Review by DandyQuackShot
"Mixed Martial Arts Meets Facebook"
With a million players you would think MMA Pro Fighter would be as well known as FarmVille on Facebook. Perhaps you received an invitation from a friend to help you both become world champion mixed martial artists. If you haven't and are on Facebook, then expect to run into this application at some point down the road. MMA Pro Fighter is a Facebook application game created by Digital Chocolate, a developer of iPhone apps as well as online games that get their profits by making their games inconvenient to play and somewhat forcing you to use real money to buy fake money to progress through the game.
The application is easy to add and after a very brief custom creation of your character you are on your way to become the ultimate undisputed MMA hero...sort of. For a game based on the ultimate social networking site, MMA Pro Fighter has little to do with social interaction. Sure you are forced to click through several attempts to invite your friends to join this game but you are not exactly playing against other Facebook users in the game. They have created their own characters that you can opt to fight, but this doesn't affect their game. Whether you win a match or lose it will only affect your character.
So basically this is just a level up your guy kind of deal with no major motivation put in place to want to reach a certain end. Apparently you can get a 100% completion once you have fully leveled up your character and completed all the challenges. Getting there is the challenge especially if you want to play for free. You can level your character up very quickly in the Training sessions but you have to earn money to continue your training and that means having to fight. If you win you earn money and experience points toward leveling up. You also earn a few Pro Points that allow you to gain custom apparel and attributes but otherwise you are forced to buy these points using your PayPal or credit card. If you lose a fight then you lose your health which is replaced one by one every minute so the more you increase your health and cardio stats the longer it takes to regenerate this stuff if you lose.
The fights are supposed to be the main part of the game but they are nothing but simulations. Some cheesy flash player images will appear and the match is updated with text moves that your character trades with the other fighter. You can opt to hurry this process along or skip it altogether which totally kills the drama of watching a simulation. This reminded me a lot of the old console sports games that let you simulate a game or even a whole tournament or season. There is no point to a game if you don't have any actual game play. Basically you are just leveling up your character buying him fancy moves and clothes. There are plenty of bosses to fight in the game and that shows you how far you have to level up to finally take all of them out. I could probably train in real life to become a MMA fighter by the time I would be able to reach the top level in this game.
If for some reason you do stick to this game and max out your character's worth, there are leagues to join and compete in for whatever replay value there is for this game. So there is a chance you could become the #1 UFC (Ultimate Facebook Chump) and of course the only bragging rights are what you can publish on your profile page. This game would not be made better by adding your friends. Actually my friend trying to get a referral bonus for trying to recruit me into the National Guard would be more appealing that my friend trying to invite me to join this game. There's very little reason to actually get your friends involved unlike in games like FarmVille and Mafia Wars where there are all kinds of perks to having your friends join in.
Final Recommendation 3/10
The application game business is a petty business so just beware. Fortunately, MMA Pro Fighter is bad enough to not make you want to spend real money on leveling up your fighter. Without any social interaction and no actual game play beyond customization and purchasing stuff for your character it seems to me that MMA Pro Fighter is an application meant solely for the purpose of capitalizing on the growing popularity of the UFC and mixed martial arts.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 05/17/10
Game Release: MMA Pro Fighter (US, 12/17/09)
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