This fundamental also carried over into the Career Mode, which allowed me to create my own fighter and take him on a wild journey from nobody to the top of the sport. As you might imagine, you start at the absolute bottom floor. My guy could barely punch and kick, I doubt he could even read or write. But thanks to my rigorous training and a few small fights on the amateur level, I was able to build him up and get him ready for the big time. Before I could jump right into the UFC, I first had to earn my dues in the World Fighting Alliance. It's here that I turned my wimpy pugilist into the tough fighter he is today. On top of the fighter camps, you'll also have to contend with the press and your colleagues as you advance through the campaign. You will also need to be mindful of your age, which may begin to play a real issue as you near the end of your career. For those keeping score at home, THQ has upped the length of the career mode this year from 7 in-game years to 12.
There's a lot more to the career mode than I was expecting. For one thing, I wasn't expecting to be as much spoken dialogue between you and your trainers. You also have to think about sponsors and your popularity, especially as you fight for the chance to be on a Pay-Per View event. The road to becoming a UFC champion is an authentic one, full of well-scripted exchanges and a lot of training. The game manages to succeed at this in large part because of the great presentation, which constantly has you changing locations and meeting new people.
Speaking of presentation, I was thoroughly entertained by the color commentary running during each fight. While commentary is nothing new to a sports game, the history and facts the commentators rattled off was always entertaining and helped me gain a better understanding of the sport. I was worried that it would be hard for a novice like me to jump into a franchise with so much established history, but I didn't have that problem at all. The game is incredibly welcoming, offering hints and information all along the way.
As I played through the career mode I started to notice that it wasn't just my virtual character who was becoming a better fighter. I was starting to learn techniques that allowed me to grapple and keep people on the mat until they tapped out. I was able to learn my opponent's moves and see their weaknesses. I was starting to become a powerful fighter, somebody cocky enough to take on the entire world.
Thanks to a robust online mode, UFC Undisputed 2010 allows you to prove your mettle against the best of the best from around the world. Although the game offers matchmaking that supposedly pairs you with players of similar skill, I found that I didn't stand a chance against players who have been at this for several years. Thankfully there are enough offline modes to help me improve my skills for the time when I do stand a chance fighting through the impressive list of online matches.
Even though this isn't my type of fighting game, I was impressed by how easy the game was to pick up and play. That's not to say that there's no challenge, because there's certainly a lot you're going to need to learn if you intend to master all of the modes. But with more than a hundred fighters and the ability to make your own, you're going to have a great time getting there. Throw in easy gameplay and a good presentation and you have a solid fighting game that even I can get behind.
At the end of the day I'm not sure why I was so intimidated by UFC Undisputed 2010. While I may not remember many of the characters names or fighting styles, I definitely know that I can hold my own in the octagon ring ... at least in the video game world. This THQ game may not have made me a die-hard UFC fanatic, but I had a great time with it and suspect that fans of the series won't be disappointed by this year's model.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
While UFC may not be my thing, I had a lot of fun in UFC Undisputed 2010. The game sports great controls, a fantastic presentation and more fighters than I know what to do with. Best of all, the game delivers when it comes to deep game modes that will keep the action fresh for months to come. It may not make me a UFC fanatic, but I had a great time with Undisputed 2010!
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