Atlantic Community High School

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Arts & Entertainment - page 4

No Man’s Sky crashes and burns

in Arts & Entertainment by
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    No Man's Sky cover art

   Released in August 2016, No Man’s Sky, an action-adventure game released for the Playstation 4, hoped to revolutionize the gaming industry. However, the game is now considered one of the biggest scams in the gaming industry.

   Initially announced at the 2013 VGX award show, hype began building almost immediately as the game that gamers have been waiting for. The premise of the game is based on “four pillars,” said lead developer Sean Murray, with those four principal activities being exploration, crafting, trading, and combat as players assume control of a galactic explorer throughout an uncharted galaxy.

  The uniqueness of this game arises in its procedurally generated planets and contents of the planets, meaning that no two people will experience the same game. The game uses a deterministic algorithm that derives from a single seed number to create eighteen quintillion unique planets. The player is given what is called a “multitool” to aid in the search for minerals and even defend themselves from creatures that inhabit the planet.

  No Man’s Sky was heavily marketed as “the game of the future,” and developer Sean Murray was quoted promising features such as “a coexistence between players in a large universe, but it’s unlikely that anyone will meet another player considering how large each universe is.” This claim was thwarted on the first day of release, with two players meeting each other in the game by chance. From this point on, it is has been determined by critics and gamers that No Man’s Sky was nothing more than a game full of lies.

  Advertisements used to promote the game were claimed to be screenshots, but were revealed to be pre-rendered images to make the graphics seem sharper and more realistic than they are in actuality. The final trailer for the game showed a diverse planet robust of plant life and life forms, but was determined to be pre-rendered footage to again make the game seem much more interactive. Multiplayer was promised, but ceased to be actual multiplayer, with many players not even being able to see others, and the list of complaints continues.

  In its review of the game, the Polygon website described the game as “a mile wide, but an inch deep,” citing the countless numbers of planets to explore, but explaining that each planet seems to be the same planet with a different skin. On the gaming platform Steam, No Man’s Sky holds a twelve percent rating and has the highest number of game refunds since Steam’s inception.

  Seemingly adding insult to injury, it has been announced by the Advertising Standards Authority that they have launched an investigation on the game as “screenshots on the Steam store depict a differing form of combat than what is actually available in game” according to the PC Gamer website. As a result of No Man’s Sky, Steam now requires promotional screenshots to be actual in-game footage.

  Unfortunately, No Man’s Sky is not the game that it was said to be. Could the disappointment be attributed to the unprecedented level of hype that this game received? Possibly. Regardless of the anticipation, no game should have this many fallacies on release. Hopefully other developers take notice and make quality games that are free of bugs and glitches.

    

Mihir Patel writes poem “ATL” about the school

in Arts & Entertainment/Campus Life by

“ATL”

The sky is dark
The birds are quiet
The school silent
Bracing for the riot

The sun is rising
Birds begin to tweet
The school doors open
Ready to greet

The sun is blazing
Birds find food
The school weeps quietly
Litter ruining the mood

The sky is dimming
Birds flock to their nest
The school stands strong
And silent, above the rest

-Mihir Patel

Everything you need to know about the Nintendo Switch

in Arts & Entertainment by
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    A stock image of the Nintendo Switch

   Nintendo fans’ questions regarding a new console from the Japanese video game power have finally been quelled with the reveal of the Switch. Once again, Nintendo aims for innovation, as the Switch appears to be a home console-handheld hybrid. Given the codename “NX”, the console itself contains a 6.7 inch OLED (organic light-emitting diode) and a kickstand. It is unknown at this time if it is a touchscreen or not.

    “While not as powerful as the Xbox One and PS4, the Switch houses a Nvidia Tegra Processor, making it the most powerful handheld to date by a very wide margin” according to the Express website. There has been no mention of 4K or virtual reality compatibility, but the console will be more than capable of the former, indicating that it is a possibility that 4K streaming will be commercially available for platforms such as Netflix and Hulu. With this prospect, the Switch can be used for much more than gaming, possibly becoming an entertainment center..

    Reminiscent of a tablet screen, it connects to two controllers that have been dubbed “Joy-Cons”, which can be unattached at any time for comfort and the sake of being ergonomical. The true innovation lies in the way that a person can use the device.

    Whilst at home, the console can be connected to a dock, which displays the game on a television, with the Joy-Con’s connecting to resemble a traditional standard controller. If on the go,  the Switch can be brought along by simply connecting the Joy-Con’s back onto the main device, transforming it to a handheld device. A noteworthy submission from the Joy-Con controller is its lack of a traditional D-pad, being replaced with four buttons rather than a simplified pad that has been used in nearly all controllers to date.

