EA Gets Into The Ring With Mixed Martial Arts
So here we go another fighting game hits the streets, this time EA have dived into the market of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). This is a place where THQ have now released two versions of their UFC Undisputed range and a market that just two years ago, EA were rumoured not to be interested in moving into. Whether these rumors have any foundation, there certainly seems to be a growing demand for the sport and hence the urgency in EA’s want of a slice of the pie.
Having spent some time in the US I have an awareness that MMA is becoming a big sport and a global sport at that, but I have to confess to not knowing a huge amount with regard to the technical aspects. So here I am with the game about to pit myself against the most technically gifted fighters across the globe! I will admit to having had a dabble with a few other of EA’s fighting games in the past from the “Fight Night” series, so although I have never been in an MMA arena I feel I should get to grips with this pretty quick.
You will have to be quite adventurous on the control pad
The first thing you are presented with is a fairly familiar EA sports menu with a choice of Fight Now, MMA 101 (controls training), Career Mode, Xbox Live etc. I decided to delve straight into the career mode and start my road to stardom. The good thing with many of EA’s sports games is you get to create your own player and with MMA this is no different, you can design all attributes of your fighter from hair colour and tattoos to what shorts you want to wear in the ring. After creating your new fighter you have to decide what class you want to enter, I went for Middleweight.
So here I am in the gym with my trainer called Sebastian Rutten (aka Bas), who is somewhat of a legend on the MMA circuit. It is good to know I am in safe hands. Bas pretty much manages your life for you, arranges all your fights and gets you into the top gyms around the world to train in. But for now, Bas just wants to take me for a few training sessions to show me some of the basics, which is kind of handy as I haven’t thrown a punch yet. This is extremely useful as it’s how we get used to the controls and there are a few! That’s the biggest thing that hits you about MMA, the amount of things you can do. It’s not just about concentrating on punch combos but every martial art style from kickboxing to Jujitsu to wrestling. The controls are fairly simple to get to grips with, however you will have to be quite adventurous on the control pad as you will be using every button and both sticks to control your fighter.
After your rigorous training program you are now ready to take on the world or almost! Firstly you get to enter a few amateur fights in the comfort of Bas’s gym, before heading out into the lower leagues. Once you have fought you way to the top of them you then get to enter the MMA world for real and work your way up to your title fight. The career mode is extremely rewarding both to the knowledgeable MMA sports fan with all the different fighter styles, moves and combos to the newcomer who wants to learn more about the world of MMA and what it is all about. The game play is very good, at first if you are new to this style of game the controls can be a little frustrating, however with some perseverance and practice you soon find yourself putting together some great combo moves and pounding your opponent literally through the canvas. The graphics, as you would expect from an EA sports offering are extremely good and captures all the action, even replaying your finishing KO at the end in extreme detail.
My final thoughts on this game; it is a definite one for newcomers to the world of MMA. If you’re a fan of the sport there is a lot to keep you entertained and lots more to learn about MMA for sure. I am a Fight Night fan and can say that you will not be disappointed with MMA if you like that series.
The Bad: Controls can be a little tricky at first, The training sometimes feels a little repetitive