Mixed martial arts or shorter MMA is currently the biggest growing sport in the world, thanks to the much better coverage by media, the growing number of organizations and leagues and overall popularisation of this sport among the mainstream audience. Mobile games jumped hard on the bandwagon, delivering a number of MMA themed games, including the official UFC title, with all paid licenses and everything. The gameplay based on gestures turned out to be quite convenient for MMA games, and fighting games in general.
This game is not a licensed game at all, nor it has any revolutionary gameplay element at its disposal. You can conclude that even by its name which is one of the most generic game titles of all time. However, that doesn’t mean this is a bad game, on the contrary, every existing element of a mobile fighting game here is polished to perfection. You won’t find anything new in Fighting Star, but everything that you will find is done with great skill and dedication.
The story, if there is any story, is a standard tale about going from rags to riches with nothing but your fists as your tool. You can customize your fighter with dozens of options to make him look like some famous fighter or even yourself. It is great to see a small game like this looking this good. The graphics are fully 3D, fighter models are detailed and slick, and their movement is very realistic and apparently made with the help of motion capture technology.
The fights themselves are pretty entertaining with the engaging control system. The block button on the bottom left corner of the screen also serves as the movement button, by dragging it left or right. Above block, there are commands for performing special moves, including Superman punch, elbows, high kicks and various forms of the takedown. Usual strikes are performed by your right finger: jabs are done by tapping, hooks by left swipe, kicks by swipe down, and swipe up gives us an uppercut. There are a couple of ways to win a fight, you can knock your opponent out, or make him submit. There is probably a judge decision too, but we have never had the opportunity to actually let the judge decide the outcome. Interesting enough, all fights are in the best-of-3 format, meaning that you have to finish your opponent twice in order to win.
Except for usual fighting options, quick play and career, there are numerous ways of customization and upgrade of your character. In Profile options you can buy various equipment, like gloves and shorts, but also hairstyles, facial hair, and tattoos. Each one of these items improves the stats of your fighter. There are four stats: strength, speed, stamina, and health, and each part of the equipment upgrades designated stat. For example, gloves improve strength while hair improves stamina. Another way to improve your character is Gym, where you can spend coins to improve the properties of your player or you can play mini-games with the same goal. There is also a Skill menu in which you can buy and improve special moves for your character. Some of the moves are unlocked by a certain value of one or more of the stats, so you can’t have all moves at once. There are two types of coins, silver and gold, and former can be earned by fighting, the latter is given as a reward or bonus.
As we said, Fighting Star is not a revolutionary game but it is still supremely polished and entertaining. It is walking the way that was already paved by its predecessors in the genre, and that’s why it managed to go further than them. You might not be mind blown by this game but you will have some quality time fighting through the ranks of international Mixed Martial Arts competition.