From the outside looking in, UFC Undisputed looks fantastic. Before we get to the new games, lets look at where the whole MMA gaming scene started…and ended coincidentally at the same time.
From what I can remember, UFC did have a series of games back in the “Attitude” Era of the WWF/E. Back then, Acclaim was creating and releasing WWF/E games at the time. Across the street, THQ/AKI were creating the much more polished, addictive WCW/NWO Games most notably the hugely successful WCW/NWO Revenge for the Nintendo 64. The Acclaim WWE games were in a word….pathetic.
The mid 90’s saw a huge uprising in both Video Games and Wrestling so you can see the trend. Why am i discussing Wrestling and not MMA? Well because Acclaim released all the ports of Mortal Kombat…which is most likely why the Ultimate Fighting Championship game failed miserably.
THQ has taken the WWE license and created what are widely considered to be the best wrestling games ever…considering there isn’t much competition due to lack of major wrestling companies. But given the insurgence in popularity with MMA, its only fitting an MMA game to be released. There are major challenges here though however, first one: introducing the UFC world to people who may not know the roster as much or to people who know everything there is to know but are afraid to play the game in fears of wasting money.
First off, from what i have already played of the final retail version, the game is solid. You do not have to be a major fan of UFC to get into this game, much like you do not have to be a fan of Boxing to enjoy Fight Night. Small plug here, Punch-Out!! Review coming very soon, and Fight Night Round 4 Impressions coming soon as well. Anyways, from what i have noticed in this game is that all the fighters are easily identifiable and there fighting styles are displayed for all to see. You pick your fighter of choice and get into the octagon to do battle. Simple as that, and the execution is amazing.
For starters, the graphics in this game are unbelievable. There even better looking then the WWE games, and this includes the Legends Of Wrestlemania game. The graphics match the intensity of the game play. Like i said, the fighters are identifiable and you can go through the roster to determine who is it that has a fighting style you will like. The controls are easy to get into, however, there is a learning curve here.
While it is a fighting game engine, this is more of an MMA experience then anything, which is nice since it shows someone was paying attention to those old more awful games that were released from Crave Entertainment (Yes, i know i said Acclaim earlier, i am sure they released a UFC Game). The controls are pick up and play to an extent, you can go out there and throw punches…you will and will not be successful most of the time, but someone who has the controls down very well you will be guaranteed to be owned in the octagon. Both analog stick come into play here, the right stick controls special moves that can be pulled of with a face button combination.
The left stick controls you, the fighter. From what i have played so far, the fighters move a little on the slow side and a little bit stiff, but as the fights progress, you get more and more freedom and the game feels much more intense as each move you make could either win or lose a fight. Another aspect of the controls is that they feel more tailored to the fighters and not tailored to just the special moves.
Its an MMA game yes, but its more like chess you have to use strategy. Not every fighter is like Chuck Liddell or like Rampage Jackson…even though i have a feeling there will be a lot of people playing as those fighters. There are 80 fighters in this game, lots to choose from and if your really into the UFC scene, you can create you own fighter! There is a character creator feature in this game and given THQ’s track record, there will be a lot of customizing and a lot of detail involved.
There is online play for this game, and i have a feeling this game will amass a large crowd. This is easily a incoming hit to both Xbox Live and Playstation Network given the fact that MMA is huge right now and just for the fact that online console gaming is in need of variety. This game could be just that. There are already online communities dedicated to creating fight clubs, leagues, tourneys, and even an online ranking system based on those fan site. As well as an actual THQ leader board for both the PS3 and Xbox 360, as well as downloadable content to keep the game fresh.
As of this moment, i do not know what the content will be outside of potential roster updates, patches, as well as perhaps new features to be integrated. The game does feature voice over work from both Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg, while it is good, i have noticed that it lags way behind from the action. Madden had this issue but this is in no way comparing the two, Madden has had so much time to perfect its commentary, i can imagine later UFC games will have to voice acting much better. The commentary is passable, Bruce Buffer does the fighter introductions while the Ring Girls parade around. Rogan and Goldberg can get a little exciting but only big hits or submission moves make that happen. There’s no incidents where from what i have seen so far that they show genuine excitement, granted it is recorded filler, its not supposed to be Live each and every fight. There is room for improvement here.
There is an EA MMA Title in the works, i believe that there whole game’s future is going to be based on the success of UFC Undisputed. Given that the hype is huge and the gameplay is there, this game looks very promising. A full written review is coming shortly since the game (at the time of this writing) has yet to hit shelves. Stay tuned to Camel Clutch blog for the official review of UFC Undisputed 2009.
To purchase UFC Undisputed 2009 for the Playstation 3 , click here .
To purchase UFC Undisputed 2009 for the Xbox 360, click here .
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UFC Undisputed 2009 is Rated T For Teen and will be available on store shelves today for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360!
UFC Store Fan Appreciation Sale – New items marked down – Up to 60% Off!
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– John Yomtov