The Thrill of the Fight just got more thrilling!
AT VR Fitness Insider we love the Thrill of the Fight. Two years on from its early access launch and it’s still the undisputed king of the ring in terms of its arm and shoulder destroying, calorie torching, sweat inducing, maximum intensity workouts. It’s a fitness challenge like no other game in VR and now , thanks to a championship difficulty mode it’s got even harder.
A new October update to the game has added four difficulty modes, Novice, Normal, Challenger and Champion, with opponent attributes such as chin, punching power and speed ramped up to provide you the player with a fighting challenge like never before.
Why this is a big deal for VR fitness fans
One of the most important principles of effective exercise is the progressive overloading of your muscles and cardiovascular system and this new series of preset challenges help you to do just that. Thrill of the Fight has always excelled in this regard for hard core VR fitness users. For the past several months an unlock-able customization menu allowed for tweaking the game mechanics to make various game aspects more difficult. Giving your opponent a better chin to sustain more damage and increasing the number of rounds from 3 all the way up to 12 really gave you the professional boxing feeling, and a top level workout to match. On the game’s discussion board on Steam there’s long been a small, but committed base of regular users who have been experimenting with these settings for a long time, and discovering the near endless potential that the game has as a serious workout tool.
But behind the scenes tinkering is unlikely to appeal to all players and I imagine many Thrill of the Fight fans bought the game, enjoyed blasting through the six main opponents and destroying them on the default (and fairly easy settings), then moved on to playing something else not realizing you could customize the game to make it so much more challenging.
Now with challenger and championship difficulty modes it’s likely that far more people will be hooked into trying to beat the game on the championship mode. Just as Beat Saber is all about killing it on expert mode you haven’t really conquered Thrill of the Fight unless you’ve wrenched that title belt away from the game’s champion Duke Bell on champion mode. This is a great new fitness challenge for veteran and new users alike!
How it works
I spoke with Ian Fitz the developer about the new levels and what the presets are for each. This is what he said;
The way it works currently is that the number of rounds change with the opponents, not the difficulty levels. So the deeper you get into the roster, the more prestigious the fights are, the more impressive looking the opponents and venues get, and the more rounds you fight in your bout.
So as far as rounds go:
- Sparring partner – 1 x 90 second round
- Ugly Joe – 3 x 2 minute rounds
- The Reverend – 3 x 3 minute rounds
- Lightning Luis – 3 x 3 minute rounds
- The Spider – 3 x 3 minute rounds
- The Artist – 4 x 3 minute rounds
- Duke – 4 x 3 minute rounds
And then the difficulty levels are stat modifier presets, as follows (where they differ from 100%):
Fist Speed: 85%
Dodge Speed: 85%
Block Speed: 85%
Fist Speed: 100%
Dodge Speed: 100%
Block Speed: 100%
Fist Speed: 100%
Dodge Speed: 100%
Block Speed: 100%
Fist Speed: 115%
Dodge Speed: 115%
Block Speed: 115%
Ian is also keeping the old customization menu for those of us who want to play around with longer round lengths or personalized settings, although its a case of either or, with the customization option replacing the difficulty setting.
As Ian told me, ‘ Custom counts as its own difficulty level and isn’t a customization of what you had selected before you picked “Custom”. You can’t see the difficulty menu anymore because the customization menu pops up instead, but if you could, your previous difficulty wouldn’t be highlighted anymore, and “Custom” would be. Beating an opponent on Custom doesn’t count towards unlocking difficulties for the next opponent, even if you crank the stats higher than that difficulty level would be.
If you wanted to do Champion with 12 rounds, you’d need to manually set all the stats to 115% with the customize menu.
The thought process behind all this is that the difficulty presets provide a sense of progression as you work your way through the opponents on each difficulty level, but the customization system is supposed to be more of an “infinite” mode where you find the settings you like for your own personal routine and should feel more consistent even against different boxers.
Thanks to Ian for providing some clarity as to what the new update does. The difficulty modes really breathe new life into the game and for anyone who has played this before on the default settings and felt the game was fun but easy in terms of winning fights, well you should really load up and give it another play.
As one veteran user wrote in the beta discussion thread after fighting the beginner fighter Ugly Joe on the new champion difficulty level ‘ looks like Joe’s nuts finally dropped, he put up a hell of a fight!’.
Regular TOTF player Leet Skillz I Haz Dem has put together a great mixed reality short below which succinctly sums up the new difficulty settings. If you like his videos and want to see how he uses Thrill of the Fight for self improvement and fitness check out his Youtube channel here.