Giant Bomb Review

22 Comments

UFC Undisputed 2010 Review

4
  • X360

UFC Undisputed 2010 has some great gameplay additions and solid online performance that makes you want to just keep fighting.


Kicking dudes in the head is still a threat. 
UFC 2009 Undisputed was a great sports/fighting game at its core, but it was rough around the edges in the ways you'd expect from a first-year product. Some of its systems, like the clinch position, weren't as straightforward as they could have been. The game didn't put its best foot forward when it came to teaching you about the various moves and maneuvers that make up a mixed-martial arts battle, either. It then surrounded this solid fighting system with a typical menagerie of modes. This year's game makes important strides in the fighting itself, enhancing or completely redesigning some of the systems you'll employ during a fight. It's also much better about teaching you how and when to use each of the tools at your disposal. But the offline modes in this year's game are still a little underwhelming, making it best suited for competitive players that just want to get online and fight.

The fighting system has been enhanced in ways that make it easier to understand in some cases, and deeper in others. For example, the standing clinch, where the two fighters grab each other and struggle around a bit, throwing in some close punches or knees along the way, now controls a lot more like the ground game, requiring sweeps of the right stick to pummel for position. You can also press fighters up against the cage from the clinch, leaving them with fewer ways to escape. The submission side of things has been given a new layer of depth with submission transitions. Some fighters can go from one submission attempt directly into another, which requires the defending player to alter the way he's trying to escape from the hold. Also, button mashing for submission escapes and other spots in the game has been completely removed in favor of rotating the right stick.

Things like the way fighting styles are assigned to fighters have also changed. Instead of just picking a couple of styles and getting all of the moves that come with it, created fighters can be pieced together, one move at a time. There are still plenty of templates for those of you who don't want to get that specific, though. The combo system has also been changed, relying on the natural chaining of moves based on how long their animations take to complete, rather than using canned, style-specific combos. This will feel like a fairly subtle change if you didn't spend a lot of time with last year's game, but it makes all of the combat feel a little more natural and fluid.

 The new clinch is easier to understand than last year's.
With all of these changes and the game's completely functional online mode, UFC Undisputed 2010 is a better game than its predecessor. But if you're looking for something to do by yourself, you might not be as pleased with the single-player side of UFC. Last year's career mode was complicated by silly hassles like constantly modifying the logos on your trunks to ensure you were getting the appropriate sponsor bonuses and an e-mail system that weighed you down with a lot of useless chatter. This year's career mode actually adds some nice depth by giving your created fighter a voice, which he uses in vignettes like post-fight interviews, where you'll get a simple dialogue tree to give a little personality to your character. But things like determining your training regimen have been complicated a great deal. Now, stats that you don't focus on will eventually deteriorate, even when you're a young fighter. It makes the career mode feel like an elaborate math problem combined with spinning plates. If you like a serious amount of depth in your career modes, you'll probably like the changes, but all of this was enough to completely scare me away from the career mode after a few fights.

Other single-player options include a title fight ladder mode, a title defense mode where you have to keep your belt after completing the title mode, a configurable tournament bracket, and things like that. The "ultimate fights" mode from last year's game returns, and it feels even more like the "relive or rewrite history" aspect of THQ's WWE Legends of WrestleMania. You'll have to complete specific tasks over the course of a fight to satisfy the requirements and unlock additional content. There's also an event mode, where you can build your own eight-match fight card. Events play out a bit more like UFC pay-per-views do on television, with additional graphics and introductions that showcase each fighter. It's a neat idea, and you can just watch the AI fight out your created card, if you like.

UFC Undisputed 2010 comes with a single-use code that is used to unlock the online side of the game. That's nothing new, but the way it conveys this information is particularly poor. The Xbox 360 version of the game checks for downloadable content and pops up a store window asking you to pay $5.00 for the ability to play online. If you correctly deny that, it then makes its way to the main menu, where it tells you you'll need to enter a code from the manual to play online (or pay that $5.00 if you're renting or playing a used copy). I shudder to think about how many people went ahead and bought the online access, not realizing that the game came with a code. Sure enough, message boards across the Internet are flaring up from time to time as someone unwraps the game and thinks that they're being expected to pay another five bones. It's an awful way to implement this sort of first-sale code idea.

You can unlock additional victory and entrance animations for your fighters. 
Like last year's game, UFC 2010 looks great. You'll still notice some clipping here and there (hands tend to clip into the backs of heads when on the ground, for example), but the animation looks nice and the fighter models are great. The audio portion of the program ditches all of the "edgy" licensed music from the previous entry in favor of more stock-sounding UFC music, and the commentary has been updated. You won't hear the two-man team constantly shout "ground and pound" if you get into a flurry of ground punches anymore. It's more varied across the board, but it's also not specific enough. Hearing Joe Rogan talk about a cut that is gushing a lot of blood is pretty useless, since he doesn't bother to point out which fighter's been cut. With the way the camera angles work, it's usually tough to tell who's bleeding when it first happens.

Better fighting and deeper online support with a clan-like "fight camp" system make UFC 2010 Undisputed a better-playing game than its predecessor, but its solo side is a pretty dry. Keep that in mind as you make your purchasing decision. Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
22 Comments
Edited by Jimbo

Just keep fighting, Jeff.
 
