Now available on the Switch eShop, being ported from PC, Boxing Champs is a top down punching simulator with two main modes of play: solo career and local multiplayer. Both modes can offer some short lived, mindless fun when keeping expectations in check.
Boxing Champs can either be played by flicking punches with the analog stick, like a Fight Night game, or by button mashing the face buttons to perform a series of different punches, like Nintendo’s Punch-Out!! series. While I appreciate the satisfying movements of the analog stick flicks, I found myself using the button interface more often as gameplay ultimately winds up being a button masher. There is some strategy involved, like when to back away to regain some stamina and when to block, but found that ruthless attacking is usually enough to win most matches. It is also worth pointing out that there is no feature to wrap up your opponent or trap them against the ropes. This seems like a missed and unbalanced opportunity considering the size of the ring is rather large. The career mode starts each fighter with newbie stats but gains a few points for the player to allocate after each win. However, even though the punching strength was steadily increasing, for example, each blow seemed to result in the same amount of damage regardless of level. Increasing the characters stats RPG-style seemed to have more a placebo effect than anything. The game also prevents the player for allocating all available stat building points to one category too.
The other bigger bullet point is the ability to customize a fighter with dozens of options. All fighters look like something out of South Park and there is no option to change height, weight, or fighting class. It is cool to outfit your dude with a fro but changes are strictly cosmetic as they unfortunately do not enhance or modify gameplay in any way.
For a $15 game, it would have been nice if there was some additional depth but Boxing Champs winds up being a button masher best played in five minute increments.
Not As Good As: Boxing (Atari 2600)
Also Try: Ring King (NES)
Wait For It: Streets of Rage 4