Posts Tagged ‘ UFC ’

My Brother And Me

Outside games journalism itself, the press often gives video games a hard time.  While this is a sweeping statement, you only have to look to figures like Mary Whitehouse, Jack Thompson and even other vocal opponents such as Julia Boseman or Hillary Clinton for proof.

Now, most gamers I know wouldn’t try arguing games are without issues or faults – far from it.  Most would implore very particular treatment of young gamers, for example, and few would dispute the fact that, like all things, games are a hobby best suited for moderate consumption.  However, this is a long and complex discussion that has been raised before, and I am not about to wade into the quagmire today, especially without considerably more research.

The point of this article is simple: to underline my belief that there are very valid and very personal reasons why games can be a good thing.  In my case, it’s my brother.

Although similar in age (we’re just 18 months apart), my brother and I are very different people with very different interests.  Fortunately for us, being brothers and all, we have the same parents.  This means we shared the same upbringing, and have – over time – come to share many values.  Growing up, despite all the tomfoolery, squabbling and enthusiastically destructive play in which we indulged, we remained quite close.  Sure, there were some wobbly moments in the teenage years when I didn’t like my brother (or anyone else) very much, but time has mellowed us both.

However, my brother likes the UFC and MMA, boxing, cars, and Formula 1, none of which hold much interest for me.  I respect what he likes, except when I don’t, or see an opportunity to take the piss, but his interests are not my interests.  The exception is gaming.

Keith Jardine knocks Rampage Jacksons Mouthpiece flying

Keith Jardine knocks Rampage Jacksons Mouthpiece flying

We grew up playing games together – both video and “real” ones.  Everything from Roland in Time on the Amstrad CPC 464 to Goldeneye on the N64, we played it.  Perhaps nostalgia has helped cement the bond (we both remember going to look at the £1.99 Amstrad tapes under the glass counter in our local toy shop), but we still love games now.  It’s a common interest for us, and we will chat for hours about the upcoming releases, the good times on Gears of War or Skate 2, and even what idiots we encountered in the latest round of online gaming.  He knows the same people I do online, we like the same games (shooters, mainly), and he is of a similar standard.

My brother, Tommy, is good company anyway, and we’ve shared many a magical moment online.  I will never forget the time Tommy pulled up next to me in a Warthog and yelled at me to “get in the van.”  You’d never guess he was involved in the building trade at the time…  Okay, so he’s not quite as devoted to gaming as I am – he tends to wander in and out of remembering to pay his broadband bill – but that makes no difference to either of us.

"Get in the van" - Tommy

"Get in the van" - Tommy

In short, gaming has brought us closer – we always got on well, but over the last few years my brother has fast become one of my best friends.   I have faith that many other such stories exist out there – perhaps a couple who met through gaming, or a father and son playing together; maybe a family where video games have provided an outlet for other problems.

This is all a far cry from the thoroughly negative press that gaming often gets, and proves that video games can be a positive influence. As someone else once said, “virtual spaces, real relationships.”

Some come on, what do games mean to you and yours?

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UFC 2009: Undisputed Review

When THQ first announced that a new UFC game would be coming to Hi-Def consoles, fans of the brutal sport were sceptical at best. Past iterations haven’t been particularly successful in delivering a true feeling of the gladiatorial combat expected from the Ultimate Fighting brand. Many failures were due to the complex mechanisms found within the sport, to explain this better the sport itself may need some dissecting.

The sport in question is actually called MMA or Mixed Martial Arts, the aim of the sport is for two men to enter an octagonal cage and the winner is decided by Knock Out, Technical Knock Out and Submission or by Judges decision. The reason it’s called “Mixed” Martial Arts, is due to fighters from different Martial Arts backgrounds duelling in the cage. Judo versus Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kick Boxing versus Muay Thai and many more combinations are on display to the fans of MMA.

Fighting in UFC, both the game and the real main events have a mixture of stand up fighting, kicks and punches and Ground work, which is usually submission manoeuvres. Previous games have failed to allow for the many combinations of moves and the gameplay on the ground has always been stunted and slow, Thankfully THQ and Yukes have surpassed all previous games and not by a small margin either.

