It’s been along time since UFC fans have had the pleasure of playing a video game with their favorite fighters within the virtual octagon. So long, in fact, that THQ had to build the game from the ground up with the help of the developers over at Yuke’s Media Creations, in order to “make up for the mistakes of previous title”. However, one can only wonder what’s so different; what makes this game so good and worth the wait?
When playing through UFC one of the many things you’ll notice is how well UFC 2009 Undisputed translates one of the most complex hand-on-hand combat sports into a enjoyable experience. The game has three fighting positions that can be executed during a fight: on your feet, the clinch, and your ground game. These positions blend together nicely, and depending on which moves you execute, in whatever position, you can execute a number of different combinations.
However, if I were to give you some advice, I’d say to go through the in-depth tutorial. Firstly, because it’s a requirement; but also because you’ll need it. And don’t try the online mode unless you have gone through at least half of the game’s career mode. This is because UFC 2009 Undisputed isn’t a game in where you just pick it up and start playing. Every fighter within this game has their own unique fighting style – Muay Thai, kickboxing, boxing, Brazillain Jui-Jitsu, wrestling, and Judo. You’ll have to learn each fighter’s style before you take anyone one.
Speaking of fighting, UFC 2009 Undisputed’s in-ring combat really puts an emphasis on realism. The title’s hand-to-hand combat has to be the most detailed part of it. Depending on your distance from your opponent, you can perform different strikes. The same goes for the clinch, but there’s a different aspect to it. In addition, to add the realism, the makers of Undisputed digitally recreated actual referees and corner men to add to the experience. But the real star is the amazing commentary from Joe Rogen and Mike Goldberg – the commentators from the actual events.
UFC 2009 Undisputed gives you the ability to create your own Ultimate Fighter – starting from the bottom, fighting your way to the top. But you’ll have to balance your Ultimate Fighter’s scheduling and training throughout your calender in the career mode, because it can ultimately affect your fights in the future. However, there are three major things that you’ll focus on during your time before a match: strength, speed, and cardio. Along with that, you can spar against AI opponents, gaining points to fill up any of your sixteen fighting style bars, which help customize which position your fighter’s really good at.
Graphically, everything looks sound within the octagon. The 80+ fighters look and fight like their reality-based counterparts, and the frame rate stays solid throughout a match. They developers were even nice enough to add damage calculation to the character models, and, when blood flies from one of these injured spots, it will stay on the floor for the whole match.
I have only a few problems with UFC 2009 Undisputed. Firstly is that flash knockouts happen way too often. Being a man that loves to fight tectonically, when a flash knockout happens out of the blue, it angers me and many players like me. Also, the soundtrack could have a lot more sounds featured throughout, because Undead can only rock for so long. Another thing is, they could have added the fighters walking into the virtual octagon much like they do on the televised events.
While it’s easy to say that Undisputed has its problems, there’s no denying that it’s a great fighting game. It’s atmospheric, and the characters feel and sound authentic. It seems that THQ have found themselves a yearly title that can hopefully stand the test of time. If you’re a fan of any fighting game, this is something that you should give a try.