31
May
09

UFC Undisputed Review

THQ has been around the fighting game genre for a long time now, with their very poplular WWE Smackdown series.  They decided to try to tackle the new up and coming sport that is MMA, with none other than the UFC.  UFC Undisputed has been anticipated for quite some time now, and I, myself, have been really looking forward to what THQ is going to bring to the table with their new game.

I will start of the review with the career mode.  You have to design your own MMA fighter to duke it out with the big boys in the UFC.  You are given several options in this mode such as how tall, which weight class you want to be in, where you want to distribute your attribute points, and all of the normal create-a- character details like hair, tattoos, etc.  I am actually not too fond of the whole create a character business, but I really enjoyed making “The Fury.”  It was nice to be able to choose whether you wanted to be a kickboxer, boxer, BJJ fighter, and so on.

Now we get to the career.  You start off and choose your coach, which actually doesn’t really affect much at all, but I guess they just added that in for the feel of it.  Then you get your standard browsing calendar area which takes you from fight to fight.  See, you don’t just have one fight after another. You actually train and spar to get ready for the fight, and then you get it on.  This is the game’s biggest weakness.  Trying to get from one section to another takes FOREVER.  Let’s say you want to go change up your attire and add some sponsors to your in-ring shorts.  You must navigate through something like 10 plus screens to just add ONE sponsor, and by that time you just get sick of doing it.  Not to mention, there are many loading screens that aren’t particularly long, but when you add them all up, it just adds to the monotony of sitting there waiting for your next fight. The sparring sessions, in my opinion, were way too short and didn’t give me enough time to truly try any techniques out.  So in conclusion, I got tired of jumping through all the hoops just to get to the next fight.

When you do step inside the octagon, it is a blast.  Once you figure out all the controls, and yes there are a lot of controls, you can master all of the styles ranging from take-downs, submissions, punches, kicks, and so forth.  Seeing “yourself” in there knocking out Rampage Jackson is quite enjoyable to say the least.

In terms of graphics, they are pretty darn good.  They won’t make you stare in awe or anything, but they definitely deserve to be up there with the average next gen game.  Sweat glistens, blood splatters, cuts show off the intensity.  It is all good fun.  But to tell you the truth, I wish that THQ would have gone a step further with the blood effects to truly give off that gruesome feel if you truly knock out someone.  That may have led the game getting an M for Mature rating, but that would have been ok with me.  But graphically, all is in check from the boob bouncing ring side girls to the fighters themselves.

Gameplay, which I talked a little about above, is quite intimidating at first glance.  But it mainly comes down to your face buttons acting as punches and kicks, analog sticks accessing movement, left side triggers for the placement of the hits, and right side triggers for the blocks.  Sounds semi-simple, but there are many details to the combat such as the way you rotate the analog stick to get out of submissions and stuff like that.  Once you get used to it, you can tell your friends that the next Lyoto Machida is on his way.

Nothing makes a knockout more satisfying that hearing Joe Rogan scream out, “OHHHH” and hearing, “IT IS ALLLL OVER.”  The announcers are spectacular.  From the opening introductions from Bruce Buffer to the ringside commentary, the sound is very well done.  The crowd gets into the situations when some big punches are being thrown to immerse you even more in the fight.

Last would be the online mode.  It’s is fairly enjoyable to get online and duke it out with fellow gamers, but the lag kind of holds the experience back a bit.  There were many instances where the movement got all choppy and at no point could I even throw a punch.  If you can get a game without lag, the combat is pretty even.  You can definitely tell who plays more and the more this game is played, the more crazy and monotonous the gameplay online will get.  I have a feeling that someone will find one technique that can destroy practically everyone and that won’t be too good for the outcome.

Overall, UFC Undisputed is a good game.  If you are a fan of the UFC or just MMA in general, this is a must buy for you.  For the more casual fighting game fan, there is still fun for you too, and you must decide how much time you want to put into this game to figure out if this is a game to buy or rent.  Hopefully THQ comes back next year with an even stronger performance without frustratingly long navigating screens and maybe even no loading screens?  I know it is hard for them because I’ve seen them use long loading screens throughout all of the WWE games, but you can always hope.

