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UFC 2009 Undisputed review

The brutal sports franchise scores with a stunning comeback

Career mode in 3 easy observations

1) You will become a greater fighter here than just playing exhibition mode
Career mode is designed to take your created combatant through the lifestyle of an actual UFC fighter. Once you create your badass, you assign a weight class, fighting style in striking and in grappling (we chose Muay Thai and Judo), and allocate point attributes in three areas: strength, speed and cardio. Then you assign points within the Fighter Skill category in 15 areas: from standing strike offense to grapple defense.

After an intro where you briefly spar with an opponent, you begin your up-to-7 year career, full of training, sparring, endorsement deals, televised fights and slow rank climbing. In our first few fights with created fighter Punch Rockgroin (fans of MST3K should get the reference), we noticed how we moved away from the stand-up striking game to focus on our grappling. This was somewhat based on our ability to only knock out opponents and the fact that we found we were being overtaken in our grapple game. We neglected to practice clinching, submissions and transitions. Also, one dude got us in a takedown and when we got back up he knocked us the hell out.

This helped us add newly gained (more as a pat-on-the-back, “sorry you lost,” gift) Fighter points in our grapple abilities. The next fight proved a little better. We worked on our clinch game and actually knocked the guy out by kneeing him in the face a bunch. It’s not a submission, but hey, we’ll take it. This complexity led us to think…

2) Holy crap, this game is as deep as a JRPG
Seriously, Undisputed is one complicated old-school role-playing game about point allocation and abilities. In between your scheduled fights, you have between 4-12 weeks on average to train, spar, distribute points, rest and so on. After your previous fight, your stamina is listed in a percentage. Obviously, you want 100 percent by the time of the next fight, but you also want to upgrade your skills.

Above: Give out your fighter points right and you can be doing this!

Your three main attributes – strength, speed and cardio – are available to train, with each being available for light, moderate or intense workouts. The tougher the workout, the more stamina you’ll drain. On the flipside, your permanent attributes will increase. Also, you have the option to spar, which can earn you Fighter points to assign to the 15 main fighter skills you have. Each activity will cost you a week in the schedule, however. So you need to strategize and plan how to allocate your time effectively and improve your skills.

3) Career mode presentation is slick
During Career mode, you earn cred, which is a kind of currency. The more cred you earn enables you to unlock more sponsorships and equipment, which help you train and develop skills as a fighter much faster. You’ll also receive emails about each new UFC event, which changes up the rankings and your standing as a fighter. Additionally, you can select new coaches to assist you, which assists in unlocking more sponsorships.

Above: Ready to dance

Basically, all the flourishes serve to make you feel like you’re an actual ultimate fighter, or rather participating in the ultimate fighter lifestyle. Another plus, each training exercise we mentioned earlier isn’t done through some terrible minigame – it’s all menu-based. We love that. Cuts out the monotony and gets us back into strategizing and training.

More Info

DescriptionThe UFC returns to gaming with this fighting game featuring more than 80 world class brawlers, downloadble content, a robust Create-a-Fighter mode and more.
Franchise nameUFC
PlatformPS3, Xbox 360
US censor ratingTeen
UK censor ratingRating Pending
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