Ring King (or King of Boxer in PAL regions and Family Boxing in Japan) is a 1987 developed and published by Data East. Like most boxing games the aim is to become the champion except in this game you get to slightly improve the characters stats before after each fight.
It might be interesting to note that Violence Joe is the champion in this game despite being the first in the original arcade version.
The title screen was a bit annoying, the outer pink part of the logo flashes between that and light blue. The options were quite interesting though, not only could you have player tournaments and simple 2 player Vs there were also 2 “Watch” options that were essentially the same but with computer players instead (not many games seem to allow you to do this).
The other 2 (Training and Ranking) go hand in hand with the former being used solely to win points to upgrade your boxer with the latter being the main part of the game where you fight through 3 divisions with 5 boxers per division in an attempt to become world champion.
Like always I’m playing this by myself so multiplayer is impossible but I don’t think there is any real difference when it comes to what screenshots will look like.
As you’d expect I started with training and I couldn’t really get a good grip of the controls in a single match. A seemed to be punch while B was some sort of dodge but the fact you could face the opponent from any direction (which is a good thing) made it hard to tell what you should be pressing. It also didn’t help that I was unlucky enough that the first opponent had a huge 09 punch stat.
In fact no matter how hard I tried or how small their stats were I always seemed to get destroyed, either my reflexes were total shit or this is just an extremely difficult game.
Sadly after a while you realize despite the decent graphics they were only able to have the one boxer and merely palette swap it a billion times to create everyone else. It doesn’t effect the gameplay (which I’m not really a fan of) but it is disappointing.
Also I tried cheating by using an autofire button to punch like crazy but even that doesn’t work so i instead cheated for super high stats and only then did I stand a chance. In other words to even go against the first boxer in ranked you need to get more stat points in training but since thats super difficult for most people as well there’s no point even trying.
Overall its not like the game is super terrible or anything but I am so bad at it that I didn’t find it fun. Perhaps if you think you have good reflexes you should give it a try, It’d be good to get someone elses opinion on it.