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Knockout Kings 2002 is no Mike Tyson's Punchout, but it is a superbly thought out game that undeniably captures the spirit of boxing, and all that Muhammad Ali did for the sport. It mixes many greats of past and present to bring a refreshing mix to the otherwise dull boxing console table. It may be a turn off for all the Street Fighters out there, but a little patience goes a long way to making this game loveable. Granted, some smoothed down load times, mixed with a little more customization on the boxers, and I'd be a super happy man, but I am pleased with what I have. And what I have is a fine, fine game.
With Knockout Kings 2002, I found that I was remarkably addicted, but also frustrated with the defensive scheme. The single-player mode is enticing, and the two-player mode is relentlessly addictive. It's hard to go for just one fight with a friend. A single bout turns into five, then turns to 10, and it's pretty much a night by the time you look at your watch. If you buy this, I strongly recommend planning out a whole free day with no other obligations. I also loved the simple Create-A-Player mode (in Career mode), and the point system to build your boxer is very rewarding.
If your curious to whether or not this game will stay in your PS2 for extended periods of times, be assured that Knockout Kings is absolutely addicting for anyone looking to play an action-packed title. I had a blast with KOK and the fun shouldn't stop with you. The tournament and career mode will keep players busy for weeks and allows for multiple character play. If you beat the game with Muhammad Ali it's just as exciting to return and make a go with say Sugar Ray Robinson or Oscar De La Hoya. I recommend any fan of boxing to play this title and experience an exciting thrill firsthand. I figured this game to be rather enjoyable, but never expected EA to pack as many features in as they have with Knockout Kings 2002.
Aus Knockout Kings 2002 hätte ein absoluter Top-Hit werden können: Die Spielgeschwindigkeit stimmt und die Grafik ist blitzsauber und hochdetailliert. Auch die zahlreichen Offensiv-Möglichkeiten wissen zu gefallen und sind immer wieder Kern für spannende Gefechte - vor allem, wenn man ein paar Freunde zu Gast hat. Das unnötig komplizierte Verteidigen und Blocken raubt jedoch ein wenig von der anfänglichen Freude. Und trotzdem: der Schritt von EA Richtung Arcade-Boxen tut Knockout Kings 2002 sichtlich gut. Das bisher beste Box-Spiel auf der PS2 - Schönheitsfehler inklusive.
In the end, Knockout Kings 2002 is a great boxing game. It's not a simulation in the sense that it gives you the ability to do everything in the ring that real fighters do, like clinching, but it's a simulation in the sense that the game simply delivers a terrific interpretation of the sport of boxing. You can use finesse and box your opponent if you want, as well as go toe-to-toe--and the game's damage and stamina system rewards you for doing either well. The game looks great, plays very well, and offers enough of a challenge to last a while, which adds up to make Knockout Kings 2002 a game that's a must-own for any fighting fan.
Game Informer Magazine
Knockout Kings 2002's revamped fighting engine improves over the plodding feel of last year's version, and the inclusion of Felix Trinidad and a few campy fantasy fighters adds some entertainment value to the mix. However, I was disappointed that the in-depth training mode was taken out. Still, Knockout Kings remains the console champ.
A solid boxing game. Several flaws in gameplay bring the rating down, but overall it was very well done.
Game Informer Magazine
The major problem with real-life boxing is that it seldom lives up to the hype. The highest-touted fights end up lasting a few scant minutes, champions are afraid to take on real competition, and controversy and sour grapes abound. I feel the same way about Knockout Kings. It's not bad, but is this really supposed to be the best boxing in video games?
KO Kings change de formule et semble bien décidé à séduire un plus vaste public. De la simulation assez radicale on passe au grand spectacle façon arcade avec un titre qui semble totalement repensé ou presque. Cap sur l'action rythmée et intense même si ceci se fait un peu au détriment de la technique même si les combats restent palpitants.
Overall we would say Knockout Kings 2002 is probably the best of the series, with still a great deal of room for improvement. The game never feels like a boxing sim but still feels more in-depth than a typical arcade-style boxing romp. One thing we can confirm is that the game is extremely fun to play, especially against a friend. The one-player mode gives plenty of challenge too as the AI is sound enough to provide a decent gameplay challenge. The game allows you to adopt your own boxing style without falling prey to using just one technique to win every bout. A good game, but one that obviously could have benefitted from a bit more playtesting before release.
This year's Knockout Kings has been totally redone, complete with a new fight engine. Moving, swaying, and ducking are all done by using the analog stick'a unique way to control your brute. Knockout Kings does have sharper graphics than before, and quick commentary quips mixed with roaring fans during a brawl sound great. With a complex control setup, Knockout Kings 2002 can be frustrating even before the first round ends. You should first weigh in this boxer as a renter to see if you're fully fit for this challenging class.
The series has been reduced to a fighting game and no longer feels like boxing, despite the stellar lineup of professional fighters in three weight classes. Knockout Kings 2001 is a better title than this year's version and you can pick up that one used or on the discount rack
Which is a total shame, because KO Kings 2002 looks so good. I don't know why this series can't get it together, but it really needs more work. Though you'll have some fun with this as a rental, do not make it a permanent addition to your library. Instead, go drop some coin on a Punch Out machine and relive the glory days, when boxers were green and bulls were bald.