Converted By: Pantheon Software, Graphics By: Chris Edwards,
Music By: Bill Conti, Programmed By: Andrew Bowen, Sound Effects By: Martin Walker,
Designed By: Markus Grimmer, Concept By: H. Melcher & W. Trumler, Endorsed By:
AWBC - World Boxing Council
Release Year: 1990, Number Of Players: 1 or 2
So ya wanna be a contenda? But you don't wanna get a flat schnozzle (or brain
damage)? Then The Champ offers a safer alternative...
As a complete boxing novice you must prove yourself in a couple of back
alley fights before you even get into the ring! Then, with any luck you'll be
spotted by the local talent scout and given training in the gym.
First, you must get ultra-fit by doing loads of skipping. But unless your
timing's good, before you can 'saly, pepper, tomato ketchup...' you've tied
your legs up. Then it's time for the sandbag: copy your coach's progressively
longer sequences of punches.
And finally, for that all-important hand speed, the punchbag - hit it as
many times as you can within the time limit. Now at last you're ready to take on
your first opponent proper: probably some punch-drunk old timer. A bikini-clad
beauty holds up the 'Round 1' card and the bell rings.
The fight is shown side-on with you and your opponent moving left/right. Punches
are thrown by pressing the fire button with a direction and include left and
right hooks, jabs, stomach punches (although not below the belt!), and the
powerful 'killer punch' - this knocks down your opponent.
In addition, there are several defenisve moves to guard various parts of the
body or even do some dancing! As in real life, there are two ways of winning: by
knockout or points (at the end of nine three-minute rounds).
The former is
achieved either by reducing the opponent's energy to zero, or by
knocking him down three times. Victory will allow you to face a tougher opponent
with the eventual aim of winning the world title.
Do well enough and you'll get in the world rankings. There's also a separate
high score table. Both of these can be saved. For extra practice, or just fun,
you can also play against a 'friend'.
I can't say I've ever been a great fan of beat-'em-ups: too often they tend to be
repetitive and dull. But thankfully The Champ is an exception. Presentation, while
not startling, is attractive and atmospheric, while gameplay is fun.
There's a great variety of moves, including the clinch where the other boxer
wraps his arms around you to prevent that knockout punch, and you always
feel in full control of your fighter. On disk at least, this is a very enjoyable
game well worth investigation.
After the disappointing Amiga version (52%, Issue 53) I'm happy to say the C64
game is a definite improvement. The game has been made tougher (it was far too
easy on the Amiga) and Linel seem to have solved the 'repetitive move' syndrome
suffered by so many beat-'em'ups.
The computer opponents are fairly intelligent and very nifty with the
knockout punches. In fact it was so hard, I though I'd have an easy fight against
Stu, but even he managed to beat me up! Nevertheless, The Champ is a realistic
boxing sim with a good long-term challenge.