Archive for February, 2010

25
Feb
10

Classic ‘Star Fox’ title still soars high

I consider myself a cat person, but this fact did not stop me from wanting to be the top dog in “Star Fox 64.”

This title was definitely a gem for the Nintendo 64’s library back in July 1997, so I was thrilled at the opportunity of downloading the game on the Nintendo Wii’s Virtual Console to relive the magic.

Players control Fox McCloud, an ace pilot of the Arwing. Accompanying Fox in the skies is his trusty teammates: Peppy Hare, Falco Lombardi and Slippy Toad.

In a series of space missions, Fox and his crew venture throughout the Lylat System to stop the evil Andross from terrorizing the galaxy. Most of the stages involve maneuvering the Arwing around the screen on a sort of fixed-rail where the player basically blasts lasers at anything that moves – while of course avoiding friendly fire against teammates.

The Arwing comes equipped with lasers, bombs and is capable of handy aerial maneuvers like the barrel roll, U-turn and the somersault. There is also a tank and a submarine players can pilot for a few stages.

Overall, the gameplay has a sort of arcade-like feel that holds up quite well these days, especially considering how the game is more than a decade old. The levels are fast-paced shooting fests and are paced long enough so stages never begin to drag.

Not only that, the game’s combination of anthropomorphic characters with great voice acting really brings the game’s personality up a notch. For example, Fox sounds very heroic and confident, so it is believable that he is the leader of this Arwing team.

As for flaws in the game, there are only a few minor ones to point out. First off, the game is a bit on the brief side. An entire sitting from start to finish averages 40 minutes or less. The game does encourage extra playthroughs, allowing the player to try out a few more stages, but the title just leaves the player wanting more once all is said and done.

Another minor issue with the game is how the teammates of the “elite” Star Fox crew amount to nothing more than sheer incompetence. As Fox, players have to do pretty much everything in the game as the teammates do almost nothing. Sure, the teammates do provide hints and quips throughout the missions. However, the sense of a team completing these missions is never really achieved. The teammates could just be a bit less useless. Most of the time, a player plays babysitter trying to keep the baddies from blowing up your allies.

Regardless, this game proved to be quite delightful to play once again. It brought back fond memories of when I first tried this game on the Nintendo 64. In this day and age of higher-resolution graphics and sound effects, this title may appear blocky and unimpressive, but the core gameplay still withstands the test of time. Those willing to give this title a test flight will not be disappointed.

Nhan-Fiction Score: 4/5

25
Feb
10

‘Shutter Island’ delivers nerve-wracking but enjoyable experience

Review by Oliver Ryder from The Daily Evergreen

This is one island where many moviegoers would not mind being stranded on.

24
Feb
10

Heads v. Feds: A debate on the legalization of marijuana visits WSU

The great debate is finally reaching WSU.

Steve Hagar, editor in cheif of High Times Magazine and Robert M. Stutman, former Drug Enforcement Administration veteran will debate the legalization of marijuana on Wednesday, February 24 in the WSU Compton Union Building Senior Ballroom. The event will be hosted by the Student Entertainment Board, one of WSU’s registered student organizations.

The debate will be mediated by SEB’s Lecture’s Programmer Rachelle Rosonitz and will last about 30 mintues with discussion and rebuttals from each speaker. The debate will be followed by questions from the audience.

This event is free to students with valid WSU IDs and $5 for public. Doors will open at 5pm so get there early for a good seat. For more information click here.

24
Feb
10

WSU jazz ensembles head to Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival

Photo courtesy of University of Idaho Web site

Members of the WSU jazz community, including individuals involved in VoJazz and the WSU Big Bands, will be performing at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival at the University of Idaho starting Wednesday, Feb. 24.  The Festival features performances from grade school, middle school, high school and college level jazz ensembles and soloists, with vocal and instrumental musicians.  The festival will also include performances by guest professionals in jazz music.

