certainly looks sharp, thanks to details like facial expressions, which show the fighters grimace with pain when they are struck by a punch. Moreover, the fighters' faces actually swell up during the course of the bout to accurately reflect damage inflicted by opponents. Aside from the details and nice lighting effects, the game's animation of the fighters is impeccable - the way they move, throw punches, and react to punches is extremely realistic. Most impressive is the footwork of the boxers in the ring in that they actually look as though their feet are making contact with the mat and not just sliding over the mat, as we've seen in countless other games. All this action can be seen from tons of different camera angles, such as first- and third-person views as well as from multiple positions within the ring.
While we'll have to reserve judgement until we get a final version of the game, we can see from the trial version that the development team at New really knows the physics and fun of boxing.