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TEEN, Blood, Mild Lyrics, Violence
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Knockout Kings makes its second PlayStation 2 appearance with a lineup of 45 boxers divided among three weight classes: lightweight, middleweight, and heavyweight. While the majority of boxers are fictional, the 15 pros include Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Robinson, Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield, and cover star Muhammad Ali. Eight venues are available to fight in one of three modes of play: Exhibition, Tournament, and Career. Players can also create their own boxer using a selection of nine different face types and ratings in the areas of power, speed, stamina, chin, cuts, and heart.
Exhibition has one or two players choosing a class, the fighters, and the arena before the introductions. Tournament allows players to set up a field of four or eight boxers and fight it out in a single-elimination format. Career involves a character facing off against a pyramid of 15 boxers until he reaches the top. Players must also stave off up to five challengers before being allowed to retire as a champion. Lose three bouts at any time during the Career and the boxer must hang up his gloves and call it quits.
At the end of each Career fight, players will earn a specific number of points used to bolster a created boxer's stats, although players are free to use one of the established fighters in the game as well. Players can also select one of four difficulty levels, set the rounds from one to 15, set the clock speed to either double time or real, and choose whether or not tapping the button is required in order to pick a boxer off the mat. Other rule variants include a saved by the bell option and a three knockdown rule.
Players fight inside a 3D ring seen from one of eight camera angles, including a first-person view for close encounters. As the fight wears on, each boxer's face shows real-time damage in the form of puffy eyes, cuts, and bruises. The corner man offers tips in between rounds as a ring girl struts her stuff on the canvas. Two horizontal meters (optionally displayed at the top of the screen) represent health and stamina. As a boxer receives each blow, health gradually depletes. If health falls below 50 percent, the controller will vibrate in a heartbeat pattern to warn of an impending knockdown. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide