PSP Review – Def Jam: Fight For NY: The Takeover


Def Jam is quite possibly one of the most underrated fighting series out there.  It all began with Def Jam: Vendetta on the PS2, and that was followed up with Def Jam: Fight for NY.  While the original Fight For NY came out in 2004, Def Jam: Fight For NY: The Takeover was released in 2006 on the PlayStation Portable.  The game was developed by AKI Corporation and EA Canada.

While the PS2 title Def Jam: Fight For NY took place after the events in Vendetta, The Takeover is a prequel to Vendetta.  The game begins with your character saving Manny, the tattoo artist, from a sticky situation, after which you are given the opportunity to completely customize your character’s look and voice to your liking.  During this time, you  also choose your base fighting style, with choices ranging from wrestling to kickboxing.  All in all, there are a total of five different fighting styles.  After you are done creating your character, you will begin your fighting career and start your climb to the top.

The premise of the game is simply to beat your opponent by knocking him or her out with one of the many brutal hits that can be accomplished while your opponent is in the danger zone.  The over the top finishers, known as Blazin’ Moves, fit in well with the game, and often times leave you staring at the screen wondering if that really just happened.  Once the opportunity to unlock a Blazin’ Move appears, you simply lock up with your opponent and push one of the d-pad buttons for the finisher you would like to see.  Each d-pad button can be customized to a finisher of your liking which can be purchased from the gym owner, Henry Rollins.


The customizations don’t stop at the gym.  There are tattoo parlors, barber shops, and a jeweler available to fully customize your character the way that you want.  To get the items within these stores, you will use the money that you accumulate during your fights.  The amount of money depends on your performance during the fight.  You are evaluated at all times, so the amount of money you will receive will differ from match to match.  The amount of items available for your character to purchase is pretty impressive, with a total of 904 customizable items between all of the stores.

Pretty much everything can be utilized within the environment.  Weapons, barriers, amd even floors are all fair game within the fights.  Players can acquire weapons from crowd members, and throw opponents into barriers and floors.

The controls in the game are great for a handheld fighter, but most impressive is the reversal system within the game.  Pretty much any move can be reversed, as long as you reverse at the correct moment, achieved by simply pushing the left and right triggers.


There are a total of 8 modes for you to choose from within the game.  The main draw is most likely the Story mode and the Ad Hoc mode.  Other notable modes include the various Battle modes, ranging from a simple one on one to a ring-out match; there is a total of 6 choices to make within the Battle mode.

Graphically, the game is great for a handheld.  It isn’t as sharp as the PS2 counterpart, but it definitely holds its own when compared to other PSP titles.  The level of detail within the environments and the character models is great overall.  The music artists within the game look just like their real life counterparts.


The music within the game is great, well, for hip hop fans.  The gritty feel of the title meshes with the hip hop genre, so the music fits in perfectly.

If you are a fan of the series or enjoy the hip hop genre, this title is definitely worth a look.  The game not only features and captures the hip hop genre, but it is a great fighter.  The mechanics within the game are deeper than they originally appear.  You will find yourself coming back to the title over and over to customize your character more and more and to unlock more brutal finishers as you progress through the game.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

A great fighter that is a lot deeper than originally perceived

Amazing amount of customization

Great soundtrack for hip hop fans

7 out of 10