KO RATING: 8.2

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18
May
09

Long Time No See

It has been quite a while since I last posted anything…. Approximately 4 and a half months actually.  I would say my absence came from a mixture of both school and just plain laziness.  Whatever the case may be, I am back…. BACK WITH A VENGEANCE.

Okay, maybe not that intense.
Looking to the future in gaming, UFC Undisputed looks to be the next hyped game coming out tomorrow.  I have mixed feeling about it, but am hoping for the best.  I would love it if this game sets the bar for fighting games because I have been waiting for the UFC to make a video game, and this is a great opportunity to attract more fans to their company.  If everything goes well, I will get this tomorrow and HOPEFULLY post a review soon thereafter.

In terms of TV, my beloved Prison Break is over for good.  As sad as I am to see this, I think it was a good thing for the series.  It seemed that the crew was running out of ideas in my opinion.  Prison Break is one of the shows that I will never forget.  From the amazingly elaborate escape from Fox River in the first season, to the ultimate takedown of the Company, I will truly miss watching Michael, Lincoln, T-Bag, Sucre, etc. etc.  They did an amazing job and I thank them for all the thrills they have provided.

As well as my EXPECTED UFC review, I also hope to blog a little on how the video game industry has been shaping out so far through these hard times in this country.  I have been fascinated with the level of intricacy that the industry has been going through.  Also, I will help set a little timeline so to speak of the most anticipated games of 2009.  It should be an exciting year for video games.

Last, but DEFINITELY not least, a new hint has come from Konami.  Konami, as some of you may know, is the company in charge of the Metal Gear Solid series.  Head on over to             http://www.konami.jp/kojima_pro/next/?ref=koji_pro_e         to get an indication on what is to come.  An MGS5 possibly???? We shall see.  Until then, we must wait in anticipation.

Well, that’s all folks.  I hope to get back to you soon.

06
Jan
09

Bungie Banhammer

As many of you Halo players know, Bungie has that banhammer out there looking for the bad doers in matchmaking. While I have been playing Halo 3 ever since it came out, I really never knew what you could get banned for. So about a week ago, I went into fiesta and rumble pit with my friend and some non-playing guests to get some cool medals on bungie.net. After about 15 games, we both received pop up screens informing us that we had been banned for 2 weeks for xp boosting. DAMN!

Now, I am not complaining about being banned, I am just upset because I wasn’t aware of all of the rules and stipulations. I honestly didn’t know that going into Rumble Pit to mess around could get you banned for 2 weeks. Trust me, if I knew this there is no way I would have taken the risk. In the info screen that pops up, it directs you to a link on bungie.net explaining how you could have been banned. Why the heck would they tell you what you did wrong after. Couldn’t they have just straight up given these instructions to inform all players on what they shouldn’t do. I thought that you could be banned for modding or manipulating the network, something to hurt others that play the game.

In my opinion, I think all of the quitters out there should get more of a penalty than me getting a few medals in SOCIAL. I get people that quit out of ranked games ALL THE TIME, and most of the time it is for stupid reasons. Capture the Flag and the other team scores 1 cap, and then my teammate quits. It is not like we can’t come back from that.

All I am trying to say here is that Bungie should inform all of the players more of the stipulations surrounding the Banhammer and should watch out for the people really responsible for hindering others Halo experience. I have accepted my ban, though not how I got it, and I will be receiving Xp pretty soon.

04
Jan
09

GAME OF THE YEAR

The best of the best from both systems were compiled in one pile.  Xbox 360 vs. PS3.  The clear stand out winner was none other than….

METAL GEAR SOLID 4: GUNS OF THE PATRIOTS.

MGS4 stood out as the best in nearly all categories.  2008 brought with it the final chapter to the Solid Snake story, and he went out with a bang.  This game deserves nothing less than the KO Player Game of the Year award.

