Real Boxing – Arguably the greatest and most realistic mobile boxing game currently known to man
Just as you have different tiers of skill in real-life boxing matches, there are also different tiers of quality when it comes to developers translating the real-life sport into a virtual, hand-held experience. Quasi-boxing games like Real Steel Champions are fine and all, but those looking for the real deal – the ultimate realistic boxing experience that’s a perfect balance between arcade fun and simulator-level realism – should really cease looking when they find Real Boxing. From its photorealistic player models and graphics in general to the hugely engrossing and gritty mechanics, Real Boxing is more than just a game about boxing: it is the virtualisation of the sport that’s been executed better than any of competitors.
Not Lost In Translation
There’s always the risk of the essence of any sport being lost when it’s translated to a mobile game version of itself. This is far from the case in Real Boxing, however, whose gesture and on-screen controls provide readily-accessible interface options for controlling the highly realistic game mechanics. The two main strings to your bow of success are, as they are in real life, movement and attack. Movement is easily achieved with the gesture controls, and a series of on-screen buttons allows you to throw a jab, hook, or an uppercut. These can be thrown either on the left or right, too, as you would expect in any boxing match.
There are additional buttons displayed that allow you to perform evasive/defensive manoeuvres. There’s a button for dodging, one for blocking, and one for grabbing so that you can initiate a clinch to give your stamina a rest. The controls are responsive, but it’s not as easy as just mashing them all in order to see what lands. Your stamina and the frequency of counter-attacks ensure that you can’t apply the brute-force technique like you can in games like Mike Tyson’s Punch Out, just like throwing endless and aimless punches in a real-life match would land you a one-way ticket to knock-down town. Continue Reading
Release Date: 11/09/2015
Available on: iOS, Android
Draining Yet Entertaining
The finer points of the sport, which one would expect to sacrifice for the purpose of accessibility or because of mobile-platform limitations, aren’t at all lost here. Stamina is a key factor in your performance, which can deplete very easily if you’re swinging uncontrollably. This leaves you open to attacks, and will have you losing matches in no time.
Also, just like real-life boxing, much of your attacking potential is to take place during the counter-attack. This translated into the mechanics very well, with the game rewarding you with increased power in your shots if they’re part of a counter attack. There’s also your main energy meter that can be seen on the screen in addition to the stamina bar. Unlike your stamina, your energy doesn’t replenish and once it’s gone, it’s gone: you’re hitting the floor. So it’s as much about conserving your energy and throwing the smart shots as it is going for the long haul.
As in real boxing matches, if you go down, you’re given time to get back up. To do this, you have to mash the on-screen buttons until your stagger your way to the standing position again. At this stage, your stamina and energy are going to be running low, which in turn makes the rest of your fight harder. It is with these kinds of handicaps that you’re expected to prevail over your enemy, making this a game that properly reflects the qualities necessary to be a top-level boxer worthy of mention on the World Boxing Association website.
It’s Got the Legs
Giving the game its longevity are the multiple game modes. There aren’t dozens to choose from, but the online multiplayer should keep you going for a while, as should Career Mode and Quick Fights. Training can also be done, just to hone your skills a bit. Perhaps the most impressive feature considering the platform limitations is the V-Motion kinetic control setup. You’ve got gesture controls, but can choose to position your device in a certain manner so that the front-facing camera of your device acts like the Xbox Kinect motion-sensor. It’s impressive, but requires some of the more recent mobile devices for it to work.
Lastly, the game’s graphics need a mention. I mean, they are incredible. Not just great, or even fantastic, but absolutely mind-blowing. It’s photorealism at its finest, making the fighters, who breathe heavily, move loudly, and take hits with visceral realism, seem incredibly life-life on screen. Real Boxing is simply the best option for realistic-style boxing simulation on mobile devices at the moment, and Vivid Games are the chaps behind this visual masterclass in boxing-game presentation. Rating: 89/100
Real Boxing is developed by Vivid Games.