FIELD FINALIZED FOR THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER 17 ON FX

LOS ANGELES (Jan. 9, 2013) – Tuesdays just got TUF™. On January 22, TUF-17-Postersome of the world’s most talented and determined mixed martial artists will face-off in the most grueling sports tournament on television. Watch as 28 mixed martial arts prospects battle for a coveted spot on the new season of The Ultimate Fighter®, which begins with a special two-hour premiere airing at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FX.

The Ultimate Fighter, the Ultimate Fighting Championship®’s long-running reality television series, will run for 13 weeks and will culminate in a three-hour finale, live from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev. Unlike previous seasons on FX, the one-hour broadcast will now be shown on Tuesday nights at its new regularly scheduled timeslot of 9 p.m. ET/PT.

The 14 successful combatants will be divided into two teams, which will be coached by two of the fiercest rivals in all of sport. UFC® light heavyweight champion and MMA superstar, Jon “Bones” Jones will captain one team, while the controversial and charismatic challenger Chael Sonnen will lead the second team into battle in this, the 17th installment of the series.

The coaches will then collide for the light heavyweight title on Saturday, April 27, at UFC® 159: JONES vs. SONNEN at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Not surprisingly, both Jones and Sonnen will be bringing their trademark self-confidence into their stints as coaches this season on The Ultimate Fighter.

“I thought it would be a good way to share myself with the sport of MMA,” Jones said. “I embrace the role.”

Said Sonnen: “The hottest show on FX is being graced with the greatest talent God ever made: Chael P. Sonnen.’’

The list of finalists in the middleweight (185 pounds) division was trimmed from more than 250 applicant athletes. The fighters – all seeking the opportunity of a lifetime and a six-figure contract from the Ultimate Fighting Championship – hail from the United States, Australia, England and Sweden.

“The quality of guys we have this season in unbelievable,” said UFC President Dana White. “From the fights to get into the house, to every single fight this season, I think the talent is some of the best I’ve ever seen on this show. We’re going to end up with some really good guys in the 185-pound division.”

“The production value has increased, the talent level is at an all-time high, and we have two of the most dynamic personalities in all of the UFC as our coaches,” said Chuck Saftler, EVP of FX Networks. “I’m extremely excited about this season of The Ultimate Fighter and truly believe this could be the show’s best season yet.”

On Jan. 22, the season will launch with 14 gripping elimination scraps. Those victorious in the opening round, or “Fight In”, become official cast members and earn their place in The Ultimate Fighter house in Las Vegas. The winners will be drafted into opposing teams of seven by Jones and Sonnen. Thereafter, cameras will document their activity before and after their training and fights during the season.

Each episode’s winners will advance in the single-elimination tournament until one is crowned The Ultimate Fighter.

The competitors are:

Dylan Andrews (16-4-1), 32, Gold Coast, AUS

Jake Heun (3-2), 25, Salt Lake City, Utah

Hito Andrews (9-2), 34, Sacramento, Calif.

Nicholas Hohring (3-0), 22, Valley Springs, Calif.

Luke Barnatt (5-0), 24, Cambridge, ENG

Mike Jaspar (6-0), 29, Camarillo, Calif.

Leo Bercier (7-2), 31, Great Falls, Montana

Bubba McDaniel (20-6), 29, Albuquerque, N.M.

Ryan Lee Q. Bigler (9-3), 28, Guam

Frasier Opie (10-5), 25, Milton Keynes, ENG

Kevin Casey (5-2), 31, Hawthorne, Calif.

Frederick Persons (3-0), 28, Stockton, Calif.

Adam Cella (4-0), 27, Fenton, Mo.

Jimmy Quinlan (3-0), 26, Metheun, Mass.

Zach Cummings (15-3), 28, Kansas City, Mo.

Scott Rosa (4-1), 27, Sparks, Nev.

Andy Enz, (6-1), 21, Anchorage, Alaska

Josh Samman (9-2), 24, Tallahassee, Fla.

Nik Fehete (5-1), 32, Las Vegas, Nev.

Gilbert Smith (5-1), 30, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Kelvin Gastelum (5-0), 20, Yuma, Ariz.

Eldon Sproat (3-1), 27, Molohai, Hawaii

Uriah Hall (7-2), 28, New York City, N.Y.

