|System: Xbox One|
|Release: November 22, 2013|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood, Mild Language, Violence|
Yet Ubisoft basically kicks all these neat graphical advancements to the curb in story mode. They literally have one of the coolest-looking fighters on the market, and the whole story is told through still images on fuzzy backgrounds that actually obscure the cool graphics that the game has to offer! Not only that, but the poses that the characters take in these still images are either corny and overdone or just plain weird. It feels like you were punted straight into the uncanny valley without a parachute, and the horrendous voice acting doesn’t help.
Of course, we all know that story mode is just an afterthought in fighting games. It all comes down to the versus play--except no one wants to play this game. The control issues, once again, cause people to lose interest after a few matches. When you don’t feel like you are actively taking action to win a match, you just can’t be invested in the match’s outcome.
The fact that most characters have the exact same move-list also doesn’t help. It makes sense from a control perspective, but it makes character choice moot. You aren’t playing the matchup. You are just trying to flail harder than the other guy, and that’s not compelling at all.
Speaking of flailing, if you want to play this in versus mode, make sure you have a lot of space because the game actually requires you to punch and kick and flail. It’s very easy to accidentally hit your friend in a versus match. Getting a wicked bruise on your arm or a sprained ankle all because you tried to play this game with friends just adds insult to injury.
There just isn’t anything fun about Fighter Within. The story is bad, the controls are bad, the characters are uninteresting, and if you aren’t using a controller, it’s nearly impossible to even navigate the Kinect-controlled menus. Ubisoft has done so much better with so many other franchises, but Fighter Within is flawed right down to its very concept. Motion-control fighting games simply don’t work, period. I’m a big fan of fighters, and while it was obvious that Fighter Within was never going to be the next big, hardcore title on the EVO tournament floor, I wouldn’t even suggest it to casual fans. Go play Smash Brothers or something-- anything is better than this flail fest. The only thing you will get out of Fighter Within is a pair of sore arms and a bunch of disappointment.
Angelo M. D’Argenio
Date: November 26, 2013