Everyone knows that a port is a port unless of
course the port isn't a port. Confused, come inside for details and the
review of the latest Xbox fighter.
For those of you who are not familiar with the sport
of The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), it has been around since
1993. The sport that brings together the worlds most talented mixed martial
artists, the original idea was to bring the various fighting disciplines
together to determine which style is the best in the world. Fighters
from around the world were called to compete in the tournament. Champions
of the martial arts, and Olympic sports such as karate, jiu-jitsu, boxing,
kickboxing, boxing, pro wrestling, wrestling, sumo and street fighting
have all competed over the course of the UFC 8 year existence and over
35 different PPV events.
The first UFC game was released almost a year ago for
both the Playstation and the Dreamcast. While many people considered
the Dreamcast version to be a great fighting game, there were just as
many people who were deeply disappointed in the Playstation 1 version.
Crave decided to go with 2 very different development teams for the title.
The Dreamcast version had Crave employing the Japanese development team
Anchor (the team behind the outstanding Tekken 2 for the PS1). Since
that time, Anchor has moved on to be a THQ subsidiary, and is hard at
work developing WWF games. For the next addition to the series Crave
decided to go with Dreamfactory. If the name Dreamfactory sounds familiar
to you, it should - the comany developed Tobal 2, which has since become
a cult favorite among Playstation importers. They also have the arcade
fighting game Ehrgeiz to their credit that was also released for the
UFC Tapout feels like a direct port of the Dreamcast
version. And for some people that may be enough to warrant a purchase.
There really is only so much a company can do with the engine when the
original development team leaves for another project. I have played the
upcoming Pride FC extensively. In comparison, UFC Tapout feels dated
and very limited in comparison to the Pride FC engine. But unfortunately
Pride FC is not out yet and wont be for some while so that just leaves
us with UFC Tapout in the meanwhile.
"...damage done in early rounds follows you through later rounds."
UFC Tapout offers several positions you may find your
self in over the course of 3 5-minute rounds. Each position has its advantages
and disadvantages. The key to victory in UFC Tapout is to know what they
are. They are the standing position, lower guard, the upper guard, lower
full mount, Upper full mount, the back mount, lower back mount, and finally
the upper back mount.
The Standing Position:
Both opponents are standing. From this position, a huge
variety of strikes can be launched or a fighter may shoot to a guard
or mount position. Boxers and kickboxers and similar striking artists
do their most damage in this position.
The guard position is characterized by the fighter on
the bottom having his legs above the fighter's waist. The closed variation
of this position means that both legs are completely extended beyond
the waist, often locked behind the above fighter so that he cannot move
to the full mount. The lower position is very popular for jiu-jitsu practitioners,
particularly Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu(such as Royce Gracie), since it allows
for a variety of submissions including triangle chokes and armbars.
The Full Mount:
The fighter completely straddling the lower fighters
body above or below the waist characterizes this position. From this
position, the above fighter may sit up to deliver a variety of devastating
strikes to the lower fighter. The upper position is the favored position
of ground and pound stylists.
The Back Mount:
If you find yourself in this position you're in trouble. This is the most
dominating position in grappling. From the upper position, the fighter
is able to throw a number of strikes and submission attempts with few repercussions.
As for the lower position, this is something that every fighter should
UFC Tapout is a great looking game. If there is any doubt,
just take a gander at the fighter entrances. For a split second I thought
I was looking at a video with the CG models on top of it. But it is not,
its all generated in real time using the Xbox graphics chip. It's very
impressive. The character models have been retouched since we last saw
them on the Dreamcast. As impressive as the models were in the first
UFC game, UFC Tapout's models put them to shame. Tattoos, facial and
body hair are all done very well. The facial impressions as well as the
animation for the different strikes, slams, and submissions are also
Animation wise, it looks like they polished up what they
had from the Dreamcast version and added a few new sets of animation.
The frame rate stays at a rock solid 60 FPS, and everything looks much
smoother and much nicer. UFC Tapout also features an in-ring referee
which is the one that Pride FC does not feature. Another impressive aspect
is that blood is very well done in this game. It stains the ring canvas
and it flies off the opponent after you land a solid blow. This is adjustable
so for those of you who are squeamish you don't have to look at the gore.
If you are a fighting fan and if you are looking for a game to show off
your new 300$ toy then you should definitely pick up UFC Tapout.
"UFC Tapout is a great looking game. "
The controls of UFC Tapout should be very similar to
those who played the Dreamcast version. There really have not been many
changes and for some it should feel like picking up a well-worn baseball
glove. It just feels right. The right punch is performed by pressing
B. The left punch is performed by pressing Y. Pressing A performs the
right kick and the left kick is done by pressing the X button. To perform
an alternate RP, LP, LK, RK you tap the left thumbstick towards the opponent
while pressing the corresponding buttons. To shoot in and perform the
take down you press A+B or X+Y. To escape from the take down you rotate
the left thumbstick. To counter a take down you press X+Y or A+B. While
in any of the ground positions. To perform a submission attempt you press
either Y+X or B+A. To perform a punch grab counter to a head punch you
press B+Y. To perform a body punch grab counter press A+X. To escape/counter
the submission attempt on the lower body you press A+X to escape/counter
the submission attempt on the upper body you press B+Y.
UFC Tapout has a variety of modes to keep players busy.
The Arcade mode allows players a chance to choose their fighter and then
fight a series of opponents, one after another in succession to advance.
This is also the mode where players can unlock the hidden characters.
Expect to see a few lady fighters and a certain rap star that was in
the movie New Jack City. The UFC Mode is based on the 8 man tournaments
that UFC would hold back early in its history. You choose the weight
class, and then your fighter and then attempt to beat three opponents
to become champion. However, unlike the Arcade mode, damage done in early
rounds follows you through later rounds. The Create a fighter mode is
not as extensive as I would like. However you will find it somewhat easy
to recreate some of the UFC legends that did not make the games roster
cut. Exhibition is a single fighter between 2 fighters. Which can either
be played in 1 or 2 player mode. The mode keeps track of the win and
losses for each fighter, so that friends can have bragging rights over
Music and sound effects are what to be expected from
the fighting game. The one thing that is annoying is the almost high
squeal-like quality of the crowd when you land a solid blow to your opponent.
That's being nitpicky, I know but it just annoyed me. The punches and
kicks sound like there landing with force so you wont hear any complaints
from me there. Particularly nice is the in ring introductions by Michael
Buffer and the famous quote "Lets get it on" by the UFC Head ref.
UFC Tapout features over 30 fighters from the various
fighting styles. Unfortunately, there really isn't one fighter that stands
out and they all pretty much have the same generic moves. There are some
exceptions but for the most part, Dreamfactory could have done a better
job of giving each fighter their own personality. That could have been
done in any number of ways. Either by giving each fighter specific move
animations much like THQ does with its WWF games. A unique taunt per
fighter or even before the match and during the intermission between
rounds a verbal taunt.
Prefers the full mount position.
Overall, UFC Tapout is a solid fighting game for the
Xbox. Unfortunately, it is basically a port of a Dreamcast
title. If you already own the Dreamcast version and you
are waiting for the next great fighting game I would
personally recommend to wait for Pride FC on the Playstation
2. For all others who have not yet played UFC on the
Dreamcast, UFC Tapout is a great game but then again
it should be the game that it was ported from was also
a great game.