Before I even start writing this review I have to tell you I am a huge fan of the Rocky franchise. You can’t beat a classic Stallone film like Rocky. It has everything a growing lad needs, EPIC story, fighting, training montages and more fighting.
The Legend of Rocky
So what about Rocky Legends? It’s surprisingly addictive. It keeps close to the movie and even gives you a bit of background story around some of the main characters.
To begin with, I played through career mode as The Dancing Destroyer, The King of Sting, The Count of Monte Fisto, The Prince of Punch, The Master of Disaster, The One and Only… Apollo Creed. You start out by fighting Apollo’s trainer from the movie Tony “Duke” Evers.
Once beaten Duke retires from boxing to train Apollo in between fights. The training mini-games is what made this game so much fun to play. Imagine a Rocky-themed track and field and you are on the right lines. Each training session would add so many skill points to your character and you can select certain training exercises to boost specific skills.
Playing as Apollo you want to increase his speed and power so you can “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee” Ali style.
Rocky Legends Gameplay
The gameplay is simple and effective. You can punch, block, duck and weave to take down your opponent. Each character also has their own signature moves. The opponents get harder as you progress through the game and you really need to do well with the training to take the last few down.
Apollo’s story finishes with his first fight against Rocky. I am assuming they didn’t want you being killed by the hardcore Soviet Ivan Drago.
The Legend Himself
I decided to head back to career mode and play as Rocky next. His career starts out with some street fighting. After that Mickey asks you to join his gym and the fighting and training starts all over again. Rocky’s story is the one that sticks closest to the films; finishing with his street brawl with Tommy Gunn. The game was made before the new Rocky Balboa film was released so this fight was not in the game. Overall, I found Rocky’s career not quite as fun as the others. Maybe it is because I have seen most of it in the films and previous games and nothing was new. It was pretty cool jumping into Stallone’s shoes though.
You can’t get much more badass than Mr T. So next up is Clubber Lang. You start out by fighting in a prison. I pity the fool that starts a fight with Mr T. You beat your first opponent half to death and then the guards let you leave the prison.
I was hoping for a street fighter 2 car punching style bonus stage instead of the standard training where he punches a jumbo jet screaming “I ain’t gettin’ in no plane fool”… But instead, you get the training mini-games reminiscent of the 3rd Rocky film.
The one thing that makes this game stand out for me is the music. You can’t get more pumped than when training along to the Rocky music. The music really brings this game to life. If you are nearing death the Rocky music will play away in the background to pump you up and increase gameplay tension.
Time for a Montage
The training starts off fun but by the end of the game, you just want to start the fights as your fingers are hurting. Imagine playing track and field for more than a few hours straight; your fingertips would be bleeding and you’ll be crying for mum. Luckily there is a skip training option but you only earn half of the skill points you could earn if done properly. I did skip one or two training sessions but it definitely made the next fight harder. At least they left that option in there though. It’s much better for the lazier button bashers out there.
After Clubber defeated Apollo I moved on to the big Soviet played by Dolph Lundgren in the films, Ivan Drago. You start off fighting in what appears to be an airfield hangar which again put my mind back to street fighter especially with Ivan’s Guile like hair.
You beat the guy to a pulp and you are now fighting for the Soviet Army as their way of pissing off America by taking their championship belt. The training sequences here were cool. You got to use all the equipment from the film and take a shit load of steroids (ok it didn’t show this but of course he did). Drago is very slow in comparison to the other fighters but his raw power makes for quite an easy fight against his opponents. Now his final storyline, unlike the others, goes outside the box of the films. It concludes with him beating Rocky and getting a medal from some Stalin looking dude.
Rocky Legends is a Winner
Overall Rocky Legends was great fun. It has plenty of unlockable characters that make you come back to the game again and again. You can even unlock Drago’s wife which is pretty cool.
I give this game a good 9 out of 10. It was true to the films that I loved and it was generally a good boxing game easily on par with EA’s fight night. If you like Rocky, definitely check this one out after jumping that park bench.