Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Fingers Crossed For B-Hop

Back in December I predicted Bernard Hopkins would edge a decision win over Light Heavyweight champion, Jean Pascal.

I predicted Pascal would tire in the later rounds, and most of the fight would be ugly, boring, and devoid of drama.

In other words, I predicted the fight was going to be a textbook B-Hop fight.

While Pascal did in fact tire, as his stout and bulging body type would suggest is common for him; I was genuinely surprised by how exciting the fight turned out to be.

Hopkins was downed twice in the early rounds, (though only 1 was legit, and neither was all that damaging) and much like his spellbinding performance in the Pavlik fight, the old man’s work rate was uncharacteristically high.

In all, last December we got a decent fight between a proud new champion and a wily old veteran, that ended in a disappointing draw.

Draws aren’t always bad things, not to me at least; but on this particular occasion, I genuinely felt Hopkins won the fight.

Then again, I’m extremely biased when it comes to all things B-Hop.

That being said, in wake of the aforementioned controversial draw, the rematch between Bernard Hopkins and Jean Pascal is going to be fought later tonight.

Hopkins is 46 years old, and is fighting for the right to call himself the oldest man to win a major world boxing title in history.

Jean Pascal is… Canadian, and is likely looking to legitimize his reputation as champion by simultaneously redeeming last fight’s draw, and putting Hopkins name in the “win” column of his record.

Despite whatever the purse for the fight is, both guys have legit reasons to give it their all; and something tells me we can expect a fight as good as, or better, than the one back in December.

That being, my prediction remains unchanged, and I’ll be watching this one with my fingers and toes crossed for B-Hop.

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Filed under: Boxing, , , , , , , , , , ,

Thoughts On Fight Night Champion Demo

So, I tried the new demo for Fight Night Champion on my PS3 yesterday.

For those that are unaware, I’ve written quite a few posts in anticipation of this game’s release.

Most of those posts were fairly critical of the new elements being introduced to the franchise, and sadly; today’s post will continue that trend.

The Fight Night Champion demo consists of a local and online head-to-head mode and several video featurettes detailing the new gameplay elements and graphical improvements.

For anyone whose been following any of the pre-release videos and articles regarding this game, the videos contained in the demo are exactly the same that have been used to promote the game thus far, so you may as well skip ’em.

Anyway, let’s get to the important stuff, namely the actual gameplay of the demo.

The local version of the demo (I haven’t tried online) comes with 4 fighters at 2 different weight classes, Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson at heavyweight, and Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao at welterweight.

 

Not what I'd call the most even of matches for a demo...

If I may diverge for a moment, I feel a need to rant about stats in boxing games.

I think it’s kind of funny that they listed Manny Pacquiao’s stats as being 93 overall, making him on par with Muhammad Ali.

While I don’t doubt that Pacquiao will find his way into Canastota (the boxing hall of fame, dumbass) in the near future, and will likely be regarded as a top 100 of all time fighter, the very notion of stats in a boxing game kind of irks me, largely because a few nasty experiences I had in fighting opponents with vastly superior stats (read: BROKEN) in online matches in Fight Night 3 and 4.

 

Then again, I was playing as this guy most of the time...

If attributes were guaranteed to carry fighters to great success, as they typically do in videogames; then guys like Edison Miranda, John “The Beast” Mugabi, or Zab Judah would be all-time greats.

Just so we’re clear, those guys aren’t not ever will be anything more than “good” in the sport of boxing.

Muhammad Ali was solid in every category of physical capability that a fighter should be, with his durability, speed, and stamina serving as the foundation for his game; however the factors that put him over the edge, were intangibles like his unfaltering tenacity, ring intelligence, and heart.

Now watch, EA will go ahead and introduce a “ring intelligence” stat in the next Fight Night just to shut up dumbfucks like me.

Bullshit ramblings aside, while I took the time to play as all 4 fighters, I spent the majority of my time playing as Miguel Cotto against Manny Pacquiao, largely because I felt playing with a stat advantage would cloud my perception of the game.

I suppose it also helps that I like Miguel Cotto.

Anyway, from a presentation standpoint; the game is pretty impressive.

The fighters bear a closer likeness to their real-life counterparts, and the entrance animations are far more organic than in previous entries in the series, which had the fighters looking and moving in a very bland an generic fashion.

*Whew!* At leas it was never that bad…

In all, the most striking graphical change in the somewhat fuzzy, washed-out filtered look that the game sports.

Fight Night 4, and indeed many of EA’s recent sports games like MMA or Madden, have sported kind of a sterile/Walmart-y, plastic-y look to them that had all the human characters looking like Ken dolls.

Doesn't it look weird?

The texture work in Fight Night Champion seems more realistic, with pores, imperfections, and muscle definition appearing more realistic overall.

In-game, the default camera angle is a little annoying, with the fighter’s heads being too close to the top of the screen, and the ring ropes often obscuring some of the action; however this is an option that is changeable, so I can’t complain too much.

Despite the graphics looking nice, from a gameplay standpoint; the framerate seems a little out of whack.

Maybe it’s just the demo, but Fight Night Champion felt a little choppy to me.

It’s not that it felt slow, on the contrary it felt faster in some ways; it’s just that the game didn’t seem as “crisp.”

The delay time from controller input to on-screen action is a little more pronounced than in previous Fight Nights, and the motion blur effect is taken to near ridiculous heights, with Manny Pacquiao’s white gloves turning into white smudges any time any sort of action occurs.

