ROCKY (GameCube) Review

By 18.08.2003

The Gamecube is home to many games that have been converted from their big screen counterparts. Most of these games are normally poorly done and don't give any justice whatsoever to the exhilarating, immersing and exciting films. This is often the case because regardless of the gameplay the game will sell. Don't believe me? Go out and buy Enter The Matrix a game that runs parallel to what many would view one of the best films ever. Enter The Matrix is a dire game that no one should buy whether you loved the films or not.

So equipped with this knowledge the chances are you'd pass over ROCKY in any shop that you were to come across it in. When, ROCKY is quite a different game to what you would expect. The film to game conversion stereotype is a game that only hardcore fans of the film or film series should buy because its basically just a piece of merchandise that at some points in the game could be given the definition fun. Although all the game is, is effectively just a useless piece of merchandise that will sell stupid amounts of copies. There are the few exceptions to this rule but there are a small few. Those being games such as GoldenEye 007 that define genres, perfect them and make them what people want, a great film license being implemented into an even better game. ROCKY is one of those few exceptions. ROCKY isn't just a rip off piece of merchandise but a stand alone game that is worthy of your hard earned money, here's why...

Firstly the gameplay in ROCKY is possibly the reason as to why its so popular and highly rated. The matches, or bouts consist of a very thick gameplay system that is extremely deep and technically refined. The main punch and jab buttons are very simple to learn and master but this is only the key to being defeated. To win your way through the harsh and unforgiving Movie Mode you'll need to be much more aware and button bashing won't always be the key in this boxer. Super Punches play a big part in ROCKY. With the health bar at the top and the stamina bar below it you can easily see how much strength and speed your boxer has left. Using this you can choose if and when you should fire a super punch at your opponent. These 'super punches' range from hooks, to devastating cross punches, uppercuts and more. All the trademark punches are in there.

Screenshot for ROCKY on GameCube

The Controls

A- Pressing A will make your character perform a strong blow to your opponents body. Pressing A will also get you up from knockdowns. Tapping A at high speed will eventually make your character get up and will end your characters temporary stun.

B- Tapping B will deliver a long, fast jab to your opponents chest. These are very fast and can be implemented into devastating one-two combinations.

C Stick- this is used to taunt or get the crowd on your side and gain momentum which can be vital for earning blazin' which will enable you to finish your opponent off with a devastating finishing manoeuvre.

X- You will mainly be using this button with B for jabbing combinations then followed up with a super punch.

Y- Pressing X and a direction will make a wrestler leave the ring or climb the turnbuckle

Z- pressing Z will make your boxer taunt. The taunts are generally quite long so its only a good idea when in desperate need of momentum and health. If you're hit when in a taunt you will be stunned and prone to super punches, blows, jabs and basically every manoeuvre possible on ROCKY.

Left- tapping L will initiate a dodge, and, when used in conjunction with the control stick you can make the boxer move around punches.

Right- pressing R will move your boxer around when held with L. R and A, B, X or Y will then form an excruciatingly painful super punch that is sure to do lots of damage to your opponent.

D-Pad by moving the d-pad your chosen boxer will move around

Control Stick- Sadly, the C-Stick hasn't been placed in the control system for the game, but, this does help keep the gaming experience from becoming rather complicated.

Screenshot for ROCKY on GameCube

A major factor in the game is that each individual boxer taken from the film (they're all there) are each individual in that they have different super punches, style and technique. From the sluggish, but physically perfect Ivan Drago to the all rounder that is Rocky Balboa, to the speedy jabs and amazingly fast Apollo Creed and the slow but powerful Big Yank Ball they're all different in there respective strengths and weaknesses. This makes fights much more interesting and make them require more thought. Each opponent is a formidable one but they can be beaten. As always, for beginners Rocky Balboa is possibly the best boxer to start playing as because he is an all rounder with superb determination. Rocky has a chin of concrete and will never give up, that is unless you don't tap A fast enough...

