Fight Club is one of the most generic, uninspired fighting games out there, with absolutely no notable features.

User Rating: 3 | Fight Club XBOX
Some movies should never be turned into video games. Some movies, however, lend themselves perfectly to video games. Enter Fight Club, a movie about random guys fighting each other, just for the hell of it. Sure, it had a deep story, surprise ending, and a moral, but it still involved people fighting each other. You could go two ways with this one. You could guide the player through the basic plot of the movie, and sprinkle in various fights, or you could throw in a character creation system, and have the player rise through the ranks of Fight Club, developing the fighter all the while, and eventually reach the top. This game decided to do both. Unfortunately, it didn't get either of them right.

Like most games, Fight Club has its own story mode, and it's terrible. The storyline puts you in the shoes of a generic loser who has found a purpose through Fight Club, and it follows your quest to meet Tyler and be a part of something. You start by choosing to be a Brawler, a Grappler, or a Martial Artist...and that's it. That is the extent of the character creation system. After that, you're on your way. However, it's no cakewalk, as various foes will be there to test your ability and dedication. You'll encounter such fierce enemies as Mechanic, Club Leader, and Chemical Guy (these are their actual names).

The story is told through some of the most embarrassingly awful cutscenes of all time. These "cutscenes" are composed of various still-frames plopped under an audio track of voice-overs and random fighting sound effects. Not only are they completely ludicrous, but these still-frames have a tendency to capture some of the most ridiculous facial expressions that will truly put your laugh-suppressing skills to the test. The actors do a respectable job delivering their lines, and the sound effects are appropriately placed, but it just looks so very stupid.

Once you get to the actual combat, you'll find that it's nothing more than mashing various face buttons until somebody taps out, runs out of health, or executes one of two finishing moves. Finishing moves are pretty interesting, and involve breaking your opponent's bones in a specific place. It's certainly cool the first times you see them, but they are so understated, and they become repetitive much too quickly to hold your interest for long. So, once you defeat your opponent, you get to watch another awful cutscene, and then it's on to the next fight.

As I ran through the story mode, I ran into a little snag when I had to fight Chemical Guy (again, that's his actual name). Once I beat him, I found out that I failed the mission, since I was supposed to break the guy's arm. So, I tried again, this time using a finishing move, and I failed, because I broke the wrong bone. I used the second finishing move, and again, broke the wrong bone. It wasn't until later that I learned that there are actually four finishing moves. The instruction manual makes no mention of "Custom 3" or "Custom 4," nor does the game, so if you get stuck on this level, you're left to patrolling the forums.

After more tortuous cutscenes and boring fights, you finally get to face "Jack" (I did not add those quotes), and after that, you get to watch the ending cutscene. Surprisingly, the ending is an actual cutscene, and it's not bad, either, since it's basically the ending from the movie. Of course, since the movie's ending didn't include the guy you've been controlling the entire time, he's nowhere to be found in the game's ending either, making all of your efforts completely and utterly worthless. You know, I think I would have preferred fighting eight random guys for no reason, and then watching the ending. At least then I wouldn't have had to watch those annoying still-frame sessions.

There are other modes to Fight Club, such as Arcade and Survival. There's also a Member Services option, which lets you create your very own character, and it's here that the game's intricate and complex character creation system is finally revealed. You get to choose between three exciting body types, (the same) three action-packed fighting styles, three intense skin colors, four awe-inspiring hair colors, and get this, four extreme pants colors, and then you get to type in a name! Who could ask for more? Then, you get to spend CDPs (money) on Strength, Endurance, Speed, and Technique (which unlocks more useless combos that you'll never use). You would think that choosing a different fighting style would change your character's base stats, but you would be wrong, as I was.

After that, you take your new character into the ring only to find out that he is completely worthless. The other characters are far too overpowered for you to compete with at your level, and since you have to win in order to earn CDPs, you're screwed. The only practical way for you to raise your character to a decent level would be to make a second character, and destroy him until you're good enough to fight the big boys. It may sound like cheating, but it's really the only way to get anywhere in this game. Now why, exactly, you would want to get anywhere in this game, other than morbid curiosity, is beyond me, and even that will only get you so far.

The fights themselves are full of animation glitches and other graphical oddities. For starters, the fighting stances are horrible. The brawler looks like some wannabe boxer, but it's not terribly offensive. The grappler looks like he wants a hug, and for some reason, his pinky occasionally curves outward, sort of like a banana peel. I don't understand it at all, and I've never seen anything like it. The worst, by far, is the martial artist, who chooses to bounce in place, with closed fists, and his thumbs and pinkies extended. I don't know what type of martial arts this guy studies, and I don't think I want to know.

While you're fighting, you have to listen to generic techno tracks that add absolutely no intensity to the battle, and when the fight is over, the victor will taunt his opponent, before walking away. The only problem is that there are no voice-overs for the taunts. You literally see your guy shake his arm, and fiercely move his lips in complete silence (except for the techno). Just to add one more to the list, in the flooded basement level, when you knock a guy to the ground, there are no splash effects.

Fight Club is one of the most generic, uninspired fighting games out there, with absolutely no notable features. The fights are boring, whatever story the game tried to create is completely butchered, the hit detection is basically broken, and there is really no reason to play it. You get to watch a decent ending (that you're probably already familiar with), and you can eventually unlock Abraham Lincoln, but the suffering you must endure from fight after fight is just not worth it. It's hard to expect much from licensed games, but it's at least reasonable to expect more than this mess.