Tor Troeng (15-4-1), 29, Umea, SWE

Collin Hart (4-1-1), 23, Santa Rosa, Calif.

Eric Wahlin (5-1), 29, Taylorsville, Utah

Clint Hester (7-3), 24, Atlanta, Ga.

Timothy Williams (7-1), 26, Millville, N.J.

Many of today’s most recognizable names in the UFC have emerged from the TUF™ series, including, among many others, Forrest Griffin, Kenny Florian, Rashad Evans, and Michael Bisping.

Tune-in and watch who will become the next THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER on FX!

—UFC press release—

Pokémon Rumble Blast for Nintendo 3DS review

Over 600 Pokémon in one of the most addictive gaming experiences in the history of the franchise’s existence make Pokémon Rumble Blast for Nintendo 3DS worth picking up this holiday season.

The complete version of Pokémon Rumble, Pokémon Rumble Blast delivers a full gaming experience this time around. With a complete story mode, co-op adventure mode, and two battle mode options this version gives so much more than the free version on Wiiware.  The main story begins with your Mii winding up a Pokémon toy and dropping it into the toy world. In this world you start battling along a high tower eventually fighting against the Pokémon White cover creature Zekrom. You cannot win this fight. Following the loss you land in Toy Town and agree to help find their missing Glowdrops, which are part of the healing fountain they use to survive.

After travelling to many areas and following many possible leads, you team up with the thief Cobalion. As you progress in the game, you discover Cobalion is actually trying to use the Glowdrops to save the world from a cataclysm and defeat the real threat known as Dark Rust.

Catching toy Pokémon is not how you assemble your team as you have to befriend them by defeating them in combat first. Unlike most Pokemon games where there are four attacks each toy Pokemon only have two attacks and the power of those attacks are based on how much their star power is. The controls are basic A & B button mash style making it easy for novice gamers, but you can increase the difficulty of the world once you have beaten the game. Graphics and cut scenes are done in a cute toon style. The 3D effects of the 3DS really show how impressive the handheld can be as it is a huge improvement from the first release.

The new Battle Rumble mode pits you against waves of enemies until you’re the last one standing. Fun if you like to play just the battles. The new charge battles where you stampede with a group of Pokémon through enemies adds a nice variety to your gaming options without even getting into the multiplayer options.

This Pokémon title is a nice change of pace from the original Pokémon formula. There is quite a bit of replay value with collecting Pokémon, legendary boss battles, and the Mii toy store that can help you unlock legendary Pokémon. With all the exciting releases made by Nintendo this winter season, this one should not be disregarded. Nintendo continues their success of releasing top quality titles on the 3DS with this one.

[amazon asin=http://www.amazon.com/Pokemon-Rumble-Blast-3DS-Nintendo/dp/B0050SVDQ2&text=www.amazon.ca]

WWE 12 game review

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WWE 12 delivers with perhaps the best wrestling game ever made. The roster is extensive and the match customization and create modes are excellent. The game-play is far more realistic than any other WWE game and the cinematic cameras make the game look like you’re watching WWE television.

The Road to Wrestlemania story mode has you play as three different Superstars, Sheamus, Triple H and finally a created character named Jacob Cass. The story lines are interesting in the Road to Wrestlemania mode and the cut-scenes provide for some entertainment. The Road to Wrestlemania mode will help you unlock some Superstars as you progress through the stories of each character. The WCW invasion story line is particularly fun to play through and provides for a few un-lockable characters and the Monday Nitro arena. The WWE Universe mode has pre-made Raw, Smackdown and pay-per-view matches for you to play through and also contains some un-lockable content.

The matches are all customizable in exhibition mode and stipulations can be added to make for a more interesting game-play. For instance, a match can be made 2 out of 3 falls in virtually any setting. So you can have a triple threat, 2 out of 3 falls match in a Hell in a Cell, which is pretty cool too. Ladder matches, Elimination Chamber, Extreme Rules matches and others that were in previous games are also available to play.

The game-play itself is similar to the other THQ-WWE games but is more realistic. The wrestlers don’t stay down for a long time like they did in previous games making matches more even-paced. The roster is vast with newer Superstars like Sin Cara, Alberto Del Rio and Daniel Bryan along with legends that are available to unlock like Kevin Nash, Vader and Demolition.

