Def Jam: Icon
Def Jam: IconDef Jam: Icon is a fighting game, and is the third in Electronic Arts's Def Jam-licensed hip hop video game series. The game was developed by EA Chicago, developers of Fight Night Round 3 and is the first Def Jam game not to be developed by AKI Corporation. Unlike the previous games in the series, the game's soundtrack is completely controllable. The game was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 Consoles on March 6, 2007 through GameStop Pre-Orders, and March 8, 2007 for all other gaming outlets.
Def Jam: Icon PlotThe game's story mode, called "Build a Label", starts when the player is obligated to create his own "suspect" on an FBI computer. The player can edit every aspect of the character's body and choose his fighting style and fight song. However, the songs that you have an option to pick is "Got It Sewed Up (Remix) by Mike Jones (rapper),"Back Then also by Mike Jones,"Soul Survivor by Young Jeezy featuring Akon, I Do This aso by Young Jeezy, Go Hard Or Go Home by E-40 featuring The Federation (group), Sittin Sidewayz by Paul Wall featuring Big Pokey, and Trill by Paul Wall featuring Bun B and Baby Gangsta, along with all fighting styles except Ghetto Blaster and Street Kwon Do, are locked.
After creating a character, the story starts in a sequence where Funkmaster Flex can be heard speaking to his audience on the radio with the instrumental of "I Do This" by Young Jeezy playing in the background. The camera pans through several sections of a neighborhood, including a building with a promotional poster for T.I. vs T.I.P. on the side. By the time Funkmaster Flex is done talking, the camera shows a child, Kevin, walking down the street with his friend Jake while bouncing a basketball. Kevin then spots Curtis Carver (Kevin Liles), a mogul in the music industry, speaking with his record label's vice president (the player). The camera then shifts to Carver, who is still speaking with the player, when is suddenly interrupted by Kevin, accompanied by Jake. Kevin then asks Carver for his autograph. While Carver signs Kevin's basketball, he asks the children whether they're staying out of trouble. After handing Kevin back his basketball, Carver also gives him and Jake some money and advises them to pursue careers in basketball, adding that it will bring them financial success. While Kevin and Jake walk away, gunshots are heard and Carver can be seen falling to the ground. Kevin and Jake run away, and the player can be seen looking at Carver while his blood spreads around his torso on the ground.
The camera then fades into a black screen, which says "Two Years Earlier", then fades into a club, with "We Fly High" by Jim Jones playing in the background. The camera follows are bald man wearing a varsity jacket from the back and from the side, who walks through the club towards the bar, as he approaches another bald man wearing a tank top, who is talking to a woman wearing a T-shirt bra and jeans. He punches the man, claiming that the woman is his girlfriend, and grabs her by the hand. As they leave the club, the woman protests that she and the other man were just talking, and wriggles her hand free, making the man hit the player, who is having a drink. The player shouts at the man for messing up his brand new shirt, but the man gets mad and pushes the player, telling him that he'll also have blood on it if he doesn't "step back". The player agrees, but says that maybe it won't be his. The game then goes into a fight sequence, where the player has to beat up the man in the club. If the player loses the fight, the man is revealed to be Big Herc.
After the fight, the player can be seen looking at the ground, with "Got It Sewed Up (Remix)" by Mike Jones playing in the background. A large man, possibly a bodyguard, then comes to inform the player that Carver would like to speak with him. In the discussion, the player apologizes for causing damage to his club, but in his defense he says that Herc was being disrespectful. Carver, who can be seen with two ladies at his side, assures the player that it's alright and tells him that he and even Wink (Sticky Fingaz), the man who was previously punched by Big Herc, respects him for that. Carver then asks the player who he's with, but the player tells him that he's "his own man". Carver then tells him that now he's with his boy, telling him that he liked how he "kept it gangsta". The player then gets overcome with excitement, explaining to Carver about all his skills and ideas, prompting Carver to slow him down and tell him to keep it simple for the time being in order to see how his talent fits in. Carver then asks the player where he lives, and the player tells him that he's close to being homeless. He then tells Tiny, the large man who had asked the player to meet Carver, to set the player up with a house. The player acknowledges Carver's generosity, but asks him what price he had to pay for the house, at which Carver replies that all he needs is the player's loyalty, adding that he has a good feeling about him.
