Rocky: Legends - PS2

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Rocky: Legends (PS2)
Also for: Xbox
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Sport: Boxing
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Venom Games Soft. Co.: MGM Interactive
Publishers: Ubisoft (GB)
Released: 1 Oct 2004 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 16+
Features: Vibration Function Compatible
Accessories: Memory Card, Analogue Control Compatible: all buttons


Rocky: Legends is the prequel to the smash-hit Rocky. Follow your favourite character - Rocky Balboa, Clubber Lang, Apollo Creed or Ivan Drago - from his raw beginnings up to the final showdown with his personal nemesis. Each character's career mode is based around a ranking chart system that shows the player's current standing. The aim is to reach the status of World Champion, right at the top of the chart.

Whichever character you choose to fight as in Career mode, you will be presented with a ranking chart with your name at the bottom - 25th out of 25. From there, you can opt to fight either the 24th, 23rd or 22nd placed boxer, with the possibility of moving up through the ranks at a maximum of three positions per fight. Once you've gotten to grips with the game and proved that you're a worthy fighter, you might get as far as the top ten rankings. Once you enter the top ten, you can only challenge the boxer directly above you on the chart and must continue to work up the ladder one place at a time until you beat the champion. If you lose a bout, you'll either stay put or drop one place, depending on the results of the CPU's bouts.

When choosing who to challenge, your decision will also be influenced by the 'number of months until fight' displayed on the ranking chart for each available opponent. This will typically be between one and three months, and it determines the number of training games in which you can take part before your scheduled fight. You must judge whether you have sufficient time to train, and to raise your physical stats to a sufficient level before tackling the opponent.

That's Career mode explained then - the real heart of Rocky Legends - but there are of course other modes to try. Exhibition is a one-off bout between any available fighters; Knockout Tournament generates a random series of fights, and if we have to explain any more, you've been thumped around the temples too many times; Survival mode lets you fight in an infinite timed bout against a series of opponents coming at you thick and fast. Once you're knocked out, that's that; Training is where you get your own team in your own gym and really go to town on getting fit for your fights. The four playable characters all get to do sit-ups, punch mitts, heavy bag and speed bag. In addition, each character has a part of training unique to them, such as Drago's squat push machine and 'chasing the chicken' with Rocky.

For men of a certain age group, Rocky Legends will inevitably provoke a few memories of all things 80's. No bad thing, say we, as long as we don't have to endure Peter Kay and Stuart Maconie telling us how brilliant it all was...again. This is a game that belongs firmly in the noughties. It looks pretty good, and plays as well as any other PS2 boxing title you could care to name. Plus it makes us wanna dig out the DVD box set. Job done, and not a BBC2 nostalgia-fest in sight.


Rocky: Legends - PS2 Artwork