Monday, January 26, 2015

The excitement leading up to UFC 183

Ever since the UFC announced the return of both of my favorite fighters, Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz, I was more than excited. What makes it even more satisfying is that, their returning bout will be against each other in the Middleweight division. Without question, the MMA world is in for a treat this Saturday night.

Anderson Silva versus Nick Diaz is an intriguing match up. Both of these fighters have similarities. Each holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, they're phenomenal strikers, and they like to taunt their opponents while fighting. Nick Diaz is agurely one of the hardest working fighters in this sport. The Stockton bad boy was a former Strikeforce and WEC Welterweight Champion. Along with that, he competed for PRIDE FC, DREAM, Shooto, and the Elite XC. The Brazilian MMA star, Anderson "The Spider" Silva, is without an doubt, the greatest mixed martial artist ever. The former UFC Middleweight Champion holds the UFC record of having the longest title defenses with ten. In addition, he has received twelve post fight bonuses in the organization.

Both fighters are coming off a long layoff. Nick Diaz hasn't fought since 2013. At his last fight at UFC 158, he loss to Georges St-Pierre in a Welterweight Champion bout. After this loss, Diaz refused to climb up the Welterweight ranks, which made it clear that he wasn't going to compete again unless it was against a worthy opponent. Anderson Silva suffered two back to back losses against the current Middleweight Champion, Chris Weidman. In his first bout against Weidman, Silva loss via knockout, and in the second fight, he suffered another loss where he experienced one of the most gruesome injuries in MMA history.

Now, this match between Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz is the main event at UFC 183, and whoever wins, will become the number one contender in the Middleweight division. Will "The Spider" have another chance to redeem himself against Weidman, or will the Stockton bad boy earn another shot at capturing the UFC title? This Saturday night we will see!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Top five games I can't wait to play this year!

2015 is a year in video gaming that I'm totally excited for. There are many games on my radar this year, and I hope they all live up to their expectations. Popular series are returning back, and new faces are appearing as well. I will keep my list short, however there are a few games that didn't make the list, but are definitely worth mentioning.

5. Mighty No. 9

This upcoming highly anticipated 2D side-scrolling action-platformer, is scheduled to arrive on April 2015. This game is currently in development by Japanese independent video game studio, Compect Inc., which was founded by the former Capcom producer Keiji Inafune. While working at Capcom, he produced popular franchises such as: Mega Man, Onimusha, and Dead Rising. Mighty No. 9 quickly grabbed my attention after their successful Kickstarter campaign, which gathered more than four million dollars. If you haven't seen their latest trailer, please check it out!

4. The Legend of Zelda Wii U

After watching The Legend of Zelda Wii U trailer this past E3, I was blown away immediately. The visuals are definitely worth admiring. This new open world Zelda title is scheduled to arrive in 2015, I'm assuming during the holidays. This series has always entertained me, and I can't to wait to dive into this new The Legend of Zelda world!

3. Persona 5

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 Golden (Vita) is one of the few reasons why I keep returning back to the PS Vita. Creating social links, joining school clubs, and defeating baddies in the "TV World", to name a few, are simply why I love this game. Now, Persona 5 is expecting to arrive this year, which only means, I will be able to create new relationships, participate in new real world activities, and partake on a new adventure.

2. Rise of the Tomb Raider

I enjoyed the 2013 reboot of Tomb Raider. Crystal Dynamics did a marvelous job creating a refreshing experience within the series. The gameplay is a combination of action-adventure, exploration, and survival. Along with that, the development team borrowed their style of combat from Naughty Dog's Uncharted series, smart move. Now, the second installment to this reboot will be a Microsoft exclusive, which gives me a good reason to own a Xbox One (along with Halo, Dead Rising and Sunset Overdrive).

1. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

I'm a huge fanatic of the Uncharted series. I played the entire trilogy on the PS3, and the Vita version as well, so I'm totally stoked for Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. This will be the fourth game of the popular series created by Naughty Dog. It will be set a few years after the third title, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. Based on their latest trailer, it seems like the game borrows stealth elements from Last of Us, which is awesome. I can't wait to get my hands on this game later year.

