Game Review: ‘UFC Undisputed 2010’ for iPhone

We are fans of the UFC and the console releases of UFC Undisputed as well (with UFC Undisputed 2010 for XBox 360 receiving an 8.0 score). So, when we heard the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch would be getting its own UFC Undisputed 2010 we couldn’t wait to get our hands on it.

Gameplay:

This mobile game obviously has to play much simpler than the console version both in terms of power and control scheme. Without formal buttons, players must navigate their fighter throughout the octogon on a 2D plane reminiscient of Street Fighter 4 more than other UFC titles. Fighting consists of various finger swipes over a punch, kick or synch icon.

Different presses or swipes result in different moves and as far as we could tell with our hands on the game, every competitor on UFC 2010’s roster players and moves in the ring exactly like each other, with the only exception being how wrestlers perform takedowns differently with body slams.

The melee combat is fairly basic but does not encourage button mashing. Players who do so will quickly find their stamina drained and on the receiving end of hammer punches to their faces.

The grapple system can often be frustrating as players must make circles with their fingers to change position. These circles take a long time, often so long that they take a hit which halts the progress. This section becomes increasingly frustrating as a takedown against the computer can often spell defeat to a player if they aren’t close enough to the end of a round to help get them up off the canvas. Submissions are no easier as players must trace a pathway across the screen in order to escape before their character taps out.

Story and Presentation:

The iPhone version of UFC Undisputed 2010 gives three different play modes with Exhibition which allows players to choose any matchup between fighters of similar weight classes, as well as a Championship and Tournament mode, also both delegated by weight class. Championship mode gives players four competitors in a weight class to overcome with a maximum of three losses. If they hit these losses, they must start over.

These formats work really well in the iPhone / iPad format as players aren’t likely to sit down for extended periods of time like they would on the console versions of the game trying to train and build up their own fighters. Instead, these formats give quick bursts of fun whether it’s an exhibition on a five minute bus ride or a Championship path on a flight.

Graphics and Sound:

The iPhone has continually shown it has what it takes to give a great visual presentation on a mobile device. The fighters are well animated and do a great job representing the looks of the real life fighters on the smaller scale. Even former champion Brock Lesner’s signature tatoos can clearly be seen during gameplay.

The sound design doesn’t come off as impressive as the commentary quickly starts repeating itself. At the same time, there are only a limited number of sound effects for punches and kicks as well.

Overall:

UFC Undisputed 2010 is a good game for those who are fans of the UFC brand but doesn’t do much to set itself up as being a fantastic title on its own. The UFC branding is likely to be the strongest seller of this title along with the well known UFC fighters featured like BJ Penn, Brock Lesner and Shane Carwin. While it takes some chances with its control scheme, certain aspects have not fully paid off like the submission and grapple system just yet. UFC Undisputed 2010 is worth a look for the $4.99 price tag, but just don’t expect an experience as nicely wrapped as the full console versions.

iPhone
Price: $4.99
Publisher: THQ
Developer: Super Happy Fun Fun
Score: 6.5

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