10:49 PM - November 13, 2010 by Phobia
FN Champion Preview: Gameplay & Legacy Mode
The time has arrived gents. I can finally let the cat out the bag on Fight Night Champion. It has been a long 3 weeks keeping the details under wraps from you guys. Hopefully I can supply you guys with all the answers to the questions you have been dying to know the most. A couple of important points before we begin. I went into community day mainly to address the "sim" aspect of the gameplay. I am not a huge Legacy player so I spent a limited amount of time on that mode. So with all that out the way, lets get into the heart soul of the game........the Gameplay!!!!
Full Spectrum Punching - The new system does away with having to make gestures on the right stick to throw certain types of punches. Instead a simple flick in any direction on the right stick will result in a punch from that "angle". This makes throwing punches in general much easier and less of a chore on your thumbs. Now with full spectrum punching you are given a true 1:1 feed back from the stick to the animation your boxer performs. So any direction flicked on the right stick will result in a punch being thrown from that "angle".
What the flick system does better than RD 4 TPC system. Throwing combos becomes MUCH easier and flows without much effort. For example, say you want to throw a combo of Jab, Jab, over hand right. Three simple flicks of Left up, Left up, Mid right Up will quickly rip out that combo. No more having to spin the right stick in funky motions that slow down your combos.
What I enjoyed the most about the new system is the ease of use. It allowed me to throw what I wanted, how I wanted, and at the speed I wanted to. I think this new system is a huge step in the right direction of control schemes for the series.
One Punch KOs/New Stun States - New to FNC is the one punch KO. At any point in the fight can you land a single punch that ends the fight. This makes such a drastic change to the series. You are no longer forced to land multiple knock downs to end a fight. Now you can be losing badly and out of no-where you can land a clean punch that puts your opponent to sleep for good. It gives everyone that "punchers" luck and makes guys like Tyson with one punch power to be feared letting your hands fly recklessly.
Also included is the new stunned states. Now when you are hurt there are degrees of getting "rocked". You can get rocked and it is a simple 1 to 2 sec recovery to get your head back, a punch could rock you and leave you recovering for 5 to 10 secs, or all the way to having your "bell rung" and spending a entire round hurt on wobbly legs just trying to survive for minutes and minutes. Even possibly to multiple rounds.
Button Punching - Button punching is still in the game. But it is limited compared to the FSP control scheme. With button punching you are only allowed to throw the standard punches from FN4. The button scheme has no way of throwing the different angle punches. So button scheme is limited to your standard uppercut, cross, straight, hook, and jab. Button users are handicapped to a degree. They won't have access to the specific punches certain boxers might have. They can still be competitive but will lose some visual animations.
Control Scheme(360) - The default control scheme has changed from last year.
- Full Spectrum Punching Right Stick - Flick system
- Button Punching is on buttons on default Control scheme, So button and Stick punching can be done from default control scheme.
- LT is now the body Modifier & Lean
- RT is one button blocking
- RB is power modifier
- LB is your Shove or space maker
- D-Pad controls taunts & illegal blows
There are also many many different control scheme options that arrange this layout in many different ways on the controller. No custom mapping yet.
Power Modifier - One of the best inclusions is the power modifier. This does away with the haymaker punches which we can all agree were cartoony gimmicks. The power modifier allows you to add POWER to any punch. You can combo the power modifier in also. Throw a couple light snapping jab, jabs, and then a hard stiff jab to the chin.......Yes even the jab can be power modified. I even scored a flash knockdown with a single power Jab!
The power modifier animations are also much more realistic. No longer do you see these huge "preloads". Instead the power shots look stronger and really do fit in place for a sim game. The draw back to throwing power shots is that a missed power shot will leave you recovering from the momentum a little bit longer. Allowing for your opponent to counter if they are able to capitalize on your miss. Power shots also drain more stamina than your standard punches.
