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UFC Undisputed 2010


Can the portable version stack up to the consoles?
UFC Undisputed 2010 hit the console scene a few months ago to receive much praise from UFC fans and video game critics alike. The vast amount of fighting moves, excellent presentation and sheer amount of gameplay options were obvious reasons why it has been doing so well. Four months later, a port of the console version has hit the Playstation Portable from developer Yukeís Media Creations. Of course, thereís great difficulty in squeezing everything that made the console versions excellent into a much smaller package on the PSP. The presentation was one of the first items on the chopping block, slicing out the in-match commentary as well as a variety of effects that transformed the fights into a spectacular event rather than a backyard brawl. Add in some exhausting load times and we are already starting off with some serious problems.



You will be glad to know that content wasnít sacrificed though. Thereís over 100 fighters to choose from, each with distinct personalities. In terms of modes, you can directly launch into an exhibition fight or go into the Title mode to enter several matches and take home the belt. But more importantly, career mode is the bulk of where you will likely spend your time. You can build up your own custom fighter in order to earn the respect of the UFC and get an invite to join the organization. In between fights, you train to build up your stats as well as learn new moves for inside the ring. Yuke also included the classic fights mode thatís pretty popular on the console versions. UFC fans will enjoy being able to relive their favorite fights or perhaps change history in favor of their favorite fighter.

Unfortunately, I found the control scheme to be problematic, specifically because the controls in the console version were complex. Stuffing the vast array of moves into the PSP version with only one thumbstick is a difficult feat. The fighterís position is controlled by the D-Pad. You use the triggers in conjunction with the thumbstick to take down an opponent and the buttons to execute attacks. While it does map out the controls nearly completely, the lack of a second thumbstick on the right side of the PSP means your left hand is doing double duty in positioning the fighter and executing moves. There were multiple occasions where my hand cramped up during a fight due to quick switching around on the cramped control scheme.



The multiplayer capabilities for Undisputed are pretty dismal, limited only to ad-hoc play. Thereís no online modes included, thus you have to seek out someone else to play a multiplayer match. Great if you work in an office where thereís plenty of PSPs to be found, but terrible for the average PSP owner. Iím confused why a simple exhibition online mode for the game, unless the lengthy loading times would turn people off from even waiting for the match to load up.

Graphics

  • The graphics engine for the PSP port is about the equivalent to the Playstation 2. Fighter character models are well done, especially their logo-covered clothing or the gradual increase of player wounds. But character animation is much more utilitarian on the PSP. Thereís no real emotional connection to pulling off awesome moves or landing a monster blow to your opponent.

Audio

  • Whereís my Joe Rogan color commentary or even the play-by-play announcer? I have no idea why commentary wasnít included during matches as nearly all professional sporting games Iíve played on the PSP include commentary. However, the developer did include the voiceovers in career mode. The in-match sound effects are less impactful than the console version, even with a nice set of bass-filled earbuds. The crowd seems more muted as well, but they do get a smidgeon louder when the action kicks into high gear.

Conclusion

Despite being a solid fighting game for a portable platform, itís unfortunate to see such a barebones version of Undisputed, in comparison to the console versions. The cramped control scheme, lengthy load times, lack of a quality presentation and hamstringed online play modes twist create a hollow shell of the excellence found in the Playstation 3 version. If you havenít played the console version, you may find yourself able to put up with the gameís nagging problems. Otherwise, stick with the vastly superior console version over the crippled UFC Undisputed 2010 port to the Playstation Portable.

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