Edit:  They're really pushing their luck with this nickel and dime culture, especially with cynical implementation like this.  Games have come a long, long way, but not so far that the large semi-casual audience won't just drop them again if it starts becoming a hassle.  Nobody wants console gaming to turn into that.  It was that hassle-free experience that made console gaming the big success story in the first place.  I think a clean, honest price rise would be more sensible and acceptable than behaving like this.

Edited by seanvail99

Nice!

Posted by Jeffmoocow

Great review.  I've been enjoying this game a lot, main problem with it though has been the career mode with the deteriorating stats that just seems way to contrived and I can't say I want to learn anything on how to do the career mode good.

Posted by RobotHamster

Never gonna get this quest :(

Posted by TheYear20XX

Don't talk about fight camp.

Posted by Vitor
@Jimbo said:
" Just keep fighting, Jeff.
 
Edit:  They're really pushing their luck with this nickel and dime culture, especially with cynical implementation like this.  Games have come a long, long way, but not so far that the large semi-casual audience won't just drop them again if it starts becoming a hassle.  Nobody wants console gaming to turn into that.  It was that hassle-free experience that made console gaming the big success story in the first place.  I think a clean, honest price rise would be more sensible and acceptable than behaving like this. "
I don't think it's necessarily as bad an idea as you make it out to be (although it does have its issues) but I totally agree with Jeff that presenting it in this manner, with the game asking for $5 before telling you to enter the code is completely ridiculous and will confuse/annoy a lot of people who don't know any better purely because the information is conveyed so poorly.  
Posted by scuttlebu345

sweet!

Posted by JellyFish_Gsus

Cant wait to get this game on Friday

Posted by Phished0ne

Yeah i'm liking this so far, it took me a little time to get use to training, but after you get your main stats, "Strength" "Speed" and "Cardio" up to their max,  they dont deteriorate nearly as much, leaving you more time to focus on fight camping and specific skill training. After about a day and a half playing the game i am the Light Heavyweight.  I am assuming after defend a few more times it will ask me if i want to move up or down a division.  I have yet to try the online portion though so i cant really say anything about that.
 
I just like being able to beat the shit out of Forrest Griffin and then talk shit on him in the post match interview.

Online
Posted by InFamous91

Cool, great review. 
Still anxious to see how EA MMA do.

Posted by Shaanyboi

Why is David Hasselhoff on the box?

Posted by Canadian_Snake

Good game, better then last years but the online can be laggy and it is very hard to get into a game without a "session not available" showing up.

Posted by patrick5152003

how do you unlock animations for your fighters? 
Edited by handlas

I like the game a lot but the online for PS3 (and what I've heard for 360) doesn't work 90% of the time.  You get errors when trying to connect to other people.  Very annoying....only real reason I bought it.
 
 @Canadian_Snake said:

"

Good game, better then last years but the online can be laggy and it is very hard to get into a game without a "session not available" showing up.

"
  Haha...this is what I'm referring to.  2010 is 100 times worse.  They better fix it soon...the online is practically broken.  2009 had it's lag from time to time but I could at least get into games.
Edited by GarrickGreathouse
Posted by ocdog45

review kind of bpthers me cause online right now UFC is jacked. the community site doesn't even work

Posted by Hot_Karl
@handlas said:
" I like the game a lot but the online for PS3 (and what I've heard for 360) doesn't work 90% of the time.  You get errors when trying to connect to other people.  Very annoying....only real reason I bought it.
 
 @Canadian_Snake said:
"

Good game, better then last years but the online can be laggy and it is very hard to get into a game without a "session not available" showing up.

"
  Haha...this is what I'm referring to.  2010 is 100 times worse.  They better fix it soon...the online is practically broken.  2009 had it's lag from time to time but I could at least get into games. "
Ab-so-lute-ly. I thought I was the only one, but damn, the PS3 online functionality is BROKEN. I've tried to play online for about 2 hours and got maybe 3 matches in, 2 of them plagued with lag to the point where I stopped playing and let the guy take the win. Unexcusable.
Posted by TheWan

Great Review. I've been playing it and I almost was one of the poor saps that coughed up the additional 5 bucks. One thing I think that must be addressed is the submissions. For a game that tries to be realisitc the way they are implemented definitely is not even close. The saddest example of the "realism" the Deimean Maia Ultimate Fight Challenge. The player has to submit Chael Sonnen in a Triangle Choke in the first round. (if someone ever manages to do this let me know how you accomplished it). Even if you boost your submission skill stats really high, best way to submit someone is to get your opponent rocked (gray screen). 
 
Two issues with submitting your opponent while he is rocked: 
1. Why submit? Odds are the are near defeat just punch or kick them to death. 
2. Limits what submissions the player can do, since while they are rocked they are either standing or on their back. One could intentionally pull your opponent down into open guard while you are on the bottom. Good luck doing it before they regain their normal status. It seems kind of dumb having to do extra steps to accomplish this.
Edited by TwoOneFive

sooo when will you stop reviewing these year after year and just leave it up to a quick look like you guys did with baseball? 
 
 
seriously dude, im the 7th comment. 

Posted by RE_Player1

cool i might check it out

Posted by Skronk61

Nice review these are pretty much all the thoughs i had when I played the game on launch day

Posted by DHorea