Speaking of “action,” Fight Night Champion makes use of a brand new control scheme dubbed the “Full Spectrum Punch Control” system.

The new system consists of flicking the right analog stick to execute all of the punches in your repertoire as opposed to miming them with the analog stick.

Truth be told, I don’t like the new system.

Flicking the analog stick is probably more efficient, however the end result is a gameplay mechanic that is simply too sensitive for it’s own good.

Think about it, if you move the stick just a little bit off, you’ll end up doing something completely different from what you intended.

Not only that, but when you factor in the delay between action to implementation in-game; you end up with a game with an overly sensitive control scheme that queues your fuck-ups and plays them out well after you made them.

Seriously, if you have this demo, try spinning the analog stick for a second so you can watch the game play itself.

Moving on, guarding is now mapped to a shoulder button, resulting in all blocking being executed automatically, with no additional inputs required to guard high or low.

As with the punch control, this system reeks of someone thinking it would be a good idea to “streamline” the gameplay mechanics.

As with the punches, I feel that this was a big mistake.

Maybe I like being able to block high or low.

Maybe I like the idea of being able to lay traps for my opponents by aiming high with weak shots, and then going low with heavy ones.

 

Gatti vs. Dorin: Kick-Ass Bodyshot For The Ages

Honestly, why would EA think it would be a good idea to remove this?

For the time being, my overall impression of Fight Night Champion is mostly a negative one.

While Fight Night 4 was a little bit too hyperactive to be considered an accurate boxing simulation, the gameplay mechanics were solid and responsive, but moreover; it was  fun.

Fight Night Champion looks great, but the choppy framerate coupled with simultaneously overly and inadequately responsive gameplay; results in a product that if you ask me, could probably use a little bit more development time.

Either that, or less Canadians at the helm of the game’s development team:

Seriously, that guy was hella’ Canuck…

Anyway, those are my thoughts.

If you disagree with me, please leave a comment, I’d love to hear other’s thoughts on this.

Filed under: Boxing, Games, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fight Night Champion Is Pretty. In An Ugly Sort Of Way…

Excuse my lame post for tonight, I’m a little scatter-brained at the moment.

I suppose it doesn’t help that I’m currently playing through Uncharted 2: Among Thieves for the first time, and am very much enjoying it.

Anyway, in the interest of saving myself from having to half-ass an article tonight, as well getting me back to playing Uncharted as quickly as fucking possible; I’ve decided to use this opportunity to show you a neat video:

Haha, just kidding; the real clip’s just a little bit further down.

The clip below is the latest promotional video for EA Canada’s upcoming boxing game, Fight Night Champion.

While I bashed the game’s roster of real-life boxers in a previous article, as a long time player of the Fight Night series; I have high hopes for this one.

Supposedly the game has been tweaked to shit, hopefully for the better; not to mention the game is also the first in the series to receive an “M for Mature” rating.

Here’s hoping the rating has more to do with the blood-letting and atmosphere than it does nudity and gratuitous dropping of F-Bombs.

Seriously man, few things can cripple a products legitimacy in the mainstream than excessive and childish swearing.

Case in point: Kane and Lynch. I suppose it doesn't help either that it wasn't very good, but whatever...

Anyway, the clip below does little to showcase any updates or changes to the gameplay formula, however despite this; it’s pretty to look at, in an ugly sort of way, so please enjoy:

In the interest of using this article to actually, y’know; say something, I’d like to point out that it seems like punches are more difficult to land than in previous Fight Nights.

Previous games in the series featured a fairly generous amount of “auto-aim” for one’s punches, a factor that was directly associated with one’s “Punch Accuracy” stat in Fight Night 4.

While this probably remains unchanged in Fight Night Champion, I couldn’t help but notice in this clip, and indeed other clips as well; that instances of punches winging around their intended target, or missing outright, occurred quite frequently.

I can’t say how I feel about this, but if the gameplay is on par with Fight Night 4, I’ll most likely cough up the money to own this one.3

Filed under: Boxing, Games, Uncategorized, Wrestling, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bernard Hopkins vs. Jean Pascal Result

Hitting In The Clinch: Classic B-Hop

A mother fucking draw.

That’s right folks, in the contest of oldest of the old lions vs. the young lion from up North, neither man emerged the victor, and no world records were broken.

But the real question is: was the fight any good?

While I haven’t actually seen this fight yet, (sorry, had to decorate the tree this evening) from what I’ve read, it sounds like a much more entertaining bout than I think most of us were expecting.

According to punch stats, Hopkins actually out-landed Pascal by some 70 shots; an incredible statistic given Hopkin’s economical style of fighting.

Despite this, Hopkins was reportedly down twice in the fight, in the 1st and 3rd rounds respectively, though both knockdowns were apparently caused by roughhousing and bad footing moreso than any sort of damage.

Even so, a down is a down; and for B-Hop to have been awarded a draw despite such an incredible point deficit early on, suggests that he most likely swept the latter portion of the fight ala the B-Hop of old.

That being said, scorecards from numerous sources, both official and unofficial; all indicate the fight as having been very competitive, with both fighters receiving winning scores on a near equal basis.

Anyway, I wish I could’ve sat down to watch this one live yesterday, but unfortunately I don’t get Showtime.

Regardless, whenever I get around to seeing this one through very likely “non-traditional” means, I’ll probably post an analysis of some sort.

Filed under: Boxing, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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