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Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
94
XboxAddict (Mar 26, 2007)
The notion of gamers fighting to their favourite music is simply brilliant, and the only thing funnier than watching your opponent get thrown across the screen by a scratch-triggered fire-hydrant is mugging for the game-camera as it happens. Def Jam: Icon is in stores right now, what are you waiting for?
91
These minor issues aside, Def Jam: Icon promises a unique re-imagining of a tried-and-true gaming formula. The beat-focused play style isn't for everybody, but it will definitely appeal to fans of hip-hop's blinged-out gangsta culture. And you can always opt to substitute Eric B. & Rakim for E-40 and Sugarhill Gang for Mikes Jones (and so on) if you can't take the money-power-fame tone of the recent hip-hop tracks featured on the game's soundtrack. Hell, you can even put the smackdown on to the strains of Led Zeppelin and the Grateful Dead if that's your thing.
90
GameZone (Mar 06, 2007)
Def Jam: ICON is a solid game, as well as the best entry to the series yet. It offers deep simulation features, solid controls, and great music elements, making for an experience that any fighting fan would be glad to have in their gaming library.
90
To wrap things up, Def Jam: Icon is a pretty solid game. It has a decent story to follow along in Build-A-Label mode. There seem to be plenty of things to unlock throughout the mode as well. The soundtrack is awesome, and the voice acting is spot on. There are a few choices as far as multiplayer goes, letting you decide to play online or off. The visuals are nice, and the thumping background concept works well. The DJ controls take some getting used to, as do the strong attacks with the right control stick, but once you get the hang of it you’ll start to appreciate it. There is much less emphasis on wrestling moves in this one, but who ever said that was a bad thing?
85
Def Jam: ICON isn’t perfect. The lack of variety in the combat system is definitely something that will irk fighting fans, and the huge shift in the series’ direction might really turn off fans of previous titles. Still, I was absolutely enthralled with my experience and enjoyed almost everything Def Jam: ICON had to offer. I don’t normally enjoy hip-hop, but found myself absorbed by everything in this game. That goes to show how well EA Chicago did with their product, and I commend them on their efforts in bringing something new to the fighter’s table. Check it out, give it a try–you just might find yourself tapping your feet to the music as you inflict all sorts of virtual pain.
83
XboxAchievements (Aug 04, 2007)
If you consider yourself a fan of rap music, you're almost guaranteed to have a good time using your favorite artists to beat the snot out of your least favorites. Even if you're not a fan of the music, there's still a lot of fun to be had here due to a solid, albeit somewhat flawed fighting system. The story is excellent for a fighting game, and the voice acting performances are among the best I've seen, with every major character voiced by their real life counterpart. The graphics are great for the most part, although the color filters that flood the screen after the musical track is switched can be a bit jarring. The audio is outstanding, with the most impressive licensed track library I've ever seen and some phenomenal voice acting jobs done by the rap artists in the game. While there's a few issues that hinder the game, it's still a perfect addition to any fighting fan's library.
82
XBox Front (Apr 11, 2007)
Def Jam:Icon ein gutes Beat 'em up, das trotzdem nicht uneingeschränkt empfehlenswert ist. Zunächst die etwas unstrittigen Punkte. Die Grafik ist sehr schön und die Arenen als auch die Rapper sind mit allerlei Details versehen. Der Sound ist sowieso sehr stimmig und wer auf amerikanischen Hip-Hop steht, wird mit Def Jam:Icon sicher glücklich. Auch die Story ist spannend erzählt und motiviert zum Weiterspielen.
81
Gamesmania.de (Apr 17, 2007)
Mit Def Jam Icon haben die Entwickler eigentlich eine Auszeichnung für Innovationen verdient. Die fetten Beats auf diese Weise unmittelbar mit dem Spielgeschehen zu verknüpfen, ist schlichtweg genial. Schade ist nur, dass die Eigenschaften des Kampfsystems dabei scheinbar vernachlässigt wurden. Je mehr Kämpfe man absolviert, desto mehr wünscht man sich mehr Komplexität beim Bewegungsrepertoire. Dennoch - EA befindet sich auf dem richtigen Weg, da sämtliche Titel neuerdings vor frischen Ideen sprühen. Auch der neuste Teil der Def Jam Serie wird Fans des Musikgenres sicherlich ansprechen und ist auf jeden Fall eine Investition wert. Wer hier zuschlägt bekommt nicht nur ein gutes Prügelspiel, sondern eine stilvolle Hip Hop Präsentation die an Coolness kaum zu überbieten ist.
