Reviewing a game I’ve technically already reviewed is a bit strange. You see, I reviewed the 360 version of UFC 2010 way back when it released (it’s actually only been less than 4 months) and loved every second of it, and this PSP version is, well, the same. Obviously, there are the expected console-to-PSP conversion compromises; sadly a few more than you might have expected. However the core game, even the majority of its modes, are exactly the same.
In actual fact, the only real difference is the fact that there’s no online multiplayer in the PSP version. Say what you like about UFC 2010′s online, but at least it is actually there. Other than that, all the modes in the console version of UFC 2010 are here, from Career, to Title Mode, Title Defense, Tournameant, and even Ultimate Fights. Not only that, but they’re full-featured too, there isn’t a single difference between them and the console versions. Ultimate Fights even still has the pre-fight talk-throughs. Even the create-a-fighter is the same, so you can build whoever you like.
My point is that this is UFC Undisputed 2010, on your PSP, minus online multiplayer. In fact, with the revisions to the career mode that came with UFC 2010, it actually works really well. I found it easy to just boot up the game and play 20 minutes of career whilst I was waiting for pizza to cook, or do the same in the boring parts of X Factor, pausing for the actual ‘singing’.
Now, when you first boot up the game on your PSP, there’s an option to install data to the memory card. After trying the game with and without installing, I’d highly recommend doing so – loading times get longer and more frequent if you’re playing without, to that all-important ‘I’m getting sick of this’ point where you just feel like giving up. After installing (which takes up 393mb of space on your Pro Duo), the game runs much more smoothly.
You’re also presented with the option to use either ‘fast’ or ‘full’ presentation. ‘Fast’ skips the pre-match cutscenes and the loading screens for them, resulting in a, uh, faster experience. ‘Full’ enables these cutscenes, so you’ll spend more time waiting for things to load and then probably skipping them after the first few times. That’s exactly what I did, so I went down the ‘fast’ mode and found the game much more playable. Less loading is always good, especially on a handheld game, after all.
Once you’ve (hopefully) installed the game, you get the UFC 2010 main menu, which is exactly as it is on the console version. Tutorial is the first thing you’ll want to choose. The controls are essentially the same, but condensed onto the PSP. The d-pad moves (double tapping steps and triple tapping then holding runs), the analogue nub does all the grappling that the right analogue does on the console version and the face buttons are exactly the same.
The changes that might throw you off are to the shoulder buttons. The right analogue blocks, but is also the technique modifier, as opposed to L1/LB used on the consoles. The left shoulder causes you to hit or, indeed, takedown, whilst holding both shoulder buttons down blocks your body. It works well, though when you go back to the console version you might be a little confused for a second as your hands go for the PSP controls, resulting in a foot being introduced to your face quite enthusiastically.
The only real problem I encountered was the analogue nub itself. By its very nature, it can be difficult to use precisely enough for the ground game transitions – there were a few times when I found myself shouting at my PSP because it didn’t seem to be doing what my analogue-turning should have been instructing.
The gameplay remains often fast and usually furious. Submissions are still horrible to be on the receiving end of, due to there being no feedback to your analogue-rotating making it feel like it isn’t even doing anything, so a loss via submission is still just as infuriating as ever. Meanwhile, KOs are still punctuated with that ‘boom’ sound that makes them so satisfying, though it seems to be a little delayed if you haven’t installed to your memory stick.
The sound of the crowd seems a little unnatural too, whether you’ve installed or not. It seems to be this never-ending mini-cheering sound that rather jarringly jumps to a much louder cheer when someone gets punched. It doesn’t sound right, more like a sample being played when someone’s face is being reshaped rather than a crowd actually cheering. Oh, and there’s no commentary. At all. The only voices you’ll hear are Bruce Buffer (whose face still moves in a way that reminds me oddly of Buzz Lightyear), the voices in the intro and the voices in the Ultimate Fight and Career cutscenes.
Graphically, the game is good. It’s no God of War, but it is quite impressive. All the fighters are still recognisable and Forest Griffin is still difficult to look at, but there are a few faults – if you choose to use tattoos when making your fighter it is obscenely lo-res, to the point that I just chose not to add one. Obviously, it’s a tiny fault, but it’s still there and deserves a mention. Cuts still flower on faces, though there’s no blood splashing anywhere, and the ref no longer appears in the ring with you either. Again, small omissions, but still mention-worthy.
The ring itself looks better than the fighters, with the cage looking surprisingly sharp and the audience looking quite good in the background. In fact, the fighters actually look a little out of place in the more-detailed rings, which is a little strange, to say the least.
- UFC 2010, the full game, in your pocket.
- Fully-featured and just as fast and fun as the console version.
- Works surprisingly well for quick blasts of career.
- Looks good.
- Sound can seem a bit unnatural.
- I miss the commentary.
- A great many loading screens make an install to Pro Duo is necessary to really enjoy the game.
- ‘Fast’ mode should be selected if you want to play in quick blasts, so no pre-match cutscenes for you.
UFC Undisputed 2010 PSP (that’s quite a mouthful) is, for all intents and purposes, the console version shoved into your pocket. Whilst you are probably going to have to install it to your memory card if you want the best experience and there are a few flaws, such as the questionable crowd sounds, if you’re a fan of the UFC games this is pretty much made for you.