My introduction to boxing and mixed martial arts came by way of Iron Mike Tyson and Jean-Claude Van Damme. Growing up on the mean streets of the valley in So Cal, you had to fight to survive. If you didn’t know how to defend yourself while walking to elementary school in the morning, you may very well not have had lunch money at high noon. So like Daniel-son in the Karate Kid, I took on instructors. I began training with my masters each day after school by watching videos of Iron Mike KO’ing opponents and Mr. Van Damme-age win the Kumite in Bloodsport though his legs got split like a wishbone by an evil little gremlin man who was a master of Muay Thai in Kickboxer.
When I’d completed my lessons and learned everything my masters had to teach me, I walked to school and began to cause serious harm to my opponents. They showed me that I had truly learned no technique and was only able to block their blows with my face, thus continuing to go without lunch. I believe the developers of Iron Fist Boxing may have taken instruction under the same masters as I.
Iron Fist Boxing is an MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighting game from Realtech VR. You have three modes of play to choose from, training, sparring, and story. Training will teach you the basic controls of offense and defense as well as special moves you’re able to use as you earn stars and fill your power meter. Sparring will give you the opportunity to master these skills against opponents while not affecting your career stats. Story mode which is the heart of the game will allow you to fight through the ranks giving you a shot at the title.
When it comes to fighting games, controls are paramount. If the controls don’t work, the game isn’t going to work. Sadly Iron Fist suffers from this problem. You have an upper and lower defense control. Place both thumbs next to the head to protect the upper portion or next to your waist to protect the lower. Multiple times during the course of play I would place my thumbs on top of the “red highlighted” defense positions and my character would not draw his arms into his body which caused an open shot from my opponent.
Offensive controls suffered as well. When facing your opponent you have the option of hitting him to the left and right side of both the head and body. There were times I would tap for a head shot or a body shot and my character would not respond. I would tap one location repeatedly and get zero reaction, than there were times when I would land a combination of body and head shots creating an exhilarating feeling, but the frustration caused from repeatedly attempting an attack and having nothing happen was enough to bring down the overall experience.
The look of the game inside the ring is great. Each of the 10 fighters has a unique look, style and appearance. The damage modeling is excellent to watch over the course of a three round match. As you and your opponents begin to connect punches you start to see black eyes, bleeding lips, and swelled faces. You really feel as though the actions taking place in the ring are having an effect on the boxers. Outside of the ring the cheering audience is in the dark and you are only able to see the silhouette of the top row from a small backlight. The sound of the punches is nice and reminds me of classic sound effects from 1980’s action movies when the hero brings down the thunder of a mighty blow.
I like the potential this game has. There’s a quality MMA game buried deep within waiting to be freed with some tender love and care given to the controls in future updates. The replay ability is strong as you have the option to go back and fight through the ranks with each of the 10 fighters, adding to your career stats. There are unlocks available in both artwork and achievements that can only be completed with multiple play troughs.
The one thing holding this game back from being the product we as MMA fans want on our iDevice, is the kinks in the controls corrected. We are so close to becoming the greatest fighter the world has ever witnessed and own the titles multiple times over to prove it.
I recommend you, “Tap” Iron Fist Boxing. When you connect with a series of punches that stumbles your opponent you will feel like you’re going to have extra money to buy that cute girl lunch, but when you’re face is the only line of defense you have, you’ll realize she was the one taking your lunch money all along.
|Title:||Iron Fist Boxing v2.0||Developer:||Realtech VR|
|Price:||$3.99||App Size:||32.5 MB|