UFC Undisputed 2010 PSP Review

September 21, 2010 by Chris Wigham  
Filed under Features, PSP, Reviews

Publisher – THQ – Developer – Yuke’s Media Creations – Genre –  Sports/Fighting – Players – 1-2 – Age Rating – 15+ – Other console/handheld formats – Xbox 360, PS3

You know how MMA fighters use every muscle in their body during matches? Well, UFC Undisputed 2010 uses every single button on the PSP – there’s not a single button that doesn’t do anything, it really is a deep game and one that will certainly appease fans of simulations and those who enjoy the spectacle of the human chess game that is Mixed Martial Arts.

Yes, let’s get one thing straight, this is no casual fighting game that can be picked up after one or two plays, you’ll need to refresh yourself time and time again in the suitably deep tutorials. These tutorials leave nothing out, and whilst you can get by with some of the basics, knowing the lot is certainly going to be beneficial in many of the situations that you’ll find yourself in. For those that don’t know, there’s various fighting positions in MMA: on your feet and down on the ground in – an often painful – tangle of limbs.

Cuts open up, although blood never drips to the mat. You can't expect all the detail in the PSP version, but Yuke's has done a very impressive job in getting in as much as they could.

Matches start with both fighters on their feet, and here throwing punches and kicks and holding down a modify button to alter their height and make them stronger is simple enough – using face buttons combined with shoulder buttons, but there’s also clinch positions in which both fighters attempt to fight for a better position or to escape the hold. You can also use the cage to force your opponent into it, and no I don’t mean you can use the steel in the manner that those WWE lot do to break the bodies of their opponents, or pretend to break. Here, it’s all real and the only use of the cage that you are going to get is ramming your opponent against it in order to follow up with a hopefully relentless attack of stinging and bloodying blows.

Right, next we have the ground game. This is UFC Undisputed 2010’s most confusing feature, at least to begin with. It’s certainly handy to have prior knowledge as to all the different positions that MMA fighters get themselves into, or forced into. When on the ground you use the nub to attempt to get into better positions and will be looking for the full mount: this allows you to keep hitting the face of your opponent, resulting in a brutal knockout. It works well enough, although movement with the d-pad and ground game actions with the nub (you’ll also be using the nub for clinches, counters and to block certain moves) is a little too awkward, but to be fair the developer has done a fantastic job in getting such a fully featured MMA game working on the PSP, and work it does, just not perfectly. But everything can’t be perfect at the end of the day.

There are over 100 real life UFC fighters in the game, and being as they have their own fighting styles, it’s yet another complexity. Some are very good at striking, others at throwing opponents from precarious positions and there’s also individuals who are well versed in bending limbs back in order to get the tap out submission victory. Again, you’ll learn such things in the comprehensive tutorials and may have to ingest the information more than once.

There are plenty of options for those who decide to stick with the game. You have your ordinary exhibition fights, tournaments and can take on human competition in the ad-hoc mode. Title mode meanwhile has you fighting through opponent after opponent before finally meeting the champion and hopefully knocking him out to win the gold. When you win the belt it’s possible to defend it in another mode to prove you’re a fighting champion. There’s also the Ultimate Fights mode, which presents you with 15 matches that actually happened, then it’s up to you to follow the instructions. For those who like something more in depth, there’s the meaty career mode.

The ground game can be the difference between winning and losing. The fighter on the bottom looks ready to scream and tap in the above screen.

The career mode certainly has a lot to it. First you create a fighter with a decent set of options, and then you begin your MMA career in the minor leagues, eventually landing yourself a big UFC contract. There’s much to do when outside the Octagon: you can improve your fighter in certain areas and it’s diverse enough to make him into the fighter that you want him to be. The career is definitely impressive and will definitely hold the interest for more than a couple of hours.

Visually, UFC Undisputed 2010 looks great on the PSP. Fighter models and animations are very detailed, although I have noticed a few glitches with the latter in which my opponent was still standing when I grabbed the knockout victory. Aurally, there’s not a single sound bite of commentary and the crowd sound a little too muted and disinterested in each fight.

UFC Undisputed 2010 has a few issues on the PSP, but none of them are enough to hold the game back from me heartily recommending it to a certain player who likes the intricacies of a sport to really show in a game. The developer has done a fantastic job in porting it over to Sony’s shiny handheld and it has enough content to warrant plenty of play time. Just make sure to watch those tutorials, otherwise you may not know what’s going on in this ocean deep simulation.

8/10

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