Fight Night Round 4 Control Controversy

May 20, 2009 Written by Louis Edwards


The Fight Night Round 4 pre-release demo has been available to those that pre-ordered for almost a week (public demo to be released 6/4/09 on the PSN).  The biggest issue has been the removal of the face buttons for punching. Fight Night Round 3 allowed you a choice between using the analog stick (called TPC, Total Punch Control) or by using the face buttons of your controller.

Fight Night Round 4 has a “new and improved” TPC system that is more responsive than the original system.  To the chagrin of many Fight Night fans you can no longer choose between using the TPC or the face buttons. Some fans of the Fight Night series have been more vocal then others and have gone as far as to say they are canceling their pre-orders based on this one concern.

HipHopGamerShow have taken the matter into their own hands and emailed EA directly with their concerns: Fight Night 4 Controls Are Getting Updated Says EA. The response from an EA  representative wasn’t very specific:

“The team is aware of the concerns, and though we can’t make any official comment on the button issue, rest assured it is being addressed.”

This response led the HipHopGamerShow to imply that the controls would be changed and/or updated in some way to pacify the users that want use of the face buttons included in the final release. On the official Fight Night Round 4 forums a thread was created asking specifically about the HHG article. After a lengthy discussion by forum members moderator Wepeeler, who is in touch with the development team, added this to the discussion:

“I am in constant contact with EA and so far THERE ARE NO PLANS TO HAVE [FACE] BUTTONS IN THE FINAL VERSION. I asked about this specifically on Friday and the response I got was NO BUTTONS for punching, other than signature punches. I asked about a button patch in the future, and at this time, EA is not planning one.”

The debate also is being discussed at length in another thread at the official Fight Night Round 4 forum and Community Manager sk88z had this to say:

“The new TPC is the culmination of controls to satisfy both the button user and previous TPC users. You will need to practice, but once you do and find the sweet spots on the stick to throw punches, you will begin to understand what the devs had in mind. The ability to quickly throw 1-2 punches tapping the stick in the proper direction (don’t be lazy and viciously tap, time it like a punch), and then finishing it with a strong hook or uppercut to the head that still feels just right when you connect. No more having to crank back every punch yet the speed of throwing punches can be just as quick as the old button controls. The key here is to take the time master the controls and not to be lazy finding the sweet spots.”

The bottom line in this debate is whether or not Fight Night Round 4 will be successful or be taken out in the first round with a TKO. As a loyal Fight Night fan myself, I’ll play the game as the developers intended. If that means no buttons, then so be it. With the revamped TPC, punches are smoother and combinations work much quicker than Round 3’s TPC, so once you get past the learning curve, TPC works very well.

Change can be seen as a bad thing to some, but if they are unwilling to even to learn the new controls, they will be passing up on a great game. If you are one of the users who has thrown in the towel, why not take a second look at the TPC and try it out for a couple more days. The demo dropped more than a month in advance of the release date  for a reason. Get past the learning curve and you just may find that the TPC rocks.

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