Feel the Thrill of the Fight in VR! Credit: Steam

The Thrill of the Fight keeps getting new updates, and this one is pretty significant. While there were some changes to the mechanics of the game, the biggest change was the introduction of a new boxer: Hojo Mizushima. I’ve gone toe-to-toe with Hojo, and here are my thoughts on this new update.

New Boxer

Hojo is a Southpaw, which gives him good counter punching potential. When I was first getting used to the game, I had some trouble moving in on Joe. Looking back, Joe is only as good as you let him get. Hojo isn’t afraid to put a fist where he thinks your face ought to be, though, which makes him more unpredictable.

Hailing from Fukuoka, Japan, Hojo is a challenging and well-rounded boxer. He comes after the Thai Spider, so you’ve had your first taste of true speed before you have to face Mizushima.

I took Hojo down by focusing on his body. If you move in on him, and you concentrate on body blows to keep his guard low, You can land the occasional head strike. Look to the temples or the nose and keep hammering away at those spots as best as you can. If you keep his guard low, his counterpunch potential drops because it takes him longer to reel a good fist into your face.

Those who can’t keep the relentless assault going are going to need to hunt for an opening that is rarely available. Hojo isn’t overly aggressive, at least not in my experience, but he will take every inch you give to him and punish you for trying to fight back. Hojo thrives when you’re scared of him; when you’re dazed and covering up because that one punch was just a little too hard.

If you want to defeat him, you’re going to need to prevent his momentum from building.

Native Rift Support

Big news for Rift users. Alongside Hojo is native support for the Rift. This has existed for at least one beta branch and has been in the works for a while, but it’s nice to see a stable version finally seeing the light of day.

To get your Rift working natively, enter the “Launch Options” for The Thrill of the Fight within Steam, then type:

  • “-vrmode Oculus”

Then click “OK” and you’re good to go.

General Improvements

This newest update brings 3D audio to it, and if you can tell by my tone there’s some more work to be done here. The idea is to create muffled effects for sounds you’re not immediately listening to. I find that it’s an imperfect science, but this is the first time it’s debuted in the game. Bugs happen and will need to be squashed. Once finalized, this feature will be great for immersion.

Sounds have a nice depth to them now and seem to reverb off the walls around your virtual space. Speaking of sound effects, the gym bell is now a chime. A 10-second warning sound has also been added.

Players got new gloves, which are cool and a lot more detailed. Also, the camera and scale intro was improved as well. It feels more cinematic like a real weigh in. A small change, but it’s good to see that the game is slowly coming into itself.

For those less technical fighters, you may be disappointed to learn backhands were nerfed. Arm whipping was also further adjusted, but in my testing, it’s difficult to tell if it was truly nerfed. I’m sticking with “adjusted” for the time being. Not better, not worse, just different.

However, there is good news if you’re looking to test your knockout potential. The sparring partner now functions more like a training dummy in fighting games. He can attack and position himself, but he will no longer block your strikes. Try out some punches and get the basics of a good offense going before you hit the ring. The guy is also a tank, so good luck taking him down in less than a minute.

Final Thoughts

Quality of life improvements continues to be the hallmark of what makes The Thrill of the Fight so great. As a one-man developer, Ian does a great job keeping his game up-to-date and growing. The general atmosphere of the gym still feels empty, and the game a little barebone, but that’s really only in the menus. Once you hit a speed bag or the dummy, you quickly realize where all the effort went.

The gameplay in Thrill of the Fight is top notch, and it’s the highest rated game from the VR Health Institute in terms of calories burned per minute. These new updates add even more features for seasoned players to dive into.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEh642rkO5g&w=560&h=315]

Has anyone else taken down Hojo?