September 22, 2000
With this year E3 show now long gone it was a pleasant surprise to see so many people commending Midway's Ready 2 Rumble on Dreamcast. Many people voted it the game of the show for Dreamcast. High praise with the like of Sonic Adventure, Shen Mue and Virtua Fighter 3 : TB also on display.
Boxing games have been a mixed bag in the past. The last boxing game I really enjoyed was 4D Sports Boxing on the PC about 6 years ago. But Midway seem to be heading in the right direction with Ready 2 Rumble. This isn't a simulation of the sport, it's and arcade style game, fast and furious.
Midway are promising between 16-20 fighters in the game, and will include females boxers as well. As with most fighting games these days, each fighter will have their own attributes such as speed, stamina and strength. But with names such as Afro Thunder, "Big" Willie Johnson and Tank Thrasher I wouldn't take this game too seriously.
One of the most striking features of the game is the graphics. Unlike a lot of other games this game is being developed on the Dreamcast, and then ported to the PSX and N64. Some of the effects in the game are amazing. The lighting comes from overhead as in real boxing rings and as the boxers receive damage it appear on their bodies by way of cuts and bruises.
There is another interesting part to this game. The "Rumble" aspect. During a fight if your fighter spells out R-U-M-B-L-E he (or she) is given super moves to attack your opponent. These letters are given to your boxer when a punch is landed while still at full stamina.
Ready 2 Rumble should be an amazing title when it is released this year. Whether or not it sells enough copies to become a hit remains to be seen, but at this stage it looks like a contender.