PREVIEW: Victory Road

Apr
07

PREVIEW: Victory Road

Victory Road is an immensely addicting game and should make any boxing game fan incredibly happy, highly recommended.

Released: Steam Early Access
Type: Single-player
Genre: Simulation, Sports
Developer: Strange Journey
Publisher: Strange Journey
Release date: 10 March, 2020

Intro

Victory Road is an indie boxing management themed simulation game. It puts you in the role of a boxing coach and it’s up to you to train your boxer for various ranked fights. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, do read on, there’s quite a bit to the game already.

Coach’s Office

Much of the game takes place in the coach’s office where you’ll be able to perform many different actions regarding your boxer. Before each training session, you’ll need to decide a meal plan for your boxer. Doing this grants your boxer energy, water, and protein stats. If you have enough of each, you’ll be able to perform one of 9 training regiments. Each regiment increases one of your boxer’s 8 stats in the bottom left corner of the coach’s office screen. Increasing your base stats increases your boxer’s ability and survivability during a fight. Each stat starts at 0 and you’ll need to increase them in between each fight to perform your best in your next one.

In the boxer strategy menu, you can manage everything about your boxer’s fighting style and strategy during each fight. In the general tab, you can choose your fighter’s style, favorite move, passive abilities, and hyper abilities. Passive and hyper abilities unlock later in the game. There are 3 fighting styles to choose from, infighting, outfighting and slugger. Infighters favour offense, while outfighters favour caution and defense, and sluggers are risk-based fighters. In the combo screen, you can equip any combos that your boxer has learned during a fight. Each combo has a base cost that you’ll need to keep in mind when equipping them. Your boxer also has 3 skill trees which allow you to specialize in one of 3 areas, way of defense, way of offense, and way of utility. To earn skill points you must defeat a practice robot in a fight to earn a skill point which you can put in one of each area. It’s better to focus on one tree to master it rather than adding to multiple trees. Finally, the inventory screen allows you to equip any equipment that you’ve purchased from merchants.

Gym, Ranking, Hospital and Food Menus

In the Gym menu, you’re able to upgrade your training equipment, advertise your gym, and gamble on upcoming fights. Advertising your gym can increase your profits and gym memberships which ultimately helps you in further upgrading your facilities. When you bet on fights, you can view the stats for each fighter and then make your bet based on that information. Once you’ve placed your bets you can then watch the fight unfold to see who will win the fight.

The ranking screen (Pictured above) is where you’ll be able to view all of the fighter’s currently in your league. You can also issue a challenge to any opponent in the current bracket to make your way through the ranks to reach first place. You can also choose to spar with an opponent in a practice match as well. There are also times when you’ll receive a challenge from an opposing manager which you can choose to accept.

Your boxer can also get injured during a fight and if this happens, you can heal them at the hospital. Finally, the Food menu allows you to create new meal plans for your boxer. You can change these at any time to cater to your boxer’s needs or wants. Your boxer will sometimes ask you to feed them a certain type of food and their mood will increase if you give it to them. They will also ask for specific training regiments as well.

Fights

If your boxer is good enough, fights are usually over pretty quickly. Each fight lasts a total of 3 rounds and if nobody is knocked out by the end of the three rounds, whoever has the most points will win the match. It’s a lot more fun to knock out your opponents though. Even though you don’t have direct control over your fighter, you can use stamina to influence his attacks. This allows you to get through weaknesses in your opponent’s defenses. There are various types of items that you can use to help your boxer if you’re losing. You can give them sushi to heal them, lightning to stun their opponent, or beartraps to keep them in place. There are a bunch to choose from and it may seem like cheating, but that’s just the name of the game. You can also choose to use drugs to improve your character’s stats if you don’t think they’re ready for the fight. Doing this will decrease your boxer’s mood, however.

Verdict

Overall, Victory Road is an immensely addicting game and I even found it difficult to pull myself away from it to write this preview. I found myself playing it for 30 minutes, writing a short bit, then playing another 30 minutes. I’m already really impressed with the game and I’m looking forward to seeing where Early Access takes the game. If you have any love of boxing games, I highly recommend this game. It’s been ages since there’s been a worthy boxing game, and while this is more of a simulation game, it’s still incredibly satisfying watching your boxer obliterate the competition. Highly recommended.

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