Sports Strength

ONE Championship vs. UFC: How the Two MMA Organizations Stack Up

MMA is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world, if you even consider it a sport, that is. If MMA is basketball, the UFC is the NBA. If MMA is pro-wrestling, the UFC is the WWE. If MMA is soccer, the UFC is the entire damn Champions League. Dana White’s organization basically monopolizes the market and no matter how good of a product another promotion can offer, that will take years to change.

With that being said, for more hardcore fans of the sport, there are additional options to the UFC that are worth checking out. Of course, Bellator has their Light Heavyweight tournament coming up which is one of the more exciting things they’ve ever done. PFL’s Lightweight and Featherweight tournaments feature the likes of Anthony Pettis and Lance Palmer, respectively. ONE Championship just had a big event where former UFC champions Demetrious Johnson and Eddie Alvarez both competed and despite them both losing, the future seems bright for Chatri Sityodtong’s promotion.

If you need to be brought up to speed on ONE, here’s how the Singapore-based promotion works and compares to the UFC.

A Brief History of the UFC

The UFC has been around since 1993 and it hasn’t always been the rapid grower that it is today. In fact, in the early 2000s when the Fertitta brothers were going to purchase it with Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta’s lawyer advised him against it, despite the $2 million price tag which seems like peanuts today, considering the current valuation is over $6 billion.

When the sport was still looked at as human cockfighting to most, the former UFC owners ran towards regulation and Dana and the Fertittas only continued that way. Rules and regulations were added and the sport was being cleaned up, to some extent. Today, the UFC lives on ESPN and has been one of the leaders during the pandemic.

A Brief History of ONE Championship

Compared to the UFC, ONE Championship is still a baby. It was founded just ten years ago, in the summer of 2011, by Chatri Sityodtong and Victor Cui. It was created because despite believing that martial arts were Asia’s “cultural treasure,” they didn’t have their own promotion. Today, it is by far Asia’s largest promotion and on the rotation for hardcore fans of the sport.

Most first became familiar with ONE when they were a part of the first, and to this date, the only ever trade between two MMA promotions. Fresh off of his first loss in years and unsatisfied with his standing with the UFC, Demetrious Johnson got traded with Ben Askren, the latter of which was undefeated and retired due to the lack of opportunity to face the best in the world in the UFC. All parties agreed that the pair would be happier in each other’s organization, and so the trade happened. From there, ONE signed Sage Northcutt, Eddie Alvarez, and more big names in the sport, along with Miesha Tate, who became their Vice President.

As well as MMA, ONE Championship also hosts Muay Thai and Kickboxing events which differentiates them from most promotions and certainly the UFC, who only do MMA. They have separate MMA, Muay Thai, and Kickboxing divisions where each has its own weight divisions and champions. As a result, there are 22 ONE Championship champions.

Approach to MMA

If you’ve ever watched an old Pride FC event that took place in Japan, then you know that the Asian approach to MMA and the attitude towards fighters is very different than what we have in Europe and North America. For those classic events, crowds would go silent for the fights and only make noise once they were over. MMA fighters were superstars then and some of that respect is what ONE is going for in Asia. On their website, they state that they are “a celebration of Asia’s greatest cultural treasure and its deep-rooted Asian values of integrity, humility, honor, respect, courage, discipline and compassion.”

The UFC’s tagline is a little simpler: “as real as it gets.” You could argue that it embodies all of what ONE celebrates, but that would be a little disingenuous. There’s less of a culture of respect in the UFC, which some have criticized, but it’s what gets fans watching. Without trash talk and brash personalities, you don’t get a Conor McGregor or a Ronda Rousey who bring a bunch of eyes to the sport.

Judging Criteria and Rules

You only need to have seen a few UFC pay-per-views to know the rules and judging criteria off by heart. Jon Anik and even Mike Goldberg reading them out at the start of every event is a classic piece of every fight card.

UFC fights are scored by three judges who use the 10-point must system, a scoring system brought over from boxing. The winner of the round receives 10 points, their opponent receiving 9 or less. Judges score based on effective striking and grappling, effective aggressiveness, and fighting area control, also known as octagon control.

In terms of things that are not allowed, the list is fairly large. Perhaps that’s a surprise to people that have seen some of the more gruesome elements of the sport, but it’s true. UFC fighters cannot partake in the following: headbutting, eye-gouging, biting, spitting, fish hooking, hair pulling, pile-driving, striking to the back of the head, striking the throat, extending the fingers towards the eyes, downward-pointing elbows, strike the groin, kicking or kneeing the head of a grounded opponent, stomping a grounded fighter, holding an opponent’s gloves or shorts, holding the fence, small joint manipulation, throwing an opponent outside of the fighting area, intentionally placing a finger into any orifice, cut or laceration, clawing, pinching or twisting the flesh, timidity, abusive language in the fighting area, disregard a referee’s instructions, unsportsmanlike conduct that results in injury, attacking an opponent after the period of combat, attacking an opponent during the break, attacking an opponent under the care of the referee and interference from the corner.

ONE Championship differs from the UFC massively in terms of the judging criteria it utilizes. Just like Pride FC did back in the day, in ONE Championship, judges score fights as a whole and not round by round. For casual fans who only know the biggest boxing and UFC fights, perhaps that concept is hard to wrap your head around, but there’s a very strong argument that it’s the better way to do things. When Max Holloway and Alexander Volkanovski fought their rematch last year, it was argued that a change needed to be made to the judging and this was one of the suggestions.

Judges score ONE fights based on whether there was a knockdown or near submission, then on internal or accumulated damage done, then on striking combinations and ground control, then on completed or defended takedowns and finally on effective aggression.

In terms of its ruleset, unlike the UFC, ONE Championship does not adopt the unified rules of MMA. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s the wild west of MMA. Generally, you can and can’t do the same things over in ONE as in the UFC. The main difference is something we saw come into play at ONE’s big event earlier this month, where Demetrious Johnson fought Adriano Moraes. In ONE, you’re allowed to throw knees at a grounded opponent, and of course, DJ suffered his first-ever KO loss to a knee while he was grounded in the title fight.

Weight cutting

There have been instances where fighters have looked so unhealthy during the final stages of a weight cut that a commission calls the fight off, but generally, UFC fighters really suffer to make the limit for their weight class. Fighters will generally diet down throughout their training camp and then cut a bunch of water weight in the days leading up to the weigh-in. While there haven’t yet been any serious injuries or deaths related to weight cutting in the UFC, many feel as though it’s only a matter of time until something truly devastating happens.

Well aware of this, ONE Championship has been credited with trying something different with its weight classes. It essentially does away with fighters having to dehydrate themselves as part of their weight cut. The promotion carries out weight checks and hydration tests throughout the week of their fight, forcing fighters to pick a healthier weight class for themselves. Every weight class is essentially one higher than its name equivalent in the UFC.


Being the leader in MMA that it is, UFC basically holds all of the records when it comes to viewership. If you look at a list of the biggest PPVs in MMA in terms of buys, the UFC holds the first 187 spots. No, that’s not a typo. At the time of writing, the 187 biggest MMA PPVs of all time are all UFC shows. They had their tied-2ndbiggest event just a few months ago, too, with the Poirier vs. McGregor rematch. Their trilogy fight should be right in that territory too.

For ONE, they called this April 2021 the biggest month in the history of their existence. Despite this, ONE on TNT I fell short of the mark, bringing in just 196,000 television viewers. This made it the 88th highest-rated cable show that day, a little disappointing considering it’s arguably the biggest card they’ve ever put on.

Sports Strength

A Complete List of the Current Bellator Champions

MMA continues to be one of the fastest-growing sports in the world and although the UFC is by far the big dog in the market—fans even mistake UFC for being the name of the sport—there are multiple organizations for fans to choose from. Bellator is easily the second biggest worldwide promotion. To help you get to know it better, here’s an introduction to every belt holder in the league. They are as follows:

  • Heavyweight Champion: Ryan Bader (28-6)
  • Light Heavyweight Champion: Vadim Nemkov (12-2)
  • Middleweight Champion: Gregard Mousasi (47-7-2)
  • Welterweight Champion: Douglas Lima (32-8)
  • Lightweight Champion: Patricio Freire (32-4)
  • Featherweight Champion: Patricio Freire (32-4)
  • Bantamweight Champion: Juan Archuleta (25-2)
  • Women’s Featherweight Champion: Cris Cyborg (23-2)
  • Women’s Flyweight Champion: Juliana Velasquez (11-0)
Heavyweight Champion: Ryan Bader (28-6)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Astonishingly, Ryan Bader is just the fourth heavyweight champion in Bellator’s history. He won the title by beating all-time great Fedor Emelianenko at Bellator 214 last year, the same night he won the Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix. The title was vacant before that. His MMA fight history is a who’s who of recent heavyweight and light heavyweight history in MMA, with names like Jon Jones, Rampage, Lyoto Machida and Tito Ortiz on there from his UFC run. Since debuting in 2007, Bader has proved himself in not one, but two different divisions.

