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UFC Undisputed first impression

Most of you know that I’m a serious gamer. I fucking love it, and I was a big fan of EA’s Fight Night series, even if I wasn’t much of a boxing fan. The visceral satisfaction of punching someone in the face doesn’t require any physical harm to one’s self, and as a general coward, I can appreciate that. So it was with great anticipation that I downloaded the new demo for UFC: Undisputed, THQ’s latest sports game that they no doubt hope to turn into a franchise.

The game itself tries to present a very authentic experience by sticking to the graphical and musical cues that we all have come to take for granted. I hate to admit it, but it definitely works. As soon as you select your fighters and game type, it’s like watching an event.

I understand that they usually decide who they will feature based on the closest pay-per-view event, but the person’s who’s idea it was to make the only two playable characters either Chuck Liddell or Shogun Rua should be fired out of a canon. I still haven’t ever met a Rua fan, and after his recent loss, playing as Liddell just makes you yearn for a time long forgotten; when the guy wasn’t getting knocked out by sudden gusts of wind.

This move and combo list in this game is insane. I wouldn’t be surprised if the instruction manual to this game was thick like a paperback. It’s a smart move; it would be so easy to get bored with the game if you only had a couple different techniques. On the other hand, there’s no telling if everything is well balanced, so I’m looking forward to trying out different fighters and techniques. Right now, Rua and Liddell aren’t exactly very interesting to play.

The graphics and movement look sharp for the fighters, but Arianny, Edith and Mario Yamasaki all looked like they were undead zombies, especially with their creepy dead eyes. I understand why they included these people, and I even understand why they didn’t put in a lot of effort in their digital counterparts. But if you go to the trouble of animating beads of sweat on glistening male bodies, why can’t this same technique be used with the ring girls? They could have also included a feature called “Make your own UFC ring girl” which would have really spiced things up (especially if it allowed for “fat physics”).

So far it’s looking like a pretty kick ass game, and I’m positive it’ll sell well. Now, if they can get their act together and get all those other tentative fighters to sign away their video game rights so we can have a full roster, then I’ll be happy. If you have a PS3 or Xbox 360, go get the demo now!