Hajime No Ippo (HNI) is one of the top favorite boxing manga here in Japan and practically well respected since the mangaka had been well received and sometimes referred to as bringing back the life of boxing manga into the mainstream since Ashita No Joe (classic Japan boxing manga) had stopped several years ago. Though HNI anime had stopped a couple of years back (Season 2 was announced to be released this January 2009), the manga storylines are still on-going till today.
But what I'm most interested in was my newly purchased Hajime No Ippo: The Fighting! on my Nintendo DS :D Bought it last week and finished it on the same day itself ^_^
Had loads of fun with it; which gives the options of unlocking every character there is once all the storymodes are completed. Now just having fun on playing dream matches of this boxer vs that boxer, which was not able to be done in the actual manga storyline (due to time release and differences in weight category). So there I was pounding my way as the infighter protagonist, Makanouchi Ippo, or just having fun beating up every single boxer as the arc's world champion, Ricardo Martinez.
Controls are pretty basic DS style; either you use the stylus or the buttons. Personally, the style I'm playing now is using both the buttons (well, just the D-pads) for movements and the stylus for punching.
One of the X-factor of this game that I am fond of is pulling off the moves of each characters, especially Ippo. Using the stylus, you need to draw the lines of attack on the touch-screen to pull off a move (think of something like Elite Beat Agent). Ippo's Dempsey Roll move is a special case from everybody else, since back in the manga, that move of his is often referred to as an infinite 8-figured flurry of punches, players have to consecutively draw the figure 8 non-stop until either the opponent drops to the ground, or the player got hit themselves by a counter :D
Might not be as fun for new players to HNI (and because its in Japanese), but hey, just give it a shot & see how its like to play it on a DS (compared to how to play a HNI on a Wii) ^_^