`Fight for NY' pulls no punches



Publisher: Electronic Arts

Platform: PS2/XB/GC

Genre: Fighting

Rated: TEEN

When World Wrestling Entertainment swallowed World Championship Wrestling, powerhouse publisher Electronic Arts was left without a lucrative wrestling franchise. Since publisher THQ has the WWE license locked up for several more years, and there is no national competition to Vince McMahon's sweaty monopoly, EA created it's own 'rassling series by urbanizing the over-the-top "sports" event. Instead of performing Irish whips with men in tights, gamers could power-bomb rappers such as Method Man while listening to the latest tracks from Def Jam. The combo quickly became a best seller -- and was fast-tracked for a sequel.

"Def Jam: Fight for NY" is the epitome of "more." There are no more arenas -- this time, players can hurl their opponents through interactive features for extra damage. There are more moves, including some goofball thuggery that would never be seen in a real street fight. There is more detail to the visuals, which were impressive the first time out. And, most important, there are more rappers. Appearing in video games is now a prestige thing in hip-hop, and EA was happy to oblige fan faves from old-school Ice-T to everywhere-man Snoop Dogg.

While the original "Def Jam" played like a wrestling game, "Fight for NY" is more of a dirty street brawl. Expect "Fight for NY" to be as popular as the original.

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