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UFC Undisputed 2010 Review

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Developer: Yuke’s Publisher: THQ
Release Date: May 25, 2010 Available On: PS3 and Xbox 360

I am a huge fan of fighting games of all varieties, so naturally, a game based on real-life fighting would appeal to me. While last year’s UFC Undisputed 2009 was not really my cup of tea, the 2010 iteration marks one of the most massive improvements to an annual franchise that I have ever witnessed. So, you wanna be a fighter?

Of course you do. With UFC 2010, Yuke’s Osaka and THQ allows fans of the sport to almost perfectly emulate their favorite fighters and even create their own UFC Superstar. Unlike last year’s Undisputed, accurately creating what you imagine yourself to be in the ring is easy and as in-depth as one could ever hope for. Are you a big fan of Lyoto Machida’s karate style, but think it could be slightly better? With some work in career mode and some challenging training sessions in the various MMA camps, you can hone your fighter to even the smallest skull-smashing detail.

Although the controls remain pretty much the same, slight modifications have been made to decrease annoying problems with submissions, while adding to the complexity and variety that keeps in tune with the entire game’s makeover. Instead of trying to figure out if you need to press buttons or spin the right analog stick, the latter is the only option that made it to the 2010 brawler. Perhaps the best of these changes are the different transitions you can now accomplish from the different positions and postures. For example, Demian Maia can switch from a flying arm bar to a triangle choke with the push of a button.

By the same token, fighters can switch from orthodox to southpaw, which can also drastically change the fighter’s style altogether. The new sway system also delivers a great way to stand and trade. Reminiscent of the Fight Night franchise, brawlers can now duck, weave and counter-punch, which adds a fun and addictive way to turn your opponent’s face into ground turkey meat.

The new game modes are a very welcome addition to the normally unvaried MMA fare. The only thing to do in this game is fight, but at least the new title and title defense modes add new motivation to throw the gloves on just a few more times. Each round you win deducts a little bit of the damage you took during the fight and carries you into the next round versus a meaner and hungrier opponent. On top of this, there is a new tournament mode made for up to 16 players, which is great for parties and pre-fight festivities. Also included are the classic fights of UFC past.

While new game modes are great, vast improvements have been made to the career mode from last year, making a much deeper and customizable experience. Added to the previously mentioned options to pimp your brawler’s arsenal, a new choice-based system has been implemented to really let you tie yourself to your fighter. You can make friends or enemies with your choices in the post-fight interview, and whatever you choose has an effect on your fights with the person you respect/disrespect. I made Ryan Bader my sworn enemy and he took me to school every fight. Balancing your fighter is very important, as in the real world where a great striker goes against a great wrestler.

If I have one major complaint with the game, it is the quality of the online experience. At the time of writing, there are many connection problems, including even getting the game to load until well after 5 minutes. In many matches with friends, our connections dropped somewhere in the 2nd round. While the online training camp is actually really cool, the actual fights seem to go to completion about half the time. However, the few ranked matches that I played seemed to have slightly better connections. This is also the first game to utilize the Online Play Code system. Luckily, when it works, the online gameplay is worth redeeming the code and entering the online MMA world. If you plan on buying UFC used and play online, expect to pay $5 (the code is free for new copies of the game).

The graphics have improved since last year, especially in the fighter models. The post-fight interviews, conducted by a very convincing-looking Joe Rogan, actually add a lot to the feeling of immersion. The best presentation improvement is definitely the fight commentary. Rogan and Mike Goldberg are two of the most entertaining commentators in the world and they bring every bit of that magic to the video game adaptation. It’s hard to put into words just how believable the fights are with these two at the helm, so I’ll just say it’s the best commentary ever in a video game and leave it at that.

I have to say, I am thoroughly impressed by the improvement the UFC video game franchise has made in just a year’s time. The licensed fighters truly fight like you see on the pay-per-views and your dream fighter will perform exactly to your specifications. While the shiny outer-layer does diminish a bit over time, hardcore UFC fanatics will hardly notice as they will be too busy reliving classic matches, and even calling a re-do on the previous night’s fight results. With plenty of fan service, as well improvements to make the game more accessible to those new to the franchise, this is easily one of the best sports titles of 2010. So, you wanna be a fighter? This is how.

Graphics: 8.5
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 8.5
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 9
Final: 8.8 out of 10
Written by Evan Wilson Write a User Review