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UFC Undisputed 2010 Review

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THQ doctor the octagon

★★★★

While most developers are happy to knock out annual updates of popular sports titles that offer only the most superficial updates, THQ has taken its ultraviolent UFC Disputed franchise and polished it to within an inch of its life.

From basic upgrades such as new game modes and improved presentation – to bigger changes such as a complete overhaul of the character creation mode, and over 100 fighters as opposed to the original’s 30 – the 2010 edition feels fresh, bombastic and genuinely exciting, and will instantly capture the imagination of UFC fans and anyone taking their first punt on a mixed martial arts videogame.

Aside from a fresh lick of paint, what’s most impressive about Undisputed 2010 is how its tweaked fighting system offers a more rounded and tactical experience. The cornerstone of this new approach is the leaning ability, which gives you the opportunity to counter-attack opponents if you outfox them with a quick dodge, rewarding those who learn the game’s subtleties and punishing anyone who simply pounds the attack buttons. The action on the floor has also been refined by allowing players to change posture mid-grapple, a risky move that can be easily countered if your opponent is quick on the buttons, but giving you a better position to unleash bone-crunching attacks if you’re successful. More interaction with the fence surrounding the arena also brings extra strategy to the bouts, and the eradication of the easy knockouts that tainted the first game also make this a more satisfying and engaging brawler.

The sort of game that makes you happy to squander hours of your life honing fancy moves and perfecting your timing, UFC Undisputed 2010 is one of the most accomplished sports sims so far this year, and throws the gauntlet down to other developers that are currently flirting with entering the octagon.

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