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Aki Corp
EA Games
September 20, 2004

Def Jam: Fight for NY

Back in April, we took a brief look at this title even though there wasn’t a whole lot to talk about. Now, as the release gets closer, we’ve got a bevy of info on this title. A veritable cornucopia, as it were. We’ve had a pleasurable chance to look back at this game and check out every aspect we possibly could. If you thought the first game was fun, you won’t believe what EA and Aki have in store for us this round. This game is everything they wish they could have done in the first. How much greatness can we expect from this game? Read on to find out.


Character Art

Method Man
Snoop Dogg as "Crow"
Carmen Electra
Baby Chris

June 2004

May 2004

April 2004

Media Compiled By: William Jacques


If you’ve ever played the original Def Jam Vendetta, and you should if you haven’t, you may know what to expect. However, Aki and EA has taken the game away from the roots of wrestling and just turned it into an all-out brawler, complete with new fighting styles, a completely rebuilt game engine, and nine new gameplay modes. Just with all of that, we can definitely expect a much more in-depth experience with Fight for NY.

Aside from wrestling, there are four other fighting sets including kickboxing, street-fighting, martial arts, and submission-style. They all have their advantages, really, and experimenting with each could lead to some brutal matches. In order to become an expert in any given fighting style, you must train at Rollins’ Gym. Yes, That’s Henry Rollins’ Gym to you. Once you’ve almost mastered a single style, Rollins can then teach you up to two additional styles in order to create what are known as hybrid fighting styles. This builds new moves as well as allowing your character to develop the strength and signature KO moves of these styles. The gym isn’t just about training for your combat style, but for new Blazin’s as well. You can learn any blazin’ move that your defeated opponents knew, then practice and master that move at Rollins’ Gym.

After mentioning that there would be around ten gameplay modes in this title, we certainly wouldn’t get away without explaining. The meat of the game centers on the Story mode. In fact, this is what makes the game what it is. The story picks up right at the end of the original. Manny was shot by D-Mob and as he was taken to the hospital, D-Mob was on his way to jail. An unknown assailant busts him out of police custody and escapes into the streets. This is where your character comes in. Through the course of a police sketch artist interrogation, you’ll create your own fighter complete with customized looks, name, wardrobe, and one of the five fighting styles. Once that’s completed, you’ll learn that there is a turf war brewing between D-Mob’s crew and Crow’s, the new man on the street. Crow, played by Snoop Dogg himself, is vying for control of New York. Your character fights on D-Mob’s behalf and unravels the secrets of Crow’s organization. Helping you out is the Manny-type figure, or the best friend, played by Method Man.

Now, there’s the Story mode and then there’s Battle mode, which is the simple pick-up-and-play action you would want in any brawler. The match types are practically endless. Included are one-vs-one, free-for-all, demolition, ring-out, inferno, window, cage, and subway. There is at least one or two that we may not know about. We do know that the goal for the window match is to toss your opponent out of a giant window and Subway’s goal is to throw your opponent in front of a speeding subway train. It makes me all teary-eyed to think of it.

We also mentioned that Fight for NY features a completely revamped game engine. This makes for some extremely impressive visuals, brand new animations, and all-out carnage. The environments are completely interactive, including a crowd that will hold you, or your opponent, and help to harm, hold, or otherwise humiliate those that are held. They’ll push you around or even offer weapons like bottles. Beams can be used to hurl your enemy’s faces into them, but they will buckle and break if they take enough damage. No one is really safe in the subway platforms, underground parking lots, or burning buildings that little the amount of areas available to rumble in. As if you couldn’t tell, EA is definitely aiming for a more adult feel to the game. There’s more blood, more violence, and the game has already taken an M rating, a step higher than the original’s Teen. They’ve also added several points to access customization for your character. There’s a tattoo parlor, a clothing store that sells twelve authentic, licensed brand-names, a barbershop, and even Jacob the Jeweler jewelry to bling out the “protagonist”.

