When it hit the Xbox 360 back in February, Fight Night Round 3 was the most impressive-looking game most people had ever seen. The boxers verged on photorealistic, and the knockouts - which featured slow-motion hits to faces that rippled and sprayed blood-tinged spit - were disgustingly awesome. It was, in short, a hard act to follow, especially for a console that claims to be $200 better than the 360.
Maybe it's the extra 10 months that went into the game's development, or maybe the PS3 really is as powerful as it claims. Whatever the case, the PS3 version of Fight Night Round 3 noticeably improves on the 360 version. The colors are more lifelike, and the boxers are a lot more detailed than ever, with twitching veins, expressive faces and rippling layers of muscle that shift and move under their increasingly sweaty, bruised skins. (To see the two versions running side-by-side, hit the Movies tab and look for "360 vs PS3")
The game, however, is essentially the same - players flick and rotate the right analog stick around like a pair of fists to deliver punches and take their boxer to victory, preferably by knockout. There's more to this than punching, though; Fight Night comes closer than any other game to mimicking the strategy of boxing, capturing the careful ebb and flow of real matches almost perfectly. You'll need to think on your feet to survive, and knowing how and when to block, parry or dodge is as vital as landing haymakers to swollen eye sockets.
The learning curve is pretty steep, but with practice, you'll soon be throwing punches and defending yourself with almost no effort. And when you start landing freight-train punches that thud home with sickening crunches and snaps, it'll all be worth it.