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UFC Undisputed: As Real As It Gets

As a mixed martial arts fan and someone who thoroughly enjoys video games I have long been anticipating the release of the upcoming UFC 2009: Undisputed that will be available on both the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 consoles. Now, with a set release date on May 19, all that everyone wants to know is, how is it?

I recently received an early copy of the demo featuring Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Chuck Liddell, the same demo everyone will be able to get their hands on this Thurs April 23 from either Xbox Live or The Playstation Network. Now I’m going to be honest, I have set my expectations pretty high (after all the delays and production time I felt this game had better knock my socks off), well after spending some quality time together I can safely say I have had any doubts smashed like a flying knee to the face.

Included in the demo is a couple modes of play, one which I highly recommend doing first is the tutorial. If you take the 15-20 minutes to complete this you will be a lot more satisfied than trying to just learn it as you go because that can only get you so far. The other mode is Exhibition which can be played with up to two players in the demo, so naturally I grabbed some friend’s and brought them over to show them who is king of the virtual octagon in my house.

Where I feel the game truly shines is in it’s multiplayer with a room full of friends, the same way I have been doing so with Fight Night series for several years. So the first thing I was naturally worried about, is this going to be a timed demo, do I only get to fight through round one? Well the answer is no on both accounts. The UFC demo does allow the full 3 round at 5 minutes each like any standard non title fight.

So off we were on our first bout, I had chosen Shogun wanting to replicate my performance from Saturday’s UFC. While I didn’t finish it in the first round, but by the third I had done enough damage that when a solid right elbow landed flush it sent Liddell reeling back and trying to recover, unable to do so I did the only humane thing and finished it with a brutal combo of Hammerfists from the mount and sealing a third round knockout victory.

After our first bout we had about 25 more throughout the night going back and forth as we learned each fighters strength and weaknesses. What I found to be really cool and why I am really looking forward to the complete game, every character handles very unique and well fights very similar to there real life counterpart.

Liddell, I will just be honest, is a lot more of a user friendly character, what I mean is he punches slightly quicker and has the ability to finish it anytime, although on the ground he is no where as developed as Shogun’s character in the BJJ aspect of his game. So if you are looking to go and swing for the fences your first fight choose Chuck, if you want a much more well rounded character with brutal kicks, knees, and elbows Shogun does the part very well in addition to his much more evolved ground tactics.

Another thing I had been concerned about after watching so much media coverage regarding the title is something I find important….. Is there any blood, cut’s, bruises, etc.. With a huge grin I can say yes!

You see in a sport that prides itself in being “As Real As it Gets” I found this to be an important part. It seems the developers must have felt the same way because they have made an awesome facial damage system that is very fun to watch as it is brutal. In one of my already countless fights I have seen eye’s swollen near shut, bloodied noses, mouths, and of course cut’s around the face, the worst of which was a gash opened over Liddell’s right eye it was very reminiscent if the Marvin Eastman cut when he fought Vitor Belfort. The way they bleed is quite realistic, for instance if you take me down but have a gash of some sort open you will find your blood dripping onto the other fighters chest and the mat as well and leaving a tainted stain as a reminder of the war you are in.

The best part about this game isn’t how brutal it is, but how well everything works and meshes together in the controls. I want to go into the stand up a little, how it’s handled (I will put the ps3 version of controls here).

Your strikes are all handled from the face buttons, so your left/ right punches are X, Y (or Square, and Triangle respectively), and left/right kick is A, B (X, O). Now these just throw your standard hit’s in order to modify and throw either high or low you use the left shoulder buttons LB for High, LT for Low (L1 for high, L2 for low). Your character naturally reacts to where they are at, for instance if you are keeping a good distance and go for a high (or hard) punch Liddell will throw a spinning back fist, or Shogun will throw a flying knee so each character has their own style of attacks. You also can block by using the right shoulder buttons, for high attacks you hit the RB, and for low RT (R1 for high block, R2 for low blocks)

The game has a nice clinch system, if you want to secure a clinch with a simple tap of the Right stick in the direction of your opponent you will tie them up, once there you use simple quarter circle turns to secure your under hooks and once they are secured you use LB or L1 and up, down, left, or right to attempt a take down or pull guard.

