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Fighters Uncaged Review

by on 11/15/2010

The first third party Kinect fighting game has been made for launch by Ubisoft. It is clearly made for launch as a hardware demo to show off what the Kinect is capable of. Fighters Uncaged for example isn’t anything special but it will offer a workout and make you feel like a fighter to an extent.

First thing first the game is not an in-depth experience. It is almost arcade like a first person Marvel vs Capcom if you will. The fighter to win two rounds wins the fight. With roughly 10 fighters, they all sort-of fight differently but not drastically.  You are then set to fight these fighters to earn crowns that advance you to the next league. To get crowns though you get a score for your performance which is the average health you finished the fights with and average time remaining.  This score must be higher than 6000 to earn crowns then whatever score you obtained must be beat again if you choose to fight this fighter again for crowns.

This gives the illusion of depth by forcing you to fight players more than once trying to get more points so you can obtain enough crowns. For me personally I feel that I am here to bring this opponent to the ground and I should be rewarded. Usually that’s how fighting games go I do not want to try and find a killer strategy to get the most points, I just want to murder this guys face in.

That is the only game mode offered. So before you jump into it I suggest doing all the fighting lessons. Now I hate tutorials and to be honest I did it first under the assumption I may get an achievement for doing all of the lessons. The lessons were very  helpful though and can help you in the long run.

Now for the actual gameplay, it is disappointing for a fighting game that tracks your motion. Now my theory here isn’t anything tested or scientific but I feel that instead of this game tracking your arm and leg motion it would capture the type of movement you were doing and then do that type of movement. Not your exact movement like where you’re aiming or the way you threw the punch but rather it treated you like a controller and when you swung your left arm it was as if you hit the A button and it threw a left punch.  Instead you’ll find your self flailing and hoping of pulling off the correct movements to trigger the related move in game.
For the rest of the gameplay though I found it most beneficial to counter the entire time. They guide you when you should dodge or block so this made countering easy and effective. I was able to take out most opponents with ease with my technique.

The gameplay wasn’t completely terrible though I mean it allowed you to do MMA style fighting maneuvers like arcing your leg forward low will do the side kicks and you could throw knees and elbows. I’m not even a UFC fan and I felt a little rush when I brought my knee up into a sternum. That got me thinking though that if a developer would take the time and effort to make an MMA game even if it would take two or more years and put the effort into it as if it was a Halo or Gears of War instead of a sports title I think it would be an amazing success. To be able to really brawl in a cage and even online could really revolutionize Xbox Live gaming.

Also worth noting is that there is no online modes for this title. I know Xbox Live and 1 on 1 fighting seem to go hand in hand but I don’t think the gameplay would have worked out. So if you are looking for a fighting game I suggest picking up Kinect Sports because although boxing isn’t really accurate in my opinion everything else is great on there plus you could play multiple sports online.  Not to mention Microsoft and Rare just created a Facebook app that tracks your stats from the game and ranks you in leagues depending on difficulty.

Now this is a touchy subject because the graphics aren’t terrible and I don’t know if it is because I am used to the Wii’s graphics always being bad or what but the graphics are a little less than a game like Call of Duty. Nothing glaringly bad or beautiful to look at.

Funny thing I noticed though was that they gave you different landscapes to fight opponents on. They just placed you and the opposing fighter on rooftops, alleys, etc. Unfortunately they made it extremely obvious that it was piece of concept art (beautifully made though) that didn’t move. So you and whoever you fought were in front of a green screen fighting it out.

The sound is what you would expect of a fighting game. A lot of bass in the music and beats that make over aggressive tough guys start bar fights. It is bearable though and isn’t distracting.

Unfortunately though I have never seen voice acting worse than this game. I mean there is no story but they sprung for voice acting and dialogue. Every fight starts with your “unique” opponent saying something to you and then you fight then if you win you say something “badass” and if he wins  he says something “funny” or “mean”.

Some infuriating gems that I found:

“I don’t discriminate I beat everybody”

“Just like your reputation you are shredded”

“You know how I got my name? I will show you!”, from a character named Jawbreaker

“This one…was for my father”,said by your character and finished with you pounding your chest with your fist.

