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September 27, 2004
Def Jam Fight For NY - Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
24/9/2003EA GamesAKI Corp.1-4MA15+Medium
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen
313KBDolby PLIIYesNoNoneNo

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Character models are impressive.
To be honest I was never impressed with the original Def Jam Vendetta. While we never reviewed the title here at Future Gamez we did play it. As a fighting game it fell flat, the characters were OK, but not great and the entire game just seemed a little dull. With that in mind our anticipation of this sequel was well, virtually nill. How exciting it was then to discover that this is one of the most impressive fighting games for years with a solid storyline, stunning graphics and more upgrades and options then you can poke a stick at. Fans of the series will love this game to death, those not interested in the series would do well to at the very least check this game out.

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Check out the clothing.
The ruthless gangster D-Mob has escaped from police custody and returns home to find his stranglehold on the New York underground fight club circuit threatened by brutal newcomer Crow (played by none other then Snoop Dogg). As one of D-Mob's crew, it's time to step up and take Crow down. Succeed and the world is yours. Fail and... well, you don't want to fail.

Def Jam Fight For NY delivers the biggest stars and the hottest music. Throughout the game's gritty Story Mode, players will encounter more than 40 of today's most recognizable hip-hop artists and personalities. These artists include such legends as Busta Rhymes, Carmen Electra, Flava Flav, Ghostface, Ice T, Kimora Lee Simmons, Joe Budden, Lil' Kim, Ludacris, Method Man, Redman, Slick Rick, and of course Snoop Dogg. The game also includes an over-the-top soundtrack loaded with hot new tracks and old school hits from Def Jam and beyond.

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4-player battles.
No matter the storyline or features a fighting game is only going to be as good as the fighting engine. This sequel includes an entirely new fighting engine, and while no where near as complex as Namco's Soul Calibur or Tekken titles, this is certainly one of the better games. Not only can you punch, kick, block and run around the arenas, but you can also grapple, throw, pick up and use weapons special moves and power attacks. It's even possible to use the environments as weapons, smash your opponents against walls, or the crowd (who will also randomly attack fighters given the opportunity). Developers AKI have also include five different fighting styles to master - street fighting, kickboxing, martial arts, submission, and wrestling. It is even possible to select three of these styles to blend them together.

The story mode is quite lengthy with around 10 hours of gameplay at lease and is three times the length of the original Def Jam Vendetta with more then 90 fights in 20-plus venues. During this mode the fights can be one-on-one, two-on-two where you team up with another character or a free for all with 4 fighters battling until the last man standing.

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Slammed against the wall.
Of course this game allows you to create-a-player where you can create a character and through the course of the Story mode add new clothes, jewelry, haircuts, tattoos and fighting abilities.

There are some niggles with the game. Firstly the different clothes and jewelry which you can purchase seem to have little impact on the game - interesting seeing as the game keeps commenting how it will improve your street cred. In the fighting the real problem comes in the battles with multiple opponents in the ring. Locking onto opponents is done with the L2 buton, but then stays with them even if another fighter comes at you from another angle. Finally, there is no online gameplay which is a real shame. Certainly this game was perfectly suited for it if ever there was one.

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A flying kick...
One thing which you can't quite see from these screenshots is the quality of the graphics, and in fact animation, in this game. It looks simply splendid with lively arenas and blood splattering everywhere. Even the cut scenes look splendid with all the characters modeled with great accuracy.

Sound in Def Jam Fight For NY is headlined by the superb soundtrack which is provided by many of the artists that appear in this title. The voice work is also pretty cool with much coming during the voice mail which you receive after fights to flesh out the characters. The sound effects are probably more brutal then any fighting game before it - it's just so realistic. I pity the numerous EA employees that had their arms broken to record the sound for this game! All this is supported with Dolby Pro Logic II.

Overall Def Jam Fight For NY is a stunning game. I loved it. If you love hip-hop/rap music and fighting games then I can't see any real reasons why you wouldn't purchase this game.

Review By: David Warner

GRAPHICSThe fighters and levels look great, and the animation smooth.
SOUNDYou'd better like the this music, speech is great, effects brutal.
GAMEPLAYThe fighting isn't the deepest, but is good enough to get you back.
VALUEIt will take you hours to unlock everything, and more to collect it all!
OVERALLDef Jam Fight For NY is one of the most entertaining games play in some time. There are a couple of niggles but this should keep fans playing for weeks. A recommended purchase.

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