UFC Tapout 2

UFC Tapout 2

Greg Orlando

In the time it takes to read this sentence, players can complete at least one, and maybe even two, brawls in UFC Tapout 2. Realistic in its portrayal of almost no-holds-barred combat, Tapout manages to perfectly capture this brutal, blood-splattering, bone-breaking bloodsport while simultaneously lessening the amount of fun one can have while playing it.

DreamFactory again drops the feared Octagon cage for the 3D Tapout. It’s solid graphically in that the fighters appear to be lacking the horrid plastic sheen so notable in other games of this ilk; and the fighting delicately mixes kicks, punches, strikes, and on-the-ground tussling in a rather seamless fashion. There’s a good crop of modes to play and a wealth of unlockable fighters to discover, including some famed UFC heroes such as Tank Abbott (albeit under a made-up name). An intriguing Create-a-Fighter mode lets players build a muscled, spandex-clad warrior, give him a fight style, and then pit him against UFC masters in an attempt to build skills.

Ultimately, the game’s strict adherence to realism trips it up. Even the most dedicated and talented player can lose a fight in the split second it takes for the competition to slap on an arm- or leg-lock or choke hold. In a simple exhibition bout, this is of little importance; when trying to win a championship where it’s required to win a series of matches in succession, it’s a stone-carved monument to controller-tossing frustration.

Copyright © 2004 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in Xbox Nation.