Bruce Lee arrives in the UFC

UFC fans will finally have the chance to see Bruce Lee in the Octogan following the upcoming release of EA Sports UFC on the PlayStation 4 this month. Joining a roster of almost 100 real-life UFC fighters, the most famous mixed martial artist of all time will now be able to transfer his iconic talents into a sport he would have undoubtedly excelled in. Anyone who has seen footage of Bruce Lee will be well aware of just what a talented martial artist he was, and now EA Sports have given you the chance to test his skills against the likes of Jose Aldo, Johny Hendricks, Anthony Pettis, Uriah Faber and a host of other current UFC stars.

EA Sports UFC will be the first Ultimate Fighting Champion game release since UFC Undisputed 3 in 2011, and the game is the first game under the Electronic Arts banner. With mixed martial arts as popular as it’s ever been, fans have been eagerly-awaiting the unveiling of this new game since the start of the year – and those fans won’t be disappointed by this fantastic game. While real-life fighters usually fight in a specific weight class, Bruce Lee is capable of fighting at either bantamweight, featherweight, lightweight and welterweight – allowing you to test the icon against a series of current champions.

As well as playing with the greatest martial artist of all time, EA Sports UFC brings you the opportunity to match up any fight you’ve been wanting to see across a range of different range classes. With the highly-anticipated rematch between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson splitting the Betfair odds, you can put the two best light-heavyweights in the world to battle before their scheduled rematch in September. Whether you’re an Anderson Silva fan or a Ronda Rousey supporter, this new game brings the thrill and excitement of the world’s premier MMA franchise into your own living room.

Why play bingo?

ID-10043759 By anankkml
Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/By anankkml

Anyone who plays games regularly online will have come across the ads for bingo sites and there are certainly plenty of ads about bingo on TV these days too. It’s one of the most popular online games out there. But if you’ve never played bingo, you may be wondering why so many people choose to play this simple game over games that, at first glance, offer more layers of interest.

One of the biggest appeals in playing online bingo is that it’s so easy to play. Where some games require great hand/eye coordination and others require mental dexterity, online bingo doesn’t ask the player for either of these. The only thing the player needs to consider is which game they want to play and how many tickets to buy. Then, once the game is in play, the software will mark any matching numbers on their tickets automatically as the number calls are made, and if they have a win, it’s paid into their bingo account automatically too. You don’t even have to be logged into a bingo site to play when the game is scheduled. If you’ve pre-bought your tickets for a particular jackpot game, they will be played automatically. Next time you log in to the site, you may find your account has been bumped by a win, which would always be a nice surprise.

Although it’s easy to play, that doesn’t mean that bingo isn’t entertaining. There’s always a frisson of excitement in the air when you play a game that has cash prizes attached, and some of the prizes at many of the UK bingo sites reach sizeable, sometimes life-changing, amounts. And though the likelihood of winning the jackpot is small, it’s always a possibility, so that’s another draw to playing bingo. Players can share that sense of excitement and anticipation when they play in the bingo chat rooms, where players who have bought tickets for the same games can meet online and discuss how they’re doing. In fact, there’s a whole new language of bingo ‘speak’ on the online sites; where lots of abbreviations are used to type to other players during the games. These include things like 3TG (three to go – before you get a win), GLEV1 (good luck everyone) and BBS (be back soon, if you leave the keyboard for a few minutes). Don’t worry if you can’t make head nor tail of what people in the chat rooms are talking about when you first go online – you’ll soon get the hang of it.

As bingo is so easy to play, it’s also one of the best games to choose when you’re gaming on a mobile. Playing in a public space, you don’t always have peaceful surroundings that you might need for a game that needs strategy – like poker. If you just want to be entertained while travelling, or while waiting for a friend, then playing bingo on your mobile is ideal.

For a game that’s fun and easy, has a social element and costs very little to play, it’s hard to find anything better than online bingo.

Gamers get rewarded for good behavior

ID-100137511 By franky242 Playing Game Console
Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/franky242

Gamers can be quite competitive, so anything that results in rewards of any kind could become pretty popular. Enter Microsoft’s reputation algorithm for XBox Live. The company wants better behavior on their system, so they’re going to try the carrot instead of the stick. The idea is that if you reward good behavior, that’s more effective in discouraging bad behavior.

It will be fascinating to see how this plays out. In the heat of a live game, passions can get pretty heated, and frankly there a psychological and intimidation aspect to any good game, whether it’s a war game on XBox or Texas Holdem’ or other new poker games you can play in real time. Sometimes trash talk can rattle your opponent. Other times being quiet works as well, but that’s really up to the gamer.

Of course encouraging sportsmanship is a worthy goal, and I’m sure the behavior on these systems can get pretty bad. It must rival tthe comment section on YouTube and Reddit for depravity. But for many that’s a huge part of the fun.