The only reason these phrases infuriated me was because these didn’t sound like they were meant to be corny. The actors sounded serious like these were their lines and they were ready to put so much emotion into the character that this would sky rocket them into Hollywood.

I managed to tear through this game in 6 hours or so and it only took me that long because I had to re fight some people because I was 6 crowns short and I had to beat an already high high-score I achieved.

The only replay value is to beat everyone of these players 20 times to earn achievements and gain standing on the leaderboards.

Of all the Kinect launch titles Fighters Uncaged seemed to be one with the most appealing to older gamers.  However the game fell very short.  The controls are pretty much a train wreck for most of the game, and the game just seems rushed and unfinished.  This is one Kinect launch titles you’ll want to wait to pick up in the dollar use game bin.

A copy of Fighters Uncaged for the Xbox 360 was provided to us for this review from Ubisoft.

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  • Pete
    11/23/2010 at 4:17 am

    The games fighting recognition was horrible. Got frustrated after 10 min but hung in there just to give it a try. After an hour I was ready to throw it though the window. Luckly I rented it and returned it right away. I have both Kinect and Move. Fight Lights Out on move was Sooooo much more responsive and actually really fun, I kept that one.

  • 09/17/2011 at 7:41 pm

    This is pathetic how many negative reviews there are for Fighters Uncaged. People fail to realize that it is a GAME. The movements you make with your arms are designed to simulate real fighting moves, such as spinning kicks and jump kicks. You can even kneel down, hook up, etc. You have to play it like a GAME using your body like a controller, respond to the game, don’t expect it to respond to you. 
    Second, everyone complains you can’t do two player. How on earth can you make room for two people to swing their arms and legs around on that tiny sensor? Maybe xbox live would work.About the graphics and music, who cares!? The music is original, not some hasbeen rap song we’re all tired of or hate. The people are just stereotypical thugs because if they weren’t, the players wouldn’t understand who they are. For crying out loud why would there be a man in a suit fighting random thugs on the street?! Thank God this game isn’t cartoony and jokey, we’re trying to fight tough guys here! They’re similar because it’s a role play, you’re PRETENDING to be a street thug. At least there’s racial diversity.This reviewer didn’t even get the quotations right. They have sayings, and only one, I’m assuming, because the fights simulate the same fight we do over and over but better and better in the same location. It’s not like we are fighting them a zillion times in the same time of day. And even if we were, are they supposed to say different things every time? Or nothing every time? Yeah that’s less awkward. It’s one fight that we kind of do over and over to beat the previous time, that’s why we have to beat our score to move up, again it’s a freaking GAME, if you want to count your wins there’s an accomplishment for that.On to the strengths of this game as other reviewers have left it out, you are fighting a realistic looking thug in a realistic setting with realistic sound effects, there are other realistic implications for fighting a real person. The tutorial didn’t only tell you how to punch, it told you when and where. For example, when the opponent strikes with his right arm, you dodge back. Now his right side is extended, so you counterstrike with the right or hook with the left. When they’re about to kick, it shows you how to defend: lift that side’s knee, then counterstrike with that leg while the opponent’s leg is extended. Genius! Many guys like my boyfriend just strike nonstop like the opponent is a defenseless punching bag. This wastes time on the game, and the player’s energy. No, there are strategies to the game, and you have to learn them from the tutorial. It’s not just some menial task for children, as some reviewers said.For the real weaknesses in the game, it’s very difficult to move up. We have been trying for weeks, and have won many times, but not any quicker than the time before. It takes a lot of energy, so we can’t play it right after eating, right before class/work, or even play it for many hours a day like we can play with a controller. But this is good for exercise and practicing some martial arts moves (without a forceful punching bag nonetheless). I know, tl;dr but the bottom line is: this game is AWESOME. Reviewers are just copying each other’s words to sound like they know games. The truth is there’s no game like it available, so this is a definite buy if you like fighting. You will learn useful combinations, moves, and counterstrikes!

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