Because each boxer is totally different this means the game resembles that of rock, paper, scissors but only much more fun and much deeper. This is not a bad thing at all though as, this would only be the case if every player were of the exact same skill level. Some of the boxers are for more advanced boxers, a la, slow boxers such as Big Yank Ball or Ivan Drago. More experienced players will benefit vastly from this as they have the chance to try out different styles and balances as each boxer is totally different from the next. Controlling a slow boxer and utilizing there strengths can be difficult but if you continue to exploit their strong points it will become much easier to defeat any foe. As with most games today the games is lavishly decorated and is a graphical masterpiece. At the start of each fight you're treated to a now expected entrance scene where the boxers enter the ring with their authentic theme tunes and taunts. Everything is authenticated and true to the films, even down to the trainers! Adrian is in there and up until ROCKY III gives his support in every bout. The announcer will then invite you into the ring and voice a short speech in which he will announce the competitor's names. Then it is straight into Round 1 for the Italian Stallion...

After a gruelling first round Rocky is given a short pep talk by either Adrian or Apollo Creed. This is helpful sometimes as, if you're on the receiving end he will drop hints on what your opponents weakness' and will advise you on what techniques and combos you should try on your opponent, although most of the time its just a bit of moral support. As in real boxing there are three ways to win, the first is the technical knockout. This consists of three knockdowns in one single round. The second is the point's decision when after the amount of rounds neither opponent has been knocked out the judge panel will count up the individual round scores and add them together. The last is the standard knock out; just pummel your way to victory! The facial expressions and looks on the boxers when they've have taken a fair share of beatings looks very realistic and bruised. The boxers have red faces with large bruises all over their heads. When a large punch is delivered blood will fly out of the boxers mouth or nose, which then stains the mat. This looks very realistic and portrays getting the hell beaten out of someone very well. At the end of the Movie Mode, after blood, sweat and tears you are treated to another mode in which you can be beaten up. This being a Knockout Tournament mode that features turn based play until two players meet. This is a great addition to the Movie Mode, Sparring Modes and the Exhibition Mode.

Screenshot for ROCKY on GameCube

At the end of each film you're treated to an unexpected but warmly welcomed cut scene to make the storyline more dedicated to the films. All of which can be viewed in the Gallery once unlocked. Graphically they are very nice and also help players understand the films story much better if they haven't seen any of the five films. The cut scenes are fairly short but they are each totally unique and again very close to the films. The first scene sees Apollo Creed, the world champion who doesn't take training seriously searching for a contender for a bout against him as the number one contender is injured. He stumbles across a young club boxer named Rocky. Rocky Balboa who then has a rematch in Rocky II for the World Heavyweight Championship Of The World then beats Apollo Creed and becomes the number one contender. This is all easy viewing and fills in the very empty gaps in the storyline. The boxers all look a lot like their real life counterparts. Ivan Drago retains that emotionless look and Rocky looks as determined as ever. Through Rocky I to Rocky VI you will notice slight changes in the boxers, Rocky VI being more powerful yet beginning to lack in the stamina and speed departments whereas Rocky I is exactly the opposite, amazingly fast but doesn't have good strength yet.

The authenticity to the film series is perfect. From the Philadelphia Arena to Madison Square Gardens or even the 8 Ball Club and out side the Gym, all the arenas are there from the films. ROCKY is everything a fan of the series could ever want and more. There are many little details in the game as well such as the cans of beer and bottles being thrown into the squared circle during the bouts to the sparring sessions with Adrian in which you have objectives such as beating a slab of meat to a pulp or skipping in time and co-ordination with a timer whilst trying to perform tricks. The music is all in there, only one tune from the series didn't make it in, that being, "Eye of the Tiger."

The sound in the game is fairly good but sadly nothing is in Dolby Digital. There are though all the themes from the film series such as "Getting Stronger" and "Gonna Fly Now." Its all in there. The vocals are pretty dire though with such voice overs such as the heartless "You Will Die," from Ivan Drago just sounded a tad too heartless and really just exaggerated.

Screenshot for ROCKY on GameCube

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

ROCKY is an exceptional game by anybody's standards. The game has virtually everything you could ever want from a film to game conversion. The story mode where you will battle your way through 20 fights and brawls is excellent but is topped off with brilliant cut scenes, and many different sparring modes. Then, once completed as if that wasn't enough there is then an additional Knockout tournament option. This is great fun and with alternating play until the final this is where the game really shines. With a great control system, even better Movie Mode and an unbeatable Multiplayer mode the game really is one to consider buying.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?

There are 1 members online at the moment.