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There’s nothing like it, the roar of the crowd as you raise your gloved hand and square up to your opponent fixing him with a stare cold enough to chill the magnum of Moet Et Chandon which awaits you in the dressing room… well, that is speaking purely as an observer. I have no desire whatsoever to get into a confined space with a sweat-dripping psychotic whose sole intention is to rearrange my delicately chiseled features (that means he’s got a face like a bag of spanus – Ed) into a gooey pulp of blood and bone.

A boxing simulator then, is a good compromise. In Ringside you can chart your aspiring fighter’s progress from untried stripling to awesome killing machine, well, almost, but you can rise up the world ratings by challenging and beating opponents.

There are a fair selection of punches and tactics. The punches themselves are hardly textbook affairs, nor are they aesthetically executed, but they do seem able to bruise your opponent.

All of this is very fine and E.A.S.’s game has better than average graphics and well defined sprites (which, of course, are essential), but a boxing simulation stands or falls on the flexibility of its play.

Standing next to someone and thumping them can get very boring. You even tire of punching PR people after a while. Ringside doesn’t do too badly on this score because you are able to alter the strength of each of the punches you have available. You can also enhance them by winning fights and gaining points which you can ‘spend’ on your abilities.

Getting stronger is absolutely necessary if you’re to stand a chance against some of the more highly rated contenders.

Even with practices in the gym and many other nice touches, Ringside is still reduced to a fairly static and visually unexciting game. Not even the absurd sequence between rounds where you have to wave a towel over your boxer by fiercely waggling the joystick can alter this.

Ringside can be a good laugh either in the one player or in the two player mode. Tactics play a large part in successfully winning fights and it’s guaranteed to hold most people’s attention for a longer than average period.

Not a bad achievement at all, but it doesn’t really simulate the noble art of boxing. Then again, no-one gets their nose broken. (Unless, of course, you are foolish enough to beat me in the two player mode).