Once on the ground all your progressive movements (such as transitioning from full guard to half guard) are handled by the right joystick (and a lot of those quarter circle movements to work my way to full mount). Once on your back though all these attempted transitions are thwarted the same way they are attempted through the right stick. In addition to just tying them up you do have the actual Thai Clinch that can be initiated through LB and moving the right stick in the direction of your opponent (L1 for PS3), you can punch and knee your opponent while tied up and you can whip them around with a simple up or down movement on the right stick.

To initiate a submission if you are on top is by a simple click in the right stick, by doing so it initiates a submission. Once the submission is being attempted you can either spin the right joystick clock wise or rapidly hit any of the face buttons (this is how you progress you armbar, or sink your rear-naked choke in). To attempt a take down by holding the LT or L2 and pressing the right stick in the direction of your opponent you will attempt a takedown (once attempted quick presses of the face buttons strengthen the attack) , your attempt can be stalled or stopped by pressing that same right joystick opposite of your opponent (your character will then sprawl out). There is more depth to the take downs such as catching a kick etc, but I don’t want to give away all the controls (you all need to do the tutorial for the best understanding).

So basically I would like to leave on this note, I had high expectations and the game more than exceeded what I had set forth (and this is only a demo with two characters), the demo will be available to everyone on Thursday, April 23, and the full game is going to be available on May 19. If pre-ordered from participating GameStop’s you will receive 2 exclusive bonus character’s as DLC (downloadable content), the characters you will receive are Ryan Bader and Efrain Escudero. The final U.S. release will feature Forest Griffin on the cover, while in Canada they get there more than deserving athlete of the year Georges St. Pierre.

Listed below is the full character roster (you will notice some characters can fight in multiple weight divisions if they have done so in real life).

Heavyweights:

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
Brock Lesnar
Frank Mir
Brandon Vera (LH)
Gabriel Gonzaga
Cain Velasquez
Cheick Kongo
Eddie Sanchez
Heath Herring
Andrei Arlovski
Mirko Crocop
Fabricio Werdum
Tim Sylvia
Mark Coleman
Antoni Hardonk
Justin McCully

Light Heavyweights:

Chuck Lidell
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson
Forrest Griffin
Tito Ortiz
Keith Jardine
Wanderlei Silva
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
Lyoto Machida
Rashad Evans
Stephan Bonnar
James Irvin
Wilson Gouveia (MW)
Houston Alexander
Kazuhiro Nakamura
Thiago Silva
Tim Boetsch
Ryan Bader (DLC)

Middleweights:

Anderson Silva (LH)
Rich Franklin (LH)
Dan Henderson (LH)
Michael Bisping (LH)
Kendall Grove
Chris Leben
Jason MacDonald
Nate Marquardt
Drew McFedries
Ricardo Almeida
Evan Tanner
Yushin Okami
Demian Maia
Martin Kampmann (WW)
Amir Sadollah (WW)
Thales Leites

Welterweights:

Georges St-Pierre
Matt Hughes
Matt Sera (LW)
Jon Fitch
Karo Parisyan
Josh Koscheck
Diego Sanchez
Mike Swick (MW)
Marcus Davis
Thiago Alves
Chris Lytle
Ben Saunders
Josh Burkman
Kyle Bradley
Matt Arroyo
Anthony Johnson

Lightweights:

BJ Penn (WW)
Sean Sherk (WW)
Kenny Florian
Roger Huerta
Joe Stevenson
Mac Danzig
Nathan Diaz
Spencer Fisher
Tyson Griffin
Gray Maynard
Thiago Tavares
Joe Lauzon
Rich Clementi
Mark Bocek
Hermes Franca
Frank Edgar
Efrain Escudero (DLC)

Non-Fighters:

Dana White
Joe Silva
Mike Goldberg
Joe Rogan
Arainy Celeste
Edith Labelle
Bruce Buffer
Mario Yamasaki
Steve Mazzagatti
Herb Dean
Big John McCarthy
Juanito Ibarra
Mark Delagrotte (Career)
Greg Jackson (Career)
Eddie Bravo (Career)

14 COMMENTS
  • The Chairman says:

    What I found to be really cool and why I am really looking forward to the complete game, every character handles very unique and well fights very similar to *there* real life counterpart.

