|ESPN.com: Page 2||[Print without images]|
|Anderson Silva's ready to knockout all comers in "UFC Undisputed 3."|
Anderson Silva's violent and unflinching soccer kick to the side of his opponent's head has left both the virtual combatant and the guy controlling him (me!) stunned.
The shocking depiction of a move outlawed by the UFC, but featured in the new "UFC Undisputed 3" video game thanks to the inclusion of old-school Pride rules and performers, has juiced every brawler with a new arsenal of wig-splitting kicks and elbows, and I love every minute of it.
In fact, I'm actually playing the game against real-life UFC badass Urijah Faber as we experiment with various button presses and attempt to unleash as much bodily harm as we can to each other's characters before the end of Round 1.
At one point in our sparring session, Faber resets the game and asks me to play as the cyber "California Kid" so he could see his virtual self kick some ass.
"I don't want to be me because you're going to bloody me up too much," he says with a laugh. "You be me so I can watch my character beat somebody down."
Five fights later, and neither one of us wanted to leave.
"This game is addictive," Faber says. "Much better than the last one."
And Faber's right, as the advancements made to "UFC Undisputed 3" have really taken the franchise to new heights, and the improved controls and blood-thirsty strikes are noticeable from the first time you press X.
After fighting Faber a few more times, I'm able to sit down with the game's producer, Neven Dravinski, to find out more of what fans can expect to see once his game hits stores February 14.
Jon Robinson: I just stomped somebody in the head in Pride mode.
Neven Dravinski: It feels good, doesn't it? That first time you hit one of the head stomps or soccer kicks, everyone is like, wow, that really looks like it hurts. [laughs]
Jon Robinson: Do you think the addition of Pride rules will help attract, not only the MMA audience, but maybe fans of other fighting games looking to unleash a little pain?
Neven Dravinski: The hardcore people know Pride, and I think even a lot of casual fans know what Pride is ... it's Japanese, it's cool. So I think this game might bring a resurgence to the Pride brand in terms of releasing DVDs. I love rocking my Pride hat out and seeing the reactions from people. So the fact that this year we were given more time for development and we were able to get it in along with the WEC weight classes is a big thing. It's funny because as I've been showing the game to a bunch of UFC fighters, I'm like, "So, Pride rules, would you want them in UFC?" And most of them say, hey, if you get kicked in the head, it's your fault. You shouldn't have been in that position. But it's cool that it's in a video game so we can expose them to this really cool brand.