Having read many negative reports on Sony's PlayStation Move controlled brawler, we went in with no expectations at all. We came out of the demo quietly impressed. While the game had noticeable lag and input issues, there were moments when the gritty boxer felt genuinely satisfying. It's just a shame that the AI we encountered in our demo was as life-less as a rock.
What's most enjoyable about The Fight: Lights Out is that you actually have to throw punches. After about 5 minutes playing the game, we found our arms aching and perspiration on our forehead. If nothing else, The Fight's going to prove a good workout programme, or a decent stress reliever. The game even calculates how many calories you've burnt during the fight.
Holding a Move controller in each hand, the game was a bit picky calibrating. But once we got into the action, we found it more responsive than previous descriptions had lead us to believe. Whether the game is truly 1:1 or not was hard to tell. We suspect the game was triggering canned animations based on our movement. Regardless, we never felt like the game was doing things we didn't want it to. If we threw an upper-cut, the game threw an upper-cut. If we threw a haymaker, the game threw a haymaker. As such, it felt extremely satisfying when our punches landed. It's all emphasised by some decent graphic effects, in which the opponent's face begins to get bruised and bloodied.
While we stuck to standard punch throwing, the representative informed us that there are number of special moves you can perform in the game. We saw someone perform a head-butt finisher, in which the player pulls both the Move controllers towards their head.
Our concern is with The Fight's AI. While we enjoyed throwing punches and watching them happen on-screen, we couldn't help but feel it was all a bit aimless. The AI opponent we faced did nothing to put up a fight, allowing us to pummel him with ease. This may have been because the game was set to easy (it was all the demo had access to), but we would have liked to have seen a more challenging fight. If The Fight can get you dodging and weaving, searching for an opening in which to attack your opponent, then we could imagine it being an extremely satisfying (and physical) experience. There was no impression of that in the demo though.
We'll be holding out hope, because we genuinely enjoyed our time with The Fight: Lights Out. The punching felt good and the graphical style is unique. There are still glitches for the development team to iron out — occasionally (maybe one in twenty) a punch won't be detected, and we sometimes found our arm lingering on the opponents shoulder after throwing a swipe.
Those problems aside, we found ourselves bemused at the criticisms being thrown at the game. We found the technology functional and the experience relatively enjoyable. We're interested to see how the full game fares when it launches this fall.