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?
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
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
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.