Light Heavyweight Champion: Vadim Nemkov (12-2)
Bellator MMA

Being a double champ in MMA is revered because it is so difficult. Bader held that title for some time in Bellator, but there is always someone waiting in the shadows. For Bader, that man was Vadim Nemkov. The intimidating sambo fighter captured the title when he defeated Bader via TKO in the second round of their 2020 matchup. Nemkov is considered one of the best in the world at 205 pounds and is mentored by MMA legend, Fedor Emelianenko.

Middleweight Champion: Gregard Mousasi (47-7-2)
Icon Sportswire / Contributor

Rafael Lovato Jr. (10-0) beat Gegard Mousasi in London fair and square (even if Mousasi doesn’t think so), which only makes what happened next all the more devastating. The undefeated champion then got the news that the cerebral cavernoma that he had previously been diagnosed with was more serious than initially thought of and in the weeks after the bout, multiple commissions in Europe stated that they would no longer clear Lovato to compete in the future. Going off of the advice of his doctors, he decided to take some time off and has not formally announced his retirement. Mousasi was booked to fight Douglas Lima for the vacant 185lb title and won the bout via unanimous decision. There is no denying that Mousasi is one of the scariest competitors in the division.

Welterweight Champion: Douglas Lima (32-8)
Williams Paul/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Douglas Lima had a viral moment when he knocked out MVP and that gave him all of the momentum he could have wanted heading into his rematch with Rory Macdonald. It ended up being a fight that born again Christian was never really in, but never really out of. Lima edged it on the scorecards and won the championship along with the Welterweight Grand Prix and the prize of $1 million. Despite the fact that Bellator often plays second fiddle to the UFC, many believe that Lima would give the top UFC welterweights in the world a run for their money at the very least. A champ vs. champ bout with Kamaru Usman is a dream fight.

Lightweight Champion: Patricio Freire (32-4)
Williams Paul/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Widely considered the best and most accomplished fighter in Bellator history, Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire made quick work of three time lightweight champion Michael Chandler in May of 2019, winning via TKO in just 61 seconds. It was Pitbull’s second fight in the division after he moved up years before to avenge his brother’s loss to Ben Henderson, a fight he lost due to injury. Freire is the kind of fighter organisations dream of…

Featherweight Champion: Patricio Freire (32-4)
Williams Paul/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

…and that’s because he’s one of Bellator’s two active double champions. 145lbs is certainly Pitbull’s bread and butter though. In 2013 he lost a title fight to Pat Curran but after rallying back in the division with a four fight win streak that same year, he won a rematch. He later lost the belt to Daniel Straus but beat Straus in 2017 and hasn’t lost a fight since. There’s value in avenging losses and all of that is what makes Patricio Freire arguably Bellator’s king.

Bantamweight Champion: Juan Archuleta (25-2)
MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images / Contributor

The California native captured the Bellator vacant title when he defeated Patchy Mix at Bellator 246 in Connecticut. Archuleta trains with some of the biggest names in the game and there is no doubt that his hours spent with the likes of TJ Dillashaw and Chito Vera helped him earn the unanimous decision victory. Archuleta is set to defend his belt against Bellator newcomer, Sergio Pettis, in May.

Women’s Featherweight Champion: Cris Cyborg (23-2-1)
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Cyborg’s UFC exit was unfortunate, with Dana White claiming the former champ was scared of a rematch with Amanda Nunes despite her real problem being with her contract. No problem though because Bellator was happy to have her and immediately gave her a fight with their 145lb champion Julia Budd back in January. Cris got the win in the fourth round and quickly became maybe the most popular fighter in the organisation.

Women’s Flyweight Champion: Juliana Velasquez (11-0)

Ilima-Lei Macfarlane lost the Bellator title to Velasquez in December of 2020. Velasquez remains undefeated in her mixed martial arts career and her size provides adversity in the division. The Brazillian southpaw looks to keep her belt and undefeated record intact when she steps inside the cage again.

Consoles Gaming

16 Games Like ‘Pokémon GO’ to Play Right Now

When it was released in 2016, Pokémon GO had an impact on the world like most developers only their dream that their own games could have anything close to. Within five days of its release on July 7th, Nintendo’s market value increased by an unfathomable $9 billion, and by July 22nd, Nintendo gained another $8.6 billion in market value. This, despite the fact that Nintendo did not even produce the game. From its July release to the end of 2016, it had been downloaded more than half a billion times worldwide.

The game brought an insane number of eyes to augmented reality technology in gaming and location-based technology in general. As a result of players walking around looking for Pokémon, physical activity was promoted and incredibly, local businesses even benefitted.

Developers have certainly taken full advantage of the extra attention on AR games and in the past few years, a ton have been released. If you love Pokémon GO and want to experience something in the same lane, we’ve compiled a list of 16 games like it for you. In alphabetical order, here they are.

1. ‘Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs’

Angry Birds has been a staple in mobile gaming for a long time now, over a decade in fact. Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs is the latest in the main series and it’s one of their classic puzzle games. If you’ve played an Angry Birds game before, you kind of know what to expect with an AR version. Seeing foundations topple right in your own home is a fun experience and is well worth checking out.

2. ‘AR Dragon’

Developed by Talking Pet and released in September of 2017, AR Dragon sees the player take on the role of taking care of a pet dragon. Seeing your own dragon in the environment around you with augmented reality really adds immersion to the game. You’ll have to feed your dragon, play with it and train it. This is today’s answer to the Tamagotchi.

3. ‘ARrrrrgh’

This one can also be played in the home or pretty much any other environment. The idea, as you might be able to guess from the name, is that you’re looking for some hidden treasure that you’re able to find with the help of a pirate-style map. It’s a simple one but is really heightened by the fact that you’re walking around your own home looking for gold.

4. ‘Clandestine: Anomaly’

This game has received some criticism for its narrative being a little clustered, but even if you just take the gameplay at face value with the storyline put aside, it’s definitely worth checking out. Clandestine: Anomaly sees the player defending against an alien invasion that seems like it’s happening right there in the world around you. Your offensive and defensive tactics here matter, so choose them wisely.

5. ‘dARk: Subject One’

This game is one of a few on the list that uses Apple’s ARKit technology, which is a development platform that helps developers add augmented reality into their games quickly. dARk: Subject One is a horror game that borrows from sci-fi because there is a parallel universe that you must enter to try to look for someone. Having things going on right in your home definitely adds a layer to the fear that this one induces.

6. ‘Geocaching’

Described by developer Groundspeak Inc. as the world’s largest treasure hunt, Geocaching is unique because it involves real-world objects. Basically, you go onto the app and once you tell it where you’re located, it will tell you where your nearest geocache is. Solving mini puzzles on the game will give you hints as to where your nearest geocache is located. You can also make friends with people online who are on the same mission as you.

7. ‘Ghostbusters World’

Specially similar to Pokémon GO, in Ghostbusters World, your job is to take down ghosts. Developed by FourThirtyThree Inc., if you’ve seen any of the Ghostbusters films, your experience with the game will undoubtedly be enhanced because there are some of the same ghosts in it. In fact, the game was developed with the moviemakers, so expect a lot of crossover elements. Despite this, even if you’ve never seen one of the films, you’ll be able to enjoy this. You can either go it solo or team up with fellow Ghostbusters nearby.

8. ‘Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is one we highly recommend for fans of Pokémon GO because it’s actually developed by the same people, Niantic Studios. That’s clear when playing the game too, but not in a way that would have you feeling that it’s too similar. From the start, you pick whether you want to be a Professor, Auror, or Magizoologist. Instead of other people’s Pokémon, here you battle mythical beasts. Instead of Pokéstops, there are Inns. There are a bunch of real-world locations where you can discover artifacts and meet characters from the franchise.

