The Fight: Lights Out - Review

   11/11/2010 at 13:36       Phil May       4 COMMENTS. - Score 1/5
 - The Fight: Lights Out, Playstation 3, Coldwood Interactive, Move Controller, Smell the glove

I'm sorry, I just cannot stop laughing. No, not because I find gross abhorrent violence particularly funny, but because I still cannot shake the image of a grizzled hispanic dirty-fighting master clutching two Move controllers in his hand, punching ineffectively at thin air in order to turn you from a weasly stack of flab into an urban fighting legend.

The Fight: Lights Out was developed by Coldwood Interactive, previously more famous for skiing and snowboarding games and a nice polite bunch of Swedish lads who are the very last types you'd expect to be wrapped up in a game that aims to make Fight Club look like an ugly incident in a school playground with lots of pushing and shoving.

Dark and bloodstained from the outset, The Fight: Lights Out is the antithesis of the more sedate and gentlemanly pursuit of boxing you might encounter in a game like Fight Night 4, or even the theatrical histrionics of the likes of THQ's WWF or EA's MMA titles. This is the sort of grubby and nasty fighting you'll probably see on any number of CCTV TV shows demonstrating how the country's going to the dogs and all anyone ever does on a friday and saturday night is get pissed up on booze then go out looking for someone to smack in the gob.

But back to the top of the review and the cut scene that gave me such a belly laugh. The game kicks off by asking you what your preferred control method is. For those of you who've only picked up one Move controller, the game's a bit of a write off. You can use a PS3 Sixaxis Controller as your "left", and end up being snarled at by Senor Grubbydrawers as he takes you through the rest of your training punch by punch. This method is like lying on your arm all night then waking up to try and switch the light on (or perform a natural bodily function) with your left, so it quickly became apparent that a dual Move setup was in order.

With two Move wands, things get a lot better but you still won't be able to stop yourself from hooting like a drain as the instructor puts on his best "I'm going to double-date your widows!" face, before ineffectually punching the air holding a couple of glowing lollipops.

Training shows you how to cower in fear, how to punch like a lamb, then how to dodge incoming punches. From there you're cast out into the harsh cruel world of street fighting, and your first few brawls.

And brawls is what they are. If you like games that make you feel like you've been put through a steak tenderiser, The Fight: Lights Out will be right up your dirty grey alleyway. Even getting through the training can burn off 20 calories or so (and make you sweat like a pig). Working your way through the first tier of fighters is a marathon task that should rightly be accompanied by the Rocky theme, not some pissy weak rawk music.

Pound for pound though, what happens on screen with your avatar (which you can lovingly craft yourself in the game's character editor - but will only ever make a fighter with a face that only a mother could love) is driven by your real-life movements up to a point, but you need space for this game - in fact you need enough space to be able to properly outstretch both arms and still be in camera view. Otherwise the game is like one of those nightmares where you're a kid again, facing off against the school bully and every single punch you throw feels like you're punching while drowning in treacle with feathers for fists while your opponent pummels you into the ground like a tent peg.

To add insult to injury (pun intended) the game goes through that "arms outstretched, tuck 'em under your chin" calibration stuff between each and every bout or training session. And once again in a slightly worrying trend, the game also requires a fairly lengthy data install before you're up and running. I seriously thought all that stuff went the way of the dodo in the PS3's latest batch of titles but it seems not.

Giving the game a proper and more serious go, after a while the fighting system does start to click in but by that time you're facing off against fighters who are like robotic punching machines, as the all-too-steep difficulty curve bites down like Mike Tyson enjoying a breakfast bowl of Earios.

There's no fine strategic flow to the fighting, there's no margin for fancy footwork (the game breaks if you move around too much on your feet), and there's not even a way to duck. So you're forced to get close to your sweating pig-ugly opponent and just duke it out as best you can.

The Fight: Lights Out had masses of promise but it's one of the weakest first brace of Move-enabled games, and unfortunately because of the subject matter it's likely to end up being the one a lot of would-be Move supporters will pick up on blind faith that a bloodthirsty visceral scrapper will be tons more fun than any of the other "Wii-Alike" titles that are Move-focused. A pity. Do not judge Move in its entirety on this one game and definitely do not use it as a yardstick to measure how accurate the system can be when written for properly.

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