UFC Undisputed 3 hit shelves on Valentine’s Day

Jake Cochran, Columnist

Editor’s note: Jake Cochran is a junior communication studies major at Wilkes University and amateur MMA fighter. He hosts a weekly UFC/MMA radio show Wednesday’s at 1 p.m. for WCLH 90.7. This is his online blog where he will discuss all things UFC and MMA.

The long-awaited return of one of the few sports video game franchises that doesn’t try to take your money every year is back. UFC Undisputed 3 hit shelves on Feb. 14. Conveniently enough, it fell on Valentine’s Day, so this where I find out if my girlfriend has been taking the blatantly obvious hints I’ve been dropping.

But enough about my romantic life, the game is the third installment of the series since THQ took over the rights to make the game in around 2007. The franchise has made leaps and bounds since the first installment. The franchise is also worth investing in because unlike the array of EA sports games, it doesn’t release every year.

By the time THQ puts out a new UFC video game, the landscape of the sport has changed greatly. In UFC Undisputed 2009, three of the last five people to contend for the Heavyweight Championship were not in the game, Junior Dos Santos, Shane Carwin and the next in-line for a shot Alistar Overeem. You also couldn’t find the current Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones on the roster.

And by playing the 2010 edition, you would find Kimbo Slice, Marcus Jones, James McSweeney, Andrei Arlovski, Tim Sylvia, Mostapha Al Turk, Todd Duffee, Antoni Hardonk, Eddie Sanchez, Ricardo Almeida, Patrick Cote, Kendall Grove, Dennis Kang, Nate Marquardt, Nate Quarry, Marcus Davis, Dustin Hazelett, Anthony Johnson, Frank Trigg, Hermes Franca, Kurt Pellegrino and Caol Uno. All of these fighters are now either, cut, retired, in a different promotion, different sport or in Hermes Franca’s case, in jail.

Efrain Escudero and Gabriel Gonzaga actually managed to get cut and resigned by the UFC in the time it took them to make a new game. Also the acquisition of Strikeforce and the merger of the WEC happened during this time, adding the bantamweight and featherweight division, not to mention current top contender at lightweight, Benson Henderson. So needless to say the roster update is definitely needed for the new game.

But enough about the old games, the biggest addition to this game is the whole new addition of PRIDE mode. PRIDE FC is a now defunct Japanese Organization that ZUFFA bought out in 2007. The major differences with PRIDE mode will be another whole roster of fighters, the fights will take place in ring instead of a cage, and the rules allow kicks and knees to the head of downed opponents. If this does not make you want to buy the game, I don’t know what would.

The game will also have a new updated submission system; the system basically is like a more competitive game of old time cell phone snake. You have a set of parallel bars to get around your opponents single bar, and you are chasing each other around a mini octagon shape. If you stay around your opponents snake long enough, you get the submission. If you don’t, tough luck and keep fighting. Also, your parallel snake will be longer and shrink slower depending on your submission skill, making it more likely the better submission artist will land the submission and the sub-par submission fighters won’t.

The game is a much needed update in the series and THQ actually has plans to keep releasing downloadable content after the game is out, which will be enough to keep the fans entertained and coming back to the game. If the game is at least half as good as the demo was it’ll have fans playing out their fantasy fights for another year or two, and I’m sure controllers will be thrown when people inevitable try to play online and get destroyed by some 13 year old in Tokyo.