9. ‘Ingress’

Just like Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, Ingress is another creation by Niantic Studios, the same developer that brings you Pokémon GO. It’s actually their first AR game. For that reason alone, it’s probably worth giving a try. On the app, you’re an agent whose job it is to discover portals around you. When you find one and get XM (Exotic Matter, a mind-altering energy discovered by European scientists that’s taking over the world), you can either be part of The Enlightened or The Resistance. The former tries to dominate mankind, and the latter fights back against The Enlightened.

10. ‘Real Strike’

Real Strike turns the environment around you into a military base and is basically an augmented reality first-person shooter. If that doesn’t sell it to you, not much else will. You can records videos onto your phone and combine them with this game to make it seem as though you’re shooting whatever’s in front of you. Perhaps this one has some tricky real-life implications and a teen in America got in trouble for making it seem as though he was shooting some of his classmates, but as long as you’re using it for some light-hearted fun, you’ll be fine.

11. ‘Run an Empire’

Launched in October of 2018, Run an Empire was made with the hope of getting people to explore their cities and get some exercise at the same time. The concept of the game is that any area outlined with hexes in the game are areas that if the player walks/jogs/runs around, they will capture. It gives people an incentive to get out there and get their heart rate up with a fun little concept that adds some competition to things. Get your local friends in on the fun and compete for the areas around you.

12. ‘Sharks in the Park’

To play Sharks in the Park, you’ll need to be in an area slightly bigger than the average living room. Ideally, head to your local park to get the full experience here. As the name suggests, it’s based underwater, and the aim is to capture schools of fish. The faster you run (or swim), the more you catch. Simple.

13. ‘Temple Treasure Hunt’

Another treasure hunting AR game, Temple Treasure Hunt turns your world into a temple filled with ancient artifacts that it’s your job to discover. You can share a treasure trail with a friend and hunt the same treasure together.

14. ‘The Machines’

In a world where augmented reality games become increasingly popular, The Machines is widely regarded as one of the better ones, largely due to its graphics. Players command Champions and must think carefully about their position in the real world because it affects how well you’ll do in battles within the game. Playing against the computer is fun enough, but the game also offers a multiplayer option.

15. ‘The Walking Dead: Our World!’

Simply put, this game is a must-play if you’re at all into The Walking Dead, the TV show. Developed by Next Games, you’ll immediately recognize the feel of the game if you’ve seen the show, and some characters will even appear. Essentially, this is a zombie apocalypse as an AR game. There are many of these around, like Zombies Everywhere and Zombies, Run!, but this is heralded as one of the better ones. As with any great game, you can play alone or with some friends in the co-op mode.

16. ‘WallaMe’

Developed by Wallame Ltd, you’ll feel a real sense of community while playing WallaMe. Using the app’s AR, you can leave virtual messages or images on walls around you in a graffiti style and anyone else that utilizes the app will be able to see them. You can either have fun drawing things of your own or explore the world around you to see what other people have drawn. If drawings around you are scarce, perhaps get a few friends to download the app and draw things in a certain area, finding a new and fun way to communicate.

Consoles Gaming

Marvel Strike Force Best Teams: Your Ultimate Guide

MARVEL Strike Force has done an excellent job of keeping players interested with frequent updates that change aspects of the game and keep things fresh. As of late, there was an update called Iso-8, which was unprecedented in the game’s history.

Iso-8 is essentially a progression system that allows players to add additional powers to characters, boost characters’ capabilities, grant new abilities, create new team possibilities, and customize characters. To do this, you must acquire Iso-8 crystals, equip them, pick a class and then use them.

As expected, this new update changed a lot with the game, lessening the importance of some characters and making some significantly more powerful. If you’re wondering which characters are the most desirable right now, here’s a guide for you.

MARVEL Strike Force Best Characters

1. Anti-Venom

Of course, Anti-Venom is one of the characters that has given players one of the most essential Spidey characters worth investing in. He works especially well with Symbiote Spider-Man and Carnage and to put those three in a team right now almost feels like cheating. If you’re going with Anti-Venom, Striker is a good pick for Iso-8, although again, anything works well.

2. Hela
MARVEL Strike Force (Twitter)

Admittedly, Hela has some weak areas and she can be beaten by some other characters, but the pros she offers vastly outweigh the cons. She’s largely responsible for helping unlock Black Bolt and Phoenix, both of which are other great choices with the current standings (and the former of whom appears later on this list).

3. Emma Frost

A good pick for Dark Dimension 4, Emma Frost has been one of the best players in the game since the summer. She can heal herself for 15% and that’s not even including her Iso-8 healing abilities.

4. Black Bolt
OhEmGee (YouTube)

Black Bolt is considered by hardcore players to be somewhat futureproof right now. That’s because he’s expected to pair well with Victor Von Doom and Invisible Woman, but also because he’s a counter to Ultron and he’s a contender for Dark Dimension for some.

5. Ultron

Ultron has had some incredible longevity in the game, being a great option for a couple of years now. He’s still a great choice too.

6. Symbiote Spider-Man

Symbiote Spider-Man is good in raids and Dark Dimension and is easily one of the five best characters for any player to pick right now. As mentioned earlier, he works well with Carnage and Anti-Venom, making probably the best foundation for any team right now.

7. Captain America

America’s costumed savior and an all-around swell guy is one of the best tanks in the game. Good ol’ Cap’s Shield Bash ability stands out as his most devastating attack, while his Assemble skill gives him a nice boost to his blocking chance percentage. Cap’s Inspire skill is also worth having at the ready for your chosen squad – at higher levels, Inspire has the capacity to lower the ability cooldown period of Cap’s fellow squadmates. Getting access to your other team member’s abilities much sooner after using them is always super clutch. Plus it makes for a great taunt skill.

10. Kingpin

Spidey and Daredevil’s criminal menace may not have any taunt skills at his disposal. But he makes up for that con with a massive pro – his Crime Lord ability lets him summon bodyguards to do his bidding and give your team an extra pair of hands to work with. Kingpin’s Boss’ Orders and Mastermind abilities are also super helpful as team stat boosters.

MARVEL Strike Force was introduced to the world in March of 2018 and its popularity remains at a high today, with the game-changing from season to season with new characters. A turn-based game, it brings together over 100 characters from the MARVEL universe including fan favorites like Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Black Panther as well as characters that are known mostly by hardcore fans, like Crystal, Toad, and Shuri.

Players control a team of five against another team of five and the goal is simple – eliminate the other team. There are five types of characters; Protector, Brawler, Support, Blaster, Controller. Each named character has a basic attack that can be used repeatedly, an ability that requires enough energy to use, and an ultimate ability. While this information might imply that the characters with the best abilities will win, it’s nowhere near as simple as that. You see, different characters have different traits based on their affiliation, skills, origin of power and/or whether they’re a hero or villain. Due to this, chemistry is a key factor and having good synergy within your team is vital.

Balance is key and so different combinations of characters work differently together. Seasonal updates mean things can change on a whim. Differences in game modes mean sustainability across them is a key factor for many. All of this can be extremely confusing so to help, we’ve compiled a list of the ten best MARVEL Strike Force teams you can go with, with details on why. In no particular order, here they are…

MARVEL Strike Force Best Teams

1. Spider-Verse (Symbiote): Venom, Spider-Man, Miles Morales, Carnage, and Symbiote

A newer addition to the game, this team, or at least some basis of it with one or two adjustments, has been used to counter the almighty Asgardians and even Hydra in War due to Carnage’s passive ability, Frenzied Fury. It’s probably best to position the team the way that it’s stated above. That’s because Venom is able to take most of the damage from a Brawler’s chain skill. Miles works best in the middle because he only gains an innate evasion while in Stealth and he won’t benefit from any defensive buffs. This team has solid sustainability across multiple game modes too, so you’ll see these characters often.

2. X-Men: Colossus, Psylocke, Storm, Ultron, and Phoenix
Game Informer

This new and improved version of the X-Men works incredibly well together after the original team proved to provide more name value than anything else in the long run. War Offence is their specialty. Storm slows down enemies and at her best, deals 550% area of effect damage. Phoenix provides support, cleansing, and healing when necessary and is the nucleus of the team with it revolving around her. Ultron’s ultimate ability does a ton of damage, if Psylocke’s DPS hasn’t already done the job, that is. You might see Cyclops replacing one of the members in the team now and again, but these five characters in these positions tend to be the most well-rounded of the bunch.

