Today I had the opportunity to play a game that wasn't on my RADAR (not even a little bit) and not a game I would normally buy. But I played the game with a friend and dare I say we had a jolly good time. The game was EA Sports UFC.

Powered by EA SPORTS IGNITE technology, EA SPORTS UFC brings the action, emotion and intensity inside the Octagon to life in ways that were never before possible. The next-generation of True Player Motion not only showcases the diverse, powerful and fluid of attacks of elite mixed martial artists through Precision Movement, Dynamic Striking and Strategic Submission Battles, but also brings the combatants to life with a Full Body Deformer and Real-Time Exertion. The simulation of Human Intelligence takes leaps forward with the strategic and adaptive MMAi system and is expressed through the most realistic characters ever created in a sports game.

I'm a fan of UFC (and other MMA leagues like Bellator) but not really a hardcore fan. I don't know all the moves and submissions but I do know what a Kimura and a rear naked choke are. And I don't know all of the fighters but I did see Anderson Silva break his leg in the fight with Chris Weidman. So, not an expert but definitely a fan of the sport.

What did I think of the game?

The game is brilliant and recreates the UFC experience as much a video game could. The fighters are wonderfully modelled and eerily lifelike. You can almost feel the sweat on your brow and taste of blood in your mouth. As I played the game I could literally feel my heart race and body temperature increase. I was pumped up and on the edge of my seat while challenging my friend. It's amazing how big the fighter roster is. It had every fighter I've ever heard of and then some. It even includes the women UFC fighters like the very impressive (and undefeated) Ronda Rousey, who sports a record of 9 wins, 0 losses - 8 submissions (arm bar) and 1 knockout.

The game is a lot more complex than I expected it to be. There are plenty of controls to remember and simple button mashing is not going to get the job done. In addition to all of the kicks and punches you can throw, you also have to worry about your ground game...and blocking. Don't forget about blocking...or you'll end up on your back, looking at the bright lights and wondering where you are...and why your face hurts so bad. My first thought was the controls were too much, but the more I thought about it, I realized it's almost a necessary evil. Once you learn the controls it will actually offer a lot more control over your character, which I suppose will make the game better.

The game was featured at E3 and got a lot of people talking about the Bruce Lee downloadable content. Unfortunately we didn't have that, so we weren't able to experience it. But from what I've seen and read, it's a pretty neat moment - playing as the legendary Bruce Lee.

The experience was a ton of fun even though I wonder if it was just because I was playing it with someone I knew (and despite losing my first three matches...badly). I don't know if I'd play it by myself, but if I did I don't think it would compare to playing it with someone I knew.

(My first 3 games didn't go so well.)

In the end, the game was a blast, especially if you're a fan of UFC. I still don't know that I'll buy the game for myself, but I can't wait for the next opportunity to play it again.

Have a great weekend.