Either you're the type that likes to take on countless challengers (online or off) to show off your MMA fighting skill, or, like me, you're the type that likes to start from the ground up, coming up from nothing all the way through to getting your UFC championship belt. It turns out that I'm a sucker for an underdog story. UFC Undisputed 2010 lets you do just that, and goes way beyond the career scope that UFCU2009 did.
Create a Character:
Beyond the menu tweaks are more sizable upgrades like the drag and drop system. Sponsor logos and tattoos used to have pre-set zones where they could be placed on a fighter. This new system lets you plop down whatever you want, wherever you want. Crotch logos? Done. Nipple tats? Easy. You can scale and rotate your images freely, making this portion of creation so much easier. And faster. This fix also made it easier to implement any of the new sponsor logos added to UFCU2010.
When it comes to actual character data input, there are tons of little upgrades in 2010. Naming, for example, has improved. There are 100 first and last names to pick from, and 50 more nicknames. All of these are voiced by announcer Bruce Buffer for that extra touch of realism. My character, Joe "Destruction" Jones, loved hearing his name.
I was kept on my toes with the new addition of stat decay. Players will have to maintain all of their acquired stats as they'll decrease without warning if you're not watching them. Now, instead of blindly training and sparing to get my levels up, I had to frequently check back and take care of potential decreases. This could happen to any stat, from general attributes like speed to something very specific, like standing defensive skill. When you consider stat decay and the new ways to increase moves and stats, I found that the time between matches was best spent maintaining a delicate balance between pushing forward with training and maintaining what I had already achieved. This makes for much more engaging between-matches play time.
One notable upgrade to the sparring (skill upgrading) system is that you can now assign it to "auto," which lets you get out of manually participating in a sparring session. Of course, taking the lazy way out never pays. While you could potentially earn many points to put towards your skills in a manual session, the Auto mode only gives you a few. Sometimes I only received one point.
When it comes right down to it, the real meat of the game is the fighting action. The control scheme was already great in UFC Undisputed 2009, but now the polish and refinement makes it as close to elegant as possible in UFCU2010. Standard standing attacks are still executed with the four face buttons, and the L and R buttons (or triggers and bumpers) either modify moves or defend. Again, the slickly assigned right analog stick lets you do everything from clinch and grapple to shoot for takedowns. While grappling, the way you move the right stick determines how you'll transition into other moves or blocks. Just like before, the moves are assigned so well that they almost become transparent, letting you fully focus on your opponent. This is the real beauty of UFC's fighting system.
Really, the fight system improvements seem like icing on the cake on paper, but seeing them in action really changes how the game is played. Evasion is natural with the new Sway System, that has your head and body moving away from attacks. The new combo set up gets you away from pre-set button sequences (think Tekken) and more into chaining moves as you'd please. Likewise, the clinch game has eased up on the tension, letting you perform more natural motions. But, rather than list out all of the changes to the tech, I'd like to convey how well these all translate visually. When you get into the zone, you begin to see how things happen and react, and the subtle, very human animations of all of these moves and actions has UFC Undisputed 2010 looking like one of the most realistic fighting experiences ever created. Watching a UFCU2010 match is very close to watch a television broadcast, but it's more about the fighter movement and less about the presentation. That's not to say the presentation isn't nice, though. It is, complete with the lead-ins and logos from television.
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