3. Mutants: Juggernaut, Captain Marvel, Magneto, Ultron, and Pyro
Flickering Myth

This team is a perfect example of characters whose stats when solo look like nothing special, but benefit greatly from being grouped with others. Magneto works incredibly well with Juggernaut and Pyro as the center of the team, because he gives them additional DPS, and specifically with Juggernaut, he boosts area of effect damage as well. Captain Marvel as the tank is great and of course, Ultron is an absolute powerhouse who appears multiple times on many top team lists, including this one.

4. Asgardians: Sif, Thor Heimdall, Loki, and Hela

Perhaps the most meta team in the game, it’s hard to put any of these characters or any other Asgardians in positions where they don’t feel powerful. In spite of that, there’s always some tactical thinking that will come into it. Heimdall boasts the most health/armor, so putting him near Sif works well. In an ideal world, Thor’s passive would recharge multiple times per turn, which would mean putting Sif in a corner would make less sense, but that’s not the case. Depending on what game mode you’re playing, this can change. Hela is used in most game modes but this version is best for War Defence. All in all, the Asgardians remain a top choice.

5. Fantastic Four: Invisible Woman, The Thing, Namor, Mister Fantastic, and Human Torch
Game Informer

Naturally, different players have their own ideas about who to pair with the standard Fantastic Four squad and while different characters have different benefits and drawbacks, Namor does a great job of boosting their abilities. He increases the squad’s damage by 20% and their armor by a potential 30%. A healer would make them significantly stronger, especially for raids, but until then, this is a formidable group. The cherry on top is that the Fantastic Four are all farmable now, which hasn’t always been the case.

6. S.H.I.E.L.D.: Security, Trooper, Nick Fury, Agent Coulson, and Medic
MARVEL Strike Force

The above team is a great S.H.I.E.L.D. team for Arena Defence but truthfully, the characters and their positions are quite interchangeable. S.H.I.E.L.D. was the original met team when MARVEL Strike Force dropped a few years ago and they’ve gone through some ups and downs over the years, but remain a force to be reckoned with. Agent Coulson’s passive gives 40% additional HP to all allies in addition to full immunity to any debuffs at the start of combat. Fury and minions will always be a great pairing too.

7. Inhumans: Crystal, Yo-Yo, Quake, Karnak, and Black Bolt

Though this team is well balanced across game modes, where it really shines is War Offence because it can, give or take, eliminate any War Defence team, meta or not. Black Bolt was an addition to the game that had a huge impact a few months ago and is genuinely irreplaceable here. Black Bolt and Yo-Yo especially work well in Dark Dimension III and raids too, although the entire team couldn’t be copied and pasted into either game mode without a little bit of trouble.

8. Black Order: Proxima Midnight, Corvus Glaive, Thanos, Cull Obsidian, and Ebony Maw

A somewhat new addition to the game that has been rumoured to be joining for a couple of years now, Black Order made a heck of a lot of noise when they were added. This team is going to beat any standard team if used correctly. They’re far from unbeatable on War Defence, but significantly better on War Offence where they’re the meta. They’re also a good raid team. Empowered Thanos is a beast and his speed is upped by the legendary Ebony Maw, who is used in Dark Dimension III and Ultimus 7 here and there.

9. AIM: Scientist Supreme, AIM Monstrosity, AIM Assaulter, Graviton, and Security

This is one of the better War Offence teams in the game. What you’ll often see is people swapping out Security for a hybrid Ultron-housing team for what has been dubbed AIMtron, but the version of the team listed above is by far the most popular setup around. The team is versatile, with a lot of sustainability in raids, despite not being quite good enough to tackle Ultimus 7. Scientist Supreme is easily the head of the team and is even utilized in Dark Dimension III by some.

10. Marauders: Mister Sinister, Stryfe, Mystique, and Sabretooth
Reputable App

The head of the team, Mister Sinister is key here because he gives the Marauders team value outside of War Defence because you often see him utilized in Dark Dimension III, Arena, Ultimus 7 and Greek Raids. We only have the four main Marauders listed here because you can pick just about anyone for the fifth position for good impact. As of late, there have also been rumors of Emma Frost joining the game who would be a no-brainer for the final spot and would presumably do wonders for each character’s ability.

Honourable Mention: Hydra – Red Skull, Winter Soldier, Crossbones, Scientist, and Sniper

This team didn’t quite crack the top ten because of how one-dimensional it is with most of its value in War, but it didn’t feel correct not to mention Hydra in any kind of MARVEL Strike Force list. Although it hasn’t been considered a top team in the game for a couple of seasons now, it was one of the original metas. Red Skill, Winter Soldier, and Crossbones as a base would be formidable against any team. The other two positions are generally up for debate, with Rifle Trooper or Grenadier also making a strong case to fill either of the two remaining spots.

Honorable Mention: Power Armor – Rescue, Falcon, Iron Man, Vision, and War Machine

Our final honourable mention, some counters to Power Armour have surfaced in the time that this team has been in the game but it is still a very viable method in War Offence, with this team specifically. Falcon and Vision are definitely the most versatile on the team, used here and there in Arena and Ultimus 7. They’re far from a meta but don’t sleep on Power Armour.

Consoles Gaming

The 10 Best Nintendo Switch Sports Games

Over the years, as competitive as Nintendo’s consoles have been with Sony and Microsoft’s consoles, the perception tends to be that where the company is lacking is in games in the sports genre. Compared to the PlayStation or the Xbox, options are relatively scarce and Nintendo’s consoles haven’t always been the best fit for 2K or EA Sports’ offerings, historically anyway.

However, we’re all aware that the Switch is one of the fastest growing consoles around and generally speaking, the way it allows players to game on it lends itself to more traditional sports games much better than the Wii or the DS.

With that being said, if you’re looking to get into some sports games on the Switch, we’re here to help. We’ve compiled a list of the ten best sports games available on the Switch now. Whether you’re into soccer, basketball, golf, or tennis, there’s something here for you. In alphabetical order, here they are.

1. ‘AO Tennis 2’

Now, due to the fact that the Switch is sort of playing catch up a little with a lot of sports games, the sports games that end up on it do get criticized for being reminiscent of what we already surpassed a long time ago on PlayStation and Xbox. AO Tennis 2 is one of those, to some extent, but most importantly, the gameplay is good and realistic. If you’re into tennis and want the closest thing to a tennis simulator on your Switch, this is a must-have. You can even go online to play with people or play double matches with a friend.

Buy now, $24
2. ‘FIFA 21’

The FIFA games on Switch get a lot of criticism, but that’s largely because they often get compared to the PlayStation or Xbox iterations of them. If you put that aside and just appreciate what you’re playing on the Switch, you can recognize that this one could be worth picking up for you. Despite the downgrade in graphics that you’re getting from current-gen 4K-ready FIFA, having some of the newer modes to play on the Switch is worth it. The growth potential here is big in the coming years. Admittedly, you probably don’t need to pick up FIFA 21 because it’s similar enough to FIFA 20.

Buy now, $50…
3. ‘Lonely Mountains: Downhill’

Lonely Mountains: Downhill is a game where you ride your bike, you guessed it, downhill. Despite a painfully simple premise, this game becomes addictive quite quickly. It’s Megagon Industries’ only offering right now and it’s a great initial showing. If you do give this one a try, definitely do so on the handheld version, which adds a level of immersion to the game that’s too good to pass up. It’s an especially great one for Trials fans to try out.

Buy now, $14
4. ‘Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020’

If you’ve played any of these kinds of collaboration games since they started happening, especially on the Wii, then you pretty much know what to expect here. Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is fun for all the family and is a light-hearted approach to multiple sports. There’s a short story mode, but of course, where the game thrives is in the standard multiplayer. There are 34 different events to try your hand at. When the next Olympic Games happen, whenever that will be, it’s unlikely they’ll be as much fun as this.

Buy now, $60
5. ‘Mario Tennis Aces’

Perhaps you like the idea of playing a tennis game, but the aforementioned AO Tennis 2 is a little too realistic for you. Perhaps Camelot’s Mario Tennis Aces could be the fit for you. Released a few summers ago, this game is arcade-like and basic enough that anyone could get into the swing of it (see what I did there?), but there are enough mechanics that allow you to take it more seriously and benefit from that too. If the Nintendo Wii’s tennis games bring you a large dose of nostalgia, try out Swing Mode to take things back to the mid-2000s.

Buy now, $60
6. ‘NBA 2K21’

Where EA Sports’ FIFA 21 can suffer a little bit on the Switch and feels like the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 version, 2K have done an exceptional job with their basketball series. NBA 2K21 (and every NBA 2K game available on the Switch before it) really lives up to its potential in a way that it’s hard to say any other sports game does. The graphics really push the Switch to its limits and you can play every game mode available on it. Even if you own the Switch but aren’t the biggest basketball fan, you’ll be able to appreciate this game. At the time of writing, there’s a great discount on too.

Buy now, $20
7. ‘PGA Tour 2K21’

Another offering from 2K, PGA Tour 2K21, is easily the best golf simulator that’s available on the Switch, and it likely will be until PGA Tour 2K22 comes out. That’s partially a credit to the game and because there aren’t any other games on the Switch that attempt to take golf as seriously as this one does. It’s tough to give this one as much praise as 2K’s previously mentioned basketball offering, but it’s good regardless and has room to grow. If a realistic round of golf isn’t your thing, but you want to hit a course, try Golf With Your Friends or one of the many other arcade golf games that are available on the Switch.

8. ‘Ring Fit Adventure’

One of the best-selling games on the Switch, Ring Fit Adventure, is this generation of gaming’s answer to Wii Fit, and that’s genuinely the best way to describe it. Developed and published by Nintendo itself, the game comes with a Ring-Con (a device that you hold and that one Joy-Con fits into) and a Leg Strap (that holds your other Joy-Con for you). There is an RPG mode here that adds a storyline to the fitness, but what really sells this game is its fitness routines and party-style modes, which you can work out with music in the background or silently.

Buy now, $80
9. ‘Rocket League’

Rocket League has always been popular, even from when its predecessor was called Super Sonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars. But when it became free to play last year shortly after Epic Games took over, its stock really shot up. If you’re unaware of the concept, this is basically soccer, but in cars. Soc-car, if you will. The cars can get a massive speed boost and jump high, high enough for you to hit some insane aerial shots if you’re good enough anyway. It can take some practice to get that good, but at this price point, there’s no good reason to pass it up and not try.

Buy now, free
10. ‘Super Mega Baseball 3’

Canadian developer Metalhead Software brings us what is widely considered to be the best baseball game available on the Switch. It features many of the same things as the previous two games (Exhibition, Season, and Elimination, to name a few), but the third installment in the series also adds Franchise mode. It allows you to sign free agents and develop players, a rare sight for arcade games. The freedom of customization given to players is incredible too. This is a game that, even if you’re not necessarily into baseball, you can have fun with.

Buy now, $45
Gaming Streaming

The 14 Best Twitch Extensions

When the pandemic hit the world in a big way just over a year ago, people had more time on their hands than they knew what to do with. People started trying new things like cooking for the first time and even investing in the stock market. While many things suffered as a result of COVID-19, one thing that most certainly started booming was Twitch, and streaming in general.

Streamers who were already on the platform started upping their daily streaming hours, people jumped on it to start streaming for the first time, and people found pleasure in watching other people stream. It was a cycle that kept lending itself to growth.

There’s no shame in being new to streaming and though the best time to start was yesterday, the second-best time is today, as they say. If you do intend to start streaming on Twitch sometime soon, you’ll need to know which Twitch extensions are right for you.

What are Twitch extensions?

Developed by third parties and introduced just a few years ago, Twitch extensions are essentially apps that you can download and apply to your stream to enhance your viewers’ experience. There are three kinds of extensions: panel extensions, overlay extensions, and component extensions. Panel extensions get displayed in a box under your stream, and overlay extensions get displayed over the top of the whole stream, and component extensions pop up on the stream, taking up a small portion of the screen.

The best kinds of extensions make it so that you can customize your stream, providing people with a unique experience on a large platform. Some of the other benefits of the better extensions are that they make the stream easier to navigate through and engage with and expand your growth as a streamer.

There are extensions that let people get updated on your social media posts in real time, extensions that let people request what music is played in the background, extensions that help streamers provide viewers with useful reminders about their stream and many, many more.

You can only use 6 extensions (3-panel extensions, 1 overlay extension, and 2 component extensions) at one time, so you’ve got to choose wisely. To make that choice a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of 14 of the best Twitch extensions available right now. In alphabetical order, here they are.

1. Amazon Blacksmith

Formerly known as Gear on Amazon, Amazon Blacksmith is a helpful tool that gives your viewers a list of your favorite products that are on, you guessed it, Amazon. If anyone clicks on a product through your stream and purchases it, as long as you’re a part of the Amazon Associates Program, you’ll earn commission on it too. This one gives viewers a look into what kind of things you love, adding some personality to your stream and immediately making it stand out. What’s especially great is when you inevitably get asked what you use as part of your setup, you can just point people to your Amazon list.

2. Crowd Control

If you play Dark Souls, Fall Guys, Minecraft, Pokémon Red, and Blue, or any of the other games on the list of supported games, Crowd Control will allow viewers to send bits and interact with the game in some interesting ways. Viewers can enable in-game effects like power-ups, extend or lessen your game time and even kill you instantly. Crowd Control takes just 20% of the bits you get.

3. Exclusive Content for Subscribers

As the name suggests, this extension allows you to cater directly to your subscribers, giving people an incentive to subscribe to you and making subscribers feel valued. You can post members-only photos, videos, and posts. Every time you post something exclusive, subscribers get notified, and non-subscribers are constantly being reminded that they’re missing out on content as a result of not subscribing.

4. Latest Followers

This one is a panel and overlay component that lists new followers’ names and profile pictures out as well as telling you and your viewers how many followers you gained that day. It updates in real-time, giving people an incentive to subscribe and see their name and picture on your stream. Plus, if you have a goal of gaining a certain amount of subscribers in a day, this helps you track it.

5. OWN3D Design Panels

If you’re starting your streaming adventure on Twitch soon and just want to get going, OWN3D Design Panels are going to be perfect for you. Instead of going out of your way to design your panel and making it its own creative endeavor, you can choose one of the templates offered here to make your stream look more eye-catching. As well as still graphics, you can get animated panels here too.

6. Prime Sub and Loot Reminder

This is one of the simplest yet most important and effective extensions out there. The Prime Sub and Loot Reminder is an overly on the side of your stream that reminds viewers who have a free Prime subscription that they have a free Prime subscription. This could be the difference between just a little bit of growth and a lot of growth, whether you’re just getting started on Twitch or have been on it for years.

7. Quiz Kit
Quiz Kit

Quizzes are something that boosted in popularity a lot when the pandemic first hit, and people needed new, fun ways to communicate over video chat apps, so the Quiz Kit extension can come especially in handy nowadays. It allows streamers to either make their own quiz or pick from a bunch of ready-made ones and have viewers interact and compete with each other, with a scoreboard being kept. This one builds a sense of community really well.

8. Sound Alerts

Sound Alerts is, without a doubt, one of the most essential extensions you can have on your stream. Streamers can apply certain sounds to certain buttons on their stream, and viewers can give bits to have them played. You can upload your own audio clips, so this can make for some pretty funny moments. More good news is that streamers get to keep 80% of the bits received, with 20% going to the extension developer, as per usual, for something of this nature.

9. Streamlabs Leaderboard

The first of a couple of Streamlabs extensions on this list, Streamlabs Leaderboard essentially allows you to put your biggest supporters on a pedestal and express your gratitude for them by having a list of them in order from the top down. This could breed some friendly competition between viewers and get you more rewards as a streamer in the end.

10. Streamlabs Stream Schedule & Countdown
Gaming Careers

As long as you set a date and time for this extension, it will always notify people of when your next stream is scheduled to begin. You can also use it more short-term too. Having a long stream and need a short break? Put the Streamlabs Countdown on for 10 minutes to try to help retain some of your viewership while you power up for the next few hours.

11. StreamLegends
Next WZ

This one is a unique one and perhaps the most dynamic of the extensions of this list because it’s basically its own game that viewers can play. You probably don’t want viewers to feel like they’d rather be playing a game than watching your stream, but it’s a great alternative to leaving your stream empty while you’re AFK. The game is an RPG where players can level up their character, kill monsters and build a town together.

