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Def Jam Fight for NY: The Takeover review

A record label's worth of hip-hop artists turn out for a no-holds-barred beatdown


  • Console action perfectly preserved
  • Sweet visuals and real rapper voices
  • Arenas
  • opponents can be smashed up


  • Long-ass load times
  • Asinine story and dialogue
  • Static cutscenes? Boo to that

First, the bad news: if you're looking for the same immersive plot that helped make rapper-filled smackfest Def Jam: Fight for NY compelling, you won't find it in Def Jam Fight for NY: The Takeover. Not only is The Takeover a side story (or maybe a prequel - it's unclear) to Fight for NY, but the narrative unfolds exclusively through text messages and old-style static cutscenes. And it doesn't really go anywhere interesting until near the end.

So forget the story. The story is stupid, inconsequential and filled with laughable, sub-Street Fighter dialogue like "Looks like the only thing that'll shut yo mouth are my fists!" You'll still want to create your own fighter and wade into the single-player mode, of course, but it's the slick, surprisingly deep fighting that'll keep you riveted - not the endless, repetitive arguments about who owns what street.

If you've played Fight for NY,you'll be impressed by how little has changed. The Takeover still delivers what Def Jam fans have come to expect: real-life rappers and fictional scrappers facing off in a cross between a wrestling game and a Tekken -style martial-arts fighter. What's surprising is that it does it almost as lavishly as its console cousins. As before, you'll be able to create your own wet-behind-the-ears brawler, eventually tricking him out with new clothes, fresh bling, tattoos and even hairstyles. You'll also be able to learn new moves and martial-arts styles, which in turn let you combine up to three styles to make new ones (Martial Arts plus Submissions and Wrestling, for example, makes Drunken Kung-Fu).

More Info

DescriptionIn spite of the long load times and dumb-ass dialogue, this is one of the deepest, slickest, most balls-out violent handheld fighters ever made.
Franchise nameDef Jam
UK franchise nameDef Jam
US censor ratingMature
Release date29 August 2006 (US), (UK)