Review

Fighter Within Review

  • Game release: November 19, 2013
  • Reviewed:
  • XONE

They made a sequel?

It's impossible to look cool playing Fighter Within. I'm not talking about a high standard of cool either, like the Fonz banging on a jukebox. No, while playing Fighters Within, you will look less cool than some pantless schlub who barely resembles a functional member of society. Frankly, any activity that involves flailing your arms and legs around like an apathetic Steven Seagal impersonator is going to draw some prolonged stares and titters (or in my case, howling laughter from supposedly supportive colleagues). This isn't a problem in of itself; after all, you can look just as foolish playing the likes of Just Dance. The problem is that the flailing is in service to an awful fighting game that lends no joy to your embarrassment.

Unlike in Fighter Within's predecessor, Fighters Uncaged, the motion tracking is not entirely hopeless this time around, even if its menu system is. I take a weedy swing at the screen, and my character punches; I do a little hop, and my character kicks; I hug thin air, and my character goes in for a throw. No, the greatest problem with Fighter Within isn't its ability to sense your simplistic moves, but the incomprehensible banality of the game itself. A great fighting game is about speed, depth, and maybe some outlandish moves and combos. But in Fighter Within, none of that exists, because of its physical dependence on the bags of meat attempting to play it.

A fun game would be a good start.

Character movement is limited to sluggish hops backwards and forwards as you awkwardly lean your body; there's only one type of kick; and combos are automated after you land five successive punches. Every drop of fun has been viciously squeezed out of the game, and the action is slowed down to a lifeless crawl. Some attempt has been made to add depth to the combat with counters and dodges and special moves charged by holding your arms up in the air. But these all fall prey to a lack of precision and a delayed response time, and the game soon devolves into a mess of flapping limbs.

Hugging it out doesn't make Fighter Within any better.

A Fighter Within match goes down as follows: pick from a list of dull or--in the case of the overweight, angry kilt-wearing Scottish guy--offensive stereotypes; choose one of the bland, barely there arenas; stand like a lemon in front of the TV for what seems like an eternity as you feel your life ebb away during the excruciatingly long loading times; punch at thin air as fast as humanly possible until you trigger a combo; watch the lifeless combo animation; repeat these steps until your opponent is defeated; quickly realise that you'll never get those 10 minutes of your life back; and question life choices.

You can rope some poor soul in for some local multiplayer this time around, which may let you stretch those 10 minutes out to 20. Any more than that, though, and you're pushing the boundaries of friendship, patience, and sanity more than most people are willing to. A fun party game Fighter Within is not.

Combos are barely a challenge to perform, and barely worth watching either.

If you're playing solo, then it's worth noting that you have to subject yourself to one of the most laughable storylines to have ever graced a video game. It's not just bad; it's really, really bad, and the sort of thing you'd hear in a poorly dubbed kung fu movie, only without any of the kitsch charm. It meanders from coming-of-age adventure to fantasy gibberish with little explanation, but it's the dialogue--delivered with all the enthusiasm of a wet sock--that really takes it to the next level of awful. In one exchange, a character exclaims "I've gotta run, someone's waiting for me." The reply? "Yeah, my knuckles!" Lines make so little sense that they swing right back from being bad to being so bad they're hilarious. Case in point: "The only freedom is the fight to conquer for freedom." I don't know how to begin trying to explain that one.

Yes, the motion tracking isn't as bad as in Fighters Uncaged, and yes, at least there's two-player combat this time. But that's pretty much like applying lipstick to an ugly pig. This is a totally flawed game that offers little more than a slow, barely competent combat system and a laughable storyline. And hey, if you're that desperate to experience Fighter Within, get a friend to repeatedly kick you in the shins. It's free, a nearly spot-on representation of the game, and far less painful.

The Good
N/A
The Bad
Slow, shallow combat
Painful dialogue
Bland characters and arenas
Excruciating loading times
Quickly devolves into the Kinect equivalent of button mashing
2
Terrible
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Mark completed the story mode of Fighter Within for this review, and took on some of his coworkers in two-player combat. He wishes both things had never happened to him.

Discussion

172 comments
guilionakyy
guilionakyy

There is absolutly no version of any body-move videogame where a couch-potato geek trying karate moves won´t look silly. Mostly because half of the VideoGame players can´t lift their legs above their waist and even trying will result in a concussion or, if he manage to repeat the movement 5 times, asma attack. Kinect or other move-based accessories are interfaces, just like controller. I see great potential, just untapped potential.

