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Swaying And Clinching With UFC Undisputed 2010

THQ's second crack at the Ultimate Fighting Championship is cleaning up the rough parts from last year's release and moving forward.

 Cain Velasquez is no joke.
When I think about the downsides of last year's UFC Undisputed, I remember the clunky career mode, with its tedious calendar system and meaningless e-mails. I also think about the clinch system, where two standing fighters would grab onto each other and sway around the octagon for awhile. The good news about UFC Undisputed 2010 is that both of those things are changing, and it sounds like they're changing for the better. THQ flew a group out to New York last week to get a fresh look at the game in action.

The career mode, unfortunately, wasn't on display. But the ability to create a fighter was available, and it appears to be way more detailed than last year's version. Now, rather than selecting one striking style and one grappling style, you'll be able to go deeper into your fighter's moves, spending points on individual attacks and powering them up through three different levels. At some point, it starts to resemble what THQ has done for its WWE SmackDown! series, which also allows you to assign different strikes and holds to specific button combinations. Placing tattoos on your body and sponsor logos on your trunks is more flexible, moving away from the slot-based system and going for a more freeform application. You can also choose from more names and locations for your fighter, which should make the commentary when using a created fighter a bit more realistic.

On top of that, your fighter will have a voice. This year's career mode gives you some out-of-the-ring choices, such as whether to respect or disrespect a fighter during a weigh-in. This sort of thing will govern which training camps you work with, which training camps are out to get you, and which fighters will be considered your main in-ring rivals.

Once you're in the ring, you'll probably find that the game doesn't immediately feel like an all-new game. Conceptually, the act of fighting and the way you take other fighters down and work the ground game are extremely similar. But once you spend a little time with it, you'll start to notice things like the combo system, which has been thrown out the window and rebuilt an an all-new way. Now, any strike will theoretically string into any other strike, rather than making you learn a group of style-specific button presses. The catch, of course, is that some attacks won't string together quickly enough to be unblockable, so you'll need to experiment and figure out which attacks get out fast enough to do damage.

The submission system has been reworked a bit, as well. Now, you can't just hammer the face buttons to break free. You'll have to rotate the right analog stick to get out of holds. Skilled submission fighters will be able to transition from one submission attempt to another, and this will force the defending player to rotate the stick in the opposite direction to continue breaking the hold.

The clinch controls have changed to work more like the ground game, where quarter- and half-circle sweeps on the right stick perform transitions that give your fighter an advantaged position. Major transitions, in this case, move you between a striking clinch and a body clinch, which is better for throws. When clinching, you can also press your opponent up against the cage itself, which gives you another set of options, like leg trips and transitions into double- and single-leg takedowns. There's a risk vs. reward scenario at play in a lot of this stuff, so going for the less-reliable single-leg takedown might not work as frequently, but when it does you'll end up in a better ground position once you get there.

Undisputed 2010 also benefits from a new sway system. By holding down the high guard button and tapping the left stick in various directions, you can plant your feet and sway around incoming strikes. It requires a quick tap of the stick, which differentiates it from the similar swaying system found in Fight Night Round 4, but much like EA's boxing game, you can throw counters off of a sway. The sideways sways are a bit trickier to perform, since you have to guess which side the strikes are coming from, but their counters are more impactful.

The roster in this year's game is expanding, but how much of it you get will depend on how and where you buy the game. Four fighters from the UFC's reality TV series, The Ultimate Fighter, will be available with GameStop pre-orders. The PlayStation 3 version of the game will also feature more fighters than its 360 counterpart, including some classic combatants, like Royce Gracie. A handful of UFC fights will also make their way onto the Blu-Ray version of the game.

I enjoyed UFC 2009 Undisputed a great deal, so I was already sort of on-board with this year's model as soon as it was announced. After checking it out for myself and spending some time talking to some of the folks behind it, it really feels like the team of THQ and Yuke's is making some very smart decisions about how to evolve its newest franchise. It sounds like the team is days away from submitting a final build for approval from Sony and Microsoft, so it sounds like its late-May release date is totally locked in. Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
25 Comments
Posted by Jeff
 Cain Velasquez is no joke.
When I think about the downsides of last year's UFC Undisputed, I remember the clunky career mode, with its tedious calendar system and meaningless e-mails. I also think about the clinch system, where two standing fighters would grab onto each other and sway around the octagon for awhile. The good news about UFC Undisputed 2010 is that both of those things are changing, and it sounds like they're changing for the better. THQ flew a group out to New York last week to get a fresh look at the game in action.

