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UFC 2009 Undisputed!

The long anticipated latest installment in the UFC gaming franchise has finally arrived but will UFC 2009 Undisputed be able to live up to it's prestigious name this time?

First Impressions: Whenever possible, we try to give our loyal website viewers the most video footage and most in depth unbiased reviews imaginable. Part of that development is our "initial impressions" where we offer up our first impressions of the title that we are playing.

This gives our website visitors more of clear understanding of what to first expect out of the game when they initially pop it into their consoles.

If you scroll to the bottom of the page in the Rent vs. Buy section of the review and do not see the "final impressions" assessment then it's safe to say that you are reading our initial impression of the game. Once the final impression is up, there will be no further video or review done to that particular title.

Final Impressions: The final impression is just that, our completed breakdown and overall thoughts on the game based off of our entire game playing time.

You can locate the final impressions assessment in the "Rent vs. Buy" section of the review (always located at the very end of all of our reviews). Here you will be able to read our final thoughts on the title and also see any potential grade changes that were made to the game as well (higher or lower). Should a grading change occur, it will be clearly noted with the previous grade, the new grade, and why the change occurred.

Although this approach is more time consuming and requires many more man hours, our entire goal has always been to provide the best and completely unbiased reviews possible and we feel that the inclusion of the Initial Impressions and Final Impressions sections will give you a better view of what to expect from a new game.

All that we ask in return is for you to continue to support Krakrabbit.com by visiting the site and letting others know about our cause. Together we can supply our fellow gamers with the most impartial information so they can make an informed decision on whether to buy or rent this particular title.

Star Studded Cast: UFC 2009 Undisputed features over 75+ Ultimate Fighting Championship fighters from throughout the different weight divisions. You will be able to see the biggest names such as Anderson Silva, Chuck Liddell, George St. Pierre, Brock Lesnar and BJ Penn in action as well as some of the smaller names like Cain Velasquez, Eddie Sanchez and Jason MacDonald.

The roster is very robust and each fighter has a style that they specialize in. Frank Mir, for example is skilled in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) while Chuck Liddell is skilled in Kickboxing. These different styles make for some interesting match-ups and your fighter's style ultimately ends up deciding how you play.

You will find plenty of variety in the roster line-up and it will entertain in both multiplayer matches as well as quick matches with friends.

Practice Makes Perfect: UFC 2009 Undisputed is a complicated game, but at the same time ends up being simple, as is the case in real Mixed Martial Arts.

You will need to learn and absorb a ton of info before you are ready to get into any serious fights.

From Major and Minor Transitions, Ground and Pound, Takedowns, Clinches, Counters, defense and attacking you will be forced to learn the ins and outs of these aspects to simply compete.

In the beginning it can be a bit difficult learning all of these things before you even get into a fight, but the Tutorial, simplicity of the controls, and ease of pulling off these maneuvers make the game easy to pick up. Within an hour (keep that manual handy) you will be able to effectively use all of these strategies to some degree.

He Is Out: When you finally do get in a fight though, you will be pleasantly surprised at how fluid and fun the game is to play.

During gameplay you will be engaged in a chess game between you and your opponent that requires both of you to think before you do anything. At any time you or your opponent could be vulnerable to Takedowns, Submissions or Counters.

Most of the reason players are timid though is because of the "Flash KO" feature that Undisputed utilizes in the matches.

One solid punch to the chin and you or your opponent could be out quicker then you can say "ouch". This feature tends to keep the fights a little more paced and slows down mindless button mashing at each other while fighting.

Although Flash KO situations are a vital part of the gameplay, it does appear they can happen a little too much, sometimes ruining brilliant battles with a single punch. Granted, at times the Flash KOs are warranted such as when a fighter is extremely tired or taking a brutal knee to the face as you shoot in for a takedown, but too often fighters get knocked out cold...sometimes with a punch that doesn't even look to land flush!

You're Going Down: On the ground the fight goes in a completely new direction. You have to deal with everything from Transitions and Guard to Submission attempts and Ground and Pound all the time while on the ground.

The ground game adds a massive new dimension to the game and allows players to choose their path. They may fight standing up, go straight to the ground or anything in between.

On the ground the fight does tend to slow down quite a bit where you will have to think before you attack or you could be paying with an "L" on your record.

Most of the time the action on the ground is focused on pounding your opponents face in with a little GNP or trying to transition into a dominate position to set-up a fight ending submission.

The only major gripe I have about the ground game is the referee tends to stand-up the fighters way too quickly. A nice GNP to the face that is slicing your opponent's skin apart should not almost immediately be stood up by the referee.

It seems from the gameplay we have been involved in, unless you are transitioning and seeking those submissions the referee is going to step in and stop the action to stand you up.

Molding A Legend: As soon as you enter the Career mode of UFC 2009 Undisputed you will be required to create a fighter that will hopefully one day become a champion using the "CAF" (Create-a-Fighter) customization mode that allows you to sculpt a fighter's appearance.

