Rocky has got to be one of the best licenses for a video game when you think about it. Its combination of over-the-top, unrealistic boxing action, crunching sound effects, and slow motion scenes make it much more akin to a video game than to real life boxing. Which is why it's such a good thing that the Italian Stallion himself now stars in his very own GBA game.
The premise is fairly straightforward - take control of everybody's favourite comeback king and guide him through an extensive career, visiting familiar locales and encountering the full cast of opponents from the series of films. Starting out in an old church hall, up against the likes of Spider Rico and Dipper Brown, the game's career mode takes you up through the rankings until you're eventually facing the big boys like Clubber Lang and Ivan Drago.
The actual combat is effective and easy to pick up. The A and B buttons control each of the fists, allowing you to pull off a variety of different punches, jabs and uppercuts in combination with the D-pad. Additional moves can be accessed with the L and R buttons. A dedicated training mode is provided so you can perfect your technique and also build up your boxer's skill and stamina.
The addition of a link-up mode that allows you to take on your GBA-owning friends makes this a worthy all-round boxing game. It remains very much an arcade game throughout and at the same time remains pleasingly faithful to the films.