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XBox 360 Review - -

Gameplay 8.9
Graphics 8.9
Sound 8.8
Value 8.8
Distributor: THQ
Review Date:
May 2009
Tyrone Williams


UFC 2009 Undisputed

Last week, we saw THQ's UFC 2009 (Ultimate Fighting Championship) on the PlayStation and this week, it's time for the XBox 360. Once again going beyond its predecessor, this game could easily be the most realistic fighting game in the console world. Featuring an in-depth career mode and a mixture of boxing meets wrestling, UFC 2009 is truly "undisputed" when it comes to realism which at times makes the gameplay quite frustrating.

At its heart and core, UFC 2009 Undisputed is a no holes barred fighting game that uses striking (e.g. boxing) and grappling (e.g. judo) martial arts to engage the opponents which adds to a plethora of ways of defeatism. Of course from the TV campaign, UFC is actually a real sport and the developers have successfully managed to transfer this series to the console world with real-world fighters and real-world disciplines. 


  • Authentic UFC Personalities - Explore a deep roster of more than 80 top names in UFC competition across all weight divisions. Enter the Octagon surrounded by the sport’s popular commentators, announces, referees, trainers, Octagon girls and more.

  • Realistic Models – Absorb the world of UFC as it appears on television with photorealistic fighters who breathe, sweat and more like their real-life counterparts.

  • Constant Control – Gain the upper hand in matchups with a brand new fighting game engine. An emphasis on innovative, responsive and easy-to-play controls gives you unparalleled command over your fighter in the Octagon.

  • Fighting Disciplines – Take down opponents and get the submission with a variety of mixed martial arts disciplines. Including Judo, Muay Thai, Wrestling, Kickboxing, Boxing, and Brazilian iu-Jitsu.

  • Create-A-Fighter – Jumpstart the career of a future champion by customizing your own physical appearance and attributes. Learn new fighting techniques to use in the Octagon and manage your training.

  • Career Mode – Develop fighter attributes, perfect moves and fight for entry into the UFC Hall Of Fame.

Although UFC 2009 could essential be completed as a button smasher, as you progress, so do your opponents and this is where the strategic element of the fighter comes into play. Thankfully the developers have thoughtfully mapped the controls quite well on the controller and depending on your chosen discipline, these translate quite well to the game. The shock of the 360 controllers also assists in the realism of the title, especially when you're getting pummeled by an opponent.

Of course, each of the disciplines is quite different, whether you are a “striker”, e.g. punches and kicks or a “grappler” where you try to overpower your opponent, UFC 2009 is thoroughly entertaining and at times quite frustrating due to the realism of the game.

Another interesting twist, depending on your discipline is that you can either beat your opponent to victory through raw force or if you’re a grappler, you can force your opponent to submit. Best of all, the AI in the game is quite diverse and at times unpredictable which only adds to the playability of the title and distances itself from traditional fighters. My biggest gripe with the game is the realism of the title, it's very real and at times it's sometimes difficult to anticipate your opponent or try to block at the right time. Thankfully the game contains a variety of difficulty levels and yes... I had to try an easier difficulty at the start.

In regards to the learning curve, to master the title is quite intensive, however casual gamers will easily be able to pick up a controller and start playing. It’s definitely one of those games that improve through your mastery of the control system and thankfully the tutorials assist in this process. Of course, you need to navigate through the excessive menu system which was like... WTF? Next time my friends, keep it simple.

The game features a variety of different gameplay modes that include that include exhibition, classic fights (which includes classic matches, videos and interviews). However our favourite mode is the career mode that allows you to setup your fighter from scratch. Of course, you can create what your fighter will look like in the game and you have the option of attributing various skills to create a much needed diversity to your fighter and the genre.

When creating your character, you really need to think of the different scenarios that you will come up again, ensuring that you have an even match of defense and offence. The career mode is not all about fighting as training and sparring assists in attributes and gives you access to new maneuvers. The only downside to the career mode is the convoluted menus and “filler”, however the addictive nature of the fights in the ring will have you clamoring for more. A really cool feature is that once you have completed your career, the character is still available to the player in exhibition matches and it’s really fun to take your fighter online to see how he will do against others.

On the 360, the game looks like pure eye candy and is extremely realistic. The fighters look amazing and the attention to detail is pure crazy. It should also be mentioned that this game has the best collision detection in a fighter and match that with realistic movements and this title is the bomb, the good bomb that is. The animation is quite slick and fast and best of all, the fighters take real-world damage such as cuts and bruises. Nasty stuff!

There are also some different fighting environments which adds to the multiplicity of the title and it would have been nice if the environments were a tad more realistic. However for a next-generation fighting game, it’s pretty sweet. Add in the realistic commentary by Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg and it’s almost like watching this on TV. Of course the sound effects are quite realistic, especially when you’re beating the absolutely living day lights out of each other that is nicely complimented by some great bands such as Hollywood Undead.

For those looking for a realistic fighter, than this game is definitely the choice that is matched with next-generation console graphics, strong gameplay and an interesting and fun career mode. It's definitely worth the effort and the learning curve to master this title, UFC 2009 is (pun intended) undisputed!


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