Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: The Fight

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Rating: 4.3/5 (6 votes cast)

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            Coming as one of the PlayStation Move’s most high-profile titles, The Fight has a lot of eyes upon it. Heralded as a sign of the PlayStation 3 being able to offer mature gamers what the Wii has not, The Fight has great expectations to live-up to – far more so than the initial batch of launch titles, Sports Champions et al. However, while based on a concept that is seemingly so simple, the fighting mechanic has thus far proved near-impossible to deliver effectively with current-generation technology.

            The Fight starts particularly well in that mature frame, with a particularly aggressive Danny Trejo (Machete, From Dusk Till Dawn) taking the form of the player’s mentor, leading the next thirty minutes worth of tutorials with entertaining video sequences in which he speaks directly to the camera. The single-playerElectronic Theatre Image game is designed around the idea that the player is the fighter, taking their custom creation into arenas and plotting a path for themselves through the world of underground brawls, and so Trejo’s sneeringly warm-hearted introduction is undoubtedly fitting, and welcome.

            Upon learning the basics and creating their customised fighter, the player is given a number of different gameplay modes to partake in, all benefiting their virtual The Fight persona in some way. Training will offer additional stat points, allowing you to increase strength, defence, endurance, technique and more, while the multiplayer modes not only allow you to bet on the outcome of your own matches, but also any currently taking place online. A fitness report, informing you of the amount of calories burned both today and over the lifespan of your career, accompanies these options, in addition to the fighting events themselves of course.

            A pyramid system is used through the Event mode, one for each of the venues in turn containing one of each fight within. Each fight has a special victory condition allowing for greater rewards; victory conditions can vary from winning within a set time to taking very little damage, to refraining from fighting dirty, with the rewards generally being money and new clothing items. Unfortunately, the fights in The Fight fall foul to the exact same flaws of every other fightingElectronic Theatre Image game using motion controls. Suggested to surpass the depth of the boxing in Wii Sports, The Fight is often presents fumbling where sharp blows should exist, heavy thumps where light jabs were the intent. Though it may be a more complex game than Wii Sports’ boxing, it’s certainly a less precise one because of it.

            The visual effect of The Fight is far more successful than the actual gameplay, which though appealing to adults is likely to fall short of expectations. The fighters however, clearly demonstrate the differences in approach between Wii and PlayStation 3, with realistic, threatening character models spitting blood and laying heavy blows against heavy bodies. With The Fight, if Wii is The Calcium Kid, PlayStation 3 is Raging Bull.

            While the form and structure of The Fight simply cannot be faulted, a game just doesn’t come from behind with enough accuracy to support it. Simply feeling that it’s overstretched itself in terms of available technology, The Fight comes-off as a distinct case of style-over-substance, and given it’s target demographic undoubtedly being that of twenty-something males looking to expand their PlayStation 3 catalogue as opposed to buying a Wii, there will be few who won’t be disappointed with the outcome. Ultimately, The Fight walks the walk, but it just doesn’t have the strength to talk the talk.

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