The Road to Wrestlemania modes and WWE Universe will keep you occupied for hours and the exhibition matches are lots of fun to play with friends. This game is a must-get for any wrestling fan.

Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 for Nintendo DS review

Over 300 monsters to battle, collect, and breed from almost every Dragon Quest game ever made is the main attraction to the new Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 for Nintendo DS.

The story picks up with the hero hiding in a crate as a smuggler on an airship. Discovered by a monster, you must pay your fare as a deckhand, introducing you to the first few characters. After a sudden crash you awake on an island and must use skills as a monster scout to gain monsters to help you get through the island and find all the passengers.

This is a classic turn-based style role-playing game that plays a lot like Dragon Quest games. However, this time around you can combine your monsters once they reach a high enough level. You control three monsters at a time with three monsters also in your reserves. While the use of every monster from the series is impressive, there are still more impressive monsters to battle–boss monsters can take up the entire two screens on the DS. With the emphasis now on abilities, having similar monsters will not create an equal fight as their skills and weaknesses can be completely different.

This game is a bit more complex for monster hunting compared to games like Pokemon. Low health does not mean you’re going to catch a monster in this game, it depends on your having a high level and if the monster is angry. There are also effects to not catching a monster as it can become tougher to fight. Skills and abilities come in handy to catching and can make the game quite easily if you build up your monster right. The game also heavily pushes you to combine your monsters as they have the potential to be stronger with a better skill set.

Without question you will need to do a lot of training in order to get far and complete the story. Far from the best Dragon Quest title ever made, but definitely a fun different experience with nice plot twists and graphics that kept true to the series. The ability to keep playing on and training your monsters once the credits are over should keep the demand for friend battles online for quite a while.

Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2

Nintendo

Released on Sept. 19

Click here for Amazon listing

Supremacy MMA for PS3 review

Breaking bones, leaving your opponents in a pool of your own blood, and battling in rings and cages all over the world are just a few exciting features in Supremacy MMA.

Unlike past mixed martial arts video games made by THQ and EA Sports, 505 Games took a different approach and presented an arcade-style combat system. The fighting is a lot more fast pace compared to the competition making it imperative to master the controls in the tutorial section.

Controls will take a good amount of time to master. This is not a pick-up and play kind of game as there is quite a bit to learn in terms of the combination of buttons to press. Mastering the timing of blocks will be a huge asset as you can score a lot of damage following a successful block.

Depending on the type of fighter you choose, whether it’s a jiu-jitsu expert, kickboxer or a boxer, you have a distinct advantage. However, holds will score you more damage compared to what a skilled striker can do on the ground. If you like to just hold your opponent this game will be a lot easier compared to the ground and pound offence.

The list of fighters in the game are not the most popular fighters in MMA, but there are some notables. Former Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter Jens Pulver, Strikeforce fighter Shane del Rosario and a slew of boxers and kickboxers. Each fighter does get their own cartoon-style storyline that can keep you busy for a while. Do not expect much from the female division as there are only two females you can fight with, Felice Nicole Herrig and Michele Gutierrez. It maybe the first game to ever feature female fighters, but you can only have them fight each other and not the men.

For a first attempt there is a lot of potential in this arcade style MMA game. Even once you get the controls mastered the game is still pretty slow as some moves do not always connect when they should. This happens a lot more for you compared to the computer. Regardless of the faults there is still a lot of fun that can be had and if you’re a fan of MMA video games it’s worth exploring.

Supremacy MMA

Available for PS3 and XBox 360

Released on Sept. 13, 2011

Click here for Amazon listing

Supremacy MMA for PS3 review

Breaking bones, leaving your opponents in a pool of your own blood, and battling in rings and cages all over the world are just a few exciting features in Supremacy MMA.

Unlike past mixed martial arts made by THQ and EA Sports, 505 Games took a different approach and presented an arcade-style combat system. The fighting is a lot more fast pace compared to the competition making it imperative to master the controls in the tutorial section.

Controls will take a good amount of time to master. This is not a pick-up and play kind of game as there is quite a bit to learn in terms of the combination of buttons to press. Mastering the timing of blocks will be a huge asset as you can score a lot of damage following a successful block. Depending on the type of fighter you choose, whether it’s a jiu-jitsu expert, kickboxer or a boxer, you have a distinct advantage. However, holds will score you more damage compared to what a skilled striker can do on the ground.

