I love boxing and I especially love boxing when the opponent is tough and wacky at the same time. Not only was this the reason I picked up the Wii for Wii Sports, but it’s also the reason why I bought a much less talked about game for the Wii called Don King Boxing, which really pushed my limits and that’s why I like boxing games, but we’ll talk about fitness in a little bit. For now, let’s get into Knockout League and see what it is all about.
What is Knockout League?
Knockout League is an arcade style boxing game that will push you to your limits if you are not already physically fit. You can easily take this game and make it a regular workout game that replaces pretty much any other exercise you currently do beyond running.
Graphics and Visuals Score 5/5
The graphics for this game are quite stunning, even though you don’t see beyond the boxing ring, which may change in the future as this is an Early Access game. Not only do the swings feel legitimate as they fly through the air, but they also land with a very satisfying crunch. The character models look very real and they also make you feel like you are fighting giants, which is something I appreciate but some shorter individuals may not. If you know what Street Fighter looks like and like it, then you’re going to love this game as it reminds me so much of that game and I absolutely love it for that.
Hardware Score 4.5/5
This area will likely change since the developers are still not done optimizing and they need the extra room of 7GB. However, the rest is standard when it comes to hardware by only needing Win 7 with an i5-4590 or FX 8350. You will also need 8GB of RAM, but this should be obvious because of the amount of detail that goes into each character and the graphics card needs to be either a GTX 980 or R9 290 or greater. That 7GB is rather high though for a VR game, but maybe such a space is needed for a quality game as we saw with Raw Data, which came in at 10GB.
Fitness Score 5/5
The fitness is where all boxing games shine and Knockout League is no exception to this rule. Sure, there are only four fights as of right now but I like the fact that the developers focused on quality rather than quantity. The punches are so satisfying when they land and not only because of the sound, but because of the difficulty of the opponents. This is a fight and it is not the kiddy play I was used to in Wii Sports because those punches were often easy to dodge and these are difficult.
This is why Crimson Fang is my favorite character out of all of them. Her style reminds me of Capoeira fighting, like Eddy Gordo from Tekken. Her fighting style is dizzying and hard to keep track of at first, but even when you get her patterns down she is still hard to fight. The only feature I would like to see added to the game that I noticed was not on the list of features the developers wanted to come out with was making the fight longer. You can draw out a fight, but most fights are over in under ten minutes. You know a game is good when you are asking for more without asking for new content.
The reason why I would like to see longer fights in Knockout Leagues is not only due to fitness, but because actual boxing matches are much longer and this would just add to the realism and toughness of the game. However, the game’s fitness mechanics are perfect as is and those ten minutes will have you sweating bullets.
Gameplay Score 5/5
The gameplay is very intuitive and easy to follow without getting confused. Like in a real match, the opponents will dance around you in a blur if you’re not prepared to fight them. The beginning tutorial is not a spreadsheet of words but a quality practice match with another boxer. The characters have flare to them, but don’t mind the pun if you make it through the first match. I cannot stress it enough that this is going to feel like a real fight. Yes, there are some bugs but that’s to be expected of an Early access game. For $19.99, this game is a steal if you compared it to nearly every other VR game on the market beyond Raw Data.
Overall Rating: 4.9/5
I cannot get over just how fun Knockout League is and just how addicting it is. I can easily find myself accidentally spending a day in it like I did with WoW when I first started playing it. If you’re looking for a game to get you fit, this is the game that will do it.