“The Jungle Book” works with more than just the bear necessities
Nick “Chico” Hernandez
From what could have been a simple live action remake comes instead a full-fledged, well voiced, and seamlessly strung together adventure. Prepare to feel like a child again when recognizing old tunes made new again, and characters brought fully to life.
“The Jungle Book” cartoon has always been a favorite among Disney fans, and Rotten Tomatoes (RT) would proves that the remake is just as good. Critics on RT gave “The Jungle Book” 94% and users gave the movie 92%, both certifying the movie as “fresh”. To fans, some similarities will be as prominent as the differences; however, neither hamper the overall quality of the movie.
All of the animals that surround Mowgli (Neel Sethi) look as if they were plucked straight from the jungle that serves as the background. The scenes transition smoothly, but can sometimes leave the viewer temporarily blinded when one scene is darkly lit and the next displays sun kissed tree tops.
The movements fit each animal from the swift Bagheera (voice of Ben Kingsley), to Baloo’s (voice of Bill Murray) rolling around, and even the swinging antics of King Louie (voice of Christopher Walken) and his army of primates.
Something worth mentioning is how the songs are done, as it differs a bit from the childhood cartoon. Instead of immediately opening up the forest floor to song and dance, the singing is more casual. An example of this is Mowgli singing “Bare Necessities” with Baloo, but it feels more casual, more bare, more real-world. The style would be horrible if the movie were animated, but the fit is perfect inside of this live action movie.
The two things in “The Jungle Book” that left me with questions were very minor in detail. The first was the change regarding the elephants. In the cartoon, they were (albeit comically) militaristic. In the movie, they are regarded more as gods, with some characters saying they “shaped the jungle into what it is.” It doesn’t change the core of the movie, but it is a question worth wondering.
The second thing I have to wonder about is how short Mowgli’s hair is. A rough estimate would put the in-movie boy at about ten years old, but the hair isn’t long enough to warrant that age. A fan theory says Mowgli would cut his hair using sharpened rocks.
Overall, “The Jungle Book” will excite and thrill the younger viewers, and re-ignite the child within the older viewers. This a movie worth watching.
Some cars play sports together
Soccer, also known as futbol, hasn’t changed much through the years. The ball gets kicked, there are nets, teams, etc.
But the burning question calls out: What if cars played soccer?
Here’s the answer to the question no one was asking, “Rocket League.” A game where friends or strangers alike can get together and play the good ol’ wholesome game of soccer with cars.
But is it worth $19.99?
As stated earlier, the idea of “Rocket League” seems simple enough.
Have some Hot-Wheels like cars, have a ball, and play a game.
Seems easy enough.
The first time with “Rocket League” stands as most players worst and best time.
The controls are weird, no one shows sympathy, and you never seem to be able to land a hit on the ball. Despite the awkward controls, by the third game, you’ve mastered timing you’re boosts, you aren’t constantly turning around and suddenly hitting the ball comes much easier.
“Rocket League” somehow took a mess of controls and made them feel natural by forcing you to deal with them. (I don’t know how true this rings, but I’ve also heard it’s easier for less experienced gamers to understand.)
And “Rocket League’s” community rocks. My experience comes from the steam community, where you can ask almost any question (within reason) and someone will gladly show you a few tricks to the game.
The game does require a constant internet connection, so at times it can be laggy. Which can make the game four times harder to play.
That doesn’t hinder the fun too much, though.
“Rocket League” keeps up the fun with good humor. The player can customize the cars they play as.
From top hats to snowmen antenna ornaments, “Rocket League” will have you noticing and giggling at other players and their car’s fashion choices.
“Rocket League” stands on par with most other current generation games.
The game has a cartoony quality about it. The colors are nice to look at with an almost 70s style neon glow to it all.
The cars fit well into the world but still stand out well.
Sound wise, “Rocket League’s” fun soundtrack does its job while still carrying some weight of its own.
The sound effects are super satisfying. The blazing horn sounds when one of the teams score, the metal clank sounds great when you finally land a solid hit on the ball.
If anything, the sound reward you more than the score board does.
“Rocket League” does some weird things not found in most “sports” games.
Besides playing as a car, the game forces the player to not only play with awkward controls, but love them.
Though the concept seems simple, “Rocket League” really does something different here.
I know I can’t put “Rocket League” down.
Censorship in media
Let me get this straight.
I can play as a female sniper wearing a small leotard but I can’t see the backside of a time traveler in a full body suit because you can tell she has a butt?
