This is a Guest review by Sarge.Gameplay
Fight Night Round 3 is setup pretty much like Round 2, but with a few changes. They have kept the Total Punch Control (TPC) system they introduced in the first Fight Night back in 2004. If you’re new to the Fight Night series you may find this a little tricky at first but once you have been in a few matches you'll soon get used to it and find that it allows you to do so much more than the “button bashing” approach found in previous boxing titles. Veterans of the series will be happy to know that they have made the controls feel more intuitive and as a result you feel like you have more control over your boxer than ever before.
The lack of HUD adds to the immersion and feel of the game, it also gives an added boost to the difficulty of the game without making the boxers harder. With no round timer you really have to listen for the tapping on the table and to the announcers to find out when a round is almost up. The lack of health and stamina bars is something that has never been tried before and really makes you watch just how you and your opponents boxer is moving to work out just when to unleash that killer blow you have been dying to throw all round or when to lay off the mad swinging of fists to catch your breath. The power of your punches, breathing and stance change depending on how much health/stamina you have remaining, this and the added help from the announcers all helps you make the vital decisions of when to attack and when to lay off. With all these letting you know the condition of both boxers in the ring the removal of the HUD is a risk that has really paid off.
Fans of Round 2 will be happy to hear that the Haymaker makes a welcome return but you also have 2 new hard hitting punches to unleash on your opponents. The Haymaker works much the same as it did in Round 2 but with more severe consequences for missing this time round. The two new punches are a little trickier to pull off but yield greater rewards for your risk. The “Flash K.O”, if done correctly will drop your opponent’s health completely and leave them ready for the knock out blow, on a rare occasion even a one punch K.O. The “Stun Punch” does exactly what it says on the tin, stuns your opponent and shifts the view to that of your opponent, allowing you to see more easily his defence. However, they are even more guarded when in this mode. If you do manage to break their defence, or maybe slip one round it, you’re rewarded with extra damage and if hit with a Haymaker or a clean hook this will result in a knock down. Because of the risk involved however these moves should be used as part of a well rounded attack consisting of jabs, straights and hooks. Only by utilising all maneuvers at your disposal can you become truly triumphant.
Round 3 offers a variety of different modes for you to chose from including a training mode where you can practice all the training types used in career mode before hand (which is very handy if you’re new to the series), learn just how to execute the devastating “Impact Punches” or do a little sparring (which also shows up in career mode). Sparring has a few modes within, free sparring where you can just lay into your sparring partner or you can opt to take some sparring lessons, these allow newcomers to learn both the basics and advanced techniques needed to become champ and returning players to brush up on the necessities before they step back into the ring.
“Play Now” lets you jump right into the ring as your favorite boxer against an opponent of your choice. You can choose from a whole host of different boxers in all the different weight classes including some of the greats such as Mohamed Ali, Joe Frazier, Evander Holyfield, Jones Jr. and many more.
ESPN Classic mode allows you to jump right in during one of the great boxing rivalries and take control of your favorite and relive or perhaps change the outcome of the historical boxing events. All of which are accompanied by a few short clips of a match between the boxers and running commentary explaining what happened leading up to this event. Winning a match in this mode will also unlock some extras for you to buy in the fight store during career mode and give you extra styles for your created boxer.
“Create a boxer”, well you create a boxer. This feels a lot faster in this title but keeps the same level of detail you had with the previous titles in the series. You pick a name, nickname and place of origin. You also have to make his overall fighting style by mixing his stance, defence, and punching style. Depending on your weight class you can adjust his height and weight, all classes have preset limits, along with weight you can chose if he is well toned, muscular bulk or just plain bulky. You have the standard hair and facial hair options but can also change such details as ear size, nose width, bridge size, lips, chin and jawline as well as head size and slope. Once you have his look and style picked out you will have to distribute his attribute points, you have an inexhaustible supply of these but once finished the game will balance him out somewhat, after all you wouldn't want to go online and face lightweight boxers with maxed out stats would you? All in all there is a good choice of customizable features that make you feel as though the fighter really is yours and will standout when used online.
In career mode you can either revive the career of a classic boxer or create your own. In career create a boxer you have a limited number of points to spend in his stats and few little extras like tattoos that you can add to him, to give him just that bit more of a customized feel. You also have access to the fight store where you can buy new ring attire, which adds small bonus's to your stats, new signature punches and illegal blows as well as new tattoos. The items in the fight store can be unlocked by progressing through career mode and winning certain fights or completing ESPN Classic bouts.
Once in career mode you will start off as an amateur boxer who will have to prove his worth by winning the amateur title belt for his given weight class. Once you turn pro you will have to work your way through the ranks to reach the top, but not only do you need to win matches but also win over the crowd, as the faster your popularity raises the faster you get a chance to go for the gold. Along the way you will have the opportunity to compete in special bonus events such as the heavy hitters match where the round ends when a person hits the deck and the one with the most knock downs at the end of fifteen rounds wins, or the last man standing. These types of events will give you special bonuses such as a larger popularity boost or extra cash. During your career you will gain rivals which allows for a few interesting new aspects in career mode, such as psych outs at press conferences and brawls at weigh-ins all that all have an effect on the upcoming match. Once a rival has been made and played out you can relive it or show a friend in the ESPN Classic mode.