Don't Talk About Fight Club

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"You never know who you are until you fight someone." This "food for thought" is printed on the inside of the game’s instruction manual. And, you know, I can’t help but to savor this one thought as I subject myself again and again–and yet again to the most painfully dull and unimaginable fighting game I have played to date.

I think to myself how nice it might be to take on each member of the dev team, one at a time, inside a very small and "highly interactive" real life environment with my "Ginmates" surrounding the fight and cheering me on. *Sigh* Alas, though, I am a "writer" and not a "fighter."

But after playing this game I DO realize who I am. Oh yes, I am the guy who is going to spread the "411" to the gaming community all across the gaming web. I am the guy who is gonna tell the whole painful truth and nothing but the painful truth about this poor excuse for a fighter. I am the guy who is going to send the wrath of my all mighty keyboard down upon this ill-conceived title, keystroke after keystroke, in such a way that the very mention of this game will make gamers cringe in their shoes for ages to come. In short, I want this game to bleeeeeeed.

Now the interesting twist behind all of this mass disappointment is the fact that this is the first title out of the factory for, "new-game-developer-on-the-block" Genuine Games. Is that fact gonna stop me from bringing the hammer down on this one? Not a chance. However, since this is the first title for you guys and not a very impressive one at that, I am more inclined, based on my experience as a gamer and a reviewer, to give you guys a crash course in "Fighting Games 101." Pull up a chair, and let me school you on the basics.

First things first, since this a movie-to-platform title, shouldn’t this game be closely based on the movie itself? Wait. Before you answer that question, let’s talk about the movie a brief moment. Fight Club is about a man named Jack who is disillusioned by what his life has become who one day meets an exciting new stranger and closet radical, by the name of Tyler, who introduces him to a new way of life.

Tyler convinces Jack that we’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’ll all be millionaires, and movie gods and rock stars, but we won’t, and we’re slowly learning that fact, and so over time we’ve become very, very pissed off.

Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate, so we can buy things we don’t really need. We are not our jobs, we’re not how much money we have in the bank, we’re not the car we drive, we’re not the contents of our wallet, and we’re not even our own khakis.

Tyler believes the answer to the "great wool" that’s been pulled over our eyes is an idea he calls the "Fight Club." The mission statement of Fight Club is about finding your true self in a world where your identity has become increasingly tied to what you do, where you live, what you wear, and what you earn.

How is this goal achieved? Simple: By beating the living crap out of the guy standing across from you.

That being said, to answer my question for you, the answer is "no" your game is not closely based on the movie. Why? Because an "ant" could not drown in your shallow storyline. Barely any of the info I just gave you is actually in the game, or is so poorly translated that it would be almost impossible to understand that this title had once not been based on a movie. I understand that you wanted to focus on the "pure violence" aspect of the movie but in doing so you left the incredible, awe-inspiring storyline hanging out to dry.

That in itself was a big mistake because you’ll find that fighting game enthusiasts tend to appreciate a "reason" or a "method behind the madness."

Which brings us to segment two of our course. If you are going to focus all of your efforts on one aspect of the movie then you should at least make a valiant attempt to do it right. Graphically, this game is in serious need of some spice. While the characters and environments aren’t half-bad they seem to have that "generically polished" look to them. It just seems like there’s something missing. The characters, though most of them are from the movie, are definitely nothing to get excited about. Aside from "big-boobed" Bob, who makes my skin jump at just the sight of him, the other characters are just your everyday average "Joes" who one would honestly not really give a crap about. It’s hard to role-play a character that you just can’t get into and such is the case with a lot of the character choice selections in this game.

The environments you chose, even though they are already interactive, need much more interactivity. With the exception of the objects that are interactive, a majority of most of the environments are really made up of nothing but meaningless eye candy which tend to make the stages seem dull and lifeless. There are a few environments that are up to par but overall, a lot of areas could have used a little more thought.

