THQ shrinks down their colossal console MMA experience to the handheld market. UFC 2010 is now available to trash on the go, so what are you waiting for? Step into the octagon.
Over the last few days I have been facing off against my favourite MMA fighters from the UFC brand in THQ's port of UFC Undisputed 2010. Action games, like THQ's 'WWE Smackdown vs. Raw' don’t always translate to the handheld format, so I was skeptical heading into UFC's first conversion to the PSP. The main issue almost every action game has when transferring to the handheld market is dealing with the different control scheme and lack of processing horsepower. So how does UFC 2010 fare in this respect? Damn good, actually, so much that I am a little shocked! It might not be the same heavy hitter as the PS3 and Xbox 360, but it's a good as it gets for a handheld fighter.
UFC 2010 is surprisingly sharp in its execution, mirroring its big brother with perfection. The production values are the height of their game looking excellent on the PSP. Of course the graphics aren't as solid as the console, but you probably won't notice when you're fighting it out in the middle of the octagon. Only in a close inspection will you notice a crack in the mirage of perfection. From a far, in the octagon, UFC 2010 is outstanding, but really, this was to be expected. Another flaw, while UFC Undisputed 2010 doesn't have many, is the removal of in-game commentary. The audio (for the most part) is fairly stand up, however without banter about the match; Undisputed looses some of its immersion. These minor "downgrades" don't break entire handheld UFC experience, but it is worth noting.
No Tombstones Here
Production aside, what you’re here for is the gameplay, and boy does UFC 2010 have that down pat. While the grappling/pummeling action of the UFC might seem like a straight up fighting game, it is actually a lot more in-depth then your standard fighting game. If you let yourself learn the ins-and-outs of the fighting engine, the experience is unmatched. Punching and kicking your way in a “stand up” game is the easy route to go. However, like the real UFC fights, fights rarely follow a format, so you better have your “ground” game up to par as well. UFC falls more into the simulation side of fighting, similar to the 'Fight Night' boxing series, so depending on what you like, this will be the deciding factor on purchasing the game. Gamers looking for a WWE might be surprised at the depth of the UFC game, but it’s not going to replace super-kicks, tombstones, and lionsaults.
Wiggle that Nub
Without delving too much into the fighting mechanics (you can read about that in our console reviews) UFC for the PSP is the pretty much the same--- just transferred to the control scheme of the PSP. The lack of dual analog sticks is the obvious issue for the PSP, but it’s handled by a competent combination of the D-Pad and "nubby" analog stick. Movement takes place on the D-Pad while, the nubby handles the rotation fun of grappling and takedowns. The face buttons provided left and right kicks and punch, while the shoulder buttons act as modifiers. It’s all set up to get the best of the hardware, and I agree with the placement. Still, the PSP doesn’t feel the part like picking up a controller, which would sway me towards UFC 2010 as a console experience, but for what they did. It works.