The Demoman: World of Mixed Martial Arts 2

[Christopher Livingston is a freelance writer with plenty of time for games but not enough money to buy them. Thus was born The Demoman; a shadowy yet helpful figure dedicated not to helping you decide which expensive games to buy, but which free game demos to play.]

I enjoy some elements of mixed martial arts, like the kind you see on Ultimate Fighting Champion: the punching, the kicking, and the throwing of knees and elbows. Where it sort of loses me is when the matches inevitably wind up with both guys on the ground, legs wrapped around each other's waists, crotches pressed tightly together. I guess I can see that part of it being appealing to a certain demographic, but that's when I tend to tune out.

If you decide to play the World of Mixed Martial Arts 2 demo, you won't personally be ramming your fist into your opponents face or your groin into your opponents groin: WMMA2 is a management sim. You'll be in the office, reading e-mails, sending e-mails, responding to e-mails, and waiting for e-mails. If that doesn't sound particularly engaging, read on: I was surprised at how much I actually enjoyed it.

Her nickname is "Bam Bam," but I wouldn't risk asking her why.

As I begin the demo, I decide to take a job as President of the Women's Extreme Fighting Federation, based in Quebec, Canada. Since this demo only allows for a month of in-game playing time, I figure dealing with the vastly smaller number of female fighters will be easier; plus, if I'm going to be in charge of people rolling around on the ground together, bathed in sweat, it might as well be women.

I quickly schedule my first event, which I title "Chicks Beating On Each Other." Okay, I know it's not as catchy as "Rumble in the Jungle", but I believe in truth in advertising. Looking through my roster, I try to come up with some interesting themes for the fights. I decide the first match will have a biblical hook, so I pit Kerry "Too Hot For Hell" Silverman against Laura "The Pissed Off Angel" Adair. For my second match, I go with an animalistic theme: Henrietta "Hell Cat" Stein versus "The Arizona Animal" Sarah Vaughan.

When firing a woman who can punch through a concrete wall, e-mail is the best option.

For my headliner, I pick a fighter named "Silent But Deadly" Haley Croft and match her with "Colorado Rapid" Emma Birch. I realize "Colorado Rapid" isn't currently a sanctioned term for flatulence, but it's the best I could do and I think it's got potential -- I'll leave the particulars as an exercise for the reader.

I try to arrange some Pay-Per-view coverage in the weeks leading up to the event, which entails e-mailing various providers and waiting for their responses. The e-mails come in a few days later, but everyone I've contacted passes on account of my company not being "popular enough." Huh. If attractive women with fart-related nicknames kicking each other in the head isn't popular, then I'm severely out of touch.

Finally, the day of the match arrives, and the game switches from a largely e-mail-oriented affair to a blow-by-blow description of the fights. There's no video, sound, or even art to accompany the fight, just text updates, which is a bit of a disappointment because I was looking forward to at least seeing some still shots of my female fighters kneeing each other in the face. Alas. In short, Angel beats Devil, The Animal tames the Cat, and, perhaps predictably, the classic Silent But Deadly triumphs over the untested Colorado Rapid.

Listening to Chicks Beating On Each Other isn't quite as satisfying
as watching Chicks Beating On Each Other.

As President, I strictly adhere to the Cobra Kai management style: no mercy. The WEFF does not tolerate weakness, so I immediately e-mail the loser of each fight to let them know their contracts have been terminated. With half my roster either recuperating or collecting unemployment, I go scouting for more talent for my next event, peppering available candidates with e-mailed contract offers. I kick out the stops for my show, called "Women's Weekend Whale-A-Thon": an eight-woman tournament in which I legalize elbow strikes to the head and allow fighters to stomp on downed opponents. Pay-Per-View is gonna regret not picking up this brutal, bloody fracas, which includes such nickname match-ups as "The Japanese Buzzsaw" versus "The Maryland Mauler" and my personal favorite, Tammy "Bam Bam" Westenra versus Temperance "Bang Bang" McCoy. The Bam versus the Bang! Now, that's catchy. For those of you scoring at home, "Bang Bang" not only wins that match but her next two, taking home the trophy.

For the best match-ups, compare stats, records, and fighting styles. Or, stick to nicknames and relative hotness.

With that, my free month of play is up, and I'm a little surprised to find how bummed I am that it's over. I really got into seeing how far I could take my league of women wrasslers and nickname-themed brawls. I won't be buying the full game, not at the price tag of $35, but for a demo that doesn't show you a single punch, I still managed to get a kick out of it.

Download the World of Mixed Martial Arts 2 demo.