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.

Pros:

* Accurately depicted fighting styles
* Female characters
* All star cast

Cons:

* Poor fight graphics
* Disappointing fighting system
* Unnecessary exaggeration of an already-brutal sport

Final Score: 75/100

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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