12. Spotify Recently Played

Admittedly, this one is only useful for streamers who play music from Spotify in their streams, but if you do, then it’s especially useful. As the title implies, it allows viewers to see what music has been played on the stream as of late. This is a helpful tool because it saves you getting the “what song was that?” question over and over again, and it’s a conversational point if viewers have some of the same music taste as you.

13. Suggestion Box

As great of a streamer, as you can be, there are always ways to improve and you can never please everyone. But a step towards helping to make your stream appeal to more people can be taking constructive criticism from viewers and that’s where the Suggestion Box extension comes in. Not only will you be able to see the suggestion, but other viewers can see them too and react to them with different emotes. If you get a suggestion and everyone agrees with it, implementing it is a no-brainer and can only be good for you moving forward.

14. Twitch AFK Arcade

Like StreamLegends, this one provides your viewers with entertainment while you’re AFK. The Twitch AFK Arcade extension provides a selection of mini-games all designed by real game makers, so it’s a great way to retain viewership if anything pops up from you and you need to step away from your computer for a short while.

Consoles Gaming

All 7 Pokémon Switch Games, Ranked

From the start of its gaming franchise in 1996 to now, Pokémon has become Nintendo’s second biggest-selling series, moving out around half a billion units. It comes behind Mario, which has sold around 150 million more units than it, albeit with a head start of around a decade and a half.

Pokémon games started out on the Game Boy in the first generation and have continued all the way through the iterations of the Game Boy and the iterations of the Nintendo DS to now, where games release on the Switch, which is a top 5 selling console for Nintendo and is quickly rising on that list.

There has been a total of 7 games released on the Nintendo Switch at the time of writing and if you’re wondering how the seventh and eighth generation games are stacking up against each other, below we have compiled a list of them in order from worst to best. But first, we look forward to the game that have been announced for the Switch and what we can expect from them.

New Pokémon Snap
Release date: April 30th, 2021

In 1999, Pokémon Snap was released for the Nintendo 64 in North America, and to this day, the community is split on how good it was. Some consider it one of the better Pokémon spinoff games ever, while some think it was a little boring. The concept of the game is that you’re a photographer called Todd Snap, and you travel around the world, taking pictures of different Pokémon species. Once you’ve taken 60 pictures, you take them back to Professor Oak, who rates each one.

It’s a simple concept that could be perfect for you depending on what kind of games you like. Next month, Bandai Namco Studios are putting out the sequel.

While the original was criticised for only including 63 Pokémon, New Pokémon Snap will feature over 200 difference Pokémon. Now, you’ll traverse through jungles, beaches and deserts on your hovercraft to take your photos and will take them to Professor Mirror who helps judge them with the help of Rita and Phil. Photos can now be retouched and shared online where the most liked pictures will be shared in-game.

A new addition is the Illumina phenomenon, which was teased at the end of the trailer. You’re tasked with helping to investigate it.

Pre-order, $60
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl
Release date: Late 2021

One of the other games announced in celebration of Pokémon’s 25th anniversary was Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl. It will be an enhanced remake of Pokémon Diamond & Pearl which is a fourth-generation game that was released on the Nintendo DS in 2006 in Japan (and 2007 in North America).

The return to Sinnoh is highly anticipated amongst fans. The Diamond & Pearl games were a key turning point in the Pokémon series because they were a step up from previous games and showed fans what the future of the franchise would be. Fourth-generation is where online battling and trading was first introduced so it’s only fitting that it comes back around here. Aside from the obvious graphical changes, the remakes are believed to be faithful.

Interestingly, the games are being developed by ICLA and overseen by Game Freak, when usually the latter is the main developer. This makes this the first time a main series Pokémon game where Game Freak is not the lead developer.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus
Release date: Early 2022

Last but not least of the games announced earlier this year is Pokémon Legends: Arceus. It serves as a prequel to Pokémon Diamond & Pearl and in turn the Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl games. It is expected to be out around a year from now.

While it will honor the core gameplay of the games that have become for it, Pokémon Legends: Arceus makes history because it is the first action-RPG in the main series and Game Freak’s first attempt at that sub-genre of games.

The reveal trailer saw many fans comparing the environment, gameplay, and general cinematic style to that of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The game is set to feature an open-world setting that is an extension of the Wild Area that was introduced in Pokémon Sword & Shield (which appears in our ranking just below because it was a game for the Switch). Though it hasn’t been confirmed, it’s speculated that the objective of the game will be to create Sinnoh’s first Pokédex.

Now for the list…

Now that we know what’s to come, here’s the ranking of the games that are already out on the Switch.

7. Pokémon HOME
Release date: February 12th, 2020

Perhaps this is a little unfair considering Pokémon HOME isn’t a game per se, but it’s still an official Pokémon application available on the Switch, so we decided to include it anyway. It’s completely free (more on this later) and acts as a cloud-based storage for Pokémon.

There is a mobile version of the game and of course, a Switch version. The Switch version boasts some exclusive features, including access to the Basic Box where 30 Pokémon can be stored. Pokémon from Let’s Go Pikachu!, Let’s Go Eevee! and Pokémon Sword & Shield can all be stored here.

A key criticism of HOME is that if you really want to use the full breadth of it and if you’re a hardcore Pokémon player, there’s a good chance that you’ll have to pay for the Premium plan which allows you to store up to 6,000 Pokémon. A 30-day subscription will cost you $2.69 while a full year will put you $14.39 out of pocket.

Buy now, free
6. Pokémon Café Mix
Release date: June 23rd, 2020

Developed by Genius Sonority and published by Nintendo and The Pokémon Company, Pokémon Café Mix, just like Pokémon HOME, is completely free. It’s not your average Pokémon game where you have to catch Pokémon. Instead, it’s a puzzle game.

You and Eevee own a Café and serve customers, who are Pokémon. Every time an order is placed, a puzzle is triggered. You must clear matching icons on a screen by linking them in a ring, with a particular focus on items that the customer has just ordered. Every time you complete an order successfully, you’re given the means to upgrade the café, which will, in turn, attract more kinds of Pokémon.

The art style is great, but players have criticized the longevity of the game to some extent. If these kinds of puzzle games that generally appear on mobile aren’t your thing, this game isn’t going to change your mind. But with a price tag of free, it’s worth a try anyway.

Buy now, free
5. Pokémon Quest
Release date: May 30th, 2018

The growing success of Minecraft meant that a bunch of franchises tried their hand at their own voxel-style games and Pokémon Quest is Game Freak’s attempt.

Set on the appropriately named Tumblecube Island, the new cube-shaped Pokémon we see here are called Pokéxel. There are four parts to the gameplay: base camp management, expeditions, catching Pokémon, and training Pokémon.

Much like Pokémon Café Mix, Pokémon Quest is considered to be a good enough game that it provides an ample distraction from everyday life, but it lacks the depth needed to compete with some of the games that appear later on this list.

Buy now, free
4. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX
Release date: March 6th, 2020

Released last year, this game is a remake of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team & Red Rescue Team. It was the first remake of a Pokémon game that wasn’t a main series game.

You start off as a human who turned into a Pokémon and which one you turn into is decided by a personality test you take at the beginning. From there, you pick a Pokémon to be your partner and take on the jobs that you’re given. These can be anything from rescuing Pokémon to delivering items.

Similar to criticisms of other games that have already appeared on this list, many felt that the game could feel like too much of a grind which took the fun out of it, though considering it a worthy spinoff title that it’s hard for a Pokémon fan to ignore.

Buy now, $60
3. Pokkén Tournament DX
Release date: September 22nd, 2017

Pokkén Tournament DX is an enhanced version of Pokkén Tournament that was first teased way back in 2013. It was released for Arcade in 2015, Wii U in 2016, and the Switch in 2017.

In Germany and Austria, the game is known as Pokémon Tekken, which should give you an idea about what kind of game it is. It’s a fighting game with a focus on action. Of all of the versions released, the Switch is the only one that has all 23 Pokémon in it.

The game is considered underrated and one of the better fighting titles you can get on the Nintendo Switch, with extra praise going to the Switch version.

Buy now, $55
2. Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu! and Let’s Go Eevee!
Release date: November 16th, 2018

Yet another remake, coming in at second place, is Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu! and Let’s Go Eevee!, a remake of Pokémon Yellow. These games are unique because they’re made to be a good entry point for new fans as well as older fans who played the original back in 1998.

The return to Kanto did its job in providing nostalgia for the original fans. Fans and critics alike applauded the capture system and Pikachu and Eevee as protagonists.

