Def Jam: Fight for NY: The Takeover PSP Review

As a street punk you are wandering the streets at night and notice someone is in trouble, you decide to help him and he gives you his thanks. He comments on your fighting that although good, needs work and that you have potential. He takes you to O.G. and explains how you got him out of a jam and mentions you’re good at fighting. O.G. decides to take you under his wing and let you fight for his crew to take over New York. Along the way, you come across some nasty characters as well as some beautiful ones. How you get to the top, that’s up to you. . .

At first glance it’s just a port of the console version of Def Jam Fight for New York. The animation, the graphics and even the voiceovers are the exact same. I bet you’re now thinking, but, what else could be different? Well I will tell you after this part regarding the graphics, animation and sounds.

The graphics in this game are absolutely lush, especially for a PSP title. I’m not saying all PSP games look horrible, but there isn’t anything that shows it off really. Three games that come to mind are Tekken Dark Resurrection, Socom Fire Team Bravo and Def Jam. These games show off the PSP’s abilities when developers work on something! Anyway, back to Def Jam. The frame rate is up to scratch, no slow-down or even graphic lag. It’s fluid and looks really polished. The only thing that looks half-assed is the tattoo textures; they are blocky and seem that they haven’t paid attention to that part. That isn’t the game I know. I will point out all the imperfections and all the perfections I can.

The animations of the characters are fast, fluid, some-what the same feel as Dead or Alive. Very fast and not clunky like most 3D fighters out there. When you perform the moves for each character, you feel the blows connect; it makes you go ‘OUCH!’ Especially when you do the BLAZIN’ moves, but I will get into that a little later.

The voiceovers and sound effects have been downgraded and made to save room on the UMD disc. Unless you have played the previous games in the series to death, you will not notice this. The music is various Urban, Hip-Hop and Rap artists such as LL Cool J, Xzibit, Fat Joe. All very good music, chosen to suit to the game down to a tee. Even if you don’t like that style of music, you will like them while playing this game because it goes extremely well.

Now, to the importance of any game. It’s gameplay. This game on your first play is very basic, but still extremely fast. The controls have been done very well. To move your character you use the analogue-nub, and then you have TRIANGLE and SQUARE for your punches and kicks. CIRCLE to make your character dash. Finally, the X button to grapple. On the shoulder buttons you have L to make your attacks and grapples stronger, but this also makes the attacks slower. The R button is your block button. This helps block various attacks, but not grapple moves. Later on as you progress in the game and upgrade your custom-made character, you get more moves and skills. They have also added things into the PSP adaptation of Def Jam FFNY. They have added being able to jump onto your opponent and punch them in the face while they try and struggle to get up. Now this doesn’t mean you always have the advantage over your opponent. They have the ability to reverse your attacks and moves, as you do as well. The reverse grapples they have put into this have given it a lot more depth. So you have to be always thinking 5-steps ahead of your opponent. With regards to reverse-grapples and moves, it’s a simple press of L+R together! Sounds simple right? WRONG! It’s all down to timing. If you get the timing wrong, even by the millisecond, you won’t hit the reverse move. This adds again, more depth. So instead of bashing L+R all the time, you’re telling yourself, I can reverse this move and this move. Just don’t try reversing everything because you won’t be able to, unless you spend hours upon hours practicing them!

I bet you’re thinking, c’mon I don’t care about single player, I love giving my friends a good beat down. WHAT ABOUT MULTIPLAYER?! I hear you shout. Well here is the run down! The multiplayer aspect of this game is very good. You get to choose one of the various matches whether it’s a good old beating, a window match or even a train match. The differences between these are: A window match is where you fight in an apartment and to get an easy win is to throw your opponent through a window. The train match is where you and your opponent fight in an underground subway and every so often a train comes whizzing by the platform. The beauty of this match is that you and your opponent can be fighting on the train tracks and both of you get knocked out, so it’s all about strategy. Beat down is just a 1 on 1 match where you beat the crap out of each other until one is knocked out.

Overall, the game is really good. Controls are a little bit fiddly to get used to if you have never played this series of games so far. So people returning to it will love it and for newcomers it is an experience.

Def Jam isn’t the killer app the PSP is looking for, but all in all it makes a damn good fighter.

7.8 out of 10

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