Written by: Adam “ManKorn” Korenman, CC2K Video Games Editor
I beat a man half to death last night. In my defense, he was trying to take my belt.
Sports games are a bit of a hit-or-miss market. Either you love them, or you just don’t see the appeal. As a gamer, I try to look at each title with the same objectivity as a food critic, but there is only so much fake enthusiasm I can muster for ANOTHER baseball game. That said, I love me some fighting games.
I was raised on a healthy diet of Street Fighter and Tekken, though I was never much good at either game. Then, out of nowhere, Electronic Arts launched a landmark franchise: Fight Night. I had never really been into boxing (I’d seen a few Tyson matches on TV) but I was hooked. This was as pure a test of manliness as could be measured. Punch the ever-loving crap out of a person until they either fell down, or a group of older men decided to hit better. That was the business.
But then the UFC arrived, and suddenly boxing was a pile of garbage filled with unfinished dreams. The UFC took the punching part of boxing and reminded the fighters that they had been born with other limbs as well. Suddenly you had matches between Royce Gracie and a shaved gorilla, and the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu master was dropping hurt bombs left and right. I no longer had any interest in EA’s franchise, though that didn’t stop them from making another fifty sequels (because EA).
Enter UFC, a relatively new franchise that has stepped up to be the new fighting simulator. Unlike other beat’em’ups, UFC focuses on realism and technique rather than flying dragon fire mouth combo breaker blast xXx extreme kicks. It took minutes to learn but months to master, and there were few moments as satisfying as forcing your buddy to tap out with a late-game arm bar.
But reception of the last entry in the series was luke warm, and EA is nothing if not persistent in their insistence on the gaming community. So now, in 2016, we get UFC 2. And wow…it’s actually damned good.