[gameinfo title=”Game Info” game_name=”” developers=”Kung Fu Factory” publishers=”505 Games” platforms=”” genres=”” release_date=”September 20, 2011″]
Competition is good because it breeds innovation when an entity has to outdo the competitors. Competition is the reason why we aren’t still playing 8 bit games or using cellphones as big as size 16 shoes. Without competition in specific genres of games we start to see stagnation. Examples include the decline in quality of the Smackdown vs Raw series or Madden. When UFC Undisputed came out, it was the only MMA fighter available this generation. Soon after EA Sports jumped on the bandwagon and released their own MMA game the next year. Now we have 505 Games publishing Kung Fu Factory’s Supremacy MMA. Without the backing of a major MMA league like UFC’s and EA Sports’ outings, can Supremacy actually compete or does it become just a cheap knockoff?
Kung Fu Factory decided to take Supremacy in the opposite direction that THQ and EA went with their respective titles. While they tried to accomplish a more realistic sim version of MMA bouts, Supremacy is an arcade styled fight game that is more akin to the illegal underground fighting that MMA has some roots in. The idea would be a brutal arcade style fighting game that just happened to use MMA techniques. Think Jean Claude Van Damme’s Bloodsport meets the brutality of Fight Club, that game would have been fun. Unfortunately Supremacy didn’t end up being that game. Sure it is still brutal and visceral, but Supremacy loses the fun factor by not being entirely arcadey with clunky sim like controls. There is a lack of fluidity between moves. Mix that with slow animations and a feeling that there is a lack of impact to create a non fun fighting experience.
Not only are you hampered with slow animations and clunky controls, but the fight mechanics make a majority of the moves pointless. The ground and pound game of Supremacy feels quite a bit more impactful, which will leave you trying to take down your opponent as soon as possible and just pounding their face while you block their reversals. This creates a situation where you won’t try to strategize based on what type of fighter you pick. Why try to suffer the stand up game with a kickboxer when it is easier and way more effective to win via the ground game? A lot of games have imbalances that give players a way to cheese the system, but there aren’t many where the imbalance is practically the only way the game is playable.
The single player story portion of the game allows you to choose between 12 fighters, 10 men and 2 women, and experience their story. Unfortunately their stories are downright silly and entirely not true. You get experience for fighting and that levels up your fighter. Level ups unlock gear and whatnot. There is also challenges for each fighter to complete but with the broken fighting system some are damn near impossible or extremely repetitive. Online is a joke unless you love teleporting fighters and latency issues. Nothing beats seeing your opponent across the ring one second and in the next second you are magically mounted on the ground with your face being punched in.
The concrete mats are spotlighted and surrounded with an audience and ring not fully visible fading into the dark. The blood splatters from previous fights stain the mat with you and your opponents adding to the crimson portrait under your feet. Bruises and open cuts develop rapidly on your bodies as the beat down continues. As mentioned before Supremacy is brutality and displaying it in its gory glory with superb graphics is the one thing that Supremacy actually excels at. It would be hard to make the game and its atmosphere much more grittier than it already is.