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Subject: Nice Theme and components-Gameplay is glorified dicefest rss

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Paul McKenzie
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I'm a big MMA fan, and will probably also both buy and review Knockouts and Tapouts sometime soon.

My attention was drawn to this game and the selling site via Sherdog, and I was additionally attracted by the "home-brew" nature of this self-published game.

The components are very attractive, including four well-cast fighter models, some attractive dice (both six-sided and one custom thirty-sided dice) and a very nicely done (and attractive) Octogan-themed game board.

The theme is well done as well, covering just about every move you can imagine from your average MMA match. It was fun to play with other MMA fans and trash talk and act out the moves.

Where the game needs improvement is the actual gameplay. The game mechanics involve moving your figure around one pre-determined direction (clockwise or counterclockwise) as per the dice rolls. The move is then marked on a card, and when all the moves are marked off, the fighter wins the round, and is therefore a resource-gathering game. There are also points where you can roll the fight dice to either change the fight from standing to the ground (most likely) or sometimes a submission or knockout (less likely, 1/30 chance of either) which ends the fight instantly.

The gameplay thus devolves to roll dice, move fighter, mark scoresheet, rinse and repeat ad nauseum. There are no real decisions to be made by the player to improve a fighter's chance of victory, as the mechanic is purely based on the die rolls. There is no sense of the intricate strategy that can go on in a MMA match, no real way for a fighter to influence the chance-based outcome, and therefore no real strategic or tactical gameplay for the average geek. As a descriptive simulation of a typical MMA match, it's not bad, but there is no real decision-making such as found in Avalon Hills original Title Bout boxing simulation game, which, while based on chance, allowed a player to choose a round-based strategy to influence the outcome. Moreover, Title Bout had a great database of boxers that truly distinguished one fighter from another, whereas in Extreme Fight any fighter has exactly the same dice-based chance to win or lose.

There are no attributes in this game, no sense that one fighter has strengths and weaknesses or is better at some things than others, and these different attributes are what excites most simulation fans. No one buys a football game to play two generic teams: they want to pit their favorites. Same with boxing. No one buys a boxing simulation to make a generic match: fans want to pit Ali v. Tyson, and so on.

It's an attractive game, particularly for a self-published author, and I'm happy to have supported such efforts by buying the game, but the gameplay lacks most of the elements that would have made it the Title Bout of MMA. Recommended for fans of the theme and for the attractiveness of the game parts, but strategic/tactical gameplay is absent, and at its heart the game mechanic is a dice-fest.

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Yoki Erdtman
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Nice review. You mention Knockouts and Tapouts: The Mixed Martial Arts Card Game, but have you tried the Ultimate Fighting Game?
 
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Nello Cozzolino
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.....Just watched the youtube video -> It looks great ,possibly not for a strategy gamer,but it will sell well -> nice components.
 
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Yoki Erdtman
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nello wrote:
.....Just watched the youtube video -> It looks great ,possibly not for a strategy gamer,but it will sell well -> nice components.
The video made me sigh deeply when the designer states that "most board games have a roll again space, so I decided to throw one in here as well." Ugh...
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Paul McKenzie
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Yoki:

Thanks for the heads up about the UFC game; I'll follow up and probably review the game in a few weeks.

Happy Holidays!

 
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Yoki Erdtman
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civet5285 wrote:
Thanks for the heads up about the UFC game; I'll follow up and probably review the game in a few weeks.
Great, I'm looking forward to your review. Have you seen Ultra Fight, it looks like another recent MMA game.
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