81
GameSpot (Mar 07, 2007)
The pace and style of the combat in Def Jam: Icon clearly shows that it came from the guys and girls who worked on Fight Night Round 3. Yes, this is technically a 3D fighting game, but you wouldn't call it competition for the Virtua Fighters and the Tekkens of the world. The lack of a real combo system and its heavy emphasis on move/countermove gameplay make the game more suited for players who like fighting, but can't be bothered to learn any special moves. But that's not to say it has no depth at all. On that note, it's likely to appeal to players who liked Fight Night Round 3 as well. But there's much more to Def Jam: Icon than its gameplay. The way it handles the rappers and the way its story mode plays out make it a must for hip-hop fans...unless you're still waiting for some sort of Lupe Fiasco/Common backpacking simulator.
80
Xboxdynasty (XD) (Mar 23, 2007)
Def Jam Fight for New York Fans werden von diesem Titel sicher schwer enttäuscht sein. Trotzdem macht das Spiel bedingt Spaß. Die neue Steuerung und die innovative Idee mit der Musik-Scratch-Funktion wurde genial umgesetzt. Es bleibt ein fader Beigeschmack, denn nach dem ihr den Storymodus beendet habt bleibt leider nicht mehr viel übrig was sich noch zu spielen lohnt von Beat Em Up typsichen Rekorden, Statistiken und Spielmodi mal ganz zu schweigen.
80
AceGamez (May 03, 2007)
There are some minor drawbacks, but with its innovative fighting style, thumping tracks and visual excellence, Def Jam: Icon offers some fresh new school flava that you really have to savour with your neighbour. Go buy it!
80
TeamXbox (Mar 12, 2007)
In the end, Def Jam Icon is more like a bump-n-grind slow jam instead of the club banger that it should have been, but it still deserves merit. EA Chicago actually went out of their way to do more with the Def Jam license than just merely repping some talent or PR’ing a new album (although there’s a lot of that going on too), and that says a lot in the next-gen where innovation often takes a back seat to high screen resolutions and cookie-cutter gameplay.
78
Atomic Gamer (Mar 26, 2007)
Overall, Def Jam Icon is a mixed bag. While the environments, sound effects and music are some of the best that I’ve seen in a next-gen game yet, I can’t say the same thing for the fighting system that seems to lack variety. Sure, you can pick from different styles, but you still don’t have many moves when you actually get in the game. Not to mention, some fighters are ridiculously difficult to beat while others are complete pushovers – and this is really late in the game, too. Icon is still worth a purchase, though, if you have a friend to play with and a variety of music to use. If you’re just in it for the story mode, though, it is a rental at best since the fighting system isn’t too terribly deep. Def Jam Icon is a game that presents some interesting control ideas and excellent graphics while taking a major step back in the meat of the game – the fighting.
77
4Players.de (Mar 20, 2007)
Ich bin von DefJam Icon hin- und hergerissen. Auf der einen Seite haben wir eine richtig coole und von allen Klischees durchzogene HipHop-Story, die sich auch nicht zu schade ist, augenzwinkernd über sich selbst herzuziehen. Angefeuert von teils phänomenal gut aussehenden Zwischensequenzen mit englischen Original-Dialogen wird hier ein sauberes Motivations-Fundament geschaffen. Auch die Idee, die Musik so innovativ ins Kampfgeschehen einzubeziehen, hätte nach den ersten Spielesessions fast den Griff zu Edelmetall nötig gemacht. Doch mit zunehmender Spieldauer treten die Mankos von DefJam Icon immer mehr zu Tage und nagen Prozent um Prozent vom Wertungskuchen ab. Um auf lange Sicht mit Kalibern eines Virtua Fighter 5 mithalten zu können, bieten die DefJam-Fighter einfach zu wenig Variation untereinander als auch im begrenzten Bewegungsrepertoire jedes Einzelnen.
