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Let me first start off by saying that when this game works, it’s actually pretty good, but having a great game means nothing when it’s riddled with glitches / bugs and other such problems. Let start from the moment you launch the game for the first time. Straight off it starts up like any other game, nice title screen with the usual “Press Start” message, only, hitting start doesn’t launch you into the game it first connects to EA Servers and lots of other crap before you actually get the the main menus.
Now, i have a 50MB fibre optic connection, it’s pretty damn fast but getting to the main menus of this game takes me around 2 minutes due to the slow connection being made to the EA Servers. At the very least, if EA decide to use there own servers they should at least invest some money into them, especially after the amount of profit they will make off a game like this (which i will get to in a moment).
The story mode of Fight Night Champion is pretty entertaining, but doesn’t last very long at all and the same can be said about legacy mode. While i only experienced maybe 4 or 5 system crashes during my entire play through of these, it was still pretty slow with every page due to constantly auto saving and connecting to EA Servers indicated by little icons on the left of the page.
With the short offline play in mind it’s safe to assume that a large portion of this game is aimed towards online play, and this is where things start to get pretty ridiculous. First off, when you create a boxer you are weak as hell, you have no XP, no stat boosts and you punch like a fairy. Whilst playing online, you literally get punched once, and your knocked out. The only way to have a decent fight and a decent game on XBox live is by earning XP or earning stat boosts. EA however allow you to purchase blocks of XP and stat boosts from the marketplace. a gold stat boost costs 160 MSP and 25,000XP costs 560MSP.
Now, because you constantly get your ass owned in every game, you hardly earn any XP at all, and the training games are ridiculously difficult for the amount of XP your actually awarded with. This forces you to purchase Stat Boosts and XP online in order to play without getting whopped by one punch. I purchased one Gold stat boost which to unlock for free required me to play something like 300 matches… no thank you, and i also purchased 50,000 XP totalling 1,280 MSP, more than it costs for a decent XBL Arcade Game! So with all that XP i managed to fully upgrade my Head Jab, Right Hook, Chin, Heart, Movement, Blocking and Combinations. This of course leaves everything else such as left hooks, all body shots and so on, weak as hell, which is not that much of a big deal as i could of equally split the points.
So with my boxer now levelling at around 88 overall I’m ready to start enjoying online matches… well at least i thought so. Searching for a match is quick, matches you up very fast, but the problem is now that almost EVERYBODY backs out of the game if your overall rating is even a single point higher. I literally sat there for 20 minutes searching for games and almost everybody backed out. Not to mention, half the time when it’s loading opponent data after its found them, the game freezes, shortly followed by your XBox freezing up requiring a hard reset!
After an hour had passed I’d played one online match, which lasted about 2 rounds. Because of the K.O stat on a fully upgraded punch, the ability to instantly knock out and win a game is possible, and this is exactly what happened. I just punched the guy, wasn’t even a good shot, but it floored him straight away and a won. Major Lame. So anyway, during this 1 hour i had to Hard Reset my XBox 22 times! seriously 22 TIMES! and after each time I’d have to wait ages to get to the title menu whilst it connected to EA Servers, then i had to constantly look for a match because everybody kept rejecting fights, and then it would crash, and the process started all over again.
How on earth this game ended up on the shelves with so many problems is beyond me, its absolutely ridiculous. It’s making me start to appreciate more Apples policy’s with the apple app store and how they approve each app before it goes out. Clearly EA did no testing, nor did Microsoft. Combining how unstable this game is, how stupid the XP system is and how your pretty much forced to spent MSP on in game consumables to be able to resist instantly being knocked out, makes me think this game is nothing more than a way for EA to make some quick profit. I mean, you even have to purchase a code to play the game online if you borrow it to a friend, or purchase it pre-owned, it’s an absolute joke, and the amount of money you have to put into this game, after already paying £40 / £50 for it in the shop is horrifying. Having to separately pay for stuff that is already included in the game is an absolute joke.
I will be taking this game back to the shop tomorrow for a refund, it’s a faulty product and should never have been put on the shelves. Those people who have this game and don’t have their XBox connected to the internet, unlucky, because even if EA do patch this game, you wont be able to get that patch, and will be forced to stick with the crashes.
EA -10 Respect