Breath of the Wild

By Bunni Smith

Despite being a diehard Nintendo fan, as well as the owner of every console Nintendo has ever made since 2006, I’ve never really sat down and played Legend of Zelda (“hypocrite!” I hear some of you yelling). Not for any particular reason, other than lack of funds and lack of interest - the fantasy genre as a whole has always seemed terribly predictable to me. So, when my good friend offered to lend me Breath of the Wild, I was a little hesitant to accept his offer. With a little insistence, (and his generousness in letting me make him sit through an hour of dying my way through Metal Gear Solid) I decided to give the game a whirl, and I’m glad I did, as I’ve done nothing but play that god forsaken game for a week.

Now, Breath of the Wild is not a new game by any means. This isn’t going to be a hot, fresh off the press review, but rather a recommendation for those looking to invest their time in a worthwhile experience.

It has the typical Zelda setup - blah blah Link, blah blah kill Ganon. I couldn’t care less about the lore, no offense. What hooked me first was something relatively simple: horse riding. You have no idea how much I flipped out when I figured out you could catch and ride wild horses in this game, and that’s where the love began. This is an open world game and having my trusty steed, Big Boss, around to help me traverse it made me appreciate the landscapes that much more. The lighting and shadows are beautiful, and you have the same unshakable urge to take photos that an Instagram model has on a summer vacation.

I said I didn’t care about the lore, but the characters grew on me - I was always happy to see Beedle when I stopped by a stable, and he was always happy to see me. The gentle asiatic feel of Kakariko Village and its inhabitants gave me happy flashbacks to Okami. The Gerudo are a special favorite of mine, and anyone who knows me could probably guess why; I’m a sucker for tough ladies and desert vibes. Even Zelda’s character in this rendition stuck out to me, though I confess to not having quite finished the story yet, so all I have to go on for her are memories from the album. Did I mention there are bird people? There are bird people.

Sidequests abound as well if you’re just looking for something fun to do; try searching around Kakariko for a villager’s runaway chickens, or catching crickets for a lovestruck young man to give his sweetheart. If you're looking for some even more mindless fun, go hunting moose in the Hebra mountains with a horse; they’ll keel right over if you gallop into them at top speed, and they drop high quality meat you can sell - cha-ching! Go out to the nearest village and spend your earnings on stupid clothes you know you probably don’t need.

As an open world game, it’s got its fair share of secrets to. You can find hot springs in the middle of the arctic tundra, and if you have a couple extra rupees and an hour to kill searching, you can try to find a Great Fairy to enhance your clothes or just to hear that famous Zelda tune again.

I honestly can’t nitpick about this game - though if I had to find one thing to gripe about, I’d choose the common complaint: you can’t pet the dogs. That being said, this is still one of the only games I would unabashedly rate with a 10/10. It has something for everyone, even if you don’t care about Zelda games at all. Seriously, go play it.


The Conflict of Gaming

By Randall McGee

Since the rise of video games, their effect on mental, physical, and social health has been in question. Organizations have been created against it and concerned parents have come forward bringing many arguments to contest it. The question of its effect on health is a very complicated one to answer.

The conflict goes both ways, with people saying that it has health benefits, and people saying it poses a danger to society. Arguments for video games often encompass things such as brain exercise, challenges within the game training your brain for a plethora of situations and problems in the real world. These arguments have research behind them, but most ideas have some sort of research behind them that has vague proof of an idea, so the presence of research into it is a lot less convincing than it could otherwise be.

The act of gaming was researched to train organizational skills, thinking skills, and fine motor skills in people who played them frequently. While one single study into this may not be plausible, there were multiple done, and all pointed to the idea that video games improved parts of the brain.

One of the studies done had one group playing a video game for two months, while the another group did not play video games for the same amount of time. They measured the brain volume of both groups before and after the experiment, and the group that played video games was at a greater grey matter volume by the end.

There are further studies into video games increasing reaction time, and improving specific parts of the brain. The fast paced action in games simulates real life situations that require sharp reflexes, causing the brain to adapt and react faster as a result.

These benefits extend even further with the creation of virtual reality games or even games that let you physically control things in the game with hand or body motions. These games not only sharpen your mind in the same way that regular video games do, but they actually give the gamer an exercise. This solves one of the biggest complaints of gaming, which is the physical inactivity of the gamer and descent into obesity. Virtual reality games are becoming increasingly popular and have multiple platforms with dozens of games. While the computer requirements are a bit beyond average affordable computers, in the near future virtual reality video games could be massively popular.

WIth all of the benefits of video games, one could wonder why anyone would have a problem with this new age of fun as well as mental and possibly physical benefit. One should keep in mind that while video games have become a massively popular pastime, they are a relatively new phenomenon. 20 or 30 years ago, video games were few, far between, and not too pretty to look at. Primitive game systems, pixelated characters, and violent story lines drove many older people to believe that these new games were dangerous or foolish. This belief continued as video games got more popular and captured the attention of teens and young adults everywhere. This was seen as a distraction from the real world, a distraction that caused grades to slip and jobs to be neglected.

In a way, these fears had substance. Humans have always had a way of attaching themselves to an interesting activity and becoming obsessed with it, causing a dangerous addiction. This has been seen with many things: drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, gambling, and many other things that can be fun or healthy in moderation. However, when something like this is overused, a problem can arise that takes over one’s life.

The World Health Organization, or WHO, recently came up with a name for one such addiction called ‘gaming disorder.’ This disorder occurs when a gamer starts to enjoy gaming more than all other activities and allows it to take precedence over everything else. The individual may sacrifice personal relationships, school, work, and other things to create more time for their gaming obsession. This leads to an extremely unhealthy lifestyle, ruining the life of the affected individual.

This disorder was the evidence that many people against gaming thought that they needed to argue against video games. If gaming could take over and ruin someone’s life, video games are a dangerous thing right? This, however, is not true. The WHO said itself in its report that it is a very rare disease, affecting only a very small portion of the gaming population. This means few people ever develop this disease in the first place, presumably only those susceptible to addiction in the first place.

Upcoming Artist of 2019- Aries

By Zachary Whitcomb

Twenty-year-old artist Aries has been working and improving for the past two years on songs; after just releasing his final single, SANTA MONICA, I think we’ll be seeing him more and more on mainstream platforms. Aries was born on April 18th, 1998, in Orange County, California and has always had a passion for music. At a young age, he remembers playing piano with his dad and always liked listening to rock and rap music with his friends growing up.

