Developer: THQ
Publisher: THQ
Rating: Teen

Welcome, fight fans, to the UFC Undisputed 3 review, and we are live! Taking two years off to fix the problems from UFC Undisputed 2010, THQ has released the latest installment of its UFC game franchise. Does UFC Undisputed 3 knock out the competition, or will it leave you tapping out? Tape your fists and get your fighting shorts out of the drawer: here’s the review.

Let’s Get Ready To…Wait, I Can’t Legally Say That, Can I?

While THQ did take a few years off since the last installment of the series, it wasn’t to pack in new features; most of the time taken was to fix what they felt was broken. Animations are less stiff, and controls are much more responsive, even though they are still slightly counter-intuitive. Everything in UFC Undisputed 3 has been revamped to make the game a better experience than its predecessor. While a majority of the modes, such as “Tournament” and “Ultimate Fight”, return, several new modes make a debut to the series, including “Pride” mode and a revamped “Career” mode.

In the “Career” mode, less emphasis is given to stat management, and more on training and fighting through gameplay. You can choose from the assortment of fighters on the roster, or you can choose to create a fighter of your own. You start in the World Fighting Alliance, work your way up into the Pride organization, and eventually claw your way to the UFC. During fights, you’re rewarded if you pick a game plan, stick to it, and execute it to win the fight. The cred you earn from fights is used to buy training camp upgrades to increase attributes and training partners to increase stats. “Attributes” are refined skills, such as the striking offense/defense, and “Stats” are the basics of the fighter, such as foot speed and power.

Those familiar with “Pride” mode will know the basic rules. Those that don’t know the difference, in Pride, kicks to the head of a grounded opponent are legal, as are foot stomps to the head. As opposed to the caged octagon, the fights take place in a traditional ring. Also, the first round is 10 minutes, and each additional round is 5. Finally, one other difference is the judges score the fight as a whole, as opposed to round-by-round.

It’s time!!!

While a lot of the upgrades have been done to the gameplay, the overall look of the game has remained the same. If anything, it’s a little better. The octagons don’t look too much different, aside from lighting and logos on the floor. If anything has significantly changed, it’s the animations. The movement isn’t as stiff as games past. This is partially due to the fact that they’ve used the fighters themselves to capture the motions they use. Signature moves and styles become apparent as you play through fights.

Defense Wins Championships

As I mentioned before, the control scheme is responsive, yet counter-intuitive. There are two different control schemes, Pro and Amateur. Pro controls are basically the same controls as previous installments, so if you know them from those previous installments, just play the tutorial or fight a few matches to get your bearings back. For those new to the series, set the scheme to Amateur and play the tutorial over and over until you understand defense. Learning defense will take you very far in the game. Offense is a little easier to understand, but there are a few things you will need to learn as far as the little intricacies of the game.

And it is all over!!!

Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg offer commentary in the UFC fights, while Bruce Buffer handles ring announcing. MMA legends Bas Rutten and Stephen Quadros handle commentary in Pride, while Lenne Hardt announces the fighters. Commentary is just like the actual television presentation, minus the advertising. Sounds from shots landing are all solid. Crowd noise might vary depending on the kind of person you play as. It’s ultimately white noise that doesn’t stand out over the commentary or entrance music.

Touch Gloves And Come Out Swinging

One of the major drawbacks with UFC Undisputed 3 was the fact that you have to take time to learn how to play. It takes about 45 minutes to complete the tutorial as a quick once over. As it was mentioned before, if you’re a newcomer, you’re going to need to take a lot of time to learn how to defend against everything. Like professional fighting, you’re going to want to figure out what suits your strengths as a player, whether it’s striking, ground and pound, and/or submissions. Once you do take the time to learn everything, the game opens up so much more, making you feel as if you can do anything. That is, until the A.I. adjusts its difficulty. Bottom line, if you have a ton of patience and a love for Mixed Martial Arts, this game is worth playing.

As a matter of fact, it’s worth buying because of the online pass. UFC Undisputed 3 deserves a lot of credit, thanks in large part to the massive improvements made over its predecessor. A lot of refinement went into gameplay, including the submissions, which prompt a mini-game of sorts. Also, to add more realism, knockouts can occur from leg kicks should the opponent’s legs take too much damage.

The two years off have really helped make this installment better. The hard-hits will satisfy any blood lust you might have as a fan. In fact, if you start playing with other people, chances are fights will rarely see a second round because of knockouts. UFC Undisputed 3 is for fans that love hard hitting and flashy knockouts, and to fans that love the technical aspect of professional fighting. There is so much to this game, so if you do play it, have patience and learn everything you can about playing.

Final Verdict: UFC Undisputed 3 gets 8 kicks to the face out of 10

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This review is based on a retail copy of the Playstation 3 version of UFC Undisputed 3 by THQ

About The Author

As a three time platinum trophy earner, Jose is always serving his master Gaming...FOREVER MAY HE (or she) REIGN!!! Writing for New Gamer Nation and might pop up just about anywhere. Oh yeah, follow him on Twitter @DSB_IV