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UFC 2009 Undisputed Review

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Developer: Yuke’s Publisher: THQ
Release Date: May 19, 2009 Available On: PS3 and Xbox 360

UFC has exploded onto the scene in recent years. If it hasn’t already, I would imagine that it will outpace boxing as the fighting game of choice pretty quickly. Attempting to exploit this surge in interest in MMA fighting, THQ has released their first game under the UFC title. Just as THQ already dominate wrestling with their WWE franchise, UFC 2009 Undisputed is the company’s strategy at capturing the MMA market.

UFC 2009 Undisputed has a number of game modes to choose from, including a Create a Fighter, exhibition, career mode and the now requisite online multi-player. The exhibition mode allows you to quickly pick a weight class, fighter and get straight to the action with a computer opponent or friend. Interestingly the game supports up to four players, but I only ever got a chance to play with a second person.

The career mode puts a heavy emphasis on building up your character’s stats through training and building up attributes. Some of this can be done automatically. For example, there is no mini-game for you to weight lift, work on cardio, etc., but these will build up strength and stamina depending on what you work on. The other training is a sort of exhibition fight that lasts one round for you to learn new techniques, complete challenges and apply the points you earn on everything from striking to defense. Like the strength and stamina attributes, these will determine how good of a fighter you are.

These training exercises are the time you spend between matches. The rest of the career mode is spent on actual events. Time management is a big part of the game, since you will have only about six weeks between fights. Everything that you choose to do in this time will use stamina (unless it is a publicity event) and will take up a full week’s time. Of course there are different levels of training you can do that use more or less stamina depending on how vigorous you train. You have to keep in mind that the stamina you have the week before a fight is the stamina you will have going into a fight if you don’t rest.

The actual fighting in UFC 2009 can be extremely complicated. Basic punches and kicks are easy enough, with alternating buttons for the left and right side of the body. You can also block both body blows and shots to the head. Where things get tricky is learning how to get into the ground game, combo different attacks and submit your opponents. Once you get them into a submission it basically comes down to whoever can spin their analog stick or mash buttons fastest. You can learn most of the tricks on-the-fly, although I definitely suggest that you start off with the tutorial. Outside of the career mode you can practice and train as much as you want to hone your skills.

The presentation in UFC 2009 Undisputed is well done. The menus are sleek and easy to navigate, although I wish load times were a little faster. The game features the likeness of all the major UFC fighters from Anderson Silva to Forest Griffin, Thiago Alves and Brock Lesner. All of the classes are represented with at least eight fighters in each. They even have the referees Mario Yamasaki and Herb Dean. As far as the audio goes, the regular UFC announcers Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg do play-by-play commentary. A lot of this gets repetitive, as is a problem with most games of this type.

Overall, the package that Yuke’s and THQ put together should make any UFC fan proud. The career mode will keep you busy for a long time. It’s easy to imagine fighting with friends on a Friday night, drinking beers and having a good time. There is also an online component that allows you to play against people over the Internet. I found the invite system to be a bit clunky, but it works once you get in a match. If you like fighting games then UFC 2009 Undisputed is a buy that you can’t pass up.

Graphics: 8.5
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 8.5
Replay Value/Game Length: 8.5
Final: 8.4
Written by Kyle Write a User Review