Throughout middle school he started smoking weed with his friends but quit smoking entirely when he started to become paranoid and panicky, which forced him to stay in his room. In his early years of high school while being in his room, he became interested in producing and making music. Throughout high school, Aries would continue to make beats and slowly get into rapping more and more on each song. When asked about his high school experience, he said “I wouldn't say worthless. I definitely had good times in high school. School’s not for me. I’m a dreamer. It's kind of hard seeing all these people conform when you want to do something else and you want to talk about it and everyone else is like ‘ehh.” In an interview, Aries said he went to college for about two months before he dropped out. He said he had a game plan in his mind and he knew it would work.

He started out on a YouTube channel making “songs in 2 minutes” videos making the popular mainstream songs in two minutes. He said they're fun to do but he wants to focus on his music career over his YouTube one, which gave him a huge boost. He also made remixes of songs on his YouTube channel like, a beautiful version of Congratulations by Post Malone or making 21 Savage sound less savage. His music gained a lot of following after his channel started to get bigger. All of his “how I made ___ ” videos and his music videos are all uploaded as well as edited by him. Recently, he’s been straying further away from his channel to lock into making music and has been working in his home studio and music studios since.

His song CAROUSEL peaked at #10 on Spotify’s US Viral charts. His production style is mix of rap and alternative rock with melancholic guitars and heavy 808 bass lines peppered by synths and anything else he feels like sampling to boost his music. When it comes to his vocals, he raps and sings melodies about betrayal and people doubting his abilities. His first public song on his SoundCloud was released two years ago called, THE MAN. His top song on SoundCloud right now is CAROUSEL at 1.15 million streams.

On a podcast interview with fellow music artist and producer, Ramzoid, he was asked if he’s ever performed live for an audience and he replied saying he played a hookah lounge when he turned 18 and performed a few songs for a very small crowd. In another question and answer video with questions from his fans, he was asked what musical and non-musical things inspire him. He said he was inspired by people like Lil Wayne and Tyler the Creator and nostalgia inspires him. His goal is to capture the aesthetic and emotions that stem from it. This is backed up in his song THE NEIGHBORS where he talks about being young with his friends and having fun doing stupid things and losing contact after a while.

He also raps about heartbreak and feeling outcast and alone in songs like DEADMAN WUNDERLAND and GENIE. DEADMAN WUNDERLAND was a big step forward for Aries in terms of his style. That was his first song put out with more of a melodic style and was happy to see the positive feedback from it. He doesn’t call himself a singer, or at least, not since March 2018 as he stated in an interview. Since DEADMAN WUNDERLAND he has been increasingly more melodic with is vocals to singing in songs like SAYONARA, RACECAR, and his newest song released SANTA MONICA, released on January 30th of this year.

After 2 years, 14 songs, 59.9k SoundCloud followers, and 369k subscribers, Aries has grown exponentially and I expect to see him even more in the future. Songs like BLOSSOM are slower, synth based tracks that you can easily nod your head to and others like CAROUSEL and SAYONARA are upbeat, blends of rock guitar with trap style drum patterns. These blends of sounds are what is really making him stand out now. People like Lil Peep got famous for similar types of sound with emo/grunge rock guitars over the popular trap style drums of todays music. Aries turns heads and I think everyone could find one song that they enjoy from him and everyone should keep their eyes open to see what else he has planned for this upcoming year.

Bioware's Anthem

By Randall McGee

Bioware started developing a game in 2012 called Anthem. After the release of Mass Effect 3, Bioware started a new project on a third-person shooter game that would take about seven years to come to fruition.

From the moment information about the game was whispered about, people began to assume it was just like Destiny, Bungie's first-person shooter game. There was talk about it being worse, being better, having the same loot system, and having the same matchmaking system. Additionally, both games have a health and shield system. While this could be a possibility, I personally don’t think Anthem was made as a response to Destiny. The gameplay is nothing alike, and while the loot system is similar, there are also major differences. The matchmaking could be more focused on the solo player, but that isn’t necessarily a huge advantage over Destiny, as one of the best things about it is getting players together for an event or a raid. The need to communicate in order to play the content brings players together and creates a closer community; Anthem might not have that.

The main problem in this day and age is so many games exist, that when a new game is created, it’s ripped on by a percentage of the online community for copying some game or another, even if those games have little to no resemblance. Anthem is an open world and in third person, with flying and a center on bounties. Destiny is in first person, and while it is open world, it isn’t the same kind of open world as Anthem. There is jumping in Destiny, but nothing like the flying in Anthem. Both games have loot, but the idea of a loot system in a game is not a new idea at all. Destiny has a focus on the variation of guns and armor, while Anthem seems to have a larger variety of skill sets and character builds. The similarities shrink the closer you look, and it’s easy to realize that they aren’t the same game.

Anthem is set in an open world, with you as a freelancer with no alignment. An evil doctor tries to hone the power of an ancient power called the Anthem, which gives him power over life, death, creation, and destruction. Your mission is to stop him and protect the power from those who would abuse it. There are separate factions, some being drearier than others. These factions give you different bounties and missions that give you loot and experience to progress your character. These factions also play a part in the story, and presumably, help you to stop the Anthem from destroying the world. While not everything is known about the gameplay or the story, much of both are known and the game has a positive reaction from most of the video game community.

Although not everything is known about the game, there are many supporters of it. Many people like the system of flying and powers provided by your suit that make this game unique. The bounties and matchmaking make this game playable for hours, and the map is most likely large enough to explore for a good amount of time. While the weapons and other minor details are not all completely worked out, the game is in its final stages. Some people have even worked out a theoretical map based on the multiple streams and information given out by the game’s developers. Although it’s close to being released, some people believe the weapons system in the game is not yet at a good point. Watching some of the streams, I have to admit that the guns do seem too few and not quite powerful enough. This is a moderately easy fix, and may be fixed by the launch of the game.

The game has been played on streams by developers, and demos have been played at different events and at E3. The game demo is able to be downloaded on January 25th and playable on February 1st by members of EA, Origin Access, or by pre-ordering the game. The demo will not be the final product, but it will include the majority of the game’s content. The full game is playable to everyone on February 22nd, and a week earlier for pre-order customers, EA, or Origin Access customers. Anthem is going to be available on Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC. It will cost $59.99 for all systems and will be available on Origin.

