Reviewed: October 3, 2010
Released: September 7, 2010
I have to admit, I havenít played many fighting games since they were still popular in arcades. Most of the fighting games that Iíve tried recently seemed like the controls were too complicated for what you were trying to do. UFC Undisputed 2010 for the PSP has brought the controls of a simpler day back for beginners while still making them very robust for advanced players. The game has many game modes, which is good for a handheld game.|
One of the things I liked about the controls is the combo system. If you play through career mode, you earn different moves from various MMA disciples. If you play one of the quick play modes, most of the combos are enabled since you are playing with a real UFC fighter. The game uses all four face buttons, both triggers, and the analog stick to make different combos and moves. The triggers are also used to block when not pressed with other buttons.
In addition to making you earn combo moves, the career mode lets you create a fighter with the highly customizable editor and work your way up the ranks. You start in smaller MMA leagues and earn cred. The more cred you earn, the better sponsors you can get, which also boosts the amount of cred you earn per fight. Each time you are ready to fight, you can pick easier fights, but you wonít earn as much cred as a better fight would.
In the weeks between fights you have to train in sparring matches. When you spar, you can do auto or manual. I found that even if I had a bad fight in a manual spar, I got more skill points than what it gave if you auto sparred. Unlike other games that used a skill point system, if you donít periodically put a point into a skill, that skill will deteriorate and youíll get weaker at that skill. The weeks between fights are also when you train with MMA disciples to learn new combo moves, but you have to be careful. Sparring and training add to your fatigue and if youíre at 100% fatigue the training is much less useful.
To go along with the robust career mode, there are Exhibition, Title, Tournament, and Ultimate Fights modes. Exhibition lets you pick your options for the fight like weight division, how many rounds the fight lasts, and the difficulty of your opponent. Exhibition is the Quickplay mode of the game since, when the fight is over it takes you back to the title screen.
Title mode lets you pick a real UFC fighter and play through fights to earn a UFC championship title. After you earn a title, title defense mode becomes available which lets you defend the title you just earned against strong opponents trying for the same title. Tournament mode lets you set up a bracket style match with 4, 8, or 16 fighters. The unfortunate thing about tournament mode is that it is only available for local play, so you canít have player vs. player, only player vs. computer.
Ultimate fights mode lets you recreate famous UFC matches to unlock various rewards. These fights have nice video introductions that give you the background of the fight. In order to unlock the rewards, you have to do specific actions in the fight. Different actions are required depending if you are playing as the winner or the loser of the fight. These fights are not just about winning but winning a certain way. By completing all objectives on one of the three class cards you can earn shop points to unlock videos or buy customized clothing for the character.
The graphics on the game were very good looking for the most part. The one area that suffered greatly was the real fighter picture on the fighter select wheel. They look very blocky compared to the other graphics in the game. At UFC fights in the game, it shows quite a bit of close detail, but the further out it gets the worse the people look. The crowd, about three rows out, are pretty much grey shadows but sitting in a seat. The game does show highlights after each round that are different camera angles from your perspective during the fight.
One feature I was glad to see included was a life and stamina bar in the fights. Although the health bars are not on by default, there is an option in the menus. The health is not as relevant as the stamina is. You can get KOíd in a fight and still have a third of your health left. Stamina, however, is nice to know how much you have so you know if you can keep pulling off power hits or not.
Overall, I was impressed with the quality of UFC Undisputed 2010 on the PSP. This game features a data install feature that can help with load times if you are playing from the disc-based version. The game seems well balanced on difficulty even though career mode is set on the difficulty you start with. Multiplayer is limited to a 3 or 5 round match between you and one other person via ad-hoc mode. The game doesnít offer a real soundtrack, but I found that I didnít notice the looping music unless I sat in the menus too long. If you want your UFC fix on the go or canít afford the console versions, this is definitely the way to go.