Supremacy MMA Review
The single biggest problem is that while Supremacy MMA has the superficial appearance of brutal, regulation-free MMA combat, it ruins that experience by shoe-horning it into generic fighting game conventions. It’s true that MMA’s roots are in unregulated, underground fighting. But even in that bloody environment, fatalities were rare. Naturally, frequent reports of dead fighters would bring the cops down on fights faster than reports of drug trafficking. Unfortunately, the game simply doesn’t bother with such considerations. Anyone expecting a brutal, real world take on unregulated fighting is going to come away from Supremacy MMA deeply disappointed.
While you’re technically trying to win by knock out or submission, the actual fighting is to the end of your opponent’s health bar. Even when you pull off particularly brutal moves, like a choke hold that, in real life, would probably knock someone out and send them to the hospital, all that happens is a hit to your opponent’s damage meter. 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. You could conceivably slap your opponent to a knockout victory and achieve the same results as one would by application of actual MMA fighting. Worse, broken limbs, bloody combat and the like are one thing, but some of the moves would kill even the strongest fighter. Sure, some people will argue that this was the whole point, but there are already a great number of cartoonishly brutal fighting games. We didn’t need another, particularly one that turns a sport that is scary even with intense regulation into an exaggeration akin to Vivendi’s terrible Fight Club game, or the Mortal Kombat series.
Supremacy MMA also just looks terrible. I always hesitate to criticize a game’s graphic’s unless they’re appallingly bad, such is the excellent state of things in 2011. And some aspects of SMMA are handled perfectly. The rings are gritty and used-looking, the kind of places you’d expect to see hosting a quasi-legal fight. Player movement, attacks, jumps, slams, brutal submission moves and so forth look grounded in real world physics, and the character renderings are pretty accurate. Unfortunately, despite excellent screen-shots, characters never appear to inhabit the same environment. Fighting seems less a grapple to the bloody end and more two sets of animations animating at one another.
The game, at least on Xbox, also has framerate issues that makes it appear as though your character isn’t actually attacking so much as fitting into a pre-determined animation prompt. (I was reminded of Hanna Barberra cartoons that re-use the same stock animations over and over). Watch combat closely and you’ll see what I mean – the moves look almost scripted – in real life you’d think you were watching a pro wrestling match. Yes, they nailed the combat style of MMA luminaries and of the various martial arts, but it still looks like cheap motion capture of the digitized sprites era of gaming, instead of fluid combat.
I really wanted to love Supremacy MMA. And for the first hour or so, I did. But the initial thrills are outweighed by significant flaws. Exaggerated, stilted and kind of ugly, it does serious disservice not only to gamers who might be looking for an authentic-feeling real world fighting experience, but to the elegance and skill of an honorable sport. People absolutely desperate for new MMA gaming will like it, and it would be nice if the first serious MMA game with female fighters was a hit. But you’d probably best skip this and save your money for the next pay-per-view fight.
* Accurately depicted fighting styles
* Female characters
* All star cast
* Poor fight graphics
* Disappointing fighting system
* Unnecessary exaggeration of an already-brutal sport