I disagree with Mike on his assessment of UFC Tapout's fighting engine. True, the standing game is not full of dazzling combos, but this is the point, to make a skill out of prediction. Its almost an art to watch for openings in your opponents attacks, and suddenly grab a limb out of the air to slam their body into the ground. UFC depends on quick reflexes and timing, a welcome change from memorization exercises like Tekken. Yet I still am disappointed by UFC Tapout, because for an owner of the Dreamcast version there is literally no reason to touch this game.

That great core of gameplay still remains intact, but so do the few problems that kept UFC from becoming a full classic. The camera remains the nagging flaw in-game, panning around to block your view of the action and disrupt the intricate timing far too often. There has been no substantial change to the number of holds or moves, and even the expected Xbox graphical boost is barely noticeable. Though some of the character models look a bit better, this is negated by the flood of jaggies and clipping quirks. Oh yeah, and the color of the mat has been changed from light blue to gray.

Any other changes? Theres a slightly updated roster, but since these no-names are painfully uninteresting the few new characters dont matter too much to me. Of the few "big names," they still dont have Royce Gracie, the guy who dominated the first few UFC tournaments and brought the league its first taste of fame. No noteworthy play-extending options have been added, and theyve even cut the training mode!

UFC Tapout is still a solid game in its own right, but this is EXACTLY the same game that was released two years ago on the Dreamcast, sans the training mode and any extras worth mentioning. Perhaps the intention all along was to merely port the Dreamcast UFC, but even going by that lax standard this is a sloppy, messy port. Other recent fighting ports arent nearly as unforgivable; at least Super Smash Brothers Melee added a ton of extra modes and options along with the same-old fighting engine. I have to ask, what the hell has Dream Factory been doing for the past year or so? Because they sure havent been spending much time on this. There is absolutely no excuse for featuring zero new modes and then cutting the one that is irreplaceable. After the mess that was The Bouncer, and now this bumbling UFC iteration, its time somebody gives Dream Factory a wake-up call. Rating: 5 out of 10.

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