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 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 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” 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
Slick menus. Great character models and arenas. Terrible rag doll physics. Bad slo-mo punches.
Only one menu song that gets old fast. Generic punching sounds. Clipping/loop issues with the crowd.
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.
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.
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.
Check out more screens/video in our preview of Touch KO.