Dear Ultimate Fighting Championship Fan,
My name is Cyril Lachel and I don't know much about this thing called UFC. Actually, let me take that back, I don't know anything about UFC. I know that a couple of guys enter an eight-sided ring and they proceed to beat the living tar out of each other. But outside of that, I'm as clueless as they come. I couldn't name you a single UFC athlete and I don't even know what it is these people are fighting for. I'm absolutely clueless. So I don't take it personally if you decide that I'm not the guy who should be reviewing this line of video games. I haven't played a decade's worth of UFC games and have no knowledge of the nuance of this sport.
But don't leave just yet, UFC fans. I may not know anything about this franchise, but I'm willing to learn. I want to give this game a fair shake. And who knows, maybe this will be the kind of story where I end up falling in love with something I expected to hate. It could be that by the end of this review I'll reveal that I've turned into an avid UFC watcher who is going back and buying all of the games. All that could happen ... but it probably won't.
UFC Undisputed 2010 is the kind of game where you won't be surprised by anything that happens. I turned on the game and discovered that the game has a handful of basic modes (exhibition, online, career, ladder, etc.) and a bunch of fighters I've never heard of. In a lot of ways it feels exactly like all of the boxing and wrestling games that I've accidentally played in the past. Only this time around everybody is using mixed martial arts and the ring looks a lot like the Dharma Initiative logo.
Anybody that knows me can tell you that I'm a huge fighting game fan, sharpening my teeth at the arcade with the likes of Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat and everything that SNK could throw at me. But as I got older I never transitioned from traditional fighting games to the more realistic form of fisticuffs. When it came to UFC Undisputed 2010, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
I was happy to discover that THQ's newest fighting game was exceptionally easy to learn and play. I discovered right from the beginning that the controls felt a lot like Namco's long-running Tekken franchise. Using the four face buttons, you have complete control over both of your arms and legs. Unlike Tekken, UFC allows you to modify both the height of your attack and the technique using the L1 and L2 buttons. There is also a more advanced grapple technique and not one, but two defensive buttons. There may be a lot more buttons to think about, but it didn't take more than a couple of matches before I felt comfortable with the controls.
Once I had the controls down, I was excited to be able to kick butt in the game's exhibition mode. The game offers more than one hundred UFC fighters (not including the custom fighters, which we'll get to in a moment), which meant that I spent much of my time picking random characters and hoping for the best. With so many different personalities to choose from, you'll have no problem finding a character for you in UFC Undisputed 2010.
Although it's a funny thing to compliment, I was especially impressed with how well THQ was able to capture the intensity of each match. These UFC fighters aren't messing around, they're built to administer devastating punches and kicks, and Undisputed 2010 certainly gets that element right. There's a lot of emphasis placed on each shot, so you can't simply rush in and mash buttons. That first big attack you land has the potential to influence the rest of the match, in a way you don't normally see in most traditional fighting games. As I played through the various modes I was always cognizant that one or two big attacks can mean the difference between winning and losing.
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