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Manny Pacquiao: Pound for Pound for iOS

Manny Pacquiao: Pound for Pound for iOS

Platform: iPhone/iPod
Category: Boxing

After boxer Manny Pacquiao was robbed of the WBO Welterweight title on June 9 by two judges who must not have been watching the Pacquiao-Bradley fight, I wanted to see Pacquiao redeemed. Because he doesn't fight on my command, I settled for playing Manny Pacquiao: Pound for Pound on the iOS. This boxing game is presented in third-person with the camera behind Pacquiao featuring boring fight mechanics, an upgrade path that isn't fun, and a ridiculous story.

Graphics and Sound

Pound for Pound features mediocre sound. It's not particularly memorable either way. The graphics are usually average with fun, cartoonish scenes progressing the story. Close-ups of the 3D models are extremely disappointing. At the end of each victorious round, Pacquiao throws his arms up, and they look terrible.


Before getting into the gameplay proper, I'd like to get the story out of the way first. It starts off decent enough. After Pacquiao's friend is kidnapped, he sets off to save her. This obviously requires fighting people. Eventually he's blackmailed into signing some incriminating papers. How do they incriminate him? I have no idea. Forced competitive fighting, hypnosis, and plot-twists also make appearances in the game. It was a pretty bad story, but in a way, it's an iconic story to many classic games (if it wasn't for that bit about the document). There were also an assortment of spelling and grammar mistakes. I suppose you could argue that many classic games had those as well, but times have changed.

During a fight, you can dodge to the left, dodge to the right, or block, each of which is represented by a button. Holding one of them will use some of your stamina, as will attacking. When you run out of stamina, you're stunned for a short time; however, stamina regenerates over time as well. You can swipe your opponent to punch him and do particular swipes to perform special punches. There are four combinations that can be used, and you're reminded of these before each fight. Like most fighting games, you and your opponent each have an HP bar. The first combatant to deplete his opponent's HP bar wins.

There really isn't much strategy to use during a fight. When an opponent is getting ready to strike, you'll get a notification that will blink on the side towards which you should dodge. It's basically just a test of reaction time. Eventually the opponent will stop attacking and you'll be told to attack. You could dodge at this time if you really wanted, and you could try to attack while he's attacking, but you won't win doing that.

After each fight, you're awarded some money and some experience points. Eventually you can level up and spend skill points raising HP, damage, or stamina. You can also spend money on gloves, clothes, or shoes. One type raises HP, one raises stamina, and one raises stamina regeneration. I played through the game twice (more on this later) and managed to earn enough money to buy a couple of the cheapest things. I have no idea how anyone could afford the more expensive items... unless they purchase the in-game money with real dollars. As you might expect, I didn't do this.

When I reached the boss of the game, which takes maybe a half hour, I ran into a large difficulty spike. Try as I might, I wasn't able to defeat him even after memorizing his attack pattern. I came very close but eventually gave up. Luckily, Pound for Pound features a restart feature allowing you to start the game again with the same character. I went with this and played through the game a second time. This time I steamrolled that boss!


As a Pacquiao fan, I was hoping I'd like Pound for Pound, but I didn't. While I wasn't thrilled with the sound or graphics, the shallow and lackluster game mechanics are what left me with a negative impression. Manny Pacquiao: Pound for Pound is available on the iOS for $0.99. It's not worth it. There were achievements available for beating the boss a varying number of times. This would allow you to continue to build up Pacquiao. I did not want to go around again.


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