Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions – Arcade Fisticuffs
PC, Xbox Series/One, PS4/5, Switch
Boxing games have a long and storied past in the annals of video game history. 4D Sports Boxing, Super Punch Out and Fight Night are just some of the fondly remembered pugilist classics. But in recent times, the well has been rather dry. The Fight Night team moved to UFC and no one else has taken up the mantle in any meaningful way. Sure there have been a few VR titles, but nothing in the way of traditional games for fans of fisticuffs to sink their teeth into. But now, thanks to one of those VR titles, we have Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions, but can it fill the void?
Big Rumble Boxing has been put together by Survios, the same team that made Creed: Rise to Glory VR and that is noticeable from the outset. In fact, it would be pretty fair to say that Big Rumble Boxing is simply a non-VR version of that game. It features the same characters from the Rocky universe, the same cartoony graphical style and even the same mini-games, just converted to a controller and TV setup instead of a headset. I say this not as a slight on the game, in fact, I think it is a smart move by Survios. Why not convert the game into a format that can be enjoyed by more people? It makes sense right?
The game, at its heart, is a simple Arcade boxing title. Think NBA Jam but for boxing. It takes all of five minutes to suss out how to play and from there it is pure biffo action. The game uses a very simple control scheme consisting of buttons for light punch, heavy punch, block, dodge, grapple and special moves. These basic moves are altered depending on what direction you are holding when you press the button. For example, holding forward and pressing heavy gives an uppercut, while holding left or right gives a hook. It is basic but works well from a pick-up-and-play perspective.
It is clear this game was designed with multiplayer in mind because there isn’t much in the way of things to do for single-players. It very much resembles the setup of an old Street Fighter title, in that the single player has a very basic story for each character and when you finish this story you unlock new fighters and outfits. The computer AI is a fair competitor but it isn’t enough to keep players hanging around once they have unlocked all the fighters.
No the real draw here is the multiplayer. The ease at which new players can pick up a controller and start pummelling friends is the real draw. I can imagine this game doing fantastically well in the arcades of old, with players placing their 20c pieces on the machine waiting for their chance to take on the current champ. Playing with friends (or my kids in my case) is the true highlight of the game. Simple, pure, silly fun that anyone can play.
Special mention has to be made of the use of the Rocky licence. As a fan of the films, it is very cool to be able to have Rocky take on Clubber Lang, Ivan Drago and even Adonis Creed, all to the iconic Rocky soundtrack. I got a massive buzz walking into the ring to take on Mr T to the sound Eye of the Tiger playing in the background. There is a large dose of fan service here and people who have watched all the Rocky and Creed films will find a lot of easter eggs and little nuggets that will bring a smile to their faces quicker they can yell ADRIAN!!!!
Really despite having little for single-players to do and not much depth, it is hard to be mad at what Big Rumble Boxing offers. It knows what it is and makes no pretences at being anything grander. At its release price it is probably a tad too expensive for what you are getting, but at say $30 it would be a fantastic pick up for parties and couch gaming sessions. The game is put together well, has ample Rocky fan service and can be played by just about everyone with opposable thumbs. It may not reinvent the boxing video game and be remembered in the same breath as Fight Night or Super Punch-Out, but it will still scratch that boxing itch when you have friends around for a gaming session.
Big Rumble Boxing was reviewed on the PC with code kindly supplied by Koch Media Australia