There is no doubt that UFC Undisputed is the current king of MMA games on consoles. Whether EA’s foray into the genre pans out remains to be seen, but until now the genre had been surprisingly absent in the portable market. THQ is hoping to remedy this with UFC Undisputed 2010 for Sony’s portable powerhouse. As you can imagine the standard downgrades from the console version are present, yet still UFC for PSP manages to deliver a solid experience for fans of the genre on the go.
The one area most PSP ports suffer is the controls. Losing an analog stick in the transition usually hampers most of the functionality, but God of War proved you can work around it if you really put forth effort. UFC does a nice job with this by mapping movement to the d-pad with grappling and defense now on the left analog stick. The face buttons are still your standard attacks while the triggers serve a dual purpose by acting as both attack modifiers and blocking mechanisms. Amazingly this layout works surprisingly well and keeps most of the depth of combat intact.
Of course not everything can be roses when porting to a handheld and the visuals of UFC have taken a major hit. The texture work is simply awful sporting blurry visuals and some funky color variants. The physics system has also been scaled back making for more stiff animations on all of the fighters. It is only really prominent when comparing it side-by-side with its console brethren, but it is still noticeable. Another major omission is the complete lack of voice work. That means no commentary whatsoever so fights are left feeling a bit bland. Bruce Buffer still resides, but once his work is done it is a quiet endeavor.
The one thing that UFC on PSP does not lack though is content. All the fighters from the console version make their way onto the UMD. It is impressive that THQ managed to pack 100 fighters into such a small space, which probably explains why the visuals and sound have taken such a hit. All of the single-player modes also make their way in including Title Fight and of course your career mode. Sadly the online portion has been replaced with an Ad-Hoc replacement that really doesn’t satisfy your need for competition. Finding someone else to play with can be a chore and a lack of being able to hop online for a quick match limits some of the game’s replayability.
At the end of the day UFC Undisputed 2010 is certainly not a bad game, it just lacks a lot of what makes the console version so special. The controls manage to work and the sheer amount of content is impressive, but the lack of online and toned down presentation really hinder the experience. Not to mention the atrocious loading times that plague nearly all disc-based PSP games nowadays. Still if you are starving for some MMA action on-the-go you will not be disappointed. This pint-sized version packs a mean punch and manages to be delightfully fun in small doses.
Review copy provided by publisher.