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UFC Undisputed 3

 

UFC Undisputed 3

ESRB: Teen - T
Platform: PS3
Category: Sports
 
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Author:

Publisher: THQ
Developer: Yuke’s Future Media Creator

Platform: PS3 (or Xbox 360)

PS3 Features:

Multiplayer
Lobbies/Matchmaking
Messaging/Friend Invite In Game
Add-on Content
Trophies
Players: 1-2.
Network Players: 2
4 GB Required Hard Drive Space
HD Video Output: 480P – 720P
DUALSHOCK 3
Broadband Required

Fans, the wait is over. Finally, after over a year and a half, THQ has produced a true successor to the UFC Undisputed franchise. With additional gaming features such as PRIDE Mode, entrances for the combatants and the ability to customize the entrance and music for your Create-A-Fighter (CAF), new weight classes, fans of the series looking for something new will not be disappointed. However, like its predecessors, it has a complicated control scheme that is difficult to master.

Graphics

One area in which I have trouble finding any fault in is the graphics. They are crisp. They are also as realistic as one could expect given the capabilities of the system. The motions are fluid and nothing stands out as glaringly flawed. The level of blood and splatter appears, at least to a non-expert in such matters, as realistic. Of course, given that the game is intended to be a realistic simulation of a sport, that’s to be expected; but I find that the blood aspect is neither portrayed over the top nor ignored completely.

Sound

With UFC commentators Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan once again lending their voices to the UFC Undisputed series, there isn’t a lot to complain about. After several hours of playing, the commentating, unlike in many other games with a similar feature, has yet to become annoyingly repetitive.

The music is varied. When assigning background music to your CAFs, you have your choice of 136 songs to choose from. My only real disappointment was that, unlike THQ’s WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 2011, you are unable to use your own music off of the PS3 hard drive for your CAFs.

Gameplay

THQ designed the game specifically to cater to UFC fans and knowing your audience is definitely a good thing.

The first thing you’re prompted to do when loading the game is to choose between an Amateur and Pro control scheme. This is good. One of the things that the predecessors in the series received a lot of flak for was the complicated controls. Being able to choose an Amateur control scheme would probably appeal to more casual gamers and fans. It also proves that THQ is listening to its fans and critics. That said, if you’re looking for a button masher game, look somewhere else. Given that ultimate fighting requires a high degree of strategy and diversity in terms of moves, there is only so far THQ can go towards simplifying the control scheme and while it has made things simpler, there is still some level of commitment required on behalf of the player to master.

When playing, the feature that I find myself most drawn to is the career mode. Here, you can use either a created fighter or one from the pre-existing roster and then manage your fighter’s professional career from its infancy to retirement. This includes scheduling fights with your choice from a small list of fighters in or close to your weight category, doing training sessions, attending camp sessions, developing a game plan, earning and spending cred, and managing your sponsors.

The Title and Title Defence Mode are interesting. In many fighting games, the player is expected to fight through a gauntlet of opponents and, should you fail, the age old ‘Continue?’ screen appears and you have the option of restarting the fight or quitting. Here, your fight is considered a loss and you carry on with the loss on your record and, should you accumulate a total of three losses, you’re disqualified. Some players may miss the ability to retry or restart a lost fight or failed challenge, a feature found in many other games, but that merely serves to add to the high degree of realism already present in the game.

The Tournament Mode is back and while there are no real surprises (and I wouldn’t expect any here) the feature is done well and there are no real noticeable flaws.

The Events Mode simulates the televised events and allows the player to participate as one of the fighters. You have the option of watching or skipping the fights your player is not involved in and while it’s good to have the option, watching two computer controlled characters in this setting doesn’t quite convey the same level of adrenaline as watching the real thing or playing yourself.

One of the online features carried over from the previous game is the Fighting Camps. These allow you to create or join a camp of other players. This feature allows you to spar and develop your character and adds an extra competitive feature as it ranks the various camps based on the combined performances of its members.

Now, some critique. The tutorial, though I’d recommend you’d take it if you intend to carry further on with the game, has its flaws. While there are moves and such covered in the tutorial that you are prompted to do personally, there are other aspects that seem merely glossed over in the text as narrated by Mike Goldberg. There are areas of a video game where I appreciate a good degree of complexity such as being able to develop the strategies required to truly become pro but I find that being loaded with that level of complexity so early in a game, instead of having it introduced gradually, can be a problem. Another aspect of the tutorial that starts off seeming useful but quickly becomes annoying (fortunately if you go to the options menu, you can turn it off) is that while you’re actually fighting in the game once you’re out of the tutorial, it pauses the game at various points throughout the fight to give advice on how to play.

One of the first things I did after finishing with the tutorial was attempt to CAF. Now, again, there’s a complexity issue that I feel would dissuade newcomers. With thousands of points to assign to a very wide assortment of skills and traits, it can be very daunting to someone who’s never really paid much attention to either the show or the game’s predecessors. Again, if you are a fan of either, this aspect of the CAF would probably be less of an issue. I did appreciate that the game had some preset first names and last names to select so the announcers could use something other than one of the limited selection of nicknames when addressing your character.

I admit this is a small issue but with the difficulty settings, I found myself winning all the fights albeit with some challenge but not a lot on Experienced, but found myself getting pawned at Advance difficulty. For future UFC Undisputed games, I would like the ability to be able to more finely tune the difficulty setting, though it wouldn’t make or break my decision either way.

The final of my list of criticisms is the requirement to either input a code or to purchase an online pass to play the game online. The code feature wouldn’t be so bad, no more than a minor inconvenience I’d forget about a few minutes later, if it weren’t for the fact that I purchase a number of games pre-owned. I understand paying extra money for extra downloadable content but I don’t like that if I buy my game pre-owned, that I’m penalized the online feature and would likely end up having to pay the same amount of money for a used copy as I would for a new copy if I want to play online.


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