UFC Undisputed Review
(Please welcome new blogger for FNN, Bill Griffiths)
Ok so I am new to this site so this entry may be a little off as I am learning still. But hey what better way to start than reviewing a video game I and a ton of other people have been waiting for. Just to let you know I am not a “super gamer” and most if not all my games are football games (which I am pretty good at), and I always was a little apprehensive about fighting games, the amount of button smashing to perform a move always seemed over done. So as I sat in front of my PS3 yesterday there was a little bit of fear that the $60 spent on the game would go to waste somewhat (NCAA 2010 and Madden 2010 are coming out so I could trade it in if it stunk).
Well the graphics start out great, probably the best of any fighting game, but it’s the intro so I was still waiting for the x,y, left, right, down, up to perform a simple kick or punch as I started the tutorial to learn the moves. But as I ventured into the striking I became excited, it was relatively easy without all of the nuances of performing combination’s and kicks. I worked through a variety of moves without a glitch and actually did fairly well. I started to realize “hmm maybe I can do this” and ventured into the part I was most leary about… grappling. And being a BJJ student and former wrestler this was what I was sure would be the downfall of the game.
And wrong I was. Sure there are no Omaplatta’s or my favorite the Anaconda choke (at least none that I saw) but the movements seemed relatively easy to pick up. Takedowns were smooth and the transitions in and out of guard while not easy seemed to be something one could pick up with some practice. Also the submissions that are there, while a little limited in some aspects, were again something that a person could grasp. Throw in the clinch aspect and specialty takedowns and it appeared as if they had done a great job. But then I ran into a brick wall!
The big thing everyone really wanted was to create their own fighter, and I was no different. Video games are often a way to live out your fantasy’s and I am no different in that aspect. I never played for the Oklahoma Sooners but I do in every NCAA game, same with Madden being on the Dolphins, so the same would go for the UFC. I am a big guy so naturally I became a heavyweight. You have to choose a stand up fighting style as well as a grappling or ground style, so I chose Muay Thai and BJJ. After creating a guy who kind of looked like me I ventured into the cage. You get a first fight complete with Dana’s “so you want to be a fighter” speech (minus the F bombs) which is supposed to represent TUF I believe. Then your fighter gets a camp and other aspects where you train and spar as well as get match ups, sponsors, and other “unlockable” items like shorts and exercise equipment. Emails allow you to accept fights against other fighters and increase your ranking in your division. But while this was great, I cared about fighting, so bring it I thought.
And it was brought! As you start off with limited attributes I quickly found out that in the games attempt at realism you can easily get your butt kicked. Of course in practice you have someone like BJ Penn so doing BJJ is easy. Not when you are some up and coming shmuck. After nine fights my record was 1-8. Eddie Sanchez dominated me easily! Every time I was lucky enough to score a take down my submission attempts failed. Forget the Muay Thai clinch I could not even get close enough to get into it, and when I did my opponents shrugged it off. I did smash Rob Emerson, but once I won a few fights my opponents got more difficult, but not the higher ranked guys. Cro Crop easily defeated my ground game and Mark Coleman KO’d me in the first round. I could not figure it out. So I created another fighter.
This time I chose Kickboxing and Wrestling as my skills and won my first five fights. I figured as much because while the striking comes relatively easy, your fighters ground game sucks so bad in the beginning that it would be like a BJJ white belt or JV wrestler stepping in the cage. However, anyone can score a lucky punch or kick and the kicks from a Kickboxer in the game are devastating. Wrestlers can score easy take downs and if you up your ground strikes offense you can do some damage. But it was a little disheartening to say the least to get rid of my BJJ fighter. However, it seems as though that does mimick what the UFC would want so it makes sense.
As far as the game play, listening to Rogan and Goldies commentary is great. The replays are ridiculous and the graphics are top notch. It is a game that anyone can play to some extent, my girlfriend even tried it and could pick up most of it or enough to play. And if you are an MMA fan you will already know the strengths of the fighters on the roster, so that makes it easier. Some MMA fans may be a little disheartened at the difficulty of the ground game, especially when facing a computer foe with equal or better skills. Undisputed does have a good amount of blood, like a real MMA fight does, but not too much. And while my BJJ fighter is not competing anymore, my Kickboxer is ranked in the top 15 and was on the maincard of some PPVS (the game features UFN and PPV cards that include under, main, and headliner) which proves that a novice at fight games can play fairly well. I would highly recomend this game to all fight game fans and MMA/UFC fans. For any little quirks it has it far out performs any past attempts. And is a lot of fun!