 

renerak
renerak

I think all of us came here just to see the game get bashed.

rickphoenixxx
rickphoenixxx

What does microsoft have for fans of their exclusive titles, but hate the god-awful kinect? Last gen I hated how Sony force fed you a Blu Ray Player at a higher console cost, but at least that has a practical purpose(more data for discs). I don't want to talk to my tv and wiggle my hips like a jackass, just wanna play good games....but Kinect ones are as low as they go.

Talldude80
Talldude80

I wonder if this game will be available at Gamestop (on clearance of course)?  It would be funny to rent this game or buy it dirt cheap.

juboner
juboner

I dont know about this review, I'm sure you have to get the feel of how the game responds and adjust to it. Some people have a hard time doing that.

ok just read some of it and it might suck but what I mentioned above is true alot of times.

SnuffDaddyNZ
SnuffDaddyNZ

It can't be THAT bad if you gave it a two out of ten

meatz666
meatz666

lol...

Your review was pretty funny... :D

Nathalmighty1
Nathalmighty1

Absolutely brilliant review! Well written Mark! I'm sorry you had to put yourself through actually playing this game to review it for the rest of us!

KanameGaming
KanameGaming

This proves why Kinect is a terrible piece of crap

thekey
thekey

LOL!!! This game is a joke! Another tacked on kinnect game.

tomservo51
tomservo51

Should we expect more games like this from future X1 exclusives?

Tiger_Ali
Tiger_Ali

They should use kinnect for things like Yugioh and Magic.  Making the cards come to life on screen.  I'd buy and xbone then...or at least try to win one at McDonalds.

kingnothing47
kingnothing47

At least it's an honest portrayal of the average gamers fighting ability

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

Gee and you wonder why gamers don't like Kinect. 

sakaixx
sakaixx

The game so bad even xbots can't defend it !

Taffy872
Taffy872

Nice review. I like the quotes you threw in there.

Jaxith
Jaxith

Hm... Maybe this is one of those games where you're supposed to 'use your imagination'.  Example...  Zombie mode.  Pretend you're a zombie and play the game.  Based on what I just read, I can't help but feel like you'd do about as well as you would otherwise, but with the added appeal of being able to pretend you're a zombie!

Vodoo
Vodoo

WHY would they make a sequel to this hot mess? I guess the original sold well to the uninformed masses and they're hoping this will too.

Sundberg_man
Sundberg_man

Weeeeeeeeell.....that was kinda expected lol.

Hurvl
Hurvl

"Quickly devolves into the Kinect equivalent of button mashing" Would that mean frantic flailing limbs, lol?

Zac Reguerra
Zac Reguerra

"Gaming should be about games, not about controllers. controllers as they stand are a perfectly adequate conduit for connecting man to machine by way of thumbs. Delude yourself all you like with videos of happy families in pastel-coloured shirts spending quality time with bouncy castle simulators, but in the long term people want to play games the same way they want to read books or watch TV: slouched on the settee with a big bag of Maltesers. How on Earth do you think forcing them to do a sit-up every now and again is going to revolutionize entertainment?" -Yahtzee

Ortiz Dear
Ortiz Dear

I was thinking the same thing too

Trevor Merrill
Trevor Merrill

Every game needs a real controller and not Kinect. Kinect is just for verbally abusive pretentious doushebags.

Chris Dye
Chris Dye

i love my xbox one. i love my pc and i will probably love the ps4 when i get it. True gamers play because they like it. Not bitch about another console being inferior. You can go back to your mom's basement know Justin and masterbate in the dark

Chris Dye
Chris Dye

he is just mad that he did not have the money to buy a next gen console. Michael's mommy has not given him his allowance yet.

Jordan Davies
Jordan Davies

How old are you mate? grow up, everyone has there own preference to console, there is no such things as "xboxers" or playstaioners" or "Pc Elitist" (okay maybe the last one) we all universally gamers, if you want to rant about how your superior because you own a PS4, go on the PlayStation page and bitch with all the other children bitching about another console

Paul Barnett
Paul Barnett

The first one was shite so it's no surprise the sequel is too! At least it's not down to Kinect though, just a very poor game!

game_overdose54
game_overdose54

"They made a sequel?" Yup, review over.


That shit should be on the back of the box. Mark is fastly becoming my favorite critic on Gamespot right now.