Censorship in media has been, and always will be a topic of discussion.
We’ve come a long way since the days of Freddy and Daphne sleeping in different beds, but it’s been a battle.
Violence and sexual behavior are just part of human nature. Not to say we should violent, but it’s something we as humans are curious about.
Growing up, I remember it was scandalous to teachers that I watched “Law and Order: SUV,” but now I hear about how a group of fifth graders are discussing the story telling styles of “The Walking Dead” for a homework assignment.
Granted, teachers are trying to use something most kids are expose to teach lessons, but it baffles me.
I’ll state this now, I’m 21. So not long ago was I being told that I shouldn’t “really be playing violent games” and my parents “shouldn’t let me watch ‘Game of Thrones.’”
I know the struggle of being under the amazing age of 17 and having to explain to my mom in detail what was in this rated M game I wanted so badly.
I won a lot of battles, but I lost a lot as well.
Now I’m 21 and I find myself seeking more kid friendly games and books to entertain myself, due to the fact that violence no longer exist in just those few things I got away with watching or playing, but now heavily controls the world I’ve started paying more attention to.
That doesn’t mean I support censorship.
This was brought up by a little incident regrading Blizzard’s new game, “Overwatch.”
Blizzard, known for the “World of Warcraft” games, likes to make the men muscly and the women… well, they don’t wear much.
Much to everyone’s surprise, their new title wouldn’t have as many breast on display. Though a few characters still do, it’s because it matched they’re personality.
One girl, a time traveler with a quirky personality was under attack. By one person.
One person emailed Blizzard and said her “Over the shoulder” (pictured in A) was too sexual for her personality. Blizzard announced they were going to change the pose because “everyone should feel like a hero.”
While outrage sparked over this, Blizzard released her new pose. A classic pinup pose (pictured in B).
Now I have a few ideas why Blizzard did this. I think they wanted to change the pose anyway and took the opportunity for media coverage on the game.
Or they really didn’t like people saying their characters were “too sexy” which probably meant to them they needed more sex appeal.
But this got me thinking, Blizzard could have given her a completely innocent pose. Now Blizzard understands the market for their games and knows a lot of people play them for the sexy characters.
Meaning, this pose would make more sense.
A lot of media and games are changed to “shield the audience” from things we as a society have decided collectively that we don’t want to see.
Hence why to me, “Game of Thrones” isn’t that bad compared to what my mom probably thinks about it.
I remember when I was younger, “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” was recalled here in the U.S. when it was found out that the developers hid a graphic sex scene from the ERSB rating board. Meaning when it was found, the game was given an “AO” (Adults Only) rating and removed from the store shelves.
We still have a copy of it the AO version, due to lack of interest in returning it, but I remember thinking “Why is this so bad? The graphics don’t even look real.”
I guess to some up my point, we as humans only add controversy to these games when we make a big deal about it. Thus creating a type of free advertising to be interested in these things.
The same can be said for any episode of “The Walking Dead” when they censor the word “fuck” during the broadcast but add it in for the DVD releases.
I wouldn’t have bought those DVDs if it wasn’t for that fact.
I think of media censorship in the same light at censoring books and art. Not only is it not serving a real purpose, it only adds to the fuel of want, so I guess for a marketing department, it helps.
To bring my rambling to a close, I’d like to hear other thoughts about censorship. Do you agree with it? Do you hate it? Send us an email over to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Automatron DLC brings the metal
Nick “Chico” Hernandez & Mel Buskirk
Managing Editor & Copy Editor
Sentry bots, assaultrons, and Mr. Handys, oh my! The newest Fallout 4 DLC, Automatron, dropped on March 22 on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. This DLC is the first of three that have been announced by Bethesda, the other two being Wasteland Workshop (a simple crafting expansion) and Far Harbor (a full blown DLC said to be bigger than Oblivion’s Shivering Isles).
Automatron brings a new level of crafting to the table in the form of robots. After you receive a distress signal from a caravan being attacked by hostile robots you encounter Ada, the only caravan survivor. However, you won’t receive the distress signal until you are level 15 or higher.
Ada is part assaultron, part protectron, and all revenge. She leads you on the three hour (it varies on play style) quest to find and stop The Mechanist, the person whom is leading/crating these hostile robots.
This opens the floor to building a robot workstation where you can customize Ada, or build a new robot entirely. All it takes is some blueprints and you can build to your heart’s content. I prefer a flying robot with two flaming swords called shishkebabs. The robots don’t just wonder around like useless settlers (looking at you, Jun Long), they can assigned to different stations to work as well. I use them mainly as guards.