If there weren’t any improvements to the roster, all would be lost with the rest of the updates on this title. The goal for the celebrity roster in this game was going to be twenty, but EA happened to sign nearly 40 artists, celebrities, and all-around well-known people in the entertainment industry. When all is put together, you’ve got a full roster of around 65 playable characters. Not bad. Not bad at all. Here’s a taste, which isn’t even half of what will be available.

  • Omar Epps
  • Henry Rollins
  • Danny Trejo
  • Carmen Electra
  • Prodigy (of Mobb Deep)
  • Havoc (of Mobb Deep)
  • Erick Sermon
  • Xzibit
  • WC
  • Sticky Fingaz
  • Bonecrusher
  • Slick Rick
  • Busta Rhymes
  • N.O.R.E.
  • Crazy Legs
  • Ludacris
  • Freeway
  • Joe Budden
  • Snoop Dogg
  • Fat Joe
  • Flava Flav
  • Ice T
  • Bubba Sparxxx
  • Lil’ Flip
  • Dirty South Crew
  • David Banner
  • Redman
  • Method Man
  • Lil’ Kim
  • Ghostface
  • Kimora Lee Simmons

word on the street

Big. That’s one of the biggest words out on this game. It’s just going to be massive. Many fans of the first game didn’t even like wrestling, or rap musicians, or both. For some reason, the culture clash was just void and gamers around the globe just joined up for some fun, grappling action. For the sequel to have so much more added to it, along with a darker tone, a huge roster, and even better visuals, it’s just going to be big.

press release notes

  • New Fighting Engine: A new fighting engine challenges gamers to master multiple fighting disciplines, take advantage of the interactive environments and utilize dozens of weapons to make a name for themselves.
  • The Biggest Artists: Starring more than 40 of the biggest names in hip hop, Def Jam Fight For NY features a huge cast of more than 65 characters. Look for appearances by Busta Rhymes, Carmen Electra, Flava Flav, Ghostface, Ice T, Kimora Lee Simmons, Joe Budden, Lil' Kim, Ludacris, Method Man, Redman, Slick Rick, Snoop Dogg, and many more.
  • Customizable Fighting Styles: Gamers can master five unique fighting styles- street fighting, kickboxing, martial arts, submission, and wrestling-and can combine up to three styles to create devastating hybrid fighting styles, complete with character-specific "blazin' moves" to finish off your opponents.
  • Weapons: Dozens of weapons up the ante-from one-use environmental objects like bottles to persistent multi-use equalizers including wrenches and two-by-fours.
  • Gameplay Modes: With 10 distinct match types ranging from intense one-on-one combat to demolition matches where destroying your opponent's ride is the name of the game, Def Jam Fight For NY goes well beyond the ring.
  • Interactive Environments: From destructible environmental objects to rowdy spectators who like to "get involved," the 20 venues in Def Jam Fight For NY are the player's ultimate weapons. All-new "sticky points" allow gamers to set up the big take down with style.
  • Create-a-Player: Build your own street-ready fighter and outfit him with tattoos and thousands of pieces of unlockable licensed gear from brands like Phat Farm, Fila, Def Jam University, Rocawear, Sean Jean and more. Gamers can even rock bling from the Jeweler to the stars, Jacob the Jeweler.


Def Jam: Fight for NY is coming out just before things begin to get big. The holiday season is approaching faster than we know and other titles, including some from EA Games themselves, will be trying to grab at your wallet. Thankfully, we can take this time to look at what we might miss and avoid the cloud of disappointment after Christmas hits. As it stands right now, this is definitely going to be THE fighting game for the GameCube, mostly due to the fact that there just isn’t that much else out there. Is it all just frigged hopes and shallow dreams? Only time will tell and September 20th is a date to live by.

Staff Avatar Austin Starr
Staff Profile | Email
"If life's not beautiful without the pain / well I'd just rather never ever even see beauty again"

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