|System: X360, PS3, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Yuke's Media||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: THQ||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 25, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
Last year's UFC Undisputed was quite the breakout title. While previous titles attempted to use the MMA franchise with moderate success, Undisputed 09 was a game-changer. With a huge roster, amazing visuals, and a deeply strategic battle system, it seemed like the ultimate UFC fighter. The bar was certainly set high for this year's Undisputed, but I'm happy to say that it looks like the teams at Yuke's and THQ have pulled it off again. With new online and offline modes and a completely overhauled combat system UFC 2010 Undisputed is definitely packing the heat!
When you start up the game, you may be tempted to jump right into the action and start fighting. However, resist this urge, as the battle system has changed quite a bit since last year. Though the fundamental strategic-style combat is still intact, the game has introduced several new mechanics that give you greater control over your fighter. One of these new mechanics is the Sway System, which allows you to actively defend and counter attacks. The Sway System is seamlessly integrated into the standing battle controls, and using your defense feels easy and natural. Also, new in the battle mechanics is a beefed-up combo system, which gives you the ability to chain together more attacks to create better combos with your standard attacks.
On the strategic side of things, the combat system has also been tweaked to allow new posturing, which can help you strike your enemy from a more defensive or offensive position when you are in a submission hold. Although the posturing system does make fighters a bit harder to hold, if you find yourself at the bottom of a submission, it is much easier to defend yourself and get out of the hold. However, if you can manage to stay on top of the hold, you can land stronger blows.
When you first start up the game, you may be struck by how similar the layout and interface is to last year's title. However, as soon as you start exploring the game's content, you'll begin to notice exactly how much has changed since last year. The game's main single-player mode, Career Mode, takes the same RPG-like formula that was presented in last year's title; it allows users to create their own MMA fighter and take them through a career that begins on the amateur circuit, culminating in a UFC title match. Although the premise is essentially the same, there are some key differences that fans will notice. Right from the start, you'll see that the character creation interface has been streamlined, and you can use a drag-and-drop interface to apply tattoos, logos, and branding. You can also choose your fighter's moves from several fighting styles (instead of just two) and take moves from fighting disciplines like Wrestling, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and even Karate and Sambo (which were not featured in last year's title).
Once you have created your MMA fighter and given him some winning moves, you'll launch into the same RPG-like leveling system that was featured in the first game. However, you will notice that there are some additional elements to level up this time, including a "Popularity" meter that you will need to fill in order to attract sponsors. The Career Mode has been extended this year, and instead of just seven years, players will be able to battle other UFC players for fifteen years. But be warned, after your fighter hits his stride (around the 8 year mark), you will start to see the effects of aging on your fighter's stats. If you can see it all the way to the end, however, you'll be rewarded with a UFC championship, and of course, millions of virtual fans.
In addition to the Career mode, UFC 2010 Undisputed also features a Title Mode that lets you fight with your favorite UFC superstar and fight through their weight class. This mode is a great mini-career mode, which is perfect if you want to have a full game experience but don't want to take on the full commitment of the story mode. There is also a Title Defense Mode that can be unlocked which functions as a survival-style mode where the opponents keep coming as long as you have the stamina to fight them. In addition to these long modes, there are also short modes, including the standard Exhibition Mode - lets you go toe to toe with a friend, Event Mode - lets you design your own Pay Per View event card, and Ultimate Fights mode, which enables players to relive classic UFC matches.