Fistfighting has been around since the beginning of time, and boxing (or some form of martial pugilism) has been around basically as long.
Celebrate the ancient tradition (as well as the modern advancements in boxing) by taking fighters under your wing, coaching them, and leading them to victory (or defeat) in World Championship Boxing Manager, which you can claim right now as part of IGN Plus.
Plus members – get your key for World Championship Boxing Manager 2 here on its IGN Rewards page. Not a Plus member? Sign up now. You can also follow the devs on Twitter.
Developer Interview: Creative Director Andrew Marsh
I sat down with Andrew Marsh, the Creative Director for WCBM2, to discuss the development of the game, its goals, and what players can expect when they jump into this retro (but approachable) management sim.
Making a Sequel to a Beloved Retro Management Sim
Boxing games have been around since very early in gaming history, and the team at MegaCat was interested in creating a boxing management game for several reasons. One major draw was to tell a wide range of stories, from stories about up-and-coming boxers, to underground club fighters and huge prize fighters, and depicting the seedy underbelly, the massive spotlight, and everything in between.
The team also found the style of the original World Championship Boxing Manager (WCBM) appealing, so the idea of creating a sequel that built off the (beloved) original was enticing to the retro-enthusiast team, who took this opportunity to iterate and improve upon the original, adding new quality-of-life improvements and even entirely new phases of the game.
Melding Old and New
Nothing was off the table for the development team, who want to bring a classic experience for older players, while making it easy for new players to jump in, particularly those who are new to management sims, new to boxing, or new to retro-style games. Playing the original game, they started by streamlining and modernizing it, then looked for new elements they could bring in to make it more fun for players.
Just like the original, players take on the role of a boxing manager who is trying to find up-and-coming boxers and make a career for them both, but unlike the original, there is more interaction when it comes to the real fights, and not solely an adventure-game focus.
In the original game, announcers would simply tell players how the boxing match was going, but in WCBM2, players will see the fights play out, watching as the fighters land hits and expend their energy. Between rounds, the player will be able to restore either their boxer’s health or endurance a bit, then tell them whether to stick with their current strategy, or switch it up. This is all unique to WCMB2, and it creates an engaging rhythm of strategizing during the week, and seeing if the training paid off when it comes time to fight on Friday night.
Representation of the Sport and its Champions
I enjoyed the strategic rhythm of planning training sessions for boxers, then picking tournaments to enter and managing the ‘big picture’ strategy for the boxer as they fought, round to round, and the team at MegaCat saw that puzzle-solving and strategizing as a key part of the sport.
Another addition was the Knowledge section, which has a ton of interesting information on boxing, including techniques, equipment, and other things. Beautiful, detailed art pieces depicting different styles of boxing gloves are there, and a whole lot more, which is great for someone like me, who doesn’t know much about the more intricate aspects of the sport.
The dev team also talked to classic boxers (and their estates) to get first-hand knowledge about the sport to bring a higher level of realism, and to craft their stories, which players can enjoy in WCBM2. In story modes, you can play as more than a random boxer. You can certainly do that, but you can also manage Sugar Ray Robinson, from before his career even began. Even if you aren’t into simulation games, give it a chance, and you may find something new (and old) to enjoy.
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Brian Barnett writes reviews, guides, features, & more for IGN & GameSpot. You can get your fix of his antics on Twitter (@Ribnax), Backloggd (Ribnax) & Twitch (Ribnax) or check out his fantastic video game talk show, The Platformers, on Twitch & Apple Podcasts.
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