Undisputed – The best console fighting game?

Not many people know this but I’m an avid UFC fan (that’s the Ultimate Fighting Championship) for people that haven’t a clue what I’m talking about. It’s one of the fastest growing sports in the world and has the potential to be the largest sport probably behind Football (Soccer) in years to come. It’s currently a billion dollar industry and has been going for more than 10 years in one form or another. Lets not talk about the real UFC for a second and concentrate on the console game, UFC 2009 – Undisputed.

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I’m not usually into fighting games on a console and take a much bigger part in First Person Shooters which most recently has been Battlefield: Bad Company. Over the past couple of months I’ve not even touched the 360, however knowing that the UFC demo was available I thought I’d give it an hour of my time just to see what it was like. My prediction was that it would be horrendous like all of the other fighting computer games. They usually don’t feel right, the transitions don’t flow, the punches are “plain” and it just doesn’t seem like it’s supposed to.

I was pleasantly surprised. First off by the lack of a health bar, the huge defining factor in most fighting games that you’re about to get your ass kicked and lose a match. In the UFC a knockout can come at any time and it’s the same for the game, granted you can become gassed if your cardio isn’t up to scratch and this can have an effect on your fight but even a last ditch attempt at a knockout can be successful.

I’ve only played this game for one afternoon and haven’t explored the full thing but was so impressed I thought I’d write up about it.

At the end of the day I’m impressed, the visuals are crisp, the transitions and fighting flows, the soundtrack as with most UFC events is terrific and I’ve not thrown the controller through the wall. One funny part of the game is the fighters, they look very realistic and in fact look more a less identical to the actual real life fighters yet Dana White looks nothing like Dana.

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Gavin

Lead Interaction Designer at DigitalDWP. Organiser of Industry, The Practical Web Conference..

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