77
Gamer 2.0 (Mar 27, 2007)
On the whole, Def Jam: ICON provides a more pleasurable and realistic approach to the fighting genre. Hip-hop fans will almost certainly have one hell of a time with this game, with the focus on building label and the extensive soundtrack. Even if you’re not the biggest fan of hip-hop, ICON can be appreciated for the quality EA has presented within it (and if you hate hearing Sean Paul on the radio, you express your anger by throwing him out of a window if you so please). Regardless of where you fall, you’ll no doubt feel like you’re ballin’ by the end.
75
Game Revolution (Mar 13, 2007)
Still, the seeing and the doing are well worth it in this unusually polished fighter. Building a Label isn’t deep, but it’s fun and silly, the engine makes for some nail biting fights, everything looks great, and the musically-timed catastrophes are worth the price of admission alone. In Def Jam: Icon, business is violence, and business is good.
71
For me, there's too much 'on paper' that is wrong with this game – the music, the characters, the clichés, the lack of options and lack of variety. Yet, in practice and in spite of all this, I did enjoy Def Jam Icon. And a heap of my friends who also scoffed at it 'on paper' also enjoyed the game when we played against each other. The solid fighting with the unique music based environments lifts the game out of its rather weak premise and provides an enjoyable distraction. I can't see myself playing it in a few months time, but I won't be ashamed to say I enjoyed it either.
70
GotNext (Jun 13, 2007)
Even as an Xbox 360 exclusive title, Def Jam: Icon has less bling than the previous games in the series. The majority of achievements can only be unlocked during frustratingly cheap hard mode or on Xbox Live. The combat is also about as deep as a glass of Cavosier, though it does give this game a very short learning curve. However, the attitude is undeniably convincing. Every single portion of Icon represents what it is with a gun in your face and an surprisingly calm expression on its face. The integration of the DJ controls saves us from a complete let down. It's that one great track that stands out amongst songs you've already heard. Sometimes that one great cut alone is reason enough to buy the entire album.
70
GamersHell.com (May 31, 2007)
Overall, DEF JAM ICON is a decent game, although a little disappointing in that the story line is unaffected by your actions and decisions throughout. Graphically, this game was down the middle, the cinematic scenes were notable and the in-game fight scene graphics were fair. Obviously the soundtrack is on point. The star power displayed is quite impressive and will be a plus for hip-hop fans. The online play is strait up brawling against other players, and the fact that you can fight with the characters you’ve created is a plus also.
70
MS Xbox World (Apr 29, 2007)
Amidst the banging beats and meaningful lyrics I have had a good time with the game both on and offline but if I were to be honest I would say the game is pure rental material rather than a full blown purchase. It’s fun yes but simply too short and lacking in killer punches to make it a keeper. After playing Def Jam Icon it’s clear to see that EA are attempting something new with the game and with more ideas thrown into the pot, the next game could have all the right ingredients to make it more than just a game for Hip Hop fans in the long term. As far as positive black role models in video games are concerned then I think Def Jam Icon breaks every rule in the book, in a nice way of course. If your parents, loved ones or housemates hate your love of Hip Hop then this game will do little to appease them. I suggest turning up the volume to 11 for added effect when you are playing this game.
70
Console Obsession (Apr 09, 2007)
Def Jam: Icon doesn’t play as well as it looks and the turtle slow pace can be frustrating , but there’s no doubting the fact that the game is loads of fun, but it's also a bit of a one trick pony, which simply doesn’t offer the long term appeal of a more serious fighting game.
70
ZTGameDomain (Mar 15, 2007)
So as you can see this edition offers a lot of new and exciting features that seem to work better on paper then when actually implemented. If you are a fan of Hip-Hop, and don’t mind the slower pace of the fighting compared to the last Def Jam games then definitely check this one out. But if you prefer the lovely ladies of DoA 4 and nice soft polka music then stay far, far away from this one…ya heard?!
