UFC Undisputed 2010
PS3 (Review Copy), Xbox 360
The popularity of mixed martial arts has exploded lately, soon to replace boxing as the combat sport of choice. The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) organization trailblazed not only actual fighting, but also games, riding high on last year's surprise hit UFC 2009: Undisputed. UFC: Undisputed 2010 greatly improves an already deep fighting system.
UFC 2010 boasts established stars including Chuck Liddell and Anderson Silva (where's Randy Couture?) alongside up-and-comers. After choosing your fighter and entering the octagon, you'll match up with standing strikes, ground and pound tactics, and submission wrestling. There are different gameplay options, including the imperfect, yet oddly addicting, career mode, where you create a fighter and take him from obscurity to UFC stardom. On the online side, in addition to tournament options, there's fight camp, where you train with live fighters and form a team — should you choose.
While hardcore fans will know each character's specialties, those less familiar may have difficulty learning each fighter's strengths and weaknesses. This can be daunting, as the fighting system is very deep, even overwhelming to slighter players. Matches can excite with a flurry of strikes, or a draw out in a longer battle; it all depends on your approach. While it's easy to score early with standing strikes, once you're clinching and fighting on the ground, proper timing and controller inputs decide whether you win or tap out in submission.
The in-game tutorials explain the fighting system, but once you're actually combating it's much harder to implement those techniques on an opponent.
UFC: Undisputed 2010 is made with the MMA fan in mind, even a casual fan will dig an immensely satisfying fighting system once (and if) you learn the entire system.