Beast Boxing 3D has a fantastically goofy premise. You’re a scrawny human with absolutely no boxing experience, but you decide that to get yourself out of the slums you’ll enter a boxing tournament for hulking monsters. What’s the worst that could happen? So you throw on a Halloween costume and enter the tournament, figuring you’ll learn to fight on the fly.
In your first fight, which doubles as a tutorial, you go up against your potential trainer. Here you’ll learn that tapping either side of the screen jabs with the corresponding fist, swiping the screen results in hard punches, holding both thumbs on the screen blocks, and tilting the device makes you dodge. The controls work surprisingly well, and before you know it you’ll be dancing like a butterfly and stinging like a bee.
However, you have to keep an eye on your stamina, because just like in Punch Out you lose the ability to attack when your stamina depletes. To gain it back, just block and dodge for a few seconds. You’ll also want to make sure you don’t rely on throwing the same punch repeatedly, because your opponent will catch on to your pattern and start blocking every time until you change up.
Once you KO your first opponent– he falls as easily as Glass Joe– you decide he has the stuff to coach you to take on the big dogs. And we mean big. Since your opponents are beasts, they come in all shapes and sizes. You’ll fight a multi-eyed reptile, a skeleton, and beastly creatures that would make a lesser human wet his pants. And these guys look great. The character models are crisply drawn and animated as smoothly as a Disney movie. Unfortunately, the game only has nine opponents, so it doesn’t take very long to beat.
Polly want a cracker?
The fighting is just as smooth as the animation, but your opponents don’t always give a heads-up before they start wailing on you. In Punch Out, the bad guys always twitch or give some visual indication to communicate what move they’re about to unleash on you, giving you time to perform the proper evasive maneuver. In Beast Boxing, your opponents only indicate what they’re gong to do if they’re gearing up for a super move. Their jabs (or full-on whirlwind assaults from the later opponents) come as a surprise.
As you fight, you earn coins. These can be spent between rounds to upgrade your stats or to purchase power-ups that do things like replenish your health or slow down time. Pumping up your stats is a lot of fun, and we enjoyed this aspect a lot, even if some of the power-ups seem over-priced. If you’re having trouble progressing through the tournament, you can go back and fight anyone you’ve already defeated in order to buy your way to more powerful stats.
Beast Boxing 3D, with its excellent controls, fun upgrade system, and eye-catching graphics, is an impressive game on many levels. We wish we could see the opponents’ attacks coming a little easier, and that there were more than nine opponents, but we had a lot of fun with it all the same. Pick this one up, quirky sports fans.