Saturday, January 18, 2014

Beats, Rhymes, and Uppercuts: Ten Years Of Def Jam Fight For New York

The relationship between video games and Hip Hop has always been peculiar, with game developers
relegating Hip Hop strictly to the soundtrack of most games. Electronic Arts struck gold with Def Jam Vendetta, and when gamers began to ask about a sequel, EA actually decided to go in a slightly different direction, and in 2004 They released Def Jam: Fight For New York. Fight For New York, unlike it's older sibling, was a fighting game. While it wasn't Street Fighter III: Third Strike, it was a solid game with tight mechanics, a fairly decent story, and pretty deep character creation engine.

 At a glance it shouldn't be as deep a game as it is gameplay wise, but with the ability to blend up to three fighting styles, it's easy for gamers to find some surprising depth in their character's play style. On top of the "play as yourself (if you're a guy)" story mode, there's also a pretty large roster of characters encompassing a wide berth of popular names in hip hop at the time of the game's release. There was a pretty fun, albeit silly, storyline to back everything up, and the soundtrack is superb, as expected.

Ten years after it's debut, and Def Jam: Fight For New York is still a quality fighting game. It's blend of Power Stone's frenetic multiplayer brawls and Def Jam Vendetta's knock out centered wrestling based gameplay were a great marriage and would have been an amazing send off for the series. EA had to run a good thing into the ground though, and Def Jam: Icon was released in 2007, effectively killing the series.

Was Fight For New York created to be a major player in the world of fighting games? Probably not, but it did prove to be a marvelous fighter that is still a lot of fun to play despite the majority of the rappers in the game being widely irrelevant now.


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  2. At a glance it shouldn't be as deep a game as it is gameplay wise, but with the ability to blend up to three fighting styles,

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