I suppose a boxing game is a natural progression from the likes of Bruce Lee and this Alligata offering is the first of many.
In all you will light three bouts with each of two opponents, Italian Stallion and Slugger Sam, and a gruesome looking pair they are too. Your first opponent will come out fighting from the blue corner. Using either the keyboard or the joystick you control your man through some simple boxing manoeuvres to inflict as much damage on him while trying to avoid his fearsome punches. The game allows you to throw head or body punches or to defend yourself by putting up a guard. A stamina bar with eighteen graduations suffers the loss of a graduation per blow received. For every blow you score against Slugger a little arrow appears at the top of the screen and when the line of arrows extends across the screen and reaches the 'KO' marker then you have won the round.
Slugger has an advantage because his punches not only reduce your stamina bar but reduce his damage by one arrow. A skilful player can reduce this advantage by delivering body blows while Slugger's guard is up that scores two arrows.
After winning three bouts with Slugger you are given a secret code to be entered before you can load the next opponent from the other side of the tape. Defeating Italian Stallion requires a great deal more skill because he is an extremely unpleasant being.
Control keys: Ito body punch, 0 to head punch, G to guard, Q/W left/right
Joystick: Protek, Kempston
Keyboard play: lacks response
Use of colour: fair
Skill levels: 2, not selectable
Lives: 1 for each bout
'I didn't really like playing Knockout, I'm not sure why because it's got great graphics and even a bit of the tune from Rocky 3 at the start. I just found it totally unplayable and not at all addictive, I think it was something to do with the speed of your man's reactions which where both slow and unrealistic'
'Boxing is a very difficult game to simulate on a computer and it can only be done adequately by including a lot of detail and skill requirements to make it addictive. Knockout lacks both ingredients, after two rounds l was bored. Neither a crowd or a referee are represented and the player only has a choice of two punches. The movements are pretty real and fluent, at times they look effective. The sound is okay but does drive you mad after a while. I think more could have been made of the game if a wider choice of competitors had been offered'
'If I hadn't played the arcade boxing game I may have been a little more impressed with the game. The graphics are adequate but the whole game is let down by the slowness of the action and what appears to be a poor response by the player's man.'
|Use of Computer||60%|
|Value for Money||50%|
Roger: The boxing scenario seems fine in theory but the packaging graphic is about as dramatic as the game isn't.
The player takes on the role of the Italian Stallion and is required to slap Slugger Sam around, decking the poor old has-been three times, and therefore qualifying for a title fight with Bald Bully. Score is accrued by successfully landing whacks in the gob or knuckles in his guts and is lost by either receiving blows without blocking them or hitting the opponent's guard. To be fair to the game, it's a difficult technique to master and I spent a lot of time as a victim of surprise circumstance - lying down for an unplanned rest in the ring.
You're unlikely to get much better than me, though, because the graphics are so dreary and unexciting. Two dimensional, side view imagery and jerky movements lack wit or thrills, and the feeling of disappointment is aggravated by slow contra response. Come back Henry Cooper, all is forgiven... 1/5 MISS
Rick: Sure, it's the trickiest to beat but why would you want to. The graphics and sound are below bog-standard when matched against the other two. 2/5 MISS
Ross: This is comic book stuff without the humour. Alligata must be cursing its luck having seen the other two on the market. 2/5 MISS
ALLIGATA'S fighter, Knockout, shouldn't even be in the same ring as Frank Bruno's Boxing and Rocco.
It is the only game in which the two players fight in profile and in colour; possibly to give a better view of what each is doing to the other. If that is so, it fails miserably.
You play the overweight Italian Stallion versus Slugger Sam. Standing motionless in the middle of the ring, they try for knock out. Your strength decreases every time you are hit and after a few taps the Italian Stallion sits down while four stars flash above his head. Even a KO isn't realistic.
Knock down Sluggish Sam three times and you can load up the Bald Bull. If the punishment is too severe you can at least stroll away but you cannot dodge or duck. To make matters worse, Italian Stallion seems to be one handed. His left arm hardly twitches - not much help.
With the joystick there is another disadvantage. It is easy to throw a head punch but body punches are more difficult. The scoring system seems unnecessarily complex - a simpler system would be more in keeping with the limitations of the game.
If Knockout had been released a few months ago it might have done well; as it is it will scarcely go one round with its muscular opposition. Described on the cassette inlay as 'the fight of the century', it might be better termed 'the worst fight of the century'.
MACHINE: CBM 64/Spectrum
Stand up and fight! That's what you do in Alligata's championship challenge. No over-the-shoulder views for them. In this punch-out, the screen displays two full length boxers - seen from a side view. You can fight the computer or another joystick-controlled opponent.
If you win four bouts against the computer, you qualify for a second battle against a new opponent - on side two of the tape. You must use a special code to load the second side and you only get it after defeating the first opponent.
There is an interesting menu screen which allows you to select the skill of the opponent you wish to fight. And there's an interesting "create opponent" feature which allows you to determine just how the other boxer will move, dodge and punch when you come to fight him. Bit of a cheat this, isn't it?
The animation of the boxers is a bit wooden - but the controls are pretty easy to master and it's nice to see full length figures. The "create" mode enables you to select a sequence of up to 30 movements.
Overall, a satisfying game - but loses on points to Rocky and Bruno!
All information in this page is provided by ZXSR instead of ZXDB