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UFC 2009 Undisputed

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Game Reviewed: UFC 2009 Undisputed
Publisher: THQ
Developer: Yuke’s
Reviewer: Castor Pollux
Platform: PS3 (also on Xbox 360)
Category: Sports
ESRB Rating: T
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Game Description:

Before I talk about the game, I want to give a brief history of the UFC and the sport of MMA for those that do not know much about the sport.

The first UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) televised tournament was broadcast on pay-per-view back in 1993. The premise was to answer the age-old locker room question, “Can a wrestler beat a boxer?” It was an open weight tournament to prove which fighting style was the best. It featured very little rules and the participants included kickboxers, karate fighters, professional boxers, sumo and free-style (Olympic-style) wrestlers. In the end, it was a little known fighter named Royce Gracie in an unassuming gi, using a little known fighting style called Brazilian Jui-Jitsu that won it all; arm-barring and choking out other fighters two to three times his size. So which style proved to be the best? All of them did. A great fighter had to be disciplined in various fighting styles to be successful. And thus, MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) was born.

MMA has had its share of detractors, most notably Sen. John McCain, who called the UFC “human cockfighting” in 1996 after watching a UFC taping. Fast forward to 2009 and MMA is the fastest growing sport in the world today with the UFC and its charismatic president, Dana White, leading the charge. Now, MMA is regulated by the same athletic commissions that oversee boxing with various weight classes and rules. MMA schools are popping up all over the country. Its popularity has skyrocketed, particularly in the past few years, due to the UFC’s success on basic cable channel Spike, and their reality show, The Ultimate Fighter. Kids today do not want to learn karate or tae kwon do, they want to learn MMA.

The UFC has finally cemented their pop culture validity by releasing UFC Undisputed 2009. There were other UFC video games that came before it, but none with the level of realism and name power as this one. In UFC Undisputed 2009, the player takes control of their favorite fighter or they can create a fighter, and take him through a multi-year career in a chase for the championship belt. Each fighter specializes in two fighting styles, a striking style and a grappling style. To be successful in this game, you have to be good in both styles.

What Parents Need to Know

Violence

Being that the UFC is a combat sport, there is some blood in this game. During the fight, your fighter takes on real-time damage. For instance, as your fighter takes punches and kicks to the face, your character will gradually show damage as the round goes on. First a bruise, then some puffiness in the eye, maybe even a cut. If you do get cut in the fight, blood will start dripping and staining the octagon. Cut scenes at the end of a round show the damage as well, some of which can be significant cuts to the face and bruising in the mid-section.

Language

Language in the speaking parts of the game is nil. During the career mode of the game, you do receive “emails” that do have some minor curse words in them like hell or damn.

Sexual Content

At the beginning of some fights, UFC ring girl, Arianny Celeste makes appearances in a two-piece bikini style outfit, which of course shows lots of skin.

Spiritual Content

There is nothing mentioned in regard to spirituality in this game.

Reviewer’s Thoughts

As a martial arts practitioner, I am a huge fan of MMA and the various MMA organizations. The game plays great and the controls for the grappling part of the game are very intuitive. Surprising since in real life, the ground game can be more or less a human chess match and I imagine it would be hard to duplicate in a virtual setting.

The presentation style feels like I am watching a fight live on Spike TV. Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg’s commentary moves seamlessly through the fight no matter what kind of move I am trying to pull off. The fighters’ personalities are captured perfectly, from the enthusiasm of the announcers to the scary pre-fight stare of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. I personally do not find the sport any more or less violent than boxing, football or ice hockey. However, I do see the possibility of children wanting to imitate what they see on the screen and therefore would only recommend UFC Undisputed for teens and older.



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