Review: Fight Club (XB, PS2)

Fight Club
Genre: Fighting
Platform: Xbox [PS2]
Publisher: Vivendi Universal Games
Developer: Genuine Games
Release Date: 11/16/04

Chuck Palahniukâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s novel â┚¬Å”Fight Clubâ┚¬Â begat the movie adaptation of â┚¬Å”Fight Clubâ┚¬Â which struck a cord with many disaffected youth of the latter end of the 20th century. In becoming a phenomenon and delivering its message of disconnection and rallying against the new God-Cash complex culture that has overtaken modern society (I donâ┚¬â”žÂ¢t like Palahniukâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s work though, it bores me and unlike an author I like [Bret Easton Ellis] it has always seemed to me that Palahniukâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s use of shock and darker subject matter is actually safer but thatâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s just me and I should really quit using parentheses) the furthest thing from most peopleâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s mind would be actually making a video game tie-in for the movie/book. Then walks in Vivendi Universal and Genuine. Too bad they didnâ┚¬â”žÂ¢t walk out in front of a bus.



STORY:

You play some generic guy whoâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s looking for Tyler Durden because your life has now find a meaning in being part of Fight Club and you want to join in the project. No one will tell you anything until you fight them and your quest takes you on a journey to beat up people to find the person who has brought meaning to your life.

The story is told through bad cut scenes and ends in a reshaping (through different looking CG characters) of the climax of the movie Fight Club. Short, pointless, and unsatisfying.

Story: 2



GRAPHICS:

Fight Club is an alright looking game. The characters have muscle definition, appropriately dirty clothing, and have the look of those who have taken a different path in their life. The backgrounds are alright looking, most are dark but one that takes place in a posh eatery is brightly lit. The mood is set with the lighting effects and grunge-like backgrounds of dive bars, back alleys, decrepit houses, and similar locales. Bodies show some damage, with bruises around the eyes and bleeding.

While this can be nice and okay to look at, most every character model begins to blur into each other. Sure there are facial differences but after youâ┚¬â”žÂ¢ve seen the three or four different heads it is back to being bored. Nothing special here folks. The blood splatter on the screen when you draw blood from your foe and the much talked about x-ray vision when you break bones? Talk about reaching for the â┚¬Å”oh wowâ┚¬Â effects. They actually get bothersome and make you wish they would not be there.

Graphics: 5



SOUND:

Oofs, ughs, grunts, groans, and the rock sound track are apropos to the overall feeling the game tries to present, but really if is better if you do the fights with the mute button on. After you hear the soundtrack for the first few fights it will never need to be revisited.

Voice acting? Itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s standard, nothing of note save for the absence of any of the major movie Fight Club voices, but that is not a big loss because the characters are no longer made to resemble those people anyhow which is not a bad thing.

Sound: 4



CONTROLS & GAMEPLAY:

In an age when fighting games not made by Namco are getting more and more complex Fight Club is a return to complete button mashing blast-o-rama. There is a simplistic combination system that is made up of tap, tap, tap, maybe move the analogue stick or d-pad in a direction to possibly get another movie repeat ad nausiem.

While the backgrounds are interactive and you can send people into them there is no way to do this through actually controlling your character. You must try to herd your foe towards one of those background objects and hope you can button mash them into the bathroom stall, hothouse, what have you.

The simplicity of the game may attract some players but it ends up leaving so much to be desired it becomes a gigantic detriment.

Controls: 3



BALANCE:

Fight Club is obscenely simple. Fighters present no challenge whatsoever nor is there any depth for anyone to master. Experienced players stand the same chance as newcomers at the game and while that is balance in the strictest sense of the term, it offers no incentive to actually play the game to improve.

The button mashing, simplistic two grapple system with two punches, a block button, and a kick could have been expanded upon with simple additions of more manuevers, no need for more buttons. Instead the developer seemed to say: that’ll do pig and was done with it, leaving a game that barely a step above Time Killers.

Balance by omission is hardly worth mentioning because it is not really balance at all.

Balance: 2.5



REPLAY ABILITY:

The game has a two player mode, Xbox live support, and the ability to create your own fighter by selecting a fighting style out of three and making a palate swapped character from most game characters. You can improve your fighterâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s statistics by winning exhibition mode fights but there seems to be little difference in an improved new Space Monkey or a green one. You can also see your fighter get bones broken and have to heal him in a hospital where you go to see his stats.

Replay Ability: 2.5



APPEAL:

Adventurous fans of the movie or book version of Fight Club may try this game to see how badly butchered their favored work is treated and masochistic gamers may try it out to see if it is bad enough to be a treasured find.

Both will be disappointedâ┚¬Â¦ badly. The skeleton game that is Fight Club holds little to no features that can give anyone a sense of enjoyment after the intial purchase. Buyer’s remorse will be around in heaps after this game is purchased and the ability to unlock a few more fighters that are exactly the same as the rest of the motley bunch appears.

No new look at the dicotomy of Fight Club, no aftermath, nothing to bring a person in.

Appeal: 1.5



ORIGINALITY:

A fighting game based on a movie. Street Fighter comes to mind. Really though, aside from a few effects there is nothing that Fight Club does that is at all interesting or different. Itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s a creative step backwards for the fighting genre. The fighting styles end up just being different visuals to do the same thing. Creating a fighter is just a waste of time as there is almost no point to it, save for online play but there probably won’t be anyone willing to admit they bought this game through Xbox Live.

Originality: 1



ADDICTIVENESS:

While the idea of improving a fighter over time can be fun, any possible enjoyment this game could have was sucked out and splattered all over the developerâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s floor. There is nothing that could convince someone to keep playing this game after theyâ┚¬â”žÂ¢ve tried it. The game is too simple to provide any depth for a fighting game fan, too short to provide any insight to Fight Club lovers, just too little of anything to bring anyone back to the game.

There is so little to this game it is really hard to even find things to berate.

Addictiveness: 1



MISCELLANEOUS:

Fred Durst is an unlockable character. Beating the crap out of him was almost fun for three seconds.

Miscellaneous: 1



RATINGS:

Story: 2
Graphics: 5
Sound: 4
Controls: 3
Balance: 2.5
Replay Ability: 2.5
Appeal: 1
Originality: 1
Addictiveness: 1
Miscellaneous: 2