Being new to THQ’s series, and mixed martial arts in general, at first I felt pretty overwhelmed by UFC Undisputed 3 on PlayStation 3. This is an expansive game that could have taken some getting used to if you’re not familiar with the previous editions. But luckily, it’s ideal for newcomers as well as serious MMA buffs. As a realistic, bloody fighting game, it’s also an engrossing way to work out a lot of frustrations. The hand-to-hand combat is viciously displayed, with blood splattered canvases. There are dozens of playable real-life MMA fighters, past and present. In addition to Ultimate Fighting Championship, you can also play in the Pride Mode, which replicates the no longer existing Pride Fighting Championship.
Players get the choice right off the bat between the Pro or Amateur setting for the controls. It should be obvious that Amateur is geared for either the new player or someone who just wants a simpler experience. It’s a welcome option, as a new player can always reset to Pro once comfortable and experienced in the easier setting. Of the several modes in the main menu, Exhibition is the quickest way to get right the action. You chose your fighter (playing either against the computer or another player), the venue, and the referee. Exhibition mode offers the choice of either UFC or PRIDE. These exhibition bouts are a fun way to mix and match players. There are automated tips (which can be shut off) that pop up while the action is paused, help the new player understand how to execute maneuvers.
If you need to get up to speed in order to turn off the tips, the Tutorial mode is a great place to spend some time. The guided tutorial walks players through 17 beginner moves and 15 experienced ones, which unlocks 25 advanced moves and 5 expert. Even experienced players may find a few new tricks in this extensive mode. Also helpful for beginners is a glossary that defines unfamiliar terminology.