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Review

Review: Supremacy MMA

When down, stay down.

Launching in 2009, THQ’s UFC Undisputed arrived to a flurry of positive reviews, becoming the forerunner of an MMA resurgence in gaming. However, with the mainstream series on hiatus until January 2012, there’s been an opening for other contenders to step into the ring; 505 Games’ Supremacy MMA being the latest entrant. So, is Kung Fu Factory’s visceral focus on unsanctioned moves and the game’s underground vibe a genuine innovation for the reinvigorated sub-genre, or is Supremacy MMA merely a stop gap, an opportunistic yet frail attempt to draw in its own fanbase in the advent of Undisputed 3?


Each fighter can be levelled up by earning XP in fights to unlock new attires. XP can also be sourced from completing specific in-game tasks.
Accessibility. It’s a word that gets thrown about often, and with the line between casual and hardcore gamers becoming more transparent you’re going to be hearing more and more. The highlight of Supremacy MMA is the fact that players can jump straight in and after a brief (if somewhat dysfunctional) tutorial you’ll have grasped the games numerous mechanics.

Unlike UFC, Supremacy focuses on single-lane combat similar to your average arcade fighter, allowing players to duck towards or away from the central camera. Aside from ducking movement is restricted to stepping forwards and backwards. Breaking the conventions of modern MMA titles Supremacy also makes use of health bars, dropping the sense of unpredictability most players have become accustomed to.

With that said, players can still fight tactically; continually delivering damage to a certain region of your opponent’s body will cause it to bruise and fracture. However, a sense of authenticity is lost in this mechanic with both arms or legs degrading simultaneously even if you have only taken damage in just the right or left limb.

All standing attacks, whether strikes or grapples, have three levels of elevation controlled by the position of your analog stick, which can also be modified using the stepping motion. It’s simple enough to master, though using the same stick to control your blocking stance proves finicky from time to time, forcing players to rely on Supremacy’s counter system. Every time an opposing fighter motions into a grapple, kick or punch, an on-screen prompt appears signifying when to counter. It would be a great mechanic if not for minuscule amount of time you have to react.

If there is one thing gamers complain about the most in MMA titles, it’s the ground game – something which has also been simplified in Supremacy. Though each ground encounter will inevitably end in both players hammering away at their gamepads in a button-bashing frenzy, transferring from grapple to grapple is easy whether you’re reigning down blows or the one about to taking a beating.


It's hard to ignore the constant stuttering as the frame rate drops often. For some reason, being disconnected from the net also causes singleplayer matches to crash.
Aside from your bog standard quick round of one-on-one there is an excruciating lack of playable content in Supremacy MMA. Instead of fleshing out a meaty career mode for players to get stuck into, Kung Fu Factory has crafted individual “Supremacy Stories” for a number of the game’s fighters, consisting of half a dozen or so fights on average. Even with cutscenes wedged between each throwdown these failed attempts of spawning some form of narrative barely last for fifteen minutes a piece. With online play being the only other available option, and a weak one at that, players of a moderate skill level could easily “beat the game” in a single session.

One interesting aspect of Supremacy MMA is that it also includes female fighters. However, they feature to such a limited extent they’re hardly worth mentioning. With only Felice Herrig and Michele Guitierrez available, each having a story mode lasting just two fights, it’s difficult to fathom why Kung Fu Factory would implement such a lazy representation of female fighters after making it a key selling point.

In terms of brutality, its hard to place Supremacy MMA against existing games in the genre. Sure, there is an excessive amount of blood and illegal moves (including head stamps) but the visual feedback isn’t as visceral as it needs to be, nor is the use of rumble. There may be plausible degree of detail to the individual character models, but Supremacy really isn’t doing anything new.

Pros

  • Easy to harness and enjoyable.
  • Clinch/Ground controls have also been simplified

Cons

  • Lacklustre multiplayer.
  • A number of fighters feel identical.
  • Female fighters barely get a look in.
  • In dire need of a comprehensive single player career.
  • Some gameplay/control aspects need refining.
  • Not as brutal as some made it out to be.
  • After 10 minutes, you’ve seen everything the game has to offer.
With barely enough content to even match a downloadable title, Supremacy MMA would be an incredibly hard sale even at a budget price. Despite lacking variety and a moderate sense of depth, the gameplay is enjoyable though ultimately not strong enough to balance out the game’s numerous flaws.

Score: 4/10

For more information and the latest Supremacy MMA updates you can follow the game via Twitter and Facebook.

9 Comments
  1. Beck
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    Agree 100%.

    These games are all about online for me, and its terribe. If you can actually find anyone to play against online, the lag is very bad mostly.

    Avoid.

    Comment posted on 07/10/2011 at 14:09.
    • Jim H [Teabags]
      Member
      Since: Nov 2009

      True. Played a few online fights. I tried using a variety of moves, but the only way I could be efficient is by spamming the same standing strikes over and over.

      Comment posted on 07/10/2011 at 14:37.
  2. Klart
    Member
    Since: Jun 2010

    Almost a complete failure.

    Comment posted on 07/10/2011 at 14:16.
  3. Smallville2106
    Member
    Since: Feb 2011

    Really glad I stayed away from this now.

    Comment posted on 07/10/2011 at 14:17.
  4. BrendanCalls
    Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc - YOHIMBÉ!!!
    Since: Forever

    Id say this would be pretty spot on review, a friend and I played it at Eurogamer and it was a fun game but after about 5-10 minsyou could tell the novelty of smashing each other face with a bare fist wore off and it became very repetitive, very quickly.

    Comment posted on 07/10/2011 at 14:55.
  5. bunimomike
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    Image two – click the thumbnail. Hilariously awesome!

    “MEDIC!”

    Comment posted on 07/10/2011 at 15:26.
    • iAvernus
      Member
      Since: Nov 2009

      hahaha that’s funny as hell. I would guess that was a knockout.

      Comment posted on 07/10/2011 at 23:15.
      • jikomanzoku
        Member
        Since: Jan 2010

        “A stamp is worth ten kicks” :D

        Comment posted on 08/10/2011 at 10:52.
  6. R4U Eldave0
    andUandU
    Since: Aug 2008

    Shame. I’m a fan of this sort of game but I wouldn’t be able to look past the faults you listed

    Comment posted on 10/10/2011 at 12:02.

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