Xbox 360 Review: Fighters Uncaged

Is the first fighting game for Kinect a Knockout?

Does anyone remember when Kinect was first unveiled as Project Natal? The video that showed someone punching and kicking to replicate it on-screen? Ever since then, I’ve always wanted a fighting game on Kinect. I had such high hopes for Fighters Uncaged, but what was the end result?

Sadly I was incredibly disappointed. Fighters Uncaged is unfortunately, the weakest Kinect game I’ve played so far and isn’t anywhere near as enjoyable as I anticipated. It’s about as basic as you can imagine in terms of a fighting game…and that would be fine, but the controls are just awful and very inaccurate.

Instead of replicating your actions on-screen, the game seems to detect what you are trying to do and does a pre-set move instead. It also ties you to the floor, making you perform all your punches and kicks on the spot. You can’t move around like you can in other Kinect games and I have no idea why. Instead it has this silly system where a punch changes your position in the arena, it’s truly ridiculous.

The biggest problem has to be dodging attacks. It asks you to literally bend back to avoid an incoming punch, but the game rarely seemed to detect when I was doing this and as a result, got punched more times than I avoided them. The trouble is that the game relies too heavily on dodging as you can pull off counter attacks after a dodged blow. Also, the game is very slow to pick up your other movements, especially if they are incredibly fast. It’s like it just can’t keep up with you.

Instead you end up just punching and kicking like a maniac, hoping to win each fight. Sometimes that works and other times it won’t, but it’s incredibly exhausting to fight like this and my body aches something fierce as a result. There isn’t much to do in terms of variety and besides playing online, there aren’t any other modes. It’s a very shallow package compared to the other fighting games on the market.

I just don’t know how they could get it so wrong. Fighting games on Kinect SHOULD be fun and enjoyable, but Fighters Uncaged is just annoying and frustrating to play. If it picked up your movements 1:1 then it could have been the greatest fighting game ever, even with all the simple modes and whatnot, but alas that is not the case and it ends up being the worst Kinect launch game.

The Verdict

Fighters Uncaged is a huge disappointment. I just can’t believe how they screwed it up so badly, but let’s hope that other developers look at it and try to do everything to stop their fighting game from turning into this. Kinect has the power to make a great fighting game…it just needs the right team to get it done and hopefully that day will come, sooner rather than later.