The new system is supposed to make Fight Night more accessible, which it certainly will, but at what cost?
Blocking also incorporates the flick, which seems to work well. You can still cower behind your guard for long periods throughout a fight as before (you big girl), but it won't stop every punch. A held block to the left or right won't result in an instant parry.
This time you have to guess the direction of your opponents attack and tap your guard at the right time for an effective parry, that's when he'll be left open for you to strike back and detach his retina.
Casting our critical eye wider and Fight Night Champion looks to be more of the same from the series. Usually, that might be taken as a criticism of a game but the series has had impeccable character models for some time now and the physics of Round 4 were much improved from its predecessor.
With the usual upgrade of polish and detail, Champion certainly looks like it will keep up with the momentum of the series. It's hard to tell exactly at the moment, but our first thought was that the visual approach for Champion is slightly closer to Round 3 than Round 4 - fighters looks stockier and more weighty once again - with the upgraded physics and closer contextual impact awareness of Round 4.
As always, Fight Night looks and sounds great, but for us it'll be the tweaks to Total Control that'll make or break it. We'll let you know as soon as we're allowed to step into the ring.