Reviews

Touch KO Review

The punches thrown in this impressive-looking boxing game come up short. Literally. I was really hoping to see some changes made to the final version of TouchKO after my less-than-impressed hands-on of the game was posted. Sadly, because the game is exactly the same as the version I played, there’s not much more to say. Because of this, I’m going to post my original (edited) preview of the game, along with the final star ratings, as it pretty much addresses everything it needs to.

The Good…

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

BEHOLD! MY CHEST HAIR!

BEHOLD! MY CHEST HAIR!

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 Bad…

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 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

This game certainly looks good!

This game certainly LOOKS good!

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” that somehow knocks the player out. There are also some bad looping issues with the crowd noise, and it sounds pretty bad at certain points.

Finally, the pseudo-ragdoll physics for when your opponent gets knocked out look 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 a dancing oger that’s had one too many tequila shots.

Presentation & Graphics

4-stars_sm
Slick menus. Great character models and arenas. Terrible rag doll physics. Bad slo-mo punches.

Sound
2pt5-stars_sm
Only one menu song that gets old fast. Generic punching sounds. Clipping/loop issues with the crowd.

Gameplay

1pt5-stars_sm
Controls work well. Leveling and purchase system is cool. AI is not too bright, leaving you to get a KO in the first round of almost every fight. Very boring and repetitive fighting. “Tough” opponents simply block a lot, making for even longer boring fights. No way to take body shots or move around the ring.

Gamelife

3-stars_sm
The career mode is a decent length if you can stand it. There’s a nice quick play option. Good achievement system as well. You can track stats with an optional “Blurst” account. You’re forced to enter your information every time you launch the game if you do, though.

Game Rating

3-stars

Touch KO certainly is a pretty looking boxing game, with a good leveling system and features like achievements, character customization, and online stats that round out a solid package. Unfortunately, the gameplay is either too repetitive, or too inaccurate to fully enjoy. The weird graphical quirks like ridiculous rag doll physics and punches that don’t actually land don’t help the experience either. If you’re a fan of the Fight Night series of games, you will be disappointed. However, if you are a big boxing fan, and aren’t concerned with the finer points of the sport, there’s certainly some fun to be had.

Touch KO – $2.99

Check out more screens/video in our preview of Touch KO.

TwitterFacebookGoogle BookmarksDiggStumbleUponShare
  • Dave LeClair, USA

    Fully agree, I look at it as a step in the right direction for iPhone gaming as a whole. It’s a great game to pull out for your friends and be like “look at these graphics, bet you didn’t think a phone could do this.” If someone could make a more enjoyable game with this games engine then we would be in business, but as it stands Touch KO serves little more purpose then being a fancy tech demo of the kind of 3d visuals the iPhone is capable of, and for that I’m glad it exists, and for only 3 bucks it’s not a terrible deal, even if you only play it for an hour or 2.

  • Nigel Reyes

    I still think that this game could go the distance with a few more tweaks and updates. I purchased this a few days ago and I still return to play almost every day. It is an ambitious game that still tries to fill a hole in the sports category of ipod / iphone games, and it is a brave and accomplished debut, in my opinion. Trendsetter, perhaps?

Podcasts

Comments

Tweets