If you haven't played any of the UFC games before, or if you've been waiting for the series to come to the PlayStation 2, then Throwdown makes a fine introduction.
UFC: Throwdown for the PlayStation 2 marks the return of the Ultimate Fighting Championship to a Sony system, although those who remember the disappointing UFC game for the old PlayStation may be skeptical about this release. Fortunately, UFC: Throwdown follows in the footsteps of the better games in the series' history, featuring responsive gameplay, good graphics, and a formidable roster of fighters. Yet the most significant addition to this version of the game is a career mode that lets you create your own fighter, which adds plenty of stand-alone value to the sort of game that's previously been best suited to two players.
In the Ultimate Fighting Championship, two men enter the confines of the octagon, and their goal is to make their opponent tap out via submission or pummel him into unconsciousness. The gameplay in UFC: Throwdown makes use of a control scheme similar to that of the Tekken series, where each of the gamepad's four face buttons corresponds to a limb, and combinations of these buttons perform special techniques, such as punch and kick counters and shoots. Shooting in on an opponent to perform a tackle, a body slam, or other takedown is how fights are taken to the ground, where the Ultimate Fighting Championship games' fighting system shows its thoroughly unique nature.
When on the ground, fighters are placed into either the top or bottom position, with the top fighter having the advantage of leverage and thus the ability to put more force behind his punches. Here, fighters can reverse positions, throw punches, or attempt submission maneuvers. When a character is caught in a submission hold, he has a brief instant to attempt to fight out of it. Otherwise, his entire health meter diminishes instantly, and the fight is over. That's how UFC matches are quite different from those found in traditional fighting games--someone can come from behind with a tap-out victory at seemingly any moment. These fighters can compete in single exhibition matches, an arcade mode that challenges you to defeat as many fighters as you can in a single streak, player-made tournaments, and a UFC mode, where the athletes face off to see who will come out on top.
UFC: Throwdown features many of the fighters who have made the Ultimate Fighting Championship the popular spectacle that it is in real life, including cover athlete and light heavyweight champion "Huntington Beach Bad Boy" Tito Ortiz, heavyweight champion Josh Barnett, and "The Iceman" Chuck Lidell. Stalwarts from UFC history are also available, such as Dan "The Beast" Severn, and Mark "The Hammer" Coleman. Also making the cut are notable newcomers to the UFC games, such as B.J. Penn, Dragon Ball Z jujitsu stylist Carlos Newton, "The King of Rock 'n' Rumble" Elvis Sinosic, and "The Phenom" Vitor Belfort. The roster is composed of 28 fighters before the hidden characters are unlocked, and in the end, just about everyone will be able to find a character with a fighting style that suits his tastes.
The graphics in UFC: Throwdown are of relatively high quality. Certain aspects of the game's visual presentation nearly match the quality found in the Xbox and GameCube UFC games. The fighters are generally well animated and show off plenty of fine detail, especially in their faces. The fighters' likenesses are quite a bit more impressive than their body structure, though, which seems a bit more blocky than in the other UFC games. The fighters' arms also appear to hang off their bodies at awkward angles during the ring entrances, and this is likely attributed to the game's use of hand-made animation, as opposed to motion-capture. The entrances do look solid as a whole, thanks to the excellent tale-of-the-tape presentation, the accurate ring introductions performed by Bruce Buffer, and the streaming video audiences that cheer and wave as the fighters make their way to the octagon.
- Player Reviews: 1
- Game Universe:
- Ultimate Fighting Championship (DC, PS, GBC),
- Ultimate Fighting Championship: Tapout (DC, XBOX),
- Ultimate Fighting Championship: Throwdown (PS2, GC),
- UFC Personal Trainer: The Ultimate Fitness System (X360, PS3, WII),
- UFC: Sudden Impact (PS2),
- UFC: Tapout 2 (XBOX),
- UFC: Ultimate Fighting Championship (XONE)
- Offline Modes:
- Number of Players: