- "Fight For Control Of Hip Hop's Underworld"
- —Game's Tagline
Def Jam Fight For NY is the sequel to Def Jam Vendetta, a hip hop-influenced 3D-action game released for the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Xbox and is followed by Def Jam: Icon. The game features several rappers, including Lil' Kim, Snoop Dogg, Method Man, Redman, Fat Joe, Joe Budden, Ice-T, Xzibit, N.O.R.E., Ludacris, and Busta Rhymes, Flava Flav, Sean Paul as well as the voices and likeness of other celebrities, such as Henry Rollins, Christopher Judge and Kimora Lee Simmons. DMX, Keith Murray, Christina Milian and Funkmaster Flex were the only artists from the original game that did not appear in the sequel. The game was spun off into a 2006 PlayStation Portable game called Def Jam Fight for NY: The Takeover.
The gameplay is expanded from the original game, which was primarily a wrestling game. Fighters can choose one, two, or three of five fighting styles.
Additionally, Def Jam Fight for NY emphasizes the use of the game's various environments and the surrounding crowd to cause damage. Tossing the opponent against barriers gives fighters an opportunity to inflict massive damage to their opponent by slamming them into the wall headfirst, ramming a door or gate in their face, or using other features of the environment.
The crowd will shove a fighter back into combat if he is thrown into them or gets too close, sometimes holding a fighter and leaving them open to attack. Some spectators carry weapons, and will offer them to the fighters, or even attack a fighter if they are held by a nearby onlooker.
Momentum is gained by successfully performing moves, countering, and taunting the opponent. The rate at which momentum is gained is effected by the fighter's Charisma stat, which like other stats varies between fighters. Created fighters can set their own charisma with a combination of clothes, tattoos, and jewelry; the more expensive, the better. A fighter with a good set of clothes, extensive tattoos, or laden with jewelry can often fill their momentum meter in just a few moves.
When the momentum meter is full, a fighter can activate it, which results in a Blazin' Taunt. In this state, the fighter is said to be "Blazin", and can pull off a Blazin' Move, a powerful and brutal attack personalized for each character. A created character can learn every single Blazin' Move in the game, but can only have up to four usable at any one time.
Though the game focuses on mixed fighting styles, the only way to win a fight is through Knock Out or Submission. A character can be made to submit by putting them into submission holds until the health bar of a single body part is depleted.
Knock Out is achieved through a unique health bar used in the game. Health is composed of two bars, the first bar representing a fighter's consciousness and ability to fight (Displayed as an opaque light green), while underneath it is the fighter's physical wellness bar (Displayed as a semi transparent dark green). With every hit, a fighter's consciousness will fall quicker than his/her physical wellness. However, whenever a fighter is not losing health, their consciousness meter will recover up to the maximum current physical wellness. When a fighter's consciousness is lowered to a very low point, the entire health bar will turn red. This indicates that the fighter is in danger of being knocked out. Knocking out an opponent in danger requires the use of strong hits, Blazin' Moves, and environmental moves such as slamming an opponent into the wall, or achieving a double team move with a crowd member, or using a weapon (like a pipe, a bottle, a wooden bat, a shovel, etc.). It is possible to knock out an opponent by beating down their while their physical wellness remains very high. As a fight wears on, physical wellness will eventually fall low enough that when a fighter's consciousness recovers to the physical limit, it is still too low to turn green. This is sometimes known as permanent danger, meaning a fighter is permanently in danger of being knocked out.
Additionally, each fighting style has a unique way to knock out opponents in danger: streetfighters can attack with a strong punch; wrestlers can perform a strong grapple; kickboxers can complete a kick-combo; submission experts can force the enemy to submit with grapples; and martial artists can perform flying attacks.
The game's story mode follows the narrative of an unknown fighter, created by the player, who is fighting his way through the New York Underground. Winning matches rewards the player with cash, which can be used in shops to buy clothes which include famous clothes lines such as Reebok, Phat Farm, Air Jordan, and even rapper Sean Comb's clothes line, Sean John and many other clothes lines. As well as clothes, the fighter can get haircuts, tattoos, and jewelry from Jacob "The Jeweler" Arabo, as well as Development points, which can be used at the local gym, run by Henry Rollins, to increase the character's skills, or to purchase and set up new Blazin' Moves and up to two additional fighting styles.