Star Fox 64 3D for Nintendo 3DS review

Blasting down space ships, UFOs and gigantic robotic heads has never looked so good on the handheld with one of Nintendo’s most addictive gaming remakes ever in Star Fox 64 3D only on the Nintendo 3DS.

The classic rail shooter that was a remake of the original Star Fox game on the Super Nintendo or SNES has been upgraded to portable 3D. All the character models, aircrafts and backgrounds all have a sharper look compared to the 64 version. Each time a character speaks they are shown on the bottom screen not taking away much from the action on the top screen.

Sound is also a major improvement as the voice acting has been redone, not changed but clearly recorded in a lot better quality this time around. The background and victory songs also create a greater sense of importance and accomplishment hearing them on the 3DS. Controls from the N64 have returned, but you also have the ability to play with the new 3DS controls which allow you to move your Arwing or Landmaster just by moving your 3DS to the left or right.

Game-wise you get all 20-plus missions from before but you will have an easier time because now you have the ability to save between missions. After you have finished the game you can go back and play for top scores and collect medals. Multiplayer is not accessible against someone online, but as long as you have one game cartridge and three other friends have a 3DS they can play off your version of the game for four-player action.

Even if you’ve play Star Fox 64 and still own the original game this game is still a must have for 3DS gamers. When it comes to multiplayer action there is not much else right now that can compete with the arcade-style action that this franchise brings. The pictures/reactions of all your opponents in multiplayer is also a neat little feature added on. While some remakes feel pointless and redundant, this one is a breathe of fresh air and arguably one of the best games that will ever come out on 3DS.

Star Fox 64 3D

Nintendo

Rated E10+

Released on Sep. 9, 2011

Click here for Amazon listing

STAR FOX 64 3D BARREL ROLLS INTO GLORIOUS 3D ON NINTENDO 3DS

VANCOUVER, B.C. – September 8, 2011 – In the distant corners of the Lylat system, the evil Andross is marshaling his forces to spread chaos, and only one team of flying heroes is up to the task of defeating him. Starting Sept. 9, Nintendo 3DS™ owners can take to the skies as Fox McCloud and his band of flying aces in the Star Fox 64™ 3D game as they soar through multiple worlds to restore order. Sept. 9 also marks the debut of the new Flame Red version of the Nintendo 3DS system, which is available at a suggested retail price of $169.99.

In addition to the full original game, Star Fox 64 3D also includes a new multiplayer mode in which up to four players can compete in an aerial dogfight to see which of them is master of the skies. Up to four Nintendo 3DS owners can compete, even if only one player has a Game Card. This mode also makes use of the Nintendo 3DS inner camera: With this optional feature, as fighters zip across the screen, player’s faces are displayed along with their ships. When one player triumphs, his or her image receives a victory crown. At the same time, the winner can relish in the other players’ images of defeat.

This Nintendo 64™ classic has been given a complete graphical overhaul. Now players can see 3D depth and distance without the need for special glasses. The game also takes advantage of the built-in gyroscope of the Nintendo 3DS hardware by letting players control their spacecraft by moving the system in any direction. This optional control scheme gives players even more precise control as they navigate asteroid fields and waves of enemy lasers.

“With the launch of Star Fox 64 3D, a hot new hardware color and $169.99 suggested retail price, Nintendo 3DS offers more entertainment variety and value to consumers than ever before,” said Ron Bertram, Nintendo of Canada’s vice-president and general manager. “Through competitive multiplayer modes and intuitive motion controls, Star Fox 64 3D delivers yet another standout game-play experience that is exclusive to Nintendo 3DS owners.”

Wii Play Motion review

Shooting down UFOs, whacking pesky garden moles, making the largest ice cream cones ever, and being a ghostbuster is just a small sampling of the 12 games packed into Nintendo’s Wii Play Motion.

The sequel to Wii Play offers gamers a few games that will remind them of past mini-games and brand new games featuring new motion techniques thanks to the Wii MotionPlus that comes bundled with a controller.

When you first start you only have the option for four games: Cone Zone, Veggie Garden, Skip Skimmer and Pose MiiPlus. Cone Zone is where you have to either try to keep your ice cream cone standing after several scoops or you have to make the best ice cream swirl with the Wii Remote. Fun in multiplayer, but gets old quick in single mode.

