Arcade Game Review: Bellator MMA Onslaught for XBLA & PSN -
The sport of Mixed Martial Arts has sky rocketed in popularity just within the last 5 years. With that comes many video game adaptations of these bruised brawls. Bellator MMA Onslaught is the newest game to feature MMA brawls. Onslaught is a poor man’s UFC Undisputed or EA MMA on Xbox Arcade and PSN for only $14.99. Being that this is an Xbox Arcade game, one cannot go into the game with retail expectations. Even low expectations may even disappoint some people as this game is a hard sell.
The objective of the game is to win the match through either K.O., submission or by Judges. The gameplay mechanics are fairly sold and responsive. Onslaught is easy to pick up and play but can be very technical when getting into the more advanced submissions counters. There are two bars at the top of the screen while in a fight. You have a health bar and a stamina bar. As one would assume, when you perform actions such as striking or grappling you use stamina. In order to knock your opponent out you must deplete their health bar. By pressing the X, Y, B, or A buttons you perform a striking move. X and Y are punches while B and A are kicks. If you use too much stamina your bar will display a danger sign and then show a red aura around your character. If you are hit by a power attack while in this state you will be knocked out in one shot. If your opponent is beating you to a pulp but over extends themselves you can turn the tide of the battle with one hit.
One of the other ways to win a match is through submissions. With this, your goal is to get your opponent on the ground and try to put them in a submission move. When you activate your submission, you have to mash the X, B, A and Y buttons in order to fill a bar. If you are the attacker and you fill your bar, the match is over and you win. Vice versa, if you are the defender and you fill your bar then you escape the hold and can possibly gain an advantage or completely counter the submission. I found this mechanic to be a lot more interesting then the striking style of play. With this, you can end the match very quickly with the snap of a finger or arm, leg, wrist, you get the picture.
That about wraps up the good things of this game. Unfortunately there is not a whole lot to Onslaught that is worth coming back to. There is a very unimaginative create a character system. You can customize your character’s appearance move set and specialties. Once this is done there are only two modes in which to try out your custom brawler. There is a single match or a tournament mode, in which if you lose you have to start the whole thing over. There are no rematches or anything in the tournament mode and that turned me off very quickly. I would get very far and then loss a match because of a small mistake. In order to get back to there, I have to drudge through all the low level fights again. Once you get tired of that there is not much else other then online mode. The game is fairly responsive online as well, which is a good thing for those heated ground matched. That is if you can get past the ridiculously long loading screens. The strange part is that there doesn’t even appear to be anything too taxing that I should have to wait this long for the game to load up a match.
The graphics of the game are not terrible they live up to XBLA standards. I did not expect this game to look anywhere near as good as full retail games. There are some strange blood animations that really confuse me. Like you will notice blood on your characters knee but there was never any contact to that part of the body. The created character is not that interesting but it does give you a lot of tattoos to choose from. Then sometimes you will kick your opponent in the gut an blood will spew on to the floor.
All in all, Bellator MMA Onslaught is not a terrible game once you’re in a match. Everything else is a little lackluster. The game basically consistent of a menu and then matches. There is nothing that makes the game worth coming back too. The custom character system is fun and gives you a lot of options but there is little motivation to really raise your characters level. The tournament mode is fun but there are no rematches, so you have to restart the whole thing from the beginning if you lose once. The graphics are nothing to write home about but this is to be expected of a XBLA game. I liked the fighting mechanics and found them to be solid and responsive which is really the main part of the game. With the limited number of modes will make you lose interest quickly and replay value is very low.
Post by Chris Robus