As one of the light contenders in the UFC gaming arena, Supremacy MMA tries to makes its console debut by thrusting players into a different level of fighting action, hoping to capture a growing portion of martial arts mainstream with its gritty underground theatrics and blood-sport style adaptation. Thanks to good animation and clever camera angles, the game started very well on its first run, providing players with devastating hit for every load their fighter shells out. Though the game does not have licensed UFC fighters, it does not mean you are left with a sour roster of amateurs. The game boasts a few very distinguished personalities, and one of them former is UFC champ Jens Pulver who graces the cover. K-1 legend Jerome Le Banner and Muay Thai great Malaipet also make their professional appearances.

Supremacy MMA is all about pure fighting action and unlike THQ’s UFC Undisputed, your fighter never gets tired as the majority of the gameplay is based on an arcade style of combat. Most of your attacks are geared toward mashing the buttons and cheap submissions; so don’t worry about fancy techniques, and just let your barbaric instinct take over the match. Performing basic combos are usually enough to earn you a unanimous decision. However, if you want to unlock bonus items like new outfits and personal emblems faster, you would want to elevate your skills. By exploiting a more sophisticated combo, you get additional XP points at the end of the match. The more XP you earn, the quicker it is to unlock those special items. Playing with different combos is fun! It gives gamers a broader range of striking principles.

Though the game prides itself on fast-action sequences, we have staggered through rounds, facing a series of delays between some of the most elaborate combos. It would take a couple of rapid taps before a connecting move register the hit! The delay is even more persistent when countering an opponent. The parry system is so off balance that it can be debilitating not getting your key moves to work; as a result, you lose grudgingly the match because of a minor hiccup on gameplay. Still, the controls are relatively responsive for the most part. We did not have too much conflict with the ground combat. The ground transition is easy to do whether it is a north-south position, a half-guard, a side-control, or a full mount. Just a few flicks away, you could be saddling up on your opponent for the worst beat-down of his life!

Doing submissions is one of the game’s great assets. You could be snapping the heck out of his ligaments from an array of agonizing submissions like an armbar, a kimora or the ever-popular guillotine. It’s just a matter of who can tap the button the fastest that either breaks your opponent’s body parts or he breaks away! Besides having a fairly decent response time, another aspect we like about the controls are how they are so accessible to fighting fans. Grapples can be performed by tapping just a single button. Blocking can be as easy at tiling the left stick up or down. Still, it does not take away the frustration you sometimes get from a difficult parrying; but when you get in control of the fight, finishing your opponent with a knock down is such as a satisfying experience that you forget about the lingering setbacks with the gameplay. The game feeds you plenty of painful carnage to keep you on your toes!

Graphically, the game is quite believable. The various backdrops help keep the fight scenes alive. There is good effort in designing the fighters to make them look not just brilliantly athletic but also incredibly intimidating. The game has added a good amount of physical “decay” over the course of the match. You’ll notice fighters having cut lips, bloody foreheads, swollen rib cage, and big bruises after heavy pounding. The dramatic deterioration on their physique gives gamers some sense of conviction that they really messed up their opponent. With respect to animation, the game does a nice job of pulling off believable martial arts techniques unique to each fighting style, which include karate, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, wrestling, judo, and kickboxing to name a few. Combined with a respectable audio, each strike feels brutally engaging; however, the music is somewhat lacking.

Besides the usual “quick play”, Supremacy MMA features other interesting components. The game comes with Supremacy Stories, a story mode that revolves around each character leading to their involvement in the unsanctioned fighting scene; a tournament mode that provides either an eight-man elimination match or a Mortal Kombat style ladder; and a Femmes Fatales mode that highlights the first professional female MMA fighters in a video game. To say that Supremacy MMA is a decent game would be an under-statement. The game commits to being an arcade brawler and it carries that material very well. In order for it to realize its true potential, both the combo and counter systems need polishing to be effective. Despite the lack of licensed fighters, the game still delivers a gritty presentation of what is expected of MMA. It takes caged fighting into a more vicious height.