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PS2 Reviews: Ultimate Fighting Championship


Ultimate Fighting Championship Screenshots


The Final Say!

Ultimate Fighting Championship - reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: 5 September 2002
Review Score 8.2/10
Distributed By: Ubi Soft

"Throw down your fighting gloves... this is real!"

Ultimate Fighting Championship is a mixed martial art competition that is extremely popular in the USA, UK and Brazil. Originally starting in 1993 as a pay per-view event, it would eventually become one of the most watched no holes barred fighting competition that would bring together a myriad of martial art styles such as karate, jiu-jitsu, boxing and wrestling to name a few. Just about all types of strikes are permitted such as using hands, elbows, feet and knees. There are a variety of grappling moves such as submissions, chokeholds, throws and takedowns that are also permitted.

Originally developed on the DreamCast almost two years ago, it's now time for the PlayStation 2 to feel the raw power of Ultimate Fighting Championship. It should be noted that this is not a port of the DreamCast version but a new version that contains improved graphics, gameplay and contains the latest champions of the UFC.

The gameplay of UFC isn't like your average fighting game as just about all the moves in the game have been taken from real life martial art manoeuvre. The game emphasizes realism and it really delivers in this department. You can also use the fighting arena to your advantage by guiding your opponent into a corner of the cage and then lay into them with punches. You can also smash their heads against the bars of the cage, if that's your cup of tea. In its essence, UFC is basically a button masher as all fighting games are but once you have moved passed the basics, you will soon realize that there is a lot more to this game.

There are dozens of different moves for just about all fighters that range from punches, kicks, grapples, tackles, elbows, knees and counter tactics. Apart from the many different fighting combinations, you must also monitor your fighters abilities such as stamina, speed and strength. Unlike other fighting games, a right punch or kick can knock your opponent out before the second round has even started.

Graphically speaking, Ultimate Fighting Championship is a pleasure on the eyes with its amazing detail and character movement. The fighters in Ultimate Fighting are made up of enough polygons to give them that realistic look and feel. Given that the character models have detailed textures pasted onto the polygons, you will instantly recognise the fighters and the developers have added little touches such as tattoos and body hair. The only drawback of the graphics is that sometimes the fighters look like they are wearing underwear.

All characters move extremely smoothly and the framerate doesn't drop at all but every now and then, a polygon much will magically enter an opponents body, the programmers should have locked the polygons a bit better. The background graphics, although nothing spectacular, feature the various stadiums of the UFC. The crowd effects, although using full motion video, really suit the game and don't look tacked on as many sport games do. Apart from the visual impressive fighters, the stadium lighting has been extremely well done and all shadows look like real shadows, not small black dots and actually move quite realistically with every fighter.

The sound in UFC is fairly limited but there enough hard thumps of punches and kicks to keep the game "feeling" realistic. Apart from the usual fighting sound effects, the commentary has been professionally done and the crowd really sounds like they are getting behind the fight, which is quite cool.

There is a glut of fighting games on the PlayStation 2 at the moment and it would be a difficult choice to say which one is better than the other. They all have their strengths and weaknesses but for UFC, it's the pure realism that adds to the gameplay. There are no super-moves or power-ups, UFC is as close as anyone would want to get to a real street fight. With impressive graphics and gameplay, Ultimate Fighting Championship may be the fighting game for you.

- Andrew B 

Copyright 2001 www.impulsegamer.com