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Published on June 26th, 2009 | by Brian Browne

Fight Night Round 4 Review

I had been looking forward to this game for a while and wasn’t disappointed to say the least. It’s clear that the time that EA took between Fight Night Round 3 and Fight Night Round 4 were well worth it and produced by EA Canada, this game is nothing short of incredible. The first thing you will notice, is that this game is not an easy button-mashing fiesta and that why they give you a tutorial at the start. The devastating punch known as the haymaker has been revamped and while useful, it doesn’t cause the crazy amount of damage everytime as seen in the last installment. For the fans that have used the total control method before, most of the movements on the sticks are the same with exceptions of body punches which can be done with a simple flick movement of the right stick. A new feature that has been added are dodges, which allow you to work your way inside the fight while trying to avoid punches.

Boxer creation also received an update. Taking a key from the Tiger Woods PGA Tour, you can use your camera console accessory or upload a photo to the EA Sports website to put yourself in the game. You can use this fighter in Legacy mode, which is where I think a lot of people will spend most of their time. Here you can train your fighter to take them from chump to champ by completing the training drills:

* Open Sparring: Get in the ring and work on offense and defense. Points are scored by hitting the sparring partner and blocking or dodging his punches. Points are taken away for missed punches and getting hit.
* Stay on your Feet: Spar this round with low health and stamina and the opponent will try to knock you down.
* Heavy Bag Combos: Hit the bag with the punches the trainer asks for. The trainer calls each punch by number. The HUD displays how to throw each punch. The faster you land punches, the more points you receive.
* Heavy Bag Push: Hit the heavy bag high or low as indicated by the red flashing bar to push it down the track and score more points. The bag gets heavier as it moves down the track. Keep your distance or the bag will push you back down to the beginning of the track.
* Double End Bag: Move to the zone indicated on the floor and punch the bag before the zone moves.
* Maize Bag: Lean your head from side-to-side the number of times the trainer requests, then throw a body punch in the air. Don’t hit the bag and don’t get hit by the bag. The faster you are the more points you can score.

Your fighter label such as “Club Fighter” or “Contender” will change with more wins you receive and the different tasks you complete. In Legacy mode, you schedule your own fights and sometimes it benefits you to take the time in between to build your boxer’s stats. Don’t take too long however, or the rest of the boxing world will forget about you. The rivalry system is back, well, sort of. If you have slugfest with a boxer, you will simply be challenged to a rematch and with the replay factor of this game you will find yourself losing track of how many fights you have done.The fighters look spectacular with their muscles flexing on each delivered hit or miss and the development team really nailed down the overall styles of each boxer complete with signature moves.

Overall, Fight Night Round 4 is a incredible boxing title. While there are some issues contained in the game, they honestly are overlook-able when you compare it to the things done well by EA Sports. Online World Championship mode could be a beast, if it doesn’t go the route of UFC Undisputed 2009 (Nobody participates) and fans have their collective breath held with mention of downloadable content to be available. Pick this game up today and you will not be disappointed.

Rating: 9.8


* Graphics-If there was a such thing as too good, this might be it
* Mechanics- Seems very realistic
* Gameplay-Most people will be glad that EA Sports went the way of the analog stick, clearly the right choice.


* Commentary-Very repetitive by the announcers and they don’t mention your fighter enough. You can find it confusing to figure out who they are talking about.
* AI-I am all for a challenge, but this computer could be the greatest counter puncher that ever stepped on canvas.

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