Fight clubhouse

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“Fight like a man,” announces the metallic, boldly straightforward box copy on the back of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Trademarked, the four-word quote spells out the theme of this Dreamcast romp very clearly: Fighting like a sissy doesn’t perspire greatness, only shameful, pitiless defeat.

So with nearly flawless 3-D photo mapping, 22 of the UFC’s all-natural, pay-per-view meatheads are digitally rendered for gameplay, all with their own expansive fighting style. Boxing, wrestling, jiu-jitsu, submission and kickboxing are all realistic techniques used between the individual fence-wire warriors, each able to perform hundreds of raw, bloodfist maneuvers — totaling thousands of powerful combos between the competitors.

The game staff at Crave Entertainment even thought of wrestling junkies with creative intellect, so the “create-a-fighter” mode also is included. Now, players who complain, whimper or even swear about weak, pre-engineered characters have no excuse to argue, considering that originality is plentiful in this useful, utterly limitless option.

The only pitfall — though ultra-authentic — is the split-second round timing. Rather than lasting for minutes on end like Tekken Tag Tournament or Street Fighter, the inhumane pounding of your opponents can reduce a match to mere moments. Bloodlust, powerhouse fists and brutal saddlelike pins can allow players to smash another wrestler’s skull more rapidly than the blink of an eye. And though the barbaric battles are brief, an entire workday could be spent pounding the living hell out of your adversary.

Durability is another key to UFC’s success. Unlimited playtime possibilities and thousands of virtually unobtainable maneuvers are all too cool (as a black-eyed Ben Franklin would utter, “So many books, so little time”) — adding up to a truly unique, full-contact, bare-fisted, stylized, dreamboat Dreamcast brute.

Jon M. Gibson writes about video games for the Metro Times. E-mail letters@metrotimes.com.

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