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For a long time, I perceived the UFC as someone bringing to life the arguments I used to have with friends in the school playground. You know the discussions; who would win between a lion and a Rhino, Batman & Judge Dredd or even Mike Tyson & Bruce Lee. As such I paid UFC little mind, and it remained on the periphery of my perception to the point I could only name a few of the key players that have shaped the UFC into the powerhouse it is today.

So, my first foray into this game was surprisingly painless. The face buttons control each of your four limbs, with the triggers used to guard and perform variations on each of your attacks. As I was intimately familiar with EA’s Fight Night series, the controls were instantly recognisable. The main variation being the control on the right stick which, in Fight Night, controlled your weaving ability, in UFC it is used to initiate a grappling move that brings me to the biggest difference I had to come to terms with in the game.

Being a mixed martial arts title, grappling, wrestling and submissions play as large a part as the stand-up fighting to which I was familiar, so getting used to the various clinches and wrestling moves available was without a doubt a lot more difficult. Once again, your Right stick is front and centre here as the screen is highlighted with a list of clinch positions you can move to from your current grip, all while landing and defending against attacks aimed at breaking your hold. These controls are identical when on the ground, with multiple holds that can be transferred into in order to gain an advantage over your opponent. Once placed into a submission, the screen fills with your movement bars, in which you compete with your opponent to either fill or interrupt the bar in order to get a tap out.ufc2_sakuraba_gracie_kimuraLike most of the EA Sports titles, UFC2 packs a punch (pun intended) when it comes to game modes. All of the old familiars are there; Ultimate Team, Online Rivalries, Ranked Championship and Career modes all make an appearance, but UFC 2 also has what it is calling Live Events. These challenges tie in with UFC Fight Night’s, giving you a range of real life matchups to both predict and undertake. Predictions require you to choose a winning fighter, how they won, either by KO/TKO, Decision or Submission and finally in which round they would win. You can then take to the canvas as your selection and try to enact your prediction in game. Should your prediction come to pass, you will earn additional fight night specific card packs for your ultimate team. This is an extremely clever way to encourage fans of the UFC to not only bet on upcoming fights but also to take a greater part in their Ultimate Team build.

Career mode takes you on your journey from new billed fighter to challenging the current champion of your particular ranking. Starting out as a relatively mediocre fighter, with a choice of multiple disciplines on which to begin, you have to win fights and train your way to competing for the title. Training comes in one of three disciplines; Stand-up, which focuses on your blocking; hit power and speed; Clinch training, which allows you to specialise in the power of your clinches and takedowns, and finally Ground training which improves your ability to transition between positions and your ability to pull off and hold your opponent in submissions.ufc2_rda_kick

Training also has its risks. Taking part in each of the sessions runs the risk of doing damage to your fighter which could put them at a disadvantage in their next fight. Each training is also ranked, and once completed can be automated to save you having to take part in the same mini games every time you wish to level up a particular stat. Success in the training rooms is also tracked overall, with three additional stat bonuses should you be able to perform extremely well overall. Making a fighter worthy of challenging takes a long time, and eventually, you will hit critical junctures in your career that will also begin to take its toll, reducing the amount of development you can endure, so each of these additional bonuses are definitely worth focusing on in the early game.

You can also craft your fighter in the way you choose. Each attack has a variation of moves that can be purchased and upgraded from straight up leg kicks to the most flamboyant capoeira attacks, and with a deep, upgradable perk system that allows you to focus on key attack styles or endurance feats, there is a huge range of options available to craft a unique challenger.

Being the high-intensity sport that it is, you are always battling against your career bar. Each fight takes its toll and moves you one step closer to retirement. To balance this out, you have your fan base. Winning fights and random events can increase your fan base allowing you to prolong your career far beyond when you would normally have hung up your mitts.

These random events come in many shapes and sizes. Some will give a benefit to a specific training focus, others will allow you to take part in a high reward fight at short notice with less training time, while others will award extra fans for public appearances or PR bonuses.


Visually UFC2 is graphic, but in a good way. Character models are extremely realistic with real-time bruising, blood smears and cuts that give an instant visual cue to where damage is most intensified, even to the level of seeing showers of sweat and blood spray across the canvas when a particularly heavy hit lands. Thankfully I didn’t see any of the strangely contorted moves that have plagued EA fighting games in the past, and it all just looks outstanding.

One issue I had is that even on the easiest setting it is extremely easy to have a bad fight. I lost count of the number of events I lost due to a lucky hit, or an unfortunate foot slip even when I had been dominating the match. It can feel a little unfair, but inline with the quick-pace of the sport, you can thankfully, instantly restart a fight – in career mode at least. This in itself can actually be beneficial as it gives you a trial fight in order to understand an opponent’s strengths and weaknesses and focus on attacks that give you the best chance of a win.

Sadly, the biggest negative I found was in regard to the online modes. Frequent lag spikes were encountered on both sides, making the fights a bit of a pot luck as to whether you will get a fair bout, with the possibility of you or your opponent getting a lucky hit in when the other is waiting for the game to catch up. This didn’t occur on all matches, and I still got a lot of enjoyment in the online modes, but hopefully this will be addressed by EA. That being said, and with these modes effectively hamstrung, it does reduce the content available unless you are happy to persist with the online modes regardless.