The CAF portion of the Career mode is very limited and does not allow you many options with which to form your pugilist.

You will have a few different "fighter templates" that will give you a basic image of a generic fighter to use. You will find a decent amount of variety there with each pre-made fighter ranging in various ways but overall you do not as many options as you would probably expect from a UFC game.

If you so choose, you can opt to hand make a brawler and alter every aspect of his appearance manually.

Everything from hair, beards, trunks, eyebrows, eyes, cheeks, mouths, ears, height, weight and even chest hair can be changed to your liking. Unfortunately you only get a handful of options with which to modify your fighter.

The CAF could have been much, much more robust then it is and you will not find much variety in that mode.

Future Champion: After you create your fighter and give him a name and nickname you will need to assign attribute points to a variety of skills.

You will need to allocate said points into everything from Submission Offense and defense to Standing Strikes Offense and defense as well as Ground Grappling and a multitude of other abilities.

After that, you are thrust straight into an Eliminator Bout where you will need to defeat your opponent to prove that you are worthy to be accepted into the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The ultimate goal of Career mode is to win fights, earn "Cred" (more on that later), gain sponsors and eventually get into the UFC Hall of Fame.

During the Career mode you will have an assortment of options to improve your fighter. From training Strength (power), Speed, and Cardio (stamina) to sparring to earn points to improve your fighting skills (Takedown Defense etc.) you will be able to pick and choose how you want your fighter to shape out.

As well as those skills, you will also have to pick a Standup style and a Grappling style. You can choose from Boxing, Kickboxing and Muay Thai for Standup and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling and Judo for the Grappling styles.

While it is easy to feel like there should have been many more styles for both Standup and Grappling, what it there does provide quite a lot of variety.

When you finally get to a fight you will be put into the Cage with easy opponents, but as you progress and win more fights you will end up fighting the cream of the crop such as Anderson Silva, Mirko Cro-Cop, Thiago Silva, BJ Penn and more.

After each fight, you earn more "Cred" depending on a number of factors. How difficult the opponent was, your performance in the fight and whether or not you won the "KO of the Night" or "Submission of the Night" award.

Cred is used in UFC 2009 Undisputed as a way to unlock more sponsors, who in turn will provide more Cred to you after fights should you promote them on your trunks.

The more Cred you receive the closer you are to earning a spot in the UFC Hall of Fame.

After beating some of the best in the world you will be able to challenge the top dog for a title belt and should you win you will be crowed the UFC Champion and forced to defend your belt from other hungry competitors.

Unfortunately for some reason after you win the belt you continuously fight the same group of fighters over and over. No matter what, the same group of fighters are able to challenge you for the title with no regard to how many times you have beat them or how many losses they have on their record.

Which brings us to the next flaw in the UFC career. You are forced to retire after only seven measly years in the UFC. Whether or not you win or lose, take beatings or dish them, you are forced to retire after a seven-year career.

Overall the Career mode is very fun and will provide a ton of entertainment for as long as it lasts and one of the bigger problems is the lack of time you have to keep fighting.

Nevertheless it can be fun to craft another fighter from scratch, maybe with a different fighting style, and rise to the top.

Ohhh, Shiny: One of the strongest aspects of UFC 2009 Undisputed are the brilliant visuals showcased in the game. The graphics are sharp and clean and nearly every fighter looks just like their real-life counterpart.

The fighter models are amazing, the areas are lifelike, the cuts and scraps the fighters sustain are insanely realistic.

Tongue Tied: Another very strong aspect of the game is the commentary given by legendary UFC commentators Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg.

Both men provide startlingly realistic observations, points, and sometimes they make mistakes ("Nice jab, excuse me, right hand") that give the game an eerily realistic feeling to it.

The commentary would be perfect though, if only they did not sometimes make errors that are obviously done by the developers of the game. Sometimes you will hear them shout as if one of the fighters got dropped, even though nothing at all landed or at times will say, "It's all over!" when nobody was stopped.

These are minor quibbles, granted, but nevertheless they can be a little confusing when heard.

Rent vs. Buy: UFC 2009 Undisputed is an outstanding game with very few flaws and even fewer moments where the fun diminishes. It is almost impossible not to have a blast beating down a collection of fighters with punches, kicks, knees and elbows as well as brutal submissions.

From the amazing visuals, action-packed but strategic and simplistic gameplay, very satisfying Career mode and vast roster of fighters UFC 2009 Undisputed is a must-buy for any fan of fighting games.

If you are looking for something much more realistic then most anything on the market, then this game is for you. If you are into games like Street Fighter though, then you will probably want to look elsewhere, though.

Report Card

From the amazing visuals, action-packed but strategic and simplistic gameplay, very satisfying Career mode and vast roster of fighters UFC 2009 Undisputed is a must-buy for any fan of fighting games. If you are looking for something much more realistic then most anything on the market, then this game is for you. If you are into games like Street Fighter though, then you will probably want to look elsewhere, though. (Krakrabbit.com)


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