Besides being able to build a mechanical agent of death (there are more mods for robots than I care to list), small additions to settlement building are welcome. These come in the form of more paintings, more signs, and miscellaneous items that can add that touch of home (or bloody torture room, your choice).
Not only are there new robots and new building materials to play with, but the DLC includes new weapons and armor as well. The robot armor found on a new enemy gang known as the “Rust Devils” provides a decent amount of ballistic and energy resistance if you don’t mind it taking up half of your carry weight. New unique legendary weapons – also made of robot parts – are fun additions to your arsenal.
While the story doesn’t have a lot of heart to it, Automatron will still be fun to most people. Additional dialogue is also available if players wear the Silver Shroud outfit while talking to The Mechanist, which can prove humorous.
Unless players have bought the Season Pass for Fallout 4 (currently sold at $49.99), the Automatron DLC will cost $10 to download. The $10 price tag is cheap compared to the hours can be spent just on building robots alone.
Automatron surely won’t win over every critic, but the cheap price and longevity of building and killing robots definitely makes it worth it to me.
Finding the bird, I mean, love of your life
Finding love isn’t easy, especially for birds. Well, maybe for birds. I’m not an expert, but according to “Hatoful Boyfriend,” it’s tough.
“Hatoful Boyfriend” is a dating simulator, visual novel style game, about birds.
As in dating them.
It’s not as farfetched of an idea as it seems.
But is it worth $9.99?
Being a visual novel, “Hatoful Boyfriend” plays like a point and click adventure. The player gets to choose the actions of the main character by picking different responses to the birds’ questions.
Normally, games like this try to take the route of being “mysterious and sexy” (it’s a dating simulator) though “Hatoful Boyfriend” does it in a sillier fashion with questions that deal directly with bird feeding habits and other bird topics.
The game itself is really well done, when it comes to the world of dating sims.
The characters are fleshed out and interesting and don’t just give flat responses. Each bird really has a personality of its own.
While gameplay can be slow, the plethora of choices really makes for an interesting experience.
“Hatoful Boyfriend” takes place on some version of Earth that birds took the place of humans. The story mainly unfolds at St. PigeoNation’s Institute.
The player controls a human who lives in the wilderness and attends school as the only human in the bird academy.
Most of the back story consists of information on the war between humans and birds.
The most important part, however, is the interactions with the romantic interests. All are given the option to be seen in human guise, or the way nature intended, as birds. These characters can be wooed and fall in love with the player.
The story of the game itself doesn’t do much. At first, the school days can be repetitive, but once the story starts to pick up, and more birds are introduced, it gets better.
Bird chirping and pictures of birds really fill up this category. The art in the background, the “alternative” designs for the love interest and the soundtrack look like flat art from a generic anime.
So much more could have been done, but the visuals just aren’t impressive and the soundtrack is boring.
The birds at least look nice. I mean, if you don’t mind the birds.
“Hatoful Boyfriend” is fun. Not game of the year material, but fun. If you want to “coo” over the love of your life, or just really like birds, this game will have you giggling and enjoying yourself.
Steam usually puts games like this on sale, so pick it up when it’s half off.
Nintendo releases the newest spinoff to a 20 year old franchise
Growing up with Pokémon, our generation takes it very seriously when I knew game with a new formal to the franchise is released.
While Nintendo’s track record comes strong, a brand new game makes a lot of us older fans nervous.
No need to be nervous, however, because “Pokken Tournament” stands sound as another great Pokémon spin off.
“Pokken” can only be described as an arcade fighter, comparable to “Street Fighter” and “Mortal Kombat.”
The fighting style comes almost directly from the “Tekken” games.
Which comes off as strange at first because you play as humans in “Tekken”, so the Pokémon body types will feel weird at first.
The fighting was pulled off really well, though. I have no idea how Nintendo did it, but all the Pokémon, including a floating Chandelier-like creature, all control fluidly.
The multiplayer also comes as refreshing. Couch multiplayer doesn’t really exist in games anymore, with developers choosing to go with online only instead, but Nintendo falls out of pattern and gives a great local competitive gameplay.
The game also does a great job in separating itself from Nintendo’s other fighting series, “Super Smash Brothers.”
Known as a party game, “Smash” doesn’t get into the nitty gritty of what fighting games can feel like, instead going for an easier, party game for casual players.
