We love Fight Night. EA%26rsquo;s beautiful boxing series defined how its sport was represented in games. As much as we love knocking men out with uppercuts, jabs and right hooks, though, sometimes we just want a dirty street fight. Thankfully, we%26rsquo;ve now got UFC 2009 Undisputed to satisfy those violent, jail-baiting whims. Read on to see why this martial arts scrapper could KO Fight Night with just one punch.
1) One hit wins
Like Fight Night's one flash KOs, Undisputed has bruising punches that can end a fight in a second. And, because most of the fighters are trained in mixed martial arts, almost every part of your body becomes a weapon. Like crunching kicks that can floor a fighter harder than a pint of premium vodka, knees to send mouthguards flying or elbows that leave the canvas looking like a scene from Carrie.
Above: You can floor a guy in one hit, ending a fight in seconds
2) You can grapple forever
Undisputed combines its uncompromising melee combat with SmackDown-style grapples, handled via the right stick. Unlike the WWE game, though, the purpose of grapples isn%26rsquo;t to showily slam your opponent all over the canvas.
Instead, UFC tasks you to manoeuvre yourself into a position of power where you can score a submission, knockout or technical knockout. In practice the system acts almost like rock-paper-scissors %26ndash; especially in multiplayer %26ndash; where every flick of the stick will roll your fighter into a different hold that can be countered with the corresponding flick.
The developers, Yuke's Osaka, also claim there's no limit to the number of counters that can go back and forth between fighters. So you can expect to spend loads of your time in the tight embrace of men's armpits and legs.
Above: Better get some cards boys, you could be there for a while
3) You can tenderise a man's kidneys
A little time choking on your opponent's BO is well worth it, though, if you can gain the upper hand and trap him in a hold. Here, you can go to work on his organs, and repeatedly wailing on a specific part of his body will pinken it like an uncooked steak.
Manage to mount the other man's stomach and you%26rsquo;ve got the fight almost won. From this position of power its difficult for your opponent to reverse the hold into another stance. And, more often than not, finding yourself on the wrong end of this hold will see your fighter get his face punched into mince.
Above: You can see flesh physically wobble when you land a big kick
4) It's Fight Night meets SmackDown
Although they're two radically different games, Undisputed somehow manages to capture the best elements from both. Combining the wrestler's athletic, contortionist-esque fighting with the boxer's immersive HUD-free presentation. The effect that sees the screen gradually greying, letting you know you're near a knockout, is especially reminiscent of EA's beautiful boxer.
5) You can fight any way you want
THQ are quick to emphasise you don%26rsquo;t have to use grapples to succeed in UFC, though. And you can win at Undisputed by playing it like a normal melee-driven beat %26lsquo;em up just as easily as using grapples. A fighter, like former WWE Champion Brock Lesnar, is a good example of this. And he's effective at both caving men's foreheads and grappling them to the ground. He's not quite as good at submissions, though. And using a more technical fighter will make it easier to get your opponent to submit
Above: No more man-hugging for Brock (right), this time the former WWE champ's actually got to fight for real
Compared to the FMV footage we saw of this a while back, the current build of Undisputed holds up really well. And with intelligent combat, over 80 fighters and violence far more varied than any boxing match, Fight Night better watch its back. After all, Undisputed only needs to land one good punch.
Above: Mouthguards don't stand a chance against a well-aimed punch
Got any more questions about UFC 2009 Undisputed? PM me at Games_Radar_DaveMeikleham.
Mar 20, 2009