Support Andy, click to buy via us...
UFC Undisputed 2010 was thrilling for those in the family who like the more brutal antics of the UFC. Sweeping changes have improved nearly every aspect of the game and we were all surprised with how immersive the entire experience was.
Being a fan of UFC and WWE Wrestling with children can be a dangerous hobby. No matter how fake it looks to us there's no doubt that kids love to emulate what's depicted on the screen - with UFC there's no room for dramatic license as the blood and sweat is pretty much all real.
Now that my two boys have grown up to a more appropriate age I've started to relax my strict controls over the games they play and the TV they watch. Now we can all enjoy the delights of UFC Undisputed 2010 without fear of reproach.
Fortunately, UFC Undisputed 2010 is worth the wait. It improves on last year's effort by a huge measure, translating the often over-looked artistry of fighting to the HD screen with great aplomb.
Controls are straightforward enough and the simple pleasure of using the face buttons to administer punches remains a satisfying mechanic that other fighting games seem eager to disband. Coupled with the right analogue stick taking care of all the grapples, takedowns and other bodily shenanigans, UFC has a basic control system that everyone could pick up quickly.
Of course, with two teenage boys it became obvious that they didn't need any tutorial to ease themselves into the game and to UFC's credit, its pretty quick to set up a match and get grappling as soon as possible. The Exhibition and Tournament modes are good for setting up a longer series of encounters and the Title mode is great for quick matches.
Knowing that any blow can end your chances or your opponents, we found it the most thrilling experience out of the entire game.
We all liked the ability to re-enact classic UFC matches. Here, the presentation goes some length to show how authentic it can make these tournaments seem. With the pre-match interviews and commentary, THQ have made a concerted effort to make UFC 2010 feel like your watching a real match.
This was matched by the surprisingly heart-stopping moments in the multiplayer modes. Playing against the computer or local multiplayer is tension enough - but taking on another real player via Xbox Live the atmosphere changes dramatically. Knowing that any blow can end your chances or your opponents, we found it the most thrilling experience out of the entire game.
There's also a surprisingly fun Team mode. This Online Fight Camp allows a group of fighters to train together and level up their skills quicker than normal. Fighting games don't normally try to build a sense of comradeship as its usually 1 vs. 1. But UFC 2010 started to make potential opponents into friendly sparring partners - with all the exceptions that Xbox Live can throw at you.
A duel career mode would have extended the dramatic nature of the main campaign mode and a bit more flexibility for more than two players would've made it a lot easier to play as a family.
It's becoming a cliche to say that a passing family member will comment on how realistic a game looks these days. Whether it's Uncharted 2 or FIFA 10, one of the girls will inevitably assume that we're just watching TV. True to form though, the same thing happened playing UFC 2010 and it's a compliment to the developers that people think like this. We all did double takes at some points because the level of graphical finesse was so high.
There are some low points in amongst the excitement thought - especially in terms of local competitive multiplayer or co-op. A duel career mode would have extended the dramatic nature of the main campaign mode and a bit more flexibility for more than two players would've made it a lot easier to play as a family.
UFC Undisputed 2010 lives up to its name and has no equal in the sports fighting game genre. We enjoyed nearly every aspect of this superior sequel, the deep career and online modes make sure it keeps my boys occupied for hours even after many months.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: