Did you see Lenox Lewis kick Mike Tyson's arse a few weeks ago? If you didn't you missed out on something very satisfying, if you did see the fight you will no doubt want to buy this game so you can knockout Tyson while playing Lewis and re-create that golden moment. The only thing is, you can't, while the game does have Mike Tyson on the front of the box it doesn't mean you can play as Mr Tyson.
Mike Tyson is the last boxer to be unlocked in his own game; you do this by fighting through the Title Belt Mode. This is pretty unbelievable and pretty cheeky move by the programming house. Secondly most of the 17 fighters on the roster are completely fictional so you can't fight as Lewis.
This is a real shame as your first impressions of the game are let down by these two facts.
MTHB blends the two elements of boxing game play, from the sim orientated Knockout Kings to the completely over the top arcade style found in Ready 2 Rumble. The finished product is something, which is accessible with plenty of depth. The main mode of play is the Title Belt option, loads of hidden characters and game modes can be unlocked with your chosen boxer. The only thing is you have to play a complete unknown for this mode of play; the only fighter you may have heard of is Audley Harrison who is the new British heavy weight hopeful of the future. To begin with you may go for the classic button smashing style of play. This will be very short lived as after the first few rounds you will notice that you're not winning anymore. If you wish to progress further though the game you will have to take a strategic approach.
After a few hard hours in the ring you will feel like you're a complete natural at this boxing malarkey.
MTHB features two power bars, the first one is the obligatory power bar that when completely depleted will result in your unknown falling to the canvas. The referee starts the 10 count; at this point you will be beating the hell out of your joy pad buttons to get your boxer back on his feet.
The second bar is used to monitor your punching power. Should you throw too many punches too quickly it will result in your power bar rapidly decreasing. Any punches thrown after will be weak and you will be basically hitting as hard as the average school girl.
Each of the characters has their own style and attributes. Some throw "over the top" style punches other specialize in upper-cuts and others may have a better recovery speed.
Bouts can be won in all the usual manors including knockout, referee stoppage, point's decision and disqualification. If you knock down your opponent three times in the same round you will also win. (Technical- knockout).
MTHB offers a wide selection of modes - once they are all unlocked. The main options are Title Belt and the one and two player single fight exhibitions. Others include speed boxing where you must KO as many opponents as you can within a five minute time limit. Also Mike Tyson Challenge Mode in which you must KO a series of opponents in the first round. Plus sparring options and a "create a boxer" mode.
MTHB successfully blends the cartoon style of Ready 2 Rumble with an in-depth fighting system. In-spite of its flaws MTHB is a well rounded and entertaining boxing game that will not disappoint.
7 out of 10