Veggie Garden is where you use your Wii Remote as a mallet and whack moles on the head who try to steal your vegetables. Think of the carnival game Whack-A-Mole, except the stages keep the action fresh and on your toes since the moles become smarter over time. Skip Skimmer is where you pick up a stone and skim it across a lake. Depending on the type of rock shape you get will depend on the type of response you get from the rock. A rock in the shape of a chicken will give you a chicken sound. Pose MiiPlus takes the original mini-game from the first game and allows you to twist your Mii in new and crazy rotations. Again, a lot of fun with two players, but not a long-lasting effect with one-player.

As long as you play all four games you unlock four more games: Trigger Twist, Jump Park, Teeter Targets and Spooky Search. After you play those games you unlock four more games: Wind Runner, Treasure Twirl, Flutter Fly and Star Shuttle. Trigger Twist is an expanded version of the Shooting Range from the last game and is definitely a must play. This time around you can expand your screen to the left and right to get find more targets. Ducks from Duck Hunt are back and are joined by an army of UFOs trying to kidnap your Miis.

Spooky Search is quite possibly the most innovative mini-game in the entire bunch. With your Miis guiding your direction you have to point your Wii Remote off screen and wait until you heard the correct sound to order to detect a ghost. When you hear the sound, immediately press B and bring the ghost to the centre in order to contain it like a ghostbuster. With the time limit and the increasing difficulty to hold the ghosts, the game becomes more enjoyable as the difficulty increases. Treasure Twirl is another innovative play as you must hunt for treasure under water. To do so your Wii Remote becomes a fishing rod as you must reel in or reel out your Mii in the water.

Overall, Wii Play Motion delivers more of the same enjoyment and takes advantage of the Wii MotionPlus movements. While some games do feel like they were slightly updated others feel vastly improved and more exciting than the original ones. If you have played the original this game is worth getting, but like the original the true value comes in multiplayer as single player can get old quickly.

Wii Play Motion

Rated E for Everyone

Developed by Nintendo

$49.99

Released on Jun. 13, 2011

Click here to order the game

Fit in Six for Nintendo Wii review

Flat chest with a six pack, defined triceps and biceps, gaining muscle mass, increased stamina and flexibility, all possible with the aid of Ubisoft’s video game release Fit In Six.

Playing your video game console and developing a fit toned body was considered laughable years ago, however games like Fit In Six continue to revolutionize the gaming workout phenomenon.

The game focuses on six different workout categories; balance, cardio, flexibility, core, lower and upper body strength. Depending on what you’re interested in exercising, the game contains a plethora of workouts all with their own points and challenges. If you’re looking to do upper body strength endurance, the game will give you an exercise like tricep push-ups. A character will be placing the middle of the screen showing you the proper technique. A counter is then placing on the side to see how many you can do along with an intensity meter. 

Like a workout home video you follow the leader as there is no need to press buttons or move around with the Wii-mote during the exercise. The Wii-mote is only used to interact with the main menu and choose what workout you want to do. There is no body tracking as it is up to the user to be truthful with their accomplishments and staying true to the proper form.

Fit In Six does use personal information to help monitor your goals. The game asks for your age, height, weight and your fitness goal. The difference from a workout video is that the game keeps your stats and gives you ideas for what exercises you should attempt. The trainer dialogue is a great feature to a console that generally does not feature many voice-overs. Not having to read everything the trainer says makes it easier to focus on the exercise set especially when the trainer is giving advice during reps.

The ability to have a small warm-up, a 30-plus minute workout and over 50 types of exercise options will definitely keep anyone busy for a long time. As with any type of workout regime, consult a physician before trying this game as the intensity of this workout can hurt you more than help you if your body has not been exercising for a long period of time. The highest level of intensity can be difficult even for athletes.

This game is highly recommended for those with little experience in working out that fear the social aspect of a gym. The yoga, kickboxing, strength and conditioning exercises can all be accomplished slowly before one builds towards a higher level. The lack of body tracking is disappointing, but as long as you stay committed and keep up with your regime you can easily stay fit and in shape with these workouts.

Fit in Six

Ubisoft

www.ubi.com

Available for Nintendo Wii and Playstation 3

Released on Mar. 15, 2011

$39.99

Click here for more info