The only thing which makes this screen bearable are the hilarious animated demos of the moves you're learning. These star a featureless blue blobby character whose movements are hilariously camp and unrealistic. Imagine what Morph would look like if his animations were produced by motion-capturing Louie Spence and you get the idea.
The lessons go on and on and on and on and on and on and on for so long, it's a relief when you realise you've finally learned all the moves. But wait! At this point, your trainer informs you that you must now show what you can do by fighting him. Again and again and again and again and again and again and again.
The trainer keeps up an endlessly repetitive and unbearably banal commentary during these fights. Here's a typical sample: "Watch my feet! Watch my feet! Keep an eye on my fists! Watch my feet! Dodge THIS! Watch my feet! Watch my fists! Watch my feet! Watch my feet! Watch my" AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
Several years later, you're finally allowed to play the game you have paid Ł39.99 for. (Yes, really. Faberge eggs represent better value for money.) Well, almost. First you must read the world's most boring pre-tournament instructions.
"Congratulations! You completed the training session and can now join League 3, where you will be able to take on six [SIX!] different opponents.
"Your goal is to make it to League 2. To achieve this you have to fight each opponent several times. Beat your own records to win "crowns". When you have enough crowns, you will" AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
Then it's time to view that six man-strong character roster. All the fighters look like extras from a scene in a Police Academy film where one of the dislikeable characters ends up in a gay bar. Think leather waistcoats, bare chests and big beards, and characters with names like Ratface and Rider. Good grief.
Once you've chosen your opponent it's time, at last, now that your kids have graduated and space travel has become an affordable luxury, to actually take part in a fight.
It's at this point the enthusiasm really drains out of you, along with your lifeblood and any affection you had for videogames ever. You realise all that tedious work has been for nothing. Well, nothing more than the right to flail around pointlessly, wondering why the moves your avatar is making bear no correlation to your own, while your poorly animated opponent hops around like a big fat leather waistcoat-wearing leprechaun.
There is no point trying to describe the "gameplay" in Fighters Uncaged any further. Your fighter won't ever do what he's told with any degree of consistency. The AI couldn't even spell its own initials. The lag is so bad you'll start to wonder if the issue is in fact with you - perhaps you've developed some kind of mutant superpower which enables you to see whole seconds into the future?
I'm not going to lie. I never did win enough crowns or whatever the heck they were to do whatever the heck they were for. I have no idea what delights League 2 has to offer. An EIGHT-man character roster, perhaps? Yet more tutorial lessons duller than actual school? An option to actually choose your own fighter rather than remain lumbered with the default, who looks like a grown-up version of the one from One Direction with the earring?
Who knows. I don't know. I never want to know. You don't either.
If you're wondering why this review hasn't discussed the multiplayer mode, that's because their isn't one. That's right, turns out Ubisoft's title has been mistranslated - in the original French, it's "Fighters Un Caged". The world's first one-player fighting game? Certainly the world's most rubbish one.
In conclusion, oh I don't know. Some sort of metaphor about this game being a feral animal which should never have been let out of its cage, and should be hunted down, shot, skinned and turned into chess sets and umbrella stands. Or to put it another way: no.
2 / 10