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UFC Throwdown Package Art
 GENRE
  Wrestling
 DEVELOPER
  Genki
 PUBLISHER
  Crave
 NUMBER OF PLAYERS
  1-4
 CONNECTIVITY
  no
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UFC Throwdown

I can remember watching the earliest UFC fights and some of the aura that followed the events. There were almost no rules whatsoever in the bouts. A lot has changed and the UFC is slowly gaining a solid popularity to the point where a local bar near my home was loaded with people wanting to catch Tito Ortiz fight Ken Shamrock in the UFC’s most recent pay per view. With an increase in fame, the demand for licensing agreements climbs. Crave Entertainment has taken the UFC’s rising popularity and created UFC Throwdown for your Nintendo GameCube.

UFC fighting is unlike any other fighting before it. Frankly, some of the real life matches can get pretty boring. Crave was taking a unique situation of “real fighting and real fighters” as their first romp in the ring for the Cube and UFC. The results? Well, call this one a draw, fight fans.

visuals

First and foremost, the graphics are functional. The players animate smoothly, the models represent human beings (fairly well) and the camera never seems to get lost in either the standing position or as it turns around to capture any “guard” action. BTW, who modeled for these guys? It must have been Ed the horse because they are all hung like war horses in mating season. I mean, they have bigger packages than UPS! If these were the “units” on these fighters, they wouldn’t be able to “get it on” the way they were supposed to in the ring. For the sequel, tone down on the super long dong, okay Crave?

Anyway, much like mustard on a hot dog, the graphics get the job done, but could use a little help. There’s no pizzazz here! No sweating (ie. the FIFA series), no lens flares from the overhead lights, etc.

Another major issue with this title has a lot to do with its content. If you watch any card—including a UFC event—the biggest thing is hype. Pre-fight hype makes the event more so than the event itself. This is why the WWE is such a circus, because the in-ring action is so pathetically useless that they have to lean on entrances, pyrotechnics, and more to get the event to be something it isn’t…interesting.

UFC Throwdown doesn’t work the intro sequences properly; instead, the larger-than-life referees just say, “Lets get it on.” I know, after playing any fighting game for a while, most tend to pass over these frills quickly, but Throwdown simply doesn’t have any charm or pizzazz.

It’s obvious that Crave has made a solid title here, even with its graphics. There is a real effort to make the game work, but it just doesn’t reach the “polished” realm the way it should with extras that distinguish solid titles from great ones.

audio

Weak at best. You hear some grunting and the referee and even Michael Buffer’s evil half brother doing some “ring announcing” (he sucks), but all of it again doesn’t reach out at you. There’s no talking or bad mouthing between the fighters, or even the crowd screaming at the fighters. These things really add to a good fighting game. Even the Genesis game Greatest Heavy Weights allowed you to taunt opponents. And believe me, these guys are playing head games with their mouths in the longer matches. Just watch tank jabber at a guy he’s got pinned.

The worst part of the audio is the crowd, or should I say Donkey Kong and friends. This has to be the worst audio sample of a crowd I’ve heard in years. It sounds like a pack of drunken baboons picking the fleas out of each other’s backs or the crowd at a monster truck show—either pack has about the same brain power.

gameplay

As I said earlier, UFC is unlike any other fighting genre in mainstream North America (that’s legal) because it’s basically pit fighting in a caged octagon. When it began, it was a no-holds-barred, no-time-limit mess that saw people like Barrie Ontario’s Googridge “ice” people with multi-elbows. Now there are rounds, the fighting strategies are more apparent, and the sport is much more structured.

Crave Entertainment has done an excellent job of working the play of UFC into this game. The game works on the different positions that two fighters most commonly find themselves in. The different mounts, guards and even standing positions are all there. The control scheme is decently done as well, with punches, kicks, and blocks all assigned to different buttons while takedowns and submissions are put on the much-maligned Z button. Of course, this is real fighting, so you can’t flail like a Street Fighter Vs. Alpha Capcom Anus. No, you have to watch when you hit, how many times, if you get hit….all these things can lead to fatigue.

There are some game modes to work through here as well. Career, Exhibition, Training, etc.

multiplayer

It would be nice to see a four player simultaneous brawl, but that never happens in UFC so why should it happen here? Instead, you can enjoy one on one battles in succession via playing the tournament card with four friends. Since UFC is straight punching like boxing (or sheer stupidity like the WWE), it would be best to go through a few training sessions with your friends, so at least they understand that “shooting” doesn’t mean your character has a sawed off in his shorts.

overall

I like this game because it shows a real effort to make a solid representation of UFC. It works solidly. What I don’t like, however, is that it’s lacking the flair and pizzazz of a fighter. Aside from a few good blood spills, there aren’t many exciting events in the ring to look at or listen to. A sport that’s this strong and gaining popularity so fast definitely needs to be given a five-star game. Work on it Crave, you have the foundation. Now you need to add some nice finish and moldings to your décor. Oh, and I don’t know which of the ladies in your art department “filled in” the units on your player models, but geeze, tell her to keep her fantasies in her closet, right next to her life-size Gene Simmons blow up doll.

final score 6.9/10





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Staff Avatar Eric Mattei
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"Lost like tears in rain"


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