Fighter Within

Game review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
Fighter Within Game Poster Image
Buggy, disappointing brawler will get your heart pumping.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The game focuses solely on fighting, and the forgettable story exists only to set up the battles. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Players assume the role of the hero in each match, but there's too much fighting to justify their actions. 

Ease of Play

Although the fighting moves are easy to use, poor implementation of the Kinect camera may frustrate kids.

Violence

This game is essentially a nonstop fight. Players punch, kick, and throw each other as they attempt to deplete opponents' health meters. Fights are highlighted by slow-motion effects and special attacks, which inflict greater damage. Small splotches of blood appear as a result of facial attacks.

Sex

Female characters often wear skimpy outfits showing cleavage. 

Language

Occasional use of objectionable words, including "badass." 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Fighter Within is a fighting game for the Xbox One that translates real-world movements into on-screen punches and kicks. Using the Kinect camera, players move their bodies, and those actions are reflected in their on-screen characters. It can be quite a workout. Although the fighting is virtually nonstop, the consequences are minimal; there's only a bit of blood and no death or serious injury. Female characters often wear skimpy outfits. 

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What's it about?

FIGHTER WITHIN is a motion-controlled fighting game exclusive to Xbox One. Player movements in the real world are captured by the Xbox One's Kinect camera and then reflected in the on-screen avatar. Punch high, and your character will hit someone in the head. Punch low, and he'll attack the midsection. Kick, and he'll use the same leg. Combination moves are reflected in cut scenes that occur after you've made the moves. A thin plot guides events, but it's largely inconsequential, existing mostly to give players a moment to rest after each fight.

Is it any good?

Fighter Within should be a game that showcases all that Kinect 2.0 can do. Instead, it reveals the weaknesses of the camera and relies on outdated ways to interface with the system. The menu, for instance, is a frustrating affair, requiring you to hold your hand in the air and push in toward the screen rather than simply voicing your desires. The fighting system works well at times and certainly gives players a good workout, but there are aggravating moments when it doesn't read your movements correctly. Some actions, such as picking up a stick, are virtually impossible. Others, such as throws or finishing moves, are very hit and miss. There's no online multiplayer mode, but players can take on local opponents in the same room. (Just be sure there's enough space so they don't accidentally hit each other.)

The corny story, meanwhile, is ludicrous and takes itself much too seriously. Skipping it isn't really an option, though, since the game takes an annoying amount of time to load each fight. Fighter Within has some good ideas, and its basic mechanics work most of the time, but overall the execution is badly fumbled. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about healthy exercise. Do you think games are capable of delivering a legitimate workout? 

  • Families also can discuss the differences between a fighting game played with a traditional controller compared to one played with a movement interface. Do you get more worked up when you throw punches and kicks as opposed to simply pressing buttons?

Game details

  • Platforms: Xbox One
  • Price: $59.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: UbiSoft
  • Release date: November 22, 2013
  • Genre: Fighting
  • ESRB rating: T for Blood, Mild Language, Violence

For kids who love action

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