Hajime No Ippo - The Fighting! (GBA) Treasure 2002
Hajime no Ippo (Fighting Spirit) is a long running manga and anime series in Japan. As you can guess, it is about boxing, but there also plenty of male soap opera theatrics about the essence of being manly that makes the series "over the top" in a goofy, yet endearing way. The Gameboy Advance title follows the story of young boxer, Ippo, on his road to be becoming a champion. The action plays from a first person perspective sort of like Punch Out, but you never see Ippo in the ring, only his fists. The graphics, as seen above, are amazing for a Gameboy Advance game. This can be contributed to the fact that Treasure (Gunstar Heroes, Sin and Punishment) developed this game. The matches are very fun and fairly challenging, with each defeated fighter becoming unlocked for the tournament mode as you go. This awesome fighting game was never released outside Japan, which is really too bad as it is clearly one of the best boxing sims around. If you don't mind emulation, the game looks and plays great on the PSP. An English translation patch is also available, so there is no reason to dismiss discovering what this hidden gem has to offer.