70
Wham! gaming (Mar 11, 2007)
Fantastic visuals, a decent plot and an interesting music-based fighting system are hampered by some tacked-on non-features, iffy controls and a thinner roster of rappers. Bring back Lil Kim!
70
IGN (Mar 06, 2007)
While this is a weak showing, Def Jam: Icon definitely shows where the series is headed. The incredibly rendered artists and destructible environments, an uncensored soundtrack and DJ controls are a huge bonus for the musically infused franchise. Plus, the inclusion of My Soundtrack features and a slightly faster fight system gives the game a little better experience on the 360. On the other hand, weak fighting moves, a lackluster story mode and inconsistent game mechanics complicate what would otherwise be the evolution of the franchise.
70
Jeuxvideo.com (Mar 22, 2007)
Une note que certains jugeront sans doute sévère mais qui reflète la baisse de régime de la série des Def Jam. La faute à des combats qui ont perdu de leur richesse et qui finalement, apparaissent beaucoup moins stratégiques que par le passé. Malgré tout, le plaisir qu'on éprouve à voir Sean Paul se faire proprement démonter suffira sans doute à beaucoup de monde pour justifier un achat, ou tout du moins une location.
68
Play.tm (Apr 09, 2007)
That such an interesting idea feels a little disappointing and underdeveloped is pretty much in keeping with the rest of the game. The whole thing feels like something of a work in progress, full of interesting and potentially brilliant ideas that somehow just fail to live up to their billing. If EA can come up with a better way of hanging the story mode onto the fighting, increase the selection of moves and balance the game out a lot better then the impressive ideas behind the musical attack portions of the game will stand a chance of becoming the hit single on an award winning album rather than the one catchy chorus on an album of filler.
67
The A.V. Club (Mar 07, 2007)
Even if you don't own every Ludacris album, watching the rich environments rattle to the music is reason enough to give this a play. Just don't expect much depth from this beat 'em up.
65
Worth Playing (Mar 26, 2007)
Def Jam: Icon is undeniably stylish, sporting wondrously surreal next-gen visuals and bumping the latest and greatest of mainstream hip-hop. But for all its flash, the fighting engine disappoints, coming off as sluggish and unrefined. They may be onto something with the Build a Label mode, but it is still too limited at this point to really justify the investment. If EA can drop the emphasis on fighting (or drastically improve the engine) and create an expansive hip-hop lifestyle simulator, the Def Jam franchise may still thrive under the care of EA Chicago.
65
1UP (Mar 02, 2007)
This one's fun, no doubt about it, and the way the beats bang the environment is a must-see. But its lack of fighting depth definitely keeps it on the casual tip.
60
UOL Jogos (Mar 16, 2007)
"Def Jam: Icon" traz novidades interessantes não só à série, mas ao gênero luta. E embora tente conquistar um publico que não se interessa pelo mundo do hip-hop, falha ao permitir o uso de músicas externas. A falta de variedade das partidas também diminui consideravelmente seu fator 'replay'. Se ao menos houvessem diferentes modalidades de jogo, além dos tradicionais modos história, arcade e prática, "Def Jam: Icon" poderia oferecer uma experiência muito mais profunda e satisfatória.
60
Eurogamer.de (Mar 23, 2007)
Ist „Icon“ also genau genommen ein interaktives Musikvideo, ein perfektes Eye-Candy oder doch ein echtes Beat´Em-Up-Videospiel? Die Wahrheit liegt etwas ungreifbar irgendwo dazwischen und meiner Meinung nach sollte man es positiv sehen, dass die klassischen Genregrenzen mit „Icon“ weiter verwischt worden sind. Nur leider macht es daraus immer noch kein absolutes Top-Spiel.