Movie Review of Eastrail 177 Trilogy Finale: Glass

By Brianna Baldwin and Ethan Johnson

Spoilers Ahead

Photo courtesy of PosterSpy

Photo courtesy of PosterSpy

Following the highly rated movies Unbreakable (2000) and Split (2016), comes a new movie to the big screen: Glass. Unbreakable is a movie about a man named David Dunn (played by Bruce Willis) who learns that he is practically invincible following a train wreck where he was the only survivor and had no broken bones or other such injuries. He, along with his son, test his strength to find that he can lift 350 pounds. He also found that he could see memories and scenes of a person’s life, simply by touch. Dunn then used this strength, cognitive abilities, and near-invincibility to fight crime and save people from harm with some help from Mr. Glass. At the end of the movie, it is made clear that Mr. Glass was the force behind the major tragedies within the area, including the train wreck that had killed all passengers except for Dunn. Mr. Glass was reported to the authorities and subsequently committed to a mental asylum.

The next movie in the Eastrail 177 Trilogy was Split. Split is a movie about Kevin Wendell Crumb (played by James McAvoy) who had a tragic childhood, that is kept mostly secret. It is later explained that his father left on a train, never to return, leaving Kevin with his abusive mother.  Because of these traumas, Crumb developed dissociative identity disorder with 23 distinct personalities. He abducts three girls. He intended to release the 24th personality and kill the girls, but one of them named Casey was spared because he identified with her as he noticed her scars from abuse, similar to the abuse that he had once endured. Casey found that saying Kevin’s full name would bring his original personality back in control. She was rescued at the end of the movie, while Crumb was arrested.

The next and final movie within the Eastrail 177 Trilogy was released in theaters on January 18th, 2019, and named Glass. With many unexpected but delightful twists and surprises, Glass did well with their small budget of only $20 million. The director, M. Night Shyamalan, was able to cleverly hide multiple hints leading up to how the movie would end but not enough to spoil the ending entirely. The cast was also exceptionally well-chosen for their roles as both James McAvoy and Samuel L. Jackson performed their parts stellarly. This shows as, in only the opening weekend, Glass made $47 million dollars. That is more than double their budget.

The only issue that negates all of the great aspects of the movie Glass is that all three main characters, David Dunn, Kevin Wendell Crumb, and Mr. Glass, were all killed off. This makes any future movies or stories impossible, or at least with these characters. Although Glass was the final movie within the Eastrail 177 Trilogy, the movie ended with a cliffhanger. After David Dunn, Kevin Wendell Crumb, and Mr. Glass died, it was made clear that many of the agents associated with the downfall of Mr. Glass’s plans were a part of a secret organization whose entire goal is to prevent the general public from ever knowing about humans who have obtained superhuman powers or traits. They will first take a psychological and quiet path to prevent these “heroes” from making themselves well known by attempting to convince them that they have no real powers; everything that they can do is completely fabricated by their own minds. For Dunn, they attempted to convince him that he has an abnormal bone density, preventing breaks, and a natural talent for reading body language, much like magicians. For Crumb, they attempted to convince him that “The Beast” is no more than a violent and physically fit adult male. For Glass, they attempted to convince him that superhumans or superheroes like the comics portray are not possible. Dunn was the closest to believing the psychologist until he was pushed to the point of breaking down a steel door with his bare hands in order to save possibly thousands of people. Crumb was also almost convinced of the psychologist’s lies as approximately half of his personalities (also known as “The Horde”) were convinced The Beast was no more than a regular man, as the psychologist said. Of the remaining personalities, many were beginning to doubt The Beast’s abilities.

Overall, the movie Glass was written, directed, and performed with astounding results. The movie has a thrilling and suspenseful storyline that kept the audience on the edge of their seats. The actors chosen for each role were the perfect fit. It is a must-see for any superhero movie fans and those who enjoyed Unbreakable and or Split.

Activision Split with Bungie

By Randall McGee

On January 10th, 2019, Bungie announced that it would be separating from its publisher, Activision. This split was apparently a happy occurence for the employees of Bungie, as they cheered and celebrated. The main product in question during the split was Destiny 2, which Bungie created and Activision published on the Blizzard platform.

The apparent reasoning for this split is that Destiny 2 did not meet the product gains quota for Activision's standards. There has been tension in the past about ideas and content for Destiny 2 regarding Bungie and Activision, but the tension finally snapped with the lack of profits from Destiny 2. Despite the increased microtransactions and content that Activision repeatedly pushed onto Bungie, the profits were still unsatisfactory. All the same, this split lost Activision a lot of faith from its stock owners and creates a tough situation for Activision.

Bungie is keeping Destiny 2 in the split, presumably because it was created by Bungie and no serious changes are being made to the game. The game will remain on the Blizzard launcher, and gameplay will remain the same. Content already promised to players will be made, and anything already planned out will continue. However, going forward there could be changes in the pace of content, the microtransaction system, and various other things.

Activision stock took a hard hit due to this and caused it to fall 7% after market hours. This was following a shuffle of executives, in which two executives left and new heads were named for Activision, Blizzard, and King. With stock down and profits below standards, Activision is on rocky territory.

What this means for Destiny going forward is simple for a short time and complicated in the long run. Everything planned out will happen, but without the support of Activision and its other companies, Bungie will not likely be able to roll out content quite as quickly. However, the content they do create will be decided entirely by Bungie, so it could be better or more creative content at the cost of time. There will also likely be a new game made by Bungie, possibly a Destiny 3 or something in a new direction. This game will be up to Bungie entirely, so microtransactions and other pricey add-ons may not be as much an issue as they have been for Destiny 2.

Bungie is reportedly in the process of creating a new game and has received $100 million from a Chinese company. This could simply be an investment or possibly a new partnership in the making. The new game could be anything, but it will have the full support of the Destiny community no matter the outcome. Things are looking up for Bungie, and not so great for its former publisher, Activision.

Meanwhile, Activision is under investigation for fraud. Apparently there are some suspicions from stockholders of Activision that officers and directors of the company committed fraud and unlawful business practices. This could mean even worse things for Activision, as these suspicions are very serious and dangerous to the company.

