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Traversing The Ring In Boxing Video Games

Muhammid Ali The Greatest Of All Time

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You can step in any direction at a few options of measured pace, or you can fully commit to bigger charges, dashes, and side steps.

A lot depends on the pressure used on the directional movement stick 

Depending on the game you’re playing and the control scheme you select, you need to know how to move. EA established a precedent of control schemes in boxing games when they were pretty much the only ones making them. Now that they’re out of the game, the field is wide open for new boxing video game control scheme experiments. Even so, there are just a very few developers who see the value in investing in the creation of a new boxing video game.

Boxing Game Control Schemes

Even though it’s intuitive to learn in most boxing video games, in others there’s more to movement than might be readily apparent. By today in 2023, boxing video games seem to have lots of similarities in controls; Fight Night Champion basically uses a more forgiving and user friendly version of the control scheme they released in Round 4. That course change in control scheme significantly changed the gameplay in Champion toward “fighting game” and away from “boxing simulation.”

Steel City Interactive’s Undisputed is a hybrid of many possible approaches to a boxing video game, and their selection of control scheme is indicative of this. Undisputed, in an attempt to capture the acrobatic flashiness of outboxers without sacrificing midrange fighting, incorporates a toggle to select movement speed.

Toggling between two control schemes in a boxing video game is less than ideal; it could work, but it’s bound to be a little clunky. It sacrifices infighting, and renders subtle speed changes impossible to incorporate in combinations. Toggling between three, to include an infighting toggle option?

That would border on unplayably complex.

Difficult controls are what prevent most from wanting to play a difficult, simulation style boxing game. But what would be the point in making a non-simluation arcade style boxing game – with horribly difficult, counterintuitive controls?

At least Steel City Interactive appears wary of that pitfall. In the latest release of Undisputed, infighting still looks a little stiff, but it’s still much better than footage they’ve released of previous iterations of their project.

Walk Before You Run

In Fight Night Round 4, each fighter has a foot speed stat that indicates the maximum speed at which a fighter is capable of moving around the ring. This statistical rating can be effected by the physical dimensions of the fighter, his age, and his training performance, among other factors.

Instead of separate “loose” and “tight” control schemes with a toggle button, Fight Night Round 4 allows methodical stalking, galloping, and darting, all on one stick. To move at your maximum foot speed, hold the movement stick fully in any direction. To walk at any slower speed, just don’t push the stick all the way.

You can step in any direction at a few options of measured pace, or you can fully commit to bigger charges, dashes, and side steps. A lot depends on the pressure used on the directional movement stick. Conserving energy, guaging positions accurately and countering the movements of the opponent are important to landing cleanly – and preventing him from doing so.

Fight Night Round 4 Movement Controls

The directional stick affords 360 degrees of input, allowing movement in every direction. It’s completely up to you how quickly you move in any direction.

To move left, push the movement stick upward. You can tap up to initiate a sidestep pivot.

To move right push the movement stick downward. You can tap down to initiate a sidestep pivot.

To move back, push the movement stick left. Tap left to quickly dash back a short distance.

To move forward, push the movement stick right. Tap the stick right to take a quick step forward.

Moving laterally (using the up/down controls) actually causes you to circle the opponent slightly as you step in either direction. If an opponent were to stand completely still in the center of the ring, technically you could walk around them in a circle by holding up or down. You can see this effect when you train on the double-end bag.

Did you find this boxing video game guide helpful? Do you think a 3-way toggle for movement would be too confusing? Let us know in the comments below what boxing games have the best mechanics for moving around the ring.

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