The game then shifts to the player's home, where Carver can be heard over the phone explaining that he left some money (which is revealed to be US$ 1,000) for the player to buy some new clothes (the player starts out with only a white tank top, a pair of blue jeans and a pair of white and blue Nike Air Force One high-tops). Carver also explains that messages sent to the player will show up on the computer (which can be accessed by pressing triangle on the PlayStation 3 / "Y" on the Xbox 360 or just by walking up to the computer and pressing X on the PlayStation 3 / "A" on the Xbox 360). The computer's desktop environment contains "Inbox", "Music Charts", "Bankbook", "Status", "News" and "Label Manager" icons, as well as a "Wallpapers" option (which can be accessed by pressing triangle on the PlayStation 3 / "Y" on the Xbox 360), where the player can choose from three different wallpapers, with the default being that of a 1,000-dollar banknote. Wallpapers of the player's girlfriends will come and go depending on whether they are dating. When the player opens the inbox, two messages from Carver and one from Wink can be found. One of Carver's messages instruct the player to go and help Ludacris with a problem.
Missions in the game can be found by accessing the player's phone ("R1" on the PlayStation 3 / "RT" on the Xbox 360) and selecting "Appointments". From there, the player's missions are representing in dots, which when highlighted show the objective of the mission. When selected, the player gets to choose his fight song and fighting style for the mission, as songs and fighting styles can be unlocked as the game progresses.
The player can also buy clothes, jewelry, get tattoos or change his hairstyle and facial hairstyle by going to "Stores" on the player's phone and accessing the appropriate store.
The player's first mission is to go and get rid of a crazed fan who has been stalking Ludacris. The fight takes place at the 106 & Park studio. After the fight, the player receives an inbox from Ludacris, who is referred to as "Luda" throughout the game, thanking him for his help and asking him to deal with a paparazzo (Johnny Nunez) who is hounding him and his girlfriend. At the end of this mission, the player meets his first girlfriend, Nina (Nina Nicole), who you can choose to date or not, as will all other girls the player meets, depending on his response to the first inbox that the player gets from the girl. Carver also lets the player budget the release of Luda's song "Get Back" after this mission, which can be done in the Label Manager on the computer, as with all other songs from the player's other artists. While budgeting releases for new singles, the maximum amounts of money that can be spent are US$1 million for marketing, US$150,000 for cost of goods, US$1.5 million for airplay and US$350,000 for public appearances. The player can also check the progress of his label's released singles on the Billboard charts by selecting "Music Charts" on the computer. However, only the top 5 singles are shown.
In the "Bankbook" section, the computer shows all of the player's financial activities and his current balance, which enables him to know whether he can complete requests from artists, girlfriends and occasionally Carver. The "News" section lets the player know if he has unlocked any new songs or fighting styles, whether he has upgraded any of his current fighting styles or whether he has reached a new ICON level.
On three occasions, Carver will ask the player to go and do favors for two specific artists he is trying to sign. After doing those favors Carver will ask the player to choose which one of them to sign. Signing one of the artists will give Troy Dollar (Anthony Anderson) an opportunity to sign the other. After signing the artist, BET News bulletins on the signing will be presented by Rocsi on TV. On several occasions, Troy will send his artists to rough up Carver's artists or to sign artists who are prospects for both himself and Carver. On the first signing however, Nunez will head over to interrupt you while trying to sign one of the two select artists. Along the story, Luda advises the player on several topics while an unknown sender also offers advice as well as several useful devices.