In the investigation, it is apparent that there was a written deal between Activision and the creators of CoD West and Zampella that Activision would not publish any games without written consent from West and Zampella. West and Zampella claim that Activision began secret development of new CoD games without the consent of West and Zampella and changed the setting entirely. What's more, Activision directors disregarded this, and told West and Zampella “not to worry” while controlling their creative freedom while they were employees of Activision. This is part of a legal battle that has been going on for almost nine years, and has gone back in forth in a multitude of legal battles and accusations. If West and Zampella win, they could have partial ownership of the CoD franchise, and possibly sue Activision for the previous profits gained from their past actions. All in all, that would be a serious blow to Activision and all companies tied to it, lowering stock even further.

Bungie was created as an independent company, and in 2000 it was bought by Microsoft. Then in 2007, Bungie split from Microsoft, returning to being an independent company once again. Similar to the split with Activision, the employees at Bungie reacted to the split with cheering and celebration of their new found independence.

In 2010, Bungie signed a deal with Activision for a ten-year publication deal. Under this deal, Bungie created Destiny in 2014, followed by Destiny 2 in 2017. In January 2019, the two companies split.

Want to Be More Paranoid? Watch 'The Strangers'

By Brooke Moran

The Strangers is classified as a “horror, mystery, thriller” movie. It was released in 2008 and then a sequel was made last year. If you always have the feeling that someone is watching you or anything of that manner, I would not recommend watching this movie. The movie has a dark, disturbing aspect to it, but as a girl who likes horror and mystery movies, this is easily one of my favorites. This movie also happens to be one of the scariest I’ve seen, too. Sitting in my friends basement at three in the afternoon one day, we started to watch the movie.

If a movie starts out with “this is inspired from true events” and it’s a horror movie, then the movie is about to be pretty interesting. A couple goes to a family vacation house, but as it turns out, she has just declined his engagement proposal (awkward). The house the couple is staying in is the kind of house “your brother could have lived in, that you could have grown up in,” according to IMDb. The producer wanted the movie to be like this so people can feel like it is more familiar. This alone makes the movie feel very realistic which is an aspect horror movies need.

Once the couple was back into the house together, the main male character decided to leave and go to the store. When the main male antagonist first started terrorizing the house, it was in a silent way. He acted like a shadow watching her every move which is something very chilling to think about if you are alone. This dramatic irony in the movie made everything very real because it can happen. My friend and I were twenty minutes into this movie and I was ready to call it quits after seeing a man in a mask hiding in the hallway while the woman had no idea he was there. This is one of those points where you want to scream out at the character and say “hey, you might want to turn around now so you don’t get killed.”

There were three main antagonists in this movie. The three characters were all wearing masks, so you couldn't see their faces at all. When I first saw this, I thought of it as a basic cliche for a modern horror movie, but it turned out to be completely different. During the movie they were all slowly circling in on the house so that the protagonists couldn't go anywhere. They stole all the phones, disconnected all of the service, slashed the tires on their vehicle, and took out all the electricity around the outside of the house. It is clear from the beginning of the movie that they want to kill the couple, but the masked men draw it out a lot to create suspense.

Even though the plot of the movie was a good idea, the couple’s acting wasn't the best. In my opinion, I think they should have acted more scared because it seemed as though she would scream before something would happen, which doesn't make any sense. Out of all the horror movies I have seen (which is a lot), the ending of this movie is an ending that will shake you to the core. While I am not going to give up a spoiler on that, I highly recommend watching it for how it ends. The ending still doesn’t give any clarity towards what happened in the movie, but I guess that is how it tried to tie into a sequel. In my opinion, and based on the back and forth in this movie, I give this movie a rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.

In 2018, a sequel was made called “The Strangers: Prey at Night.” The same three killers from the last movie are back again, but this time they are terrorizing a family of four. Some people say sequels can make the series better or worse, and I believe this sequel could have been fine unwritten. In the first movie, the antagonists were new and you didn’t know what they were going to do. Since you are already introduced to the characters, the second movie tends to be very anticlimactic. You know what the antagonists are capable of and what they want to do. They just want to frighten and taunt people before slowly killing them. Compared to the second movie, “The Strangers” was a much more spine-chilling and terrifying movie.

Rhythm Games and Why I Love Them

By Bunni Smith

I play a lot of video games - honestly more than I should. It’s a hobby I’ve been nursing since the tender age of seven, around the time I got my first Nintendo DS lite. The genre has evolved much since then, obviously, with some games being so immersive that one could dedicate full days without rest to exploring and leveling up and still not discover every secret a game has to offer. I like those kinds of games… fine, in fact I think they’re great - it’s like playing the main character in your own personal movie. And yet, I don’t always have the ability to stomach seven plus hours worth of dialogue and twenty some plot-relevant DLCs. At times, one wants for something simple.

And that leads me to rhythm games - a genre I’ve fallen in love with over the past four years. First off, what constitutes a rhythm game?

Well, in the usual format, a rhythm game involves a series of beats moving across the screen to the rhythm of a song - think Guitar Hero. Unlike playing an actual instrument, you aren’t presented with the sheet music beforehand; the sheet music is coming at you as you play. This sort of format favors accuracy and attention, and has the potential to be quite challenging if you wish it to be - and yet, it’s an endearingly simple concept that caters to players of varying skill levels. And not just players - composers as well.

Think I sound a bit overly passionate? Let’s take this Osu! gameplay footage then.

This is a beatmap (quite literally a user-made map of beats) of The Quick Brown Fox’s song, The Big Black.

Osu! is an example of a more involved rhythm game community and gameplay wise. What you might see is a bunch of flashing lights and loud music, but get this: there is an actual human being playing these notes! This playthrough was done by Cookiezi, a rather famous player. This is the result of hundreds if not thousands of hours spent practicing and perfecting what I consider to be a gift. And that’s not all, the map itself was painstakingly made by someone out there, just like you or me. Someone determined the tempo, the beats per minute, then set each note out by hand in the hopes that an Osu! player would take the challenge and play their map. That’s the beauty of Osu!, is that it’s constantly fostering new groups of players to learn a skill in either music playing or music production, or to just have fun! It’s the first rhythm game I was introduced to, and what made me so fond of the genre.

Of course, not all rhythm games are so intense. Take Namco’s Taiko no Tatsujin for example. I had the great pleasure of snagging a Nintendo Switch copy of the latest game just last week. Taiko no Tatsujin happens to be a popular arcade game in Japan, based off of the ancient Japanese instrument, the Taiko drum. These drums were originally used for festivals, as well as communication and military action. In Taiko no Tatsujin, the point is simply to keep your combo going. Though not as skill-based as Osu!, I find this game to be just as fun, as it encourages a relaxed playstyle.

So why do I like these games so much? Well, without going into too much detail, I have some learning and social problems. I get burnt out by just talking to people, so a day at school can be especially rough for me - it’s loud, and you’re overloaded by all sorts of information. This makes rhythm games perfect for me. Once you warm up a bit, it’s easy to let yourself fall into the rhythm and just relax. The note sequences come easy to me, and I’ve often been playing a song one minute only to wake up half an hour later and realize I’ve completed five more. All the while, I’m not simply zoning out. My brain is processing information. I’ll recall all the things I learned that day, ponder how to tackle a life problem, and when I’m done, I’ll be able to put that knowledge to use without getting burnt out.

To sum up, rhythm games are great because of what they provide us - a new way to play, a platform for musical expression, and, at least to me, a medium for relaxation and fun.

The Miracle Season: Review and Summary

By Alyson McCullough

Spoilers Ahead

Detailed summary of the movie:

The Miracle Season is based on a true story that is mainly about the West High School volleyball team and the struggles they will endure during their season. In Iowa City, Iowa, a seventeen-year-old girl named Caroline “Line” Found was so abundant and radiant, everyone loved her presence. Her and her best friend, Kelley Fliehler, were both very outgoing and positive girls. These two were inseparable growing up and they grew to love the sport of volleyball together. The West High Trojans volleyball team are defending state champs and Caroline is ready to win again. Their season starts off with a hard fought game against their rivals, City High. The Trojans fall short but Caroline is not going to let that game get her down. The next evening, Caroline throws a party in her barn to kick off the start of school and volleyball season, the whole school shows up and everyone is having a good time. Ernie, Caroline’s father, could not get the stereo to work properly, so Caroline pulled her car up to the barn and played music off of her radio.

After everyone leaves, Caroline goes to visit her sick mother, Ellyn, in the hospital, driving away from Kelley on a moped because her car battery had died. Ellyn is being treated for cancer and things are not looking well. Ernie is woken up by two police officers knocking on his door, telling him that his precious daughter was in a fatal accident on the way to see her mother. Ernie is devastated, but he calls Kelley and she continues to spread the word. At Caroline’s funeral, Ellyn, who can not walk on her own, decides she is going to walk to her daughter’s casket. When she reaches the front of the room, she utters the words “We will always be together, no matter what.”, something that her sweet Line had told her a few days before. The entire town attended Caroline’s funeral to show their support for her family and to mourn the loss of the amazing young woman they all knew and loved. Ellyn Found passed the night after Caroline’s funeral.

Since she played such a key role on the volleyball team because she is the team captain and setter, Coach Bresnahan, also known as Coach Bres, had to find a new leader to carry the team. Who would be better than her best friend, Kelley? It takes Bres a few weeks to get the girls to even attend practice after the accident and it takes even longer for them to actually perform well at all. Coach Bres had decided that Kelley was going to step in and be the new setter. She spent many nights after practice studying her new setter plays. After many losses, because the Trojans did not attend the games, the women of West High had to buckle down and win the next fifteen games if they wanted a chance to return to the state championship. They decided as a team that they were going to do it for Line. After countless hours of hard work, the girls made it back to the state finals.

On the bus ride to the game, Coach Bres told the girls just how proud she was of them and that they deserved this chance. She expressed how much she loved them and how fortunate she was to be their coach. After arriving to the championship game and seeing City High standing on the other side of the court, they knew they had their work cut out for them, but nothing was going to stop them or discourage them. The match against City High went to five sets and the Trojans came out on top and brought home their second state championship title in a row. The crowd went wild and all of the West High volleyball team and their spectators start belting out Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond in honor of their sweet Caroline.

The movie The Miracle Season was an emotional roller coaster because it was both heart wrenching and a happy ending all in one. You will definitely need a box of tissues close by when watching this movie. Even if you read this article, spoilers and vivid details included, it does not change the effect that the strong emotions in this film will have on a person. The directors, producers, and cast all did a very good job telling this tragic story and nothing is like experiencing the production yourself.

Why Reading is Good for the Soul

By Evelyn Melvin

Reading should always be a part of your daily agenda, here’s why…

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, reading is defined as the act of reading. Whether it is interpreting a situation or learning something, everywhere you go in the world you will have to read. We honestly owe everything we know to books. Don’t believe me? Well, let’s dive into the subject. If no one in the United States knew how to read, there would be no bibles to tell the world about God, no magazines informing you of the latest trend, no history books to help you understand exactly what happened at each battle known to man, in fact, there would be no books at all. Why would authors sit around and write a book if no one knew how or wanted to read it. So, as I said before, we owe it all to reading.

Writing things down was not actually a big deal until, according to Joshua J. Mark of Ancient History Encyclopedia, 35,000 BCE. Although, this form of “writing” was only pictures of animals and people, so not really writing so to speak. The evidence behind that were cave paintings and things of that nature. According to Joshua J. Mark, actual written language didn’t actually come around until 3500-3000 BCE. This written form of language was called cuneiform. Before writing things down became something needed, it was all by word of mouth. It was a ‘he said, she said’ ordeal, no one really knew if it was true or not. Nowadays it would be hard to talk about the history of our nations by just word of mouth. So many things could be skewed and untrue. That is the reasons books are good for you, learning is a part of life and books can help you with that.

How many of us can say that they read at least one book once a week? Not many I would presume, and this is because reading has died during recent years. No one wants to pick up a book and get lost in it when they can listen to music, watch television, or go for a run. Now, I am not saying that exercise, music, or your current favorite television shows are insignificant because they are in fact important.  America today has really forgotten the importance of reading a book at all. We no longer care about the books that used to make us feel alive. But why am I pushing the people around me to read? Simple, I want them to live in a book for once, want to be a character, understand the things they want to, not just from hearing it but from reading it.

Reading is good for the soul for so many different reasons, for example, it gets your imagination and creativity juices flowing, it’s a stress-reliever, and can aid your enjoyment. There are more reasons than this of course. There are some scientific things reading even helps with. Things like improving your vocabulary, making you smarter, and even helping your critical thinking skills.

