Fight Night Champion is a good addition to a great line up of the series. Prior to its' release this game brought on feelings of excitement every time new information was available. I had actually seen the trailer for it at a local Game Stop and before the trailer was done I was sold on the game. I instantly pre ordered it and I could barely contain myself.

When the game finally released and I purchased it, when I got home the console couldn't have turned on any faster...I was so ready to pwn!

After beating the campaign and dabbling in the BUILD YOUR OWN BOXER mode (I forgot the actual name) here is what I took away from the game.

The story mode can't hardly be compared to any of the other releases. The 1st and 2nd didn't have anything that would resemble a story by any stretch of the imagination, the 3rd only slightly improved on the LEGEND MODE via the look but in return there was no control over who you fight in the 3rd one at all. It was linear in the truest sense of the word.

FN CHAMPION demolished the releases prior to it in a very decisive way. Following Andre Bishop through tick and thin felt authentic and very relevant. Even when I lost, I had no problem replaying the fight to try a different approach - you almost want to keep going just for the story's progression alone. The game's writing is done exceptionally well, especially when compared to the games before.

With the exception of your animesque (is this even a word) fighters ala Dead or Alive, Street Fighter, Tekken, and so on this game's story is better than any fighting game.

When outside of the ring one can see major improvements as well. Right with the first training mini game it is evident how much the design has improved. There is so much variation and with every new mini game one can almost see the fighter evolving - and these mini games can actually help in the ring...the amount of realism is almost unbelievable.

The menus have been redesigned and it's refreshing to see that, especially in a game such as this where improving on design may not seem easy due to the selections themselves being pretty standard for such a game.

The online component - which requires a code and a new copy will have one - is kind of cool...the only notable aspect here is the tourneys which can be played for money.

Here is the part that I absolutely hated....HATED. THE ENTIRE FIGHTING SCHEME HAS BEEN REWORKED. The peeps behind the game said the reason for this change was their attempt at making this game more appealing to the average to someone like me, who absolutely loved the series for the analog stick fighting, this was horrible news...I learned of this after having bought the game...when I played it first and the analog wasn't responding I thought the game was broken.

But on the contrary because all these n00bs complained because they were getting beat, they changed the analog from the familiar to a 6 sided flick...and there is no longer any control over the haymakers.

The explanation given on the official site stated that due to the strain the old layout placed on the thumb when you try throwing a right sided punch (jab, hook or upper cut) and the wear and tear on the controller, they changed it so it can be friendlier to the average gamer....and I completely understand that in a profit driven market they would want to increase their buyer base, but with this change - to where it's the default layout, and there is no option to have the old layout - not only did they gain no new players, they lost a sh**ton of their old fan base.