When artists are signed to the player's label, they will be asking him for several favors, mostly financial, which the player can decide to help with or reject. The player's choices will affect the artist's "satisfaction rating". The same goes for girlfriends, who (if dating more than one at once) can find out about each other if they have relatively low satisfaction ratings. If the player rejects the artist's or girlfriend's finanicial favors constantly, the artist's or girlfriend's will dump you (the girlfriends) or start to threatning you (the artist).
After signing his first artist, Carver will ask the player to join him at the club to celebrate. In the club, the player can be seen engaging in a toast with Carver, the artist and a woman, who is later revealed to be Christine (Christine Dolce). After the toast, Troy Dollar interrupts the celebration by walking in with another man and a woman, later revealed to be Dae Dae and Platinum (K.D. Aubert) respectively, and jokingly asking why he wasn't invited to the party. Carver then jokingly says that he didn't know Troy was in town. In the middle of the conversation, the camera briefly shows the player and Platinum looking at each other, somewhat intimately. Carver then asks Troy to leave, to which Troy insults Carver by saying that he didn't realize that Carver was still in business, adding that he forgets how old Carver is. Enraged, the player stands up to confront Troy, but is stopped by Carver, who then introduces him to Troy and advises him not to take his label for granted. Troy then offers the player and the artist his business card, trying to persuade them to join his label if they wanted to make a lot money, and leaves the club with Dae Dae and Platinum. Afterwards, the player receives inboxes from Luda and Carver, telling him not to worry about Troy. The player also receives instructions from Carver to go and retrieve unreleased samples from a DJ (who can be found to be any artist: Mike Jones, Paul Wall, Young Jeezy, E-40)) who was showcasing them on a mixtape.
After confronting the artist at the 106 & Park studio, Carver then asks the player to go and do more favors for two other artists he is trying to sign. The player's artist also sends him an inbox saying that he is going to settle a feud with another artist, after which an inbox from the unknown sender reveals the details of the feud and the repercussions it could have on the label. The player gets to fight as artists on his label when going to settle issues in other places, after which they tell the player about how the issues were settled.
Two of the player's signings will also start developing a feud between them, which keeps escalating, and at one point the player will have an option of fighting as one of them to settle things with the other once and for all.
The player's artists will also occasionally inform the rapper that them going to different places, after which the unknown sender inform the player in detail about the intentions of their journeys. The player is always able to fight as the artist, after which he will tell the player the details of the fight and how it went down. Fight involving Troy Dollar sending out his artists to interfere with the player will result in Troy sending the player messages and blaming him for the damage.
On a few occasions, Wink will inform you on potential sample leaks and other issues that need to be dealt with. On one occasion, a man (later revealed to be Greer) will offer to buy the player a drink after his fight, but the player and Carver will walk away in rejection. However, Troy Dollar sends the player a message telling him to meet at his office in Los Angelesto solve Curtis Carver's sampling leaking problems . At the office, Troy later reveals the leak in Carver's record label to be Wink. The player is then prompted to beat up Wink, after which Carver appoints the player Vice President of the record label, after which the player is moved to the Penthouse as his new home.
After the player's fight with Wink, the unknown sender informs the player that his artist (the first signing) scrapped with an off-duty police officer and advises him to handle the situation before it gets out of hand.
At certain points in the game your girlfriend(s) will ask if they can come over to your place. Also, BET News will also show press conferences by David Jacobson, the senator of New York, who is also vying for the presidency at the next elections, involving rap and events in the story at certain points.
Before signing his third artist, Platinum will have sent the player a message telling you to meet her at the club. After signing him, the game moves into a sequence where Platinum, who's real name is Patricia, catches up on old times with the player. Later, the player asks Platinum whether they can talk in a more quiet place, and is spotted taking her out of the club by Wink.
After signing his third artist, the one the player rejected will send him a message saying that he will be going to the player's house to discuss the way his disrespect. After the fight with the artist, the Penthouse will be messed up and the player will have to return to his previous home while Carver takes care of the damages caused.