There are books out there that help with everything known to man. You are feeling stressed? Easy,  go and read Don't Sweat the Small Stuff and It's All Small Stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life by Richard Carlson. Are you feeling in love? Go read a little book called, The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks.  This is the reason why books are good for your soul. Anything you hear, probably came from a book.

How many of you can relate to The Never Ending Story (1984)? This movie is about how a young boy became a part of the book he was reading. He got pulled in to the adventures with all of the characters. This movie is a very literal example of how a reading a book can affect you. Some of our best movies come from books. If you ask anyone who has read the books, well they will always say the books are better than the movies. Examples of this would be the Harry Potter series, the Eragon series, the Narnia series, the Lord of the Rings series, and the Hobbit. Each and every one of these books are good examples of stories to get lost in.

If people really truly believe that reading is futile, they are obviously not readers. There will come a time when you are older and frail, you can’t physically move so much, and you’ll come to realize the little things matter. Being able to sit in your favorite seat, cuddle up with your favorite blanket, and open up a book, is a blessing that you won’t forget. There are other ways to escape from the current world you live in, and I will forever preach my favorite way, by reading.

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch Review

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is an entertaining experiment that never quite reaches its potential.

By Jackson Mabe

Spoiler warning

Bandersnatch, the recent film experiment donning the name of the beloved Netflix technology-based anthology, is an interesting new way to view the parameters of television. By blending the funding and visual prowess of a movie with the branching storylines and intrigue of “Choose Your Own Adventure” novels (whose similarities have prompted a lawsuit against the online streaming behemoth), Bandersnatch delivers a fresh new take on the medium, even though its occasionally arbitrary choices leave the plot feeling a bit unfinished and definitely not on par with the rest of the Black Mirror universe. The best aspect of this film is not its choices, however, but its self-awareness, which weaves a sense of irony into the approximately hour-and-a-half runtime.

Fionn Whitehead portrays Stefan, a young aspiring video game programmer who begins to crack under the pressures of deadlines and resurrected childhood trauma. Based in particular on the binary decisions of the viewer, small choices have tiny impacts on the occurrences of Stefan’s life. For example, the audience’s choice of cereal for Stefan’s breakfast resurfaces later in a small snippet of a commercial; these little hints are interesting, and it makes you feel clever and powerful for having both created and noticed such a small detail. I personally enjoyed spending the first few minutes testing the limits of the show’s capabilities; after all, in a choose-your-own-adventure story, there is never an inherently wrong choice. For the most part, this is true in Bandersnatch as well; poor choices leading to Stefan’s failure in the creation of his beloved video game can lead to a forced rewind and retrial of the past few minutes, but rarely do they play out exactly the same as before; characters will now speak as if they had met before, or their opinions on something slight like the book, which serves as Stefan’s inspiration, will change. This is where the choice-making aspect of Bandersnatch works best: even when you make a bad decision, it feels intentional and doesn’t destroy your entire playthrough while still affecting your own viewing experience.

After reaching a (most likely overwhelmingly bleak) end to one of Stefan’s branching pathways, the viewer is often given the choice to return to the most recent pivotal moment to try for a more positive outcome. This definitely helps buff the runtime, as my first completed storyline took about forty-five minutes; going back to explore as many other endings as possible doubled my time spent immersed in the tale of Stefan, Tuckersoft, and Jerome Davies to an even ninety minutes.

Unfortunately, by the time I was trying for my fifth or sixth time to find the perfect runthrough with a true happy ending (spoiler: doesn’t really exist), the initial surprise and delight I felt at choosing Stefan’s actions had wore off; the gimmick couldn’t permanently stave off the story’s status as a bit stale for the creative Black Mirror anthology. Many endings are very similar, with Stefan either going insane and going to jail or releasing a disappointing adaptation of the Bandersnatch novel which the story is based around; after a few attempts, slight details like the exact way he ends up in jail or why he doesn’t complete the game to his satisfaction, seem immaterial.

Without a doubt, however, the greatest aspect of Bandersnatch is how conscious it is of its own existence. The topic of free will and influence has been explored before by Black Mirror, but here it is taken to an extreme and serves as the focal theme of the entire story. Depending on the user’s remote-based interactions with Stefan, the paranoid British programmer can be controlled or nudged down the path to insanity; the thing is, his lack of control over his own actions is what ultimately pulls him into the pit of madness. As he slowly starts to resemble the author-turned-murderer Jerome Davies in his obsession over choices with two outcomes, the audience is hinted that their own identical predicament is the source of their protagonist’s problems. It’s amusing to see your own preferences affect the character in a story so directly, but also disturbing to witness said preferences play out in gruesome and ill-fated ways. At the same time, the illusion of choice is hinted in Stefan’s game, in his life, and in the audience’s puppet-master decisions: even when you feel like you’re in complete control, the predetermined paths in front of you offer a limited set of options and will only lead to a very certain number of outcomes. It’s difficult to explain, really; in order to truly feel like a part of Stefan, as either a dark whisper in his ear or a cruel god commanding his every move, Bandersnatch should be experienced individually, as is the point of the entire project.

Despite a basic plot that would feel mediocre in the normal Black Mirror episodic format, the diverging plotlines of Bandersnatch provides for an entertaining experience the first few times through. While the illusions of choice and theory of free will (or lack thereof) are explored in the relatively brief story, very few of the endings will give a true feeling of satisfaction. Ultimately, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is an intriguing concept that offers potential for the future of choice-driven television and should definitely be experienced, if only for the novelty. This film is far from perfect, but still offers a viewing experience unlike anything I’ve seen before.

Kevin Hart and the Oscars

By Karah Tyree

As you may know, Kevin Hart is a fan-favorite comedian and recently was a guest on the Ellen Degeneres Show over this dispute with the Academy Awards.  Due to social pressure through Twitter, he declined the offer to host the 2019 Academy Awards.

On Friday January 4th, 2019, Ellen Degeneres invited Kevin Hart to come and talk on her show about the Oscars and the homophobic joke from ten years ago. On December 7th, 2018, The Academy Awards asked Kevin Hart to host the Oscars on February 24th, 2019. For Kevin to be offered this job was like a dream come true, but within twenty-four hours of celebrating this job offer and accepting it, Kevin's followers on Twitter commented on a joke that was said in 2008. The joke was if Kevin ever saw his son play with dolls, that he would slap him. Kevin right after the show in 2008 knew what he did and apologized for what he said; he knew it was wrong to say what he said and he was sorry. Some fans would forgive Kevin, but some would not.    Because of this controversy, Kevin has rejected the offer to host the 2019 Academy Awards.

