Friday, July 01, 2005

DefJam Fight for New York -- WWF and rappers, a surprising success

This game has been out for two years and didn't blip on my radar until I sampled the first game Def Jam Vendetta. The sequel improves on it 100% with a character builder for story mode and a huge selection of fighters, most of whom are real live rappers that you can unlock and play as in different game modes. The fighting system is reminiscent of WWF wrestling but much deeper and it doesn't just focus on wrestling but also landing combos on your opponent with a variety of punches and kicks.
What really makes Def Jam unique is that this is a fighting game with an actual story for its story mode that you can follow without reading any history from the manual. The story isn't fantastic, but it's entertaining and provides the setting for underground fighting rings in New York. The music is from the artists who are portrayed in the game: Snoop Dog, Redman, Ludacris, and even some oldies like Flava Flav. Needless to say the music fits the game.
The arenas you fight in can be fully utilized to turn the tables on your opponent. Smash him into a wall and then kick him against it repeatedly, jump off rope posts or steel supports to perform flying attacks, or even throw your opponent against his own Hummer's windshield. Another element in the ring is the audience. They provide you with weapons such as bottles, wrenches, pool sticks, pipes and a lot of other miscellaneous crap. The crows will also hold your opponent for you to perform a tag attack or just plain beat him up with stuff. The game is a little difficult at first but when you get used to the unusual controls and fighting style the game becomes almost repetitive and easy until you reach the far end of the game.
I'm not a big rap fan but that didn't stop me from enjoying this innovative fighting game. Grab this one.

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