It is hard to not sound like a broken record here, it is inevitable. When Fight Night Round 3 was released for the Xbox 360, it was the first truly "next-gen" sports game, ten months ago.
Being able to feel every bruise, every cut, was just amazing. Taking the HUD out of the game was the best thing EA could have done, it really drew you into frantic boxing action.
This still happens in the PS3 port, but the span from February to December has only added one new feature: Get in the Ring. Oh, they changed the cover athlete, too.
PS3 owners won't notice it, but comparing the game to the Xbox 360 counterpart reveals washed out colors, and inferior lighting. This too is a broken record, par for the course of this first batch of PS3 games.
Graphically, the PS3 port is a mixed bag. EA Canada has made very subtle changes in the transition. The sweat looks even better than on the Xbox 360, if you can believe it. But the game can get dicey on the close-up replays. There is also the pixelated crowd, which I don't understand.
Once you get past these technical issues, you are looking at the most feature packed version of Fight Night Round 3, PS3 owners should be happy about that. Get in the Ring mode is how the entire game should be played. You see a first person camera for the entire match; it never switches to third person view. This changes everything in the game, your timing is completely different, you have to play more defense. This is a great addition for the PS3; I just wish I could have used the "Get in the Ring" camera for the career mode.
Most things can be done with the button controls, but there are punches you need to use the analog sticks for. It is best to stick with a combination of the two systems, although you can play the game with one or the other.
The only SIXAXIS control added is the ability to foul, but this is something you will forget about while in the heat of the fight. Everything else is the same, which is not a bad thing. Fight Night Round 2 was plagued by severely unbalanced play, where button mashing could get you pretty far.
Not the case in Round 3, with a reworked Haymaker system, and thee different Impact Punches that can change the tide of the match in an instant. You really have to play Round 3, parry your opponent, and sweat it out until the final bell.
Playing online has the advantage of talking smack while you are pummeling your opponent into submission. However, there are not as many people to play as there were on Xbox Live. The number of online opponents has risen since the early December launch, but not by much. Still, online multiplayer is a blast, and has few hiccups to speak of.
When not playing online, you will be taking a created boxer through a career mode, but playing in single player leaves something to be desired. It is clear that this is meant to be enjoyed by two people. The Rivalry mode also allows you to replay legendary fights such as Ali-Frazier.
Career mode is really a step backwards compared to Round 2, where you could skip the amateur career altogether, for example.
It is also worth noting how much advertisements are in the game. You can even unlock "The King" as a promoter. Everything from Burger King, Under Armor and Everlast to Dodge, and ESPN (of course, the entire presentation is ESPN 2) are featured front and center in career mode.
Regardless of the console, this is one of the best two player games out there, as well as a high mark for boxing games. The reworked Haymaker system brings balance to the entire game, adding much needed depth.
Get in the Ring mode changes the game entirely, and makes this version worth your money, unless you have been playing it on the Xbox 360.
Fight Night Round 3 is a rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Blood and Violence. This game can also be found on: Xbox, Xbox 360, PS2, and PSP.