Unlike past mixed martial arts video games made by THQ and EA Sports, 505 Games took a different approach and presented an arcade-style combat system. The fighting is a lot more fast pace compared to the competition making it imperative to master the controls in the tutorial section.
Controls will take a good amount of time to master. This is not a pick-up and play kind of game as there is quite a bit to learn in terms of the combination of buttons to press. Mastering the timing of blocks will be a huge asset as you can score a lot of damage following a successful block.
Depending on the type of fighter you choose, whether it’s a jiu-jitsu expert, kickboxer or a boxer, you have a distinct advantage. However, holds will score you more damage compared to what a skilled striker can do on the ground. If you like to just hold your opponent this game will be a lot easier compared to the ground and pound offence.
The list of fighters in the game are not the most popular fighters in MMA, but there are some notables. Former Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter Jens Pulver, Strikeforce fighter Shane del Rosario and a slew of boxers and kickboxers. Each fighter does get their own cartoon-style storyline that can keep you busy for a while. Do not expect much from the female division as there are only two females you can fight with, Felice Nicole Herrig and Michele Gutierrez. It maybe the first game to ever feature female fighters, but you can only have them fight each other and not the men.
For a first attempt there is a lot of potential in this arcade style MMA game. Even once you get the controls mastered the game is still pretty slow as some moves do not always connect when they should. This happens a lot more for you compared to the computer. Regardless of the faults there is still a lot of fun that can be had and if you’re a fan of MMA video games it’s worth exploring.
Available for PS3 and XBox 360
Released on Sept. 13, 2011