It’s fair to say that in beat-em-ups there are few that can compete with the likes of Street Fighter, Tekken and Virtua Fighter. Sadly this means others can go unnoticed, but one venture that may be worth a look is Vivendi’s Fight Club.
Loosely based on the film of the same name, players are pitted as one of ten would-be warriors in a story-led fisticuffs tale in which ‘survival of the fittest’ is the order of the day. You’ll fight some, watch a cut-scene, then fight some more. It’s a routine beat-em-up in this respect, but one that gives meaning to the endless one-on-one conflicts of Fight Club’s characters.
At first glance, you might relate Fight Club to Backyard Wrestling or Def Jam, and in terms of style and presentation there are similarities. But when it comes down to gameplay, there are more significant references to Namco’s Tekken series that see grapples, throws and even straight-forward brawling executed in a similar fashion. Not that this is a bad thing, of course.
Then there’s online play, a quality that’s becoming more and more frequent in the said genre. Fight Club has it, and it even proves more in-depth then some. As well as being able to brawl one-on-one, players are also able compete worldwide and improve a character’s vital statistics in a similar way to a role-playing game.
But it’s not an RPG in any way, shape or form. It’s a thoroughbred beat-em-up, and a pretty fun one at that. Seasoned fighters probably won’t have too much trouble with this one, but to the average Joe, it’s a respectable undertaking.