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EA SPORTS' boxing franchise, which began on the PlayStation in 1998, makes its first appearance on the Game Boy Color with many of the same features found in previous console versions. Players will be able to choose from the following 10 boxers as they compete in a Career, Slugfest or two-player Versus Mode: Muhammad Ali, Oscar De La Hoya, Sugar Ray Leonard, Joe Frazier, Shane Mosley, Michael Grant, Lennox Lewis, Floyd Mayweather and Rocky Marciano.
Slugfest Mode has you competing against computer opponents in a ladder-style series of bouts. Career Mode lets you create a boxer and travel to different venues in order to make a name for yourself. By winning each venue, you'll be able to move one step closer to the ultimate fight: your created boxer versus "The Greatest" himself, Muhammad Ali! As you progress through your career, you'll be able to improve your fighter's overall ratings in strength, speed and stamina.
While many of the same features are available in the earlier console versions, Knockout Kings for the Game Boy Color includes a number of differences. Instead of featuring 3D polygonal boxers, for example, the handheld version offers 2D sprites with heads that are nearly twice the size of the boxers' bodies. A single health meter appears at the top of the screen that will gradually diminish as your fighter receives blows. If the meter should completely disappear, your boxer will fall to the mat and have ten seconds to get back up. Rapidly press the A and B buttons to recover health or you'll lose the fight!
Mills Lane reprises his role as the videogame referee who will encourage boxers to "get it on" in digitized speech. Options include the ability to toggle TKOs (knock down a fighter three times in a row and the fight will end) and use power-ups (collect gloves to boost strength, shoes to improve speed and bottles to increase stamina). A password save feature will let you resume your career after the system is switched off. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide