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UFC 09 Undisputed
When it comes to fighting games, we're used to the old norm of Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, WWE and other old school games that got our blood pumping. But, they were not much that we could really relate to when it came to people we were familiar with. So when I heard that there was a new fighting game coming out that revolved around my favorite sport, MMA, and the UFC, well, I could not pass up an opportunity to check it out and let all of you loyal console gamers hear about it. Playing against Chuck Liddel or Forrest Griffin (two of my personal faves!) was just something I couldn't pass up. Now, these aren't quite the final final information for the game, I was told that this is the "near final" information though and not much, if anything, will be changing.
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Well, as you know, there are tons of great fighters in the UFC and each has a specific area that they are uniquely trained in. UFC Undisputed 2009 offers gamers the ability to take on one of almost 100 different fighters and their specific stats and roster. Now, you can play single player or multiplayer (which was my favorite part so far) and either take it out on the console or against friends and neighbors around the globe. Both ways of playing offer strong points in the octogon. The game play is pretty basic - I mean, you play your toon just like you would in the UFC, with training, fights, and championship title bouts.
But, one of the good things about UFC Undisputed 2009 is that you can actually customize your chosen fighter. You can either take on the pre-made fighter as they stand or you can actually build a whole new one from scratch. You'll get over 12 different torsos (from 6-pack abs to a beer belly) as well as tons of different types of heads, arms, legs, and more. Depending on how detailed you want to get on your new fighter, you can easily create a whole new person from the ground up. You even get to pick your name and nickname that the announcer will call you out by, as well as your hometown, location that you are fighting out of, and even your age. The good thing is, no matter how old you make your fighter, it won't affect them physically at all. Once you get your fighter designed the way you want, you then head into the different sliders that will allow you to choose the different sizes of each body area and their centre of gravity. You also get to mess around with everything from hair color, tattoos, clothing, mouths, noses, you name it. You will truly have a fighter that is custom made.
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Your Fighting Moves
Think your customization is over? Not by a longshot. Once you finally have your fighter down the way that you want him to look, you now get to customize his moves, his standing and striking, and his ground moves. Then, you get to refine those specific skills, such as choosing between Muay Thai, Kickboxing, and other stand up specialties, and different ground specialties, such as wrestling, judo, and more. You will actually get 174 points to spend on all of the different areas of fighting to really customize your skills and abilities. Then, you get 285 points to spend on your speed, cardio, and strength. So, you basically get to create a unique fighter that has skills like no other.
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Your Fighting School
When you get all of your fighting moves worked out and set, you then have to pick from one of the two boot-camp trainers. You will get to choose between Mike (who gives you a 5 point bonus on standing defense) and Antoine (who gives you a 5 point bonus on your submission skills). After you go through the boot camp that you choose, you will then get to start focusing on your toon's UFC career. As you are in your gym, you will get messages from Dane White and Joe Silva as they help to teach you professional fighter conduct, how to conduct your responsibilities to your training, and how to be a good role model. This is also how you get to pick your opponents, as these offers will come through your messages at your gym as well. You will get known fighters from Joe, or if you're feeling lucky, you can choose the random event and head into the match not knowing who you'll be fighting.
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When you've trained your fighter up, you've gone through boot camp, you've gotten settled into a gym, and you've picked your first fight - it's time to go. You will get a count down timer for the fight in weeks, and you will have to prepare for the fight like a normal fighter would (without the normal weeks long wait). You have to train in strength, cardio, speed, and more to get ready for your opponent.
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As you train, you will gain points in that specific area for your fighter as well. Right now, the points are awarded as 1 per light workout and 2 for a moderate or heavy workout. Now, you will also need to work on your stamina and you will have to keep an eye on this bar so that you don't blow it all. As you train, the higher level workouts will deplete your stamina, or energy, faster than lighter workouts, but will give you more points. So, it's up to you to decide how hard to train. You also will get the ability to spar with others in your gym to help you really practice for your bout. This is the only real way to practice your moves, as the other types of training are general and your toon does them on his own. With sparring, you actually control your toon and spar just like you would in real life and your sparring score is tallied just like in a real match - by blows you land, how many take downs you have, and how many hits you block.
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Fighting a Match
When you are doing career matches, you will have to play against the game's AI - or you can play in multiplayer mode, where you'll be playing against another real person. In early matches, you'll find that you'll win pretty easy in the computer side, and it's a toss up on the multiplayer side. When you win a match, you will get to see how the judges scored the points for each round, which will also show where you'll gain a performance bonus, a fighter award bonus (for winning), and a special sponsorship bonus for wearing special clothes that have sponsor's names and logos on them. All of these add up in cred rewards that will stack up as you win fights and you will be able to start choosing bigger and better sponsors and join other gyms.
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Curious about how the graphics look? Well, you can see some of the screen shots below and judge for yourself. But, in my opinion, these graphics are pretty sweet. They are also very realistic, as you can see from the moves and the characters. These graphics remind me of some of the newest sports graphics, coming out in games like Madden NFL 09 and more. I'm impressed with them, as you can easily recognize the fighters here in the screen shots, which is sometimes hard to do.
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When you take a look at the game and all of the work that has gone into it, you can easily see where the fun will be. With the UFC being so popular with so many people, this is one game that will allow anyone to get in there and really get into MMA fighting in the UFC without the real pain that comes from training. And, it will give you your own title shot if you can handle the pressure of the game..