The annual festival has welcomed student performers since 1967, when has featured music greats such as Ella Fitzgerald, Al Grey, and Lionel Hampton.  Individuals partaking in the festival will perform for the audience, and then have the opportunity to participate in a workshop with a jazz professional, during which they will receive feedback and constructive criticism.

For more information on performance times, check out the festival schedule.  Performances start tomorrow and take place in the Kibbie Dome on the University of Idaho campus.  Tickets can be purchased through the University of Idaho Ticket Office at 208-885-7212 or toll-free at 1-88-88-UIDAHO, and prices range from $25 to roughly $40.  Stay tuned for future performances by VoJazz and the WSU Big Bands on campus.

22
Feb
10

WSU Faculty Artist Series: Dr. Sheila Converse

Photo courtesy of WSU Web site

WSU School of Music presents a concert featuring Dr. Sheila Converse, a mezzo-soprano and clinical assistant professor of vocal music, as part of the Faculty Artist Series.  The concert features Dr. Converse and pianist Meg Kelley, as well as cellist Dr. Ruth Boden and artist Richard Kriehn, performing folk songs arranged by classical composers.  The concert will be held in the Bryan Hall Theatre at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 23.  The event is free for WSU students with a student ID, and $10 for general admission.

For more information about the Faculty Artist Series, click here.  Stay posted for future events through the WSU School of Music.

17
Feb
10

A Science Fiction Classic Preserved

Fritz Lang’s complete version of Metropolis was screened at the Berlin Film Festival on February 12. The event marked the first time audiences saw Metropolis in its entirety since the premiere…83 years ago.

The film was a critical and financial disaster in 1927. Paramount decided it was best to cut an hour from the running time for American audiences. The cut scenes were supposed to be lost.

Film historians and fans all over got word that the missing footage of Metropolis was found in Buenos Aires in 2008. Roger Ebert called it “One of the the most important film archival discoveries in history.”

Metropolis will have a limited theatrical run in April and a dvd and blu-ray release is inevitable. Check out this link for more info.

17
Feb
10

Cable 8 to hold a telethon for one local student

By Shelby Gremel
The Daily Evergreen

Cable 8 Productions will be hosting a telethon from noon to 3 p.m. this Thursday to benefit one local middle schooler and his goal of one day going to college.

Kwina Schaible-Bliesner, an eighth-grader at Lincoln Middle School, lost his mother to cancer last summer and his father was also diagnosed with cancer and medically discharged from the military recently.

The fundraiser is part of the Cougar Vision Outreach Program, and the money raised will be put in a college fund for Kwina, or Ki to his friends.

By starting a college fund, Schaible-Bliesner will be one step closer to fulfilling his father’s wish: for his son to attend college or some form of higher education, said Raquel Marcelo, sales and marketing vice president for Cable 8 Productions, in an e-mail.

The telethon will consist of two simultaneous parts.

The first will be a live airing in Studio A where the actual telethon will be taped, directed by Michael DeTerra, a junior communication major and vice president of television at Cable 8. The second portion will be in the CUB Lair.

There will be performances from the Hawaii Club, acoustic performers Cassie Correlle, Kate-Lynne Logan and Ian Skavdahl as well as the elementary and middle school jazz choirs. Most of the performances, such as the Hawaii Club and the jazz choirs, will be taped in the studio and aired in the CUB Lair between the live performances. The acoustic singers will be performing live in the CUB Lair on Thursday.

Panda Express will also be participating in the Telethon. 20 percent of their proceeds Thursday will go to Schaible-Bliesner’s fund. Cable 8 also pre-sold T-shirts for the event for $15 each. All proceeds of the T-shirt sales will go to to Schaible-Bliesner as well. The shirts can be purchased online at http://mybiggive.com/gear/default.aspx or in the CUB Wednesday and Thursday. Students who purchase a shirt and wear it to Valhalla will receive 25 percent off of all food items and a microbrew pitcher for $9.75, limited to one per person per day.

MyBigGive is also looking to sell the shirts in bulk to groups.




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