Fight Night Champion looks to reinvent the genre that it helped to define in the simulation realm. The demo shows off the new graphics, new controls, and the new style.

The game’s roster is set to be the most comprehensive yet, but the demo is limited to 4 fighters, two for the welterweights and two for heavyweights. The two heavyweights, Ali and Tyson are clearly the centerpiece of the demo while Pacquiao and Cotto are simply in for some variety.

The game looks simply amazing, and every detail is spot on. The experience is as close to a boxing match as you can get without buying a ticket. Damage looks convincing, and some punches will make you flinch as they turn a face to jelly. Prepare to see blood on your boxing glove, lots of it.

The game features a “Fight Now” option as well as an online component but both modes feel basically the same except that online opponents’ status bars will not be visible online. The variety will also extinguish itself after two or three matches due to limited choices. This isn’t the fault of the game, it is a demo after all, but you won’t want to spend hours with it.

The core of the game is still “total punch control” which allows you to use the right stick to throw a precise punch to any area of the body. The control is supposed to mesh with any player’s style and really play to any boxer’s strength. This is where it gets incredibly confusing. I played both Fight Night Round 3 and 4 and this seemed impossible in comparison. No matter which punch you want to throw, it seems to pick a different one. The controls have been changed to allow a punch modifier button that allows any punch to be “juiced up”. Basically it turns any punch into a super punch but drains your stamina bar as a result. There’s no quicker way to go down than exhausting your boxer by throwing super punches.

The sweet science never really seemed to click with me. The right stick has been retooled to throw more punches and if you are slightly off you will end up throwing a hook instead of a jab. This may seem like a minor complaint, but if you go through the entire match throwing hooks instead of jabs, you will get beat down.

Maybe I just suck, but the AI seemed to be on a mission to destroy you. Ali vs. Tyson ends up with Tyson getting right up on you and beating your brains out, and Tyson vs. Ali ends with Tyson getting jabbed to death. The AI definitely seems to have a counter-punch ready to situation, and I’ve never seen Mike Tyson using the Philly Shell defense, or any defense at all really. In either case, if you don’t fight smart you’ll go down faster than Mike Tyson’s career did after he beat his wife.

This trial is fun, but don’t be surprised if you have trouble winning matches.  The punch mechanics still need some work it seems and the promised “regional anaerobic fatigue” never really came into play.  I’ve never been hit with so many right hooks in my life, but then again, maybe I just suck at boxing games.


  1. Yeah you’re probably right about one thing. You suck at boxing games. Might wanna give “Dance Central” a try, Nancy. I loved the demo and was able to do everything I attempted after my initial fight and have gone on to win many online fights.

      • Regardless, I stand by original claim that they are trying to map too many punches to the right stick.

        And I’m confused at what’s girly about Dance Central.

        • They gave you 2 control options. STICKS AND BUTTONS!!! YOU CAN — USE BUTTONS ALSO!!! Did you even notice?

          Oh and Dance Central? Please…how many pairs of “skinny jeans” do you own? Probably why you are no good at boxing games. “Boys will be boys”, but some will be girls if you let em. To each his own, huh? I like boxing, you just might like dancing. Scary.

          • Of course I noticed, but using the buttons is detrimental to the gameplay. Any idiot can hit the buttons as fast as possible.

            I never said your opinion was wrong, mine just differs. So if you’re looking to insult me you’re wasting your time.

          • Using the buttons is not detrimental. You can do BOTH SUCCESSFULLY if you just at least give it a try. I figured it out after one game, but then again I enjoyed the previous release. Keep playing, you’ll get it. The rest of us(who don’t get paid to blog on websites to the masses, like you do) did.

            Sorry to appear so insultful. I am still working on my personality.

        • you really gotta know a little about boxing to be good at fightnight, punches in bunches, combinations, move your head, move your feet, mix it up double up the jab from time to time, go to the body finish at the head, its very true to life been kickboxing for most my life so the sticks feel fairly natural, watch some friday night fights and copy what you see.

  2. yeah great insite matthew its good to see someone talk about it with great enthusiasm. But do you really think you cant be successful without using the stick, because all i use is the buttons.

    • No, I believe it is much easier to be successful using the buttons. That was the reason that they took the button option out of round 4.

      The two options are much more balanced now though because you no longer have to do crazy stick motions to throw an uppercut. I think if two people of similar skill played, one with the stick and one with the buttons, the guy with the button config would win.

      I’ve had it happen in previous FN games.

  3. i thought that about the stick mapping as well, but i’m starting to catch on. it seems like no matter who i fight with, i always get knocked down in the second round. if i use Ali, Tyson hits me with a seemingly gentle uppercut. down i go. if i use Tyson, Ali jabs me to death. both of which i think are pretty true to their individual styles, but it’s still frustrating. no matter what i do, i cannot knock down Ali or Pacquiao or win a decision against either. i will be picking this up regardless. lol

    • Man…this is a lot of pure adult fun once you get the timing down. For me, the key to getting an edge has been counterpunching. Its looks to be a great boxing simulation…then add to it an all new “story” mode? I’m sold and it’s already preordered. Guys, do you realize how many great titles are coming out in the next couple of months? Gee whiz. Because its a sports game with unlimited replayability, I put it at the top of my list right now…and I’ve never put an EA game at the top of my list. I’m a 2k kinda guy.

  4. Could you imagine how much healthier we’d be with Move controls added in? I have The Fight/Lights Out already, its awesome but graphically it pales in comparison. EA needs to get on the ball with these new motion controls available now. Physical gaming can be challenging and fun at the same time. Those wins would feel so much more rewarding.

    Oh and by the way…Matt, I apologize again for being an ass. I am a much older gamer(don’t always act like it) and I love the website. You guys are doing a great service to the gaming public. I just can’t trust what I read anymore on a lot of sites out there, which is why I responded the way I did to your initial reactions on the game. My bad.

  5. great so i dont have to go back to the drawing board so to speak lol. hey matthew do you play on ps3 or 360? if you play on ps3 add me we’ll fight Caged_animal09

  6. really? its a poorly executed game, i could whip you at bc2, or any fps for that matter, doing so would make you a women? no it would not, this games (fight night champion) controls are poorly executed, and you being good at it, means nothing about ones sexuality, i guess if he and his women jeans kicked your ass, you would presumably be claiming that the controls are bad. im really glad a games poorly executed game controls (although i like how they tried to handle most of it, they actually put to much in, and it feels more like your button mashing rather then playing strategically, and the block sucks. p.s. im talking analog) work for you, yay you, don’t bash sumones sexuality over a game, i bet in real life, you are a bitch, so leave the libido at home. please.

  7. I’ve always been excellent at Fight Night and I’ve always loved the game. However, that full spectrum control thing absolutly sucks, and because I only use the stick to throw punches I seem to only win half the fights I fight online now. I will not be buying this game unless they add an option to allow the regular fight stick in the controller config. minus that shitty mind of its own one they have now…