Published on May 31st, 2009 | by The Bad Man1
UFC 2009 Undisputed Review Competition with WWE?
UFC is one of the fastest growing sports in this country. There has been a flood rush of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters over the past two years and between Pride and UFC, now mainstream America is getting in on the action. UFC had released a game back in 2004; UFC: Sudden Impact which had limited success. With the first game released since the contract with THQ back in 2007, UFC Undisputed proves to be leaps and bounds above its predecessor.
UFC Undisputed features 80 different UFC personalities, ranging from the fighters themselves to the ring announcer, Bruce Buffer, to the girls holding the round signs outside of the octagon. There are also several venues such as the Mandolin Bay Casino and Madison Square Garden.
THQ, who is behind all of WWE’s Smackdown titles goes with a different approach to the conrols in UFC Undisputed. The analog sticks become the trigger point for many moves and takedowns. Along with the extended use of the analog stick, combos are also a big part of the game. The best way to describe UFC Undisputed is crossing Fight Night with Tekken. The controls are a little difficult so grasp when first playing but after a few minutes of playing they seem more natural.
UFC Undisputed also features a create-a-fighter mode, and while this is a great feature for the game, it lacks some of the finer parts found in the Smackdown titles. Through the create-a-fighter you can go into a career mode, starting off with limited attributes and joining a training camp to progress and become better and stronger. The career mode is bases off CRED. Players can accumulate CRED by booking fights, doing guest appearances, wearing sponsorships on your trunks and of course, winning fights. Higher CRED unlocks new trunks, better practice equipment and better sponsors. UFC fights are booked similar to boxing matches, they span a few weeks from fight to fight, not like in WWE where you fight every week. One quirk I noticed in the game that the years progress very quickly, yet your fighter’s age stays the same on the tale-of-the-tape display before a fight. Not a major flaw but something that is noticeable.
The online play is relatively solid, comparing to that of Fight Night or Smackdown vs Raw. However, with a weaker connection, it may become difficult to counter or takedown opponents, so two strong connections are really needed to get a nice playing experience.
WWE Smackdown vs Raw has been one of the flagship franchises for THQ, so it will be interesting to see if the release of UFC Undisputed will spark more competition between the two franchises. This will only result in better quality games and more in depth graphics. Many people shun the WWE franchise for their sometimes spotty impact reactions with the fighters, UFC already showed an improvement with that so that puts more pressure on the SVR franchise to deliver this holiday season.
Overall, UFC Undisputed established itself as a contender for fighting games. It will be interesting to see if the UFC franchise will put out games on a yearly basis and rival WWE’s sales. Round 1 is in the books, and it’s shaping up to be a great battle. Overall score: 8.5