Roger: Despite fuzzy, naffola graphics that look like the view through my bathroom window, Bruno's attempts to deal with eight different sparring partners stands head, shoulders and boxing gloves above the competition.
This sparring simulation offers the same back of head shot as Rocco but the knockouts require a great deal more in the way of knuckle-dusting. On top of which movements, fight tactics and programming twists, like the knock down feature, make for maintained interest and complication. Slugging through the screens with our Frank saw me swimming in sweat until I was left out for the count. But it was worth it just to see the crowd go frantic at the front. 4/5 HIT
Rick: If you're gonna beat the brains out of someone, then it's better to do it here. 3/5 HIT
Ross: In the battle of the boxers, it's a knockout to Frank by one fall and two submissions. (Surely some mistake! Ed) 3/5 HIT
You can duck, dodge left, dodge right as well as landing right and left punches on your opponent s jaw. When the KO sign is flashing you can land a right hook/uppercut depending on whether your guard is up or down. Whether you make body blows or head blows is determined in the same way.
All of which makes Frank Bruno's boxing technically a more sophisticated game than Rocco, the other contender in the boxing stakes this month. If you win the bout you get a secret code which enables you to go on and load in the next boxer. You have to take on eight boxers as opposed to the four in Gremlin's Rocco in order to become heavyweight champion of the world. Each of the boxers has a different fighting style.
Yet somehow the game doesn't succeed graphically in the way Rocco does. Punches don't produce the same squelching effect on your opponent, and your first opponent the Canadian Crusher, could be anything from a gorilla to a barrage balloon.
The screen is divided into two main sections. The upper half shows fight time, score and bonus - together with Bruno's status. The lower half shows a perspective view of the ring, it's fairly easy to defeat the Canadian Crusher, sometimes you can knock him out with just left and right jabs. I'm not totally convinced about the difference between head blows and body blows. It seems to be largely a random piece of luck if your blows have any effect.
The eight boxers are all fantasy characters laden with boring old national stereotyping. Ravioli Mafiosi (Italy) knows all the dirst tricks and uses them without a care in the world. That's not going to endear us to any computer users in Turin, is it?
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