While 2K Games' fresh approach to boxing video games isn't a bad idea -- folding in documentary-style presentation, featuring live-action video clips from legendary fighters and others –- the game-play itself falls flat on the mat. DON KING PRESENTS: PRIZEFIGHTER lets players create a budding boxer from scratch –- by first selecting characteristics such as body type, facial features, skin tone, and clothing –- and then work his way up from an unknown wannabe to world champ. This Career mode involves plenty of training (with a jump rope, heavy bag, speed bag, and focus mitts), amateur bouts in a gym, and securing a promoter to book you prize fights against 30 of today's top boxers (as well as taking part in classic fights against the likes of Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, or Max Baer).
This \"behind-the-scenes\" concept is a welcome one. Using videos from vixens who try to woo you away from training and antics from by the bombastic King create entertainment, but the game disappoints where it counts the most: in the game-play department. Controlling the boxers is quite difficult with an overly-complicated button scheme. In fact, there are 40 different kinds of punches and techniques to master, many with cumbersome button combinations such as a \"step around right body hook\" that challenges players to simultaneously press the right button, right trigger, B button, and push the left stick in a downward position with your thumb. What's more, the buttons didn't seem to be very responsive, resulting in a slight but noticeable delay between when your press down and when the corresponding action is seen onscreen.