When I stood up to review Fighters Uncaged I knew what I was getting into, I had heard the rumours about how the game is a bit repetitive, had a huge training routine and was also not very good at capturing your movement.
Generally I don’t like knowing this sort of thing about a game before a review but in this case I thought it could help me out. I will ignore the training routine as much as possible and make sure that my movements were slow, deliberate and over the top to ensure the correct motions were captured.
So I stuck the game into the Xbox and loaded it up, the game starts as expected where I need to create my player and setup his stats. I never enjoy this part of games but the way the Fighters Uncaged setup works is not that bad, you select a basic person, choose your name from a predetermined list and then setup your country and town (again from a predetermined list) and then setup a bunch of fighting styles and that sort of thing.
The lists were reasonably well put together and I could set myself up to be from Johannesburg, South Africa without any problem. If you live anywhere else though you may run into an issue as it seems South Africa consists of Johannesburg and Cape Town and that’s it.
Then it was off to the training dojo for me where I was instructed to throw some right jabs, then left jabs, then right hooks, then left hooks, then right upper cut, then left upper cut.. no not sliding kick, left upper cut. Then we can move onto knees, legs, legs, (bored) legs, knees, blocking, (really bored) leg blocking, duck, avoid, swerve… and on and on and on.
It’s not only the fact that the training goes on for an eternity but also that the game only picked up my movements about 80% of the time. I stopped and checked my lighting, distance and space but all seemed to be 100% so back into the training mode I go.
I found a skip button but that only sped things up a little but thankfully it registered me hitting that 100% of the time.
Finally the training was over and I could get into a fight, I was entered into League 3 to fight against a slew of different rough looking characters.
I picked the stupidest looking one I could as by this time I had a whole lot of anger to unleash against my virtual foe. After some smack talk the fight starts and I use a bit of common sense and start off by jabbing directly in front to keep him at bay. However the game didn’t seem to think that was a good tactic and rather went for a massive right hook followed up by a flying roundhouse kick.
Awesome I felt like Chuck Norris… except that I missed and was now being pummelled by moron man. I lifted my arms to block but rather than blocking virtual me decided this was the correct movement for unleashing a savage knee into my enemies midsection which stunned him. After which I just started kicking using both feet until the man was down and I was crowned eternal ruler of the docks, well actually I wasn’t crowned anything but I felt more manly than I had before I started.
So we go to final scores and I scored something like 4000 points which wasn’t that shabby. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to earn any crowns but I can live without crowns.
So back to the fighter selection screen we go and the first thing I notice is that the same enemy I just beat is available to fight again and then I notice at the top that I need 320 crowns to move to the next league. Yet I didn’t get any on the previous round?
I pick a new sack of meat to fight against and this time I use the age old fighting technique of flinging my arms and legs around like an idiot, this proved to be very effective with me taking the guy down in about half the time. This round I scored about 8000 points which resulted in me getting around 4 (or 10 or something) crowns.
Back to the fighter selection screen I went and again the same guy is still available to fight. I do a quick count of the amount of fighters I can still fight on level 3 and with some basic arithmetic I figure out that I need to fight every single one of them more than once to progress to the next round. More than 2 or 3 times if they actually fight back and I don’t get enough crowns.
It’s at this exact point that my spirits were completely dashed, it wasn’t that I wasn’t having fun, granted the game doesn’t work and barely tracks the right body movements 50% of the time in the real game, but instead of it becoming a guilty pleasure it’s going to be a grind fest of epic proportions.
It was at this point the wife arrived home to giggle at me sweating like a mad man and flailing around in the lounge, which obviously meant it was her turn to try this. Utilising the casual gamers secret ability of blind luck and mad flailing she managed to score more points than I did against anyone and received a bunch of crowns… or something.
I asked her for a casual gamers wrap up of the title and it went something like this
“It’s crap, it doesn’t do what I tell it to do”
And I couldn’t wrap it up better than that.
It simply doesn’t work, no matter how I tried I couldn’t get it to actually perform the moves I was telling it to.
I thought it looked pretty good and the enemies looked like your typical a-holes from any dodgy pub you have ever walked into.
The voice acting isn’t good, the sound effects weren’t realistic but nothing was ever bad enough for me to hate it so I would say passable.
The game has a seriously long campaign but it’s merely a grind fest so I don’t see much value in that. It was however the best workout I have had for years so that counts for something I guess.
If I was scoring the games ability to work it would be getting a 1/10, it simply doesn’t work. But the game forces you to endure a solid workout and if you’re not into fitness games but need to lose some kilo’s then this may be the game for you. However if you’re not trying to lose weight then this game simply doesn’t have any real redeeming qualities.
Oh and somehow they forgot that 99.9% of people like fighting against their friends in fighting games, Fighters Uncaged is a single player only title.[Ed: Fitting that the title’s abbreviated to “F.U,” because that’s what the game says whenever you expect it to do a move]
Last Updated: December 14, 2010