• Publisher: SCEA
  • Release Date: Oct 18, 2005

Mixed or average reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 37
  2. Negative: 5 out of 37
  1. 100
    The gameplay is so compelling and entertaining that it makes for a truly addictive and wonderful knockout of a game - and I'm not trying to con you here!
  2. It's definitely the most fun I've had with a fighting game in a long time, and it's also the one title that's managed to bring my PSP out of storage. [Nov 2005, p.178]
  3. Despite the roughness and ever-present loadtimes, I can honestly say that The Con took me by surprise by being more interesting and engaging than I would have expected.
  4. Works as the perfect lowbrow entertainment for those gamers looking for a well-made fighter that can be played as simple or deep as they want.
  5. Mixing fast paced action, and fist fighting has always been something that a fighting game required. The Con, integrates all these into a great game with only a few faults.
  6. The graphics and voiceacting for the game are very solid, but the long loading times and limited difficulty make the game nothing more than just your average fighter.
  7. Sure the heart of the game is its fighting, something that is a bit of a letdown thanks to its unintelligent AI, funny camera and long load times between fights, but it brings us something different for our favorite new handheld gaming machine.
  8. Remember the story is cheese, but the graphics and unique gambling and character creation gives this game the boost it's needs for our recommendation.
  9. Quick bouts are enjoyable enough, but once you have your head around the novel betting structure, The Con doesn't give you enough to get your teeth into, long-term.
  10. 70
    While not overlong, the loads are meaty, certainly enough to be a distraction; no matter how many pans across the fighting arenas before a brawl the game makes, it still adds up to the same thing: it's time to get a soda or do some multitasking.
  11. 70
    The actual fighting is simplistic and repetitive, and takes place in only a handful of non-interactive environments. Worse, truly horrendous load times plague every last element of play, making even something as simple as cruising by the shop a thumb-twiddling chore.
  12. Conceptually, The Con seems like a strong game that would’ve been a unique twist on the fighting genre. Unfortunately, slow controls, even slower load times and somewhat ineffective features make it a game that just doesn’t work for most gamers.
  13. Ambitious almost to a fault, which is a bit of a shame since the core of the game, while conceptually promising, just didn’t get it right.
  14. Delightfully wicked concept debuts in this fighting game, that manages to impress with its decent fighting engine.
  15. As a complete package, The Con is an enjoyable, modern-day rendition of the classic Punch-Out. Admittedly, the combat is repetitive and the entire concept of "the con" doesn't really work.
  16. The Con's fighting isn't strong enough on its own, but the betting concept is compelling enough to draw you in a little deeper than you might otherwise be drawn.
  17. Given a more robust fighting engine with more variety, coupled with visuals that didn’t make you want to turn away, this could have been a breakthrough game for the PSP. What it is instead is merely passable.
  18. It’s got a fantastic betting concept, rich customization and a couple of RPG elements throw into the fighting gameplay. On the other hand, the actual gameplay is slow and sometimes boring and the graphics don’t do much to inspire any life into the title.
  19. A fairly average beat-'em-up redeemed by its clever twist. [June 2007, p.85]
  20. If you’re really into fighters, then you may want to rent the game to check out the novel betting feature, but expect to be disappointed by the game’s relatively simple fight engine. However, overall The Con just doesn’t have enough going for it to suck you in for the long term.
  21. It's not that the graphics are ugly; It's just that they're ugly and take forever to load. [Holiday 2005, p.100]
  22. The stuff surrounding the fights is well-engineered, but the fights themselves are just too blah to keep the interest up once the novelty of betting and planning out a fight gets old.
  23. The average graphics and sound, and the slow responsiveness of the control, manage to bring this game down a few notches in score.
  24. But the betting system wasn’t integrated tightly enough so it is just as easily forgotten, and when you factor in the clunky fight engine and predictable combo system, the game loses much of its appeal.
  25. 62
    The precise combo system is still more dial-a-hit than a real combo system, while more basic moves are too slow and undependable to swing when you react to an opening.
  26. 60
    I like the idea behind it. But I wish some more attention was given to the fighting engine.
  27. The Con is about as far from revolutionary as you can get and in no way suited to extended play, but to give Sony its due, it's easily one of the stronger and more accurately pitched portable fighters out there.
  28. A novel take on the beat-'em-up that is accessible and engaging.
  29. 59
    There are plenty of great concepts lying about the place with The Con, but they haven't been gelled into any kind of coherent game. [Issue#153, p.86]
  30. The fighting system isn't particularly deep (throws and specials tend to win fights), and the graphics are the antithesis of PSP quality. The levels are bland. [Nov 2005, p.121]
  31. It's passably fun and offers cool ideas for the future, but in a world packed with incredibly addictive fighters, that's damning with faint praise.
  32. The gambling introduces a fresh and very welcome dynamic to the beat-'em-up genre, but such innovation is dealt a low blow by a mediocre fighting engine.
  33. 42
    Boring, repetitive and not even close to being fun whatsoever.
  34. The fakeout mechanic that allows you to maximize your gambling dollar is pretty cool, and the over-the-shoulder camera gives a neat Punch-Out!! vibe...but that's about it for the highlights. The rest of the game, from the shallow fight mechanics to the load times to the bland backgrounds, is very mediocre.
  35. 40
    The team-building aspect and gambling mechanics are great, and give the game a bit of a role-play feel, which serves to nearly offset the horrible load times and mediocre fighting action—but not quite.
  36. It's a brilliant idea, let down irreparably by a sub-bar fighting engine. [May 2007, p.114]
  37. There's nothing in The Con to hold your interest. While the fixing of fights is original, there's no gameplay to back it up. Boredom sets in fast with this one.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. JoeD.
    Oct 17, 2005
    It's about time we got a decent fighting game for the PSP!
  2. Mar 15, 2011
    Not that great of a fighting game and Tekken is better than this piece of crap. I played this game for 30 minutes and I wanted to take thisNot that great of a fighting game and Tekken is better than this piece of crap. I played this game for 30 minutes and I wanted to take this game back to GameStop. Full Review »
  3. ClayW.
    Jun 4, 2006
    If you consider the fact that the PSP is a contender for the worst D-pad of any console invented, it's a welcome idea that someone If you consider the fact that the PSP is a contender for the worst D-pad of any console invented, it's a welcome idea that someone didn't make a traditional fighter for the PSP. It combines the best of Tekken and Punch-Out, and the betting system is pretty cool. By the way, you CAN kick in just about every fighting style... Full Review »