UFC 2009 Undisputed

Right from the start, let me make it more than clear to all reading;  I have no connection at all with the UFC, I have never watched a fight, I own no T-shirts or DVDs that have anything to do with the sport. I will  approach this review as a player of games.  So off I go to learn about the brutal sport of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), which apparently is one of the fastest growing sports in the world.  Right from the off it is apparent that there has been a huge amount of time spent on the game, it looks quite gorgeous.  All the fighters appear solid, movement is fluid and blood and sweat flow like there is no tomorrow.  There are several options available from the start including career, exhibition and classic fights, but the first thing you should do is visit the tutorials, and it’s here that something went wrong for me.

As with any fighting game it is a good idea to get a feel for the controls and moves before you do anything else, in this instance I wished I didn’t.  From launching the tutorials to finishing them took me the best part of half an hour, after which I forgot all that I had just learned – not good.  There are loads of button combinations to remember as the game can be played as a stand up fighter but also as an on the floor submission type fighter.  As a result of the overly long tutorial I resorted to button bashing which works a treat.  Par for the course in modern sports games is a comprehensive character editor and it is exactly the case here, throw away another few hours of your life and you can get a scarily accurate representation of yourself in the game.

Career mode sees you start out as a fledgling fighter looking to climb the UFC ranks.  You take part in fights and train up your fighter in between fights, trying to raise your stats.  This is all done via a gymnasium hub where you receive e-mails and the like and can track your progress.  Sadly, once again, I found this whole process a bit tedious what with having to sift through mails, arrange fights, choose sponsors, train, take rest etc.  Don’t get me wrong, if you are in to that kind of set up you will love this but it was too much time away from the fighting for my liking.  I mostly ended up playing the exhibition mode, where you choose your fighters and batter each other until one falls down and doesn’t get back up.  There are several different fighting styles in the game including boxing, muay thai, wrestling, judo etc and finding a style that suits you is key to success.  I chose a boxer with wrestling skills and he was great for pummeling the opponent right up until a knockout.  There is also online play included on a one on one basis and the matches I played were lag free and quite fun, mainly because my button bashing triumphed over the tactical skills of my opponent.

The roster of fighters on offer is quite impressive, with over 80 to choose from.  I am reliably informed that they all look exactly as they should and that their fighting styles are portrayed well.  All the venues in the game look exactly the same, there is only so much you can do with an octagonal cage, bar the name of the venue on the floor.  Referees and announcers, and even ring girls ( if that is what you call them ) look like the real thing.  The presentation is true to its source material as you would expect and everything works well.  However there is still something that makes me not like the game and I can’t really put my finger on it.  A great shame because I loved the demo and was really looking forward to this.







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