So, I've tried Kinect Adventures? Meh. Sports? I tried that too, for the sake of comparison to Wii Sports and Sports Champions, but no, I'm not overly fussed.
A bit of a Joyride
? I don't even like doing Mario Kart
with the Wii Wheel, so you ain't getting me trying a Kart game with a no-wheel. Fitness game x 28? More meh.
. Oh, come on... And no, I ain't much of a dancer.
But a fighting game? A fighting game I can maybe get on board with. Yes, I'm just about that traditional. Yes, if you can hurt something in it I might just be interested. Maybe Fighters Uncaged
can get me into Kinect.
I had - if not high hopes – at least modest hopes that Fighters Uncaged
would be a decent Kinect offering that would cater for the core gamer. This world is nothing if not disappointing, though.
The premise of Fighters Uncaged
is that you're a bloke who seeks to fight other blokes in order to be the roughest, toughest, fightiest of the blokes. It's pretty straightforward.
Sensibly, Ubisoft opted for a third-person, over-the-shoulder viewpoint rather than a side-on POV for Kinect's first beat-'em-up. Looking over the shoulder of your fighter you perform various controller-free movements to make him perform various strikes.
First things first: one-to-one control it decidedly ain't. I know, you want it to be one-to-one. Me too. But it's not. I guess the tech's just not there yet to have an on-screen avatar mimicking your real life actions and interacting with a virtual world. So, instead certain real-world actions trigger certain pre-animated on-screen actions. Here, at this very early juncture, is when it all starts to go tits-o'clock.
For starters, you're required to stand with your feet parallel and your body facing the screen. Now, it's been a number of years since I vowed to never again lash out in anger after a dicey incident with a ninja and a male cheerleader. But even I know that's not a very natural stance when you're fighting a dude - and you can feel it. It removes you from that sense that you're really in a fight. It spoils the immersion. And a fighting game in which you do something like real fighting moves with your actual limbs should be immersive, right?
For the most part, the real world actions you perform are pretty similar to the on-screen actions, albeit in a slightly toned-down way. Except when they don't. Like, for example, when you're doing a head-high roundhouse kick. To to that, you put one foot behind the other. When all the other moves you've been doing have been fairly analogous to their on-screen counterparts, that feels a bit jarring.
But that's not the real problem. The real problem is that the control scheme just doesn't work very well. Kinect constantly reads your movements incorrectly, so a left kick will turn into a right kick or a duck will turn into a headbutt. There are slightly more complex moves that I learned not to even attempt, so low is the probability of Kinect actually picking up the actions properly.