Buy now, $53
1. Pokémon Sword and Shield
Release date: November 15th, 2019

Finally, the best Pokémon game on the Switch, Pokémon Sword & Shield. Here, we go back to the classic storyline of a young Pokémon trainer who wants to become champion, this time of the Galar region by dethroning Leon.

The leadup to the game was shaky. The announcement that not all pre-existing Pokémon would appear had some fans disappointing and calling for a boycott, but all was well post-release. The game’s emphasis on freedom and general design was praised and most consider it one of the better games to be released in the entire series, let alone on the Switch.

Buy now, $112 (bundle)
Grind Money

How To Buy Ethereum, A Beginner’s Guide

When the pandemic hit around a year ago and people found themselves at home with nothing to do, one of the first things on people’s minds was investing. After crashing due to the uncertainty of the pandemic, the stock market began booming with the amount of money people were throwing in and stocks like Tesla made it feel like you were printing money. Bull runs galore.

Towards the end of last year, the surge of the price of Bitcoin got a lot of people interesting in investing in it along with other cryptocurrencies. Unfortunately, that process isn’t as simple as putting some money in an app and buying some coins. There are security measures that need to be taken, like owning a wallet, and many coins cannot be purchased with a fiat currency, i.e., your dollar.

That’s where Ethereum comes in.

What is Ethereum?

Ethereum is essentially a platform for decentralised applications. This means that it gives you the opportunity to run your application on servers around the world as opposed to a server from Amazon or Google. In the world of crypto, Ethereum is considered by many to be as good of a buy as Bitcoin, if not even better.

How Is Ethereum Different To Bitcoin?

Ether, or ETH for short, is the currency of the Ethereum network. It’s similar to Bitcoin in many ways, some of those being that they’re both decentralised, digital currencies on a blockchain. However, the differences are key. Bitcoin, a coin created in 2009, was created to be an alternative to fiat (i.e. government issued) money like the dollar, pound sterling or the euro. Ethereum, a token established in 2015, was made to be a platform for any digital contract to be both permanent and decentralised. What Bitcoin attempts to do for money, Ethereum attempts to do for contracts.

Though you’ll hear them mentioned together a lot, Bitcoin and Ethereum aren’t so much in competition with one another as they complement each other.

How To Buy Ether
Finance Magnates

If you’d like to take the plunge and purchase some Ether/ETH, there are a few ways you can go about doing it. With the instructions we’ll take you through today, we’ll go with the combination of the best, cheapest, and most safe route.

Step 1: Download Brave

If you want to go ahead and purchase ETH and access your digital wallet on a browser like Safari or Chrome, you’re more than welcome to and aren’t likely to run into any problems. But if you want to take every precaution possible, we recommend downloading Brave, a fast, private, and secure browser.

Step 2: Create an account on an exchange

One of the most daunting steps of purchasing any coin or token is choosing which exchange you do it on. Each one has its own set of vast pros and cons, and that makes making a choice that much harder. Kraken and Gemini (especially ActiveTrader) are solid options, but for this guide and the purpose of simplicity, we’ll use Coinbase. It’s the most popular option and a great entry point.

Creating an account can seem like a longwinded process. You’ll have to take a picture of some ID, wait for it to get approved, and then wait for your funds to be transferred over from your bank account. This can take anything from a few minutes to a few hours, but it’s worth waiting for.

Step 3: Install a digital wallet

Unlike purchasing a share of a company on a brokerage, any coins or tokens you purchase will have to be stored in a wallet, and ETH is no different. There are two kinds, hardware wallets, and digital wallets. The former is a physical wallet that you can keep and the latter, as the name implies, remains online.

We recommend MetaMask because as well as being a secure and reliable option when it comes to digital wallets, it’s also completely free.

The most important thing to emphasize here is that you take your seed phrase seriously, which means store it somewhere safe. A seed phrase is a string of 12 random words that act as your skeleton key for your wallet. If someone has access to your phrase, they have access to your Ether.

Step 4: Purchase Ether and send it to your wallet

Now that everything is set up and in order, it’s time to actually go through and purchase ETH. Don’t stress the amount too much. Even though, at the time of writing, one Ether token is roughly $1,745, you can put in as much or as little money as you like.

Last but not least, after making your purchase, you’ll need to send your ETH to your MetaMask. When you click the MetaMask extension in your browser of choice, you’ll see that underneath where it says Account 1, there are a series of numbers and letters that you have the option of when you hover your cursor over copying to your clipboard. Go ahead and do that and under Send on Coinbase, paste it in the Address section. Once you go through with that, you should see your ETH appear in your wallet in no more than a few minutes.

Step 5: Hold

Congratulations, you just purchased Ether. From here you can either hold or use it to purchase an altcoin that you couldn’t buy with USD.

Consoles Gaming

For All The Strategy Fanatics Out There, Here Are 12 Games Like ‘Civilization’

Sid Meier’s Civilization is a turn-based strategy game series that has been a fan favorite since 1991 since before a lot of people reading this (and the person writing it) were born. From then until now, there have been six official games, with the most recent being released on different platforms from 2016 to 2020. That kind of longevity is something that game developers dream of.

That being said, if you’re looking for a switch up from Civilization VI after the expansion packs, or whichever game in the series that you’re playing at the moment, but want something in a similar vein, we’ve got you hooked up here. Here’s a list of 12 games like Civilization.

Some of them are in here because they’re directly inspired by Civilization, some of them are in here because they live in the same genre, and one game on this list is even made by the same developer. Either way, there’s sure to be something on here for you.

1. Age of Wonders: Planetfall

It says a lot that the Age of Wonders series has been around for a little bit over two decades now and Civilization still predates it by eight years. Age of Wonders has always taken the 4X genre to new settings. The first few games were set in a high fantasy fictional setting but Planetfall takes things even further left, taking on the sci-fi and space setting. If you were a fan of Civilization’s building mechanics, things are similar here. A key difference is that battles take place more often.

Buy, $24
2. Endless Legend

Developed by Amplitude Studios and published by Iceberg Interactive, Endless Legend is a game where the goal is to dominate Auriga with one of its many factions. You can either do this through war or diplomacy. The combat system here requires you to plan the strategy for a battle before it takes place, then you watch it play it without being able to change anything. That could be a great thing or a horrible thing depending on your own preference. If you end up playing Endless Legend and loving it, they also have a pair of space games in their arsenal along with Endless Dungeon which is expected to release later this year.

Buy, $35
3. Europa Universalis IV

Europa Universalis IV stands out on this list because as opposed to being just a strategy game, it’s a grand strategy game. What this means is that it focuses on a military strategy where an empire or nation’s resources are used, essentially strategy on a much larger scale. This game was released in 2013 and the nation you control in it is from the Late Middle Ages through the early modern period. On top of battle, trade, colonization, and diplomacy are all in your hands. If you loved Civilization and want more of a challenge next, this one is perfect for you. Europa Universalis V has never been formally announced but is believed to be in Paradox’s plans.

4. Freeciv

One of the oldest games on this list, Freeciv was first made available way back in 1996. Despite this, its stable release came just over a year ago in January of 2020. When you mention Freeciv, its development has to be talked about, especially here because Civilization is actually a massive part of it. In ’95, three students named Peter, Claus, and Allan were part of Aarhus University’s computer science department. They were big fans of Civilization and XPilot wanted to see if they could fuse the two. They took Civilization’s rules, combined them with XPilot’s server architecture, and found themselves with Freeciv. Over the years, it got developed to be available on multiple operating systems and subsequent releases led us to this point. For that reason alone, it feels imperative that fans of Civilization try this one out.

5. Rome: Total War – Barbarian Invasion

This game is a sequel to Rome: Total War and is set 300 years after it. This means that some things like the gameplay and feel of the storytelling will feel similar, but actual factions and provinces in the game are different. A key addition in this game is the religions, namely paganism, Christianity, and Zoroastrianism. You can spread religions in certain provinces by constructing templates in those areas and conflict can arise, which you can deal with a couple of different ways. You can either become a hero or a villain through your decisions. The choice is yours.

Buy, $7
6. Sid Meier’s Alpha Centurai

The man behind Civilization, Sid Meier, also has some other games to his name. He is heralded as one of the greats when it comes to making strategy games and so anything he makes in the genre must be mentioned. Alpha Centauri is one of those. Fundamentally, it shares a lot of similarities to Civilization: the layout and the graphics. But it’s far from a carbon copy and does a good enough job of setting itself apart from its spiritual predecessor.