On the Ellen Show he explains that he backed down because he wants the audience to be focused on the celebrities that worked hard to get there, and not what he did ten years ago. Kevin believes he’s setting an example as a dad and doing the right thing. He also explains that he is sorry again for what he did and what he said. He explains he was in the moment on stage and that he wasn’t thinking clearly at that moment.

As a friend, Ellen told Kevin that she called The Academy Awards and explained to him that they want him back, that they are sorry if they have offended Kevin in any way, and that they still want him to host the awards. Ellen told Kevin that she hopes that he can think about this opportunity and change his mind to host the Oscars.

Therefore, as of today Wednesday, January 9th, 2019, Kevin Hart has confirmed that “I’m over it” and will not be hosting the Oscars this year of 2019.

Outside of the Bird Box

Bird Box: Does it Live up to its Hype?

By Tyler St. Clair

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

Bird Box is the latest craze from the popular streaming site Netflix. Starring Sandra Bullock, Bird Box is a thriller/drama that captures a post-apocalyptic version of our own world. And in this world there are invisible creatures that when looked at, cause people to visualize their worst fear and are ultimately possessed to take their own lives in one way or another.

The movie opens with an intense scene of Sandra Bullock’s character, Malorie, with two very young children. Malorie begins barking strict orders at the two young children and makes sure to drive home the point by telling them that if they don’t listen to her rules, then they will die.

The movie then goes back in time 5 years where the story begins by introducing these creatures almost as a pandemic, comparable to the Black Plague. And while nothing is said of the true origin of these creatures, they were first spotted in Europe and started to spread from there. This causes mass panic for all countries around the world, declaring national emergencies and closing all borders and stopping transportation between countries.

When the pandemic eventually reaches the United States, Malorie is out and about with her sister when the whole atmosphere changes. As a viewer you are able to feel the immediate change in the tone of the movie as strange things begin to happen throughout the city and as it quickly escalates the thrill of the movie begins.

Once the creatures are in the city, there is no stopping them. People begin to drop like flies, including Malorie’s sister who she was with when everything first started. Malorie is quickly rushed into a safe house with a group of strangers. These strangers quickly become her family for the rest of the movie.

This basis of this movie is a group of survivors who have to wear blindfolds when outside to avoid seeing the creatures. This gives off a sense of lack of creativity and/or originality due to movies that have recently been released with the similar theme of a group of survivors that have one of their senses taken away. A Quiet Place was released earlier in 2018 in which the main characters could not speak, and I can’t help but feel that Bird Box is somewhat of a mock up of this popular film.

That being said, Bird Box is still able to convey the horror element of the movie to the audience, as fear of the dark or not being able to see is a fairly common fear among many people.

Overall I found the movie to be very entertaining by keeping you on the edge of your seat in many intense scenes. It starts a little slow, and is difficult to really get in to at first. Once the plot gets moving it flows very nicely. There were many points in the movie in which you could tell the director was trying to have a big plot twist but they were all too predictable which ruined the big plot points for me and took away from the surprise factor of the movie.

I was very disappointed in the end of the movie however; it seemed to end rather abruptly and left many questions unanswered. This along with the many plot holes in the movie brought my enjoyment down by a little.

Despite what I may think about, the amount of people that have seen this movie since its release clearly shows that people have very much enjoyed it. It quickly became one of the most popular films on Netflix with over 45 million accounts viewing it in just the first seven days of it’s release setting an all time record for any of Netflix’s original films.

As with any popular trend, they always turn into an internet challenge of sorts. Shortly after the movie’s release, the “bird box challenge” was coined. This challenge consists of going about everyday tasks while, you guessed it, being blindfolded. Internet personalities have filmed themselves walking around their homes and around city streets, some even taking it as far as trying to drive while blindfolded.

Netflix quickly caught wind of this viral challenge and released a warning via Twitter. Their tweet said that while they appreciated the massive positive feedback to their original film, they warned the fans to not do anything that would put them in harm’s way while taking part in this challenge.

Like any internet fad, this challenge and the movie itself will fade with time, but as for now this Netflix original has caught the attention of many fans and critics while making history in the Netflix world.

Review: Bird Box is an ultimately disappointing Hot Flash in the Netflix Pan

By Jackson Mabe

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

Photo Courtesy of

Photo Courtesy of

As the medium of DVD’s slowly dies out to be replaced by digital media, Netflix has emerged as a leading streaming service that allows unprecedented instant accessibility to blockbuster movies and popular TV shows. In 2013, the streaming giant produced its first original content with the recently-concluded series House of Cards, and Netflix has consistently produced a constant stream of exclusive movies and shows ever since. The latest in-house movie to take the massive subscriber base (more than 130 million strong) by storm is the polarizing Bird Box, starring Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, and John Malkovich. At its best, Bird Box is an interesting story that tackles the trials and adjustments of motherhood; at its worst, this is a mediocre horror flick riddled with plot holes that struggles to separate itself from its contemporaries and influences.

For the uninitiated to Bird Box’s basic plot and accompanying viral challenge, the film concerns a group of survivors in the desolate aftermath of an apocalypse-like event where people are exposed to visions or creatures so terrible that they are immediately driven to suicide; after the film transitions from complete normality to virtual anarchy in the span of a few minutes (a scene depicting an everyday pregnancy ultrasound comes seconds before cars spontaneously explode in the streets), our protagonists finds themselves huddled together in a house with the blinds drawn as they struggle to comprehend what exactly is occurring.

They quickly realize that the group’s only chance for survival is to constantly keep their eyes closed or blindfolded when outside. Unfortunately, this plot point raises plenty of questions: are the creatures responsible for the worldwide suicides some kind of alien or ghosts? If we assume that they are ghosts, since they appear differently to everybody that sees them (similar to boggarts in the Harry Potter movies), then why can they be outrun and not enter homes through chimneys or opened doors? If they are physical aliens, why can they not open doors or remove people’s blindfolds by force, but still kill you through an image on a computer screen? Why do only people with mental illness see the creatures as beautiful and not “I-need-to-kill-myself” horrifying? These questions are never answered through the movie’s 2-hour runtime, and while disbelief can (and in some cases should) be suspended for the sake of entertainment, these glaring plot holes detract from the overall viewing experience.

