Oct 25, 2007
We enjoyed the boxing minigame in Wii Sports, pounding away on friends, even if there wasn't much to the game. So a full boxing game on the Wii has been a tantalizing prospect. Having practiced on Wii Sports, and seeing that the default control scheme in Victorious Boxers: Revolution is essentially the same, we were all ready to go in swinging.
Instead, our boxer ducked. Then he dodged to the side. Then he threw a hook when we wanted to throw an uppercut. Sadly, you'd think a game that is only about boxing would improve on the less-than-perfect controls of Wii Sports. Instead, it's worse. Much worse.
The developers make it painfully obvious with their meticulous tips in the manual. They warn you not to shake the controller or make abrupt movements. Remember, you're not supposed to make abrupt movements when throwing a punch. Fine, we tried to play the game their way. We did smooth, gentle, careful motions (never mind it felt like fighting underwater). Uppercut. Uppercut. On screen: hook. Even barely tilting the remote and nunchuk back to dodge produces a straight punch. Huh?
Not only can you not get your boxer to do what you want, you can't see either. The camera is low and directly behind your boxer. While he is translucent, it's not nearly enough, making it really hard to see what your opponent is doing or to judge how far away they are. Then, the camera randomly rotates to the side so that your opponent is completely off the screen.
The story mode actually tells a story, which is nice. Yet the events that trigger the story elements don't make any sense. You'll hear your character saying how the opponent is throwing combo after combo, yet the opponent has barely attacked. Opponent difficulty feels random as well. After we got creamed by one guy three times in a row, suddenly he went down in three punches. Incidentally, these punches we threw are the game's only available body-blows, which can only be performed by ducking, and they very clearly hit well below the belt. The ref has no problem with that, though.
Once we gave up on the default controls and went with the old-school scheme, the game played decently. We still had the same chance of winning by punching randomly as by using strategy, but at least the boxer did the moves we told him to do. In the end, it's an otherwise serviceable boxing game on the Wii that doesn't work with the motion controls, which is the whole appeal of playing a boxing game on the Wii.