    Should be “their.” Other than that, great article and it sounds like an awesome game. I’m pretty jacked up to get my hands on a copy.

  • Rich S. says:

    i’ve been playing the demo since last friday [promo code], and it is simply amazing.. i’ve had more than 100 fights now, maybe more than 200, yet it still hasn’t gotten old..

    if there’s any gamers here, i HIGHLY recommend you pick up the demo, and then the final game when it comes out..

  • Cory Brady says:

    I hear you Rich. Like Juniper said, I myself had very high expectations for this game and those expectations were completely blown out of the water once I played the demo. While you’re correct in saying that it never gets old, I don’t think I will ever pick Chuck or Shogun again once the game comes out, lol.

  • Jstew3785 says:

    I’m glad someone finally reviewed this game. I was worried that this game wasn’t going to be that good, but after reading this article, I’m going to go reserve a copy today.

  • KTru says:

    If you are Leites push X 4 times then O 4 times in a row and he turtles on the ground waiting for his opponent to attack him.

    If you win 20 consecutive matches you unlock a “greased up” GSP, so I’ve heard.

  • Cathedron says:

    I heard you STARTED as the greased up GSP and could only ungrease him by using BJ’s super cry attack (press any button). Good to know about Leites’ secret move, but does anybody know how to do Rashad’s crotch grab?

    There’s an awful lot of non-fighters. I guess they figured if they had to build a model of a person, you might as well be able to beat em up. Of course, you have to have Dana White in there. Lots of people want the chance to beat on him. Finally, we can get Dana vs Tito as it was always meant to be.

  • Juniper R. says:

    Yeah the non-fighters aren’t going to get in the cage and fight, they are just ring girls, announcer, etc… you won’t fight them unfortunately…. because i’m sure we all wanted to see the “Buffer 180” performed on Joe Rogan.

  • Rich S. says:

    “While you’re correct in saying that it never gets old, I don’t think I will ever pick Chuck or Shogun again once the game comes out, lol.”

    My thoughts EXACTLY lol..

  • GregorBlaksmith says:

    For those that don’t know, the demo is available to everyone right now and it is amazing. The ground game is unbelievable. From the back you can go rubber guard omo plata attempt to nearly taking the back to side control to brabo!

  • GregorBlaksmith says:

    Make that a north south choke for Shogun, brabo for others.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    “Andrei Arlovski
    Mirko Crocop
    Fabricio Werdum
    Tim Sylvia”

    ????. It’s a miracle!!! the HW division is good again!.
    Fedor, Overeem, Aleksander and Barnett will be the first characters created by a lot of of buyers I bet…wonder why. No Randy either? or does he just come out of nowhere and go for the title ahead of you without earning it?… no that would be STUPID!!!.

    I’m going to buy the GSP collectors edition, it comes with a free tub of “breathing technique” and a whole lot of excuses. “It’s a fight I had to lose” I think is one of them.

    I hope you can fix fights cuz I’m thinking about creating a Kimbo.

    P.S. Does the forward control work with Anderson Silva or does it just make him showboat?.

    P.S.S.How come there is only one BJ Penn cuz I’m pretty sure there is two…yeah ones good and the other is sh*t.

  • screwface says:

    hilarious posts :) great game cant wait for the finished product. been playing it non stop. i remember when tapout first came out, and how disappointed i was( but still managed to be great at it and bust friends up on the regular) so i had low expectations of this 1. and man was i blown away. hands down this game rox. and i look forward to beating the lot of you on xbox live with sugar rashad in may :p

  • impact1 says:

    Great report about the game – but you didn’t mention anything about commentary. Do we get to hear Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg? Is the color commentary accurate and exciting or pretty generic?

    What say you…

  • screwface says:

    the color commentary is decent, but since its a demo and only 2 fighters and ive played it about 1000 times, ive pretty much heard everything they have to say about chuck and rua 1 too many times. goldberg as usual rants off odd facts about the fighters backgrounds while questioning rogan on some of the technical aspects of some moves u may pull off. rogan gets over exicited on some kos, the first few times u play it seems really authentic, like ur actually in a ppv. so im sure with more fighters and diff matchups it will be more random and even more authentic. just with the same 2 fighters after a while u hear the same things over and over.

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