I absolutely love the anime Hajime no Ippo. I don't usually talk about how much I love an anime but when one of my best friends turned me on to it, I've been hooked. It's one of the few anime that got my attention and made me return to it every night until I finished it (just kidding, I haven't finished it. I have that weird fear that when I'm done with it, I won't have anything else to watch).
But the way it covers boxing and uses real historic boxing moves for each character's special is something that really attracted me to it. While watching a fun story about a kid who got bullied and found confidence in the ring, I ended up learning a lot about a sport that my parents absolutely love.
And all that being said, I always wished that I'd be able to play the anime in one way or another. I love most boxing games (I played a whole lot of Fight Night Round 2 when that was released) and I'm always eager for another one. It wasn't until last year when I found out about an Ippo game that looks, sounds, and plays like the anime.
Even though it's exclusive to the Japanese market, I found myself lucky since my PS3 is region-free and I got to get my hands on it -- after buying it for that same friend who introduced me to the anime -- for a little while. Now, I don't really understand Japanese so I had a lot of sites open that translated the game for me and helped me understand how to play.
But regardless, I still had a huge amount of fun playing this game. It feels like the way the show would feel if I had been drawn instead of born into a life of weird mundanity. The punches feel like the really hit and it always sounded like thunder whenever I connected cleanly... or maybe that was just his sound system. Either way, though, it was fucking AMAZING.
If you're even slightly into video games but you love Ippo, you should try to pick up this game. There are plenty of places online where you can get it imported to you if you don't live in Japan. Beware though, it's pretty pricey but I think it's still worth it. You can check out the game's trailer below. Even though it's all in Japanese it's still worth watching to see how the gameplay looks.