I’ve been a fan of Mdickie’s games for a while. Wrestling Encore is still one of my favorite wrestling games of all time. And while I wasn’t quite as thrilled with the likes of Grass Roots, Mdickie struck back with entertaining grace by releasing the likes of Hard Time and his latest efforts, Reach. This time it’s all about boxing and Mat Dickie does a fantastic job of bringing the boxing world to life like no other developer out there.
Much like Wrestling Encore, Reach lets players play in exhibition modes, tournaments or start a career. Of course, the meat and mash potatoes of the game is entirely holed up in the career mode. And I must say, Reach has a much more evened out and well-paced career mode than any other Mdickie game in the past. As usual, players will create a character and start off at the bottom of the boxing world barrel. It’s up to the player to find a manager, train their boxer, earn cash, move up the ranks, schedule pay perviews and fight like there’s no tomorrow.
Throughout the player’s career they’ll encounter shady characters, egotistical maniacs, no-good cheaters and a host of other colorful, dangerous and edgy scenarios. Not only that, players will be put to the test in street fights, backstage brawls and even rare occasions that involve fights to the death. I really like, though, how Reach incorporates a lot more user control and interactivity. Let’s get something straight though, the interactive options are not quite like Hard Time, but there are consistently more interactive sequences.
But while we’re on the subject of characters, I should point out that Reach is one of the best looking Mdickie games to date. For many gamers out there it will probably remind them of model files from THQ’s early days on the N64, but in comparison to Wrestling Encore or Grass Roots, Reach does appear to have a much cleaner look. And as always, the audio aspects of Reach are pretty darn good – many of the entrance themes and musical scores from previous Mdickie games make a return, but I’m not complaining. Heck, some of those songs are pretty darn good when used as character entrance themes.
Overall, there’s a lot offered in Reach especially for the budget price of $14.95. Seriously this game sure beats the likes of other boxing titles out there that don’t give gamers half as much content. Heck, the training and backstage segments are worth the $14.95 alone. So basically, if you’re looking for something new out of the boxing genre and you’re tired of EA’s monopoly on all things sports, then you can’t go wrong with Mdickie’s Reach.