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     " All it would do is take up valuable space where one of many superior games could have gone. "

      Title: UFC: Throwdown by Crave Entertainment

      Format: Ultimate Fighting for PS2

      Reviewing Monkey: Simi N.

      The Hype: Get into the ring with 25 real ultimate fighters, or create your own fighter and use him to pound your way to the top in career mode. Use combos and special moves in order to advance your way through the standings.

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Graphics: You know what? I am sick and tired of games having huge and obvious clipping errors. Sometimes I think they're not such a big deal, when it doesn't effect the gameplay, but in a fighting game where the only two moving objects on the screen are the fighters you would think that they (programmers) would be able to make it so that when you tackle a guy (and you will, often, but more on that later) you don't end up sitting inside of his legs and crotch. Other than the many obvious clipping errors the game has a decidedly bland presentation. The characters have decent polygon counts and the audience is actually pretty cool looking. The ring, is quite boring (although the lighting effects on the chain link fence is pretty) but you would expect that from this game since all ultimate fighting rings look pretty much the same. 2.5 out of 5.

      Sound: The entire game is composed of hard banging sounds for all of the menu commands and selections. The in game sound effects are really cheesy. I mean like watching Magnum P.I. type cheesy sounds, you know like when the bad guy gets punched in the face it sounds like someone firing a cap-gun rather than a fist impacting human flesh and bone. The roar of the crowd is really probably the best sound in the whole game. Oh and the music is a bunch of generic hard rock that the programmers were smart enough to place in the background so as not to annoy the players too much. 2 out of 5.

      Playability: This is where the game falls hard. First of all the characters don't respond too readily to your commands from the controller giving the game a sluggish feel and making it feel like you don't have enough control over your character. The other huge problem is that all fights will inevitable result in you tackling the other guy and button mashing until he is either knocked out, or taps out. It will always go this way because it is the most efficient way to beat someone up in this game and because it is difficult to unpin yourself so if you don't do it to them, they will do it to you and you'll most likely lose. In fact I can tell you right now how to win almost every match without fail. Get near the opponent, press X and Square at the same time to tackle them, then while you're on top of them, press X and Square at the same time repeatedly to make them tap out (almost never fails). Really the only part of the game where this doesn't work is when you play the challenges for your created player in career mode (in many of these you aren't allowed to win by tap-out). 1.5 out of 5.

      Multiplayer and Replayability: Even more so than the single player modes, multiplayer boils down to tackling and button mashing. The fights last all of twenty to thirty seconds and so far no one has expressed interest in playing after two or three matches. As far as replay value goes, the one thing that this game has going for it is the "create a fighter" system. This really could have used more options to make your fighter look like you want him to, but at least you get to advance his skills and learn new moves on your way to the top. But since all of the matches boil down to button mashing even having different moves don't help. 1.5 out of 5.

      Story/Dramatics: There is no story; you just go around beating the crap out of people until there are no more people to beat the crap out of. 0 out of 0.

      The Verdict:

       This game wouldn't really add anything to anybodies collection. All it would do is take up valuable space where one of many superior games could have gone. The guys at Crave really need to go through this one and try to make it fun (hint: nobody likes button mashing games).

      The Good: Uh, the ability to teach your created character new moves.

      The Bad: Bland presentation, simple graphics, bad control and everything ends up a button mashing crap-fest in the end.

      The Overall Ugly: You don't even need to rent this one. Trust me you could spend the five bucks on much better things. Seriously, add that five dollars to your beer budget and get some decent beer for a change.

      What it's Worth: It's worth waiting to see if they improve the gameplay in the next installment.

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