Is it really “Fight Night” for the iPhone? It certainly looks good…
I got my hands on an early build of Chillingo’s Touch KO game today, I have overall mixed feelings. Obviously this was not a final build, so anything can change before launch!
Good so far…
The character models look great, as do the various places you fight. The lighting is also good on the characters, and the details like the shine on the gloves really stand out. The controls feel good, and I think they are about as good as it gets for this kind of game. Swipe up for uppercut, left or right for
hooks, and tab for a jab. The leveling system works well, and has you buying new items like shorts and gloves to increase your stats, along with “practicing” in different ways before each fight. Menus are slick, and the overall interface looks great.
The overall fighting system just seems slow, and fairly inaccurate. There were many times I was tapping to jab and would somehow do an uppercut. Fighting consists of basically sitting there blocking, waiting for an opponent to unblock, then throwing a couple punches, then blocking some more. Because there’s no way to move around, you and your opponent do a type of strange two-step around the ring automatically. This gameplay becomes fairly repetitive. It should be noted that I wasn’t knocked down even one time in the 12 or so fights I battled through, and I defeated all but one player in the first round.
Touch KO tries to emulate the famous slo-mo KOs that Fight Night brought us, but falls dreadfully short. There are only 3 slo-mo animations created, one for each of the punch styles. Out of these
three, two of them make it seem like you’re not actually punching the player. Slo-mo uppercut = slo-mo “barely-brushing-your-nose-with-my-glove”, and that somehow knocks the player out. There are also some bad looping issues with the crowd noise, and it sounds pretty bad at points.
Finally, the pseudo-ragdoll physics for when your opponent gets knocked out looks terrible, with legs twisting like they are broken at every joint. It should also be mentioned that when you defeat an opponent and see yourself celebrating, you look like you’ve had one too many tequila shots.
I really hope that the technical gameplay issues in Touch KO can be ironed out before release. It certainly is a pretty looking boxing game, with a good leveling system and features like achievements and character customization that round out the package. For now, the gameplay is either too repetitive, or too inaccurate to fully enjoy. We’ll have to wait and see if Touch KO makes it past the first round when it’s released!
Check out more screens/video in our preview of Touch KO.