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
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.