Winning matches also unlocks the fighters defeated, as well as their Blazin' Move, and often the jewelry they may wear. Created characters can have the jewelry of Sean Paul, Crack (Fat Joe), Xzibit, Crazy Legs, Lil' Flip, Def Jam Records, Roc-a-fella Records, State Property, and many others (except for some particular signature pieces such as the medallions worn by Flava Flav or Modify it like Ghostface Killah's Sun God Plate Gold and Diamond piece.), the fighters may be used in Battle Mode, while their moves and jewelry may be purchased and used by the player.
Battle Mode is the versus mode of the game, allowing up to four players to fight at once. It has several sub-modes:
- 1 on 1 - A single match between two fighters.
- 2 on 2 - A two on two brawl that ends only when both fighters on a team are knocked out or submitted.
- Free for All - A match between three or four fighters, where it's every fighter for themselves.
- Cage Match - No crowd interference, but the cage itself can be used to attack the opponent. Main Venue: Club Murder.
- Ring out Match - The wooden barriers lining the ring can eventually be broken, and the match can be won by throwing the opponent through the resulting gap, or by a typical knock out. Main Venue: Dragon House.
- Inferno Match - A battle in a burning building. Contact with the ring of fire damages fighters immediately. In addition, bits of flaming debris will sometimes fall from the ceiling, which can be used as weapons. Main Venue: Red Hook Tire Co.
- Demolition Match - Two SUVs form part of the arena, and fighters can use each other to mess them up. The match can end by totaling the opponent's car. To total the opponent's car smash them into two different sections of the car 3 times (Player 1 - Black Cadillac Escalade) (Player 2/CPU - Silver/Gray Hummer). Main Venue: Gun Hill Garage.
- Subway Match - Fight in a Subway terminal. At regular intervals, a train will roll past. Fighters can be thrown or knocked off the platform, and into the path of the train. Naturally, throwing an opponent into the path of a moving train takes them out of the fight immediately, no matter how much health they have. If both fighters get hit by the train it will result in a double KO. Main Venue: 125 Street Station.
- Window Match - Three large windows line one side of the arena, and a four-story drop awaits the person slammed through one of them. No matter which window they get smashed through, in the cutscene that follows they can be seen being smashed through the middle window. Main Venue: Crow's Office.
Each sub-mode allows the players to choose between 3 rule sets:
- Standard Rules - No holds barred. All moves are usable, and the goal is to defeat the opponents. This is the rule set used for all story matches.
- Favorite - Through a reward-point system that awards points for specific moves in each match, and awards bonuses for achievements at the end of the match, the winners are decided by the highest point value (and consequently, the largest pay), and not necessarily by who gets knocked out. This means the winner could have been knocked out in the match.
- Submissions - This match prevents the use of any submission holds. Submissions moves are replaced by other moves decided by a player's alternate fighting styles.
The game's story picks up immediately after the first game (Def Jam Vendetta). D-Mob (Christopher Judge), the underground boss from the first game, has just been arrested, when the car transporting him gets broadsided by an SUV. The SUV's driver rescues D-Mob from police custody and drives off.
Unlike the four pre-set characters from the first game, the player is allowed to create his own character, in a sequence where the cops who lost D-Mob are asked to describe the player to a police sketch artist Lauren. The player can also choose between several voice types as well, unlike the previous hero(es), who never spoke in the game. The voice selection is not available in the GameCube version of the game and is restricted to the rough voice. The other voices the player can choose for PlayStation 2 and Xbox are street, clean, cocky, smooth and gruff.
At first, the action will center around shoring up D-Mob's suddenly shaky empire, which has been rocked by the events of the first game, D-Mob's near arrest, and the ruthless Crow (Snoop Dogg), who uses this period of uncertainty to try to take over D-Mob's turf. The fights take place in "clubs." When a fighter for either side manages to either fight off all comers in a club, or simply a captain holding it, or both, he is said to have taken it for his side, and control changes to that side. In the very beginning, the player will be fighting other fighters in D-Mob's group as he gets started, then will quickly be called upon after a few victories to defend clubs that are under attack from fighters that Crow is sending to try to take them, and later go on the offensive to attempt to take clubs from Crow.
The player will also need to fight for respect in D-Mob's crew. Many of D-Mob's lieutenants and top fighters will doubt or be disdainful of the player's skills and abilities at first, most notably Sticky Fingaz, who begins as D-Mob's top fighter until the player begins to replace him, and slightly less vocally by others like Ludacris. Fortunately, the player is quickly befriended by and taken under the wing of Blaze (Method Man), who is not only one of D-Mob's top lieutenants but also a major advisor to the underground boss.
Soon after, D-Mob arranges a match against the legendary Ice-T for the player to prove himself to the rest of his crew. Afterwards Crow himself crashes the party, and openly announces his intentions to take over D-Mob's turf, by firstly setting up a high stakes match between Crack (Fat Joe) and Blaze, and then openly offering top dollar for D-Mob's fighters to switch to his side. With Crow seemingly having an edge in both money and the sheer number of fighters, the situation looks grim and many of D-Mob's men, such as WC, desert him after this incident. When Blaze also loses badly to Crack in their fight, subsequently putting Blaze out of action for the foreseeable future and losing another major fighter, things look even worse for D-Mob's Crew.
The player can also gain a girlfriend (Cindy J, Kimora, Lil' Kim or Shawnna) after fighting for her; he can get the girlfriend he wanted, or if he loses, Shaniqua, an uglier one, and later, she ends up in a catfight with Carmen Electra over him. The player can then choose to keep his current girl, or switch to Electra.
After this the war heats up, but even though the odds seem to be against D-Mob's group, the rise of the player through the ranks, and his ability not only to capture clubs from Crow but also from third party groups, such as the Triad-run Dragon House (unique home of Ring Out Match battles), or the Babylon, run by a Jamaican mob in Brooklyn, begins to offset Crow's advantages in cash and fighters. D-Mob also explains his crew the code Money, Power & Respect.
Eventually, Crow proposes a winner-take-all Cage Match between Crack, one of Crow's best and most feared fighters, and D-Mob's "best man." D-Mob, with encouragement from Sticky, accepts this deal, only to infuriate Sticky when he picks the player as his representative. Sticky storms off angrily, but D-Mob encourages the player not to worry about it and keep his mind on the fight. The player wins the cage match against Crack right in the heart of Crow's territory, but as he, Blaze, and D-Mob are celebrating in their limo, a car drives alongside, and gunfire erupts from the window. D-Mob and Blaze are injured, and Sticky, who participated in the attack, is revealed to have joined up with Crow. After a Subway Match against Crow's enforcer and gunman Trejo, the player returns to the limo, where a wounded D-Mob orders him and Blaze to escape from the rapidly approaching police (Trejo does not appear again, and can be presumed dead because the player has the option to throw Trejo in the path of an oncoming subway train, killing him).
D-Mob is arrested, and Blaze takes over in his stead, using the player and Blaze's friend Doc as his only reputable fighters (Redman) to take all of Crow's clubs in retaliation. During this time, the player fights in a team tournament, and must choose between two fighters whose respect he earned early in his career: Ice-T and O.E. (Omar Epps). The player chooses one of them and eventually fights the team of the other person not chosen and Magic (Busta Rhymes). The prizes consist of a large cash prize for one team member, and a customized black Cadillac Escalade for the other (which the player takes).
As the player continues to rack up victiories and chips away at Crow's empire, Crow continually tries to get the player to join his side, but fails (One of the first attempts consists of Magic threatening the player in a parking lot after a cage fight with Lil' Flip - this results in the game's only Demolition Match). Finally, Crow resorts to kidnapping the player's girlfriend and forcing him to retake all the clubs he has earned for D-Mob's side, one by one, an apparent betrayal that angers the rest of D-Mob's crew. Crow warns the player that if he tells anyone the real reason for his change of sides, the player's girlfriend will be killed.
