Social and casual games developer Digital Chocolate has just launched their newest app for the Facebook platform, MMA Pro Fighter. With virtual currency powered through Offerpal Media, the title has players fighting each other as they vie for the championship of this mixed martial arts role playing game.
As with any RPG, players start by selecting what “class” they want to be. In most cases this consists of three choices that often equate to earning more money, stamina, or health. Pro Fighter, however, gives six choices: Three fighting styles and three grappling styles which are kickboxing, muay thai, and boxing, and judo, brazilian ji-jitsu, and wrestling. Players may select one of each, immediately adding a level of personalization to their character.
Along with fighting style, players are also able to customize their fighter’s look with other, with purchasable items becoming available in the shop after character creation. However, one has to wonder just how much customization can ever be done when all they wear is a pair of boxing shorts.
The rest of the game should be fairly familiar to most RPG players. The goal is to fight and raise your rank, and that’s just what you do: Fight other players. In each fight, the game pits up against another player avatar of your choosing and proceeds through an automated sequence of narration (that can be skipped) describing the fight. What is interesting, is that players have two stats to watch in each bought – health and cardio.
While health is self-explanatory, if your cardio drops (which it does for every action), your character starts becoming tired, leading to more mistakes or missed attacks. Suffice to say, this is an important stat to raise. Of course, doing so isn’t too hard, as player’s will be more than familiar with the method — doing missions, or quests, or training, or whatever you call it in your RPG of preference.
This is probably the most standard part of Pro Fighter. Players do training, master a “mission” and buy additional equipment. In turn, they gain experience and cash. As they do so, their stamina drains and they must wait for it to recharge.
Interestingly enough, players can actually buy items to actively recharge said stamina or to use during fights. Unfortunately, money does get a bit tight at times. More than items and the aforementioned equipment, players must also buy and master new techniques for their chosen fighting styles; something that gets very costly, very quick. Granted, players can earn more cash by mastering training sessions, fighting, or even completing challenges (achievements), but this gradually becomes rather slow.
This is where Offerpal comes into play – in order to earn a little extra coin. With the virtual currency Pro Points (which can be converted to cash, stamina, health, etc.), players are welcome to take part in offers or make direct purchases using methods such as mobile billing or prepaid cards. Moreover, the standard computer character that gives you stuff for your Pro Points (i.e. the don or the godfather in mafia RPGs) is… well, also likely intended for a male audience: ring girls.
Frankly, MMA Pro Fighter is a pretty solid RPG. It has enough similarity to standard mafia-style games to not scare people off, but enough differences to make it unique and interesting. To be honest, the only real burning question is whether or not a mixed martial arts title will appeal to the social networking crowd. In the past, we have seen many a sports title not do as well as it should based on quality alone. However, Pro Fighter is not as major a sport as something like NFL Football, and it doesn’t involve a team, only a single fighter, thus making it more personalized. Nonetheless, it is difficult to say whether this will make a difference or not.