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February 1, 2004
Fight Night 2004 - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
13/5/2004EA SportsEA Canada1-2$99.95

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Boxing never looked so good.
Boxing games are always an interesting breed. Typically, most fail due simply to their "button mashing" gameplay. He who hits the punch button the most usually wins. In recent years, however, Electronic Arts have gone against that trend by releasing some fantastic titles in their Knockout Kings brand. Indeed, Knockout Kings 2002 was possibly the best boxing game of all time. But that game was released almost two years ago now and for a while it seemed like Electronic Arts had lost interest in the sport. Not so. Much like their recently released SSX3 the company has take some time and totally re-tooled the game.

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Caesars Palace!
Built from the ground up to deliver all the drama and pageantry of a heavyweight title bout, Fight Night 2004 is the most authentic boxing experience to date, sporting a dramatic new-school attitude, a dynamic new cinematic approach, and revolutionary boxing gameplay. The key to this title will be the all-new analogue controls, which removed the need to use the digital buttons, which Electronic Arts have been promising. Apparently this will allow complete accurate control over your fighter including the choice of the type of punch, how hard to throw it and where to land it. An all-new defensive system also allows players full body control including the ability to bob, lean, weave and duck.

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Taunting the opponent.
Once again Electronic Arts have secured the rights to use 32 fighters such as current boxers Roy Jones Jr., Shane Moseley, and Lennox Lewis, while legendary fighters include the likes of Mohammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Sugar Ray Leonard. It will be possible to use any of the fighters in the lengthy career mode. An in-depth create-a-boxer and career modes let players create themselves in the game and work their way up the ranks from chump to champ, picking up sponsors, upgrading skills, and traveling the world in pursuit of the big payday.

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Faces deform with punches.
One of the best new additions to this game will be the online gameplay. Given EA's removal of online gameplay in other titles for PAL territories we may not know if this is included until the last minute - but it will be in the American game for sure.

Graphically, Fight Night 2004 looks impressive. The crowds are all in 3D adn will apparently react realistically to the action in the ring, and can even apparently influence the judges. Using a realistic physics engine the boxers will sustain injuries during the fights and no two knockdowns will ever be alike. Another new feature is the ability to create your own ring entrance. Assemble an entourage, choose your theme music, select your pyrotechnics, and set the tone for the fight to follow.

Fight Night 2004 is shaping up as a great title from Electronic Arts. The two years, or more, development since Knockout Kings 2002 has been put to good use with some wonderful additions. Expect a release in May.