“Pokken” really gets into the fights with not only an extensive move list for each Pokémon, but also takes every move from the original games.
Meaning Charizard knows fire spin and can use it, and it has the same affects as in the original titles.
The story can be dry, and lacks compared to the other 3D console Pokémon games such as “Pokémon Coliseum.”
Bringing back an older concept of “Shadow” Pokémon, the game tries too hard to be serious.
For any Wii U owner, “Pokken Tournament” will add to your collection of games nicely and won’t let you down. Do yourself a favor and pick it up. You won’t regret it.
“Zootopia” movie review
Nick “Chico” Hernandez
Fur flies, criminals scatter, and hilarity ensues within the one hour, 48 minutes of Disney’s new animated movie “Zootopia.” The movie hit theaters on March 4, and has made $233.9 million in the box office so far, according to Google. The movie is rated PG.
Many reviews paint “Zootopia” as a must see movie. A review from The Washington Post says, “The genius of ‘Zootopia’ is that it works on two levels: it’s both a timely and clever examination of the prejudices endemic to society and an entertaining, funny adventure about furry creatures.”
Popular user/critic website Rotten Tomatoes has also given “Zootopia” their seal of approval with a 99% rating, filing it under the “fresh” category.
In “Zootopia” there are two types of animal categories: predators and prey. While the world of “Zootopia” lives (mostly) in peace, the rift between predator and prey is obvious and shown throughout the movie.
The story begins not in the metropolis of Zootopia, but in the hopes and dreams of one bunny that wishes to be a big city cop. Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) initially has trouble getting traction within the police academy along with the police force.
Hopps, despite criticism for her being a bunny, works her way to the top of her class in the police academy and becomes the first prey to join the police force in the city of Zootopia.
Although she is assigned to parking duty while the police chief hands off more important assignments to the other officers, Hopps’ quick wits lead her a scam artist fox named Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), whom she ends up befriending in order to crack a case that threatens to tear apart the city of Zootopia in the form of creating mistrust between the prey and predators.
“Zootopia” not only has enough comedy and simplicity to appeal to the younger, but plenty of references and a deeper story for the adults. Two big name references come in the form of a “Godfather” shrew, and a chemist sheep with two partners named Walt and Jessie.
What makes “Zootopia” a great movie is the willingness to mirror the prejudice in America by using fuzzy (and scaly) animals as placeholders. It also serves as a reminder that people (and animals) can be different, but that should not be a dividing wedge. Instead, “Zootopia” shows what can happen when two different people from two different backgrounds (Hopps, small town bunny; Wilde, big city fox) come together as a team.
Series based on famous ‘90s murder case
“The People V. O.J.: American Crime Story” on the FX network, enlightens viewers on one of the most famous murder cases in American history. The murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in 1994. The television series takes viewers on a trip from when the bodies were found, how LAPD handled evidence, the cut throat fights of O.J.’s “Dream Team” of defense attorneys’, and the struggles of prosecution.
I was born in 1993, I grew up reading about O.J. Simpson and the trail, but this show makes me feel like I lived during this time. Although at first I thought that Cuba was just being very over acting, after looking up videos on Youtube, I realized that he is actually pretty spot on with playing O.J.. David Schwimmer both looks exactly like Robert Kardashian as well as reads O.J. suicide letter identically to the press conference that Kardashian gave in 1994.
It’s miraculous to me that I can watch the past press conferences and pieces of the trail on the internet while I’m watching a show, and compare what actually happened to what the show is portraying. Even the Bronco chase was accurate to the videos I found online.
Overall I love this show. I think that it’s been educational to me in the way that I never would have researched the O.J. Trial before watching the show. I like that it gives the audience a chance to see what happened between the “Dream Team” along with what happened behind the scenes with the prosecution. It was also mind blowing to see what was happening during the Bronco Chase, I never knew that O.J. wasn’t the driver of the Bronco when that was happening.
The drama in the show keeps viewers on edge, especially if anyone watching it does the same thing I do while watching and are constantly googling to see if what’s happening in the show lines up with what happened in real life.
Overall, it’s binge worthy in my opinion.
“The People V. O.J.” airs Tuesdays at 10pm on FX.
Glory to Arstotzka!
Congratulations! You have been chosen for the honor to protect your great country at the border. Your task: to control who enter the great country of Arstotka!
What if they needed help running from war, though? Maybe their papers weren’t up-to-date but they haven’t seen their child in years?
What if they were a terrorist group bent on taking down your oppressive government, but your family would suffer because of it?
