Supremacy MMA Unleashed Review (PS Vita)

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Supremacy MMA Unleashed

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Climb into this portable cage and execute complex takedowns on your opponent.

We like

  • Fun gameplay, when it works
  • Sweet takedown system

We dislike

  • Inconsistent controls
  • Lackluster graphics
  • Lag issues

See PSU's review on Metacritic & GameRankings

Cage fighting is no longer an underground interest, since we now have two big leagues on television. One of which is Mixed Martial Arts. I can't say that I know much about cage fighting, outside of the fact that it's always been entertaining to see two opponents go into a confined location and see who comes out on top; Hail Caesar! As I spent time with Supremacy MMA Unleashed, I searched for the plausibility for this cage-fighting handheld foray to be THE professional fighting game experience on the PlayStation Vita. That's somewhat unfair, since it's the only “realistic” fighter on the PS Vita at present. But, much like Golden Abyss, it never hurts to potentially set the bar too high: that only means that better games will be coming down the pipeline. Does MMA have what it takes? Stay tuned.

Let's be blunt: I like as many things about this game as I hate about it. When things work in this game, it looks and feels great, especially in grapples and takedowns, but getting to some of those points proves to be a result of luck and faster-than-light reflexes. Players have three different buttons dedicated to defensive moves, L being the basic block, circle being the parry, and X being a low block; and all of these buttons can be leveled by using the left joystick to “aim” the block in a more specific location. The reaction time for executing any of these abilities is literally less than a second. On top of this, the game lags occasionally when pressing a button, so a lot of my attempts at parries didn't even execute. The game does offer prompts that show up in the upper left of the screen so they're conveniently out of direct sight, but my best recommendation is to learn when the best course of action is required. Relying on the prompts is almost a waste of time, and the cost far outweighs the reward. Essentially, a basic block is probably the best bet, even if the reward for successfully parrying an opponent has a lot of damage forthcoming. At least, when the player is standing up, that is.

To contrast this control issue, the controls for takedowns are much more forgiving. When standing, the player only has one opportunity to get it right or the whole thing goes to hell. When in a takedown, however, the player can literally mash the three defensive buttons and get away with anything. This inconsistency in controls really makes the game feel rushed, which is something that plagues a few other PS Vita launch titles. Still.

Graphically, saying that this game is average is generous. In motion, some of the textures and lighting look impressive, but when players stand still, or the camera zooms in, the textures look muddy and poorly designed. The animations however are this game's focal points. Character interaction, especially in takedowns, is quite impressive. Watching opponents slink out of each other’s takedowns and countering into a different one makes for quite a show.

The music felt appropriate, simply put. Nothing was really impressive, and usually music starts standing out for me if it feels either impacting or intricately designed for the game. The soundtrack choice seems to be ripped right from the TV show, I assume, and put into the game. I may be wrong on that, but the songs didn't give me much of a reason to listen to them, though most rap really isn't in my deck of cards. Now, if it had folk music... Just kidding. The music and the sounds of the game give the game the feel that it should have rather than what it needs. Some player sounds could sound more authentic, and some songs could be more contextual or driven. Then again, Madden never has anything that great, but MMA is smaller time, and I feel like little things like the soundtrack would be more important than having it as filler.

Supremacy MMA Unleashed supports online. That's a fun fact. But I couldn't access any online matches any of the times I tried. The game offers both ranked and player matches, but no one is playing them. Regardless, I can't report if the online experience is good or bad, because no one is around to test it. So, if you ... (continued on next page)

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