The career mode, unfortunately, wasn't on display. But the ability to create a fighter was available, and it appears to be way more detailed than last year's version. Now, rather than selecting one striking style and one grappling style, you'll be able to go deeper into your fighter's moves, spending points on individual attacks and powering them up through three different levels. At some point, it starts to resemble what THQ has done for its WWE SmackDown! series, which also allows you to assign different strikes and holds to specific button combinations. Placing tattoos on your body and sponsor logos on your trunks is more flexible, moving away from the slot-based system and going for a more freeform application. You can also choose from more names and locations for your fighter, which should make the commentary when using a created fighter a bit more realistic.

On top of that, your fighter will have a voice. This year's career mode gives you some out-of-the-ring choices, such as whether to respect or disrespect a fighter during a weigh-in. This sort of thing will govern which training camps you work with, which training camps are out to get you, and which fighters will be considered your main in-ring rivals.

Once you're in the ring, you'll probably find that the game doesn't immediately feel like an all-new game. Conceptually, the act of fighting and the way you take other fighters down and work the ground game are extremely similar. But once you spend a little time with it, you'll start to notice things like the combo system, which has been thrown out the window and rebuilt an an all-new way. Now, any strike will theoretically string into any other strike, rather than making you learn a group of style-specific button presses. The catch, of course, is that some attacks won't string together quickly enough to be unblockable, so you'll need to experiment and figure out which attacks get out fast enough to do damage.

The submission system has been reworked a bit, as well. Now, you can't just hammer the face buttons to break free. You'll have to rotate the right analog stick to get out of holds. Skilled submission fighters will be able to transition from one submission attempt to another, and this will force the defending player to rotate the stick in the opposite direction to continue breaking the hold.

The clinch controls have changed to work more like the ground game, where quarter- and half-circle sweeps on the right stick perform transitions that give your fighter an advantaged position. Major transitions, in this case, move you between a striking clinch and a body clinch, which is better for throws. When clinching, you can also press your opponent up against the cage itself, which gives you another set of options, like leg trips and transitions into double- and single-leg takedowns. There's a risk vs. reward scenario at play in a lot of this stuff, so going for the less-reliable single-leg takedown might not work as frequently, but when it does you'll end up in a better ground position once you get there.

Undisputed 2010 also benefits from a new sway system. By holding down the high guard button and tapping the left stick in various directions, you can plant your feet and sway around incoming strikes. It requires a quick tap of the stick, which differentiates it from the similar swaying system found in Fight Night Round 4, but much like EA's boxing game, you can throw counters off of a sway. The sideways sways are a bit trickier to perform, since you have to guess which side the strikes are coming from, but their counters are more impactful.

The roster in this year's game is expanding, but how much of it you get will depend on how and where you buy the game. Four fighters from the UFC's reality TV series, The Ultimate Fighter, will be available with GameStop pre-orders. The PlayStation 3 version of the game will also feature more fighters than its 360 counterpart, including some classic combatants, like Royce Gracie. A handful of UFC fights will also make their way onto the Blu-Ray version of the game.

I enjoyed UFC 2009 Undisputed a great deal, so I was already sort of on-board with this year's model as soon as it was announced. After checking it out for myself and spending some time talking to some of the folks behind it, it really feels like the team of THQ and Yuke's is making some very smart decisions about how to evolve its newest franchise. It sounds like the team is days away from submitting a final build for approval from Sony and Microsoft, so it sounds like its late-May release date is totally locked in.
Staff
Edited by Belonpopo

ROYCE GRACIE!!!!!! GET HYPE!!!!!

Posted by DrLove

WAR !!!!!!  JEFF

Posted by Katajero

I just hope they make it a little less "clunky", UFC 2009 Undisputed felt really mechanical to me, in the sense that it didn't have a dynamic feel to the actual gameplay. But I'll play it regardless if the clinching is handled a whole lot better.