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Starting with the deep career mode on display here, creating your fighter is a joy. From his height and weight class all the way down to whether you want him to have a beard or even scars from previous fights. The main choice to be made here will be your fighting style, there are six styles up for grabs and you can choose two. Choices are made from, Muay Thai, Kick Boxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Wrestling, Boxing and Judo.

Having created your fighter it’s time for them to step up and battle their way from the lowest ranking in the UFC and one day fight for the gold. Beginning your career in a run down boxing ring rather than a cage, you choose your trainers and are given your first fight. Once you’ve won or lost your first fight Joe Silva, matchmaker for UFC, will e-mail you to choose your opponents. Once you have chosen your foe, you’ll be given a time frame in which to prepare for the fight. To prepare you can train your strength, speed and cardio stats or spar in the ring to push up your fighters technical abilities.

These training sections are incredibly important if you want to stand up with the big boys. As you progress you’ll be offered chances to train with bigger camps and top tier fighters which allow you to learn new moves for you r chosen fighting styles. The career is pretty lengthy and takes a few hours to finish, the longevity is found in completing a career in each weight class, Lightweight, Welterweight, Middleweight, Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight.

Once you’ve worked through the many career mode options then it’s time to have some fun with the challenge mode. This mode is very similar to previous THQ game, Legends of Wrestlemania, in which you’re tasked to replicate past classic matches. Luckily the developers have learnt from LOW and streamlined the process. In UFC rather than having to match many different objectives to the original fight, you merely need to win in the original way. As you work your way through these, you will unlock movies from said matches which is a great feature for the fans and for those new to the franchise, you can see the real fighters doing what they do best.

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Among these two headlining modes, you will find the usual exhibition mode and of course a multiplayer mode. With over 80 fighters to play with there are lots of potential matches waiting to be acted out. All matches are accompanied by announcing and commentating from Bruce Buffer and Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg respectively. Not only are these real personalities from the sport included but Dan White UFC president, the ring girls and referees are all here too. These additions add to the realism of the game, but the true realism comes from the gameplay and graphics of the game.

With the major fighting styles included fans of the sport will find all of the most familiar grapples, clinches and submission moves here. Everything from arm bars to ankle locks are found in your arsenal. For newcomers this may feel slightly overwhelming but once you’ve sunk your teeth in, you’ll be sounding like the commentating team in no time. All punches and kicks feel solid and register with a resounding thump that shakes your skull. Being a brutal sport, these blows will leave their mark on your chosen fighter, cuts and swelling will appear over his body. The mat will be splattered with blood and much like its TV counterpart; UFC 2009 is not for the fainthearted.

Among the blood and bruises the character models are highly detailed and look outstanding. Sweat trickling down your fighter’s chest will glisten in the light, cheeks will ripple when that knockout punch is thrown and gum shields will fly out of mouths in a shower of saliva as you crash to the mat. All of the fighters look as they do in “real life” and the realism is further supported by the sound. Cheers from the crowd, the music taken directly from TV showings and the easy listening commentary help to solidify the experience.
Almost everything found in UFC 2009 is close to perfection, almost.

MMA is a tough sport to follow and many newcomers may find the movelists and control system overwhelming. With kicks and punches assigned to the face buttons, stand up fighting is simple enough to take on. Pulling the triggers will see you aim low to kick the shins or punch the stomach and all of this comes naturally. However the clinches and grappling can be confusing when you need to manipulate directions on the right thumbstick to jostle for positions to attempt either a submission or “ground and pound” your opponent. To highlight the depth of play there is a tutorial, which if played from start to end will last around an hour.

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Another minor frustration can be found in random knockouts. As in the sport knockouts can come at any point in the match, the human head has points that if punched will render you unconscious. Many fights can be changed with one punch and this happens here too. There are fights that will be lost by a “lucky” punch from your foe even though you’d beaten him near to submission. This can be infuriating at times, particularly if you’re trying to stay undefeated.

The last issue is a relatively big one. Online gameplay can be laggy and the frame rate can sometimes drop significantly. This is more than unhelpful when moves require precision timing. Although not a constant problem it can mire an otherwise great game. Other than lag problems this is a game that will see a certain percentage of people rocket to the top of the online rankings which may put off the more casual player from taking the game online.

