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‘EA UFC 4’ review: Close, but not quite a knockout

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EA UFC 4 review

The fourth installment of EA Sports’ UFC series is yet another step in the right direction for a game that has the daunting task of making the complex sport of mixed martial arts both authentic for fans and enjoyably accessible for gamers.

“UFC 4” is far from perfect, but it certainly features improvements such as a beefed-up career mode and simplified striking controls. However, for each step forward, there’s another that doesn’t seem to go anywhere: The ground game, for example, remains a complicated and unenjoyable aspect of the game when compared to the standup.

The result is a game that is absolutely stellar — if it was a straightforward kickboxing game with a career mode. Otherwise, it falls short when trying to add the “mixed” part of mixed martial arts.

The pros are noteworthy, as the striking improves upon what was a marginal uptick in enjoyability in “UFC 3.”

A lot of work went into making the fighters act and move more like their real-life counterparts. There’s a certain weightiness that can be felt when controlling a heavyweight such as Francis Ngannou that isn’t present when playing with a more nimble, fluid striker such as Israel Adesanya. The impact of Ngannou’s punches is evident, but he’s unable to race across the cage and throw speedy combinations like his smaller counterparts.

You also won’t find CPU-controlled fighters doing many things out of character. The player will be rewarded for emulating Conor McGregor’s sniper fighting style, whereas Khabib Nurmagomedov’s smothering wrestling is his calling card. Attempt to fight a style that isn’t in a fighter’s DNA, and you’ll be penalized for it.

The clinch game has also been overhauled to be more reflective of the standup, rather than a grappling minigame. It feels a lot more realistic and fluid as an extension of the standup game. Clinches require pressing a single button; to escape, you simply need to pull away. But with locomotion technology in play, it becomes a game of cat and mouse as you try to escape with your wits intact while your opponent can trap you against the cage and punish you with knees and punches.

Once the game hits the mat, what was once a smooth and fun striking game gets a lot more complicated. And that’s even with a new grapple assist that relies more on a simple move of the right joystick rather than multiple inputs to transition. If you want to get up, push the stick in the right direction. Your opponent can stop your transitions by moving the stick as well. There doesn’t seem to be a great deal of rhyme or reason to escaping a takedown and changing positions, but it’s a lot more accessible than previous versions of the game.

The bigger issue is that the ground game still feels very robotic as fighters go from position to position. As much as EA Sports attempts to make it feel natural, it simply doesn’t. And the strikes on the ground lack the impact that is needed to really feel like you’re doing damage. Is it better than before? Sure. But it’s still a part of the game that is actively avoided by gamers more often than not.

Submissions have moved to a meter-based system reminiscent of “WWE 2K.” While it’s a great improvement, the ground game only makes you want to stick to the standup.

The commentary has been revamped with longtime commentator Joe Rogan being replaced with the team of Daniel Cormier and Jon Anik. You’ll immediately notice the duo clearly recorded their lines together, and their conversations feel a lot more natural than previous installments. Cormier is a joy with his genuine excitement and knowledge of the sport. That doesn’t prevent the game from repeating lines ad nauseam. But, again, it’s a step in the right direction.

Also included are two new venues: Kumite and Backyard.

The Kumite is inspired by “Bloodsport” and feels like a kickboxing and Mortal Kombat hybrid. There’s no commentary, but a looming voice barks at you when a significant strike lands. With the backdrop reminiscent of the 1988 film (with a nod and wink to “Kickboxer” as well), it feels right to hear “combo,” “staggered,” “huge punch” and “excellent” with an obnoxious voice.

Backyard fighting isn’t as nearly as fun, but the outdoor venue with sparse crowds and barking dogs is a fun departure from the Octagon.

“UFC 4’s” career mode has been given some additions to make it more interesting between fights. Rather than just train and fight, you can use social media to spark rivalries, make friends and stream sparring sessions where you destroy training partners. All of this enhances your fan base, which assists in contract negotiations.

The training itself is helpful when working through the nuances of the game. You’re given a task and, once you complete it, you can work on your other skills inside of the window. Be too aggressive and you can injure yourself or your training partner. Injure the latter and you won’t be able to spar in that discipline until the next training camp.

The relationships with fighters can feel a little arbitrary, but this year’s career mode has laid down the right foundation for the future of the game.

The graphics are fine, though nothing spectacular. There hasn’t been a great deal of improvement in fighter design and there’s something missing when it comes to knockdowns — fighters hit the canvas mostly in the same manner.

For MMA fans, “UFC 4” should be a welcome addition that takes some small, yet important steps in improving gameplay. It will get a lot of burn from players who enjoy the art of kickboxing. And something is needed while we continue to wait for the “Fight Night” series to come back.

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The Benefits of Outsourcing Software Development

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Technology

Outsourcing Software Development has prospered through time as the benefits started to come out in the light. Outsourcing Software Development is a more sensible choice in terms of using the resources to their best and cutting unnecessary costs. You can develop your outsourcing software in three variations:

Onshore: By choosing onshore, you choose to distribute the work nationally.

Nearshore: By choosing nearshore, you choose to distribute the work in the same geographical land as the company exists.

Offshore: By choosing offshore, you choose to distribute the work in other countries.

In whichever category you spread your outsourcing software, the benefits are of a generous amount, and a good software outsourcing company can help you develop the perfect software for you. 

Let’s take a sneak peek at the benefits of Outsourcing Software Development:

Cut unnecessary costs:

While operating a business in an office, a lot of expenses are bound to be covered. Training, housing employees, millennium expenses, stationery, and many others. Outsourcing Software Development saves these expenses as the freelancers do not need to come to the office, use any utility or stationary. As a result, the expense of running an outsourcing-based company can cut its expenses and make more profit.

Time is money:

There’s an old saying, “Time is Money.” The more you utilize time, the more you earn money. Distributing the work and collaborating with other industries enables faster output with efficiency. Enozom provides you with an option for your company to collaborate with other outsourcing companies or freelancers. This makes the whole procedure smooth and fast.

More expert help:

No company is self-sufficient with internal sources. The working staff might not have enough experience and knowledge to survive in a competitive world. However, Outsourcing Software Development brings down the barrier. Experts from all around the world are connected through this. As a result, you can seek help from the experts and use their knowledge and experience to your benefit.

Firmed strategies:

Running a strategically successful company with a small team is almost impossible. There’s plenty of chances for low-quality output, mismanagement, and missing deadlines. But this problem can be solved easily when you let a team form consisting of outsider staff- meaning, outsource tasks. This will ensure high-quality projects and meeting deadlines.

Strategic Partnership:

Making partnership strategically is very important for any business to prosper. Outsourcing is one of the strategic partnerships of the modern world. The companies are going into long-term partnerships with other marketers from all around the world. This is the key to utilizing the advantages of outsourcing software development. Choosing Enozom will open the doors to different outsourcing marketers from around the world who are best in their own fields.

Slay the market:

One of the biggest advantages of Outsourcing Software Development is, you can be ahead in the game by a few steps with the help of proper software. The business of IT is spreading faster now. It’s becoming more and more popular, and the wise are now investing in its business. The competition is higher every day. Outsourcing is the best way of getting a competitive advantage. Hiring external experience makes sure of delivering work by.

Advanced technology:

Outsourcing Software Development is built with the most advanced technology available to ensure the best quality software. This means the newly developed outsourcing software provides ultimate ease and quality. Gathering the best freelancers alone can’t bring quality to the projects if the technologies used are not up-to-date. But thanks to the software companies who offer Outsourcing Software Development like Enozom to entrust the growth of your company.

Spread in the market:

Outsourcing is spreading in the market. By outsourcing your projects, you enter the international market in many directions. This allows your company to stand a chance on the international platform. While working with highly experienced freelancers, you become more exposed to the broader possibilities around the world.

New prospect:

Outsourcing Software Development brings skilled output from all around the world into one field. Different agencies and freelancers doing outsourcing have different working methods. This means there’s freshness and variety in work. New prospects are introduced, which ensures high-quality work.

Lowers the risk:

Working with external companies which are skilled and experienced in their own fields have a high probability of delivering professionalism. This lowers the risk of low-quality output, which is treacherous for any company. Again, Enozom connects its customers with the best out there.

Customer satisfaction:

As outsourcing your work ensures skilled project outcomes, it’s only expected that the customers are satisfied with your company’s work and look forward to working with you in the future. Outsourcing your work can play a vital role in building long-term contracts with the customers.

Resource maximization:

The costs of running an office full of staff are so much that if a company goes to outsource its work, it can save almost half the expenses and utilize those savings to make even more profit. Even the labor that is being appointed can’t produce enough to satisfy the customers. Meanwhile, outsourcing the work ensures 100% satisfactory work as they get paid according to performance. So, all the resources are used to maximize the profit.

All in one:

Outsourcing Software development is like a one-stop mall. Building an Outsourcing Software means you can add a different niche to work on. You can work with different domains and get different projects. No need to say, the opportunity of getting that work done by different companies and freelancers who are specialized in different categories. It’s like a package consisting of different opportunities.

Conclusion

There are plenty of advantages of Outsourcing Software Development. The chances and opportunities of Outsourcing Software Development are increasing day by day. Getting your work done by professionals, diversity in work can take your company to the peak with the help of the right software-making company. Thus, entrust Enozom to make the most suitable Outsourcing Software according to your requirements.

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Business

Making The Leap From Small-Sized Business To Medium-Sized Business

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Leap

Over the years, the confidence of small businesses has grown to an all-time high. In fact, most of the respondents to the National Small Business Association’s survey admitted they anticipate economic growth, while some others said they felt very confident about the future of their business. 

With this, clearly, the future is bright for business owners.

It doesn’t matter the current size of your business. It’s advisable to plan and structure to prepare for the future.

A little proactivity when it comes to growing your small business will pay off in the long run. Here are 6 tips on how to grow your small business.

  1.  Improve your homepage:

Besides making signing up or purchasing easy and improving SEO, ensure your homepage looks as great as possible.

Think about this: 96 percent of prospects visiting your website aren’t ready to purchase something. And your homepage is most likely where they will land after clicking on your link. 

If they find your homepage to be cluttered or hard to navigate, they’ll move elsewhere. Also, if your web copy is bad or doesn’t show any value of your products or services, they’ll be turned off.

Most times, a simple change can boost your revenue tremendously. 

  1.  Pay attention to Analytics:

Many companies, particularly tech giants like Amazon and Facebook, realize the value of utilizing data. And you should, also.

A report in The Economist notes, “the world’s most precious resource is no longer oil, but data.” luckily, unlike oil, any company can benefit from data. 

As a small business owner with social media pages and a website looking to grow, you can employ free digital tools to gain insights into your customers.

For example, Google Analytics shows page visits, how your audience arrives at your page, bounce rate, and average time on site, which can provide insights into where to focus your marketing efforts.

  1. Invest in systems:

We already know you’re a pro at this business ownership stuff. However, if you’re trying to handle everything by yourself, you might end up limiting yourself for potential growth. A business powered by systems is one that can handle the multi-layered demands of growth.

Having robust systems such as powerful e-commerce software or a solid CRM in place can help you focus on the important aspects of growth and expansion while the money keeps rolling in.

Inspect your current operations to see what parts are monotonous or repetitive and make it your aim to outsource or automate as much as possible so that you can pay close attention to small business growth.

  1. Make a plan to grow your business:

There are several ways to grow your small business, from optimizing your website for mobile to email marketing campaigns to encouraging online reviews.

The main thing is first to have a plan that you can execute. Unluckily, nearly half of businesses do digital marketing with no clear strategy

The ideal way to grow your small business is never to become self-satisfied and always be tested. Identify your audiences’ needs, test your hypothesis, iterate, and then test again.

  1.  Focus on scalability:

When time, money, and expertise are in short supply, you may feel tempted to go with the cheap (or quick) fix. And investing in basic solutions that don’t need a huge learning curve or financial investment can seem like the right option.

Things aren’t always what they seem.

Definitely, your dream solution may have an intimidating learning curve or be a stretch. However, ending up in a patchwork maze of several inefficient and inexpensive systems that only appear economical will end up costing you more money in the future.

  1. Always have a backup plan:

When you’re a solopreneur, you’re usually able to pivot when things don’t go as planned. However, as your business grows and becomes more sophisticated, these quick adjustments will prove more difficult.

Ensure you have a plan in place for emergencies or unforeseen situations so that you can deal with the inevitable obstacles in the journey.

With growth comes fear. Sometimes it may feel easier not to take the risk and stick with the status quo. However, you’re prepared for this. You’ve concluded the groundwork, and your foundation is strong and steady. You’re set to meet your growth goals.

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Business

Safety Procedures to Protect Your Company’s Worksite

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Safety Procedures

You may have the best in personal protection, but what are you doing to protect your business as a whole? Business security, whether in reference to data or physical property, is essential. You can’t have eyes on your worksite 24/7, but there are ways to ensure you’re protecting your assets.