Posted by Rhaknar

sounds like the PS3 version is the one to get. Hopefully the roster is up to date, or at least as much as possible

Posted by JJWeatherman
@Belonpopo said:
" ROYCE GRACIE!!!!!! GET HYPE!!!!! "
Yeah, dude. That's actually pretty awesome.
Posted by Daryl

I was disappointed with the UFC game and regretted purchasing it. 

Posted by SavoyPrime

This Yukes team must be completely different from the guys who make the Smackdown vs. Raw series, cause the SvR series is crap.

Posted by DiGiTaL_SiN

Sounds pretty cool, hope it doesn't disappoint.

Posted by gzl5000
@SavoyPrime: It was good back in 2006....
Posted by Hot_Karl
@Belonpopo said:
" ROYCE GRACIE!!!!!! GET HYPE!!!!! "
I absolutely agree, lol. 
 
I can't wait to pick this game up. I gotta pre-order it, but now I'm debating if I should get the PS3 version instead. I have at least 3 friends on 360 who I can fight/practice with, but more characters on PS3, plus some hi-def Blu-Ray fights intrigues me a TON...
Posted by ImperiousRix

Man, I hate missing out on more fighters, especially Royce Gracie, but I'm getting this game on 360. 
Yes, I'm getting this game.  I've decided already.

Posted by Lind_L_Taylor

The only time I'm clinching is during a shit break.
 
From reading about how the controls work, the game sounds too complicated. I don't know if I can remember all the damn combos fast enough in the game. Sounds like it has some learning curve to it.   Last summer, I tried the demo for FNR 4 & UFC 2009.  Between the two, I truly hated UFC more.  It just felt too complicated trying to learn how to move the sticks around & timing it right.

Posted by StaticFalconar

can you still pound a guy's face in after he's knocked out?

Posted by stealthdf2

Super excited for this game. if you guys want some good competition check out undisputedonline.net and tell them PIRATE or NINJA sent you

Posted by act26
@SavoyPrime:
have you played 2010??? its the best game in the series for ages.
Posted by REDRUN

Last game the online community (CAF cheaters and rage-quitters) was the big problem of the game. Only less than half of my victories were recorded; 235 wins and more than 300 disconnects before the results were to record. I do not need to go through that frustration again.

Posted by WillyFourEyes

I don't know whether it was just my copy, but when I played UFC 2009, sometimes part of the fighters would disappear entirely. I once fought a match where half of my dude's face was completely gone, with nothing behind it. It was surreal, and pretty unnerving.

Posted by Yagami

I am afraid that maybe they are overdoing it a tad. It seems to be a bit too much to keep track on. Hope it doesn't become more of a burden...

Posted by InFamous91

This is great, especially the fact that I own PS3. I'm glad to see that their fixing the problems with the previous UFC: Undisputed.  

Posted by DodgerBullet

mucho excited about this, too bad brandon vera is prolly gonna be rated aroun 70 after his demise from his last fight.

Posted by BrokenCage

I hate this RAS obsession that fighting games are developing. From Fight Night to the new UFC, it's a bad idea to force a control scheme on players, especially if the face buttons aren't going to actually do anything during submissions. That's called removing options, and punishing different playstyles to appease a minority "hardcore" fanbase. I'm all for removing the button mashing from submissions, but can't designers come up with something more interesting than "spin the analog stick... spin it some more..." All it winds up being is people stick spinning wildly over button mashing wildly.
Posted by HelperMonkey

Big sweaty men need hugs too.

Posted by GilbertCapulong

Probably the only console game I'm looking forward to this year.

Posted by AndrewBarnett
@SavoyPrime:
what r you smoking ufc is ok but nothing compared to the svr series let me start off that yes wwe if fake but their games are awesome tag matches, ladder matches, online sharing, triple threat matches if i play svr 2010 with ppl that are good i can have a match last up to an hour in ufc the graphics are good and thats about it u can only have 5 rounds so the fights are much shorter and only 2 fighters i know thats the point of ufc but come on would you rather only fight 1 person for 6 min or 3 others for 30 min or so and svr takes more skill shit if you want brock lessner or chuck liddell you can make him in svr im not saying ufc is terrible but is just not as good as any svr game