Overall, UFC2 doesn’t fail to impress. There’s a huge range of options available to you, whether you are looking for something to really get your teeth into with the Ultimate Team and Career modes, or if you are more interested in quick-burst fun, you have online tournaments, quick fight, Live Events and Online Rivalries with which to vent some aggression on the AI or your friends.

If you have any interest in realistic fighting games, UFC2 is a sound investment I can’t recommend enough.

Thanks to Xbox and EA for supporting TiX

EA Sports UFC Slams Five New Fighters Into The Fold


EA came out today in force for fans of MMA and the UFC franchises. Five new fighters have sauntered into the foray with amazingly beautiful, photo-realistic imagery. Your new warriors are as follows:

First up is the former Heavyweight Champion, Frank Mir. Frank Mir is definitely the most well-known of today’s announced fighters. This is mostly due to his astounding mat-work and a memorable feud with current WWE superstar, Brock Lesnar. The others fighters are Jose Aldo, Ricardo Lamas, Cung Le, and Joe Lauzon. Check out all of their details down below.


Frank Mir

  • Nickname: NA
  • Current Record: 16-8-0
  • From: Las Vegas, NV, USA
  • Fights Out Of: Las Vegas, NV, USA
  • Age: 34
  • Height: 6’3” (190 cm)
  • Weight: 240 lbs (109 kg)
  • Strengths: Great Submissions, Improved Striking, Two-Time Heavyweight Champion

Stepping into the Octagon for the first time in only his third pro bout, Frank Mir has been a staple of the UFC’s Heavyweight division since 2001. After winning the Heavyweight title from Tim Sylvia in 2004, Mir was sidelined for 20 months by a near career-ending motorcycle accident. His return to the sport is recognized as one of the greatest comebacks in UFC history, with Mir managing to fight his way back to become the division’s interim champion in 2008. An impressive ground game has helped Mir secure devastating submission wins over, Sylvia, Brock Lesnar, Cheick Kongo and Minotauro Nogueira.


Jose Aldo

  • Nickname: Junior
  • Current Record: 23-1-0
  • From: Manaus, Brazil
  • Fights Out Of: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Age: 27
  • Height: Height: 5’7” (170 cm)
  • Weight: 145 lbs (65 kg)
  • Strengths: Very Strong Ground Game, Knockout Power, Stamina

Jose Aldo became the UFC’s inaugural Featherweight champion on Nov. 20, 2010 and hasn’t let the title go since. Following his first UFC title defense against Mark Hominick, the former WEC champ hasn’t looked back, defending it five times against some of the division’s top talent, including Kenny Florian, Chad Mendes and Frankie Edgar. Considered one of MMA best pound-for-pound fighters, Aldo is an adept finisher with 15 of his 23 career wins coming by way of knockout.


Ricardo Lamas

  • Nickname: The Bully
  • Current Record: 13-2-0
  • From: Chicago, IL, USA
  • Fights Out Of: Chicago, IL, USA
  • Age: 31
  • Height: 5’8” (172 cm)
  • Weight: 145 lbs (65 kg)
  • Strengths: Explosiveness, Power

Since making his professional debut in 2008, Ricardo Lamas has been hard at work cementing his status as a fighter to watch out for in the Featherweight division. After racking up a 4-2 record in the WEC, Lamas transitioned into the UFC in 2011, scoring a first-round TKO win over Matt Grice in his debut. The Bully would go on to log a Submission of the Night performance against Cub Swanson at UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos and went undefeated in his first four UFC bouts.


Cung Le

  • Nickname: NA
  • Record: 9-2-0
  • From: Saigon, Vietnam
  • Fights Out Of: San Jose, CA, USA
  • Age: 41
  • Height: 5’10” (177 cm)
  • Weight: Weight: 185 lbs (84 kg)
  • Strengths: Striking, Takedowns

A gifted striker possessing some of the most powerful kicks in his division, Cung Le stepped onto the pro MMA stage for the first time in 2006. After debuting with Strikeforce, building a record of 7-1 and briefly holding their Middleweight title, Le made the jump to the UFC in 2011 likening his contract with the company to getting his black belt in MMA. The Taekwondo black belt, most recently scored an impressive KO victory over Rich Franklin and is currently the Mentor and Chief Coach of The Ultimate Fighter: China.


Joe Lauzon

  • Nickname: J-Lau
  • Record: 23-10-0
  • From: Brockton, MA, USA
  • Fights Out Of: Bridgewater, MA, USA
  • Age: 29
  • Height: 5’10” (177 cm)
  • Weight: 155 lbs (70 kg)
  • Strengths: Submissions

A true MMA veteran, Joe Lauzon has 33 professional fights to his name despite being only 29 years old. A submission specialist, Lauzon is known for his tendency to be involved in exciting bouts, win or lose, and holds the distinction of currently being tied with Anderson Silva as the all-time UFC Fight Bonus leader with 12 awards. After suffering back to back losses for the first time in his prolific career against Jim Miller and Michael Johnson, Lauzon wasted no time getting back to his winning ways, closing out 2013 with a victory over Mac Danzig.

EA Sports brings eight-sided hell to your Xbox One this Spring.


EA Shut Down More Xbox 360 Online Games

EA have previously stated that: “The decisions to retire older EA games are never easy. The development teams and operational staff pour their hearts into these games almost as much as the customers playing them and it is hard to see one retired.” – but, on that note a few more Xbox 360 games see their servers shut down and online play deemed void! Continue reading EA Shut Down More Xbox 360 Online Games