Exploring themes of government control and balancing the needs of people, “Papers, Please” starts simple but grows more and more complex. Broken families, human traffickers, and terrorists all bribe, lie, and cheat to get your sympathy.
“Papers, Please’s” themes create an interesting atmosphere for the game, but is it worth $9.99?
“Papers, Please” doesn’t really have gameplay.
The game stand along the lines of a point and click adventure. Given a new task and set of rules each day, the player must decide who will enter, who’s turned away, and who faces larger consequences.
The player, timed, with a quota over their head, is given a choice with each new person. Meaning if the player doesn’t meet standards or gets caught doing illegal things, the player can’t feed their family that night.
As long as the player can last through the month, no one will starve.
Depending on if the player’s kindness will get themselves in trouble.
While not impressive looking, “Papers, Please” uses the dark graphics and depressing sound effects to pull together an atmosphere of hopelessness.
Even if the player gets paid enough to feed the family, the game’s music doesn’t reflect any feeling of accomplishment. The player needs to find the feeling of doing well on their own, through little victories such as a small thank you from a dying women who wants to see her children.
“Papers, Please,” while a worthwhile experience, uses guilt to control what the player should do, compared to what they are told to do.
While “Papers, Please” is not for everyone, anyone who is interested in history or a good story would enjoy their time at the border crossing.
A game about performing dangerous stunts to entertain cats
It’s become common knowledge that cats can be jerks, but they wouldn’t catch a person and torture them for fun, would they?
In “Battleblock Theater,” a group of best friends need to unite to escape from an island filled with crazy cats making them perform in an old theater house.
All while figuring why the best-best friend to all, Hatty, has turned his back on them.
“Battleblock Theater’s” wacky story may catch some attention, but is it worth $14.99?
“Battleblock Theater” doesn’t set the bar for gameplay.
Being a puzzle, side-scroller, “Battleblock Theater” follows the genre well.
The player starts a stage (literally a stage) and then begins collecting gems to open the exit of the level, all while discovering secrets and avoiding bad guys (cats, sharks, whales, etc.).
Every once in a while, “Battleblock Theater’s” controls just don’t work. While the problem doesn’t persist, it happens often enough to make an impact.
“Battleblock Theater” multiplayer shines past any flaws the game may have. “Battleblock Theater” started out as a download for the Xbox 360, so being able to play with multiple people on one system was a given.
The Steam port for PC, Mac, and Linux carried this tradition, beautifully, on either keyboard or controller.
Replay value also very high with “Battleblock Theater.” After story mode, the game offers a challenge mode that keeps players coming back.
The story of “Battleblock Theater” can be slow and uninteresting.
It’s the narrator that knocks it out of the park.
“Battleblock Theater” begins with a bunch of friends traveling in a boat called the “S.S. Friends… ship,” to find adventure.
But then a storm hits, and the friends, along with the “Best-best friend,” Hatty, get ship wrecked on an island with some cats, who are “jerks.”
Hatty becomes captured, and the cats put an evil, “albeit fashionable,” hat on him. Now the player must save the friends and Hatty, because “Hatty would never betrayal us! Er… betray us… NEVER!”
The narrator also sings and makes fun of the player during each stage with quips like “This game is brought to you by yarn. Yarn: it’s a ball!” and “I was going tell you how much you suck. Turns out you don’t!”
And a personal favorite, “IT WAS AS IF POSIDEN EXTENDED HIS HAND IN FRIENDSHIP AND THEY SPAT IN HIS MOUTH. Boy he was pi- he was mad!”
While still short, the story and narrator really make the experience.
“Battleblock Theater” sounds like a cartoon from the 90s. The music, while upbeat, serves a purpose and send a message with each stage.
Some of the more novelty music, such as the “secret” music the player hears when in a secret level, can become annoying. The same song each time really stops being funny.
However, the secrets are hidden well enough that the player won’t be hearing it too often.
“Battleblock Theater’s” low and high are hit here. The cut scenes are cartoon “puppets.” That seem thrown together and match the narration well.
In game, the graphics match the cut scenes, except the characters and sets aren’t puppets. The graphics aren’t bad, but nothing really stands out.
The colors in each stage aren’t too busy and make it very clear what the player can and cannot interact with.
While worth the $14.99, “Battleblock Theater” can usually be found on sale on Steam, meaning it’s even more worth it.
So “buckle your pants” and ride with the crew of the S.S. Friendship. One never knows how the adventure ends.