March 5, 2001
There hasn't really been too many boxing games of late. Of course the Dreamcast and Playstation 2 have had the delight that is Ready 2 Rumble: Round 2, but that can hardly be called a realistic boxing game. Fortunately for boxing fans EA look set to fill the game quite nicely with this game, Knockout Kings 2001. Is it any good? Only time will tell, but it certainly looks impressive and EA are promising a lot of improvements over past games in the series. Did somebody say female boxers?
Possibly the biggest change in the game is the addition of some of the best female boxers in the world. You can select from female fighters such as Mia St. John and Lucia Rijker to go toe to toe in the ring. To say that EA have included the best male boxers in the world would be an understatement. You can choose from legends such as Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Roberto Duran, Marvin Hagler, Rocky Marciano, Joe Louis and Julio Cesar Chavez to name a few. Current fighters such as Lennox Lewis, Floyd Mayweather, and Michael Grant will also make an appearance.
As with most boxing games the career mode will likely supply the longevity in the title, and Knockout Kings 2001 looks like being no exception. Training is essential to any boxer and you will learn how to counter-punch, block, and throw combinations. Rival boxers will stalk you through your career. Each boxer can have his/her own style, which you can select when creating your own boxer. Some of the boxing styles include the "Crab" style to fight like Ken Norton, or the "Freestyle" mode made famous by Muhammad Ali. For those of you wanting a large offense you will be best off going for the "Slugger" style that Rocky Marciano made famous.
Knockout Kings 2001 also features a new way to throw blows called Dynamic Punch Control. This allows you to control every punch in a combination, and it helps the boxer create and throw limitless new punch combinations. The game also includes new and improved "signature moves" give individual boxers there own knockout punch, or defensive move that leaves the opponent swinging at air.
Knockout Kings 2001 looks simply amazing. EA Sports have combined state-of-the-art 3D body mapping technology, motion-capture expertise, and the stunning graphic capabilities of the PlayStation 2 console to produce the most realistic looking boxers ever. Each fighter is made up of up to 10,000 polygons to give them a realistic look. Sound-wise Knockout Kings 2001 should also prove itself with the commentary being provided by Max Kellerman, Al Bernstein and Teddy Atlas. Mills Lane and Richard Steel referee the matches while Jimmy Lennon Jr. announces the fighters.
Knockout Kings 2001 looks like yet another winner from Electronic Arts. This is one of their newer sports titles, FIFA is almost a decade old now, but looks no less impressive. While the sport has lost a lot of its respectability these days who can deny that great fighters such as Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier weren't genuine. With some knockout graphics and promising gameplay this looks like a winner.