    An interesting aspect shown in the reveal trailer is the capability to play split screen, meaning that two people can play on the same screen on the device itself. Although surprising, it is a welcome feature that shows that Nintendo is not afraid to try things with gaming that have never been done before. Compatibility with the Joy-Con controller is seamless with split screen, with each player being able to use one controller to play the game. At a time in gaming that features heavy emphasis on solidarity, it appears that Nintendo is pushing social gaming.

    Nintendo is heading back to the old days in gaming, announcing that they will use cartridges instead of the industry standard discs. Cartridges tend to be able to hold less memory space than discs, so it will be interesting to see how Nintendo utilizes them in an efficient fashion.

   “The Nintendo Switch is highly innovative for console and handheld gaming. I hope that other developers take note and put forth more effort to create dynamic devices like the Switch,” said Showad Huda, senior.

    One of the biggest concerns for the Switch is the third-party support that it will receive, with the lack of support being the cause for the Wii U’s lack of sales and ultimate failure as a console.

    However, shortly after the release of the Switch, Nintendo provided the press with a list of forty-eight developers willing to support the company’s endeavors with the innovative new console. Developers on the list include Ubisoft, CAPCOM, Sega, EA, Activision.

     As far as games go, the launch lineup looks promising. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be the headliner, having won an array of awards at the E3 showcase this year in Los Angeles. The list will be supplemented by titles such as an unnamed Mario platformer, Skyrim, the NBA2K series, and Splatoon. The list of titles is anticipated to grow in the coming months before the official release of the console.

     The Switch looks to appeal to an older demographic than its previous consoles, says The Next Web, even going so far as to make it a point to not include any families or young children playing the console in the reveal video, using only young adults and older teenagers. With this in mind, it may indicate that Nintendo might be trying to create more “mature” games in comparison to their typical Super Mario Bros. or Kirby games, taking on games such as Assassin’s Creed and Skyrim.

    A price point has not been listed for the console, but it is speculated that the machine may sell for anywhere between $250 and $350 dollars. After two long years of waiting, Nintendo’s newest console is ready to hit the shelves in March 2017, so get excited.

Your teacher’s hobby: Mr. Raicovich is a Dj

in Arts & Entertainment/Campus Life by

Mr. raicovich on the left, with Lewis Anthony (his friend) on the right. Image courtesy of a 2013 article korea.stripes.com called “A year of Epic Parties”
Mr. raicovich on the left, with Lewis Anthony (his friend) on the right. Image courtesy of a 2013 article korea.stripes.com called “A year of Epic Parties”
Being a music enthusiast (a music nerd) is a hobby for lots of individuals. It is a kind of adventure for some to finding music that they relate to, that they dance to, that they think to, or sometimes even cry to. With amazing advancements in technology, music is free to whoever has an internet connection; they can find new artists on music streaming services. Some of these music streaming services allow anyone to become a creator of music by just uploading their music to these services for free and having people around the world listen to it.
Joseph Raicovich, a Theory of Knowledge teacher here at Atlantic community High School, is one such enthusiast-turn-creator. As a young child, Raicovich was always fond of vinyl records and learned how to mix them at an early age. When he traveled to South Korea to become an English teacher, his love for music intensified, for the underground electronic dance music scene of the city of Seoul had influenced him to become a DJ. He states, “I’d like to think that Korea was like graduate school for me in regards to DJing…Seoul had one of the larger dance music scenes as opposed to other places on the globe.”
“Joeraico” is his Soundcloud profile name; his music involves a driving repeating beat with beautiful melodies and vocal snippets layered on top of the beat. It is reminiscent of artists such as Daft Punk when they were in their Discovery era. A very minimal, calm, and beautiful sonic experience, the calm atmosphere of his songs will relax any listener. When asked what inspired him to make music, he stated, “I’ve always enjoyed music in general whether it be making it or listening to it. Though I never really learned an instrument, I always enjoyed sampling and the use of nontraditional sounds to form music. I get inspired by the music I listen to as well as seeing crowds react to certain kinds of music.”
Joseph Raicovich is a great teacher and a great musician, his music is definitely worth a listen for any music enthusiast, and for students who need something calm to help them read or finish a pile of homework.