Footspeed - This is one of my dislikes about the current build we got to play. I found the footspeed to be slow. It was very similar to the "quicksand" feeling before the patch in RD 4. Once you would get within punching range of each other. The footspeed would slow to a crawl and made getting in & out of punching range really tough. But once the two fighter separated by some space then the fighters would move much quicker.
I informed Mike a few times I felt the footspeed was to slow. He told me he agreed and will be looking to fix this. It was just one of the very few areas I felt needed tuning.
Punching Accuracy - WOW talk about a huge part of the game and I hope this does not get tuned very much. Punch accuracy is much lower in the build we played. Not every fighter was able to land pin point strikes each and every throw. This resulted in many many lightly glancing blows, misses, and weak punches landing from awkward angles. The result was a "striking battle" that felt really realistic.
The only issue that was being adjusted was that the "mathematics" on the strength and physics of the punches needed some tuning. Often you would land a clean strike and it would read in the game as a miss. This then caused stamina to decrease as if it was a wiff instead of being registered as a connection which you only lose particle stamina. We were told this was simple tuning logic. Which I completely agree with, look at FN3 & FN4 they look and felt good.
Creating Space - In FN4 they had the push off. Which was this big reaching push. New to FNC is the shoulder push. When you are fighting in close and you want to create that space to land a straight powerful punch. You can simply push off with your shoulder giving you perfect amount of space to land a quick one two before they can close the gap on you again. You can also use this technique to gain space and get out of punching range. Great inclusion and something fighters must use when the time is right.
Arm Length - Another part of RD4 that was talked about highly was the difference in fighters tactics based on their reach. This never really translated very well. Once a fighter like Ali, got to "inside fighting" he never was really at a disadvantage. When you threw a punch he simply leaned away and threw the punch. Now with the inclusion of "Inside Fighting" the length of your fighters arms makes a much greater impact.
A fighter like De La Hoya who likes to utilize his jab will be much better from range. Where a fighter like Tyson will benefit much better on the inside. The way this works is from the new "Inside Fighting" which I will discuss in further detail next. The way the new system effects fighters such as De La Hoya is like this. If Hoya gets in close and is not able to use his reach. His punches from inside with his long arms are going to have a much greater chance of wrapping around the opponent rather than connecting clean. It is a subject that is hard to explain in words but looks and feels extremely realistic and makes fighters utilize real strategy.
Inside Fighting - Now onto the new inside fighting. Like I mentioned in FN4 when boxers got to the inside game. The punches never changed, instead the animation was to make the boxer lean away so he had enough space to throw the correct punch. In FNC the system that is now in place is similar to the EA MMA system. Depending on the range you are to your opponent will determine the type of punch being thrown. So once you get to the inside game, certain punches you will only be able to be thrown. Small uppercuts, little tiny hooks, etc. They way this effects gameplay is that guys who have great inside power and punches such as Tyson can fight to their strengths, while guys who like to use range and "out box" their opponent will lose some of their advantage in close. It is a welcome addition and helps the series move towards a more realistic approach.
Blocking/Parry - First off lets clear one thing up. The parry window is GONE!!!! No more frozen in time waiting to be punched in the face. Now that we got that out the way, lets go into how the blocking will work now. There is now one button blocking. RT is your blocking. The way the new system works is this. Imagine a guy is coming in and throwing bombs. You want to cover up and not eat the blows, so you pull and HOLD RT. This will then result in you putting your hands up or around the body to try and deflect the shots. But you have a greater chance of a shot making it through your guard based on your block rating. Now lets say the same situation but instead you want to look to counter off his punches. If you "flick" in the RT just as the punch is coming in, it simulates you getting your hands up to bat the punch away. Thus resulting in a higher chance at you blocking the punch. But this is not a 100% block chance, you can still get punched at times. The advantage of this is that you will have greater speed punching "out the block" so your counter chances increase. The biggest thing here is that the action never "Freezes". Both ways of blocking have their pluses and minus. Holding results in a greater chance you will block more shots, but you still can eat some. Where flicking results in a greater chance at blocking individual punches with the hope of landing counters.