After Carver hears about the player's artist and his scrap with the off-duty police officer, he instructs the player to go and smooth things out with him before things spiral out of control, and later even asks you to make a contribution to David Jacobson's campaign (with options of nothing, US$ 500 and US$ 50,000) so as to relieve some of the pressure on the label.
Later in the game, Luda sends the player a message, telling him to meet at the club to celebrate. At the club, however, one of the artists the player fought in the past will want to have another shot, and after the fight, the game moves into a sequence where Luda and the player are walking towards the player's Cadillac Escalade. However, Wheatly (Robert Dolan) pops up and asks the player whether the vehicle belongs to him. He then tells the player that his tags are expired, to which the player protests, telling Wheatly that it's a brand new car and that its tags are still valid. Wheatly continues to insist that the tags are expired, and the player jokes that he probably also has a broken tail light. While joking, Greer sneaks up behind the player and punches him in the spine, while Wheatly points his gun at Luda. Wheatly then tells the player that he's resisting arrest, to which the player replies by telling him to get rid of his badge and his weapon so that they can see "who the real man is". Wheatly then warns the player that he runs the city clean, and that if the player continued to carry out his activities he would pay the price. Afterwards, while walking away with Greer, Wheatly jokingly says that Luda and the player owe him because he gave them something to rap about, then instructs the player to get his tags fixed.
Back at the Penthouse, which has since been fixed, Carver sends the player a message warning him to be careful around Wheatly. Troy also sends the player a message, mocking him about his brush with Wheatly and Greer.
The police's influence immediately begins to affect the player's artist (who fought the off-duty cop), who asks the player to go and deal with an officer who is shadowing him. Later, the player heads to an award show, where Dae Dae is waiting to retaliate for the damage that one of the player's artist had previously caused in Troy's office while fighting one of his artists. After that fight, the player informs Luda that when he reached home he found a package containing a chip and that he sent it to him in order to seek advice.
The artist later sends the player a message saying that he feels that the police are close to getting him arrested. The player is then given a mission to fight as the artist to make it hard for Greer to arrest him, after which it is announced on BET News that the artist has been arrested, to which senator David Jacobson makes a reply in a press conference. Carver sends an angry message to the player and urges him to figure out what is going on. Wheatly also sends a message, telling the player that he was indeed warned about what would happen if he didn't "play nice", and that he had to remember that he was to blame for his artist's incarceration. It is later revealed by the unknown messenger that Wink, for revenge, helped the crooked cops arrest the artist. Luda also sends a message warning the player about what would happen if he wasn't careful, and informing him that the chip he was sent was a SIM chip, and that whoever it came from probably wanted it plugged in. Luda also warns the player to be careful with it as he could never know who was messing with him. Later, the player invites Platinum over, and during their time together, she informs the player that Wheatly and his crooked cops are on Troy Dollar's payroll and convinces the player not to take action immediately, adding that if Troy knew about the player's knowledge of his arrangements with Wheatly it would find its way back to her and ruin their relationship.
Later on in the game, the unknown sender reveals to the player that it was Wink who helped Wheatly put away the incarcerated artist. Also, Gooch (Method Man), an old friend of the player's, sends a message saying that he's on his way to meet him. Dae Dae also decides to confront you at your house, leaving you back at your previous home a second time in order to give Carver space to fix the damages. However, Carver warns that putting Dae Dae in the hospital would enrage Troy Dollar, and instructs him to stay available so that he can keep in touch about something. Tiny, Carver's bodyguard, ends up explaining he mission, in which the player has to retrieve some files from Big Herc. After the mission, it is announced on BET News that Carver is being engaged in a federal investigation for potential money laundering activity.
After the mission, Carver explains to the player in a message that a man called Rush was a hip hop icon, but just disappeared one night because of being caught up in the same situations the player is finding himself in. Carver adds that Rush taught him everything he knows and that he misses him every day. He decides that it's time they had a one-on-one conversation so that he can explain to the player what they are up against. In another message from the unknown sender, he/she explains that the SIM chip was sent to the player so as to deal with all the trouble, as it is untraceable and conversations on it are safe as long as it is not used to call people who might want to trace the call back.
