The Fight: Lights Out Review
Until now, motion-based fisticuffs has had you mostly swinging your Wii controllers in thin air whilst witnessing your actions portrayed on screen – most likely in a very lacklustre fashion. With the help of Xbox Kinect and PlayStation Move, developers now have the ability to track your limbs that little bit more precisely and get a little more serious in this genre. Games are being developed with body tracking that now allows your on-screen persona to have limbs attached to those Rayman-like floating fists of yours – that’s right people, we now have arms – Bring on The Fight!
Booting up The Fight you are met with your in-game trainer, acted by Hollywood’s Danny “Machette” Trejo. As your trainer he, quite aggressively, takes you through the many steps on how to fight, block and parry your way through the vigorous ranks of street fighting.
This isn’t your typical organized sport here, oh no, this is street fighting at its rawest, headlocks and all, so you best look the part right? Creating your character is a simple case of picking your face type, hair and hair colour, facial hair and what sweats to wear. Once more money is gathered from each successful win, you can dress your character up in more elaborate gear, but as this is your first time out you’ll be as bare as they come.
After creating your character, you can take your fighter through the game’s many fighting locations, each with their own tournament-like pyramid tier system of around ten fighters, all ready for some bruising. In each tier you fight through a range of ranked challengers whilst earning stars and experience points along the way. The type of rewards you get in each match is based on whether you can level your opponent to the floor, through to taking minimal damage or beating your opposition before your reward money or time runs out. Money can be used to purchase items for your character as well as patching your wounds ready for the next match. Experience points earned in matches can be exchanged to increase your characters abilities such as strength and speed to stamina and technique.
Throughout the single player mode you have to keep tabs on your characters health, spending money on patching them up and also training them in the Gym. Winning fights earns you money, with harder opponents bringing you the most reward. A nice touch to the game is being able to place a bet on your character winning the fight. This allows you to put a cheeky wager on your abilities and put that little bit more pressure on your performance in order to collect some winnings.
The game can be controlled with either a single Motion Controller and a Nav Controller (or DualShock Pad), or two Motion Controllers. If you only have just one Motion Controller then I wouldn’t recommend picking up The Fight just yet, as the game is best experienced using at least two Motion Controllers. This is mostly due to the times where you’ll need to move your fighter around and towards your opponent – doing this with the Motion Controllers just feels the most intuitive here and is only just frustrating when played with the one controller.
Sadly the flow of the game is cut up by the need to reconfigure your motion controller before each fight. Although this seems to be the norm when it comes to Move launch titles, it does ruin the flow of the game a little bit. There were times when after reconfiguring for the next bout that my Motion Controllers lost their tracking, which left my character looking a little Frankenstein-like, with his arms fully stretched out, swinging from side-to-side. Although this was always very funny to see and to carry on playing with my ‘monkey arms’, but it was just frustrating when I was trying to play the game properly.
With the connection of the Motion Controllers sensing one-to-one movement, every swing, jab, uppercut and punch is tracked and displayed on screen, which is great when it works, however what lets the experience down is the poor choice of camera angles when fighting. Pressing triangle switches between the available views on offer here, but the choice is fairly limited. Neither angle makes it comfortable for you to see what is going on in front of you, as your character’s head blocks most of your view and your ability to see your opponent’s attacks.
If the thought of swinging your fists into someone online raises a smile then you can take The Fight online, entering yourself into multiplayer ranked or unranked tournament with some online opponents. Connection is made simple with matches found and setup fairly quickly. Local split screen mode is also available here should you have enough controllers to share around – just make sure you have enough room around you though, else you’ll soon start to feel those punches for real!
At first I was a bit sceptical on how The Fight would turn out and I was pleasantly surprised to start off with, however the game’s faults start to rise to the surface after the initial fun has been had. The Fight is a good attempt for a more serious motion controlled beat-em-up game, but it is not one I can see myself coming back to that often if at all. There is certainly something for its developers to learn from here, and no doubt for other developers who maybe observing outside the ring. The Fight could have been good, but it misses the mark a little too many times. Probably from being rushed out in time for the first round of games for the Move platform, rather than being fine-tuned and tweaked. Motion controlled gaming is still in its infancy and I am sure The Fight will be a title that we will look back on as being one of the many games that it will take before we play a heavy weight motion controlled fighting gaming.