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  • World Championship Boxing Manager 2 review: Floats like a butterfly, but doesn't sting like a bee
The second iteration is a soul successor of the first game (Image via Ziggurat)

World Championship Boxing Manager 2 review: Floats like a butterfly, but doesn't sting like a bee

The prequel to World Championship Boxing Manager 2 came during a time when I wasn't even born, so news about the second game did surprise me a lot. Gaming used to be completely different back then, and I had no idea how the second part would have been figured out.

While the original title was a cult hit in the 90s, modern-day gaming has a new set of demands. What used to work once no longer does — like life itself, evolution is the only constant.

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Having played the game for many hours, I can't help but think of all the positives the developers deserve. World Championship Boxing Manager 2 is a true proponent of necessary changes without sacrificing the original esthetics of the first title.


World Championship Boxing Manager 2 is a perfect tribute to the first game while modernizing several aspects

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Could there ever be a boxing game without returning to the famous tribute to the great Muhammad Ali? World Championship Boxing Manager 2 does exactly what its name suggests - you must do everything related to boxing aside from fighting in the ring.

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But make no mistake - there are ample things in the game to keep you engaged with very minute details. There has been a plethora of management games, with some great titles in the realm of sports.

World Championship Boxing Manager 2 might not be as complex as Football Manager 2023, for instance. But under the hood, there's ample scope for micromanagement if you're into that kind of a thing. Moreover, there's the freedom to go down different paths that contain well-directed narratives.

Let's get started on why I played the better part of my last weekend, trying to unearth my own Rocky Balboa from a huge pool of generic fighters.


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Story and game modes

There are different story modes, all of which create unique experiences (Image via Ziggurat)

Like I said earlier, the first game was before my time. While I could have researched it on the internet, I decided to go blindly into World Championship Boxing Manager 2. I believe that going with a clear frame of mind can often be much more rewarding, especially when the second part has come after more than three decades.

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My first surprise was the depth and richness of the story mode. Moreover, there are different narrative-rich paths that players can choose from. Once you start the game, your options for picking a story mode will be far more limited.

Only one is unlocked at the beginning, but it's the best to learn the game. It seems to be the easiest one and is built in a way that allows you to understand the title's mechanics.

If you don't like the restrictions the story mode puts on you, there's a full-blown career mode. It's essentially the game's sandbox and doesn't offer handholding. I started with the career mode but soon learnt my lessons the hard way. I was back to the story mode before I knew it, and things have been quite good so far.


Gameplay

I loved the pixelated representation giving tribute to the first game (Image via Ziggurat)

I will be honest - games with pixelated graphics aren't my cup of tea. Based on your preferences, it could upset you as well. There are no polished visuals or realistic ragdoll effects or anything. Every battle is rendered similarly, and there aren't unique animations, signature moves, or anything.

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However, the gameplay is extremely enjoyable, and you will be hooked to the matches despite the simple battles. I also feel that World Championship Boxing Manager 2's graphics allow many players with modest PCs to enjoy the game, which I greatly appreciate.

There are so many details to attend to during your save. From scheduling training to booking fights, I was always engaged. This made the fights feel fresh to look at and enjoy. I loved the emphasis on proper strategy, as it's not about making random decisions.

Adopting different strategies are a must (Image via (Image via Ziggurat)

Every match requires you to decide your boxer's strategy in the ring. As lucrative as it may sound, going all-out attacking and taking too many risks turned out to be very counterproductive. Moreover, the potent tactic always varies based on the skills of your opponents, so you will need to strategize properly.

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I genuinely loved how the game showed my opponent's strengths and weaknesses. While you can see your boxer's stats, the opponents' are hidden (that should be the way). This does give you an idea of what to expect, but you should also anticipate surprises.

The difficulty scaling in World Championship Boxing Manager 2 is on point, although it can sometimes feel rough. After all, the unpredictability of real life has been incorporated into the game directly, so you could lose despite being a favorite.


Activities

Efficient training is a must (Image via Ziggurat)

Management games have to be judged by the activities that you can perform. In World Championship Boxing Manager 2, there are so many things to do, but it didn't feel overwhelming. The basic task is to maintain the schedule for booking the fights. That's not all, you will also need to manage your boxers. By that, you're in control of their training and resting.

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There are plenty of ways to improve your boxer’s skills and attributes, and choosing the correct training routine is a must. After all, your boxers are human and constant training will burn through their stamina.

Their morale and mental state will also need to be taken care of. Occasional celebrations after a big win or an extra day of rest will benefit you in the long run. Despite the casual approach upfront, World Championship Boxing Manager 2 perfectly portrays the human side of the combat sport.


Performance

Well, it's safe to claim that World Championship Boxing Manager 2 isn't a very graphic-intensive game. It should run very well on even the most basic of systems, and it all comes down to optimization. I didn't find any bugs that are worth noting or discussing.

Frames seem to be quite constant, and there were no sudden drops or spikes in temperatures on my hardware. Overall, the game runs well and how it's supposed to, and I didn't encounter any bugs.

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In conclusion

Every victory feels equally sweet (Image via Ziggurat)

World Championship Boxing Manager 2 makes me wish I was born earlier so I could play the first title. While time machines are still a sci-fi concept, the developers have managed to create a healthy balance between modernism and old-school heritage.

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The game is a relatively simpler take compared to other titles like Football Manager 2023. However, there's still a lot to enjoy in management, customization, and more. There are a few negatives, one related to a more extensive tutorial system.

"The developers have managed to create a healthy balance between modernism and old-school heritage.”

Thanks a bunch to @arka_sk from @Sportskeeda for checking out World Championship Boxing Manager 2! @playziggurat

Score: 9/10 🥊

Read it here: sportskeeda.com/esports/world-…
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Then again, World Championship Boxing Manager 2 isn't rocket science, and fans of management games will find themselves at home. There's plenty of replayability with different game modes, fun graphics, and interesting mechanics. To make matters even more interesting, players will also be able to have story modes based on the lives of Rocky Marciano and Sugar Ray Robinson.

The pixelated graphics could work against the title, but I loved it. It keeps things simple on my system, and I have never believed that the onus of a management game should be on the graphics. Moreover, a hyper-realistic rendition of the second game might have lost the esthetic value of the first one.

I am excited to find out what Ziggurat have on their hands regarding gaming content in the near future. This was the first time I reviewed one of their games, and it left plenty of positive impressions in my mind.

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The detailed scorecard (image via Sportskeeda)

Reviewed On: PC (Review code provided by Ziggurat)

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Platform: Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Publisher: Ziggurat

Developer: Mega Cat Studios

Release Date: January 17, 2023

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Edited by
Abu Amjad Khan
 
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