I'm sure there's quite a lot of you out there who've heard of the Ultimate Fighting Championships? For those of you who haven't, I'll give you some info on the event.
The UFC was establised in 1993, when martial arts experts from all number of styles were brought together to fight it out in The Octagon (an eight-sided, 6 foot tall ring). This was done to try and establish which fighting style was best. Every martial arts discipline imaginable gets it's chance in the UFC. Styles ranging from Boxing to Wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu to Karate. Over the course of it's ten year reign, The UFC has had more that 45 different events hosted in places from the U.S. to Brazil, Japan to the U.K. The UFC is now one of the premier mixed martial arts contests in the world.
I'm afraid there's not really that much I can say about the gameplay in this game. I mean this game doesn't exactly fill me with enthusiasm. The control system isn't very good and as far as I'm concerned, a lot more thought should of gone into it. For starters, it doesn't even use the top L&R buttons on the gamepad. Obviously, being a martial arts game, there's going to be fighting while stood, and some fighting on the ground. The basic contros are X Button (Left Kick), O button (Right Kick), Square Button (Left Punch), Triangle Button (Right Punch). You can also combine certain buttons thus enabling you to perform takedowns, reversals and submission moves, etc. Whilst fighting, you can win by knockout, Tapout, Decision or Draw. An unusual twist to this game is the use of 2 health bars. One bar indicates you stamina, the other you endurance.
There are 5 different game modes. These are: Arcade Mode (where after wining a certain ammount of fights, you might get a reward), Champion Road (in which you have to win 5 consequtive fights in any given weight class to win a title belt. You have the choice of using a UFC fighter, or your own custom character), Tournament Mode (set up an elimination match between 8 UFC fighters...), Versus Mode (matches between any 2 players you choose), Story Mode (create your own custom fighter, putting him throught 3 years of training in a style of your choice, to become a UFC fighter).
As far as I'm concerned, I think the fighting controls are far too basic; really frustrating with poor combos which just weren't thought out properly! Trouble is, I've always preferred games Like Guilty Gear X, Mortal Kombat, Tekken, etc. One of the best control systems I've used in a wrestling game so far has to be in Smackdown: Here Come The Pain. ...simply outstanding.
The graphics aren't that bad when you take into consideration how shoddy the controls are. I actually think the graphics are pleasing to the eye, with quite a bit of attention to detail gone into it. You can see muscle definition, different skin shades and tattoos. I was pleasantly surprised by the lighting and shadows - they haven't too overboard with either. It definitely helps with the realism of the game. The fighters and scenery both look more than convincing. Obviously, attention has been turned more to the inside ring than the surrounding environment. The backgrounds are plain, with simple (and quite frankly, disappointing) 2d animations for the audience, which you would expect to see on a psone.
The main issue I have with the graphics side of things is in story mode. It's not so much the level of detail, but the level of choice concerning body features. If you decided not to have one of the 35 UFC fighters, you can create you own custom fighter. Granted, this is fun. But this choice is, however seriously limited. For example: instead of being able to select facial features like a nose, mouth, ears, eyes, hair/hair colour, etc. You have a pre-determined template where it's all done for you. So If you wanted a moustache, you might have to settle for a different colour or shaped feature that you might not even want.
There's enjoyable, catchy music throughout, with quite a pumping beat. You get the expected audience screams and cheers with an included commentary and music video as the fighters make their way ring-side. Pummels, punches, slaps and grunts - all the sounds of a good scrap...
When I first turned UFC on and saw the intro, I thought it looked pretty cool. Trouble is, then I started to play it! I feel it's sort of a 50/50% with this game. You're either gonna love it, or it'll drive you nuts. Truth is, I'm more than happy with my beat 'em ups. It's entertaining for a while, but I feel the novelty soon wears off. Whenever I want to play a wrestling-style game, I'll happily stick to Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain.