Let’s take a look at Ubisoft’s “Fighter Within”, one of the handful of releases currently available on XBOX One.
First I’ll talk about the good. If you’re an MMA or kickboxing practitioner or enthusiast, you will likely appreciate this game more than someone who is not. Also, if you’re the type of gamer who does no physical exercise, you probably won’t like this game.
However, if you’re a parent who has a fat kid who does nothing but play games, this would be a good investment to try and get them active. Because trust me, you will be very active playing this game. In fact, you will likely work up a sweat. I know I did.
The game relies solely on the XBOX One Kinect to monitor your combinations of punches and kicks as you battle a variety of opponents with their own specialized look and fighting style.
Fighter Within is not unlike traditional fighting games in that it’s you versus another opponent, either a real opponent via local multiplayer or a CPU opponent. Initiation mode will take you step-by-step through all the different attacks that are available. There is a Duel mode where you can pick your opponent and an Arcade mode that lets you battle successive opponents.
You can use straight punches, hooks, uppercuts, a variety of kicks, takedowns, chi-summoning power moves, finishing moves, blocks and more. You can also use a few objects in the environment as well, such as if you are near a pole you can swing on it and kick your opponent. There is no grappling to speak of.
It’s fun in so much that if you are competitive or have that “fighter within”, you don’t want to lose and it’s fun to see how far your can progress in the game. In Arcade mode, you can adjust the settings so your opponents progressively get harder — or not, it’s your choice, but where’s the fun in having all your opponents the same?
Now the bad. As you might expect, the controls aren’t perfect. Sometimes you just can’t seem to pull off the move you want. More often than not Kinect will recognize the move you want to use, but not always, and that can be very frustrating. You can also find yourself throwing a lot more strikes than the game picks up on and that can get tiring.
While the gameplay graphics are pretty nice, the in-between cut scenes such as in Initiation mode are non-animated and look cheap-ish. Honestly, those are my only real critiques with Fighter Within.
I enjoyed the game and will definitely be playing it some more. As the first Kinect-powered fighting game on XBOX One, it’s pretty good. Not great. But you’ll have some fun if you’re into the combative arts.
The best thing I like about Fighter Within is that it keeps you active and if you want a fun way to burn some calories, this game fits the bill.
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