Without discussing the politics of the game romanticizing the true "no holds barred" aspect of MMA, this week the makers of Supremacy MMA released the demo on the Playstation Network. I, like most Americans, grew up in the video game age where I'd spend countless hours in front of a television trying to beat Metroid (I did) and trying to knock out Mike Tyson in Punch Out! (I didn't). With a bit of video game knowledge as well and some extended family that have worked on some pretty major titles in the director and producer roles, I feel confident in my knowledge of gaming and what constitutes a good and bad video game. I saw on a buddy's Facebook wall that he downloaded the demo and wasn't impressed. His exact words were "Don't bother, I played it for 5 minutes and deleted it." I downloaded it anyway.
Like all demos the game play is severely limited. Supremacy MMA gives a choice of a Judoka or a Savate fighter (Savatist? Savatoka?) to test the system. Once you make your selection a short film starts explaining the back story for only one of the fighters (the judoka). Think Twisted Metal. The fact that the demo is so limited that it only shows this single backstory to me shows laziness. The game is done (I know people who have received the full version) so it's not a case of needing to finish certain parts.
While on the load screen, you get a reminder of the controls for stand up and ground attacks. This directly relates to overall gameplay. For me, this game is just a button masher. Sure, you can utilize block and parry but those require the player to time their opponent's attacks. You can button mash and still find success with putting together combinations. There game lacks a true submission system. You can apply the holds but they only damage your opponent. I secured a rear naked choke and there was a crack and it just flashed "DAMAGED" which means I guess I broke my opponent's neck? Your opponent will only tap out once their life bar has decreased to zero.
The graphics are solid with a bit of a cartoon feel. The issue of a "glaze" is still there with most of the fighters looking incredibly shiny. The physics of the game are accurate with the overall damage accumulating over the course of the fight. As it is only a demo I can't comment on if this damage carries over as the game progresses.
There is also a tutorial mode in the demo version. It doesn't really teach much besides how to block so in my opinion, it's not very useful. The grappling is a key part of the tutorial with teaching how to regain advantageous positions. The issue though is that it doesn't matter if you're using the judoka or the savate fighter, both are able to get back to the feet with ease and this takes away from the challenge of the game.
Honestly, this isn't a game that I can see myself playing. In fact, I am of the same opinion as my friend that advised me to not download it. I had higher hopes for this games entertainment factor and the demo did not deliver. There are some high lights such as doing a double flying foot stop and winning by a soto-gari knockout but overall this game is the third tier of MMA games out today. With UFC Undisputed 3 coming out soon as well, I don't see much of a market for the Supremacy MMA game. Especially with a normal release price point of $60+. The additions of Jens Pulver and Felice Herrig aren't enough of a factor to convince me to pick this game up. When it hits the shelves for at "used" pricing around $20, I may change my mind.