Victorious Boxers: Revolution for Nintendo Wii brings the popular Japanese manga and anime to life on your TV. The story has you following Ippo Makunouchi’s rise to fame in the boxing ranks as he participates in match after match with some side story thrown in for good measure. You will start off boxing in amateur matches and work your way up to the big leagues winning belts as you go.
The story in Victorious Boxers: Revolution is also told with lengthy cut scenes that use the games in-game graphics. With the long cut scenes between matches it helps fill out the story, but I also found myself wanting to skip by them some times. I don’t know if I have played a game in recent times that had this much story after every level. Fans of the manga or anime will probably eat this stuff up, but if you are not familiar with the characters then you may have a hard time following the story.
Victorious Boxers: Revolution’s graphics that are used in the cut scenes and throughout the game are okay, but nothing special. They tried for a manga and anime cartoon style and went with cel-shaded graphics that look okay but not the greatest. I think a game like Jet Set Radio Future did a much better job with cel-shaded graphics than this game. The weirdest part of the graphics in Victorious Boxers: Revolution is the way they tried to shade the characters with hash marks going across their body and face. The hash marks are supposed to look like shading in a comic or manga, but because they can’t move with the character you see this crisscross pattern that appears to be moving all the time. I know what they were trying to do and it looks okay, but it also looks kind of weird. The background graphics also leave a lot to be desired. The crowd is blurry and flat and the background in the buildings is very limited and flat. Maybe they were going for a manga style appearance for this also, but it looks more like they didn’t put a lot of effort into the backgrounds. The characters look pretty good even with the hash marks all over them and when you are swinging away you don’t really notice the background anyways, but that still doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have spent more time on them.
Speaking of swinging, the game allows you to use the Wii Remote and Nunchuk like you do in Wii Sports: Boxing to duke it out against the computer or a friend in split-screen mode. Victorious Boxers: Revolution actually has five different control schemes that range from multiple Remote/Nunchuk to just the Remote for Pointer mode or even the Classic Controller for more of a PS2 feel to the game. The Singing Mode that has you use the Remote/Nunchuk feels a lot like Wii Sports: Boxing but I never really felt like I was doing exactly what I was trying to do. I ended up playing most of the game with in the Classic Controller mode which was more enjoyable and involved less flailing of my arms, but I think it made the game easier than if I used my arms to actually throw the punches.
Another thing I found odd in Victorious Boxers: Revolution was that I couldn’t seem to throw body blows. The closest you can get to that is a hook, but all throws mentioned in the manual are as follows: jab, straight (cross), hook, and upper cut. Even Wii Sports: Boxing lets you throw punches at the head or the body of your opponent, so I don’t know why this game doesn’t offer this option.
The music and sound effects in the game are okay but nothing special. The sound of the punches making contact with your opponent sound as expect and have a nice thud when you connect. The music is the standard synthesized instrumental music with an upbeat maybe techno feel to it. It is okay and maybe it is what is played in the anime series, but I know I won’t be running out to buy the soundtrack any time soon. The voice-acting in the game is decent and the voice-actors fit each of the characters pretty well. Like I said above, the music and sound effects are okay but nothing to write home about.
I wanted to like Victorious Boxers: Revolution. It isn’t a horrible game, but it isn’t as good as I expected. The graphics with the weird hash marks on all of the characters just doesn’t look right. The controls are also not as good as I wanted them to be and I think the controls in Wii Sports: Boxing work better than this game. The voice-acting was decent, but the music and sound effects are just average. If you like the Fighting Spirit manga, anime, and characters then you will probably like this game and its storyline, but everyone else may find the story a little too involved for a boxing game and the actual boxing to be a little lacking. Victorious Boxers: Revolution is an average boxing game that deserves an average score.
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