And what’s with the lousy cut-scenes between all the action, each consisting of a small slideshow of crude "picture stills" backed up by crappy voice acting? I mean I’m looking at the graphics overlay and neither the characters nor the environments themselves seem to be pulling any serious polygons and you mean to tell me there wasn’t any more room left in the blueprints to put together some half decent cinematics? What a shame.

Honestly, I’ve seen better "stills" in the "animated flip-books" I used to get out of crackerjack boxes when I was a kid.

Let’s move on to gameplay. The first rule of fight club is, you do not talk about fight club. The second rule of fight club is, you do not talk about fight club. The third rule of fight club is if someone yells "stop," goes limp, or taps out, the fight is over. The fourth rule is only two guys to a fight. The fifth rule is you only go one fight at a time. The sixth rule: no shirts, no shoes. The seventh rule, fights will go on as long as they have to. And the eighth and final rule is if this is your first night at fight club, you have to fight.

Rules aside, we can now take a deeper look at the gameplay aspect of the game which is "lacking" some serious cool points. First things first, might I suggest bringing something NEW to the table, especially if you’re trying to make first impressions in the gaming community. Instead you present us a title that anyone whose has played can see is some type of watered down "Tekken" clone — and that’s giving it more credit than it deserves.

On top of that there are approximately 15+ characters in the game and only three basic fighting styles to divide between them: grappling, brawling, and martial arts. Needless to say a lot of the fighters have only small variations between one another.

The combat, itself, is nothing spectacular either. Your average fight consists of a lot of speedy, repetitive quick jabs, kicks and weak chain link combos occasionally being mixed up with an offensive throw or defensive countermove. The one shining moment of each match comes at the end when you have a chance to shatter your opponent’s limbs and even that feature grows old after a short number of fights. Other than that, there really isn’t much else to look forward to. To sum it all up, "originality" left the building a long, looong time before this project was complete.

To make matters worse Fight Club doesn’t offer anything challenging in terms of difficulty. With only one round per fight and about a 30 second slideshow between each match, you can literally "button-mash" your way through this game in roughly 20 to 25 minutes max. For accomplishing this small feat you will get a chance to see the only "real time" cinematic cut scene the game has to offer and perhaps manage to unlock a handful of hidden characters.

Finally, let’s talk "audio""well, that’s all I’ve got to say on that subject other than the fact that it MAJORLY SUCKS!!! Listen, if you’re going reenact a movie, at least take out time to secure the right to use the actual voices of the characters from the actual cast. Using a small cast of "low-budget" voice actors just made those boring slideshows that much more painful to bear.

The lack of sound during combat just drags the "hype" right out of the fight. The characters don’t talk trash to one another, there’s not enough "grunting and grinding" going on, and there are certain arenas where you’re surrounded by crowds of people and absolutely no one is cheering!

Seriously, fellas, that’s just lame.

The bottom line and moral lesson for today is this: A shallow storyline, mediocre graphics, stagnant gameplay, and atrocious audio equals a game that is barely any fun at all and has very little "play" value, let alone "replay" value.

On top of that ponder this thought: Hundreds of ill-fortuned gamers out there are gonna go out and put their hard-earned dollars or their parents hard-earned dollars on this very disappointing title and when the package is open and the truth finally revealed they’re gonna turn over the jewel case, look on the back, and see who the game is developed by. To make a long story short, they’ll be highly pissed and your name will branded in the days to come.

With that take this small bit of advice. Ok, so you crashed and burned on your first one. Even though they say you never get a second chance to make first impressions you’ll find that the gaming world is a bit different in that aspect provided that next time you bring the right stuff to the table. So cut your losses and go back to the drawing board.

Bang out something original and jazzy and in the mean time follow my lead and abide by the first rule of Fight Club: Never talk about Fight Club. And I promise you when this review is over, I’ll never mention another word about it again. It earns 2 + GiN Gems in my final judgment. It should scream "stop" and tap out.

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