With the last club won in a fight against Doc (before which a distraught Blaze angrily takes D-Mob's pendant from the player), Crow claims to have one final task for the player. (After you defeat Doc, you must wait until you beat Story Mode to improve your player.) The scene is moved to an empty scrapyard, where the player finds Blaze brutally beaten by Magic, the final task being to finish him off. The player refuses, and knocks out WC. He and Blaze then battle Crack and Magic. The player must defeat them both in the game's final 2 on 2 match with a weakened Blaze, who has really low health, and cannot use his blazin' moves.
After the fight, the player figures out where his girlfriend is being held, and that Crow never planned on letting her live. He and Blaze rush over to an abandoned factory, where Sticky is about to set the entire building on fire. The player engages Sticky in an Inferno Match and leaves him to die in the burning building. After he wins the fight, he can be seen taking his girlfriend out of the burning building before it collapses. She remains unconscious as the player tries to shake her awake (leaving her true fate undetermined), and enrages the player enough to confront Crow.
The player and Blaze confront Crow at his headquarters, backed up by Crack and WC, whose respect they earned, and the remainder of D-Mob's crew, whom Blaze had cleared the player's good name with. As a rumble breaks out with Crow's gang, the player rushes to face Crow in a final showdown. After a brief stand off involving a gun, given to the player by a repentant Magic, the player decides that Crow is not worth killing. However, an enraged Crow attacks him with a knife hidden in his cane. Crow's attack proved D-Mob's warning, "A beaten dog may fear you, but the second you turn your back he's gonna strike". After a Window Match, Crow is defeated, and thrown out the window by the player. The player then takes a minute to reflect after Crow is finished. It is unknown what happened to both crews (except Blaze) after the brawl.
After you beat Story Mode, You can choose to do some Bonus tournaments, or play them later. These give major amounts of experience points, cash, and a few blazin' moves. These are not like the tournaments during the story. It's a test of endurance. Whatever health you have after you win a match, you start the next match with that same amount, or it only improves a little. One important note, is that if you lose or quit a tournament, or if you even shut off the game system during gameplay, you can't redo that tournament, and you move to the next one. You unlock a trophy for your crib if you win every tournament.
There are features exclusive to PS2 and Xbox that are missing from the GameCube version. The player is restricted to having one voice for the main character - as opposed to the six found in other versions. Eight of the 28 available music tracks are missing. The Gamecube's hardware lacks the light blur effect that permeates on the characters and arenas. Furthermore, certain 3 or 4 player arenas have reduced crowds due to the minidisc space limitations.
Josh Holmes, the producer from EA Canada wanted to improve on the already well received Def Jam Vendetta. The research they've done shows that veteran gamers were familiar with the game control system yet new players were intimidated by the complexity that's been used since "WCW/NWO World Tour" that first appeared on the N64. The team decided to simplify the controls and make them more intuitive. "We found that straight one-on-one fighting tended to get stale over time, no matter how polished the fighting engine was" said Holmes. The team added secondary elements like crowds, weapons and interactive environments for the player to use as a weapon. Lastly, Holmes went on to say that individual players prefer to use their own tactics, so different classes has been implemented in unique ways to achieve a KO. "The overall focus of the fighting system is fun, over-the-top action rather than a simulation of technical fighting" said Holmes.
Also the create a fighter mode, a feature lacking in Def Jam: Vendetta, has been incorporated into the sequel as a part of the Story Mode. Holmes explains that with other successful fighting games, the convention of a sequel is to add complexity to the control system, multiplayer focus to the exclusion of all else, shallow single player, limited character customization and having a gameplay that's skewed towards the hardcore gamer. Probably the most common that's typical in fighting games like the first game is that it's empty and devoid of people. Inevitably, there's nothing going on except it's just you and your opponent. So they turned the concept on its head by filling the gap to make the fighting game more interactive and less predictable in order to keep it fresh and accessible for beginners and veterans alike.
