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Foes of Ali – 3DO

Foes of Ali – 3DO

aliPlatform: 3DO Interactive Multiplayer

Developer: Gray Matter

Publisher: EA SportsProject Obscure

Release Date (NA): 1995

Genre: Sports, Fighting, Boxing

Nerd Rating: 4 out of 10

Reviewed by Nerdberry

The 3DO Interactive Multiplayer is not a well known video gaming system, nor is it entirely forgotten. The system was promoted very well but ultimately failed to capture even the tiniest bit of the market that Sega and Nintendo firmly controlled. One of the biggest issues the 3DO faced was a lack of exciting, engaging, enjoyable, and exclusive video games. One of the few exclusive 3DO titles to hit shelves was EA Sports’ Foes of Ali, which is also one of very few 3D fighting games for the system. Sometimes great games fly under the radar because of a system’s failure… Is Foes of Ali a hidden gem or a rope-a-dope folly?

foes 2Included in Foes of Ali are 10 real boxers, all looking to win the title of World Champion. Muhammad Ali is the marquee name but the other nine are very well known: George Chuvalo, Henry Cooper, Jimmy Ellis, Bob Foster, Joe Frazier, Sonny Liston, Ken Norton, Leon Spinks, and Chuck Wepner. George Foreman could not be found as he was likely balls deep in a lean mean cheeseburger somewhere, and I’ve been told that is exactly why he’s not in this game. The developers gave it their best shot to make each boxer look like the real thing, but some of these “boxers” look terrifying. While they did an okay job on Ali’s look, friggin’ Henry Cooper looks like a damn ghost! But it is a great list of boxers which is one of the few positive notes about the game.

The graphics aren’t terrible nor do they shine. For a 1995 video game, they actually look pretty good, even though they don’t live up to the 3DO’s potential. The colors are dull and flat, which is a disappointment for such a powerful and well-made machine. Even though everything looks pretty pixelated and blocky, the graphics are pretty much on-par with the standard for 1995. I sometimes think Virtua Fighter for the Genesis 32X looked better… The multiple camera angles can help you get the most out of the graphics, but sometimes it makes things look worse.

Foes of Ali is your standard 3D boxing game with standard gameplay. The boxers’ movements are extremely clumsy and graceless, which some couldfoes 4 consider an atrocity for a game featuring Muhammad Ali, AKA the butterfly. Float like a rock and sting like a sewing needle. Each boxer has a decent range of offensive attacks including jabs, hooks, and uppercuts with either arm as well as some standard defensive moves. The biggest issue with blocking is that the boxers’ moves are so fragmented and choppy, it’s near impossible to see a punch coming. A frustrating aspect that is unavoidable.

Perhaps the best and strongest features in Foes of Ali are the camera system and the sound effects. You have the ability to change the camera angle at any point in a fight and you can choose from over 20 different angles or you can choose to customize your own. They even included a first-person perspective which was somewhat unique for its time. It’s too bad they couldn’t complement the nice camera work with quality graphics and gameplay. Sigh. But they did include fairly decent punching sound effects that really make you feel like you’re taking an ass-whoopin’ when you go into the first-person perspective.

foes 5I feel that Foes of Ali was a good idea at an “okay” time in history. In 1995, youth (that ones that gave a shit about boxing at all) were into Iron Mike, Lennox Lewis, Riddick Bowe, and Evander Holyfield to name a few. These guys represented what was “in” at the time. Muhammad Ali and Leon Spinks were boxers for your dad, not you. But there were still people out there who would always stir up trouble with the famous question, “Who would win in a fight? Ali or Tyson?” And Ali is unquestionably the most famous boxer in the history of the sport, for his life outside of the ring just as much as his life inside it. And it’s because of those reasons that I can’t say Foes of Ali was a terrible idea, but I also can’t say it was a terrific idea either.

Exclusivity has its perks, right? At least that’s what I’ve always heard. While Foes of Ali might be an exclusive 3DO game, it truly does nothing to excite gamers or make itself stand out as more than a failed attempt at a visual showcase for the 3DO’s graphical capabilities. It’s a shame this is the kind of crap that defined the 3DO’s brief existence. Foes of Ali is clunky with its controls, bland with its presentation, and all-around boring as hell. The developers may have put forth a decent effort, but they truly failed to deliver any knockout punches. For all you 3DO owners out there in fantasyland, you have NOT “finally found a decent game for the 3DO” because they don’t exist.

Nerd Rating: 4 out of 10

Reviewed by Nerdberry

Written by Nerdberry


What’s up yall? David “Nerdberry” here! I am the founder of Nerd Bacon and the current co-owner (and CEO) along with partner David “theWatchman!” I hail from North Carolina, hence my love for all things pork! Oh, you’re not familiar with NC? Well I’m not 100% sure, but I am pretty confident that NC and VA lead the nation in pork production. I could be wrong, but even if I am, I still love bacon!

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One Comment

  1. I’m not quite sure, as I’m no boxing game connoisseur, but I don’t think true first person boxing existed again until the PlayStation 3 version of Fight Night Round 3. Pretty fancy 😀


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