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Lifestyle/Reviews/Video Games

‘Madden 18’ Longshot showcases the other side of the NFL

Every August a new Madden game is released, and with it often come minimal expectations from the franchise’s core supporters. Yearly sports games like Madden are plagued by short development cycles, causing each release to be fundamentally the same, but with a few new additions. This season, EA Tiburon set out to create something new for Madden 18. On a surface level, visuals and physics in the game have been adapted to utilize the Frostbite engine for the first time. While fans of EA’s other key franchise, ‘Battlefield’, will recognize Frostbite as the game engine for the popular shooter, it performs well on the gridiron as well. While graphics improvements are slight, running the ball in ‘Madden 18’ felt better than it had in recent memory. Tackling is no longer as robotic, as defenders seem to move fluidly into tackles as players bump into one another. This can also create… Keep Reading

A & E/Movies/Reviews

“The Big Sick” balances comedy with difficult social issues of today’s relationships

The summer movie lineup is often packed with blockbuster titles from high-budget and well established franchises. This year was no different, with its fair share of winners and losers but also a few surprise films. “The Big Sick” is a romantic comedy about two 20-something-year-old lovers who face cultural obstacles in their hopes of a happy life. The film follows Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani) who is a Pakistani Muslim working in Chicago as a comedian while driving for Uber to make up the rest of his income. During one of Kumail’s shows, he meets Emily (Zoe Kazan) with whom he hooks up with that night. Feelings remain strong after the night, even after the pair agrees they would never speak to each other again. The couple soon enters into a relationship but all the while Kumail’s family attempts to set him up with a Pakistani women in accordance with their customs.… Keep Reading

Lifestyle/Movies

“Transformers: The Last Knight” Review – Michael Bay Derails Franchise Plot Lines

Hasbro’s toy franchise known as “Transformers” originally came to popularity in the early 1980’s, over 30 years ago. All along they have remained relevant with multiple generations of children, teens and adults. So relevant in fact that the 2007 release of “Transformers,” the first Michael Bay directed film in the franchise, was a huge success. Over the past 10 years, the five movies Bay has made for the Transformers franchise have had increasingly negative reception. Partially to blame is the series continuation even after losing star actors Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox, and failing to replace them with consistent and likeable new stars. The franchise marched on however, with Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) becoming the new lead protagonist in 2014 and returning for this summer’s “Transformers: The Last Knight.” However, Cade nor any other recognizable character can be seen in the opening minutes of the movie. Rather, Last Knight opens… Keep Reading

Lifestyle/Movies

‘The Shack’: the beautiful – and surprising – explanation of God

For some, God and the afterlife are nothing more than a magical story. For others, it is a beautiful way of life and a way to shape and explain their existence. Whichever side of the fence you stand on, there are questions behind the purpose, point, and prerogative of God, which are so eloquently answered in “The Shack”. In a way that has never before been depicted in movies, “The Shack” fearlessly attacks the questions so often presented in the face of religion. This fearlessness, in my opinion, deserves the highest form of praise. The 2017 film is based on the 2007 novel of the same title written by William P. Young. Mack Phillips (played by Sam Worthington) takes his three children on a camping trip that’s all family fun until his daughter Missy (played by Amelie Eve) is kidnapped and killed while he’s trying to save his other two… Keep Reading

Lifestyle/Reviews

13 reasons why this show is not worth your time

“Welcome to your tape” sounds comforting to the naïve ear, but for the characters in this show it marks the beginning of trouble, anxiety, and fear. In a show that glorifies the tragic topic of suicide, it’s dangerous food for thought to the exact people they are trying to touch with their story. ’13 Reasons Why’ is a television series based on the 2007 novel of the same name. The show follows the aftermath of high school student Hannah Baker’s (played by Katherine Langford) suicide as the people she leaves behind are each left with 13 tapes, each tape explaining a different reason why she killed herself. Clay Jensen (played by Dylan Minnette) is the main focus of the aftermath as he was Hannah’s closest friend and love interest. I believe this show ultimately had good intentions but several things really bothered me:   THERE WAS A LOT OF GOOD… Keep Reading

Robot Wars: Cheesy stop-motion goodness

It bothers me greatly that giant robot movies never gained much of anything in turns of prolificacy in the west. In the land of the rising sun, giant robots are often a subcategory of various forms of media, like video games focusing on mecha, or mecha anime. All we have in the west are a variety of occasionally good mech games, and a handful of movies focused on the city dwarfing machines. “Robot Wars” is one of these movies. “Robot Wars” is a story about a much-divided planet earth. Large swaths of land are inhospitable and gas scares in years prior have condensed people into three areas of power: The North Hemi, consisting of former North American territories; the Eastern Alliance, a similar confederation of oriental countries; and the “Centros,”  a loose faction of bandits who live in the wastes and survive by pillaging. The North Hemi is in an… Keep Reading

Lifestyle/Movies/Reviews

A Journalist’s Take on A Journalist’s Take

Curiosity is the catalyst to discovery. A journalist’s job is to follow where their curious minds take them, fueled by a passionate desire to come upon the truth. It is in these truths that we establish our beliefs and morals. As a journalist, there is no greater reward than pursuing a story and turning a hunch into a reality. But sometimes the truth isn’t the result of initial expectations. Sometimes it forces us to come face to face with one of the biggest decisions a person can ever be asked to make: follow the facts or believe in the fiction. Based on a true story, the 2017 American Christian drama, “The Case for Christ” follows the life of journalist Lee Strobel (played by Mike Vogel) in his pursuit to uncover the truth behind Jesus Christ. After Lee and his wife Leslie (played by Erika Christensen) witness a stranger save their daughter… Keep Reading

Lifestyle/Reviews/Video Games

Development spotlight: ‘Hover: Revolt of Gamers’

Platform: PC (console releases coming in the future) Periodically, I find myself interested by an Early Access (E.A.) game, such as ‘Hover’, which is uncommon as I generally avoid E.A. games like the plague. For the unaware, Early Access (also known by many other names) games are games that are released early to allow people to play while the game is still in development. This allows for gamers to experience a game early while a developer gets money up front to aid in development. As of late, the category is filled with concept games and shovelware, with no guarantee that any of them will be finished. That possibility could come true (nothing is ever certain) for the game of focus in this discussion, but even if it weren’t completed I’d still say it was worth the time I have spent and continue to spend on it. ‘Hover: Revolt of Gamers’… Keep Reading

Events/Lifestyle/The Shot

SCSU eSports hosts Spring League of Legends Tournament

On April 15, gamers took to Atwood to compete in St. Cloud State eSports’ Spring League of Legends Tournament. The event was officially sanctioned by the LoL developer, Riot, who also supplied Riot Points as prizes. With 10 teams of five players each competing, including both SCSU students and community members, the event lasted nearly all day. It was also streamed live on Twitch and in Atwood, where about 100 people tuned in to watch the matches. The “MNSU Chimps” placed first with a roster of feelsbatman, ILoveVarus, Ransackmoose, Gegabyte, and Under 50 Percent (who became the tournament MVP). They received 2017 championship jerseys, mousepads, Red Bull, Riot Points and a plaque for their victory. In second was “St. Cloud 9” and in third place, “JFK was outside of heal range” who also received prizes for their efforts. Both the second and third place finishers were teams made up of… Keep Reading

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