Rough tough boxing with a touch of humour
For a humorous and enjoyable spin on the boxing genre, which is more often than not known for its rather serious attitude, then 4D Sport Boxing is a worthwhile investment of your time. Although it looks a touch dated now, it was revolutionary for its time, thanks to its use of rotoscoping which rendered the boxers' movements in a fairly realistic fashion, while the gameplay itself is fun in a simplistic kind of way. There's not a great deal to the game, with players simply engaging in a series of bouts against an array of fighters with tongue-in-cheek names and with the obvious aim of knocking them to the canvas. It's not all mindless bashing away at the punch button though and to be successful, judicious use of parries and blocks must be made in addition to uppercuts and other such aggressive moves. This gives it a nice sense of depth that elevates the game above being a tedious mash-fest and requires that players actually exercise some thought as they play. You can also train your fighter in between bouts and improve your skills, which adds some further depth to proceedings and the game does a better job of recreating the real feel of a boxing match than perhaps any other game. It's all helped along by the slick and responsive control system, which makes controlling your fighter and pulling off combos a relative breeze, but which still requires skill to do so. The humour too is a nice touch, with things like the fighters' taunts bringing a little smile to your face as you play. If you're looking for a boxing sim, this should be top of the short list.
A revolutionary arcade boxing game
What was revolutionary about 4D Boxing was the 3D perspective and primitive rag-doll boxers. They were articulated of distinctive body parts, head, neck, tors and legs and, for the time, the movements were really natural and allowed for some very interesting boxing matches. Because of the way the game was built, hitting, parrying and your position in the ring was very important. Along with this, the game had an energy counter, as well as a counter that took into account where a blow hit. Therefore, you had to play strategically and to take into account your vitals. This game was one of the first to showcase the changes in boxing sims to come â€“ it brought localized hits, in the game, it emphasized the importance of parrying and of using the ring properly. The game looks a lot like Virtua Fighter
, especially when it comes to the skeletal make-up of fighters and it can be both entertaining as a look at past technology but also for the joy of boxing. Boxing games have come a long way since 1991 but a look back can be just as entertaining as the latest and greatest of fighting games.