A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a fighting game, so don't be surprised if there's violence and blood. It's not out of context, of course, and doesn't include weapons. Suggestive themes relate to sexy videos of women who try to tempt the boxer to come over for a good time. Players make decisions in the game, such as whether or not to take narcotics (in the form of a text message, but allegedly there's a related video too).
What's it about?
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.
Is it any good?
Despite its attractive graphics, enjoyable video clips, impressive play-by-play commentary and more than 70 licensed songs, Don King Presents: Prizefighter is sure to disappoint because of its burdensome and unresponsive controls. Hopefully the developers, who are readying a Wii version of the game, can work out these kinks before Nintendo gamers are asked to climb through the ropes this fall.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether this fighting game relies too heavily on production values, such as the many videos staring Don King, famous fighters, attractive women, and more -- and not enough on the game-play itself. Is there a lesson to be learned about spending $60 on an "unfinished" product that looks like its polished because of fancy videos and celebrity involvement?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.