Older gamers may remember how hard it was to get a portable fighter back in the day. Mortal Combat and Killer Instinct on the Game Boy were watered down versions missing moves and entire fighters. Fortunately, times have changed and the PSP is home to some incredibly intricate titles. The PSP version of Undisputed offers up a heap of game play and will keep brawlers happy for hours. All the moves and modes that made the original great have been downsized.
As a standalone title Undisputed is solid, but anyone that has played the ‘big’ versions of this game on console will feel that the portable game still doesn’t have quite as much punch as it could. Obviously the PSP game isn’t as slick as other versions, with simpler graphics and no commentator, but the hardest part of putting this game on a portable would always be the controls. THQ actually did really well with what they had and the game does feel like it should, but you can’t help but feel at times that the game is better suited to a PS3 or XBOX controller.
With such a complicated fighting system and so many moves available, it’s easy for newcomers to feel out of their depth, and even seasoned pros will occasionally button mash with the best of them. Using the analogue stick and the d-pad in fights takes a lot of getting used to; dropping down one side of the unit, then back up again during game play is an alien sensation. You do get used to the controls, and some practice sees the games dynamics making a lot of sense. In time you will feel like you have full control over your character and will be able to dodge and counter, standing up or on the ground.
Graphically the game is fine, due to the sport the game recreates, things are always going to be a bit dull and dingy. Most importantly characters do move fluidly and realistically. The collision detection can be a bit off, though; often blows look like they have no impact, or don’t connect. After playing a few rounds you will have had at least one KO where the other character doesn’t fall over. This is a shame as it is a small blemish that manages to cheapen otherwise quality visuals.
To keep things interesting there are modes other than the main career mode, such as title defense, where you have to defend your title against a string of challengers. There is also a tournament mode and an ultimate fight mode that recreates many fan favourite scenarios from the sport. Will the fight pan out like it did on TV or will you just get your digital arse handed to you? Like it’s big brother, you can also create fighters on the PSP and find a host of unlockables by progressing through the game.
If you are yet to play a UFC game and only own a portable system, or love the game so much you have to take it everywhere with you, then Undisputed is a wise buy. However if you played the game when it came out on other systems, or played last years game then this PSP title doesn’t make a lot of sense. As good as this game is, it just feels slightly numb on the small screen.