Combine hip-hop, street fighting and a good story and you will get Def Jam Fight for New York. It's a kind of street fighting game, which features celebrities from the hip-hop world. MTV Celebrity Deathmatch also included big personalities, but that game was more of a spoof. Here, you get a game that has a good storyline along with good fighting moves. Originally it was going to be named Def Jam Vendetta II, but AKI Corp.; the game developers, changed the game so much from the previous version that it was a wise to give it a new name.
Def Jam most probably got inspired by the fight between two leading artist groups in the hip-hop world and you must have seen it in hip-hop videos. They continue to make fun of each other by making spoofs of each other's videos. The game, however, feels original and extremely fun to play. It has been released simultaneously for the Sony PlayStation 2, Microsoft Xbox and the Nintendo Gamecube. The only differences between the consoles are the graphics and support for the custom soundtrack present only in the Xbox. So Xbox fans have a reason to cheer as they not only to have the best graphics, but also the custom soundtrack feature. Also, the game is marketed by EA Games, which makes it highly noticeable.
The game features a hell lot of hip-hop celebrities. But unfortunately, I was able to make out only Snoop Dog, as I am not much of hip-hop fan.
When I started the game, I expected it to be another fighting game with no or hardly any storyline integrated with the gameplay. But this game surprised me; AKI Corp. has given us a fighting game with a good storyline. The story continues from where the original Def Jam left off. D-mob, who was an underground gang leader, has been arrested and put behind bars. You are recruited, as a member of the D-mob gang and your initially mission is to get D-mob out of jail. As the story continues, you also have to fight with members of the opposing gang led by Crow, who is played by Snoop Dog. The game ends by fighting with Crow himself. Though the story is not engrossing, it is one of the best for a fighting game.
This is the area where the game really excels. There are two types of gameplay. The single player mode, where you get to play as the character mentioned above. You can choose from more than 40 players or make your own character. You can customize the looks, the hairstyle, the beard style and even the accessories such as earrings, chains etc. as you keep on progressing through the game. The game has a little bit of RPG in it. Before you start you can select from any of the five fighting styles you want to excel in. When you win a fight, you get to earn some points, which are needed to invest in your stats such as health, speed and strength. Also you unlock clothes, tattoos, jewelry, etc. as you work your way through the game. You can use these to make your character unique.