The game then goes back to the meeting between Carver and the player at the beginning of the story, and after Carver is shot, the player checks to see if Carver is okay. While doing so, Wheatly and Greer approach the player, armed, and attempt to put him under arrest. The player tries to convince them that he didn't commit the crime, but Greer shows a gun and claims it's the murder weapon. The player insists that it isn't his, and Wheatly replies by saying that he has people who say it's his. The player then headbutts Wheatly and runs away.
In an announcement on BET News back at the Penthouse, Rocsi says that eyewitnesses suggest it may have been Carver's Vice President (the player) who committed the murder, and in a press conference David Jacobson says that he has assembled a taskforce to solve the crime. The player is then sent messages by his artists and girlfriend(s), expressing their disappointment and urging the player to dissociate with them. The player's financial assets are also frozen by federal authorities. At the same time, however, Gooch informs the player that he's ready to meet with him.
The unknown sender urges you in another message to take the phone with the SIM chip and get away from the Penthouse. Before exiting his home, the player cautiously checks to see if there's anyone following him outside the door, but Greer barges in and attempts to arrest you. After fighting Greer, the player returns to him previous home with Gooch, who suggests that they escape New York City. However, the player insists that they are staying put to deal with Troy Dollar and Wheatly. Suddenly, Platinum walks into the house and talks with the player. She asks the player what he plans to do when he says he's going to "sort things out", and after learning of his and Gooch's plans, she warns that Troy will kill them. The player insists that he'll be fine, and when Platinum offers help, he refuses, but Platinum insists that because she loves him too much, he can't stop her from helping him and Gooch.
From then on all the player has is his phone from which he can only access his inbox and missions. Most of the time from this point is spent fighting Troy's artists as both the player and Gooch in order to know of Troy's whereabouts. Later on, the unknown sender sends a wire to the player so as to get Troy's and Wheatly's confessions on tape. Troy invites the player to his office in order to settle things once and for all. The player is brought to the office by two of Troy's workers (Kano and Tego), after which Troy asks them to go and retrieve a Persian rug he had been meaning to get cleaned. Alone, Troy expresses his anger towards the player for roughing up his players, messing up his business and, most annoyingly, stealing his girlfriend (Platinum). The player then expresses his anger towards Troy for shooting Carver, to which Troy replies by saying that he wasn't the only enemy Carver had. The player stands by his decision by reminding Troy that Wheatly works for him and that he's the prime suspect. Before the fight, the player insults Troy's large size, and afterwards, Wheatly enters the office and shoots the player in the face. Before losing consciousness, Wheatly tells the player about how he was set up with the murders of Carver and Troy (Wheatly shot Troy while talking to the player). Moments later, the player regains consciousness and finds himself being buried by Greer. He then spots Platinum walking up to Wheatly and hugging him, before losing consciousness again. A few moments after that, the player regains consciousness again, and finds himself being dug up by Gooch, who tells him that he got Wheatly's confessions on tape. While Gooch carries the player, he loses consciousness a third time. Afterwards, the story goes into a scene where Dr. Chang (James Hong) can be seeing taking care of and talking to the player. He informs him that he was shot twice and is still alive, but needed a surgery to completely rebuild his face. At this point, the player is given the opportunity to recreate his character, like at the beginning of the game. However, only the character's facial features, fighting style and fight song can be changed, and the player can decide to let his character remain the same, after which he is still not recognized by anyone except Gooch after that. After the sequence, the story shows a news bulletin covering the death of Troy, in which Rocsi also stated that the same suspect that was caught entering Troy's office on security cameras appeared to be the same suspect accused of killing Carver.
Since the player is injured, he cannot be used, and the player fights one of the artists he rejected in the past as Gooch, in order to convince him to hand over a disc of his latest material. After the fight, a news bulletin shows that Platinum merged the remains of Carver's and Troy's record labels, and that she left Wink responsible for artists' recruitment and management.
