- 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
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Score:9.0 / 10
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
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
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
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
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.
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.