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Fight Night: Round 3
Score: 84%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: EA Sports
Developer: EA Chicago
Media: UMD/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Fighting/ Sports (Boxing)

Graphics & Sound:
Fight Night: Round 3 looks almost as good as its console counterparts. The movement of the fighters is fluid and the venues are nicely detailed, though you wonít be looking at them in too much detail once the fight starts. More importantly, the physics are what one would expect from a game that exposed itself to the world with its stunning slow-mo replays. The game has a few rough edges, along with some downright graphical glitches, but most of these are nothing big, and they definitely do not affect the gameplay.

The sound comes in two categories: licensed music and hard hits in the ring. Both are staples of the franchise and neither lack much in their respective departments. Once the music stops, the hitting begins. There is good commentary to support the sound effects, but it seems to recede to the back of your mind once you get into the zone.

As always, Fight Night: Round 3 allows you create your own boxer, right down to the weight class and style of fighting he uses. You can take this boxer on a career tour, hire a trainer, and sign for fights against various opponents. Before each fight, you set the level of intensity you want to train at and the game automatically calculates what skills increase (or decrease if you get injured). While it speeds the game along, this eliminates those fun mini-games you got to play to up your stats.

If you donít want to create your own boxer and instead want to jump right into a fight, there are a great number of pre-created boxers based on real life heroes of the ring. This is also where you can partake in the PSP only game mode, Rival Challenges. These are basically replacements to the mini-games that were taken out, and feature a number of different challenges you must accomplish in the ring in order to advance to newer ones.

But Fight Night wouldnít be Fight Night without plenty of unlockables. As you progress through your Career mode, you earn money and some of this money can be spent on unlocking various items for your boxer. Some items, like intro music, are strictly cosmetic, while others actually improve your stats.

Fight Night: Round 3 also features online and Ad Hoc Multiplayer modes. While playing online, you have access to stat tracking and match options, adding a lot to the replay value of this game.

Fight Night: Round 3 lacks a great deal in its A.I. While the controls offer a lot in the way of various fighting tactics, the A.I. does not help you utilize them all. Most of your opponents are limited to a single, predictable tactic throughout the match, and once it is figured out, a fighter of nearly any caliber will be able to pull through with a victory.

Game Mechanics:
The biggest thing Fight Night: Round 3 is missing from its console counterparts is the dual analog stick control. With only a single analog stick and a very limited amount of buttons at your disposal, Fight Night: Round 3 becomes less of a Fight Night game and more of a regular fighting game, just with more cumbersome controls. The single analog stick is positioned in such a way as to make extensive use of it a hassle. While it doesnít entirely kill the gameplay, it does make things a bit of a chore, especially to those who are new to the franchise.

Fight Night: Round 3 isnít the greatest boxing game around, nor is it the best portable fighting game around. What it does do is provide the best boxing experience you can get on a handheld. While it doesnít exactly have the stiffest competition out there, it still does a good job at providing an entertaining experience that utilizes the Fight Night franchise name.

-Snow Chainz, GameVortex Communications
AKA Andrew Horwitz

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