Supremacy MMA Review

Mixed martial arts – the MMA of Supremacy MMA‘s title – is basically the world’s most hardcore combat sport. The mainstream, officially licensed version of the sport is known as ‘Ultimate Fighting’, after all. Like the Kumate in Jean Claude Van Damme’s schlocky classic Bloodsport, the idea is simple: fighters of different disciplines battle it out until someone is knocked out or submits. If it hasn’t supplanted Boxing in the public imagination, the brutal immediacy and informality of bouts (not to mention occasional fatalities like the death of Michael Kirkham in 2010) have led to significant controversy and only added to the sport’s mystique.

The UFC series of games brought gamers into the heavily regulated world of modern MMA fighting, and they’re lots of fun. But the roots of the sport lie in highly unregulated, mostly illegal underground fights, and Supremacy MMA promised a simulated version of that legacy. Sad then that despite some minor successes, Supremacy MMA is largely an unremarkable, generic fighting game that ultimately feels limper than a 9th round sleeper hold.

Supremacy MMA (XBox360 [Reviewed], PS3)
Developer: Kung Fu Factory
Publisher: 505 Games
Release Date: September 20, 2011
MSRP: $59.99

While I came away from Supremacy MMA not really caring about it one way or the other, it isn’t a total wash. Combat is absolutely brutal, as it should be. SMMA is set in the MMA underground, which means back alley fights, illegal cage matches in strip clubs, fight clubs. Players can use illegal fighting and finishing moves including breaking bones, even (apparent) kill moves. SMMA also has enough to keep you engaged – story mode, challenges, online matches – so that on a superficial level at least, it’s a solid value for the money you spent.

The game boasts an all-star cast of MMA fighters like Malaipet “The Diamond” Sasiprapa and Shane Del Rosario, and player characters have unique narratives that almost makes story mode worth the playthrough. Of course, as MMA elites are famous to that community and only that community, their appearance likely won’t affect casual players one way or the other. However, for those who do know the sport, the accurate representation of individual fighters’ styles is pretty cool. Cooler still is the inclusion of female fighters like Felice Herrig, an apparent first for any ultimate fighting game.

Players have a wide variety of fighting styles to choose from that well represent the sport, like Muay Thai, Karate and Judo. It makes for a varied and satisfying fighting game. Honestly, it’s disturbing how much fun it is bring someone down and then break their arm, or choke them, and Supremacy MMA milks that for everything they can. I loved being able to try out different fighting styles (Boxing and Judo were my favorites), especially when the game’s cinematics emphasize how brutally you’ve just destroyed your opponent. You’ll probably spend more of your game just enjoying the fighting than actually playing through.

But as satisfying as the fighting feels when you’re playing, it’s also the point at which Supremacy MMA’s problems become apparent.

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10 Comments on Supremacy MMA Review

ahmad

On September 21, 2011 at 2:01 am

oooooooooo

Matt

On September 21, 2011 at 12:14 pm

I was interested in reading a review on the game since there are so few out there, but I’m disappointed. Not about the game, mind you, but about the review. So as an FYI I’ll list some issues with your review:

“It’s also known as ‘Ultimate Fighting’, after all” – No, Ultimate Fighting is a brand name, linked to the popularity of UFC.

“If it hasn’t supplanted Boxing in the public imagination” – Really? I’d bet more of the public could name one UFC fighter than they could list the name of a boxer. Regardless, irrelevant.

“not to mention occasional fatalities like the death of Michael Kirkham in 2010)have led to significant controversy and only added to the sport’s mystique” – Occasional fatalities makes that sound like a common risk of the sport, and the suggestion that such deaths have only served to increase popularity of the sport is ridiculous.

“But the roots of the sport lie in highly unregulated, mostly illegal underground fights, and Supremacy MMA promised a simulated version of that legacy.” – The roots of the sport go back to Pancrase, Vale Tudo and Shooto. If you don’t know it, don’t write it. As for the rest of the sentence, when did 505 promise a simulated version of anything? I have the press releases from Reverb and all of them mention fast-and-furious, arcade style, etc, approach over a slower simulation style.

“The game boasts an all-star cast of ranked MMA fighters like Malaipet “The Diamond” Sasiprapa and Shane Del Rosario” – Wow. You called a man 3 wins – 4 losses in MMA whose biggest company he fought for being ShoXC and a guy who had all of one Strikeforce fight as all-star MMA fighters. I mean Jens Pulver is in the game and you chose those two guys to call out as all-stars?

