Fighters Uncaged Review
By -- Craig Hart
As a big fan of mixed martial arts and fighting in general I was genuinely excited to hear about Fighters Uncaged being a part of the Kinect launch line-up. Being able to virtually beat someone up just seems like a fun concept. Unfortunately, my hopes were quickly dashed after loading up Fighters Uncaged for the first time.
Fighters Uncaged has a story that is absent from the actual game. If you care to know what it is, the developer made an odd choice of laying it out in the games manual. Players cannot choose who they fight as nor can they create a fighter. Instead, you are placed in the shoes of a fighter named Simon. As Simon you can beat up 12 fighters in the games “Fight” mode. Besides a tutorial mode, the Fight mode is the sole mode of the game. In this mode you simply have a series of one-on-one fights. Depending on how you perform in the fight, the game will award you an overall score. Beating your previous high score for each character will net you “crowns”. These crowns are used to unlock higher levels and new opponents.
The controls (or fight gestures) are where everything really falls apart. Simple gestures work for the most part, such as hooks and jabs. Almost all other fight gestures only register some of the time. Going for a sidekick can register as a knee, low kick or high kick. The game chooses which it will be. Even proper execution of a high kick could register as a knee. This obviously makes the game incredibly frustrating. Crouch attacks are performed by awkwardly leaning forward and then performing the proper gesture. Again, these only work some of the time. Body punches register fine but the kicks (which are now sweeps) do not. With most of the moves only registering part of the time is hard to choose your strikes. The inaccuracies of the controls turn the game into the equivalent of a button masher. Flailing about is just as effective as thoughtfully choosing your strikes.
Graphically the game looks good. The fight animations look accurate and the fighters react correctly to the opponent’s strikes. Backgrounds are rendered well with every opponent having his own backdrop. The voice acting in the game is awful, not a single character in the game sounds even remotely good. The soundtrack is generic and does not do a good job at getting you excited to fight.
After noticing the big issues with the game the smaller issues start to become apparent. Players control a fighter that has a southpaw stance by default. No options are available to switch this to an orthodox fighting stance nor does the game register the stance you are in through the Kinect peripheral. Another annoyance is the games need to finish your opponents block animation before you can attempt a new attack. When you throw a kick the opponent will sidestep the attack leaving him open to a hook or jab. But, you cannot throw your next attack until after the game resets your opponent back to his fighting stance.
Overall, Fighters Uncaged is not just a bad kinect game its a bad game in general. The lack of modes, terrible gesture recognition, no multiplayer and awful voice acting make this a game that should be skipped. Even though the Kinect only has a few titles that will appeal to the hardcore gamer this is one that even the most diehard fighting fans should pass on.
- Graphics are good
- 20 different arenas to fight in
- Horrible controls (fight gestures)
- Only 1 playable fighter and 12 opponents leave the game feeling repetitive fast
- Voice acting makes you want to play the game on mute
- No storyline to be had in the game (though it is in the manual)
- No multiplayer options (splitscreen or online)