Fight Night

Reviewed by Jim Short


Issue 27

May/Jun 87

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Sydney/US Gold

48K disk

1/2 players

1/2 joysticks






I hinted in a previous issue that Boxing was one of my least favourite sports, but anything which adds a touch of comedy to this senseless act of 'brain damage' is worth investigating in my book.

FIGHT NIGHT is a multi-featured sports simulation boasting a cast of characters which puts many a TV comedy show to shame. Can you tackle the likes of the DIP STICK, who makes 'Mr Puniverse' look like Charles Atlas ..... KID KASTRO, the cigar-smoking hombre from Cuba ..... HU HIM, brother of Odd-Job and twice as nasty not to mention ugly ..... the BRITISH BULLDOG, that bowler-hatted, stiff upper-lipped ex-Dean of Oxford ..... and the BRONX BOMBER, eighteen stone with a two ounce brain, Champion of the World? Yes, can you tackle this bunch of pugilistic misfits without bursting into fits of hysterics? Me neither!!

The game takes up two full disk sides and offers a range of training, sparring and fight options which even includes the ability to construct your own custom-built hit-man (FIGHT NIGHT boxers come made-to-measure as well as off the peg) using the many parameters and fighting characteristics included in the program. This way you can build up to 24 custom boxers for tournament purposes or create a personalised fighter capable of taking on the world's elite. Mind you, the reality isn't quite so simple. My custom-built 'Bonecrusher' tended to fight more like Joe 'The Punchbag' Bugner against even the wimpiest of opponents! It makes sense to get some hefty training & sparring under your belt before braving the might of the professionals.

The main event requires you to fight your way through the five major contenders with a view to taking on the formidable BRONX BOMBER. Alternatively, you can opt for a manager's role, setting up promotions and suitable fight selections which will get your fighter a decent crack at the title in Tournament Mode. Either way, you have little chance of making it big with your normal 'default' boxer and constructing a custom-built 'Rocky' is an absolute must if you have any championship aspirations.

Each bout is fought over three 3-minute rounds and the idea is to out-slog your opponent by draining his 'KO' strength bar before he does likewise to yours. You can win the fight either by a straight knock-out or a points decision, depending on your punching power. The graphics are spot on, the characters big and life-like with plenty of extra detail. Each bout also contains a close-up 'mug shot' of the two competitors displayed in all their glory above the ring as if on some giant monitor screen, giving you some idea of how ridiculous they'd look on a passport!!

As with most other boxing games it's a Heavyweight slogging match - no fancy footwork involved, just a left and right flat-footed shuffle back and forth across the ring - and tactics are limited to jabs, bodyblows and throwing up a guard to prevent you from getting a nose like Karl Malden, but then what else is new in boxing?

Each of the characters have their own personal style of fighting, their own strengths and weaknesses (apart from the BRONX BOMBER who has no weaknesses), and their own 'secret weapon' which they unleash whenever they are in deep trouble. HU HIM, for instance, lashes out with a karate kick which wouldn't impress the W.B.A. (No, not West Bromwich Albion ..... World Boxing Authority. Or is it Association?) but is, apparently, perfectly acceptable in FIGHT NIGHT. KID KASTRO has his 'Castinet Crusher' and the BRITISH BULLDOG his 'British Rail Roundhouse', but old Banjo Eyes himself - the DIP STICK - possesses the most diabolical secret weapon of the lot. If you drive him into a corner against the ropes he launches into a weird sort of contortion and strikes at you with his 'sucker punch' disguised as a convulsion. Even though you know it's coming it still seems to get you every single time!

Another quality product from US Gold which includes just about everything you could possibly wish for, right down to the clever documentation complete with it's hilarious send-up of the five main contenders. FIGHT NIGHT puts the fun into boxing where it never existed before. Worth every penny of the asking price.

NB: The instructions mention a cassette version but whether this applies to the Atari or not is anyone's guess. Best check with your dealer.