I’ve been watching UFC like crazy lately, so it will come to no surprise that as soon as I’d heard that there was a UFC mobile game, I got it straight away. “Looks good”, I thought, scrolling through the images that were on the splash page, “looks like it has enough detail but not too much that the game will burn my hand”…and then the bad thing happened. I noticed it was free. Yeah, that’s all well and good, but I know what EA are like. Nothing, absolutely NOTHING they do is free. Yeah, EA Access is awesome and cheap, but I’m still wary of a company that always has launch issues and server issues more common than Kimye being on MTV.
This doesn’t mean I didn’t download it, however, I was just more than aware that there will be a catch. I found that out after just 2 or 3 games. The game starts you as Alexander Gustafsson, who is well known for his absolute war, which he eventually lost by Decision, with Jon ‘Bones’ Jones. You go through each fight and every 6 to 10 fights, you get a box with a pack inside… these packs can give you extra fighters, although 40 fights and numerous packs, I only have 2 additional fighters. THIS is where I really found out what this issue was. I looked at what fighters they had in the game, which took me to the store. £30 they wanted, for one fighter. What an absolutely disgusting price, that surely no sane person would pay. My guess is they just hope that kids who have the app that are on mummy or dady’s credit cards will do it. No normal person would pay that price, I just don’t understand how they can actually live with putting that in as a fee. They cover it up by saying 3,500 gold, but the ONLY way to get gold, is by paying for it, in a ridiculous conversion fashion. The disgusting thing is that they realise who the stars are – you can by relatively unknown/obscure fighters for £3, it’ll leave you with 150 more gold than you need, but you have to buy 2 x 200 gold at £1.50 each, when the cheapest is 250 gold. They know that they’re doing – money grabbing bastards. Rory MacDonald, challenging for the title in July, comes in at a relatively modest £12.50.
The actual fights are cool, I love the way you work through each opponent to unlock the next stage and get to the bigger fights, and I love that you really need to upgrade your fighter to stand a chance. You sometimes will fail the level, but it doesn’t matter, you needed to learn to upgrade your fighter to be able to get there. It’s fairly straight forward – Submissions are a lot LOT easier, which I love; I love submissions but I think the console game really over-complicates them. You strike your opponent, as expected, to earn the special moves that you have trained up, these are then tapped to cause a substantially larger amount of damage to your opponent – with the aim to win with as much health left over as possible, as this will get you more stars and, therefore, more coins. Coins get you the training packs which keeps the cycle going, as you train up your fighter’s abilities so you can beat the higher levels.
Another thing to consider, though, is that this is yet another app that requires connection to the internet! I don’t even understand why or how this is needed. It means I can’t play during my peak hours on my phone – which is travelling to and from work. It also means I don’t want to play it too much away from home due to data… I don’t want to pay O2 more than I already do. I think the sole reason this requires internet is so that you can connect to the store. Who would put it past EA to do such a shitty thing? The career mode doesn’t really require it at all, so I can’t help but think it must be this and to perhaps save… but they could have easily put in a manual save… I don’t understand you, EA, I don’t understand you!
So I’ve given this a high rating. I think it’s down to how much I like UFC more than this app, but I’m human, bias is in my nature – however, the faults of the app aren’t necessarily the game itself, more EA for being greedy as usual. The good points however, are down to the game. Although it’s not brilliant gameplay, it’s just good.