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The Fight: Lights Out


You would be better off punching the developers for creating this.
Built to take advantage of the Playstation Eye as well as the Playstation Move, The Fight: Lights Out is supposed to be a gritty take on street fighting, likely similar to Fighters Unleashed using the Microsoft Kinect. The presentation is highlighted by the inclusion of Danny Trejo to narrate the game as well as run you through a series of fight training tutorials. The videos have a ridiculous Grindhouse feel and are sadly hilarious while meant to be serious. Itís a shame that Trejo was given such terrible material to work with and the tutorials, while helpful, start the game off on a bad note.

Whatís even worse is that the calibration done before each fight is typically ineffective, mostly because the game cannot account for depth very well and the lighting situation in your room is almost impossible to get right. I tried several degrees of lighting in my room and wasnít able to find one that was able to track my head movements correctly. I rarely got it to work during the day with the maximum amount of natural lighting sweeping into the room, but that means that folks with projectors are out of luck. In the best case scenario, the camera is supposed to make your player bob and weave out of the way of other punches. Sadly, I rarely got it to work.

fight lights out punching

Thereís also a serious disconnect between the force of the punch thrown by the player and the actions interpreted on the screen. Many times, large sweeping punches that I mustered up were seen as light punches on the screen. While this was great for my physical fitness, itís pretty terrible for a video game. The game also uses a strange stamina system that completely ignores the actual stamina of the player. Your fighter typically runs out of gas really quickly, even while you have the stamina to launch into a wild series of uppercuts and body blows.

The single player game is broken into a tournament style of play, similar to the early days of Mortal Kombat. You have to battle twelve fighters at twelve different locations, thus thereís a ton of content to work through, yet itís a tedious process. In addition, you earn money during the fights and shell it out for doctor visits as well as new training to beef up your virtual fighter. You also have the ability to gamble that cash on yourself, if you are up to the task. Similar to other physical fitness games, you have the ability to track your own progress during the game which includes calories burnt and your BMI. Itís a cool inclusion, but there are plenty of fitness games that do a much better job of it.

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Thereís also a local multiplayer mode included in the game, but itís even more difficult to get working than the single player. Tracking two different players with the Playstation Eye is just plain futile and requires a great deal of space to get working, likely far more than the typically player has a living room. There are also trophies to earn in the game (if you decide to stick with it more than a couple hours). The majority of the bronze trophies are easy to knock out in the first hour, but some of the silver and gold tasks are tough as well as take a great deal of time. Winning a match with 99% of your health is incredibly tough with this terrible control scheme.

Graphics

The dark, boring visual style is obviously an attempt to capture the gritty design of the presentation, but it really falls flat due to the lack of variety in fighting environments and dreary graphic filter. However, the character models are really quite detailed and the animations are definitely believable. Characters also show off damage during the fight as well.

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Audio

Using a bass heavy sound system, the sound effects on the punches definitely have a deep, visceral impact. Unfortunately, the amount of sound effects recorded for the game are pretty limited. The soundtrack is filled with hip-hop and it does match the presentation, if not stereotypically so. Trejoís voice work is definitely fine for the game as well.

Conclusion

Similar to Fighters Unleashed, the quality of a first generation attempt of a fighting game using motion controls is a dismal failure. Beyond the incompetent controls in Lights Out, the unappealing design of the gameplay and the silly presentation obviously points to a rushed release to meet the release of the Playstation Move. Thereís nothing compelling about Lights Out and is probably the worst example of a game that utilizes the capabilities and the potential of the Playstation Move. If you recently purchased a Move or got one over the holidays, Eyepet and EchoChrome II are probably better choices to show off the Move. Leave The Fight: Lights Out on the store shelves and in the bargain bin once it eventually gets there in a few months.



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