Don King tends to raise expectations. Unfortunately, Don King Presents: Prizefighter just doesn’t meet them. What it does, though, is provide a solid career mode and a couple hours of multiplayer fun.
Prizefighter uses the now-standard controller layout for boxing, punching with all four face buttons using the shoulder triggers for various modifiers. This is supposed to bring in some variety, but it really only adds a rock-paper-scissors element to the game, where countering the opponent’s lean or step brings a slight advantage. Controls are a bit clunky and occasionally unresponsive.
Presentation is where Prizefighter shines. The menus are attractive and intuitive, and the soundtrack is top-notch. The arenas look great, and the fighters themselves are pretty detailed. Of course, the true centerpiece of the game is its Career Mode. The story is told through a sequence of documentary segments, and while it is obvious at times that people are reading off a script, the experience is still refreshing and different.
In Career Mode, players increase their boxers’ skills through various training minigames, such as jump rope and speed bag. It’s the type of standard boxing fare depicted in movies to sweeping soundtracks, and it’s executed as a series of simplistic minigames.
The roster is certainly adequate, with champions in various divisions, but there are very few flashy, well-known fighters. However, classic fighters like Rocky Marciano and James A