Review by hackdog99

"Great new ideas, lazy implementation"

UFC Undisputed 2009 was an excellent first effort for THQ making an MMA video game. No prior efforts to capture the sport on any previous console had even come close. THQ was able to design intricate clinch and grappling systems that started to show what the sport is really about. The game was a tremendous success sales wise and certainly brought a lot of new fans to the sport.

Unfortunately THQ was very lazy with their follow up effort for UFC Undisputed 2010. The designers tried too hard to redesign the clinch system and completely ruined the ground game. They actually removed all Brazilian Jiu Jitsu from the game. As amazing as that sounds they removed the primary grappling option for fighters trapped on bottom from the game. They claimed they did not like the way the gamers were using it in 2009 but instead of fixing it they removed it. This alone as an avid MMA fan makes this game borderline unplayable.

THQ released the game months before they were ready. Even though the game has been out for weeks you still cannot use the online match menus properly. You continually get error messages saying match no longer exists. Despite designing a site and forum for the gamers who follow this game THQ has not been cooperative answering questions and more importantly has not fixed any problems.

Graphics:
Although the game at first looks impressive graphically you quickly realize that many of the fighters are the exact same character design as 2009. This even includes star fighter Wanderlei Silva who had major reconstructive surgery to his face and in real life now looks absolutely nothing like his fighter on the game. The characters still don't move like real people compared to many other video games today but I think overall they did improve the collision detection and graphics but only marginally. Graphics 7/10

Career Mode:
This mode is so boring. They expect you to do endless amounts of sparring before every fight doing the exact same moves over and over again. In fact the only way to rack up serious attributes for your fighter is to actually repeat certain moves over and over again. To make matters worse this was the case last year and everybody complained about it. Amazingly they didn't even change it. They start your character with no effective grappling or striking skills and you have to fight incredibly boring fights at a very slow speed since your character somehow is getting pro fights without having ever worked out in his life before and has absolutely no cardio, speed, or stength despite being incredibly lean and muscled.

THQ improved some aspects of the career mode by adding PPV previews, and post fight interviews. Unfortunately these also become extremely repetitive and lazy. As a whole most players aren't even finishing this mode as not only does it not have replay value, it doesn't even have first time value because you just do the same things over and over again the whole time. You end up putting in endless hours just so you have a usable fun fighter in the end. Most people are skipping this mode all together and simply making a quick Create A Fighter. Career Mode 5/10

Gameplay:
I just don't understand how they didn't have any test groups try this game at all. When the demo was first released the competitive league I am in was all buzzing and playing. Within just hours of the release we were amazed at how some of the glitches and cheap exploits from last year were not addressed (and some even made worse!!!!) and even some incredibly obvious poor programming.

For example any time you get taken down with a BJJ fighter who has the Omoplata submission all you have to do is start and stop the submission (which is just clicking a button and absolutely completely unblockable) and you are standing. This submission is not an easy one to apply in real life, it is not applied in real life from the position they use it in on the game, and it isn't used for the purpose it is used on the game. The whole situation doesn't even make sense.

Lyoto Machida and other BJJ guys have a takedown that is unblockable if skilled players are using the character. The only way to block it is to hold back on the right stick before your opponent attempts it. However, the takedown can only be attempted from striking range which means if you are holding back to prevent the takedown you will get punched or kicked in the face. If the animation starts the takedown it automatically gets it and it cannot be stopped ever. I mean not one single time will it ever be stopped. Not only is this ridiculous but the people that have this move aren't people with good takedowns in real life. Some incredibly weak takedown grapplers like Hazelett have this move.

I already mentioned they completely removed one of the 2 basic forms of grappling from the game. Now even if you use a star BJJ fighter like Damian Maia you are very limited off your back. In real life if an average wrestler takes Maia down he will have flipped them over and subbed them in under 2 minutes. On the game you can't even do anything but just click the sub button or wait to reverse your opponent. You have virtually no offense in the position where your character completely relies upon for all his offense in real life.

They did add cage grappling and a new clinch system to the game that is better than last years clinch system. However, they did not properly apply the cage grappling at all. On this video game if you pin your opponent against the cage you can end the fight in a just a few strikes. In real life this is a position dominated by underhook battles and positioning. People tend to end up tied up in the greco-roman clinch and more often than not the fights end up going to the ground or the ref has to break them up. Gameplay 5/10

Overall: 7/10
The only reason I give this a 7 out of 10 is because it has a very deep roster of all your favorite UFC stars and it has a monopoly on the market. This will change when a real gaming company in EA Sports makes their debut effort with EA MMA this fall. I was originally skeptical EA's window of opportunity but with this honestly pathetic effort from THQ, and more importantly their unwillingness to listen to their gamers I think EA now has a real chance. Early sales estimates are reporting that UFC Undisputed 2010 is well below the predicted numbers and THQ has already had to adjust revenue projections for the quarter by $4 million. Many people from my league have even returned the game already and dropped out. I am as big a gamer, and as big a fan of the UFC as you can find. I loved the attempt for Undisputed 2009 and couldn't wait for this game to come out.

This effort is the single most disappointing thing to happen in my 20 years of gaming. I do not understand why THQ did not listen to the gamers, real fighters, or anybody outside of their little circle and could possibly produce such a weak effort. I hope UFC has an out clause because this is truly embarrassing for them. They are signed with a company that doesn't think they need to try to make a decent game as long as they have the UFC license.


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 06/10/10

Game Release: UFC Undisputed 2010 (US, 05/25/10)


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