Buy, $5
7. Sigma Theory: Global Cold War

This game takes place in the future where a new technology has changed the world and helped bring around a global cold war, as the name suggests. It’s your job to prove that your nation is superior to others. But of course, a cold war means that no battling actually takes place. So how does this work in the format of a game? Well, the idea is that you lead a team of undercover agents to try to steal intel from other nations so that you can remain one step ahead at all times. While this might sound like a strange diversion from the usual combat system that takes places in the 4X genre, it makes a refreshing change and presents a new challenge that gamers are sure to appreciate.

Buy, $18
8. Stellaris

Stellaris was developed and published by Paradox Interactive, the same people who published Europa Universalis IV, which appeared earlier on this list. So, if you liked the sound of that, this one is worth a look too. Paradox is actually a main competitor to Firaxis, the publisher of Civilization VI. Stellaris is not just a turn-based strategy game, but a real-time grand strategy game. That feels like an incredible and eclectic combination of some of the games that we’ve already had on this list. Your goal here is to build an empire in space by colonizing planets and making different alien civilizations integrate. If you’re a fan, there’s plenty of downloadable content to enjoy too.

Buy, $35

If your favorite thing about the Civilization series and strategy games, in general, is the combat, then as its name suggests, Total War: THREE KINGDOMS may be the perfect fit for you. Developed by Creative Assembly and published by Sega, this game is one of many in a long series. Twelve main series games came before it and since its release in 2019, two main series games have followed. The game is immersive and puts you right in the heart of the action. There are two modes to enjoy the game through, the first being romance. This gives generals near-superhuman strength. The other mode, Records, is a little more historically authentic.

Buy, $68
10. Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos

Warcraft III followed Warcraft: Orcs & Humans and Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, but is the first three-dimensional game in the series. Here, you’ll collect resources, build bases, and battle enemies, just like a lot of RTS games. You can play against the computer, but there’s also a multiplayer option. The latter of those got a great reception and was ahead of its time when the game was released back in 2002.

Buy, $10
11. Warhammer 40,000: Gladius – Relics of War

Relics of War is the 40K universe once again diving into 4X. It’s good for people who want a dose of the Civilization series with a few changes, but it’s especially great for anyone that’s looking to get into 4X games for the first time. That’s because many of the mechanics in it make themselves more accessible for a wider audience. So as a Civilization player, nothing will be so new to you here but there are still reasons to enjoy it. The game’s combat system is great and immersive. Attacks come suddenly and require you to improvise to defend properly against them.

Buy, $40
12. Warlock: Master of the Arcane

Warlock: Master of the Arcane is developed by 1C: Ino-co Plus and published by Paradox Interactive, the latter of which have already appeared a couple of times on this list. They also published Europa Universalis IV and Stellaris. This game is most similar to the fifth game in the Civilization series. When you start off with the game, you select one of the Great Mages, all of which have their own backstory and pros and cons. All Mages are customizable. Throughout the game, threats come in the form of wildlife as well as players. Ways to win include defeating all other players, seizing and maintaining 50% of all holy sites, diplomatic victory, and killing a God’s avatar.

Buy, $25
Culture Movies/TV

The 10 Best ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ Episodes, According To A Childhood Fanatic

In the past year or so, just like Pokémon cards have seen a surge in pricing, Yu-Gi-Oh! cards have also continued to become more and more valuable. Part of it was always going to happen with time, but the process definitely sped up due to people spending more time indoors, perhaps wanting to get a bit of nostalgia and getting into an old hobby. Worldwide, people are trying to find their old decks and grabbing cards they couldn’t get when they were younger. I myself have started to get back into Yu-Gi-Oh! too, tapping back into what I loved about it as a kid and enjoying what’s new about it as an adult.

When it comes to general discussions about anime, you probably won’t hear Yu-Gi-Oh! mentioned amongst the likes of Hunter x Hunter or many people’s favorite at the moment, Attack on Titan. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t deserve a place as one of the better anime series of all time. It’s widely considered to be the best card-based anime of all time and in the show, Duel Monsters is the base for some incredible moments.

We’ve compiled a list of the ten best episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! of all time, with a short paragraph on why we think so. If you’ve already seen the show, you won’t mind there being some information ahead, but otherwise, spoiler alert.

1. Best of Friends, Best of Duelists Part 2 (Season 1, Episode 34)

When watching the first season of Yu-Gi-Oh!, you’re constantly aware of the fact that if they both keep winning duels and star chips, Yugi and Joey will eventually have to battle each other, but it’s sort of kept quiet the entire time. By this episode, they’re deep into their honorable battle and it’s much more of a back and forth than previous episodes would suggest. As close as they are and as much as one cares about what the other is fighting for, only one can come out on top.

2. Champion vs. Creator Part 2 (Season 1, Episode 27)
Yu-Gi-Oh! Wiki

Just as Yugi and Joey have a lot to fight for, Kaiba does too, except he doesn’t have anyone friends to fight for. At this point, his younger brother Mokuba’s soul has already been taken by Pegasus and Kaiba has put his life on the line in the duel against Yugi. This battle is the final step. The show does a great job of pitting Kaiba and Pegasus as perhaps the #1 and #2 duelists in the world and the battle lives up to those expectations.

3. Mime Control Part 3 (Season 2, Episode 18)
Yu-Gi-Oh! World

The battle between Yugi and Malik is one of the best in the entire series. Here in the third and final part, things really heat up. Yugi finds himself against one of the three Egyptian God cards, Slifer The Sky Dragon. It’s so powerful that Yugi ends up feeling defeated and even Kaiba, a frenemy of the group, does his best to motivate him through the battle.

4. The Dark One Cometh Part 1 (Season 5, Episode 43)

In many ways, though he isn’t mentioned as much in discussions about the anime, Zorc Necrophades is the main villain from Yu-Gi-Oh! We find out that he is the one who has been controlling Yami Bakura throughout the series and that he has larger plans to destroy the entire history of the world. Yuga engages in a battle where losing your life points means losing your life entirely.

5. The Final Duel Part 1 (Season 5, Episode 49)

The name of this episode really sums it all up. Zorc has been defeated, and now all that’s left is for Yugi and Yami to battle it out. This is a real test for Yugi, of course, who has had Yami by his side through duels almost the entire time that we’ve known him, even before he knew it himself. Yami doesn’t go easy on him either, as in this episode, right at the start of the battle, all three Egyptian God cards are summoned.

6. The Final Duel Part 2 (Season 5, Episode 50)

In the second part of the duel, Yugi must continue to deal with the strength of Slifer The Sky Dragon, Obelisk The Tormentor, and The Winged Dragon Of Ra, all of whose attack points add up to over 10,000. Yugi is on the defensive but by the end of this episode comes to an intelligent attack, with a trap card too.

7. The Final Duel Part 3 (Season 5, Episode 51)

There’s a lot of fan service in this episode which comes in the form of callbacks to other cards being played in the series by Yugi and other moves that have worked in big battles. Yugi really pulls out all the stops here and starts putting in some work on Yami’s life points. The only way to really describe this episode and the battle as a whole is an epic finale.

8. The Final Face Off Part 1 (Season 3, Episode 41)

In this battle between Yami Yugi and Yami Marik, a lot is on the line. Yugi and Mai Valentine have been taken captive and will go to the shadow realm if Yami Yugi loses. Here, early on in the duel, the power difference between The Winged Dragon Of Ra and the other two Egyptian Gods is well and truly on display.

9. The Final Face Off Part 5 (Season 3, Episode 45)

A lot happens in the duel, so without ruining the entirety of it, we’ll just say that this is the fifth and final part of this duel, and things end with a bang. Odion and Ishizu both come into play, and the end of the Battle City tournament is the climax worth building up to. There’s a lot more on the line than a card game, and the show does a great job of conveying it.

10. Yugi vs. Pegasus: Match of the Millennium Part 5 (Season 1, Episode 39)
Yu-Gi-Oh! World

The battle between Yugi and Pegasus has been back and forth, despite the power of Pegasus’ Millenium Eye. With the soul of his granddad, Kaiba, and Mokuba all on the line, Yugi is feeling the pressure but stepping up to the plate as he always does. By part five, Yugi needs the help of the spirit of the puzzle, Téa, Joey, and Tristan, to help him fend off some of Pegasus’ attacks.