Victorious Boxers: Ippo's Road to Glory(はじめの一歩 VICTORIOUS BOXERS, Hajime no Ippo VICTORIOUS BOXERS), is a Japanese-developed boxing video game created by New Corporation for the Sony PlayStation 2 video game console. It is based on the manga and anime series Hajime no Ippo.Though the original series is very popular in Japan, it is not as widely known in the United States (US). The game was released in Japan on December 14, 2000 and in North America on November 5, 2001.
The game features a mix of simulation and arcade style boxing. The storyline, which unfolds in the story mode, takes place in six linear segments that originally overlapped in the manga. The game's fights mirrored the fights from the manga series. The storyline, which unfolds in the story mode, takes place in six linear segments that originally overlapped in the manga. The game's fights mirrored the fights from the manga series. The beginning of the game focuses on Ippo Makunouchi's rise to the Japanese Featherweight championship, and later switches to Ippo's fellow gym mates' careers.
Victorious Boxers's gameplay is a mix between simulation and arcade style boxing. It features 3D character models fighting each other within a boxing ring. The game keeps track of the fight records and saves it to the memory card, via an auto-save option. In addition, actual matches can be saved to the memory card as "replay data" and be viewed later. Eighteen camera angles available during matches, some of which include a first person view from either character, a TV camera angle, and overhead views for various angles.
The controls were designed to give more realistic movement to characters. Characters can dash, bob and weave in all eight directions. The punches are divided into left and right jabs/hooks. When punches are used in conjunction with "technique" and "special" buttons, extra types of punches can be executed. Combinations and counter-punches are also possible. By combining upper body movements with punches, players can duck down and hit to the body or lean back and throw a quick punch to the head. The initial setup uses the left analog stick for all the character's bodily movements; minor movements to the stick control the upper body movements, while larger movements control the lower body and movement within the ring.
Victorious Boxers does not use a damage or life meter. Instead, visible damage can be seen on a boxer's face, which is most noticeable between rounds when the characters are sitting in their corners. The amount of damage taken is reflected by bruises, swelling, and black eyes on the characters' faces. Another sign of damage is the characters' speed of movement throughout the fight. The characters begin to move slower and the controls become less responsive to simulate fatigue. The more a boxer is hit or uses special moves, the more their stamina is affected. Distance is a factor in determining a punch's damage. For example, a jab thrown while next to an opponent will not do as much damage as it would at arm's length. Also, right hooks do not do as much damage if the character is positioned to the opponent's left and vice versa
The game has two modes, a single player story mode and a multi-player versus mode. The story mode follows the boxing careers of the main characters from the original series. All characters available to the player are from the Kamogawa Boxing Gym. Cut scenes are added in before and after matches as the main story telling device, and utilize the same character models as the fights. The game has six story arcs and begins with Makunouchi Ippo, the protagonist from the manga series. Story mode also unlocks more options in the versus mode as a player progresses through the story. Once a character has been played or a special technique learned, they become available in the versus mode. Likewise, once an opponent has been beaten, they are playable in the versus mode.
The versus mode is a free fighting mode where multiple players can box. The number of players can range from 0–2; both fighters can be controlled by either the computer or by a player. Initially there are only two playable characters; additional characters become accessible by playing through the story mode. Although the characters are grouped by their boxing weight class, any character can be selected to fight another regardless of weight class. Players can choose from ten locations for the bout. Initially, the only available arena is the Kamogawa Boxing Gym basement. New locations become available once a fight occurs there in the story mode.