Ready To Rumble Boxing: Round 2
Will Michael Jackson beat Bill Clinton?
Have you ever dreamt about being Hillary Clinton and hitting Bill Clinton? Or have you ever imagined what would you have done if you had been Michael Jackson facing an opponent in a boxing match? Probably no, because these are completely absurd situations. But that's the essence behind the Ready To Rumble series: to feature completely ridiculous boxing matches, using many of the most comic characters ever seen in a sporting game. And hey, there is one of my heroes here: Afro backcombed-hair Thunder.
Ready To Rumble 2, just like the previous instalment of the series, is an easy game if compared with such complex fighting games like Tekken Tag Tournament. The controls are identical to those used in the original game. The four controller's buttons are each associated to a particular hit (high fist, low fist, left punch, right punch) and there are a few special moves, easy to learn, for each of the characters.
As you strike your adversary you see the letters of the word “Rumble” situated at the bottom of the screen progressively lighting up themselves. When all the word is illuminated you can perform deadly special hits. If in the first episode it was possible to activate only a level of rumble, this time you have the possibility to use three different levels of “RuMbLe” power. It's managing the rumble power and performing a good footwork that you will succeed in becoming a master in this game. A level-three rumble (when the letters have all become white) is surely a lethal weapon in your character's hands, but not always you'll have enough time to reach it. Sometimes is wiser to use a level-two rumble, that anyhow will cause your opponent serious damages. In two or three hours you'll be skilled enough to beat the game and you'll be able to shower insults on your adversaries as you'll hit them.
The gameplay modes are a lot and it's evident that Midway's developers have tried to enrich this new Ready To Rumble. Besides the amusing Tag mode and the Tournament mode, which allows to organize tournaments with a maximum of eight players, the most entertaining modes are the Arcade Mode and the Career Mode. In the Arcade mode you have to face all the various boxers featured in the game in order to finish the game. In the Career Mode you will follow your boxer through a complete season. There are various types of training in this mode and you'll have to create a well-balanced boxer to win with ease all the matches.
A series of inimitable funny characters is the true core of the game. Afro Thunder is always here, with a best than ever haircut and a set of exhilarating insults, but big part of the other characters from the first Ready To Rumble are here too to please all the fans of the series. Each time you'll finish the arcade mode a new playable character will be available. And I assure you these hidden characters are really uncommon. Michael Jackson, Shaquille O'Neal, Bill and Hillary Clinton and many others are included in Ready To Rumble 2 for a total of more than twenty playable boxers.
Shaquille O'Neal is surely the most powerful boxer in the game and his polygonal counterpart is realized with great care. Anyhow, Michael Jackson is the true star of the game. His movements, that ironically take back various steps from his prodigious ballets, are w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l. Bill Clinton has been drawn back like in a savoury caricature. Good old Mr President shows off in the game a wonderful pot while an angry Hillary Clinton is dressed with her classical impeccable suit.
Overall, Ready To Rumble 2 is an extremely simple game, but it's funny especially when it's played together with other two or three friends. Anyhow, if you are a serious player of fighting games, and you're searching for something deep, this title will soon annoy you.