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.