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T (Teen)



May 25, 2010



- Deep fighting gameplay
- High detailed visuals
- Plenty of gameplay modes, something for everybody
- Excellent voice acting



- THQ's "Online Pass" scheme



Review: Tekken 6 (PS3)

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Review: UFC: Sudden Impact (PS2)



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UFC Undisputed 2010

Score: 6.0 / 10


ufc undisputed 2010          ufc undisputed 2010


It's been derided as human cockfighting by U.S. Senators, hailed as the successor to boxing by its promoters, and mocked as blatantly homoerotic by the boys at Penny Arcade. It has spawned a reality TV show on Spike TV and made household names out of Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, Matt Serra, and Kimbo Slice. It's UFC fighting and the latest virtual iteration, UFC Undisputed 2010, brings the action to the Xbox 360 with bone crunching and blood spattering results.

For this year's version, Yuke's went back to the drawing board with the visuals, scanning or rescanning over 100 different UFC fighters to provide a higher degree




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- Fighting Game Reviews

- Games Published by THQ

of fidelity between the real fighters and their virtual counterparts, along with referees, announcer Bruce Buffer, and the lovely swimsuit models who carry the cards to announce the start of each round.

Character models not only look lifelike, but they move fluidly as well. The various striking and grappling animations are smooth as glass and


excellently captured. Where the game's visuals really shine is in the details. Sweat sheen, blood from cuts to the face, bruises, contusions, whatever your chosen avatar looks like after a fight, he'll look like he's been in a fight. Adding to the detail is the customization options for creating your own custom fighter and the branded gear worn during and after the fight. There are literally dozens of licensed logos from various merchandisers associated with MMA fighting in general and the UFC in particular, and once you've unlocked them, you have the option of plastering logos on your trunks or other articles of clothing. During a fight, the camera tends to maintain an angle that gives players the greatest degree of visibility whether you're striking or grappling and shifts when you move from standing strikes to ground grappling, as well as when one fighter is standing over another to pound away. The game takes advantage of the graphics engine to great effect.

When it comes to sound, UFC Undisputed 2010 brings a lot to the table. Joe Rogan, and Mike Goldberg sound exactly like they do at a real UFC match, offering up plenty of color commentary that is not only authentic and matches the action on the screen nicely, but gives subtle cues to the player of how well they're doing in the course of a bout. Bruce Buffer announces the start and end of the match with his usual bombastic style, even going so far as to announce a fighter's weight in pounds and stone depending on the venue. Even the refs get in on the act by laying down the ground rules for the fight before gloves touch and stopping fighters when one of them is clearly unable to continue. While there's not music during the actual fights, there's plenty of tunes to be found before and after, and it sounds much like you'd hear if you were watching a Pay-Per-View event on cable.

One of the nice touches in the sound department is the use of vocalized names for your custom fighters. With tens of thousands of combinations of first name, last name, and nickname, it's a bit of an ego boost to hear your custom fighter's name announced by Bruce Buffer, though if you put in a custom name that doesn't appear on the lists, you're simply referred to by your nickname.


ufc undisputed 2010          ufc undisputed 2010

As far as the gameplay is concerned, this may be one of the deepest fighting games I've ever played. Those looking for a quick fix can pick a fighter and an opponent and jump into Exhibition Mode. For those wanting a more traditional fighting ladder experience, Title Mode can certainly satisfy that craving, and Title Defense Mode can put you on the other side of the coin, taking on all comers as they try to take the championship belt from you. Tournament Mode can be a small 4-man affair or a massive 16-man undertaking. The Ultimate Fights Mode gives you as a player the chance to relive UFC history or try to change it by recreating various key fights and setting the victory conditions for them, not all of which are easy to accomplish. The Career Mode guides you through 12 game years in the life of a custom fighter as you try to become the UFC champion in your chosen weight class, and this is very likely where the most meat in the game is found as you rise in the rankings, train in places like Black House and Arizona Combat Sports to learn new special moves, and become a celebrity by showing up to media event mini-fights or giving colorful post-fight interviews with Joe Rogan.

The 360 version of the game requires an Xbox Live Gold account to access all the multiplayer goodies like Online Fight Camps, which create MMA-themed clans for you and your friends to build and support as you take on other players in ranked or unranked Xbox Live fights. Rather a static combo system as was found in last year's version of the game, this iteration goes with a dynamic combo system. Combined with the opportunity to customize your fighter's special moves, and drawing from numerous fighting styles, there are practically limitless build options for your custom fighters, which will doubtlessly make for a lot of interesting forum discussions on what makes the best fighter. The game's AI is surprisingly good and forces players to mix things up rather that just button mash their way through fights. There's almost too much good stuff to do in this game and I'm glad to see all of the options available to keep players playing.

With all of the great features, high production values, and multiple gameplay options, you may be wondering why I've given this game a score that doesn't unequivocally say “buy this now!” Shortly before the game's release, THQ announced that they would be using one-time use activation codes and charging $5 for a new code once the pre-packaged code on the back cover of the manual had been used, a move that mirrors Electronic Art's recently stated “Online Pass” program albeit not quite as expensive. In the past, I have given games with otherwise excellent qualities lower scores when I believe there has been some issue which fundamentally harms the gaming experience at some level. Usually that issue has been some form of DRM. In the case of UFC Undisputed 2010, it is this latest fad started by EA regarding one-time codes and multiplayer. As a reviewer, it is my responsibility to write critically not only about the features of a game and their relative merits, but also its value to gamers and its longevity. I have not, do not, and shall not ever make any sort of distinction between gamers who buy a title new or used. I believe my reviews should stand as a guide not only to what is a good purchase here in the present but what will be a good purchase in the future, long after the first surge of sales has faded, and I cannot write two reviews saying “This game is a great buy!” for the consumer buying new and “This game is not a great buy!” for the consumer buying used. The game is the same, new or used, and UFC Undisputed 2010 cannot be an unequivocal “must buy” game as long as it is hobbled by the idiocy spawned by EA. I can only hope this “business model” dies quickly and painfully and that next year's version will not be afflicted with it.


- Axel Cushing

(May 26, 2010)


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