“It’s true that MMA began as an unregulated, dangerous underground sport” – This is not true.

“Anyone expecting the promised brutal, real world take on unregulated fighting is going to come away from Supremacy MMA deeply disappointed.” – They haven’t marketed as a real-world take on unregulated fighting, so yeah.

“The lack of an authentic submission system is a cheap dodge and makes the game feel like a button masher akin to crap like WCW NWO Revenge.” – Compared to what? The next UFC game has you chasing icons around a symbol; previously it was just rotating joysticks, which isn’t exactly different than button mashing.

“Worse, broken limbs, bloody combat and the like are one thing, but some of the moves would kill even the strongest fighter” – Again, you must not have been reading the press releases for the game which compared it to other fighting games. Most of the grab moves in Tekken look like they’d kill someone as well.

“Fighting seems less a grapple to the bloody end and more two sets of animations animating at one another.” – You poorly explain this point. Does it appear as they’re not actually hitting each other? Do they appear to move robotically vs organically? Is the hit detection off? Are they locking into animations that can’t be interrupted? Is there lag between button press and action? Is the animation bad or does it just suffer from frame-rate stuttering?

“* Poor fighting system
* Unnecessary exaggeration of an already-brutal sport” – The only complaints you had about the fighting system were stilted animations and that it was too over the top. You described the fighting on the first page as fun, varied and satisfying. So, poor or satisfying? Make up your mind. Besides which you barely describe the fighting system at all, how it works, if the fighting styles are balanced, etc.

Unnecessary exaggeration of a brutal sport was essentially the selling point of the game, which makes for an odd con.

In summary, write about what you know (MMA and the history behind it), don’t expect a simulation when all of the press has made mention of the game not being realistic, when writing a review be clearer about what doesn’t work mechanically instead of getting wrapped up in what you didn’t like aesthetically.

Ross Lincoln

On September 21, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Fair enough. I was disappointed by the game. I’ve edited for clarity, but I stand by the review.

Ross Lincoln

On September 21, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Adding that there is a difference between ‘adding to a sport’s mystique’ and making it more popular.

Matt

On September 21, 2011 at 12:45 pm

And by no means am I trying to say you aren’t entitled to be disappointed in the game, at all. Only that the review has several innaccuracies about MMA in general, and also the major complaints seems like you were disappointed that the game is not a simulation when it was never advertised as such. I don’t read a review to hear about what you expected the game to be, I want to know what it is and what works/doesn’t work.

I don’t care if you tear the game to shreds, but would’ve prefered a more objective opinion on the mechanics of the game. As mentioned, you thought the fighting system was poor in your cons section, but in no way described in the course of the review why that might be and even said the opposite of such in the first portion of the review. If there’s a problem with the fighting system, in a fighting game, as a person who reads a review before purchasing a game, I’d have prefered more content to why you think the fighting portion is bad and less on why you disliked the over the top vibe.

Beau Prichard

On September 22, 2011 at 1:19 am

Wow! Way to have a civilized exchange on the internet, guys! In an online world of “your mom” and zomgwtfbbq, I am really impressed by this conversation. I wish there was a really strong way for me to convey that there is no sarcasm in my statement, but I can’t think of one. However, my sentiments are honest and my respect for you is also.

Mike "Not Really Mike Ross" Ross

On September 22, 2011 at 6:11 am

Wow man, your information is wrong. I’m with Matt here… there is A LOT outright wrong information in your review. Your review would be 100x better if you just fixed or completely got rid of that stuff.

Otherwise, good stuff.

Luiz fernando de rezende Ferreira

On September 23, 2011 at 1:13 pm

the best game

super kung fu

On September 23, 2011 at 1:26 pm

At 44 years old and a 20 year Northern style preying. ManTUS kung. Fu fighter.the only game I like to play is UFC2010. I often thought the fame needed more face pounding action and less referee ending the fights for some cushion punches. I saw this game supremacy mma today and almost didn’t buy it because. t
the reviews about the controls not being fluid and realistically strategic.

None the less I bought the game with the idea of smashing a face pounding it with a fist until Mercy is the only option. Hopefully the game is good with for that. I don’t care about a storyline.just real moves

saltmunk

On September 23, 2011 at 6:54 pm

I had fun with the demo will buy when 20 dollars or less