Since its debut in video games on the Playstation original and Dreamcast, MMA video games have come a long way. The UFC though, has been the brand to corner the market of the digital MMA world. With its original game “Ultimate Fighting Championship,” it began a long trek toward making the game “as real as it gets.”
Next came a series of games; UFC Tapout, UFC Tapout 2, UFC Sudden Impact, and UFC Throwdown. All improved upon the last, but still failed to capture the aura of the sport and never made giant leaps forward.
The ground game for many of these titles was very simple, and very one-sided. The graphics and rosters were limited and the presentation was nothing more than just selecting your character and fighting.
That all changed in 2009.
In 2009, the UFC partnered with game developer THQ and created UFC Undisputed 2009. The game brought realism, an impressive roster and many great modes for UFC and MMA fans to enjoy. It truly was the biggest step forward for MMA in the video game world.
Then came UFC Undisputed 2010, which added a more defined career and presentation experience and many new mechanics. They added a sway system and a fighting against the cage mechanic that an Anderson Silva and Randy Couture play date would inevitably facilitate. Even in the PS3 version, FIVE Blu-Ray fights were included with the game, showing the integration of the real thing with the video game.
Meawhile, EA Sports, a competitor at the time, released EA Sports MMA, giving the Strikeforce fans the game they wanted. The game featured a strong roster of talent, the Showtime presentation, simple career development and intuitive ground game controls. Also, an arcade style title that showacased a more underground and less professional MMA game called Supremacy MMA, was recently released.
The yearly deadline for the UFC Undisputed franchise posed a problem to the developers, who did not want to just shovel out a new installment without properly making it a “new” installment. Plus, with UFC and MMA being a non-seasonal sport, the developers can choose to release a new title whenever they want, thus getting rid of the year in the title.
It seems the developers have made a good choice and the wait will be worth it. With the recent announcement of the latest and greatest, UFC Undisputed 3, the video game community has erupted in excitement.
Early media has shown that a new presentation, a Pride mode, and an enhanced roster of over 150 fighters including the WEC divisions are some of the things in store for fans of the series. For newcomers, they have made a simplified control scheme for those who choose to use it.
This is highly favored since a criticism in the past was the learning curve for the ground game. A complex system of rotating and stick gestures can now be expressed with directional pushes of the stick. The days of blistered palms are at an end.
Where this leads, we do not know, but one can only hope that the Strikeforce organization and fighters will be unified into one game. Also, women’s divisions would be a welcomed addition, and an added “The Ultimate Fighter” mode or career integration would be something this writer would like to see. With the use of UFC PT for Kinect, maybe the training could be integrated into the career mode using the Kinect peripheral.
Along with the video games that simulate the sport, UFC Personal Trainer will add the fitness aspect to it, which comes out at the end of this month. Using the likes of Greg Jackson and Mark Dellagrotte, this game should prove to be accurate and innovative in fitness gaming.
Available on all platforms, the true enjoyment for this game may come out of utilizing the PS Move and Xbox Kinect. Whether Steven Seagal will be downloadable content as a new trainer is yet to be seen, but this could start a wave of gamers front-kicking their TV’s into their neighbor’s houses.
Not only the video games, but at Xbox 360’s press conference at E3 2011, Dana White made a special announcement about UFC PPV events coming to Xbox Live. You will be able to watch them with an added enhanced experience for the viewer. For example, you can look up stats and make predictions while watching a fight.
With UFC taking the media Truly, UFC is becoming integrated into all facets of our lives, and is pioneering the MMA world toward being the greatest sport ever.
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