Fight Night Round 2 was one of our favorite Xbox games of 2005 so Round 3 had some pretty high expectations to meet. Amazingly, EA has delivered a boxing experience that easily surpasses everything that Round 2 had to offer. The gameplay is absolutely phenomenal and the graphics on the Xbox 360 are amazing. Not only is this the best boxing game ever but it is also the best Xbox 360 game available.
Graphics and Sound
The biggest change from the Xbox to Xbox 360 versions is, obviously, the graphics. These are the absolute best human character models ever created for a videogame and are startlingly realistic. If observers didnt know you were playing a videogame it would be pretty easy to fool people. Not only do the fighters look great, but the arenas look very nice as well. A great touch is that each arena has different lighting which makes the fighters look different everywhere you fight. Another nice touch is that there are no onscreen indicators you can tell how tired or how injured a fighter is simply by looking at them. This is one of the best looking video games ever and will make you very happy you own an Xbox 360 and HDTV. The Xbox version looks great and if you had never seen the 360 version you would be very impressed with it. But once you see Fight Night Round 3 in action on the Xbox 360, other versions of the game are pretty much unplayable. The sound is mostly the same as the Xbox version, but being able to use custom soundtracks gives the 360 the edge here as well. If you have the choice, go ahead and spend the extra $20 for the 360 version. It is absolutely worth it.
Gameplay: Xbox vs. Xbox 360
The gameplay is also slightly different between versions. The final game doesnt move quite as slowly as the demo but it is definitely a touch slower than in the Xbox version. After playing both quite a bit, I think that the speed of the 360 version is more realistic and after a couple of rounds you really dont notice the difference any more. One thing that is very obvious between versions is that thanks to the more realistic and clearer graphics, it is actually easier to parry and block effectively on the 360. You can see things developing a lot quicker and can react faster. Again, if you have a choice, the 360 version is definitely the one to get.
At first, Fight Night Round 3 doesnt seem all that different from Round 2. You still throw jabs, hooks, and uppercuts with the right analog stick (or the face buttons) and can block and parry with the triggers. When you really start to play, though, youll find that the sweet science has gotten quite a bit more depth in Round 3. For starters, haymakers are much harder to execute consistently than they were last year. In Round 2 you could throw haymakers at will and overwhelm opponents with sheer power. This time around, haymakers take much longer to pull off and all your opponent really has to do is lightly jab you to stop a haymaker completely. Also, since they take so long to do it gives your opponent tons of time to get ready to parry them which leaves you wide open for a counter haymaker. There are different stances as well as new punching and blocking styles and overall defensive tactics that you have to adjust to. Boxers can now also switch from right to left handed at will which makes a huge difference.
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