Fighting Club (Arcade/IGS)
by joshua hsieh
Wham, bam, domo aregato Mr. Roboto! As witty as I must sound, it is not I, but the ever-inventive engineers at IGS that you have to thank for that clever colloquium. Their recently finished cabinet, Fighting Club, is the most unique and inventive spin of the wheel known as the dance music genre of gaming.
As I alluded to, you box and stomp a robot and other assorted enemies to the beat of a variety of dance styles and tunes thereof. All this takes place in a big cabinet, which I shall explain.
The cabinet has a monitor, below which are three red punch receptacles, that retract when punched and spring back when released.
On the monitor, an enemy creature will appear on the screen. In the center of the screen appear three boxing glove icons, below which are three tracks. Red or blue icons move upward towards the boxing glove icons. When the red icon hits the boxing glove icon, you must hit the punching pads. In this manner, itís identical to the boxing game in the Shenmue seriesí arcade.
The cabinet also has a platform, shaped like the home base of baseball, but divided into three sections. These sections light up when one needs to stomp them. When blue icons hit the punching gloves icons, you must stomp the platform in one of three sections, left middle and right, depending on which punching glove icon, left middle or right, has been hit by the blue icon.
The cabinet is huge, and all the buttons, be it the punching pads or stomping
platforms, are huge and give you clearly defined space to work within. This way you can focus more on the synchronization of your physical moves with the music, and not on the moves themselves.
When you step up to the cabinet, there will be boxing gloves you put on your hand.
You press the start button below the punching receptacles. A screen titled Select Type, of game mode that is, appeared.
The different game modes include kicking only, punching and kicking, and punching only. Although the icon at this screen represents a man kicking, in truth you only stomp the platform you are upon. Fortunately, I saw the kicking and boxing mode.
Next you will encounter a screen that says Select Music. There is party style music, and others I didnít decipher due to ignorance of Chinese Traditional Script. The song I heard was very catchy, and sounded like Gloria Estefanís song "The Rhythm Is Going to Get You". Fun and passionate beats seemed to be the order of the day.
Next a robot or other baddy will appear on the screen. So will three punch glove icons. Whenever you see a red icon hit the punch glove icon, hit one of the three red punching bags on the front of the cabinet. Whenever you see a blue icon hit the punch glove icon, stomp on one of the three blue sections of the platform. With each successful hit, he knocked the robot until it malfunctions. There are many more details and intricacies to the game play that I did not figure out in the time I spent at the cabinet. There is also a circular meter in the upper left-hand corner, that may or may not determine the energy of your opponent.
This is going to sound clichť, but Fighting Club is a simple concept thatís a lot of fun. Get used to it, because that sort of game always has a place in the halls of good gaming. Itís a low impact, low intensity full body workout. It gets both torsos going, and lots of stop and go. There is a lot of coordination required, in this sense it is more challenging than Rock Fever EX Solo.
IGS heralds Fighting Club as the first musical boxing game. This is true. While there are superficially similar boxing cabinet setups, they do not share the same theme as Fighting Club, and thus their layout and gameplay differ accordingly. Konami of Europeís Mocapís Boxing utilizes an array of sensors at the top of a metal framework to track the player's head as they move around in the machine. This cabinet features digital solutions to the problem of allowing physical boxing motions to interact with the game. By contrast, Fighting Clubís analog solution allows for much simpler and reliable gameplay.
But this is not to detract from either of the cabinets, it is just to demonstrate that they are distinct inside and out.
Although a one player game, it is more than enough fun to play on your own. Hopefully we all will have that chance on both sides of the Pacific.