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Gamezilla (Dec 19, 1998)
This is a top-notch boxing game and I hope EA continues the series. The list of available fighters is incredible and overall gameplay is excellent. There are only a couple of things EA could do a bit better for the next game, but don't bother waiting. Instead, if you're even remotely interested in boxing, don't hesitate to buy this game.
I found Knockout Kings to be a little sluggish and ran at a much slower pace than Victory Boxing 2, especially when moving forward. I also quickly discovered the best way to win each fight was to simply connect with more punches that your opponent. This allowed me to become an undefeated world champion within a few hours of play by moving in, throwing a few hooks and then getting out before your opponent had time to react. After a few mandatory defences I retired my boxer to more pleasant pastures only to return for the occasional two player Slugfest. Overall Knockout Kings will be a fairly good introduction to Playstation gamers who cannot get their hands on the superior Victory Boxing 2, but don't expect too much depth in gameplay.
Freak (Feb, 1999)
משחק אגרוף לא רע. השליטה הבינונית גורעת ממשחק שהיה יכול להיות הרבה יותר טוב.
GameSpot (Dec 01, 1998)
Overall, Knockout Kings is the best representation of the sport of boxing in a game so far. Although it is missing some of the little nuances of real boxing. It's easier for a die-hard boxing fanatic to see all of the little things it could have done a touch better; like parrying, working the angles, and punching power balance. The casual boxing fan probably won't notice and will think that it's the best boxing game of all time. Which is true, though it's still missing a few things that keep it from being the perfect boxing sim. Any boxing fan will love Knockout Kings, and being one myself, I just hope that Electronic Arts continues the series and keeps making it better.
Mega Fun (Jan, 1999)
Um es gleich vorwegzunehmen: Box Champions ist sicherlich die beste Boxsimulation, die es derzeit auf dem Markt gibt. Dass es nicht zu einer besseren Wertung gereicht hat, liegt in erster Linie an den zu geringen Trainingsmöglichkeiten, die euch zur Verfügung stehen. Nur zwei unterschiedliche Attribute des Helden lassen sich in einer von zwei verschiedenen Trainingssitzungen vor einem Kampf geringfügig verbessern. Zusätzlich könnt ihr in den Trainingsprozess nicht eingreifen, sondern lediglich eine kurze Animation zeigt euch die schweißtreibende Arbeit des Recken. Spielspaßfördernde Sparringsrunden sucht man auch in Electronic Arts‘ Werk vergebens. Für einen Boxfan jedoch ist der Prügler schon allein aufgrund der realen Kämpfer ein absolutes Muss.
EA Sports has continually tried to pack a lot into Knockout Kings. The roster of boxers, which includes some of the greatest boxers ever to enter the ring, is one of the game’s strong points. This year they’ve also added women boxers to the fray. The game still plays quite a bit like last year’s title, but there have been modifications to the game’s graphics that give the play a slightly different feel. Even so, the control, although great in concept, is fairly cumbersome – especially when going to the body. In the end, this is the boxing title, but you will save yourself a few bucks by picking up last year’s game.
IGN (Dec 03, 1998)
Honestly, despite being one of the deepest boxing titles I've ever plowed through, I have to say I just can't get into Knockout Kings. Yes, I love the graphics. Yep, the whole library of professional boxers sweetens the deal, too. The problem is control -- you have to memorize a lengthly laundry-list of standard punches. Not only do you have to know what the regular buttons do, but you also have to learn that those buttons, in combination with the R1 and/or R2 buttons do completely different moves. It's just not very intuitive. Controlling the boxer around the ring is also a little sloppy, since you really don't feel like you're in command of him. You push in a direction, hoping that he'll actually move there -- but sometimes he doesn't.
What EA tried to do with Knockout Kings is definitely admirable, but I don't think they quite hit the mark they were shooting for. The boxer selection is impressive (though Tyson and Foreman are MIA) and the play modes are decent (Career Mode is excellent), bu the control is too sluggish and imprecise, which ultimately detracts from the experience. Still, it's a great first try and I have to admit - two-player play is way better than going solo.
The Career mode is deep enough to keep you playing for months on end, yet the gameplay is really nothing special. The character movement is choppy and a tad slow. Wait for the PS2 version.
Game Revolution (Dec 01, 1998)
The problem with Knockout Kings isn't what it is, but what it is not. With the industry's most proven track record, EA looked like they had a sure winner on their hands with Knockout Kings. While some good ideas abound, mixed graphics and severely limited depth stop this fighter before it can reach the later rounds.
I den lilla tradition som trots allt finns för boxningsspel har alltid dragningen åt simulatorhållet varit den vanligaste. Knockout Kings är inget undantag och Electronic Arts följer dessutom sin egen sportspelslinje med licenser, riktiga idrottsmän och massor av äkta faktabakgrund. Spelet är en riktig guldgruva för boxningsentusiaster med hela 38 riktiga mästare från olika tidsepoker och viktklasser.
Video Games (Jan, 1999)
Während der Testphase manifestierte sich immer mehr folgender Spruch im besten EA-Sty!e bei mir: It‘s not in the Game: z.B. detailliertere Texturen für Kämpfer, ein Ringrichter, Zuschauer (im Friendship-Mode), mitreißendere Schlaggeräusche (dumpf und langweilig) oder klare Trefferanzeigen. Das ließe sich ja alles noch verschmerzen, wenn wenigstens das gelungen wäre. Leider entpuppt sich Box Champions auch hier als ziemlich mittelmäßig und artet schnell in unkontrollierbares Gekloppe aus. Im Kampfverlauf sind keine gezielten Aktionen anzubringen, und trotz guter Vorsätze wird jedes taktische Vorgehen mangels sichtbarer Erfolge schnell durch wildes Button-Smashing verdrängt. Damit reiht sich der FA-Titel nahtlos in die lange Reihe der gescheiterten Genrevertreter ein.
Power Unlimited (Feb, 1999)
Knock Out Kings is wederom een teleurstellend boksspel. Ik snap niet dat een top sportgame ontwerper als Electronic Arts het niet voor elkaar heeft gekregen hier iets spannends van te maken. Ik vermoed dat ze te hard geprobeerd hebben het spel realistisch te maken. Hierdoor is een match in Knock Out Kings net zo saai en langdradig als vele echte boksmatches.