[gameinfo title=”Game Info” game_name=”” developers=”Kung Fu Factory” publishers=”345 Games” platforms=”” genres=”” release_date=”July 4, 2012″]
If you played Supremacy MMA, Kung Fu Factory might have made your developer blacklist. Our very own review was damning of the game but do not run away quite yet when we tell you that Kung Fu Factory has released another MMA title. Developed as a downloadable title for major systems and to coincide with the airing of Bellator Fighting Championships on Spike TV, Bellator MMA Onslaught is quite a different beast than Supremacy. While Bellator MMA is no UFC Unleashed, much like Bellator Fighting Championships is no UFC, it is not utter garbage like Supremacy and can be a fun game to play.
In Supremacy, the stand up fighting was possibly the worst fighting in any game…ever. While the ground game was not much better, it was the only way to be effective in a fight and for the game to be playable. Bellator is the complete opposite. Stand up is actually functional but the ground game is pointless and the submission system broken. Luckily for Bellator, stand up is the more exciting part of MMA and the game can at least be fun for some people unlike Supremacy. But enough about Supremacy, it is time to judge Bellator on Bellator.
Stand up works. Combos flow by mixing punches and kicks. Fighters can dodge, block, parry effectively. It is borderline arcade like how smooth it is. Clinching feels good Strikes in the clinch flow like regular stand up and it is easy to try for and block better positions. Takedowns are the same. Easy to do and easy to block and they look like they have impact. Unfortunately things start turning south once on the ground. It is so easy to transition off the ground that there is really no point for it except submissions. Submissions are a button mashing mini-game so the person applying them gets a heads up and can start mashing early before the victim has a chance to react leaving most successful submission defenses to those with lightning fast reaction time and button mashing.
The real trick to winning matches in Bellator comes down to proper management of your fighter’s health and stamina bar. If you swing too much in succession eventually your stamina will bottom out and you can be ko’d with a majority significant hit strikes much like real life. Stamina or health drops? Back up and let it regen a bit before running back in swinging. Low Stamina not only makes you easier to knock out, but easier to takedown and submit too. Despite being a realistic system, it is easy to abuse. Facing a hard fighter? Turtle and hope to get a lucky strike in when they are trying to slaughter you which runs into another issue with Bellator. The AI does not change its strategy based on what you do nearly fast enough. You can sit there and block all day but it won’t clinch you like a real life fighter would until its AI script damn well tells it too.
Bellator brings in eight real life Bellator fighters from two different weight divisions. In a retail game, the small roster would be troublesome but for a downloadable title eight is a reasonable number. There is also a create a fighter option but customization options are extremely limited. CAFs can increase their attributes by gaining experience, leveling up, and then placing points into them. Experience is gained from any match against an AI opponent locally, human’s online, and tutorial like training challenges.
Besides run of the mill exhibition matches, locally and online, there is a tournament mode that looks to be the only career mode in the game. Your fighter will face off against 7 or so fighters to win the Bellator Championship. It is very reminiscent of arcade fighters and less so of recent MMA offerings. It honestly leaves you no real way to level up your CAF outside of grinding AI matches or hopping online and getting no where near the same amount of experience.
Supremacy was horrible because it was unplayable. Bellator is playable but has no real content to keep players playing. Maybe third time will be the charm for Kung Fu Factory and they will mix Supremacy’s content with Bellator’s combat system and we will get a game that rates above a 5.