MMA by EA Sports [rating: 4.5/5]
My history of fighting games has been of the fantasy fighting type, from Tekken and Battle of Toshinden to Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter. The fantasy aspect of these games allows fighters to defy the laws of gravity and perform acts unknown to man and these features always made these games much more enjoyable for me. I’ve tried Mike Tyson’s Punch Out and Frank Bruno’s Boxing but neither appealed.
Now though boxing has been replaced by Mixed Martial Arts as the top fighting genre and so perhaps now is the time that a fighting game based on reality can actually compete with the fantasy titles of the genre.
The main part of MMA by EA Sports is the career mode where you can build your fighter as you see fit, from name, looks and hair to tattoos and skin tone you can either build a fighter in your own image or how you would like your image to be!
While it’s fun to make you fighter look like you getting on and fighting is what we’re here for. There are three modes of game-play, Exhibition gives you instant gratification as you are thrown straight into a battle while, challenge mode, as the name suggests, sets you a specific challenge which you must complete to unlock the profile of one of the MMA’s real life fighters.
The main fun in the game however is the Career mode, here you get to test your fighter against the best real MMA fighters in the world. As well as designing the look of you fighter he will have a set of stats that you can build to strengthen your fighters abilities. Health, stamina, speed, striking, grappling, submission and take-downs can all be updated independently so you can focus on a specific attribute dependent on your fighting style.
Fighting style is important as when building your fighter you have to choose its style, choosing the appropriate style will give an additional boost to the relevant abilities. These abilities can be built upon by training your fighter in one of four training ‘mini games’. Any one of Spar, Speed Bag, Heavy Bag and Lift Weights can be played between fights and depending on your success can add up to five points to your abilities. The games use a combination of speed, timing and accuracy using the touch screen, gestures and the accelerometer to succeed and they all add a nice additional challenge to the game. It would be nice of these games if these could be played separately too as both practice and to track high scores.
One you’ve completed your initial training you can take on your first opponent. You start ranked at 10th and your aim is to reach number one and the only way to do this is to beat the nine fighters above you.
Initially despite the brief hand on tutorial I found that I was unable to defeat even the first fighter. However, as soon as I realized that you had to weaken your opponent before you could use any of your submission moves, I made much better progress.
All the controls are gesture based which have been expertly implemented. Previous fighting games I’ve played have all been based on a d-pad and a variety of action buttons, however these gesture based controls where swiping and tapping the screen in various combinations result a range of punches, grabs and throws works very intuitively.
As we have come to expect with most EA games these days the graphics are second to none. The fighters look just like their real life counterparts right down to their tattooed bodies and the rings look like you are standing in one waiting to get your head knocked off of your neck.
Commentary is provided in the game but like most games much of it gets repeated which can get a little annoying at times. Hearing the rousing tones of Jimmy Lennon Jnr introduces the fighters is always welcome though. The range of intro music for your fighter is good though, although having the ability to pick the intro from a song in your iPhone’s library would have been a nice touch.
Career Mode in MMA by EA Sports is a little short and once you’ve built your fighter up and have learnt the basics you can move through the game relatively quickly. However the addition of the Challenge mode does add extra value for money. It would have been great to see a multi-player option so that you could battle it out with your friends but that is not to be.
Overall MMA by EA Sports is a great addition to the iPhones arsenal of fighting games. It’s certainly converted this fighter to the bone breaking, stomach churning, bare knuckle rawness that is Mixed Martial Arts fighting.
MMA beats all fighting games, hands down!
- Intuitive and creative control system
- Different fighting styles
- Looks great
- Fun Challenge Mode
- Short career mode
- Repetitive commentary
- No way to take on your friends
$4.99 (View in iTunes)
Released:Oct 20, 2010
Languages:English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish
© 2010 Electronic Arts Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Rated 12+ for the following:
Infrequent/Mild Sexual Content or Nudity
Frequent/Intense Realistic Violence
Requirements:Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later