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GF! Archival Version Copyright 1995-2004

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by Midway

Ups: Great boxing action; lots of characters; cool sense of humor; nice graphics.

Downs: Witless AI; single player mode gets repetitive after first couple boxers.

System Reqs:
Sony PlayStation

*Sega Dreamcast screens shown below.

Rtr1.jpg (4252 bytes)Confucius say, "Ready 2 Rumble neither greatest boxing game ever, nor not greatest boxing game ever." Gamesfirst! say ,"Ready 2 Rumble is one badass boxing game," and that goes for whatever platform you put it on because the great graphics, smooth control, and arcade action have come to the Playstation.

Rtr2.jpg (4444 bytes)Ready 2 Rumble was one of the premier titles for the Dreamcast launch, and had, among other things, jaw dropping graphics and jaw cracking action. The Playstation might not be dropping jaws quite as far, but they’re cracking jaws just as hard. The action hasn’t lost a step and the control is still great. The graphics, while not as good as the Dreamcast, are still top notch. Most importantly of all, the game still has the voice of the fights, Michael Buffer. Ok, maybe that’s not really that important, but it’s kind of cool. Although, by about the five hundredth time you hear him wail out his trademark, "Let’s get Ready to Rumble," you’ll be aching for the chance to get him in the ring for a few rounds. Sure you could just skip his announcement, but that just seems unAmerican somehow. It’s bad enough that Ready 2 Rumble isn’t crooked like real boxing, but to skip Michael Buffer–unthinkable.

Rtr3.jpg (4386 bytes)Michael Buffer may not step into the ring, but you do have seventeen fighters to choose from, including Gino Stiletto, an original Playstation character. All in all it’s a pretty impressive lineup-- but even more so considering the variety and unique feel that each character brings to the ring. They all have different speeds, combs, weight, power, reach ,and style of fighting. Which ever player can set the tempo of the match, probably wins the match. This variety adds a lot to the replay value and the multiplayer game.

Rtr4.jpg (4397 bytes)The one player mode offers you two options, the arcade mode and the Championship mode. The Arcade mode contains one less fighting division than the Dreamcast version, and this is a definite improvement. Thirty fights in a row is a long arcade game, and is best left to the Championship mode. The Playstation version has wisely shortened it to twenty fights in order to win the title. In the Championship mode you take a few fighters into your gym and train them to improve their stats. Training costs money, however. To earn the precious green stuff you can win regular title bouts as you move up in the rankings. For the big pay day you can fight an exhibition bout and even bet on the fight. The more you bet, the harder the fight is. You have to be careful though. Your fighter only has so many fights in him at the start of the game. If you squander them all on making money before you can move to the next division it’s all over.

Rtr5.jpg (4404 bytes)The training option adds a new depth to the game. You can hit a variety of exercise equipment that improve varius stats. To use the equipment you can chose auto train for immediate gratification or you can play a little mini game. Most of the mini games involve executing simple button sequences or learning to time things correctly. Doing it this way is more efficient and allows you to get more out of your training dollars, but it takes a lot longer. The mini games really aren’t all that exciting so you’ll most likely opt for the auto train.

Rtr7.jpg (4453 bytes)Like the Dreamcast version, Ready 2 Rumble on the PSX has a relatively weak AI. The computer just can’t adjust to hit and run, stick and move tactics. If you can float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, or even sting like a small wussy house fly, victory will be yours. Once you master the block and the sway technique, you’ll be able to dance circles around the computer. Of course getting to this point is most of the fun anyway, and getting that good provides hours and hours of entertainment.

Other people, however, make much better boxers than computers do. The multiplayer action is a heck of a lot of fun and it’s where this game really shines. Learning the various characters and styles of fighting adds enough variety and depth to keep you playing for quite a while. If you’re aching to either give or receive a non lethal beat down, then a boxing game is a good place to start. If you’re going to get a boxing game, Ready 2 Rumble is the only place to start.

--Jeff Luther