THREE boxing games have been released simultaneously - all based loosely on Punch Out!! which is doing so well in the arcades.
Coming out on top is Frank Bruno's Boxing from Elite, more realistic and enjoyable than both Rocco and Knockout.
You have eight fights, before you are proclaimed world champ, against many top fighters including Andra Puncheredov from USSR and Fling Long Chop from Japan.
The two boxers step into the ring, put their fists up and the fight is on. Ducking, slugging and dodging you have to knock out your opponent three times in a three minute round, before moving onto the next bout. A high score championship table adds excitement to the game and is a feature lacking in the other boxing software contenders.
Rather unfairly, your opponent can throw right hooks and uppercuts at will, whereas you can only throw those when the knockout bell is ringing. When you do deliver a KO the result is spectacular - your opponent staggers then keels over. In comparison, the boxer in Alligata's Knockout merely sits down.
Keyboard control in all three games is more satisfactory than using a joystick, and especially in this game. There are eight separate moves which are difficult to simulate with a joystick, though simple with the keyboard.
The monochrome graphics are inferior to those in Rocco, but are reasonably defined. Of the three, Frank Bruno's Boxing is the most faithful version of the original arcade game, including the same scoring system. As usual your energy decreases for each blow received and marks are scored for every correct punch. When those marks reach the KO bell you can go in for the kill.
It's a pity that Frank Bruno isn't a two player game but if you are into vicarious violence - buy it.
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair
For those of you who are as brain dead as Frankie pretends to be, FBB is a 'simulation' of a boxing match in the same way as the classic arcade game, Punch Out. You view big Frank from behind and have total control over his dodging, weaving, bobbing, punching, and being hit very hard. Your aim is to win the title by beating hell out of 8 internationally stereotyped opponents ranging from the big but clumsy Canadian Crusher (a lumberjack by occupation) through to the USA champion, Peter Perfect.
Graphics are cartoony and very well animated. Sound is just a few thwaks here and there, but this doesn't detract from the enjoyability. Playability is high, and I can see it being played for quite a while.
Author: To follow
Reviewer: 'Harry' Dillon
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