Review: UFC Undisputed 2010

UFC surprised us with a lovely right hook with last year's title UFC Undisputed 2009. A year later THQ gives us the slogan “So you wanna be a Fighter” with this year's release of UFC Undisputed 2010. Yeah the name hasn't changed much, but the game certainly has. If you do not know what UFC is by now then you seriously have been living under a rock - especially with names like Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell, Royce Gracie, Randy Couture, George St. Pierre (GSP for short), Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock. Names made famous cause of UFC. “So you wanna be a Fighter” still? Let's find out.

Is that blood or red paste?

The first thing you would probably notice is graphically the game looks eerily similar to last year's title. I am not saying it is a bad thing, but minor changes would have been nice. I really felt like I was playing last year's game. Graphically, the fighters' movements feel about the same as before, but inexplicably, feels off at times. Some of the punches and kicks that should have landed don't and some that shouldn't, do. Though, when it lands cleanly, you can certainly feel the punch.

And in the blue corner...

As much as I would love to spend every minute following MMA news around the world, I don't have the time to do such a thing. In Career Mode you get to do that for one fighter, and that fighter is you! Career Mode is the Story Mode of the game where you create your fighter the way you want him to look. Even though the customization is pretty much a bunch of preset models where you're allowed to modify a few things here and there. After you create your character, you are now free to experience a twelve year career which also includes testing your fighting ability against the game's four difficulties before going pro. The “story” of the game is you becoming a rising star in the UFC where after a match you can choose what you want to say in the post fight interview. Something that can have lasting consequences based on whether you respect or disrespect your opponent. It can affect your fighter's credibility and popularity attributes and how the fans and commentary react to you.

Oh what a right hook!

UFC is certainly one event that you can enjoy watching in person or through your television screen. Adding to the overall real experience is the commentary of the event. This is dutifully recreated and captured in UFC Undisputed 2010. It has it all, from the pre-match commentary to the announcement of the fighters by one suave Bruce Buffer to announcers Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg talking over each other. The only thing that could be construed as lacking is the absence of some sort of commentary for the replays, but I am sure most of us have forgiven them for not adding it in. Or have we? Still after the end of a round or match I was left with a sense of satisfaction that I did more than just press buttons. I actually got to feel what it is like to be in a UFC event thanks to the wonderful commentary that the game provides.

I'll throw a jab here

The gameplay for this year title is no different from the previous title. It is really similar, if not exactly the same button configuration. To be honest, there is no big difference in the control system. So if you played 2009's title, then you should be familiar with the button scheme for 2010's.

Need to get this off my chest

So while reviewing UFC Undisputed 2010 I wanted to fight some matches online only to find out that I was not able to do so. Why? Well in order for you to play online you need to enter a code. Something I did not get with my copy of UFC Undisputed 2010 from GameFly. So reviewing the online portion of the game was out of my reach. Also if you so happen to get rid of the game and the next person that purchases the game wants to go online, they will have to pay a $5 charge for a code to go online. Now I can't even comment about how stable the online play is as I was not able to get on. There are also online camps you may able to attend, but I was not able to be a part of that as well.

Now that came from no where....

One of the major differences in the game is the defense style. Well really the lack of defense style. It doesn't matter how often I have my hands up - obviously important, even the commentators will mention about “always keeping those hands up” - your opponent will find a way to either knock you out or knock you down to the ground. At that point you can block and kick all you want, but there is still a good chance your opponent will find a way to finish the fight quickly. Defending a take down and transitions require holding the stick in either one direction or the other. At times when I am trying to do the reversal, I feel so disconnected because of the timing.

UFC Undisputed 2010 has the ability to show you your fighter's health and stamina bar.  It certainly increases the chances of a spontaneous knockout, which is fine because that is how it is in a real UFC fight. Unfortunately, this isn't a real UFC fight. This is a video game where K.O.s happen way, and I mean WAY too often. I don't mean just against you, but against your opponent as well. It's baffling at times, especially when you are watching the replay of your K.O. You don't see that much of a difference there from what you were doing before. It may have been carried over from the previous title.

My take:

UFC Undisputed 2010 is a solid game. Despite some issues in the game that could have been avoided - like the lack of updated graphics - even if it's minor, just give us something. There will be times when you get a bit (alright extremely) frustrated when you think you are winning the match and BAM its all over with a right hook or uppercut. Just hang in there and keep on trucking. It is still a solid pick up for $60 if you are a UFC fan or a really good rent if you are on the fence about it. Oh you can unlock a few secret characters and one of them is Shaq. I wonder why...hmmmmm

UFC Undisputed 2010 was developed by Yuke's Media Creations and published by THQ for the PS3, XBox 360, PSP on May 25th. A copy of the game was rented from GameFly.com. I played through 10 matches in the career mode and played many of the modes with the exception being online on the PS3.