Frank Bruno's Boxing
Copyright/Publisher: Elite Software, Release Year: 1985,
Genre: Boxing, Number Of Players: 1 or 2
Frank Bruno's Boxing is essentially a home computer version of the arcade favourite
Punch Out! The idea of the game is to beat eight boxers, one after the other, in
an attempt to become the new World Champion. On beating one fighter you are given
a personal code, unique to your initials, so that the next opponent can be loaded
in from tape.
The view of the ring is from slightly above and behind your boxer, none other than
Frank Bruno, so you're looking into the screen with the opponent facing. As a digitised
Frank one can perform several manoeuvres, such as left and right head punches, body
blows, a Knock Out punch, ducking and of course guard up and down. Using these skills
the other fighter has to be knocjed down a total of three times within the given
Both boxers have a 'power' bar and each time a successful punch is landed the bar
increases in length. To get the power bar to its maximum, successive accurate punches
must land on target. But if you should get hit when your bar is at the halfway mark
then it depletes - rapidly!
Once it reaches its peak the KO punch, a vicious right
hander, must come into play. If this deadly blow is accurate a couple of times then
the opponent is usually floored. If, on the other had, he gets his bar to maximum
then his next punch as the same effect. On the first two occasions when a boxer gets
knocked down he always get up. But on the third... Bocko! He's down for good!
Most of the other boxers have a special punch or move pertaining to their name
and unless this can be avoided, you will be floored instantly. The first boxer
encountered smacks you viciously round the head with both hands while Fling Long
Chop, the second opponent, drop kicks - not quite the Queensbury way!
Subsequently the moves and techniques of each boxer must be learned if one is to
succeed. Fortunately there is a 'replay last match' option so that the last boxer
can be tackled again and again until you are eventually competent and finally
victorious. If you manage to plow your way through all eight boxers then a newspaper,
with a headline proclaiming you Champion of the World, is shown.
There seems to be a glut of boxing games recently and each seems to be nearly as
bad as the other. Frank Bruno's Boxing is no exception to this rule. The presentation
is extremely good, packed with hundred of little touches. Playing the game is
near impossible with the annoying control system used. The loading system is also
Once you get into the game you soon find it to be repetitive despite the different
boxers, the action merely getting progressively harder till impossible. What I did
like was the loading music, a very good version of Trans X's Living on Video,
though it hardly makes it worth shelling out hard earned cash.
Frank Bruno's Boxing has been long awaited by many since its announcement some months
back. Then, with only Alligata's Knockout to threaten it in the boxing game field,
it would have taken the market by storm. Since then both Barry McGuigan's and
Fight Night have been released and both are much better, with more depth, better
gameplay and graphics.
The graphics on FBB's are reasonable but many of the characters have massive
glitches in them, and sometimes they even come apart! The gameplay is rather limited
with only the eight boxers to challenge you, and they're not too difficult to beat
The control method is pretty tricky too, especially using two joysticks or
joystick and keyboard. It would have been good three of four months ago, but now
perhaps it's a bit too late to make any real impace on the boxing game market.
When Frank Bruno's Boxing was first promised there weren't any other boxing games
on the market. Since then however there have been three prominent releases (all for
different reasons though!) in the form of Alligata's Knockout, Activision's
Barry McGuigan and more recently US Gold's Fight Night.
With the latter two games to compete against I don't think that Frank Bruno's
stands much of a chance, because, to my mind, it has an inferior approach and is
much less interesting to play. If this had come out at the same time as the very
popular Spectrum version, then it would have had a better run. Sorry Elite, but I'm
afraid it's a case of too little too late.