MMA fighters must be fairly well-rounded to endure in the world of mixed martial arts. For instance, it is difficult for a boxer to jump into an MMA ring and dominate the competitor without first drilling on his ground game. The fact that EA Sports MMA was made-up out of the Fight Night boxing engine may entail that the game has fast hands, but does it imply that it’s well rounded enough to win the title belt?
Each fighter has to begin at the bottom, and MMA’s career mode is the same. After making your own fighter from EA’s detailed creation software, you are acquainted to the hilarious Bas Rutten, who takes your fighter through a battery of training camp routines, international league invitations, and a mixture of toughened opponents. It’s a so-so excuse to chain a bunch of MMA matches together and ramp up a boxer using light RPG elements, but the essence of the game is still obtained in the ring.
Having two MMA titles presently on the market, it’s difficult not to liken this with THQ’s game. EA offers a faster-paced, less-technical fighter, and it does not appear to care how much you already know regarding the sport. Its analog-based combat grants fighters to jab, hook, and uppercut by thrusting the stick through different rotations. This makes the action a bit more about feeling out your adversary’s weaknesses and answering to his attacks than it does about memorizing a default set of pre-scripted attacks. The game also grants you to use a certain level of strategy. For instance, if your opponent is running all around the mat so that you can’t get a lock on him, you could focus your attacks on one of his legs till it turns inot dead weight that he has to carry around the ring.
After getting your opponent to the mat, MMA becomes a strategy game where you are trying out to balance your stamina against your opponent’s as you fight for greater positioning. Using a simple press of a button, you transition forward towards a position that would set you up for a submission hold, choke, or the ground-and-pound. Your opponent can block or countermand your maneuvering if he moves fast enough, but you could also throw a few attacks at his head to throw him off his game. It’s a reasonably simple system, but the nuances of realizing when to attack, when to block, and when to gun for the high-risk double transition affords the game some complexity that’s especially impressive when you’re facing a human opponent.
EA’s first round on the mixed martial arts scene heads back to its corner appearing pretty strong, but there are still a a couple of holes in its defense, among them is the game’s roster. There are some great fighters inside this game – like Fedor Emelianenko, Satoru Kitaoka, and Randy Couture – but without the UFC license and a lot of of its most powerful combatants, there’s a large hole in the game’s roster. The game’s presentation likewise lacks a bit of the spectacle and style found in actual broadcasts. In spite of these issues, EA Sports MMA is still a hefty brawler, and another year or two in the gym would turn it into a true monster.