UFC Undisputed 3 review (Part 1)

Posted: February 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

I will start this by saying that I’m not any type of technical wizard on UFC Undisputed’s prior incarnations (either 2009 or 2010), but I love the game and the sport. The beauty of this game is it gives you a much better knowledge of the overall UFC product. Before getting UFC 2009 I would have considered myself a fan, but more of a casual fan than a hardcore type. I would purchase an event if I recognized more than just the headliners in a PPV.
This game makes you much more familiar with the rosters up and down, in all divisions. So the more you play the games, the more names you start seeing pop up on upcoming cards that you recognize, the more PPV’s you invest in. So now I’m a hardcore fan. That’s what the game does.

I’m going to be doing this review in 2 parts, simply because the game only came out on Tuesday, so I haven’t had a lot of playing time as of yet. I don’t work for a gaming site or anything, I’m just an idiot fan with a blog who wants to review the game, and it would be unfair to review the career mode without giving it a fair shake of the stick, as this is where a lot of people spend most of their time in this game. So look for that upcoming in a week or two.

So, now on to the meat and potatoes of the game with what I have played thus far.

New changes and tweaks
The past 2 offerings of this game have definitely been heavily biased toward those who favor striking over the ground/grapple game. The game still has some of that bias, but it’s certainly been evened out more. Fighters who traditionally excel on the ground (think BJ Penn) are much more dangerous, in either top or bottom position, both in terms of striking/counter striking, and clinch/reversals/submissions from top or bottom position. This makes the game immediately more challenging because if you decide to build a fighter in career mode, you now have to make sure to dedicate time to submissions/takedown defense, rather than just making a hulk who punches/button mashes every fight

They have also added an extra difficulty level, from 4 to 5. This definitely adds a much needed “tweener” level. Beginner and Experienced in past versions were way too easy, and advanced/expert were too hard (at least too hard to try to learn on). This year they have Beginner, Experienced, Advanced, Expert, Ultimate. The Advanced is a good starting point for players who are familiar with the game, but are keen to add to their skill set. I never really got into the sway/step moves, but find in Advanced mode, it’s a huge plus with regard to weapons in your fight arsenal.

New submission system
I for one welcome our new submission overlords. In terms of actual in the ring gameplay, this is the most noticeable tweak. In the past (as mentioned above) those fighters who favored the submission style were facing an uphill battle. You make your submission move then twirl your R stick furiously in an attempt to get the submission to hold. It worked when the other guy was almost dead anyway, so you still needed superior striking to get into a submission that would work. Now, when you try to submit, an octagon pops up with a blue and red band representing the corner your fighter is in. If you are executing the submission you must overlap and stay over the band of your opponent. Conversely, they must try to “outrun” you. Guys with superior skills with submitting in the game will have a larger band to work with making it easier. Strikers and stand up guys have shorter bands making their submission resistance weaker. I’ve seen a few people complain about it but I absolutely love it. You still can’t pop a submission every time, but it feels much more natural with regards to the actual fighters profiles.

Seven weight divisions, 150 fighters, Pride rosters (including Royce Gracie). Not much more to be said, huge upgrade

Event Mode
Outside Career mode, this is the mode I play most with. It allows you to set up a fight card, up to 8 fights, multiple weight classes, title/non title, ppv/ultimate fight night. I will sometimes set up a fight card to mirror upcoming PPV’s, just for shits and giggles. This has stayed pretty much the same, in terms of gameplay, but the one major improvement is the ability to choose which player to control after the initial screen. I’ve sometimes mistakenly pressed go before selecting a fighter, and they didn’t have the option to choose controllers after that one screen, infuriating to say the least.
The game has some pre-loaded events of PPV’s past, but what I think would be a great idea is if they made available for download some of the upcoming events. If I could log onto the Xbox marketplace and download the fight card for UFC 144 and 145, I would do it. Just a suggestion.

Ultimate Fights Mode
Haven’t played this yet. This is very hard, and very specific so I usually get more comfortable with the game as a whole. What this mode has been excellent for in the past is rounding specific skills. For example, you will get bonus points if you submit your opponent the same way, and in the same round as the real fight went. This means you may need to practice your kimora, heel lock, whatever. Advancing here usually unlocks actual video footage, but as I said, I haven’t played it yet.

Tournament Mode
I have not played this one yet as I dove right into event, career and title modes in limited time yesterday. What I will say about this mode is it made me a much bigger fan of the UFC and cost me money. And here is why. It absolutely behooves you to set up a 16 bracket tournament, give yourself the control options for all players. You will get a feel not only for what each players strengths and weaknesses are, but you will also gain a better knowledge of the actual weight divisions and all the fighters within. I’ve purchased more PPV’s because I recognised more fighters on the card due to the tournament mode. I usually play this mode early, a full size tournament in each division to learn which players I favor using in the game itself and who is in which division. Always good for learning and perfecting moves too.

Title mode
One thing I haven’t seen mention when other review sites talk about the game overhaul is the title mode overhaul. In the past you had 12 fighters to beat to become champion. If you were defeated, you simply got a rematch and could fight as many times as you like to advance. This time you start as a ranked fighter. Choose your pro, and they will start you around 15th in the ranks. With each win you will advance through the ranks. Depending on how dominant your win in the prior bout was, you can jump up 3 or 4 places at a time. If you lose however, you can drop 6 to 8 spots in a single go. In the fight immediately after your loss, they will talk about how you need a win or your chances of ever getting a title shot are gone. If you lose a second time, then it’s game over. No restarting at the 8th fight. Back and try it again (I should say here, I got my ass handed to me twice in 3 fights, which is why I lost a title shot, both times to God damned Cain Velasquez, sorry Junior, I tried). New game, new title run. I love it, makes it much more challenging.

That’s where I am at for now. I will post a second follow up probably next week when I have had time to test the career mode fully, as well as the Tournament and Ultimate Fight modes.

What the game developers have done with this installation of the game was remove many of the little things that detracted from the last game, and improved on the strengths. There is a very significant upgrade in almost every facet of the game.

Come back next week for part 2.

You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HockeyandBeers


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