Because I can't play every game ever made (though I'm really working on it), I often ask friends to tell me about games they have played that I might otherwise have missed. While having coffee with my friend Elayna, she revealed to me her secret video-gaming pleasure.
"My favorite game is Fight Night," she said, daintily nibbling a bite of her bagel.
"Fright Night?" I asked, wondering how I could have missed a game in the horror genre, one of my favorites.
"No, Fight Night. A boxing game for PS2. It's fun, and it gets all of my stress out."
The image of my very feminine friend punching the lights out of of a video game toon was quite amusing to me. "Tell me more." I urged.
"Basically, I hit people. I beat them up. It's really fun. It's taking some time out for myself. Me time." She giggled.
Elayna went on to tell me that each fighter has a signature hit and her personal favorite was the Above Ground Pound as she referred to it. This move was empowering. "It gets out all of my frustrations when I beat the crap out of someone."
"The only thing I do not like is that once you get knocked down there are three fighters to contend with because your vision is blurry. You have to line them up and hit the center guy to get back up. That's frustrating."
So what were the rewards for winning?
Money. Each successful fight would win you some good, hard cash. With this cash you could buy such things as better boxer shorts, better boots, better tattoos and even better ring girls. I asked her if the upgraded items actually did anything, aesthetics aside.
"I don't know, I think so," she said, thoughtfully. "It just seems like they should."
After my meeting with Elayna I did some cyber-investigating for more information on Fight Night. According to customer reviews on Amazon.com the fighters in Fight Night are real career boxers, not just ones made up by the developer. The boxers do have signature moves and the controls are easy to work. Most people found the game very realistic. "You can make your boxer stop on a dime after a punch," said one reviewer, happy with the game. As far as boxing games went, this seemed a good choice if your goal is just to knock someone around for awhile after a long day.
On a side note, I learned that boxers, boots, tattoos and ring girls don't do anything for your career, other than make you look good. But isn't that all you really need in life anyway?
April Whidden is an avid gamer and a freelance writer living in Portland,OR. Her website is located at http://www.aprilwhidden.com. She also writes a video game blog at http://www.xanga.com/aprilstorme.