By far, the best feature of the game is the variety of boxers--20 in all--representing a range of personalities and abilities. Afro Thunder, for example, is a trash-talking, Chris Rock-sounding fighter with a repertoire of ring speed, quick jabs, and over-the-top hooks, while Butcher Brown is a heavy-handed thug built like a dump truck. There's something for everyone, with many nationalities, genders, and fighting styles represented. Since each fighter has different speed, reach, and moves, there is a pleasant amount of depth to the game.
Ready 2 Rumble offers two different game modes: Arcade and Championship. Arcade mode is for one or two players, and is simply a series of boxing matches. The single-player option pits you against a computer-controlled opponent, while the two-player format lets you and a buddy hammer it out. Championship mode puts you in charge of your own boxing gym. You start the game with three rookie fighters, facing off in second-rate gyms, and it's your job to train them in hopes of reaching the championship bout.
Championship mode also lets you access Ready 2 Rumble's most innovative feature: the ability to pit your prized fighters against boxers from a friend's gym through the Visual Memory Unit. Just save your stable of boxers onto the VMU and then use it in a buddy's Dreamcast, where you can fight an exhibition match against one of his or her boxers, or arrange a trade. The VMU also lets you save your progress. Without it, all your boxers (and all the secret characters you've managed to unlock) are erased when you turn off the console. But then again, if you've got Ready 2 Rumble, it's unlikely that you'll turn off the console anytime soon. --Mike Fehlauer
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