Fight Night Round 4 (Demo): Issues and Impressions

Fight Night Round 4 CoverI got the news that EA’s Fight Night Round 4 dropped via joystiq and damn near jumped out my chair. EA has been running off at the mouth about how much better this game is than 3 and it looked great in the videos. Still hype isn’t worth anything if you can’t back it up. Naturally I downloaded the game on standby as I watched ball.

A couple of hours and a Cavs win later I got a chance to check out the demo. I opened it and saw the opening splash screen. I waited a few moments and nothing moved. Moments turned to minutes and I thought my xbox froze.

That wasn’t the case as I was able to navigate the blades and exit the demo. I thought it was a bad download so I deleted it, redownloaded it, and played some Bionic Commando Rearmed in the meantime (by the way it’s a dope game for $5, get it while it’s on sale!) It’s finished downloading and it STILL doesn’t work.

Then I heard that there’s a problem with how it loads. Apparently you have to sign in but not be connected online in order to play it. I tried it this afternoon. It worked! Still that’s an ass backwards way to play a demo. My cuzzo also told me that clearing your cache fixes the problem. TeamXbox provided a code to clear out your cache here. Here’s the code for the lazy:

Go to the system blade and then select memory.
Press Y on the HD symbol and then press X,X,Left Bumper, Right Bumper, X,X. Once you do this a messsage will appear saying: Do you want to perform maintenance on your Xbox 360 storage devices?

Performing this function will also clear any software updates.

I haven’t used this method yet but I’ll give it a shot.

Anyway on to the actual game play. It starts off with a quick tutorial then you get to relive the Hatton/Pacquiao fight from earlier this month. Naturally I picked Pacquiao and went to work. This game plays very different from 3. You can’t use the buttons to fight anymore. All the punches are on the stick and the right bumper works as a modifier for uppercuts and haymakers. The game is a much closer representation of boxing than it’s predecessor in that it doesn’t use that tired parry system from the last game. Now you have to actually time your blocks and dodges and counter punch to be successful. You can even block, dodge, or even counter a counter attempt depending on the punch and your reflexes. Additionally,the game doesn’t focus on hooks and haymakers as much anymore.

The controls felt kind’ve weird at first but I got my head around them within my first fight. It’s a challenge to dodge and time blocks correctly for counters but it’s satisfying to pull these maneuvers off. The game looks great too. Manny looks eerily like his real life counterpart. Hatton doesn’t look as accurate but he sure is just as ugly as his actual face. Difficulties aside I had mad fun with the demo and I  only lost (by decision mind you) once. It’s funny that the fight after that I knocked Hatton’s ass out but he got up after 6 seconds. I can’t wait to up that gamefly for the full version. I’ll run through this demo even more in the meantime.

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