After the surgery, Gooch is surprised at the player's new look, and asks Dr. Chang what he can do about his "crooked ass nose". He then asks him the price for the surgery, and Chang informs them that their friend already paid. Suddenly, Rush (Russell Simmons) walks into the room, to the player's surprise. The player then finds out that Rush was the unknown sender. Rush then urges the player to use his new face to start a new life, but Gooch insists that he should use it to hit back at Platinum, using the tape to his advantage.
Later, the artist Gooch fought sends the player a message saying that if he could get Platinum to sign him, they'd be all good. The player's next target is Wink, who is having an open mic event, so as to give Wink the tape to give to Platinum. After the fight, the player receives a message from Wink saying that he managed to get an appointment with Platinum for him.
In the meeting with Platinum, the player hands her a CD, which is revealed to be a copy of the tape with Wheatly's confessions on it. Wheatly takes the CD and breaks it, instructs Greer to get rid of the player and leaves the office with Platinum, assuring her that it wasn't anything worth worrying about. After the fight with Greer, the player heads up to the roof to fight Wheatly. After the fight, the player sees Platinum trying to avoid the tail of the helicopter (one of the hazards in the Roof stage), after which she is swiped of the building. The player walks to the end of the building to see if Platinum is gone, but he finds her hanging on to a metal beam. While pleading with the player to save her, Platinum learns his identity when the player says "My ride or die chick", something he told her back at the house while they were with Gooch. Platinum tries to convince the player that all of this was Wheatly's plan, and that she'll testify against him in court and sign a confession. Shortly afterwards, Wheatly shoots Platinum in the back, after which the player has to fight Wheatly once again. After the fight, Platinum apologises to the player before dying in his arms, after which the player lays her down and remains standing.
As the game moves into a scene where the player, Gooch, Mayra Veronica and Christine Dolce can be seen talking in the club, Wink and Jacobson can be heard talking over the phone in the background. Towards the end of the conversation, where Jacobson instructs Wink to find out who the new player is, Wink can be seen extending his hand to the player, before the scene goes into the game's closing credits.
Def Jam: Icon GameplayThe game features 28 playable characters and is much less wrestling-oriented than the previous games, Def Jam Vendetta and Def Jam: Fight for NY. The game's executive producer, Kudo Tsunoda, has stated that he did not feel that wrestling and hip-hop went particularly well with each other. However, throws and environmental damage remain in the game.
Gameplay is similar to EA Chicago's Fight Night: Round 3, featuring a focus on up-close brawling, mixing up high and low attacks, blocks, throws, and parries, and using the right analog stick to deliver stronger attacks. Also, like Round 3, there is no in-game heads up display by default, encouraging the player to observe physical cues on in-game characters to determine their health, such as ripped and burned clothing, bruises, and an overall look of exhaustion of the opponent.
The developers aimed to make the music and the environment a much larger factor in the fight. The environments includes rooftops, streets, subways, gas stations, two clubs, an Atlanta neighborhood, BET's 106 and Park stage, and other locales, as opposed to the wrestling rings or arenas of the previous Def Jam titles. In addition, the producers promised massive levels of interactivity within each environment. Fighters bleed and show visible signs of their injuries as fights progress and as the player's character gets hurt.
The music actually effects the environment. The entire backdrop bumps to the beat of the background music. Different events occur on the beats of each song - some of which are dangerous. For example, a column of fire shoots up from a ruined gas station on every "bass hit" of a song's chorus. Other changes will be purely cosmetic: hubcaps on cars will spin and twinkle to the beat of each song. The developers have added more damage to a fighter's punches and kicks if they occur "to the beat" or making a rapper stronger if one of their songs is playing. By listening to the beat of the song and then timing a throw, the player can toss his opponent into an environmental hazard just as it goes off. On the Xbox 360 Console, players are also able to load up their own music (Custom Soundtracks), and the game has a form of beat detection to find the beats from any song.
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