UFC 2009 delivers epic fighting that is true to the sport. With lush visuals and gameplay that jars the body with each punch thrown, UFC is brutal on many levels. With a deep career mode and an abundance of fighters to be used in exhibition, this game certainly has long legs. With the possibility of downloadable content to keep the roster up to date, there are plenty of reasons to keep coming back. THQ and Yukes have certainly delivered a knockout blow with this edition of UFC.

Hi-Score – Stunning visuals and sound, Deep career and Huge roster of fighters.

Lo-Score – Can be overwhelming, sometimes laggy online.

Final Score – 9 out of 10

More UFC 09 Footage

After expressing my love for the demo of UFC 09 on the most recent podcast, any information on this game is devoured without second glance.
So here we have two more videos that show the ins and outs of the gameplay.

The first showing more about the submission moves that are in your arsenal and how to utilise them.
This is a helpful video for those struggling to get to grips with such a unique mechanic.

This second video shows an incredible look at how in depth the career mode is. Create your fighter, progress through the UFC and you can even retire him to place him in the online/offline roster to take on the world.
With so many intricacies and tons of customisation options, you’ll have a blast with this game.

One of the major beauties of this game will be the depth of play on show. Finding the right fighter to match your play style and learning move lists inside and out will require time and effort. For those who are wanting to put in the time, this could be a potential “Game of the year”

UFC 2009: New Footage!!

Once again thanks to the guys over at THQ, we have more screens and footage from UFC 2009.
The game is still shaping up to be a great hit for THQ and MMA as a whole.

The screen shots below depict some of the matches from UFC 97 which took place on sunday.

Anderson Silva

Anderson Silva

Thales Leites attempting for side control on Anderson Silva

Thales Leites attempting for side control on Anderson Silva

Chuck Liddell launches a superman punch at Mauricio "Shogun" Rua
Chuck Liddell delivers some ground and pound from Side control on Shogun

Chuck Liddell delivers some ground and pound from Side control on Shogun

The following video shows some highlights from the clinch game in UFC 2009.
Once again all of the best fighters are present and delivering some devastating blows. All of the action is so close to what you would see on TV that any fan of UFC will be amazed by the level of detail seen here.

UFC 2009 is still looking superb, from the beautiful graphics in the character models to the authenticity of the moves performed by the fighters in game.
We look forward to bringing you our review as soon as we can.

UFC 2009

Time for me to get excited about UFC 2009 again, THQ sent us some new video content for everyone to drool over and it can be found below.

The video shows you all of the moves that can be played out on the ground and on the feet, it looks like they’re all there. Arm bars, rear naked chokes, They all seem to be in there and the gameplay looks very smooth.
On a side note, the graphics are stunning and all of the fighters look incredibly detailed and lifelike.

You’ll also see how you perform the moves in game, a tutorial for the ground game. It looks like THQ have gone for a “fight night” style of gameplay by using the sticks to act out the moves.
The main concern I had was the control system but this looks like it can work really well.

As always, we’ll keep you up to date with any more footage or screenshots from UFC 2009

UFC 2009: Undisputed

I am a massive fan of MMA and cagefighting in general and with THQs UFC 2009 title on the horizon, anybody else who’s a fan of this adrenaline fuelled sport will be over the moon with how this game is looking.
Past UFC games haven’t been a particular success due to the mechanics of the fighting.
For those not in the know, MMA stands for Mixed Martial Arts. Fighters enter the octagon and are locked in to fight it out, There are many different fighting styles on display. These include Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, Wrestling and Dirty Boxing.

This is where other games have failed, by not managing to gel all of these components together in order to play a well balanced match. Having been a fan for many years now, I’ve played all iterations I could get my hands on and I still revisit the Dreamcast game often.

Keep an eye out for our review of UFC 2009 as soon as we get our hands on it, but while you’re waiting for that, you can take a gander at some screenshots sent to us by THQ.

Diego Sanchez shoots on Joe Stephenson

Diego Sanchez shoots on Joe Stephenson

Diego Sanchez in full mount, showing Joe Stephenson how to Ground and Pound

Diego Sanchez in full mount, showing Joe Stephenson how to Ground and Pound

Keith Jardine knocks Rampage Jacksons Mouthpiece flying

Keith Jardine knocks Rampage Jacksons Mouthpiece flying

Keith Jardine attempts an arm bar on Rampage Jackson

Keith Jardine attempts an arm bar on Rampage Jackson