Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Mobile Game Reviews: Prizefighters

In an age where smart phones are in nearly everyone's hands (and almost definitely in the hands of people under a certain age range), mobile games are big business; Konami, Capcom, Sega and Nintendo all have a mobile game division in their companies, and they were some of the biggest game developers in the 80s and 90s.

However, if you've been playing video games as long as I have (since 1989), mobile games have a bad reputation, and for good reason.  You see, mobile games have one major obstacle to sucking in people like myself; control. Touch screens lack the precision control that a keyboard, mouse or controller have, so certain types of games are difficult on mobile devices unless they offer Bluetooth controller support.

And that's where this new series comes in; I download a game, play it for at least a week, and let you know if they're worth your time.  I'll be judging on a few criteria; control, graphical fidelity, sound, and frequency of ads, if any, and fun factor. And then, I'll round it up to whether it's worth your time and money. And with that, welcome to Mobile Game Reviews.

Today's game is once again something I saw advertised on the Google Play store, Prizefighters. Prizefighters is a Punch Out! inspired game where you create a custom fighter, level them up and take them through a career mode, an arcade mode, and an online mode to determine who is the best fighter on the leader boards.

Control: Prizefighters is built for touch screen controls, though I would advise you to swap from the full touch screen experience to the virtual buttons as soon as the tutorial is over, because like its biggest influence, this game requires precision.  You don't want to throw a punch when you're trying to block, for example. And if you've got a blue tooth controller, which it does support, that offers even more precision for a game that has you controlling a boxer in a Punch Out! style experience.

Graphical Fidelity: Prize Fighter looks like a Sega Master System style Punch Out!. It's got full color capability that a modern smartphone can display, but it has the pixelated look of an 8-bit game.  All text is large and easy to read, and it looks good, if small, in landscape mode instead of the portrait mode it defaults to.

Sound: Prizefighters offers a retro sound design; all the music is chip tune inspired, punches sound as realistic as those from a boxing movie, and the voice clips for the referee sound like they were created with the same digitized techniques that were available in the 90s.

Ads: When it comes to ads, they're very unobtrusive; occasional ads after fights, and a clickable ad if you want 150 extra coins every six minutes.

Fun Factor: Prizefighters is a very enjoyable game. It takes all the elements that make Punch Out! Wii great, and ads in a leveling system that makes your fighter stronger to compensate for the lack of precision inherent in a touchscreen approach. It feels like a Punch Out! game, but with just enough to make it unique.

Final Analysis: If you like Punch Out! Wii, you'll like Prizefighters. It is a great homage to its inspiration, and a great game for mobile devices, especially if you've got a bluetooth controller.

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