So, I’ve owned, and have been playing the shit out of Fight Night Champion for a few months now.
While my first impression of the game was rather poor, after several hours tooling around in the demo; I finally decided to break down and buy the game.
After having gotten the hang of the new control scheme, (for like the 4th time in the franchise’s history…) the game opened up, and now I’m proud to say it’s one of the better games in the series.
In either case, it’s not everyday boxing videogames aimed at hardcore boxing fans are released; so even if the game was utter crap, I still probably would’ve picked up Fight Night Champion from a bargain bin at some point.
Anyway, over the past few months I’ve obliterated a handful of people in online play, I’ve rewritten history through countless bouts against the CPU; but as of now, I’ve yet to complete the game’s much lauded Champion Mode.
For those who are unaware, Champion Mode represents a first for the series, in that it serves as a sort of pre-arranged campaign mode, complete story cutscenes between and during bouts, featuring it’s own cast of characters.
Sadly, the actual narrative is kind of lame, with most of the characters being shallow stereotypes of the genre, and much of the dialogue coming across as more than a little inorganic due to the rather forced inclusion of exposition-y game speak.
Basically, one plays through various boxing matches as the character Andre Bishop, though several matches require the use of specialized tactics or the completion of certain in-match achievements in order to win.
While limited in the sense that I’ve played similar, and better modes in games from 15 years ago; Champion Mode was a welcome addition to the franchise, though with one little catch:
They made the “last boss” too fuckin’ hard!
The “last boss” of Fight Night Champion is a massive, tattoo bearing, short-haired motherfucker named Isaac Frost.
I’d make a joke about how Frost looks more than a little more like a UFC spokesmodel, or I don’t know, RANDY FUCKING ORTON; than a heavyweight boxer, but doing so would be beneath me.
I’d also make a joke about the plausibility of an unbeatable white American heavyweight champion in this day and age being slim to none, but some would perceive that as racist.
I’d perceive that a statement of fact, but to each his own…
Like any “bad guy” in a boxing story, Frost is a massive prick, though seemingly for no other reason than the fact that he likes being a prick.
The man has zero backstory, so there’s no real explaining his prick-ish demeanor; but the point is:
Frost is an ass. You’re supposed to hate him. In spite of all this, he also happens to be a FUCKING BEAST in the ring.
That last part serves as my reason for not having beaten Frost as of yet.
I don’t know if it’s brilliant programming on the part of the folks over at EA Montreal, or really fuckin’ cheap programming; but Frost is a fuckin’ force of nature to contend with.
He’s very tall, making his long strides more than a match for your best footwork.
He’s a genius at cutting off the ring, leading to more than a few instances where he actually tricks you into stepping right into his fists.
His punching power is off-the-fucking-charts, making 2-3 consecutive punches a recipe for putting you on queer street, or flat on the mat.
And on top of that, his AI is entirely based on the Fight Night engine, meaning his actions are engineered to be unpredictable.
While most videogame bosses typically hold all of the above advantages in terms of attributes, the one thing that really makes Frost unique, at least to me; is the fact that he doesn’t have any set attack patterns.
In short, like any fight in a Fight Night game, the battle with Frost plays out like an actual boxing match.
There’s no golden mechanic for winning the fight, with every engagement serving as a moment-to-moment clash of wits.
I’ve always made it my business to win underdog fights against the computer in Fight Night games, largely because I derive a great deal of satisfaction from winning said bouts; but fighting Isaac Frost is an entirely different affair.
Like many fights in Champion Mode, you’re expected to take on Frost in several stages, employing different tactics as the rounds go by.
The first 2 rounds see you dancing around Frost and basically trying not to get hit.
I can usually do this without going down, but not always.
The next 3 rounds require you to land a total of 75 heavy body blows on Frost, and that’s as far as I’ve managed to get against him.
I’ve tried stepping into his chest to diminish the punching power of his long arms, but usually I get caught by an uppercut.
I’ve tried leaping in after one of his jabs to hit him while he’s pulling back his punches, but I usually get caught by an uppercut.
I’ve tried hanging back and using my head movement to counter and then step around him, but I usually get caught by an uppercut… Among other things.
The point is, Frost’s punching power is so dominating, and his punch accuracy so sharp, that I simply can’t find a way to get inside on him without getting brained in the process.
After much frustration, I’ve come to the conclusion that Isaac Frost may be one of the most difficult boss fights I’ve ever run across.
Oh well, at least I can still enjoy the game without beating him…