Jan 24, 2012

Hands-On with UFC Undisputed 3

Image via ufcundisputed.com

Thanks to my second family over at Destructoid, I got the chance to sit down and play UFC Undisputed 3 and good God it’s all I can think about since I put the controller down. My two greatest passions in life are video games and MMA, when the two come together, it should be magical. However, MMA video games haven’t had a great past. Sure the first UFC on the Dreamcast was mind blowing for the time, but shortly after, the games really lost their spark. MMA games on Playstation 2 and Xbox left a lot to be desired, in fact I had more fun playing the MMA mode in Fire Pro Wrestling then I did in those games. Once Dana White and company decided to make a credible video game, the UFC video game series hit a new level. UFC 2009 was an awesome game and the sequel, UFC 2010, improved upon that version greatly. Now after a year and a half of waiting, we are on the verge of UFC Undisputed 3 and, like I mentioned before, I’m hyped for it.

Image via ufcundisputed.com
My biggest complaint from UFC 2010 was the submission system. The only I could pull off a submission in UFC 2010 was basically TKO a person with body shots, but instead of finishing them with punches I’d slap on a submission. I hated this. I hate the shine method not because I don’t think it’s a good idea, but more so because I never knew what I needed to do to finish the submission. Am I going too fast or too slow? Hell if I know. They fixed that in UFC Undisputed 3 by creating a mini game where you chase/escape the opponent’s icon to finish/escape the submission. During my time with the game I was able to finish with more submission then I did the whole time I was playing UFC 2010 (countless hours). While being able to finish fights with submissions is greatly needed it wasn’t the best addition to the UFC video game franchise.

The addition of a Pride FC mode to UFC Undisputed 3 is the real game changer here. Since buying the beloved league, Zuffa has really only pimped its video footage. Now it’s really putting the license to good use in video game form. Not only are you getting to fight in a ring with rule adjustments, but you get a whole roster full of Pride Superstars. Now any hardcore MMA fan will notice that most of these Pride fighters were also UFC fighters at one point (which is why UFC is able to use them), but it’s still pretty cool. While it sucks that fan favorites like Sakuraba and Fedor aren’t included, I was able to confirm that you will be able to trade your create-a-fighters online with others. I’d imagine within a few weeks you’ll be able to find some pretty good CAF of Sakuraba and hopefully other more obscure Pride alumni (personally, I want Bob Schrijber ). What’s also cool is that you can use both UFC and Pride fighters in all modes. I got about 3-4 hours to try out the full game and the vast majority of it was spent playing exhibition fights in Pride.

Image via ufcundisputed.com
The first fight I did was in Pride mode in the welterweight class. I picked an old school favorite, Carlos Newton and duked it out against Dan Hardy. It had been awhile since I played a UFC game (I’d kind of moved onto EA Sports MMA/Fight Night Champion for my combat sport itch), but within a couple minutes, I got the hang of it again. There’s been some adjustments to the overall gameplay too. One of my favorites was being able to sway on the ground. Basically when your opponent stacks up and starts raining down hell fire you can move around to dodge the punishment. There’s also a new position where if you’re close enough to the cage/ring ropes in full guard you can start to escape by wall walking. I really enjoyed this position as it seems like a much more realistic ground escape then the heels on hips escapes from past games (those are still in there FYI). My first fight with Newton v Hardy was a heated contest, but I eventually won in true Newton form with a top side arm bar (a submission win, I was amazed). After that, it was just a haze of different random but awesome dream match ups.

What’s also cool about Pride mode is that the weight classes in Pride can sometimes contain 2-3 UFC weight classes. For Pride Lightweight you can pick any 135/145/155 UFC fighter, which is cool cause you can’t normally have 135 fight 145 or 155 fighters. For the record Welterweight contains 170 and 185 weight classes while Middleweight contains 185 and 205. Sadly heavyweight only contains heavyweight fighters, however that includes Don Frye and Bob Sapp so that makes up for it.

Image via ufcundisputed.com
While I could go on and on about all the cool little additional features (leg TKO’s, Simulation mode, etc), the one little addition that just blew me away was the inclusion of the “ref cam.” I’m sure many will remember in Pride’s later years, the referees would have cameras strapped to their heads to provide for more exciting replays of fight highlights and finishes. The first time I saw this in the game it blew my mind. I can’t really put my finger on why it made me giggle like a little school girl, but I was completely sold on this game once I saw it.

Overall I left playing UFC Undisputed 3 counting down the seconds in till I’d have the game in my hands. Lucky for me and the rest of the world the demo comes out TODAY! While no demo will be able to do the full game real justice, it’ll hopefully give you a good idea of the awesomeness that awaits us all on 2/14/2012. Also, if you didn’t already know you should think about reserving this at your local Gamestop because you’ll get the king of pre order bonuses: a code to download Nick Diaz, Jason “Mayhem” Miller, Brain Stann and Phil Davis.

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