Platform: Xbox 360
Arcade-style MMA action
Over the top brutality that you won’t find in licensed MMA games
Real life fighters including two female fighters
1-2 players local / 2 players online
Promised DLC and leaderboards
Rated M for pretty much everything bad (blood, nudity, language, drugs, you name it)
MMA is exploding in terms of exposure and popularity. Exceeding boxing, several MMA games have been released looking to capitalize on its popularity. THQ’s UFC-licenced offerings are generally well received and even industry giant EA had waded into the fray with an MMA offering of their own. Enter 505 Games. With no license and a budget that’s likely well under what a company like EA can throw at a game, what do they have to offer with Supremacy MMA? In one word: Brutality. Is it enough though?
Supremacy’s graphics are a mixed bag. The environments (12 of them) that you fight in look fine, feature animated backgrounds and help to keep things fresh from fight to fight. It certainly is a decent change from fighting in the same ring over and over. Since this is an “underground” type of game, most of the enviros are dark and ominous feeling. That fits with the overall theme of the game so I have no problem there. The sketched art style, while nothing new, looks good too.
The character models don’t come near that which you see in other MMA games or the Fight Night series. Nor do their animations which I think is pretty key in a fighting game like this where subtleties are key. The blood and bruises look fine. They’re a little over the top in that they appear with relative ease. Many blows produce some blood spray. It looks okay but the particle effects of the blood splattering onto the mat aren’t anything special. This isn’t Mortal Kombat either though.
Do you like Metal? Because that’s all you’re going to hear when it comes to Supremacy’s in-game soundtrack. I like my hard rock as much as the next guy but it gets a little much after a while.
If you ask me the most important part of the sound in a game like this is the impact that blows make and Supremacy comes up short. They simply sound too thin and lack a sense of impact that I would expect from a game that has the over the top damage this one does. If I’m busting someone apart, I want it to sound like it looks. On a more positive note, the voice acting during the storylines isn’t bad at all.
Although I like MMA, I’m a casual follower at best. I watch only a couple of the UFC PPV’s per year with my friends. While I enjoy it, I’m simply not as knowledgeable as my hardcore MMA friends. I’m also not a fighting game player. I thought I should clarify this right off the bat. If you’re wondering why in the hell someone like me is reviewing this game its simple. We thought it might be interesting to give you a point of view from someone like myself. So let’s get started.
Supremacy MMA takes a decidedly arcade approach to mixed martial arts fighting. The controls appear relatively easy to learn as a non-fighting game player reading the manual. Fighting game purists might find them a little too basic I can imagine. However, things are much different when actually playing the game. There is a Tutorial mode (which I opted to do first) but, frankly, it really doesn’t help.
On screen there are three factors the player must consider: health, stamina and adrenaline power. Health is exactly what you think it is. When its meter is full, Adrenaline can be used to gain extra power for attacks and more time to react when countering. Adrenaline is gained by things like successful attacks, blocking, parrying and more. Most interesting is the stamina meter. Rather than a typical bar gauge there is a small figure of the fighter. As individual parts of the body take damage, they change colour on the figure. So if your leg takes a high amount of damage, it will be less powerful to attack with and more susceptible to attacks and eventually KO’s from your opponent.
Speaking of KO’s, herein lies Supremacy MMA’s main point of differentiation from the other MMA games out there. There is a distinct focus on the brutality of the sport. Faces and bodies bruise upon the first blows. Blood sprays, gets on the canvas and smears as fighters grapple and move through it. Is it over the top? You bet. Is it cool to see? Absolutely. The first time you see a limb break you will be impressed. Is it enough to make you choose this game over others? I don’t think so. It’s been done in other games. Maybe not to this effect in an MMA game but the novelty wears off pretty quick. I really don’t think there’s enough here to warrant the full price of admission.
There are a surprising number of game modes here including quick fight, tournament options and individual story modes for each of the game’s characters. Each character has their own fight style focus. I’m more of a stand up, punch and kick kind of guy so I went more with the boxers and kickboxers and got my butt handed to me more often than not. Maybe this is because the subtleties of the grappling and ground game are lost on a casual player like myself, I don’t know. The individual stories make for a decent amount of replayability for those completionists out there. There are also two female fighters in the game. One caveat though, they can only fight each other. You can play online too; however my opinions are that of only the single player portion.
Unfortunately, when it comes to game play the finer points of fighting, grappling and the controls are lost on me. Matches consistently devolved into a button mashing experience that I generally came out on the losing end of. The game was nice enough to offer prompts to block, parry and break submission holds but I was nearly always too slow to actually pull them off. I realize that it has to be a split second timing thing but I felt they didn’t give me enough time since you have to look away from the action to see the prompt appear below your status bars in the upper corner of the screen. Or maybe it’s a sign of my age…
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