EA Sports UFC Review: Revisiting the New and Improved MMA Title

While visiting the EA Sports booth at the PlayStation Experience in Las Vegas on Dec. 6, I was putting the new legends added to the EA Sports UFC roster through their paces.

I picked Brock Lesnar to take on Antonio Silva. I had a good time outlasting the Brazilian with the Beast Incarnate. As I went through the match, it struck me just how much the game had changed since it released on June 17 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Suddenly it felt like the review I wrote for the game almost six months ago was outdated. At the time this article was written, the initial review had been read over 22,000 times. Realistically, I’d be surprised if this one is seen by 2,000 people. 

However, as a man with a passion for sports gaming, I felt compelled to put this out there.

 

Reviewing Games in the Patch and Update Era

These days, reviewing sports video games—or any title with an online component—on release day is like telling someone what it’s like to date a girl after taking her out the first time.

There’s a chance you may have gathered enough information in that first date to give a valid account of the experience. However, chances are there’s still a lot left to learn before you can profess to know her that well.

Unfortunately, in the world of sports video game journalism, there’s a demand for a review the moment a game is available to consumers. Essentially, you need to be able to give a full breakdown of the girl you just met about two days ago.

With those dynamics, a responsible journalist has no choice but to evaluate some aspects conceptually, as opposed to proficient functionality. There simply is no way to accurately determine how a game’s servers will perform before the masses put it to the test.

Beyond that, game developers are now stretching the developmental cycles for games beyond the release date. Why? Because the access to patches and updates allow companies to effectively finish their work after they turn it over to the public.

Some fans hate this—I venture to say, most fans hate that, but it’s the reality.

As a reviewer, it creates another conundrum. Should a developer get the benefit of the doubt because we expect a patch or update to come along and fix small-to-major issues, or should we grade the game as it is?

I tend to go with the latter.

However, games like EA Sports UFC create yet another layer to the process. Rarely have we seen a game change as much as this one has post-release. In fact, Natural Motion’s Backbreaker is the only other game that I can remember to go through such a post-release metamorphosis.

With games changing based on gameplay enhancements and DLC, should there be a secondary review? I can’t say that’s the case across the board, but in the case of EA Sports UFC, a revisit is in order.

 

What Has Changed?

Graphics and Animation

Nothing has changed as it pertains to raw graphics. Then again, no improvements were needed in this area. The player models and arenas are still among the best on the current generation of systems.

Animations are a different story. These have been upgraded as new moves, counters and transitions have been added.

For example, catching an opponent’s kicks can be quickly turned into single-leg takedowns. These look very smooth, and some of the wonky animations that flawed the game when it was initially released have been cleaned up.

Overall, a solid-looking game at the very least just as good. 

I raise the grade 0.25 points to a paltry 9.25.

 

Gameplay and Realism

Let’s face it, it’s hard to make a game like this totally realistic, The stamina system is still a bit different than real life, but I’ve always said, an ultra-realistic energy system would turn many fans off.

As it stands, button mashing will still tire your fighter out, but not quite to the degree that the process would occur in a real fight. The grappling game has been drastically improved by the addition of catching strikes and transitioning to the ground game.

The biggest issue is still the submission game. There are still too many parts. Completing a submission takes a near expert command of the system against a human opponent. That shouldn’t be the case, especially when playing with a fighter like Demian Maia.

The grade definitely goes up from 8.5 to 9 here.

 

Sound and Presentation

It might just be me, but there seems to be a few new lines of commentary added to the mix here. Most of the new dialog is associated with the new fighters that have been added.

While this is nice, the commentary still isn’t a strong suit for the game. It would be nice to see more stat references and overlays during the matches. That would add to the immersion and TV-style broadcast qualities.

Also, more presentation before matches—especially in career mode—would also be great. 

There’s nothing new to see here. the grade stays at 6.75.

 

Game Modes and Options

Even with all the additions, this is still the weakest part of the game. There’s no pay-per-view mode; the career mode is very shallow and lacks personality. 

The online servers have improved dramatically, but since that should’ve been the case from the outset, we can’t give any points for that. The GameFace option isn’t perfect for create-a-fighter, but it’s not horrible. More slots to expand your fighting universe would’ve been ideal.

Originally, I rated the game a 7.5 in this area. That’s where the evaluation will stay.

 

Overall

EA Sports UFC was a good game that got a little bit better. If this is the first in a long-standing series, it’s more than a solid foundation. Whenever EA Sports UFC 2 is released, adding a few elements to increase the depth and longevity would make it a crowing achievement.

The overall grade has been raised from an 8 to an 8.125.

 

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Courtesy of :Bleacher Report – UFC

MMA in 2014: 15 Best Fights That Didn’t Happen

If one storyline dominated 2014, it was the best, most interesting fights in the sport not happening because of injuries to the biggest stars. It was a frequent, frustrating trend that helped to make 2014 one of the worst years in modern MMA history.

