There's little to improve in the Octagon: a reduction to the randomness perhaps; maybe less blood split and more matches decided by endurance and tactical point-scoring above crowd-pleasing knockouts and submissions. Grappling is sometimes a little woolly and those quarter-circle rotations on the analogue stick sometimes don't work out with the result you'd expect. There's a degree of smoke and mirrors in the game at times; you'll do something good and the game will make you look better, again like FIFA or Madden. All things which will no doubt be tightened in UFC '10.
Outside the Octagon there's work to be done. UFC 2009 Undisputed may well be the best new sim fighting system of modern times, but bolted onto the barest of bare bones games. That seventy-nine down there looks cruelly shy of the eighty Undisputed very nearly earned. It's symbolic, if anything - like the game itself, so near yet so far...
The best new fighting engine around, with a very sparse game wrapped round it.
- Genuinely innovative
- Just like the real thing
- Don't play outside Exhibition