Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions Review (NSW)
Updated: Sep 26, 2021
Release Date: Sept 3, 2021
*Game provided to me by Survios
''My Ring's outside''
Big Rumble Boxing Creed Champions is an arcade boxing simulator developed and published by Survios. Best known for their VR titles Walking Dead Onslaught and their VR edition of Creed Rise To Glory, Survios attempts to leave the world of VR and give us a boxing sim that we've been waiting for since the days of Ready 2 Rumble boxing. But do they succeed in being the angel on our shoulder? or do we have to be there for them when they slip on this ice and catch them before they fall? Only one way to find out, so, DING... DING...
Not too much story here. Re-live the classic story of the Rocky films or Creed films by playing as Rocky or Adonis.
Big Rumble Boxing Creed Champions as stated earlier is an arcade boxing simulation title in the vein of games like Ready 2 Rumble boxing or if were going to make an even more modern comparison, we can compare it to the arcade style action of WWE 2K Battlegrounds by 2KGames. Much like 2K Battlegrounds, Creed Champions also leans heavily on the arcade style of game play with the utilization a class based system. What do I mean by class based system? well, it's not the traditional RPG sense where you pick various classes like warrior, mage, etc, not that type of class system. The system I'm talking about here is literally the exact same one that was used in 2K Battlegrounds with each fighter in the game having a specific move set that is based around different fighting styles. These fighting styles range from Brawlers like Rocky who may not be as fast as other boxers, but they pack a huge wallop, Speed based general boxers like Adonis Creed who are more rounded overall in their orthodox boxing style, but don't necessary pack that big of a punch, so it's best to use the stick and move approach because Adonis can take damage pretty easily. This is basically the gist of every character in the game as well, with each one of the 20 characters having a set style you can use. 20 characters? holy moly. This game has more characters in its game than Paulie has hairs on his head. But you know the old saying, quality not quantity. Are the 20 characters even worth it? well... that's both a yes and no, depending on the type of player you are.
Each character in the game has their own individual character arcade mode that offers a little side story telling about that character and getting you in tune more with their play style and every time you complete one of the arcade modes for each character, it unlocks a brand new character to choose from. For example when playing Rocky's story mode where you must go through the events of Rocky 1 to 4, as well as events you never got to see in the movies, such as Rocky's back alley fights when he worked as a loan shark. When you actually fully complete his story arc, you unlock Apollo Creed to play as. This same thing holds true for all other characters as well, including unlocking Ivan Drago's son upon completing the full scenario of Adonis Creed. Beating the arcade mode to get extra characters isn't the only reward for completing your task either, nope, you also get rewarded with new ring attire, such as Rocky's classic attire he wore against Apollo Creed in their first bout, as well the classic shorts he wore in his fight against big ol Ivan Drago. Small incentive for sure, but for die hard fans like myself, its the little things that can make you geek out. But it doesn't make us as much of a geek as Rocky's kid though, I mean come on ''GO HOME TEAM?''. What a nerd. So that's pretty cool, lots of characters to choose from, incentives to actually beat every story mode and get new in ring attire, all that sounds cool, yes? but ''AY YO'', you say, what about the actual core game play mechanics. YOU OWE US an explanation on that one. Wait what? No! FRIENDS DONT OWE, THEY DO CUZ THEY WANNA DO. Ahem. Sorry. Just wise words of Rocky there. So ok fine, lets ''Go For It!'' and dive in.
The game play in this game for every boxer is relatively the same, well minus their speed and damage output based off if they're are a speedy boxer, technical or brawler, but all fighters are regulated to the same amount of combos that utilize light and heavy attacks, as well as a grappling move that when grabbing someone delivers a series of unblockable shots, complete with a special move that when you hit your opponent with it, they fall flat to the mat like they're dead. Seriously, it makes you want to stand over them and just gloat ''If he dies, he dies'' or something. Its that devastating. Using your directional inputs of Up, Down, Left, Right on the d-pad in conjunction with the Y button on the Nintendo Switch controller will let you aim at specific points in your opponents bodies, while also allowing you to move from combinations like jab jab straight to double jabbing into an uppercut if you time it just right. Along with the ability to light punch as stated, you can utilize the X button for power hook shots by either adding it into your combination of attack with the Y button or hold X down for 2 to 3 seconds to unleash a devastating one shot to your opponent that will knock them back and at times, even stun them. But be careful on the timing of this one because if you miss your power shot, you will be left wide open to a combination of attack from the other fighter or even get hit by a power shot yourself, which will either get you knocked out or stunned momentarily. Sometimes you can counter this by using your L or R buttons to dash away or block, but most of the time, yeah, you're more screwed than Rocky probably was at the end of Rocky 5 after he gut punched Duke into a car. I mean he did warn him after all, ''come on pug, touch me and ill sue''. I wonder if he ever made good on that promise. Wouldn't matter anyways, all Rocky has is a stinky shirt and a dog.