Honorable Mentions
Batman: Arkham Knight
Dying Light
The Order: 1886

Game On!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Will Conor "The Notorious" McGregor be the next UFC champion?

The Irish MMA star, Connor "The Notorious" McGregor made a statement in his last bout against Dustin Poirier at UFC 178. Prior to this highly anticipated fight, McGregor promised that he would stop Poirier in the first round, and he sure did. McGregor ended this bout via technical knockout in one minute and forty-six seconds in the first round. He entered the Ultimate Fighting Champion organization on April 6, 2013 with a eight fight winning streak. Since then, he has won his first four fights in the company, increasing his winning streak to twelve. In addition, he received two UFC Performance of the Night bonuses, one UFC Knockout of the Night bonus, and sold an entire soccer stadium at UFC Fight Night 46 in his native land, Dublin, Ireland.

The notorious one is scheduled to fight Russian-German MMA fighter, Dennis Siver, who has won his previous fight against Charles Rosa last year. McGregor predicts that he can stop Siver in just two minutes, and also predicts that he can do the same to the current UFC Featherweight Champion, Jose Aldo. Along with his Brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, McGregor has a background in boxing, kickboxing, Karate, Tae Kwon Do, and Capoeira. Also, he finished almost all of his eighteen bouts either by technical knockout or knockout.

The former CWFC Lightweight and Featherweight Champion, who's currently 16-2 in his MMA career, has the potential of becoming the first European UFC champion this year. If victorious on January 18th, I think McGregor needs at least one more bout before challenging Jose Aldo for the gold. The MMA world can't wait to see Connor "The Notorious" McGregor in action later this month.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Will the Assassin's Creed series redeem itself?

Last year was a disappointing year in the video game industry. Many games that fans were excited for, myself including, didn't do well with reviews. Video games such as: Watch Dogs, Destiny, Elder Scrolls Online, Halo Master Chief Collection (Online), Thief, EA Sports UFC, and Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, all didn't live up to our expectations. One game that bummed me out completely was Assassin's Creed Unity. I'm a huge fan of the Assassin's Creed series. When I originally saw Unity, I was blown away from it's visuals, and I love that Ubisoft Montreal  decided to make every mission open ended. Once November 11 of last year finally arrived, I was depressed from Assassin's Creed Unity's poor launch. It was distressing as a fan to watch videos online of the ridiculous amount of glitches, and technical issues found in the game. This influenced my decision to not purchase the game.

To be honest, it felt odd not playing an Assassin's Creed game last November. Luckily, I was still able to get my Assassin's Creed gaming on (and not talking about Rogue). Ubisoft Quebec's Assassin's Creed Freedom Cry was on sale during Sony's Holiday Sale last month. I never played this stand alone DLC before, but I heard a lot of positive things about it. After completing Freedom Cry, I must say, I love the powerful tone this game sets up, and the story telling throughout. Other than Assassin's Creed 2, I believe that Freedom Cry has the best story telling out of the series. You play as Adewale, who was once a slave, and is now a member of the Assassins Brotherhood. His personal agenda is to rescue and free his brothers from slavery. Rescuing salves is what makes Freedom Cry stands out. For example, in the game there will be a scenario where a captor is chasing a runaway slave, and the player can get involve and stop the chase. Another scenario, the player will see slaves being sold at an auction, once again the player can get involve, buy the slaves and free them. The more you get involve and free the slaves, the more upgrades will become available for Adewale.

Besides rescuing slaves, Ubisoft Quebec didn't do anything new as far as gameplay. However, they definitely did a impressive job utilizing the Assassin's Creed template, but still providing a refreshing experience. This is mainly due to the game's setting, main character, and as I mentioned earlier, it's powerful tone. Ubisoft's upcoming Assassin's Creed Victory is expecting to come out later this year. Despite the fact that Unity wasn't a good game, Victory has a higher chance of being a better game. For this reason,  Ubisoft Quebec, the same developers who created Freedom Cry, is currently working on it. This is a wise choice on Ubisoft's part to give Ubisoft Montreal a break.

At the moment, I really want to stay away from the Assassin's Creed franchise for a while, but apart of me still hopes that Victory will be victorious later this year. We will see!