Don’t Do It Alone

Outsourcing security is a given these days. You can’t manage your company’s hard drive, parking lots, and buildings on your own. Here are some recommended security measures to practice at your workplace.

Plan Ahead

We all hope that nothing will happen to disrupt our safety or the security of our workplace. But, in the event that a natural disaster, robbery, or accident occurs, it’s important to already have a protocol in place.

This should include knowing evacuation procedures, regularly backing up data, and having a notification system in place to notify employees. If you’re working with a company like CBI Security, you have a team of experts who will not only evaluate your current safety and security protocols but help you implement new ones as the need arises. Having a fresh set of eyes to help you plan ahead can be well worth the investment, whether it’s an IT department or surveillance.

Fail-Safe vs Fail Secure Systems

Depending on the type of information or property you’re protecting, you may have fail-safe or fail-secure systems. Do you know the difference?

Fail-Safe

Some doors need to remain unlocked, even in times of emergency. These may include stairwell doors or exterior doors that provide an exit route to those insides. If power fails for your building, it may be a good idea to have fail-safe doors that will remain unlocked.

Fail-Secure

In contrast, some doors need to remain locked for safety. They may be protecting virtual or physical assets or sensitive information. It is a good idea to have some doors that stay secure in the event of power failure.

Tiered Access

Also known as a Managed Access system, it’s convenient to have different levels of access for various employees. If this can be designated remotely when needed, even better. You can monitor building access with the use of keycards, and your tiered access control system will let you know who’s going in and out, as well as when. Whether you have a security company monitoring access, or a local facilities manager, you can simplify granting and denying permission to employees or contractors.

Depending on the system you use, you can use your smartphone to control:

  • Responses to alarms
  • Door locks
  • Cameras
  • Keycard Access

Light it Up

What good are your security cameras and closely-monitored doors if you don’t have adequate lighting at your worksite? Whether you invest in exterior lights that automatically turn on at dusk, or motion-sensor lights, be sure that everything under surveillance is illuminated. This can help you identify burglars if they are caught on camera, or deter them in the first place.

The same goes for inside your worksite as well. In the event someone is inside after hours, you should have security lighting that allows cameras to do their job of capturing someone in the act. Security lights can also aid employees if the power fails and they need to navigate out of inner offices or down stairwells that don’t have natural light sources.

Improve Customer Service

Are your employees trained to acknowledge guests who arrive on your property? They may be clients coming in for a meeting, or someone loitering to get an idea of your office layout. While the burden of identifying and stopping potential intruders should not fall solely on your employees, they should be trained to notice people onsite. Making a potential intruder aware that their presence has been noted can help prevent future crime. Or, if the visitor is a client, it can simply make them feel welcome doing business with you. Either way, it can be a win-win situation.

If you have an office that deals with customers on a regular basis, you may fall under the Federal Protective Service security guidelines. If so, a representative from the agency can work with your company to ensure your worksite provides a safe environment for both employees and customers.

Recommendations from the Federal Protective Service

  • Security guards at building entrances
  • Metal detectors at building entrances
  • Closed-circuit television (CCTV) monitoring common areas
  • Arrange office furniture to provide natural “barriers” between employees and visitors/customers
  • Install hidden notification devices for employees to utilize in the event of a threat (i.e. buttons under counters)

Clean Up After Yourself

In offices or at the construction site, cleaning up after yourself can be crucial to safeguarding information and materials. What protocol do you have in place to secure files, building equipment, and construction supplies? To prevent theft, ensure your employees are meticulous about powering down their computers and machinery at the end of their shifts, as well as locking cabinets and office doors.

Be sure you’re disposing of sensitive material appropriately, and discarding construction waste responsibly. While it may be convenient to empty trash into an onsite dumpster, it’s not ideal for confidential documents. Most dumpster rental companies sort through the waste they receive in an effort to recycle what they can; as a result, it’s important to go the extra mile and shred anything that shouldn’t be shared.

Whatever systems and procedures you have in place, they’re no good unless they’re tested. Be sure you’re routinely carrying out drills to monitor for vulnerabilities in your security system or employees. Get your staff familiar with how to respond to alarms or notifications so if they’re ever faced with the real deal, they’re prepared. If you can reduce employee turnover, these drills will be easier to facilitate because everyone will be more familiar with them each time.

It can be daunting to invest in costly security measures upfront, but they’re usually worth it. Not only can having a security system reduce the cost to insure your business, but they can help prevent future losses via theft or vandalism.

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