04
Jan
09

Xbox 360 Game of the Year

When I first started my year in review of the 360 games in 2008, I thought it would be easy but it was much harder.  I ended my search at Gears of War 2 and Grand Theft Auto 4.  They both did many things right, but I believe that the true winner is none other than Gears of War 2.

Gears of War 2 packed that same punch that the first one did, but enhanced it in every way, shape, and form.  The Unreal Engine that powered the graphics showed true power.  The new environments were great eye candy and left you with chills.  And I never got bored of the constant chainsaw blood splatter on the screen.

The gameplay was as intuitive as ever with the cover system just plain amazing.  The campaign was great fun especially with the added enemies in all of the huge scale battles.  Fighting the battle with a friend is even more fun.  And with the Seriously 2.0 achievement asking for 100,000 kills, this will keep the players coming back for some time.

And if the campaign doesn’t cut it for you, the multiplayer sure will.  With the added Horde and sophisticated 5 vs. 5 action, Gears of War 2 will be played all the way until the 3rd installment.

Now I first believed that Grand Theft Auto 4 deserved this award, but when I thought about the value you get with Gears of War 2, I decided that GOW 2 was the true winner of the KO Player Xbox 360 Game of the Year.

04
Jan
09

PS3 Game of the Year

2008 was a great year for the PS3.  It brought with it some of the best games of the PS3 and possibly of all time.  While many entered into the scene, I think that the choice was ultimately narrowed down to 4 games: Metal Gear Solid 4, Grand Theft Auto 4, Little Big Planet, and Resistance 2.  MGS 4 was the culmination of all the MGS games, finally ending Solid Snakes story.  Kojima and company put all of their efforts in making this experience the most enjoyable game on the PS3, and that is why it gets the PS3 game of the year.

There was much skepticism about whether MGS 4 would live up to the hype or not.  Would the gameplay be just as addicting and inventive? Will the graphics really be as good as the trailers? How will Kojima finish tieing up all the loose ends? Well, all of these questions were answered and no one was left to doubt the power of the MGS series.

Metal Gear Solid 4 showed the true power of the PS3 system by producing some of the most beautiful graphics in a console video game ever. I had  never experienced a game where there was absolutely no flaw in the presentation, whether it be cutscene or not.  The characters all showed true emotion, making you really get immersed in the story.  As the game progresses, you actually see Snake growing older.  All of this just adds to the intesity of the game.

When thinking about how the gameplay could be enhanced, I didn’t think it could be done.  The design scheme seemed to have been taken to the highest level, at least to the degree of what the story asked for.  But from all of the time I have spent playing,  and I have played it a lot, I still am amazed by all of the different things you can do.  Close Quarters Combat is amazing, the OctoCamo is something I thought would be never possible, and the list goes on and on.  They even added tons of new weapons for all of those run and gun freaks out there.  While there are some people that say all of the guns detract from the true MGS experience, this is an absolute outrage of a comment.  There are all of these new ways to play because it keeps the player wanting more.  You can beat Metal Gear Solid in total stealth, run and gun, mixture of both, and many more.  Every time I go back to playing, so many ideas come to my head on how I should play it next.

Hideo Kojima’s mind is something of a mystery to all.  The stories in all of the MGS games are so in depth and contemplating on how all of the story could end in one game seemed impossible.  But Kojima has done it again.  Every character has his or her own part that culminates all of past games and truly shows the bar to beat in a game’s story line.  Solid Snake gets a little older as the game goes and just hearing his cough get continually worse and cigarette usage a little more prominent is amazing.

Multiplayer is very much a little dessert for this game.  It is brilliantly crafted and once again shows how great one game can be.  You can customize things, feel yourself get better, and have fun.  MGS does it all.

Concluding this, MGS4 is the culmination of the Solid Snake story line.  But past that, it starts a new adventure that you embark on as a new “Old Snake.”  From graphics to gameplay, MGS4 tops them all with the best of everything and that’s why it gets the KO Player PS3 Game of the Year.

25
Dec
08

Your Choice: Xbox 360