UFC 2009 Undisputed

The most immediately noticeable thing in Undisputed is the absolutely gorgeous character models of the UFC's stars

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THQ UFC 2009 Undisputed

Pros

  • Looks spectacular, captures the spirit of UFC

Cons

  • Little short of extra bells and whistles

Bottom Line

It not only manages to deliver the game the UFC faithful have been longing for but UFC 2009 Undisputed adds an entirely unique and excellent experience to the broader fighting game genre, which is why it's also a title that non-MMA fans should look into. Who knows, you might just find yourself becoming a dedicated supporter of this fantastic sport.

Would you buy this?

Mixed Martial Arts, specifically the UFC, has fought its way into the mainstream over the past four years, with the inevitable action figures, DVDs, and other kinds of merchandise hitting the shelves. What MMA has been missing, however, is a video game that truly does the sport justice; past efforts were passable but the sport needed its own version of Madden to help grow its audience.

Fortunately, THQ and Yuke's, known for their skilful handling of the WWE franchise, has delivered a title that perfectly captures the spirit and vibe of the brutal yet compelling sport-UFC 2009 Undisputed is a title that both hardcore fans and novices alike can embrace and has the potential to make UFC a household name among gamers.

In this corner...

The most immediately noticeable thing in Undisputed is the absolutely gorgeous character models of the UFC's stars. It's no exaggeration to say that the game achieves a level of character detail that no other MMA game has. Fighters are a spitting image of their real life counterparts with few exceptions — the main quibble I had was that Mirko Cro Cop's torso was too chiselled to be true to life. But for the most part, the developers perfectly modelled the fighters down to the smallest detail. The virtual version of legendary heavyweight Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, for example, has an exact replica of the large indentation that the real Nogueira sports on his back (it was the result of a childhood accident).

The game's presentation is also spot on: prefight festivities are identical to an actual UFC broadcast; the only thing missing are the fighters' entrances, as the combatants automatically start off inside the Octagon. Bruce Buffer bellows out his trademark introductions while well known referees oversee the action. In a welcome move, there is no HUD interface displayed during the fights. It's fun to look at each fighter for clues to their overall health (cuts, bruises, deep breathing, holding their hands low) instead of merely watching a status bar tick down.

The in game commentary is just as impressive. Play-by-play man Mike Goldberg and colour commentator Joe Rogan contribute a staggering 36 hours of audio and feed off each other for a very strong interlaced dynamic. Rogan in particular has many interesting stories on the fighters and their backgrounds. It's entertaining to just listen to what he knows about some of the lesser known guys that don't typically grab the headlines.

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