Supremacy MMA Updated Hands-On

We get our hands on the latest preview build and see just how much damage we can give and take.

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Kung-Fu Factory's upcoming brawler, Supremacy MMA, shouldn't be viewed as an alternative to what THQ and EA have offered in the past. Rather than trying to go the simulation route that we have seen with other mixed martial arts games, this one looks like it wants to be viewed more as a fighter akin to Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat. After spending some time with the game, that feeling is very clear.

In our most recent hands-on with the game, we had the opportunity to see two of the game's characters and their respective fighting styles. Before the fight, a minute-long cutscene teased the background of one of the characters and how he came to be a fighter. This snippet gave off a vibe seen more in traditional arcade fighters, not simulation-centric ones.

Once the opportunity to fight takes place, you can see that the focus is entirely on delivering vicious combat that can be quite unforgiving at times. The two fighters, one disciplined in savate and the other in judo, felt and played very differently. While the savate fighter was extremely fast and delivered strong kicks, the character who was disciplined in judo was much better at grappling and dominated the ground game. The varying fighting styles should entice you to stick to a character whose techniques are more suitable to your own preferences.

Picking up the controls is surprisingly easy except when it comes to blocking. When standing, it's difficult to determine what's required to block properly. Then, when you're taken down and have to protect yourself from vicious blows, it seems that only pressing random buttons saves you from being knocked out.

Visually, it is clear as day where the developers are trying to direct this game. The hits are extremely violent and unforgiving. Characters progressively show their scars depending on where they are hit. If your opponent is focusing on the body, your character's obliques will be bruised and swollen after a short amount of time.

While the bruises can be unsettling, the career knockouts (CKOs) are absolutely cringe-worthy. If you manage to pull off one of the many promised finishing moves, your opponent will probably never be able to function in normal society again. In one particular unsettling situation, the fighter was dropped on his neck, and the crunching feeling I got in my stomach made me glad that I hadn't eaten lunch yet. It felt real, and I was surprised at what was shown. For those who might be a bit squeamish at the sight of agonizing situations, you might not enjoy this aspect of the game.

Our time with MMA Supremacy was very brief; we didn't get a chance to see more of the teased storyline or any of the other game modes promised. For those wanting something more violent rather than technical, Supremacy MMA might be what you need when it launches on the PS3 and Xbox 360 at the end of September.

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