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Def Jam: Fight for NY
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Console: Microsoft Xbox
Year: 2004
RFG ID #: U-075-S-07620-A
Part #:
UPC: 014633147551
Developer: EA Canada
Publisher: Electronic Arts
M (ESRB): Blood , Strong Language , Suggestive Themes , Violence

Genre: Fighting
Players: 1-2
Controller: Standard Controller
Media Format: DVD
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  • 51 of 7463 collectors (0.6%) have this game in their collection
  • 4 of 7463 collectors (0%) have this game in their wishlist.
  • 0 of 7463 collectors (0%) have this game for sale or trade.

Def Jam: Fight For NY is a fighting game from EA that takes place in the underground fighting clubs and areas around New York City. Real world rappers play various roles, many play as themselves, with a variety of fighting styles.


First off, this game turned out to exceed the expectations I had for it. I waited for it to become a below-budget title (got it at TRU for $7.50) despite the positive reviews that it received around the web. I don't know why I waited so long, but I can definitely say that this game would easily be worth a $50 purchase. It's a blast to play, and I highly recommend it! It's especially fun for those that have friends over when gaming.

Beyond story mode, it has the classic 1 on 1 battle mode in a variety of venues, plus the crucial 4 player simultaneous brawl mode. Story mode is the best means of unlocking the fighters and venues (and is required for the additional game modes), but if you like to play the 1 on 1 game, the option exists to keep playing it to your heart's content until you've unlocked all the fighters and venues.

Basically, you're the latest member of D-Mob's gang because you helped him escape from the police. He takes you into his gang and you begin your ascent in becoming a reputed fighter in the NYC underground. Rival gang leader Crow (played by Snoop Dogg), is after all of D-Mob's clubs (which get unlocked throughout the game) and it's up to YOU to win them back, Fight Club style. Through the course of the game, the player you create at the beginning of story mode will learn up to 3 fighting styles (the selections are: kickboxing, martial arts, wrestling, streetfighting, and submissions) by gaining development points from winning matches. Development points can also be used to obtain new "blazing" moves for the occasion when your fighter reaches a momentum peak in a match. These are similar to a finishing move in MK, but when you pull off the move, you're not guarenteed that the match is won. In the gym, Henry Rollins is your "trainer" and cinematics will show what the move is before you buy it with your hard-earned development points.

As you win matches, you also win cash. This can be used to customize your character with new outfits, tattoos, hairstyles, and various "bling". Originally, I thought this seemed liked a tacked on feature, but after getting into it, it's actually fun.

Through the story mode of the game, each club/venue is different; and sometimes the crowd is a factor, and other times you're fighting in various rings/arenas without them. Frequently, weapons are thrown into the ring for you to use in a fight, but other times, you're left to your own devices to find "sticky" programmed areas of the arenas with which to take advantage of to further damage/KO your opponent. KO's in Def Jam only occur by using one of the specialties of the 5 different fighting styles (i.e. strong Haymaker punch from a Streetfighter), finishing your opponent with a weapon, or throwing them into the "sticky" area, grappling them, and then directing their head into it (whether it's a wall, pool table, pillar, etc.). This mechanic works very well, and makes victories that much more satisfying than simply connecting with the last kick or punch like in most other fighting games.

The sounds of Def Jam are very impressive. Every kick, punch, slam, crowd noise, weapon hit, smash, etc, comes through with precision clarity. When you connect with that Haymaker punch, weapon, etc, you not only feel good in performing the move, but hearing it SMACK into your opponent adds to the satisfaction. Also, the hip hop music tracks are incorporated into the game and add to its overall atmosphere.

Graphics-wise, the game is an excellent representation of what was capable of the last gen hardware. Character models are very crisp and representative of their real world celebrities, arenas are well-designed, and cut scenes are handled appropriately throughout the story mode without being overbearing. Also, venues have interactive spots in which you can smash your opponent to damage walls, vending machines, etc. The only drawback in the graphics is that sometimes when an arena has a crowd, the fighting action is sometimes overshadowed by the crowd in the foreground, making it hard to see where your character is on occasion.

Multiplayer battle mode (4 player), is an absolute blast to play! Having 4 people playing in the same living room pulling off punches, taunts, wrestling moves, etc. is an excellent time! The only drawback to multiplayer is that there is no online mode. In all fairness, back in 2004, though, when the game was initially released, not all games had this feature. Other modes, when unlocked, add to the 1 vs 1 experience: Subway match (you can throw your opponent into an oncoming subway train for the KO), Inferno (ring of fire), Demolition (where 2 SUV's are props in the battle), and Window Match (throw your opponent out of the window to KO them) take the game beyond playing in just the standard venues whennot in story mode.

Gameplay is very smooth and intuitive, but may take a slightly longer learning curve to develop a familiarity with all the moves a character is capable of in order to consistently win matches. Personally, it took me a long time to get familiar with the grapple system in story mode. Once familiar, though, it feels very natural in a match. Also, the system allows for reversal moves, blocking, and counterattacks. The fighting system combines a rare blend of straightforwardness and depth, something not found in many fighting games. Of special note is the momentum meter that is directly under the health bar. Your momentum is built up by pulling off a number of more moves than your opponent. When the bar is full, your character is "blazing" and will be able to toggle the right analog stick to get a "ROAR" animation. When this animation finishes, your character can then perform a special move if you can successfully get your opponent into a grapple hold and then flick the right analog stick. The animation then plays itself out for a powerful sequence of moves that are very satisfying to view, but don't require any other special button presses or movement combinations. This feature is one of my personal favorites in the game, and imo adds to the user-friendliness factor.

Another plus to the game is that the characters that you create in story mode can be used in the other battle modes. So you can create a character, save it to a memory card, and bring it over to a friend's house to play on their xbox. There also appears to be no limit to the amount of story mode characters you can create, so feel free to experiment with various fighting styles. This all adds to the high replayability factor of the game as well.

The only other complaint about Def Jam is that the manual is very brief and general in its descriptions of the game controls and the advantages/disadvantages of each fighting style and playing strategies.

Overall, though, there's very little that could've been improved upon in this game. With the sounds, graphics, style, and depth of gameplay, it's an excellent entry into the fighting genre and I can only hope that any sequels can live up to the standard it has set.

RF Generation Review Score


Extra Media:

GamePro Cover - July 2004

Console Reg. Type Title Publisher Year Genre
Microsoft Xbox Netherlands S Def Jam: Fight for NY Electronic Arts 2004 Fighting
Microsoft Xbox United Kingdom S Def Jam: Fight for NY Electronic Arts 2004 Fighting
Microsoft Xbox France S Def Jam: Fight for NY Electronic Arts 2004 Fighting
Microsoft Xbox Germany S Def Jam: Fight for NY Electronic Arts 2004 Fighting
Microsoft Xbox U S Def Jam: Fight for NY [Demo] Electronic Arts 2004 Fighting
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phoenix1967: Overview, Game Review
s1lence (Ryan Thompson) : ESRB
Matt Rideout: Photos
Mike Fox (NES_Rules): Scans, UPC
ApolloBoy: Publisher

Last Updated: 2017-07-21 18:47:00
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