Lets take things back to late 2007 for a second; a time where motion gaming was this brave new world, and Nintendo were taking both gamers and anyone else they could get their hands on with them. Everyone remembers the first time they played Wii Sports, most likely the tennis game being the easiest entry point into the world of Motion Gaming. That said, the game most people will remember as their favourite from Wii Sports? Undoubtedly Boxing, utilising the Wii Remote and Nunchuck in a basic, but wholly enjoyable way, has to be the best of Wii Sports. It fast became the two player game of choice across the country, and Sony are trying to emulate this success with their latest PlayStation Move title.
With the release of The Fight: Lights Out, Sony has the idea of a fully-fledged version of the mini game seen in Wii Sports in their sights. Early on, the promise is certainly there; lectured by a grisly trainer, the black and white visual style expertly pulled off in the intro. He taunts you until you’re genuinely worried he might pull some punches on you, but this effect diminishing somewhat once he grabs hold of the Move controller – it’s impossible not to laugh at someone holding that. He instructs you how to fight using either a combination of two Move controllers, or a Move and a Dualshock 3, the second of which making him very disappointed in you thanks to its deficiencies when compared to the double Move combo. He doesn’t like how unresponsive the Dualshock is when compared to the Move, leading me nicely onto the first major issue I have with The Fight: Lights Out.
This game is broken. I have to be blunt about this, as despite the impressive accuracy of the PlayStation Move controller, barely any of the actions you perform are translated into on screen moves. The game says it detects how hard you punch, which instead means that your character will pull off the same weak hits time after time until you accidentally move the controller into the exact sweet spot needed.
You never feel in control of your fighter, not helped by the plethora of manoeuvres introduced in the lengthy tutorial. The game doesn’t know the difference between holding you hands in front of your face to block, and moving them for an uppercut (though the video explanation of how to pull this off is one of the game’s most ridiculous and entertaining ‘gritty’ scenes). Hooks never work either, the placement of your hand never quite matching the actions you would take in real life boxing. It’s a shame how close to the Wii Boxing mould the team have stuck to in this respect, as a mini-game pack-in, the fun aspect remains, but as a stand alone title, there’s very little to smile about.
Attempts have been made to make The Fight: Lights Out a complete package, from a career mode to unneeded but still welcome online multiplayer. You’ll spend most of your time in the aforementioned career, with your trainer coaxing you through fight after fight. There’s very little development as you progress though. Save for the increase in difficulty of each bout, some worthwhile stat building and unlocks would have made the career feel more complete. As for other modes, outside of multiplayer options, there are only mini-games designed to help you hone your skills, with even these being let down by the shoddy hit detection and motion controls.
It’s a shame, after my initial impression, just how disappointed I was with The Fight: Lights Out. Graphically the game is solid, and while the ‘cutscenes’ can be laughable at times, they are presented excellently in a style few games pull off effectively. That said, this means nothing when you come down to the game’s core. The main mechanics of the game, and the unique selling point of using the PlayStation Move are broken, and in turn the game becomes a chore rather than a pleasure to play. Stick with Wii Boxing, it may not look as good, but it’s undeniably more enjoyable for more than 10 minutes.
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