Mike Tyson - Main Event Review
iPhone App
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Mike Tyson - Main Event Review

Our Review by Blake Grundman on April 8th, 2011
Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: FIGHTS LIKE A CHUMP
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Mike Tyson tries to channel gaming success that was attained almost a quarter of a century ago, with disastrous results..

Developer: Rock Live
Price: FREE
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar
Game Controls Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarblankstarblankstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar

Mike Tyson is the kind of individual that either you love or you loathe.  Though he was a heavily decorated and celebrated phenom in the ring, outside of the ropes troubles have followed him at every turn.  If you can think way back, maybe you can even recall a classic Nintendo game by the name of Mike Tyson's Punch-Out.  There was just something special about the game that struck a chord with an entire generation of gamers who wanted to get their chance to go toe-to-toe with Iron Mike.   Fast forward twenty-four years to last week, when Mike Tyson made his long awaited return to games in Mike Tyson - Main Event.  Is this the return to form that fans are hoping for, or simply an individual taking advantage of blind nostalgia?

Many games have tried to emulate the formula of success that made Punch-Out such a runaway hit.  Main Event also attempts to follow in the same footsteps, all the way down to the exaggerated character designs that are based off of stereotypes for this newer generation.  Luckily this time around they have steered clear of the blatant racism that ran rampant in the original.  Everything from the build up to each match, the cadence of opponents strikes, and even the between round banter have been shamelessly aped, all in the name of authenticity.  Heck, even the traditional control scheme lives on in the form of digital onscreen buttons.  They say that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.  If that is in fact the case, then this is a full on love letter, complete with cringeworthy pet names laced throughout the text.

The problem with this love note is that when you actually read the text, it is wrought with enough typos and grammar errors that it is damn near unintelligible.  For the sake of the analogy, these typos are manifested in the form of tremendously glaring issues such as horrible visual stuttering (even on an iPhone 4), unresponsive and inconsistent controls, and no combat sounds whatsoever.  When was the last time that you punched someone in the face and it was silent?  The correct answer is never, even a certain NES game didn't forget about that...

With all of these problems, one stood out above all others, the visual style.  To say that Main Event resembled a flash game from a decade ago would be a compliment.  When you mix that in with horrible animations that couldn't be made up of any more than a handful of frames at a time, you have a certified disaster on your hands.  Oh, and don't forget about the obtrusive touch sensitive ad placed right in the middle of the screen at all times.  Sure, this is a free app, but there has to be a better way to monetize a release than that!

At this point it goes without saying that Mike Tyson - Main Event seems more like a welterweight qualifier than a heavyweight brawl.  What was a valiant attempt and reinventing a classic game on iOS has been run aground by piss-poor execution and lack of polish.  This may be a free game but to put it bluntly, it isn't even worth the hard drive space that it occupies.  Here's to hoping that Mike has better luck landing a cameo in The Hangover 2, because this should sideline his career as a spokesperson permanently.


iPhone Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

Mike Tyson: Main Event screenshot 1 Mike Tyson: Main Event screenshot 2 Mike Tyson: Main Event screenshot 3 Mike Tyson: Main Event screenshot 4 Mike Tyson: Main Event screenshot 5
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