Fighters Uncaged Review
It’s a world of amazement when such a simple idea – fighting game with motion controls – goes awfully wrong. Fighters Uncaged could have been an excellent Kinect starting point for mature gamers, especially in the demographic of men who want to relive their Fight Club fantasies. There’s a bunch of dreams that Fighters Uncaged could have brought to life, but it doesn’t’ even come close to touching a single one of them.
Let it be no mistake: Fighters Uncaged is the worst use of the Kinect technology thus far. Upon starting the title, players are subject to a tutorial that takes an eternity to complete. Long tutorials that are drawn out often scare away gamers who have little to no patience in today’s landscape of “give me it now” attitude. It’s during the tutorial that the pillars of this title come crumbling down. When tracking and recognition of the player are abysmal in the first hour of the game – against a defenseless opponent nonetheless – it’s quickly apparent that players are in for one nightmare of a game.
More often than not, the game refuses to understand the difference between a hook and an uppercut. If players aren’t battling with performing accurate punches, they’ll be throwing sweeps that end up turning into roundhouse kicks. Even a basic knee thrust can often translate into a roundhouse kick. It would be all good and fun if a roundhouse kick didn’t often leave the player defenseless to the opposition who is capable of blocking anything and everything if the player isn’t mixing up the attacks.
As with most of the Kinect titles, Fighters Uncaged has a lag of recognition of movements. In comparison to the rest of the motion-controlled titles, Fighters Uncaged’s lag is the easiest to notice; even worse than Sega’s disappointment, Sonic Free Riders. There’s nothing more frustrating than throwing a 1-2-3 combination to only have the first punch performed recognized and played out seconds later.
Even with the technological setbacks, the developers had a chance to at least create a single-player campaign that was worth the hassle of fighting with the controls. Players are thrust into a role of a player who isn’t properly introduced. His motivations for fighting aren’t mentioned in the introduction, but even so, he’s off to infiltrating the underground fighting scene to win a tournament. Before the player knows it, they are fighting to rescue the player’s father that is never told or described through any sort of narrative.
The campaign has players digging deep into racial and social stereotypes as they fight a selection of six fighters and move onto the next set. Each fighter, from funny-named competitors such as Angel Face and One Jab to even stranger opponents including Kawharu, doesn’t offer much background on their reasoning to fight beyond the thrill of fighting. But let it be known, every fight is a challenge due to the unresponsive controls and their uncanny ability to block every maneuver.
The presentation, graphics and audio all fall flat too. The graphics, at times, can be a good-looking sight, but they unravel to be nothing more than plastic looking. Dialogue and music is beyond bad with terrible one-liners that only advocate the use of medication for forthcoming headaches and migraines. And as for the presentation, outside of the start of the title that requires the player to punch the screen to get to the start menu, it’s sorely lacking; clunky menus and droning loading screens plague the entire experience. Also, it's worth noting that no multiplayer is included.
The best aspect of Fighters Uncaged is that it can now be used as a blueprint for a book on “How Not to Create a Kinect Game”. Avoid Fighter’s Uncaged; it’ll only aggravate and show you the downsides of motion-controlled video games.