Counters - Counters still are there with the gimmicky flash. I am not a fan of this. But to my lucky surprise you can TURN IT OFF!!!!! In the presentation options there is a setting for "Simulation" and it turns off all the "fluff". With that said, you no longer have the "whiff......freeze" of the counter window. It all seemed to flow 100% of the time and when counters happened it was from well timed true counters. Now I did turn off the flash right away which resulted in me playing what looked like a real boxing match. When you saw a perfect counter land and the guy was rocked. No "gamey flash" happened and it made the presentation more appealing to me as a "sim" fan.
Sways - The sway system has been tweaked for the better. Now sways are tied to stamina. So the more tired you are the less "movement" your sways have. So if you are winded and you attempt to sway, your sway height will be more upright and the circle motion will be smaller. The more stamina you have, the greater the sway circle motion you have and the more degree of pitch you can sway. Also the "lean back" sway has been adjusted to not be as far back. So footwork is little more important than just getting in range and leaning back constantly. Also implemented is quick sways. Which you can do with a quick "flick" of the stick(while holding LT) and result in a quick head movement.
Illegal Blows - Yes they are still in . I was not happy to hear it myself. Now they did try and make them a little more "fair" to a degree. If someone goes to head butt you, there is a dice roll that happens. You might get hurt or the guy might even hurt or cut himself. I guess that is better than not having the dice roll. I would still rather see them removed completely.
Stamina - Stamina has seen a great improvement. Very similar to EA MMA. There is now two stamina ratings. One for punches and one for movement. Stamina worked perfect and does not need a great deal of explanation. You throw 4 or 5 punches in to quick a flurry with misses or blocks in between and the result is a tired boxer. Felt great and looked great.
A neat side note we were told I think everyone will appreciate. There is now hidden "hardcoded" stamina implicated for arms, legs, and torso. They way this works is like this. Throwing say a right hand over and over and over. Example would be a spammer throwing one single punch. That punch "arm" would then slowly tire and become slower for each punch in succession. The Torso works for guys who like to sway spin. If a fighter sits there and sways in circles nonstop well his torso will get tired and his sways will get more upright and slower. Same thing for stepping with the legs.
Corner game - Corner game has now done away with the point system. Instead it is a mixture of randomness and also how you fought the previous round. For instance if you keep your distance and don't exhaust yourself the previous round your corner team should be able to get you a nice piece of stamina back. But say you have a bad cut and you come out swinging for the fences, continuing to get hit on your cut. You are not giving your corner men any help, so your point gain for health might be very small, where if you would of spent the entire round trying to not get hit and give your corner men some time to work on that cut well you might see bigger gains the next round for health.
It is a cool little system. It is all automated so you don't do anything in between rounds and more of the user control is done from the strategy in how you approach the fight and the situations you are in.
Well to start off I am not the biggest Legacy guy. I am more of a gameplay "sim" online player. So 90% of my community day experience was me dissecting different parts of the gameplay to make sure it played a fair game. I did get to play Legacy mode but my time with it was really short. So I would look to get more of your Legacy Mode info from some the other Community Day members. I know Cash had the longest time with the Legacy mode and should be able to give much greater in depth explanations into the mode. From my short time with it this is what I saw.
First you start out in the Amateur Tournament(Which now includes the Amateur scoring system). You then work your way through the tournament and make your Pro appearance. Then Legacy mode goes into what you should be use to. It is a similar system for those that have played EA MMA. You pick a training camp, which then allows you to train certain parts of your game with certain "mini games". Then you apply points to your skill tree.
The new Skill tree is similar to Mass Effects level up system. At certain points throughout the level up process. Each punch has "abilities" that get unlocked the further a certain punch gets ranked up. The abilities are not "gamey or cheesy". Instead they are small benefits that certain punch might do over other punches not ranked as high. Such as 1 punch KO power, Bell ring power, Stun power, etc.
As far as the different types of "training games". I did not get enough time with the mode to see many of them. My general outlook on Legacy mode was that it saw small minor improvements, but across the whole it is still similar to FN4 Legacy mode.