EA Sports MMA Review
By otakuman5000 On 8 Dec, 2010 At 06:35 AM | Categorized As PlayStation, Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 2 Comments

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Hosting a roster of combatants from over 7 countries, EA Sports MMA (EAMMA) definitely offers a bit of variety, but when placed against its THQ competitor, there is still a huge hole in its roster. The good news though is that even without the UFC license, this is a solid mma experience.  The number one thing that I love and also what sets this game apart, is  how it plays. Taking from Fight Night’s “Total Strike Control” scheme,  stand-up game, clinching, and ground game is no longer a headache. To make things even easier, to pass an opponent and gain the advantage is as simple as pressing a face button. The top  buttons or triggers serve as nice modifiers and dashing to get around the ring has never been smoother. However, the really cool thing about this is that yes, anyone can pick this up and enjoy it, but what you do with those controls heavily defines you as a fighter. Unlike another game (UFC I’m looking at you), there is little frustration involved. I had no problem learning the controls, which now forces me to pay attention to the match. I can parry, block, deny takedowns, attempt takedowns, and whatever else I need to do, by observing my opponent carefully. Being aware of the character model’s expressions, movement and even breathing, can prepare you for what is to come. Just like in a real match, the tide of battle can change in an instant, so it’s great that we can now worry about our strategies rather than what buttons to push.

There are three main ways to enjoy EAMMA and those options are offline career, online career, and of course through the ‘Fight Now’ mode. You have five classes of fighters to choose from such as Randy Couture and Fedor Emelianenko as well as the ability to customize your own fighter in Career.  Add a gameface via Kinect or webcam to your character if you don’t like the various pre-made heads. Customization offers a lot of options from detailed tattoos, to custom trunks and t-shirts. Weight and height are huge factors in determining your fighter’s physique. Body type options alter according to these numbers and then you get another option for how cut you want your muscles. While everything is a  step up from having weight class  determine your body type, I do miss other things such as the face sculpting options from previous EA Sports titles. The soundtrack that plays during your whole career however is pretty average. A few good songs are in there but a lot can really take you out of the game if you’re not into certain music genres.

In Career, you are picked up by Elite MMA owner, Bas Rutten. After running through a few helpful tutorials, you work your way up to a professional match. Each match takes place 8 weeks from each other, leaving all that time to train in several gyms. After your first few matches, you will get the option to use your fight money to travel to various gyms around the globe and learn special moves. These gyms specialize in different styles of fighting and I highly recommend learning them all, as these moves are one of a kind and can be carried with your character into the online career. Mini games are played to receive a grade in a certain skill area. Each game teaches different things and I’ve found that visiting gyms is the only way to truly excel because  Elite MMA only offers but so much. The option to simulate through an exercise becomes available after you have received a grade and rather than receiving a basic skill increase, you will receive that of your letter grade each time you simulate. Be careful about travel though because it is only available the first week of your off time.

Your created fighter will be contacted via an HTC android phone (which does not shock me as EA has had many in-game advertisements) by Bas’s assistants about upcoming fights. Players can check their phone for stats, travel, rankings, fight results and to edit their fighter. The most amusing option is the “WEB”.  Your fighter will progress through 3 out of 6 organizations, depending on where you choose to go. Using the WEB option, you can keep track of league movement, upcoming events and the blog of a crazed fan. Your fan will only write about you if you win of course, but he has a lot of amusing things to say when you do.  Sadly, after becoming the champion or fighting fifty fights, you are forced to retire and stare at credits. The career ends a little bit like the Sopranos if you know what I mean.

Now let’s talk online. With EA Live Brodcast, you can observe title shots and fights taking place around the world. I witnessed a fight card for the Heavyweight championship and was impressed by the presentation.  Two fighters go head to head for the belt of their class and a few EA team members go through a short prelude called “Name Shame”. Name Shame is a nice way to introduce the two combatants as team members take turns pronouncing their gamertags. I hope you don’t have a rediculous gamertag because if you do, you will be awarded the “WTF” award. While having nothing to do with the match, it’s EA’s commentary and side bits that make things more entertaining. They will provide commentary for the whole match, taking a look at your hype video and stats as well. You can take your career fighter or choose an existing one to climb the ranks and earn the championship belts of all leagues. Besides making a name for yourself online, you can view and upload replays, share your fighters or make a fight card set of your own. Progress can be tracked via the game website.

Final Thought:

Though EAMMA has many good high points, the offline career and tutorials needs a lot more work. If I would’ve known that it would become so repetitive, I think I would’ve just jumped straight online. I’m hoping that the next installment fixes this and I can expect better offline presentation as well as a deeper career mode. Jumping from fight to fight is really just that and I didn’t enjoy being in the gym for 70% of my career only to see my career end so abruptly. Maybe add some endorsement deals or before the fight interviews? If they can work that hard to get names like Strikeforce and Mystic in the game, then I’m sure adding a little more of a career feel wouldn’t hurt.

About - I am a 44 year old Gamer/Geek/Otaku who has been gaming and watching anime since the late 1970's. I am a passionate otaku who loves all types of games, anime and comics. I have been writing about games since I was a young man. I am an entertainment retail expert and an avid game collector. You can always find me playing or watching something geek related.

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  1. I never got into the “realistic fighting game circuit” Jas. lol. I think I prefer flamboyant characters and flashy ridiculous over the top special attacks laced with lightning,fire,chi, sonic booms, or ice.

    However these games do have a faithful crowd. If they could up the ante on the tutorial and offline career EA maybe on to something.

  2. Good review. I saw this the other day and almost rented it. I decided to wait till this review came out and I read it. Good thing I didn’t waste my money. Nice work.

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