UFC Undisputed 2010 (PSP) review
UFC Undisputed 2010 left a knockout effect on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 when it came out earlier this summer, despite the fact it's not selling as well as last year's edition. It still improved in enough places to be considered a worthwhile brawler, however. If you own a PSP, it’s your turn to dominate in the ring with your own version of Undisputed, although it doesn't quite have the same jaw-knocking impact as before.
Part of the problem is that some of the game’s presentation was lost in translation. There are still plenty of fighters to choose from across multiple weight divisions (including superstars Brock Lesnar and Mikro Cro Cop), and a lot of official venues to choke out your opponents in. However, you can tell through a few small problems that this isn't the same game as it was on the consoles.
First of all, the loading times are atrocious. You're stuck waiting about one full minute for a match to load up, compared to the small amount of time in other versions. Even if you have the game installed to your PSP Go, you’ll have to endure these wait times.
Once you get past that, there’s the fighting itself. While the fighters look impressive and interact with each other substantially, they're a little more robotic. Kicks aren't performed naturally, snapping back instead of naturally rising to the occasion. One look at how Anderson Silva delivers a head smash and it's easily noticeable that it isn't the same as it was before. Even submissions look slightly awkward at times, although the sensation of getting someone to tap out from a solid triangle hold is still satisfactory.
If you’re a fan of Joe Rogan's color commentary, you’re in for some disappointment. UFC Undisputed 2010 contains no play-by-play whatsoever. Bruce Buffer does his thing with in-ring announcing, and after that, it’s just your in-ring fighters and the crowd making noise. We know that the PSP format is condensed, but come on -- THQ could've easily found a way to include this.
Now for the upside, and, yes, there is an upside. The gameplay was handled well, a shocker considering that the PSP doesn't cater to the fighting genre. Associating your fighter's techniques across both D-pad and analog movements is a razor-sharp idea that pays off, and using the buttons to deliver punches, kicks, and defensive maneuvers makes the overall representation even better. This is how future brawlers should be done for the platform, with ideal settings and not clumsiness.
There's also plenty to do in Undisputed. Various modes are available here, including a Career Mode where you can chase after the UFC championship, a training mode to perfect your techniques (and learn a few new ones) and a Title Fight mode to head straight into the hunt for the belt. Unfortunately, multiplayer is limited to AdHoc only, as you can't log in through Infrastructure to seek out fighters. It's serviceable, but it limits the overall package – especially without online fight camps, a huge draw with the console edition.
In the end, UFC Undisputed 2010 is a mere shell of a game compared to its bigger and better console versions. But that doesn't make it a weakling. Solid gameplay and a decent collection of modes will please fans of the sport that take it on the go, despite some presentation inaccuracies. It’s a little sloppy in the ring, but it eventually ekes out a win.