Music meets fashion: a different side of music

in Arts & Entertainment by
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    Kurt Cobain at the "MTV unplugged" concert, image courtesy of theidleman.com
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    Kanye West perforrming at SNL. Image courtesy of /Dana Edelson/NBC

   Starting with dark colored clothing, eye makeup such as eyeliner, mascara, and sometimes maybe even eyeshadow, musicians created a trend that lured fans in and made themselves look as appealing as they sounded. Talk about iconic! The music industry as a whole has an impact, changing the way people dress, talk, and act.

   Back in the mid-70’s, the era of punk rock originated in the United Kingdom. Bands such as the Ramones, Blondie, and The Clash defined what it meant to be edgy.

   In present times, artists all around the globe have influenced the way fans see fashion. When music and fashion meet it becomes an expression for some. A good example of this would be Kanye West. Everytime he releases his fashion line, “Yeezy”, most of the products sell out within weeks of being released. Many people believe the reason West’s line sells so well is because of the name attached to it, and in some ways they are correct. Kanye West is one of the most influential artists of the ‘00s. It only makes sense that some of his fans would want to dress like him.

   Although he passed away sixteen years ago, Kurt Cobain still defines what the “modern grunge style” is. Most artists in the grunge rock genre dress accordingly: skinny jeans, flannels, and cardigans which create a carefree look.

   Musical fashion surrounds us all and whether we realize it or not, plenty of artists shape the way their fans perceive styles. With the beautiful combination of sound and appearances, the music business continues to grow.  

Earth needs art

in Arts & Entertainment by
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    The “Earth Without Art is Eh” display in the library showcases students’ artistic creations. Staff photo taken by Gerard Kassi
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    Julia Zuniga sitting at her desk, preparing for art club. Staff photo taken by Gerard Kassi.

Ever since the beginning of time, artists have shaped our culture; they’ve painted the way we see the world. Artists such as Picasso and Rene Magritte are ones who have shaped the culture of the time in which they lived by just painting. Keith Haring, one the most prominent graffiti-artist of the 90’s, shaped what it means to be comfortable with oneself, and although he died 26 years ago (Feb.16, 1990), he is currently viewed as an inspiration in the LGBT community.

Artists are not just painters however; artists can also be designers: people like Joseph Strauss and Charles Alton Ellis, the architects who built the Golden Gate Bridge (with the help of others). In order to design such a beautiful landmark, one will need to be an artist at heart. So to get back to the topic at hand, Earth would not be where it is without the artist — without art. so what would Earth be without art?

According to Julia Zuniga, art teacher and art club sponsor, it would just be “Eh”. Think about the world without the work of a certain artist (ie. Painter, Movie Director Photographer, Musician), and imagine them never existing, imagine a world without their paintings, their movies, their pictures, or their songs. Isn’t it better to have their work, than not having it?

If anyone is an artist at heart, the world needs them; you may be the next person who will shape what it means to live in our times. If you’re wondering what you should do, simple: just join the Art Club. In the club, there will people who love art immensely, and it will you become a better artist. Their tagline is “Earth without art is just Eh” (let that sink in for a moment).

The Art Club meets every Tuesday and Thursday in Zuniga’s class, a teacher who will win anyone’s heart over with her passion for art.

If you are someone who loves art and want to be surrounded by similar people, then join the Art Club; you will not regret it.

[You] and Frank Ocean: The method behind the music.

in Arts & Entertainment by
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    Frank Ocean stands serenely, contemplating his music. Photo courtesy of fashionglossaryuk.com
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    Frank Ocean Staring. Image Courtesy of thatgrapejuice.net

Upon listening to Frank Ocean’s most popular song “Thinkin bout You,” one thing that is not realized by most listeners is his omission of gender-specific pronouns to address the listener (his lover). He keeps this style of writing for most of the songs on his album “Channel Orange,” and his newest album “Blonde.” Why does he stray from the typical R&B pattern by removing gender-specific pronouns?

Most artist have a specific demographic because most R&B artists are heterosexual, but Frank Ocean is a bisexual artist, so appealing to just one demographic would be weird to both his fans and himself.
So knowing that, he makes his songs for everyone — every gender — by using the word “You.” Rather than dividing his demographic with certain songs for “females” and for “males,” he decided he might as well make a song for both of them. Of course, not all his songs avoid gender-specific pronouns. However, there are only a handful of the ones that are, including his mixtape “Nostalgia, Ultra.” This shows not only his ability as a singer-songwriter, but it also explains why so many people enjoy his music, though he has not gained a relatively large fan base yet.

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