Boxing has been a sport of many champions fact and fiction. From Mohamid Ali to Mike Tyson and from Rocky Balboa to Apollo Creed. It takes stamina, the moves, and the hits to come out the winner and hopefully, one day, with all the hard work, dedication, and focus, become the champion of it all. But does developer Survios bring the TKO? Let’s find out with Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions for the PlayStation 4.

Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions bring the arcade gripping intensity of Creed in non-VR action. Step into the ring and show off your boxing skills in a knockout arcade experience. Fight as 20 iconic characters from the Creed and Rocky universe. Take on world-class opponents across a variety of thrilling locations, or challenge your friends and family in intense, head-to-head matches. Featuring pick-up and play controls, hard-hitting mechanics that are easy to learn, but hard to master so that everyone can have a fighting chance to become champion. Normally, I review PlayStation VR games and when I do get a chance to play some non-VR games, I look at things a little differently. I like to see how things control, the movement, sound, graphics, and all-out fun, but with a different perspective. So with that said, let’s continue.

The first thing you want to do is go into settings and check out the controls. Things are pretty simple and straightforward. Move your fighter with the D-pad or left thumbstick, R1 is Guard, Triangle is the Power Attack, O is grapple, Square is your Basic Attack, and X is Dodge. Once you have a certain amount of hits is when you can activate your super attack, in which each fighter has a different power attack. Now, being that this is an arcade boxing game, there are combos such as using moving in a direction and hitting the Square four times and even combo enders where you will use the Triangle after using the Square button combo. But it’s good just to get a feel of the game before you really get into it.

Of course, each of the movies of Rocky and Creed is about telling the story and that goes for here as well. Each fighter has its own story and beating each of the fighter’s stories, unlocks new characters as well for you to use in your boxing journey of redemption. There are three levels of difficulties with Rookie, Pro, and Champion.

I felt going all nostalgic and went with Rocky on my first time playing and being that this is an arcade boxing game, there is not going to be much on the audio dialog portion as will need to read everything. There is, of course, the music with the traditional Rocky-inspired theme playing and the subtle grunts of what could pass as the actors, but if the real actors blended their actual voices for a full-out dialog, the game might end up costing way more. But one thing Survios does here is help tell the story and they do mention some of the past characters like Rocky telling Creed that back in the day at Mighty Micks, how he worked like nobody’s business. So bringing back the old characters, even if it is through the story, does add something special here. But like any good athlete, training is important and you will be training before you get to a new fighter. Training will consist of things like running on the treadmill, boxing beef, and the punching bag. You do this by doing combos with the direction and buttons that flash on the screen.

Besides the Training and the Arcade (story) modes, there is also a Versus mode. This is not online. This is local play with another player sitting next to you. So unless you have another player, you will more than likely spend your time in the Arcade mode trying to beat all the fighter’s stories to unlock new fighters.

But with all the training, the name of the game here is fighting and that is the view that is presented here. Not over the shoulder, but more of a typical fighting game that includes the things we come to expect with the moves and attacks and power attacks. There are different environments to box in from outside to inside the ring. If you get hard enough, you will need to hit the Square button repeatedly to get back up. Each time you are knocked down, the harder it will be to keep hitting the Square button. Once you are out for 10 seconds, that’s it, gave over. So there is no shame in overtraining. Just understand the moves it will take more than a round or two, but you will serve your opponent with that TKO.

Let’s talk about the graphics and sound. As a non-VR fighter, the models of the fighters do have their likeness with some better than others even down to their hair. I mean playing as Rocky and him getting hit, his hair did not move which is what happened during the majority of the movies. But when playing in the outdoor levels and seeing the moonlight hit the water with the reflections is a nice touch or even outside in the desert and when the different fighters are about to hit their power attacks and the way the game focuses on the dramatic slow-motion shots, it very pleasant to look at.

When listening to the sound, you can hear the bass in the punches and the grunts as the fighters are throwing the punches as well as taking them. But on the outside levels, there is music playing that seemed to distract at points vs on some levels where the focus was more on the boxing sounds and fighting. I know it’s an arcade boxer, but I am not sure if it’s needed because not everyone will enjoy the same type of music. Luckily, you can adjust the volumes in the settings. But I just wanted to bring this up so you know what to expect.

There are a few things that I hope to get added. For one, Multiplayer. There is no online vs mode and I think if it was added, the level of fun would be taken up a notch or two. Not saying it’s not fun now, but I didn’t have anyone to play against in the Versus mode and really wish there was an online mode to box against other players. Second, the ability to design our own boxer. It may not be needed, but it would sure add to some fun creativity here. And finally, I know this is about MGM along with the Rocky and Creed universe, but having even more boxing legends would be a blast. Would it be a licensing nightmare, probably, but that’s when the ability to design your own boxer comes into play.

Survios has conquered the boxing genre with both VR with Creed: Rise to Glory and now the non-VR quick arcade action of Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions and shows the fun with any direction you want to go and will take you round to round in each. Sometimes we aim to be champions at whatever we do in life and sometimes it’s the hard training and focus that will get us to that title.

Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions is coming to PlayStation 4 on September 3, 2021. A review code was provided. To learn more about Survios, please visit their site and make sure you like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. To learn more about MGM Interactive, please visit their site and make sure you like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I have another round to get to.

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