If you look at the Xbox 360 version of Fight Night Round 3 and believe the only difference are the graphics, you're wrong. It's not a matter of opinion. The first edition of the Fight Night series is a radical change, even if at a quick glance it doesn't appear so. The technology is used to create the first truly next-gen sports title, and the benefits are stunning.
The lack of any meters, bars, or indicators is the game's crucial change. Though they can still be turned on if needed, getting into the ring without them is obviously the way this game was intended to be played. Instead of fighting with various colored bars, you're fighting against another person whose movements are the only necessary indicators. You can see the pain in their eyes, the fatigue setting in, and gruesome broken noses in brutal detail. This is what the graphical detail and processing power brings with it. Knocking someone down is guesswork, not just pummeling them until the meter says they're down.
You'll be decimating your opponents with Total Punch Control, an overrated control scheme due to inaccuracies, and not one that was needed in the first place. The button controls still feel more natural, though it's ridiculous that given all the buttons, certain moves are not available to non-analog players. These moves require some work to pull off, whipping the analog stick around to various degrees and hoping you're executing the right one (since the margin for error is minimal).
These punches create the unpredictability in boxing. Flash KO's, Stun Punches, and wild Haymakers can change the fight instantly. Stunning a boxer puts the injured into a first-person view where they'll need to defend against an onslaught of punches to avoid being knocked down. It's a major change, and the balance in these blows is perfect. They're difficult to get off, and rightfully so. The cut man returns to patch up the damaged fighter, and this simplistic system adds a layer of depth outside of the punching.
While it's nearly perfect in the ring, outside of it the experience has some problems. The career mode needs more of everything, except for more advertisements. It's a sad day when your Xbox Live profile is forever plastered with company based "adver-chievements." The number of training mini-games is a miniscule three, items like shorts bought from the in-game store apparently help a boxer’s stamina, and there are some glaring gaps.