BitSnark

A place of scribblings located in the darkest corner of the internet. Yup.

UFC Undisputed 09 Demo Impressions (360/PS3)

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Borne from the frustration inflicted upon me from the earlier Crave developed MMA titles, it was with a sense of wariness that I approached Smackdown developers Yukes take on the popular UFC franchise. Upon starting the demo you have a choice of exhibition and tutorial modes only. Being the kind of gamer who is confident in his ability with fighting games, I confidently started an exhibition match (you get to choose either the ‘Iceman’ Chuck Liddell or Shogun Rua) and decided to get stuck straight in the thick of the action.

The first thing you notice is just how detailed the character models are. Each of the models is a very close approximation of their real-life counterpart boasting lifelike veined muscles, detailed facial hair, accurate motion captured movement and of course, a crap ton of sweat (and when the occasion calls for it) blood too.

The next thing you notice if you didn’t do the tutorial first, is that this game is not the game you’ve seen in the trailers previously, as for the first fifteen minutes (before I let common sense get the better of me and jumped into the tutorial) you simply find yourself stood upright trading punches and kicks with maybe the odd clinch that doesn’t lead anywhere.

In relation to strikes, each of the four face buttons is mapped to a limb, and can be used contextually. So for example, whereas ‘X’ may initiate a haymaker at mid-range, at close range it will instead produce an elbow strike, and just as pressing ‘A’ may make your fighter do a mid-level kick, at closer ranges the fighter will elect to kick the inside of your opponent’s leg. Strikes as in real life, can be match enders too, as it’s entirely possible to end a match with a well placed haymaker into maw of your opponent, dropping them like the proverbial sack of spuds.

But what about all those mat grapples, and submission holds that MMA and UFC is famous for? Surely it can’t be *that* hard to do the grapples and counter grappling that the trailer so artfully displays? Well it turns out it actually isn’t, you just need to remember two things; firstly, don’t button bash as you *will* get murdered by a more experienced player and secondly, use the tutorial. Seriously, this is one instance where actually paying attention to the tutorial pays sweet dividends, as within five minutes of using the tutorial, your grizzled MMA fighter is throwing down, grappling and counter grappling with the best of them. The grappling system that Undisputed has is multi-layered and relatively complex, but not overly so at the expense of accessibility.

Grapples are initiated through either an aggressive motion; a double leg takedown forcing your opponent to the mat for example, or through a defensive motion, catching an opponent’s kick and forcing them down into a mount position. Each position that you enter in allows you to strike the opponent using your hands, elbows or knees depending on your proximity to them and the hold in use. Conversely, if you are on the receiving end of strikes or even a submission hold you can fight back with punches and elbow strikes of your own, or, you can shift the momentum of the hold by countering the next strike and gesturing the analogue stick the direction that you wish to take the hold. The transitional grappling system that is Undisputed’s trump card does indeed work as advertised, providing a tense game of timing and strategically momentum as two players negotiate the myriad of holds each trying to get the upper hand on the other.

More so then other less-realistic po-faced fighters, there is a bespoke sense of ‘mat’ strategy here, one that hasn’t been seen for a long while and which pays off the studious and forward thinking player more so then the frantic button bashers hoping for a quick KO.

This is one title, I’ll be keeping an eye on for sure.

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Written by bitsnark

April 24, 2009 at 10:53 am

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UFC Undisputed 09 Demo Impressions (360/PS3)

leave a comment »

Borne from the frustration inflicted upon me from the earlier Crave developed MMA titles, it was with a sense of wariness that I approached Smackdown developers Yukes take on the popular UFC franchise. Upon starting the demo you have a choice of exhibition and tutorial modes only. Being the kind of gamer who is confident in his ability with fighting games, I confidently started an exhibition match (you get to choose either the ‘Iceman’ Chuck Liddell or Shogun Rua) and decided to get stuck straight in the thick of the action.

The first thing you notice is just how detailed the character models are. Each of the models is a very close approximation of their real-life counterpart boasting lifelike veined muscles, detailed facial hair, accurate motion captured movement and of course, a crap ton of sweat (and when the occasion calls for it) blood too.

The next thing you notice if you didn’t do the tutorial first, is that this game is not the game you’ve seen in the trailers previously, as for the first fifteen minutes (before I let common sense get the better of me and jumped into the tutorial) you simply find yourself stood upright trading punches and kicks with maybe the odd clinch that doesn’t lead anywhere.

In relation to strikes, each of the four face buttons is mapped to a limb, and can be used contextually. So for example, whereas ‘X’ may initiate a haymaker at mid-range, at close range it will instead produce an elbow strike, and just as pressing ‘A’ may make your fighter do a mid-level kick, at closer ranges the fighter will elect to kick the inside of your opponent’s leg. Strikes as in real life, can be match enders too, as it’s entirely possible to end a match with a well placed haymaker into maw of your opponent, dropping them like the proverbial sack of spuds.

But what about all those mat grapples, and submission holds that MMA and UFC is famous for? Surely it can’t be *that* hard to do the grapples and counter grappling that the trailer so artfully displays? Well it turns out it actually isn’t, you just need to remember two things; firstly, don’t button bash as you *will* get murdered by a more experienced player and secondly, use the tutorial. Seriously, this is one instance where actually paying attention to the tutorial pays sweet dividends, as within five minutes of using the tutorial, your grizzled MMA fighter is throwing down, grappling and counter grappling with the best of them. The grappling system that Undisputed has is multi-layered and relatively complex, but not overly so at the expense of accessibility.

Grapples are initiated through either an aggressive motion; a double leg takedown forcing your opponent to the mat for example, or through a defensive motion, catching an opponent’s kick and forcing them down into a mount position. Each position that you enter in allows you to strike the opponent using your hands, elbows or knees depending on your proximity to them and the hold in use. Conversely, if you are on the receiving end of strikes or even a submission hold you can fight back with punches and elbow strikes of your own, or, you can shift the momentum of the hold by countering the next strike and gesturing the analogue stick the direction that you wish to take the hold. The transitional grappling system that is Undisputed’s trump card does indeed work as advertised, providing a tense game of timing and strategically momentum as two players negotiate the myriad of holds each trying to get the upper hand on the other.

More so then other less-realistic po-faced fighters, there is a bespoke sense of ‘mat’ strategy here, one that hasn’t been seen for a long while and which pays off the studious and forward thinking player more so then the frantic button bashers hoping for a quick KO.

This is one title, I’ll be keeping an eye on for sure.

Written by bitsnark

April 24, 2009 at 10:53 am

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