The UFC is becoming more and more involved in the video game community. In 2009, they released their first "next-gent" MMA game, UFC Undisputed 2009. It was a hit. Not only did MMA fans enjoy the game, video game media enjoyed the frantic pace and mechanics. Much like going to an MMA event live, nothing really beats pounding your friend's face in with your favorite UFC fighter. In fact, many were caught up in just how much fun could be had in offline versus. Although the game wasn't perfect, it was fun, and that's what mattered.
Being fun wasn't quite enough the second time around though, UFC Undisputed 2010, which featured Brock Lesnar on the cover, was a familiar game. Although some wrinkles were ironed out, and more fighters were featured in the game, it didn't feel like a new game. It came across as UFC Undisputed 2009 2.0. That said, the fun factor remained, and the majority of the video game media were satisfied. Wrestling fans have felt the sting of yearly released video games year in and year out, with THQ (the same publisher behind UFC Undisputed) and the Smackdown vs. Raw series. Or side projects like WWE All-Stars. Low sales for Undisputed 2010 may have been the major factor behind the Undisputed series moving away from the yearly release format.
With UFC Undisputed 3 slated to be release Q1 2012, a great deal of questions will be answered over the coming months. That said, those questions WON'T be answered in the UFC Undisputed 3 reveal trailer:
BJ Penn vs. Sean Sherk = Fond Memories
Who knows why they picked this finish to be the lead in to the trailer. My guess? It's freaking awesome, and easy to edit along with the music. That said, that fight happened at UFC 84, in May of 2008, before the first UFC Undisputed game even came out. In fact, Undisputed 2009's release was just 5 days short of the 1 year anniversary of that fantastic knockout. Nit picky, I know, but using footage from a fight from 2008, for a game trailer in 2011? There's been plenty of awesome, relevant knockouts this year, and in 2010.
UFC 2009 3.0?
I'm just going to beat the haters to the punch on this one, and say, damn. This looks identical to last years game. Well, yeah. It's true. BUT!!! There's also plenty of time before the game is set to be released, and in all honesty, graphics shouldn't be very high up on your list of concerns. So long as there are at least slight improvements where the graphics really matter, like fighter detail, damage, and presentation, this shouldn't be an issue.
Pride Mode: Legit Feature, or Overpriced Downloadable Content?
Whether or not "Pride Mode" turns out to be a quality feature of Undisputed 3 remains to be seen, but I'm glad that I can use old Pride rules in the UFC game, not just EA MMA. I hope it's more than just a rule set and venue, though. I'm led to believe THQ is going all in with this, considering that they're bringing in Bas Rutten and Stephen Quadros to do commentary. That's an incredible amount of voice recording, when you consider that Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg will be returning to do commentary yet again. If they didn't cut any corners, it could be a real experience.
To go along with that experience, I'd hope to see at least a few Pride stars. That may be nothing more than wishful thinking though, considering how many former Pride stars were involved with EA MMA. All I'm saying is, GET GENKI SUDO AS A PLAYABLE CHARACTER! Please. I'll trade Fedor Emelianenko for Genki Sudo any day of the week. While we're at it, how about a "K-1" mode? Huh? Too much to ask? Thought so...
Anthony Pettis Watched This Trailer
Anyone catch that "ground to air" head kick in the trailer? It's one of the interesting new positions/moves spotted in the trailer, that we haven't seen used in competition often. Well, long story short, when Pettis was on his back against Clay Guida during their fight at The Ultimate Finale, Pettis threw this exact kick, and it actually worked quite well. Didn't help him not get laid on for the majority of 15 minutes though.
All of that aside, the teaser did it's job. After Undisputed 2010 I thought my love affair with THQ's series had come to an end, but, maybe I'll give this relationship another run. With a new submission system, which sounds pleasingly similar to EA MMA's "sweet spot" system, the game may very well be filling up the holes that left some fans wanting.
I'll be looking to get in touch with THQ and hopefully get an interview with a developer, or even producer Neven Dravinski, get whatever details we can on the game, and ask some questions. Like, "Will career mode consist of more fighting/training than menus this time around?" Don't worry guys, I'll throw some softballs in there too, and do my best Ariel Helwani impression.