(Score is improved for gameplay after the new system)
As an Ippo reader who have read over 1000 chapters and watched all 3 seasons of animes, I am truly disappointed. Boxing is a great sport, what the series has given us and taught us, surely this game didn't give us all those nostalgic feelings. I am not a hardcore fan, but I really like Ippo as a series.
If yoy expect the level of excitement of watching a real boxing match as you play this game, or the burning passion of boxing via this game...I hate to say, you are likely to be disappointed. But if you just want sth related to Ippo and a simple game where you role-play as Ippo, here is a game you can hang on to.
Difficulty accroding to progress:
Early Game - Given the amount of in-game resources and the availability (I am expecting a major change very soon), EXTREMELY HARSH
Mid Game - Probably hitting bottleneck sooner than expected. Critically hard
Late Game - It's gonna bump me out...
End Game - It will be the world of PVPs. And pray to Gacha God.
Smartphone-based Console Game Tier, the issues are: the VS match is only available at certain time, you will have to free up schedule to earn crucial rewards; the matchmaking time is at least indefinitely long (still no matches after 2 check-ins); each match takes about 3-4 rounds for beginners which is equivalent to 3-4 mins depending on animations, number of turns and boxers in the ring; the event gives 30 tickets daily and for beginners, they can finish normal at most, which means 30x4 mins=120 mins=2 hrs. If you are looking for a quick exciting and sensational boxing match, then this game game might be okay; if you are here for the progression, this game can take 2 hrs of your life to get to the bare minimal.
(Update: with the new event and its current system, this game is very time-demanding.)
1. Simple and easy to learn
2. Story progression do not require stamina
3. It has a great system introducing all the peripherals in boxing other than the boxer. If you are trying to get into the sport, you can pick up some good terms for conversations.
1. Ippo franchise has an arcade game where I had to punch the sandbag hard, it has a boxing game where I can control him...this is...like a TURN-BASED card game...the least exciting gameplay ever for a sport that requires precision, reaction and perception. This just sinks me hard...
2. The level up system, the equipment upgrade system are both kind of ridiculous...I assume boxer or the spirit gains experience during and after a match. I thought equipment is supposed to wear out and we were to maintain or replace it...something really doesn't add up if you can keep using the same piece of equipment for decades. Neither does the boxer who doesn't learn anything in matches, ends up being the world champion. I understand the designing process and how the system favors making more purchases to get enough upgrade materials...but...no.
3. I hate to say that the artwork is fine, but the animation is lame and rigid. This reminds of that wonky Goblin Slayer game, clone of Fruit Ninja.
(They have tuned down difficulty of early stages for easier progression)
The only thing I said it right pre-release and now: this will be a game where I want to throw some jabs at my phone and shatter it to pieces with my fists.
After revisiting the game several times, I have to appreciate how good the CG team has done for the special moves. Yet no classic VAs doing the lines is a huge letdown.
(Update: another letdown is that this game is heavily PVP-based, if you are an Ippo fan trying to enjoy the story or plot, I recommend watching the anime or reading the manga)
I always go in blind without referring to other guides in the early-mid game or getting any prior knowledge of the game itself when it comes to writing reviews. To truly experience as a complete noob, it allows you to immerse in the game and experience it all. So far, I felt like getting sucker punched by a terrible game with a famous anime title riding on its back that has built up hypes for years.
New Note: They have downtuned the difficulty in early Area and Chapters. You should be able to find it decently easier than it was on launch date. But progression is still a major setback, details below and in my Note specific on that.
The entire system is leaning toward to push players to make purchases since all the upgrade materials can only be collected massively via gacha and then selling the unwanted ones. Other than the first few newbie missions, the rest of the missions do not give enough materials to progress (if you play it without a second thought at all, I swear, you hit that bottleneck so soon).
Good thing is you can fail as many times in the Story mode. Problem is you need to sell your gacha to level up, but some of the weaker gachas may be a part of the essential combo for defeating a certain type of boxer. But if you don't sell enough, you get nothing to upgrade and progress.
The PVP ranking match is a disaster...it is completely random at the moment, the worst case is that you get demolished in an instance, or your victory is absolutely secured at start. Nothing makes a PVP more enjoyable when the matchmaking puts you against players with dominating power difference from the start. Seriously, I don't have 7k at start and I got paired up against a 17k opponent then another one at 21k. I bet Rocky gets KO'd in Round 1...
(Update: They are improving matchmaking system, it's fairer now, sometimes still lethally brutal)
The developer surely noticed that and throws in the event to keep you afloat. But then it only gives you 30 tickets only. And with your weak deck, you can barely get enough rewards or advance enough to earn better rewards. Again, like the John Oliver's famous "The F*%k Barrel" situation, this is a "f*%k barrel".
(Update: New Reset System can refund all your upgrade materials, this is a creative way to ease out the F barrel situation)
(2nd Update: The developer has responded to the fans and kept the "Mushroom Training" alive. This will keep the accessibility to progression available for both newbies and veterans, so I came back just to snap this APPROVED on the review since I had consistently gone hard on that progression issue)
There will always be better games that push the f barrel situation to the end game or give F2Pers fewer edges to hunt down P2Whales. This one, it can screw up both F2Pers and P2Whales. I understand the need to make profit, but there are better designs and other means to achieve that goal. Peripherals like I have mentioned earlier is one of the many ways.
Unless you are diehard Ippo fan, this game will not burn a lasting impression in our mind. I may not give this game a high score, but the Ippo series gives me way too many things to learn about boxing (except those faked special techniques, they are all physically and humanly impossible; over-exaggeration for dramatic effect is comprehensible), that I can say: it is good.
(Details on Gym VS in the rookie guide)
(Translated Update for new system in my Card)
Nota: En el gameplay también muestro como hacer el respaldo de tus datos.
Primeros minutos: https://youtu.be/Varw8B7tp7Y .
PD: le gane a Sendo :'D esto no es un spoiler ya que todos deberian saberlo