60
Extreme Gamer (May 04, 2007)
It’s strange that EA Chicago responsible for the amazing Fight Night series couldn’t capitalize on the Def Jam series. Def Jam Icon has a few moments, but in no way can it wear the shoes of its former edition, Fight for New York. I’m sure this isn’t the end of the Def Jam series; hopefully it can crawl back up and take over the ground it has lost venturing into the next generation of gaming. If you’re a hard up gangsta into the hip-hop music then Def Jam Icon will give you enough to enjoy for a while, otherwise I’d have to say “Get Back, You Don't Know Me Like That”.
60
videogamer.com (May 01, 2007)
Despite being a relatively weak first next-gen effort in the series from EA, Icon isn't worth passing by all together. The DJ system is unique and intuitive, the visuals well polished and, even with my rock/punk roots, the soundtrack is a commendable mix of uncensored beats. Nevertheless, the broken fighting mechanics and sluggish pacing are enough to keep this game from reaching true icon status.
60
G4 TV: X-Play (Apr 09, 2007)
In other words, Def Jam Icon is one of the most impressive showpieces you can buy for your Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 right now. As for how it plays? Think of Fight Night “Lite” With Rappers. Icon is serviceable, but it’s not something you’ll be spinning in your disc tray for very long.
60
GameSpy (Mar 14, 2007)
The biggest issue with Def Jam: Icon is that it wants to be two things at once. It's trying to be a fighting game that can stand toe-to-toe with established franchises, and it's trying to be authentically hip-hop. The game's fighting engine, while ambitious and endearingly fun, has a steep learning curve. It will take more than a few battles to pick up the intricacies of fighting, and all rules seem to fly out of the window when playing online against real opponents. For anyone who feels like hip-hop is more than the soundtrack to the suburban mall thug experience, the game is really a disservice to a rich culture that involves more than misogyny and violence. The money spent on the game's lackluster storyline could have been better spent mo-capping a legend like KRS-One, who, in real life, could probably kick all of these rappers' asses into the next Def Jam. Tread with caution.
60
Overall, Def Jam Icon is fun, but it doesn't live up to its pedigree or to expectations. By altering the focus of the game from the fighting to the music, Icon feels unfinished. If this game still had the previous (or an even deeper) fighting system, a run button, and weapons, it would probably already be a classic. While the visuals are amazing, the game just doesn't deliver as well in the fighting as it should.
55
Kombo.com (Mar 12, 2007)
Despite all the game’s flaws, it is somehow fun to play on occasion and in short bursts. Give it a rental, if you like the Def Jam games, or go ahead and buy it when it drops below ten dollars to show off your 5.1 surround system. Don't buy it new, and pray the next game in the series returns the franchise to its former status as one of the best in the wrestling genre.
50
Game Shark (Apr 12, 2007)
Bottom line, after loving the first two Def Jam games, I was sorely disappointed by Def Jam: Icon. But with Tsunoda and his team still in the driver’s seat, I have high hopes that they’ll get it right with the next one, and renew my faith in the franchise.
50
Eurogamer.net (UK) (Mar 19, 2007)
ICON may look the business, but if falls down in that most crucial of areas - it makes fighting a chore rather than an enjoyable experience. Granted, you still get to set Sean Paul on fire (which is enough reason to at least have a quick play on a demo pod in your local game shop), but the chances are that a five-minute session will be all the Def Jam you need to convince a sizeable bundle of currency to stay in the warmth of your wallet. The 360 may still be without a truly worthwhile beat-'em-up (roll on VF5) but this is a fault that EA's grotty reinvention of the Def Jam franchise can do very little to rectify.
42
Gaming Age (2007)
When the dust settles, it will be fair to say this isn't the best effort that EA has put upon a game, and even the ideas the game implements aren't much to build upon for future installments. Def Jam: Icon is for the most hardcore of hip-hop fans, if only to collect the game for showing much love for their personal icons.
40
Jive Magazine (Mar 09, 2007)
As ridiculous as it sounds, that's pretty much what the game is and it also has a lot of fighting which gets repetitive fairly quickly. The game has a weak frame around it which attempts to incorporate a kind of lifestyle management aspect like what to wear, how much to spend on your girlfriends, how much to spend on artists and their records.... but it all gets boring pretty quickly, especially when you're really just having the same fights over and over.


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