Thomas Harrison
Thomas Harrison

Steve Daley I thought the relatively recent mortal kombat reboot was done very well. Quite a solid game.

blaze_boy30
blaze_boy30

They're gonna have to release the next Dance Central before XBONE Kinect is relevant to me.

Undertow207
Undertow207

I think I'd rather finger fight with my right and left hands in a dark room, than play this piece of hot garbage.

jinzo9988
jinzo9988

Who didn't see this coming the moment they announced a sequel to Fighters Uncaged?  I don't know why shit like this exists.  I'm sure the devs knew it was complete crap throughout the whole development cycle.  The only people that could possibly believe that this game would be anything but complete fecal matter would be suits and ties that know absolutely nothing about games.

Nobody who knows enough about games and game mechanics could possibly think that a fighting game would -ever- work on a motion tracking device.  It simply cannot be done.  It's impossible to convince me that someone that actually knows video games over at Ubisoft would think that Fighters Uncaged would be a good endeavor to repeat.  I don't know how they even green-lighted the first one without knowing that it simply wouldn't work.

RobDev
RobDev

they should stop using the kinect for any games. Work on it's non gaming capabilities. "playing" football or "fighting" where your actual physical movements do not translate exactly onto the screen is no better than using a controller and buttons. If they created a game where your actual physical movements translated exactly on the screen no one would play the game because if you were any good at football or MA you would be doing them in real life instead of in front of a screen.

RobDev
RobDev

but, but the kinect is the revolution, it's the future. YOU ARE THE CONTROLLER. etc, etc

Banyek
Banyek

Thats definately not a good start for the kinect.... 

hadlee73
hadlee73

I don't know why they didn't just cancel this. People already knew this was going to be awful months ago.

guilionakyy
guilionakyy

@rickphoenixxx Playing TitanFall right now... it´s more than awesome(No Kinect capability). And is exclusive. Playing BF4 and saying out loud "Need Ammo!" and the Support Players next to me receive messege that I need Ammo. Feels pretty great for exclusive kinectic content. Just because you wanna play games like your dad did( which I respect btw) doesn´t mean it´s bad. Maybe just not for you.

Karjah
Karjah

@tomservo51 at least from the kinect ones yes.  Oh and don't think your going to get any use at all out of kinect if you have an uncommon or heavy accent for at least a few months if not years. 


Just playing around with the voice centeric interface at a friends place for 5 minutes was enough for me to know I'm never buying this piece of crap.  It got my voice commands right maybe 1/4 of the time and the whole thing is designed for voice. 

Kinect is just a shitty shitty stupid idea. 

guilionakyy
guilionakyy

If everybody though like that, the PC Mouse would never been invented. Let alone the controller you now love so much.

guilionakyy
guilionakyy

First PC Mouse was a trackball. Kinect is just an interface. It´s bound to be used well in some games (Just Dance and voice commands on BF4, really like this one, for example) and bad used (Dead Rising 3 and this game reviewed)

Vodoo
Vodoo

@blaze_boy30 The new Kinect is better for system UI than it is for actual gaming. It makes controlling and operating the system pretty slick for when you don't have the controller in your hand or your hands are full.

dogbert784
dogbert784

@jinzo9988 Microsoft paid for a Kinect game. And Ubisoft gave them one. It's MS's fault for pushing a peripheral on Developers. At least every PS4 has the Playroom install so if you choose to buy the PS4 camera you can try it out for yourself. 

MigGui
MigGui

@jinzo9988 actually, I can see the point of trying to make this. I think everyone as a kid played pretend street fighter with their friends, and thought "hey, wouldn't it be nice to play a game where I make the motion of hadouken and the character on the tv executes the move?"

it would never be directed to professional players, but to these grown up kids. it would never be as smooth and fast as a controller-based fighter, but it would be fun and have a market.

the thing is, this game is not that, it's not fun nor remarkable, it doesn't feature characters whose shoes you would want to fill and for that it crashes and burns...

Fighter Within More Info

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  • First Released
    • Xbox One
    Fighter Within is a realistic fighting simulator that lets players choose between a wide array of fighters, each with their own distinct fighting style and signature attacks.
    3.5
    Average User RatingOut of 14 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate Fighter Within
    Developed by:
    Ubisoft
    Published by:
    Ubisoft
    Genres:
    Sports
    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
    Teen
    All Platforms
    Blood, Mild Language, Violence