Looking for a fighting game on the PS2 that's actually good? Well, you've found one. Def Jam Fight For New York is a great example of a multiplayer phenomenon.
Basically, the story is about a gang leader called D-mob, who gets arrested for managing an illegal fighting syndicate. He gets taken away in a police car when suddenly, you collide into them at high speed. The two cops with D-mob are critically injured, but you manage to take D-mob back to his gang. After that, one of the cops is back at the police station and describing who drove into them, this acts as the character creation section. With your created character, you then choose a fighting style (they range from kickboxing, street fighting, martial arts, wrestling and submissions) and begin the tutorial, which teaches you basic moves such as grappling, strikes, haymakers and your finishing move. Once you complete the tutorial, you earn some money and a place of your own. Your career starts here.
This is one of the best looking games on the PS2. Visuals look tidy with some excellent effects. It also has a smooth frame rate for most of the game which allows for some very brutal multiplayer fights, something that I am a fan of. Now at first, the controls can become a headache to some who are just getting in to the fighting genre, but fighting regulars won't have any trouble. Moving your character feels responsive, as well as the attacks, unless you spam them. Spamming the controls can cause them to lag a bit.
As you fight, you will earn cash depending on how well you do. To get more cash, perform combos, get the first hit, etc. Cash can be spent on clothes, haircuts, tattoos and jewellery for your character. You also gain development points. These can be used in the gym to upgrade your skills, learn new finishers and learn more fighting styles (you can learn a maximum of three). During the story mode, there are different venues for you to fight in. Usually, you're goal is to defeat 3 fighters before you face the champion of that venue. Some venues host free for all tournaments.
There aren't very many problems with the game. Sometimes the camera can zoom out too far, but that isn't a major issue. What annoys me, however, is the difficulty. Easy is FAR too easy, medium is hard and hard is insane. This makes for some unbalanced fights, so choose the difficulty you feel best with. Also, when you beat the game (which is quite short) there isn't much to do afterwards. There are a few FFA tournaments, but they're virtually over in 20 minutes. The major thing to do is to play free fight, which to be honest gets boring after a long while.
Def Jam Fight For New York is a fantastic fighting game for the PS2. With great gameplay, soundtrack and controls, you'll be laying the smack down in no time.