- Matt Hill as Clean Cut
- Scott McNeil as Cocky
- Ty D. Jones as Gruff
- Doron Bell as Rough
- Tyrone Jackson as Smooth
- Frank Nitty as Street
- Chris Judge as Darrell “D-Mob” Lewis
- Method Man as Blaze
- Redman as Doc
- Sticky Fingaz as Sticky
- Erick Sermon
- Flava Flav
- Ghostface Killah
- Henry Rollins
- Joe Budden
- Memphis Bleek
- Snoop Dogg as Crow
- Baby Chris
- Busta Rhymes as Magic
- Fat Joe as Crack
- Danny Trejo as Trejo
- Bone Crusher
- Bubba Sparxxx
- Crazy Legs
- David Banner
- Elephant Man
- Lil' Flip
- Mack 10
- Omar Epps as O.E.
- Sean Paul
- Slick Rick
- Warren G
- Dennis Da Menace as Baxter
- Adrian Holmes as Bo
- Kevin Leong as Chiang
- David Coburn as Luis de la Cruz
- Django Craig as Daniel G. “Dan G” Anderson
- Kieth Dallas as Anslem “House” Jackson
- Brian Hayes as Manny Gray
- Crazy Ben Hayama as Masakazu "Masa" Ninagawa
- Eat Em Up as Meca
- Billy Sly Williams as Andre “Nyne” Wallace
- Sean Amsing as Sharif “Pockets” Hayek
- Ricky D'Shon Collins as Rome
- Clay Raider as Santos
- Ramon Franco as Skull
- Sean Stevenson as Sean "Snowman" Scott
- Tom Pickett as Stingray
- Tony Austin as Teck
- Viv Leacock as Trick
- Crow's Office
- The Foundation
- The Limit
- Club 357 (also High Stakes)
- Dragon House
- Syn Energy Power Plant
- Red Room
- Club Murder
- 125th Street Station
- Terror Dome
- The Chopshop
- Hunt's Point Scrapyard (also After Hours)
- Seventh Heaven (also DTP)
- The Heights
- The Pit
- Red Hook Tire Co.
- Gauntlet (also Intense)
- Gun Hill Garage
- Stapleton Athletics
|C-N-N||Yes Sir (featuring Musaliny-N-Maze)|
|Anything Goes (featuring Lexxus, Wayne Wonder)|
|Get Into It|
|Freeway||Flipside (featuring Peedi Crakk)|
|Public Enemy||Move! (featuring Sister Souljah)|
|Method Man & Redman||America's Most|
|Redman||Let's Get Dirty (featuring DJ Kool)|
|Joe Budden||Pop Off|
|Walk With Me|
|Method Man||What's Happenin' (featuring Busta Rhymes)|
|LL Cool J||Mama Said Knock You Out|
|Busta Rhymes||Make It Hurt|
|Beezel||See About Ya (featuring David Banner, Bone Crusher)|
|Ice-T||O.G. Original Gangster|
|Fat Joe||Take A Look At My Life|
|OutKast||Bust (featuring Killer Mike)|
|Big Daddy Kane||Nuff' Respect|
|Deuce, Dub & The Junkyard Gang||We Gon Hit 'Em|
|Pastor Troy||Are We Cuttin' (featuring Ms. Jade)|
|Sticky Fingaz||Man Up|
|Ultramagnetic MC's||Poppa Large (East Coast Mix)|
|Bless||Get It Now|
|Seize the Day (featuring Dexter D)|
Cut From the final release
|Snowman||Babylon Club Mix|
The game received largely positive reviews. GameSpot and IGN gave it a score of 8.7 out of 10 and GameSpy and X-Play gave it a score of 4 out of 5. Alex Navarro praised the game for improving nearly every aspect from its predecessor, including the new fighting styles, character creation, and interaction with weapons and environments. Criticism generally befell on the game's camera view and frame rate issues that are found in all console versions. Additionally reviewers mentioned that the game is laden with a lot of profanity, though it works within the context of the game. Aside from the frame rate, reviewers praised the game's graphics, with both IGN and GameSpot calling them "impressive".
Maxim gave it a score of eight out of ten and said, "Should the lyrically challenged feel left out, you can create your own brawler outfitted in ice courtesy of celebrity bling supplier Jacob the Jeweler. Better to look good than to—ow—feel good." The Sydney Morning Herald also gave the game four stars out of five and said that "The fact that it's got the deepest story ever seen in a fighter simply adds to the realistic feel of the brutal combat within."