Frank Savage, partner and development lead at Microsoft, says they are still in the brainstorming phase for Xbox Live’s reputation system, so who knows how this will play out. And I do like the rewards idea better than punishment for the reasons outlined above, though blocking and muting will still likely be part of the overall system. And of course you need those tools. The best gamers can find ways to intimidate without being offensive.

And this is the real lesson here. These are “games” and should be treated that way. If you can jab your opponent and get him off his or her game without being offensive and thus getting muted or blocked, then you’re a much more effective gamer. This applies in real life as well with games like pool, ping pong etc.

So take stock of this and up your game.

Our Favorite Movie Tie In Games

Ever since the early 1970′s merchandising with movies has been a massive market that has seen the cash roll in for the film’s backers. After a decade of t-shirts, lunchboxes and action figures, the early 80′s saw the first movie – video game tie-in as Hollywood looked to take advantage of the fledging home console market to bring in more cash. One of the first tie-ins was the 1982 movie/game E.T. The Extraterrestrial on the Atari and it was such a very poor effort it was cited as one cause of the video game industry crash. There have been many instances of poorly licensed games over the last 30 years, but there are also plenty of gems too and we list our favourite movie tie in video games here.

Chronicles of Riddick – Escape from Butcher Bay

The character Richard B. Riddick was created in the film Pitch Black, a low budget film released in 2000, and by 2004 a sequel, the titular Chronicles of Riddick, was being made and although the second movie did not do as well as expected, the spin off game Escape from Butcher Bay had the exact opposite story. The game was developed by Starbreeze Studios, published by Vivendi Games and is a first person action/stealth game, similar to Half Life or Splinter Cell, set before the first of the Riddick films.

Film actor Vin Diesel reprised his role of Riddick for the game that sees the title character have the escape for the Butcher Bay maximum security facility using both brawn and brain, just as Riddick does in the movies. The game was released on the Xbox in June 2004 to critical acclaim with IGN giving it 8.5/10, GameZone 9.2/10 and Game Informer giving 9.5. It also won three awards in 2004 and 2005, including the Unsung Hero Game of the Year (Editors’ Award) at the Golden Joystick Awards. An expanded and updated version was released in 2008 with the game The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena.

Star Wars: Battlefront

Battlefront is one of the great tie-ins with one of the great movie series’ as you take control of one character from one of the four main groups of protagonists from both the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy of Star Wars movies and battle to eliminate your opponents. The game came out in 2004 to fine reviews receiving a Metacritic high rating of 82% for the PS2 version, while 1UP.com said “Battlefront manages to stand tall as a great game that does the best job we’ve yet seen of playing out the battles of the Star Wars movies.”

There are many other Star Wars games that could easily feature on this list, such as The Knights of the Old Republic – although not a direct movie tie in – as well as X-Wing and TIE Fighter where you commanded the space craft of the Rebels and the Empire, but Battlefront with it pitting you at the centre of some of the biggest Star Wars battles edges it for us.

The Dark Knight

While there was a planned video game for the release of this 2008 Christopher Nolan follow up to the rebooted Batman Begins movie from 2005, but the game for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 did not materialise and was cancelled. However, from the embers of this there was another type of game linked to the movie – an online slot machine created by Microgaming. In December 2012 a UK resident, Jon O. – a member of free bingo games site butlersbingo.com – turned a 30p spin into almost £6m! This online slot machine features cinematic spins, with video clips straight from the movie, while both Batman and The Joker appear at random to award prizes.

Just how good is “Left Behind”?

So many games are geared towards guys that it’s understandable that many girls and women might have trouble finding games they can relate to. In a recent article in Wired, Laura Hudson explains why “Left Behind” is the videogame that finally made her feel like a human being.

Although women make up nearly half of all gamers, only a fraction of videogame characters are female, and fewer still are playable. Maybe that’s why I felt so shocked when I played Left Behind, the newest chapter of the award-winning survival game The Last of Us.

“I don’t understand how this is even happening,” I said over and over again.

I was playing as Ellie, a 14-year-old girl who must venture out alone into a post-apocalyptic world of monsters and murderers armed with nothing but a pocket knife, desperately trying to find medicine for her badly injured friend Joel. But if battling mercenaries and zombies as a teenage girl weren’t interesting enough, the half of the game with no combat at all is more compelling. After flashing back in time, you spend your time walking around a mall with your best friend Riley, talking, playing games and trying to repair your friendship after a falling out.

It’s difficult enough to find a game where a woman is the main character. Finding one where you play as a woman and have positive, meaningful interactions with other women? It’s like spotting a goddamn unicorn.

I’ve spent my entire life playing videogames, and Left Behind is the most emotionally powerful experience I’ve ever had in the medium – and not just because it let me play as a girl. After all, I’ve played as girls before. In a real way, in my real life, I’ve been playing as a girl all this time.

Read the rest of her article for some great insight on a female’s perspective. This can be a great resource for anyone developing games with female characters.

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