From epic grudge matches to blue-chip title fights to sure-to-be-exciting slobberknockers, nothing was sacred.

It was not just the injury bug that gave promoters fits in 2014, however. From contract disputes to drug testing, the MMA gods gave us new ways to be disappointed this year.

With dozens upon dozens of fights getting axed in 2014, which ones would have been the best? Which ones do we most regret not seeing? Find out here!

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Courtesy of :Bleacher Report – UFC

3 Best MMA Fighters in Each Weight Class

Now, more than ever, it is widely accepted that the UFC employs all the best fighters in MMA.

A recent suit against the UFC even claims the company has monopolized MMA talent. However, the best in the world have to start somewhere, and that’s usually not inside the Octagon.

Some excellent competitors still make names for themselves with Bellator MMA, World Series of Fighting and other smaller organizations. It could be argued that a few elite combatants are still contracted by those secondary promotions.

Is there a fighter or are there multiple fighters who would be considered among the top three in any UFC division? That is what we’ll explore on the following slides.

Here are the three best MMA fighters in each weight class that is promoted by Zuffa. 

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Courtesy of :Bleacher Report – UFC

UFC Fight Night 58 Live Results, Play by Play and Main Card Highlights

UFC Fight Night 58, which takes place this Saturday, December 20, is the final UFC event of 2014. It has been a busy year for the world’s largest fight promotion, and next year is expected to be even busier, with 45 cards scheduled. 

The UFC Fight Night 58 main event features former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida vs. The Ultimate Fighter veteran CB Dollaway in a 185-pound clash with title implications. Machida is trying to circle back around for another crack at Chris Weidman, while Dollaway could enter his name into the mix with a victory.

The co-main event pairs former bantamweight champ Renan Barao and streaking Canadian submission specialist Mitch Gagnon. As with the main event, the former champion is looking to regain lost ground, while his opponent is on the prowl for a career-defining win.

The entire UFC Fight Night 58 fight card is as follows:

 

UFC Fight Night 58 Main Card

  • Lyoto Machida vs. CB Dollaway
  • Renan Barao vs. Mitch Gagnon
  • Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Patrick Cummins
  • Elias Silverio vs. Rashid Magomedov
  • Erick Silva vs. Mike Rhodes
  • Daniel Sarafian vs. Antonio dos Santos

 

Prelims on Fox Sports 1

  • Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs. Igor Pokrajac
  • Tom Niinimaki vs. Renato Moicano
  • Darren Elkins vs. Hacran Dias
  • Leandro Issa vs. Ulka Sasaki

 

Prelims on Fight Pass

  • Marcio Alexandre Jr. vs. Tim Means
  • Vitor Miranda vs. Jake Collier

Join us here when the action begins (7 p.m. ET) for Bleacher Report’s live play-by-play coverage of the entire event.

Read more UFC news on BleacherReport.com

Courtesy of :Bleacher Report – UFC

UFC Featherweight Champ Jose Aldo Sounds off Again on MMA Fighter Pay

Jose Aldo is increasingly vocal about UFC fighter pay.

The UFC featherweight champ—and one of the best two or three fighters in all of mixed martial arts—is again airing his grievances over what he perceives to be excessively low pay for UFC fighters, particularly when compared with their boxing counterparts.

Aldo made the comments Friday during a Q&A session in Barueri, Brazil, where the UFC will hold UFC Fight Night 58 Saturday. The comments were originally reported by Portuguese-language site Ag Fight and subsequently translated by Bloody Elbow

“We make a lot less money than we should,” Aldo reportedly said. “We deliver shows and should be well paid. We virtually pay to fight. To become a boxer is complicated but would be very good.”

This marks at least the third time in 2014 that Aldo has expressed public frustration over fighter pay during interviews with the Brazilian media. He complained in the spring, noting particularly low wages for his fellow lighter-weight fighters.

Then in October, on the eve of what became another successful title defense for the champ at UFC 179, Aldo again brought up the sensitive subject of money, noting that fighters “want to have part of these millions” that the UFC brings in.

The UFC has not historically looked kindly on athletes in its organization who complain about their level of compensation. Hence, not a lot of active UFC fighters do so publicly and openly. Aldo (25-1) is an interesting exception, and he appears to be in a pretty solid position given his status as one of the world’s very best.

The comments also come on the heels of a huge announcement earlier this week that three fighters are suing the UFC over issues, including low fighter pay.

Aldo is the UFC’s first and only featherweight champion, and he has not lost a professional fight since 2005. Following his victory over Chad Mendes at UFC 179, Aldo reportedly received a total purse of $290,000.

It is unclear whether or how the UFC will respond to Aldo’s comments.

Read more UFC news on BleacherReport.com

Courtesy of :Bleacher Report – UFC