Review: UFC Undisputed 2010

SO YOU WANNA BE A FIGHTER

Developer: Yuke’s
Genre: Sports / Fighting
Platform(s): PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360
Release Date: May 25, 2010
Compatability (PS3): 900KB Minimum Space | Players 1-4 | HD 720p / 1080i / 1080p | Co-Op 1-2
Compatability (Xbox 360): 100KB Minimum Space | Players 1-4 | HDTV 720p | Co-Op 1-2
Rating: 8.0

The Ultimate Fighting Championship fought its way back into the video game world with 2009 breakthrough hit, UFC 2009: Undisputed. The game was a success both commercially and critically, and in 2010 we are given the second of the annualized entry in the series. Sporting many enhancements, a more robust fighter selection, and more mode of play the intention of Yuke’s to craft a more complete UFC experience is apparent. The game doesn’t stray too far from the formula of its predecessor and for that the game is both stronger in certain places but weaker in others. The most important aspect of the game is the fighting system and for the most part the game excels in translating the nuances of the UFC experience. Mixed Martial Arts is a very complicated sport with a wide variety of fighting styles, move selection, and personalities all working in conjunction to facilitate a fight. At the beginning of the game it gives you the option to go through, piece by piece, a tutorial on all aspects of the fighting system. I strongly recommend you complete the entire thing because while long, at about a full hour, you will have a much better understanding of your options when fighting. The fighting system in can be broken down into two parts, standing up and on the ground.

The standing up portion will feel more immediately familiar as the controls are what we would be accustomed to. There is one face button for each of your arms and legs, a button for blocking, and buttons to augment the power and angle of attacks. Many of the tropes we are used to in one on one realistic fighting games. When fighting standing up it feels like a kick boxing game with a wide selection of fighting styles and attack selection. From the standing up game the fight can be taken to the ground and this is where the game differentiates itself and shows that it will take a lot of time and skill to master. The majority of your time on the ground will be you against your opponent struggling for position. If you get taken down you will almost always try for the guard position is just an example of the movements you need to be thinking about when on the ground. To achieve better position you must use the right analogue stick. Quarter and half circles with the analogue stick, think arcade fighting games, must be made to put yourself in more advantageous positions. If for example, you want to go from mount position to side control the correct movement on the stick must be input. It may seem unnatural at first but with a little experimentation it will become second nature and instead of stopping to think of the correct input the game facilitates a more natural thought process. What I mean by this is for the most part you move the stick in the direction of your desired position. While the system may feel more natural this is not to say that it is easy or simple. The truth is that it will take time for it to click but when it does the rush of making someone tap out in and arm bar after they took you down, or stuffing an opponent’s takedown attempt, is very satisfying.

UFC Undisputed 2010 really delivers in visuals. Characters look amazing.

While the actual fighting in the game is great the rest of the game is hit or miss. There are many modes but they all break down to a, fight up the ladder, constant. This really is not that big of deal however because they main focus of the game is to get you into the fight. You can fight up the ladder to be the champion and then defend your championship are examples of two different modes within the game that, while not original, add to the overall package. The two most important modes in the game however are, versus and career. Versus mode is all the fun you would think it would be. With many different ways to play the game anyone can really pick up a controller and play. Your friend just wants to be Rampage and fight standing up counter him with another brawler like Liddell or confusing him the options of Lyoto Machida. Playing with your friends is fun and everyone can have those “oh shit” moments with a flash KO or a submission. Online is reserved for more serious fights against player controlled characters and while the modes are sparse it is entertaining to make someone online tap out or one hit KO a troll.

Career mode starts off strong with you either creating a character or starting with a UFC fighter. The create a fighter options are very robust. The creation tools make it so creating a new character really feels like your own. Your character is also given a voice with a selection of five different voices with is far and away the least amount of choices but it is understandable. To test the creation tool I made ten random characters. Random in every sense of the word, random name, country of origin, fighting style, hair, ect. I ended up with ten completely different fighters save for two shared the same country of origin. Needless to say your created character is your own. The game starts you off in WFA (World Fighting Alliance) as an armature fighter that must work his way up. These first couple of fights serves as another small tutorial as the game will through different fighters at you in order to experience the wide variety of styles you will be facing in career. I have no embarrassment in saying that a few of the armature fighters steamrolled through me. I learned that I had to change up my training regiment from a straight brawler in order to deal with the more technical ground fighters.

You will need skills to master fighting on the ground.

A calendar acts as your home base with your stats and weeks till your next fight displayed. This is the biggest complaint I can levy at the career mode. Career is far too menu driven. To the point where a majority of your time will be spent parsing through a plethora of menus that dictate stat growth, fighter fatigue, selection of next fight, brand sponsors, which teams you train with, and more. While the menu problem could be looked at as a symptom of sports games in general it is still a letdown that in order to get to the truly great part of the game you must traverse to literally dozens of menus. There are few actions to be taken other than training and fighting lest you desire to say the same lines of dialogue in interviews over and over again. In post fight interviews Joe Rogan asked me what I thought about “the point where you had him” and called me “class act” at least thirty times. All in all career mode is strong. The graphics are great for the most part. The fighters look good as do the crowd and octagon. There is real pain in the face of a fighter who just got cracked and blood flows freely. There is no HUD that shows health bars so the only way to tell your fighters health is the visual clues. This works well. If you fighter is slowing his punches down he may be gassed and need to back off for a bit. If blood is pouring from a cut above your right eye you need to favor it. The only graphical problem I had is during KO there is a single frame where the AI in the game is taking the fighter from standing up alert to unconscious. The single frame gives the appearance of a knocked out fighter stopping in mid fall, and then hitting the ground. This is kind of nitpicky but when you see it forty or so times it starts to gnaw at you.

Sound design in this game needs to be praised. The commentary of Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg is great. The two really play off each other and while repeated dialogue is expected when you play the game for thirty-five hours, it was not as common as you would think, except the post fight interviews I mentioned earlier. The roar of the crowd and sound of punching another fighter in the face is also satisfying and engrossing. You will not be disappointed in the attention paid to the sound in the game. UFC Undisputed 2010 does more things right then it does wrong. The game is a blast to play even for extended periods of time. The biggest problem however is that it seems very much like last year’s game. That is not a terrible thing mind you. Last year’s game single handedly put MMA back onto the video game vernacular. UFC Undisputed 2010 is a good game that fans of UFC and fans of good fighting games will love. It may demand a lot of you at times but the investment is well worth it.

Reviewed by jamespugh5 – June 22, 2010

Graphics
Character models are well done and the presentation is not bad. Interviews get repetitive after a while though.
 
Sound
Great voice acting and ambiance. Commentary is awesome.
 
Fun
Single and multiplayer offers hours of fun. Learning the intricacies of the sport offers very satisfying results.
 
Final Score

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: