Fight Night Champion - Your Questions Answered

Giancarlo and Shaun answer reader questions about EA’s latest boxing sim.

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A couple of weeks ago, we, your humble GameSpot editors, put the word out that we had just gotten a copy of Fight Night Champion and were on the lookout for some questions from our readers. Well, after a short delay (sorry for the wait!), we’re here to answer some of the most interesting questions you guys sent our way. The questions ranged from nitty-gritty control details to someone pondering how Chuck Norris would do if he played the game--he’s really more of a MySims Sky Heroes guy to tell you the truth. We’ll do our best to give you a good idea of what’s in store without spoiling the upcoming review. On to the answers!

chriswolves1 asks: Are you able to "chase down" your opponent? In the previous game when you hurt someone, all they had to do was keep backing away till they recovered, and if your guy was slower, you couldn't catch up to them. Is there an ability to almost run, or speed up to get to cut off the ring?

Giancarlo says: There are a couple things that happen when opponents are on the verge of being knocked out. In some cases, they'll actually be dazed, which not only makes it difficult for them to move, but it also makes it easier to close in and deliver the knockout. We have run into a few instances where they've been able to back off and avoid the knockout, but it seems like AI opponents aren't afraid to go for the clinch and wait it out that way.

khaspe asks Will you be able to feint punches and punch in the clinch?

Giancarlo says: You can't feint punches and you can't punch in the clinch. This iteration of Fight Night really seems to encourage fighting smart and making sure that each punch you make is deliberate and not a result of mashing buttons. If you do start mashing, your boxer's just going to start flailing away, leaving him open to counterattacks. It also pays to change things up, so while you can't feint punches, you can certainly try to confuse your opponent with different strategies.

kornkid606 asks: Have they added anything to the single-player career mode to make it feel like more than just a stat grind?

Shaun says: EA isn’t letting us get into all the details of the new Champion mode, but suffice it to say that it’s a much different sort of career mode from what you’ve seen in previous Fight Nights. It’s a much more cinematic take on the rise of a boxer, complete with cutscenes and a story penned by the dude who wrote Monster’s Ball (no word yet on whether Billy Bob Thornton makes a cameo).

jjjrrr11211 asks: Can I make the character look like me down to the tee?

Giancarlo says: In the Legacy mode, you can either edit a preexisting boxer in the lineup or you can create your own. If you want to create a Fight Night doppelganger, then you can use the Xbox Vision camera or download a photo to put your own face in the game. If that's not really an option, then you can use a series of template heads and change things like hairstyle, facial hair, side burns--the usual stuff. However, there aren't any sort of sliders or other options to change the finer details.

SPuDl asks: Can we still low blow?

Giancarlo says: You certainly can. If you use it too many times over the course of a match, you'll get disqualified.

mrfahrenheit94 asks: What kinds of improvements are there from FNR4 in terms of physics and animations?

Shaun says: The first thing you’ll notice about Fight Night Champion is that this game looks downright pretty. The character models are more detailed, the lighting more realistic, and the whole thing just looks a lot slicker. In terms of physics, there are things like more realistic muscle and fat effects, like the way your characters cheeks ripple on a slow-mo replay of him getting totally knocked out. As for animations, we didn’t really notice any drastic upgrades like we did with the character models.

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mysterious_13 asks: Will the control button scheme to use button pushes instead of analog stick movement for punching be included at the time of launch--not in a later patch?

Giancarlo says: Yes. It will be available right out of the gate. Button punching is nice if you want more precision out of your punches, but I actually found myself going back and forth between the two during various fights. I found that using the second analog stick for some combinations feels a little more natural.

invert48 asks: Did they fix the problem that no matter how late in the fight or how little health you have left if you get knocked down only once you will be able to get up almost instantly? Also, are the flash knockdowns completely random like last time or are they actually based on how hard the punch was thrown?

Giancarlo says: From what I've seen so far, if your stamina is still pretty high, you won't have a problem getting up after the first knockdown. But if you get knocked down in a late round or a second and third time in separate rounds, it becomes much harder to get back up quickly. As for flash knockdowns--the ones I've seen require a pretty clean, strong punch, but they still seem pretty random. Still, you probably won't knock anyone out with a random jab.

Master_I asks: Is EA going to continue its "online activation" (needing to type a code to play online and buy a code if it's a preown) on this title, and continue it with others?

Shaun says: It looks like it. When we first booted up the game, we were prompted to enter our Online Pass code to access what the game calls “premium online features.”

trifecta2k asks: Do fights actually last long? Does the new stamina stuff actually play a factor? In the last game, I rarely made it past round 4. I don't think I ever saw a decision.

Giancarlo says: Many of the fights I've played in the Legacy mode have gone the full number of rounds to a decision, and even some of the exhibition matches with well-known boxers have gone well beyond the fourth round.

multiplat asks: Is this Kinect or Move enabled?

Giancarlo says: Nope.

Pauly28 asks: Will there be purses in career mode? Maybe use that money towards training, corner men, intros, clothing, etc.

Shaun says: Yep! There will be purses in Legacy mode. We didn’t get far enough to get a good sense of all the different uses for money in the career mode, but EA is hinting at some “out of plan expenses” that you might not normally predict. We’ll see what that means!

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Rabz3174 asks: In career mode, are the training simulations worth doing this time around or are they impossible just like FN4? I actually want to build my fighters stats up rather than always simulating because they're so damn hard.

Giancarlo says: In the brief amount of time I've spent with the Legacy mode, I haven't had any trouble with most of the minigames. There were a few moments where it wasn't expressly clear what exactly I was doing wrong, but that seemed to fade after a few minutes.

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