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MMA is a game of the brutal sport of the same name released back in October 2010. It was one of the few titles released when game developers had started to make decent games about the sport. Dana White was feuding with the company after they showed disinterest in making a game for the UFC as they were already developing their own title. The winner here was the gaming community and the MMA fans; as it created an alternate title with all the fighters who were UFC quality, but were not fighting for the promotion at the time. The title had exciting favourites such as "King Mo," Bas Rutten, and Frank Shamrock, all quality fighters who had yet to star in the UFC promotion or had been snubbed for some reason or other.
One Legend or Two?
The graphics were excellent and very detailed, you can recognise a fighter easily if you are a fan. The control system was similar to Fight Night Champion, using the right thumb stick to throw punches and using the triggers to alternate to kicks. There was also a parrying system with the right stick and grappling system was a combination of the A & B buttons or X & O if you were playing on Playstation. MMA puts you in the role of a fighter outside the UFC promotion which is an exciting new concept for players and fans alike. You are able to fight in Vale Tudo matches in Brazil, which allow for foots tomps and soccer kicks. While playing the game, there is nothing more exciting than knocking your opponent to the canvas and finishing him off with a soccer kick.
So you want to be a fighter?
I was playing one match with Joachim Hansen against Nick Diaz and my fighter's face was literally hanging off, there was blood everywhere. It was both gruesome and exciting at the same time. The submission system can be difficult at times, for a choke a circle appears and the player has to use the right stick to find "the sweet spot" which progresses the move. With joint locks, an x-ray of the victim's bone appears and you have to use your stamina wisely to put on the hold, tapping the relevant button.
Simultaneously the victim will have to do the same to defend the move, making for a button bashing chess match. This makes for excellent two player games and is different from the THQ approach on UFC Undisputed. The combat seems to cover all facets of MMA. From muay thai, to wrestling, to jiujitsu, this is a genuine simulator of the sport and even has the dramatic shifts of advantage; when a fighter becomes rocked, the game allows you to finish it brutal fashion. Commentary is provided by Mauro Renalo and "The Legend" Frank Shamrock which becomes a bit of a problem when you decide to play as him in the cage. The developers put a bit of an "in joke" in there to make players laugh, but it does draw from the realism a bit.
Do you "Muay Thai?"
The career mode is a bit short; basically you're trained by Bas Rutten and other famous trainers. You go through an 8 week training program before each fight and Mr. Rutten picks your opponents for you. As you advance as champion of each promotion, you get a choice of which promotion you fight for next. When you finally reach the big league, you'll be fighting in the "Strikeforce" promotion or a Japanese promotion which is similar to "Pride FC" or "Dream." The character customisation is not bad but a bit limited, similar to other games. One good features is the various MMA attire you can pick for your fighter to wear post fight. You can sport such brands as Clinch Gear, Tapout, and Lions Den which give it a sense of realism and is a nice gimmick if you're an MMA fan.
Keep it clean!
I really like this game both as a gamer and an MMA fan and even now it is a few years old, I believe gamers will still be able to appreciate this title. Good game mechanics and looks great.