Name: Ready 2 Rumble Revolution
A decade after the release of Midway’s excellent arcade-style boxing title, Ready 2 Rumble, Atari has revived the series for the Wii with Ready 2 Rumble Revolution. While the idea of a cartoonish, motion-sensor controlled boxing game may sound like an almost foolproof recipe for a knockout of a game, poor design and awful controls relegate this one to “Palooka” status.
Just as in the original games, Ready 2 Rumble Revolution pits exaggerated, often ethnically stereotypical pugilists against each other in over-the-top boxing matches. In the first two Ready 2 Rumble games, the fun, goofy gameplay and characters were perfectly complimented by its simple, accessible, button-based controls. This time around, the Wiimote and nunchuk are responsible for controlling your boxer’s offensive and defensive moves, and they couldn’t be more poorly implemented. Allegedly, performing different motions with the two motion-sensitive controllers results in different types of punches, dodges and blocks. In practice, however, the control scheme seems to work about 5 percent of the time, meaning that you’ll spend all of your time (which, admittedly, won’t be long) waving and flailing the remotes around randomly, hoping for some sort of on-screen result. It’s frustrating, and quite honestly, one of the worst examples of how to utilize the Wii’s unique controller.
Graphically, Ready 2 Rumble Revolution is nothing to speak of. Despite the distinctly stylized, animation-influenced visuals, characters still look extremely blurry. The Wii may not have the pixel-pushing abilities of either of the other two current consoles, but there is simply no excuse for how bad Ready 2 Rumble Revolution looks. The environments the boxers inhabit are plain, sparse, and just plain old-looking. Visuals like these would have been expected in the Dreamcast era, but at this stage in the game, they’re simply unacceptable.
There are plenty of game modes to explore; exhibition, career, multiplayer and tournament modes are all present, as are a series of training mini-games. Sadly, all the modes use the same horrendous controls, and are therefore the polar opposite of “fun.” At least the head-to-head multiplayer mode forces both players to participate in the unresponsive waggle-fest, putting both players on equal, unsteady footing. The character creation mode is surprisingly decent, with plenty of items and features to unlock. Of course, unlocking these items require that you actually play the career mode, which almost no one will bother doing, and creating a cool character kind of loses its luster when the only thing to do with them is play this awful game.
Even if the controls worked, Ready 2 Rumble Revolution would still be a bad game. Matches against the computer opponent come inevitably come down to who can fill up their “RUMBLE” meter the fastest, because once that bar is filled, a boxer can unleash an unblockable three-hit combo that always results in a knockdown, and results in a knockout about half the time. The RUMBLE meter seems to fill up at random, awarding some power punches with a letter, but not others, making many of the fights either ridiculously easy or impossibly difficult, depending on who is lucky enough to fill up the meter first.
Ready 2 Rumble Revolution is an awful game that no one should consider buying or even renting. You’ll get pretty much the same experience watching a bad boxing match on an old UHF TV while wildly swinging two turkey legs around. It’s ugly, it’s simplistic, and it just plain doesn’t work. I would love to make a boxing pun here to explain how lousy Ready 2 Rumble is, but there is no boxing term that adequately illustrates its level of suck. Instead, I’ll just throw in the towel, and hope for better results from the upcoming Punch-Out! Game.