During my playthrough of Rocky's story mode, fights ranged from being a piece of cake, to actually getting pretty intense. In Creed Champions, each fight you are involved in is set with the rules of a 4 knock down rule. What do you mean by that? well, you see, every single time you get knocked down, you or your opponent gets a star under their counter that indicates that they have one knock down on you and vice versa, then you or them in a scramble to get back to your feet, by having to spam the Y button as fast as you can to make it to your feet. This process repeats until one of you either can't make it to your feet in time because spamming your controller with your itty bitty fingers starts to hurt or you get knocked down a 4th time in the fight, which it then becomes an automatic knock out no matter what. Game play wise, the game isn't that overly difficult if you take your time. I noticed when I tried to rush in as Rocky against a fighter like Clubber Lang that I would absolutely get decimated by his punches and hooks, this made me realize this game isn't just a regular button masher and there's actually a bit of strategy involved. Picking my shots by double jabbing, hooking to ribs then following up with an over head hook or uppercut seemed to do the trick to gain me the advantage and even dazed him. I also used my special move with ZL that allows you to harness all the power you built up on your meter to unleash a monstrous hit to his gut, followed by a deadly shot to the side of their temple that sends them straight down to the mat like a sack of potatoes. It looks as vicious as something you would see in the anime Hajime No Ippo and it's awesome. All of the characters in the game have moves like this too, including Adonis Creed, who instead of doing just two big power hit moves, instead does a massive 4 hit combination that just looks awesome as hell by going body body face face with multiple shots in a row . Connecting special moves in this game feels so dang fun.
So about those story modes I mentioned earlier. How they they presented?. Well, let's bring back the reference to WWE 2K Battlegrounds for minute because its nearly the same style used here for Creed Champions. While 2K Battlegrounds uses comic like panels to portray its story, Creed Champions uses more of a visual novel approach with still frames of each character making grunts or ay yo's or chuckles, along with text boxes indicating what they're saying. While a visual novel isn't exactly innovative or eye catching, it still looks really clean and all characters from the classic Rocky series and even Creed series, all represent who they're supposed to extremely well and nothing is inherently bad overall about it. The character models in game during fights don't exactly look great overall though, sure they still look like who they're supposed to, but they just have a weird rubbery look to them that feels a little off putting. But I won't gripe too much on that because it is an arcade style game, its not supposed to look realistic so, I won't harp on that or consider it as an overall negative. But while the game play itself can be engaging, intense and even nail biting at times, as well as having some pretty good replayability with unlockables with characters/gear and story modes, I still do have some personal gripes. A few gripes I have with this game relate to specific combinations of attacks that put you in an endless loop of getting hit. Not sure if it was a glitch but even when trying to block mid combo, the amount of damage still stayed the same as if I wasn't even blocking, this happened even when I still had my stamina and wasn't drained. It was really weird. Another issue I have is the overall lack of features. Your base game you start off with Arcade, Versus and Training, that's it. Versus and training mode are interchangeable because versus mode is just training mode with the opponent hitting you back and arcade mode, each story mode you take part in is roughly 30 to 40 minutes in length, tops. So for people who only care about doing movie tie in stories of Rocky and Adonis, you're looking at an under 2 hour long playthrough to see and live their stories. My final problem will be addressed in my overall wrap up. Man. I'm starting to sound like a big ol grouch aren't I? don't worry, you can still invite me over for thanksgiving and christmas, I wont throw your turkey into the back alley.
At the end of the day, Big Rumble Boxing Creed Champions does end up being a fun but flawed experience. Sure the game has great upside like intense and fun game play mechanics that makes you strategize how to pick your shots, broad character selection, small but fun story mode that lets you re-live the glory days of Rocky, amazing music ripped straight from the Rocky movies itself like Eye Of The Tiger, high replayability if you want to unlock every character, but with all those ups, it does have its downs. Blocking at times feeling null and void even when you have enough stamina to block, lack of game modes to keep you engaged in the long term and lack of online fighting, wide variety of characters, but most of them aren't recognizable icons, so a lot people might only get two hours of game play out of this title at the end of the day due to only wanting to play as Rocky or Adonis and a training montage in between matches that involve punching bag hitting, glove hitting, treadmills, which sound nice, but they ultimately do zero to any stats, as there aren't any. I know I'm sounding a bit harsh, but let me be clear, I had a lot of fun with this title and I feel the ground work here is laid out for great future installments. We need more Arcade style game like this, ESPECIALLY boxing related ones because lets be honest, we don't have a lot of boxing games nowadays. But at its current price for what it offers the player, I can't justify telling people to drop $40 on this title on any platform. $20 to me is the price range I'd recommend picking it up on in the future cause I feel you WILL love it, just not for the current asking price. So with all that having been said, my verdict is clear. GameNChick says WAIT