I finally finished downloading Electronic Arts‘ Fight Night Round 4 demo for the Playstation 3 last weekend and I’ve been playing it on and off over the last couple of days.
First off, the graphics have vastly improved. Everything is now more detailed – from the character models (you actually get to read Manny Pacquiao’s arm tattoos) to the environments. I’m still on the fence with regards to the generally brighter visuals because the darker lighting of Round 3 kind of suited the whole feel of the sport.
I’m still getting used to the controls at this point. My initial impression is that the controls are a bit floaty. It’s so much easier to throw punches and, boy, do they throw them very quickly. This is the reason why I initially think that the whole game feels arcade-y. The controls of Round 3 are not perfect but you feel the heft of the boxers when you try to throw punches. I appreciate the addition of the ability to back away with your guard up, which I think was a criminally left out of the previous game. Weaving is also a good addition, although it is a bit hard to execute. And talking about hard to execute, the new mini-game when your boxer gets KO’ed is really confusing. I still don’t know up to now if I’m doing the correct thing.
I don’t know if it’s an inside joke on the part of the EA team to use Ricky Hatton as the boxer you control in the tutorial with Pacquiao as the dummy, especially since after Hatton made a virtual punching bag of Pacquiao, the latter knocks out Hatton with one punch.
The demo has left with many questions unanswered and kind of tempered my over-all excitement for the game. But I’m still going to get this on launch day.