After the makeshift clan is slowly whittled down to Bullock’s Malory, Rhodes’ Tom, and Malory’s two children (one adopted), five years of blind scavenging is cut to show the grizzled survivors raising the young duo to thrive without relying on vision, a la The Book of Eli. A quick botched venture to snag food from a nearby house results in Tom’s death, and Malory embarks on a dangerous venture downstream to a possible safe haven; after a journey down white-water rapids and a quick romp through a forest, where the creatures can now imitate voices and blow strong gusts of wind in Bullock’s direction, we are taken to a school for the blind where everyone is now safe.

Of course, it’s impossible to mention the plot of Bird Box without immediately thinking of 2018’s earlier blockbuster centered on sensory deprivation, A Quiet Place, where an alien race hunts down anyone who makes the slightest sound (both films also coincidentally focus on a pregnant woman and her struggles in a post-apocalyptic world). Released only eight months apart, the intensity of Netflix’s original seems stale in comparison to the unsettlingly silent John Krasinski production.

A notable difference between the two is the overall purpose and goals of the characters; whereas A Quiet Place entirely takes place several years after the predatory aliens’ arrival and therefore becomes a thriller around a singular family, much of Bird Box is dedicated to the societal conflicts that come about when different people are forced to work together for survival, similar to AMC’s The Walking Dead.

One good influence that the creators of this movie took to heart was the laudable ending of 1999’s The Blair Witch Project in leaving the monster’s appearance up to the audience’s imagination, although a scene was originally planned to show how Malory’s creature would appear to her, resembling a demonic baby to represent her fear of motherhood.

Another detail that is also disappointing is the lack of a character arc to almost everybody in this film; Malory is the only person who undergoes any notable transformation, from a cynical, reluctant future mother to an instinctive and cutthroat maternal figure. Every other character in this movie is present to either kill Malory or die in her place, which is a let-down given the solid cast.

This movie shines brightest near its endpoint, when Malory’s fierce devotion to saving the two children depending on her takes the spotlight. In these moments, as her willingness to be a mother and make tough decisions becomes her defining trait, the allegory for the apocalypse enhancing the trials and tribulations of adjusting to an expanding family becomes apparent. Unfortunately, this revelation comes about 90 minutes too late, and it far from saves the film.  

Despite passable acting from the stars, decent cinematography, and a thought-provoking subliminal meaning, Bird Box never reaches the expectations set by its massive hype; its inspirations in Blair Witch and A Quiet Place offer a good bit more in terms of creativity.  It is promising, however, to know that Netflix Originals can and have amassed enough of a fan base to support a film, and the massive community of subscribers can look forward to a flow of new productions for the foreseeable future.

Author’s recommendations for the horror genre: Hereditary (2018), The VVitch (2015), IT (2017), Annihilation (2018).


A review of Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse

By Ethan Johnson

*Warning minor spoilers ahead*

After releasing the abysmal failure that was the Emoji Movie, it was believed that Sony would never be able to create movies that could compete with the media giant Disney. However, in defiance of all odds, Sony has gotten it right. Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse is a breath of fresh air that has quickly climbed to be the greatest animated movie that came out in 2018.

Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse tells the story of Miles Morales, a middle school kid from Brooklyn, who gets bitten by a spider and develops powers similar to the famous Spider-man. He later meets the original Spider-man and, due to some space-time mumbo jumbo, meets more spider-people from other dimensions as well, including Spider-woman, Spider-man noir, and Spider-ham. They all soon discover that there is a threat to the multiverse and must work together to stop it. Despite the many cliches that pop out at first, the movie actually manages to create a new story and does not make you feel like you’re watching Marvel movie number 616.

After many years of big name Animation being nearly dominated by the iconic pixar style it began to feel like every animated movie was simply going to be more of the same. Into the Spider-verse explores new ground by using an animation style that seems to bring comic books to life. With this style, the movie creates a beautiful New York City with all of the lights, graffiti and people that make it so wonderful. It doesn’t restrain itself to New York though, with scenes taking place in a breathtaking snow filled forest of red leaves or a finale that resembles a kaleidoscope. In whatever setting this movie seeks to execute, it manages to do so in an awe inspiring manner. However, due to the comic-like style of the movie, sometimes it appears like its running at less frames per second than most movies which can be annoying to some viewers.

With an amazing soundtrack, it makes you feel inspired one moment and scared the next. Each theme ties with the scenes various tone perfectly. One particular villains theme manages to give me chills every time I hear it. The superior music choice can really get you engaged in the movie. Whether the stakes are high or just playing a gag, the movie always seems to have track ready to match. It’s actually refreshing to see that the movie didn’t rely on the original Spider-man theme to carry the soundtrack.

It’s easy to see the main character, Miles Morales, as a cheap move to add diversity to a movie, but instead Miles is a well written character with his own personality and not just a Peter Parker of color. In fact, all of the cast is given the time to truly be a character instead of a gag or gimmick. Many movies make the flaw of having comic relief characters never serve any other purpose and often have them crack jokes in even the most serious of scenes, but Spider-verse even gives the cartoon pig time to be serious. Despite many of the alternate universe Spider-people being comical interpretations of many other styles, each one is still allowed to have their own motivations and a personality beyond the jokes.

Spider-verse may be serious at times, but it’s not shy of making jokes either. It does well in remembering that at heart, it’s a kids movie. What sets it ahead of other kids movies however is that its jokes are clever and timed well. The jokes never felt forced into a scene that was dramatic or intense. Instead the jokes happen when they should and keep the tone of the movie at an enjoyable balance. The movie’s also not afraid to make fun of itself at times too or even many plot holes that movies find themselves falling into. I don’t wish to spoil any of the jokes but I will recommend waiting till the end of the credits for what may be the best one.

With a fresh style of animation, a spectacular soundtrack, as well as a cohesive and compelling story with a memorable cast, it is no wonder that Spider-verse won the Golden Globe for best animated picture.

With all of this in mind, I’m rating Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse with a spectacular 9.3/10. I recommend that any fan of Spider-man should watch it as well as anyone who wants a fun movie. This movie may even be better than or at least on an equal level with Spider-man 2.