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Platform

Xbox 360

Genre

Fighting

Publisher

THQ

Developer

Yukes

ESRB

T (Teen)

Released

February 14, 2012

 

 

- The ultimate MMA fighting game for fans, with a complete offering of everything UFC along with the addition of Pride to the fray

 

 

- Really need to have a thorough understanding of MMA fighting, with the heavy dependence on wrestling-style takedowns and grappling instead of relying on cinder-block punches and tree-trunk kicks, to have ultimate success inside the virtual octagon

- Requires a memorization of moves on the scale of a traditional fighting game such as Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter to competently fight and counteract takedowns

 

 

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UFC Undisputed 3

Score: 9.0 / 10

 

ufc undisputed 3          ufc undisputed 3

 

Boxing enjoyed a long, long run as the gladiatorial sport of choice for the millions of fans of brutal, “two-men-in, one-man out of the ring” combat, with the spectacle of men beating the living hell out of each other, exciting and entertaining a bloodthirsty public. But about the same time that the seemingly invincible Mike Tyson got knocked out for the first time over 20 years ago, boxing lost in heavy casualties – a huge percentage of its fans to professional wrestling.

And now, the popularity of a sport that takes the vicious combat of boxing (along with a handful of other fighting disciplines such as martial arts) and combines it

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with a lot of the skills needed in wrestling has surpassed boxing and thrown it even further down the ladder of “in-the-ring combat” relevancy: mixed martial arts. No surprise then, that publisher THQ has latched onto what once may have been a niche gaming market but now easily is more popular than boxing videogames with its UFC Undisputed franchise, now in its third incarnation in UFC

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Undisputed 3 on the Xbox 360 (also available on the PS3).

There is always a danger of mediocrity when one franchise and one franchise only has the license to produce games for a particular sport. Just look at the Madden juggernaut, which probably not coincidentally seemed to be a much better football videogame when it faced tough competition from the NFL2K series than when it has been the singular football videogame offering. At this point of its relatively young lifecycle three games in, however, UFC Undisputed hasn’t fallen victim to that unfortunate fate of becoming a tepid, uninspired, mediocre videogame franchise.

Everything and anything related to UFC is crammed into UFC Undisputed 3. And not only UFC either, as Undisputed 3 adds the Pride Fighting Championships to the equation. In total, there is a 150-fighter roster, with new bantamweight and featherweight classes.

 

ufc undisputed 3           ufc undisputed 3

 

While the gameplay hasn’t been changed much from its predecessor, there are new submissions, takedowns and knockouts, making the game much more realistic. Unfortunately, those new moves complicate the controls needed during fights. UFC Undisputed 3 requires a memorization of moves on the scale of a traditional fighting game such as Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter to competently fight and counteract takedowns. Without a firm grasp of the control schematics, the game can turn into nothing more than a button mashing frenzy, especially if a gamer finds themselves under the duress of a submission takedown and trying anything and everything to escape.

Despite a learning curve, gameplay is very smooth, with a first-class presentation, from the fighter introductions, to the actual UFC announcers and referees, to the good audio features of the crowd and impact of punches and kicks onto each fighter. High-quality visuals complete the championship-level production. Customization is also a huge drawing card for UFC Undisputed 3, as gamers can build up points and purchase equipment and clothing from the shop.

No matter what game mode a gamer is playing, from the career or tournament to most especially online versus other gamers, there is a real need to have a thorough understanding of MMA fighting, with its heavy dependence on wrestling-style takedowns and grappling instead of relying solely on cinder-block punches and tree-trunk kicks, to have ultimate success inside the virtual octagon.

But by using the game’s mini-games training mode, though, putting some serious time in the cyber gym will hone those MMA skills and get gamers totally familiar with the game’s detailed controls.

Three rounds in, the UFC Undisputed franchise is showing no signs of sequel fatigue, providing plenty of punch (and kick) for the hardcore videogaming MMA fanatic.

- Lee Cieniawa
lcieniawa@armchairempire.com

(April 4, 2012)

 

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