Black And Bruised
Not trying to pass itself off as anything more than a simple arcade-style boxing romp Black & Bruised takes the ‘wacky cartoon’ approach delivering an entertaining and easy to pick up beat-em-up.
Matching the game’s wacky gameplay and visuals is an equally bizarre storyline which tells the tale of 18 characters who for one reason or another have been forced into the world of boxing in order to support themselves and their families. With each character you will learn their life stories and how they plan to reap the benefits from winning bouts.
The cartoon look and feel of Black & Bruised combines humour and strategy in an attempt to attract both young and mature audiences. The individual boxing characters are differentiated not only by their look but more importantly by their AI personalities. Detailed and humouristic facial animations are used to convey the boxer’s mood and reaction to a landed punch. The boxer’s body and face also deteriorate visually to indicate injuries.
There are six game modes on offer in total including all the usual fare such as Training Single Fight Tournament and Survival. Also to be found is a kind of story mode entitled Boxer’s Life which is a rather novel element that builds character storylines and connects FMV to the gameplay. This mode not only defines the stakes but also impacts the way the boxer performs in the next bout. Last but not least we have the obligatory inclusion of a two-player mode so you can get in the ring and smack your mates about.
There aren’t that many boxing games about and to the few recommendable ones Black & Bruised makes a refreshing alternative. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and subsequently provides a good deal of fun gaming – definitely one to dig out when you get back from the pub.——
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