|System: Wii, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Nikitova||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Destination Software (DSI)||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Dec. 13, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Branden Barrett
Boxing has become somewhat of a pastime for many Americans over the last 50 years or so. From the great Muhammad Ali to modern fighters like De La Hoya and Trinidad, each combatant brings a particular technique, personality, fire, and passion to the table.
Some would call it an unorthodox way of fighting; I mean, come on, they wear padded gloves for goodness sake. Nevertheless, the entertainment you receive from watching two grown men pummel each other for up to two hours is worth it enough to remove any doubts. This now opens up another point; what good boxing games have been released over the last few years? Well, there are the under-the-radar arcade ones, EA's Fight Night series and, of course, a bunch of broken, forgettable ones that wear out their welcome within the first ten minutes. Showtime Championship Boxing may sound like a contender, but even the Wii can't save this one from being "KO'd."
The game starts off with a rather bland introduction featuring a bunch of no-name boxers who get their kicks prancing around the ring awkwardly. And by no-name, I meant just that. Showtime Championship Boxing doesn't give you a long list of established pros with individual attributes and move sets; no, the game gives you a handful of carbon cut-outs with nothing unique about them but their appearance. However, given the title's poor graphical quality, poor saps like "Six-pack Sam" and "Lazy Lorenzo" don't come across as very engaging. What is also disappointing is the fact that there aren't any realistic or unique venues such as Madison Square Garden or the MGM Grand. Oh well, enough about the aesthetical functions of the game; let's just get on to talking about boxing. I think that is what this game is about anyway.
As you delve into the single player portion of Showtime, you will find three unique game modes: Amateur, Contender, and of course, Showtime. Each one of these provides a set number of players to fight, with more being available as you move up the rankings. It is also important to mention that the difficulty isn't very balanced, especially once you move up into Showtime; prepare to be knocked out over a dozen times each bout before you move on to the next round. This is all trackable through the U.I., which offers a round clock, health bar, and a fatigue bar. The first two are fairly self explanatory, but the fatigue bar is just for effect and shows how much power you are putting behind each shot. Of course, as you go through the round the power will continue to go down, at least until the initial round is over. Break out the spit bucket!
Now, you would think that since the game was created to take control of the Wii's control scheme that would be its greatest strength, right? Well, how many times have we seen these types of games fail? I am fairly sure you know the answer to this one. Taking a nod from Wii Sports (Boxing), you use the Nunchuk to control the left arm and the Wii-mote to function the right. The control stick on the Nunchuk helps position your character, allowing him to get the best angle of attack. The problem is that the title offers little in the way of dodging or defending, meaning that you will be getting clobbered any time you let up on offense. Movements are a bit sluggish, and there were times when I would throw four or give jabs only to see two actually happen. It also doesn't help that the computer abuses the defense option far too often, and there will be times when you go through a round without applying any effective damage. If the original game plan was for you to lose, then the creators of this game had the right idea.