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Arts & Entertainment

Let’s Roll brings a unique twist to traditional ice cream.

By: Nikko Dul

Let's Roll ice cream cup and ice cream rolls.

 

  Walking into Let’s Roll, it seems like a nice little ice cream shop. Located over on Funston and 13th Ave, is a little corner shop which is ran by a mom and daughter duo. The business has been open for almost two years since April 2017.

  Upon ordering my ice cream, I noticed that I couldn’t get a mix of two flavors. That aside, I ordered the Master Ube, which is a purple yam ice cream. After paying, I turned my attention to the worker who was pouring the purple milk onto this plate with a single piece of ube smacked in the middle. I watched as they crushed the ube into smaller bits and scraped the semi-solid looking milk around the pan until it made a little ball. Soon after, they started to flatten the solid blob onto the plate, then proceeded to roll it up.

  I did not expect to get toppings but, they were given for free and as much as I wanted. A plus to that is they made it really pretty, like an art piece, which made me want to just take a picture of it and not ruin it by eating. I noticed it's a more creamy type of tasting ice cream which if you ask me, is not up there with the best I’ve ever had. But for an interesting display, and a sweet treat after school I can’t complain too much. In conclusion, I’d rather spend that six dollars on a tub of ice cream at my local safeway.

  Going back for a second try after a long day of school, I was vaguely acknowledged by a semi-rude cashier and noticed that majority of the staff were high school students. I got a vegan flavor this time which was a banana strawberry mix they blended up and poured on the cold plate. What surprised me the most, was how they had a vegan option for those like me who are on a diet. And, if you are lactose like most people, this is a nice option. I would most likely come here again and I recommend you to give it a shot. It's a nice little stop after school or after work plus, you get a little show when they are making your order.

People arguing about Starcraft Games has always been silly

By: Scott Wu

  A common question that goes around with my friends is which Starcraft game they should play. I always said play Brood War, but that was only because of pure nostalgia. I never got into Starcraft II until I met an online friend that played it and we discussed about the different games. I’m not going to tell you which game you should play, because people have preferences. Here is my review on Starcraft: Brood War and Starcraft II.

  Starcraft: Brood War is a real-time strategy game developed by Blizzard Entertainment which was released on November 31, 1998. The game revolves around players building their bases while controlling their economy and forming an army to attack other players. Twelve years later, Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty was released near the summer, and was the biggest phenomenon in the video gaming community. This sequel has the same concept as Brood War with the species and general gameplay, but with added content and modern graphics.

  Players can choose 3 different species (Terran, Zerg, and Protoss), which have their own different and unique buildings and troops. Players will start out with workers that collect minerals and vespene gas, the resources the players need to expand their base and train armies. They start with four in Brood War, and 12 in Starcraft II.
Starcraft: Brood War was one of the very few “real” PC games I played during my childhood. The gameplay was simple, fun, and strategic with simple graphics and sounds. The preferred species I used was Terran, which resembles the human race. In Brood War, everyone had their preference in their species and mastered them to the fullest potential in order to win. The gameplay was implemented so simply, yet the PvP strategy was so complex. In Starcraft II, the preferred race universally is Terran. The reason why people love Terran is because it could obtain cheap wins. In fact, this species is so good that it’s the most popular species to use since 2012, and this still reigns in tournaments. People could say the game is “Noob Friendly”.

  The gameplay on the two Starcraft games is very entertaining, but some of the designs and archetypes are bad. Brood War had a higher skill cap level than Starcraft II simply because of its auto control. PvP in Brood War needed more attention, more APM (Actions per Minute), and an incredible amount of concentration. With Starcraft II, the option of autocontroling groups came along and now people can just select their entire huge army and command at once. Starcraft II has multiple autocontrol settings and options, which in the end basically means less work and concentration for the players.
 

  Let’s talk about the gameplay and species. In my opinion, Terran is weak in the early game against both Zerg and Protoss in Brood War; but is absolutely terrifying during mid-game. Terran has one of the best defense in the game, assuming one knows how to properly place tanks and missile turrets.This meant Terran players who know their matchup usually defend their base until they build a factory to unlock siege tanks and could unlock powerful offensive strength to their army. Compared to Starcraft II, too many cheap tactics involving rushing with Liberators ruin the game. Most of these rushes are extremely early in the game, and they cannot get punished hard from rushing. This means the whole meta-game centralizes around Terran, making defensive play most of the time justified.

  Zerg is the “monster” species that can be a real threat during early/mid-game, but is not as good as Terran/Protoss in end-game. It is objectively the hardest species to master due to the high APM it takes to be efficient and building. This means that Zerg revolves around putting constant pressure on the enemy, and it does that well. Good Zerg players punish hard with Zerglings, Lurkers, and Hydralisks. In Brood War, Zerg players will sometimes try to win using Zerglings to rush the enemy at the start of the game. Most of the time Zerg players do not win these rushes, and when they fail, they get punished hard by having no defense. Starcraft II has significantly made Zerg units synergize well with each other. It is the species that can compete well with Terran, but it requires more effort.

  In Brood War, Protoss has the best offensive units bar none, but at a cost. Training Protoss units are expensive, and their training time is longer. Protoss early game is a threat to both of the other two races, as Zealots could do massive damage in groups. It is extremely risky to rush with Zealots as they are slow, until players build the Citadel of Adun and research the faster movement. This leaves Protoss players vulnerable to counter attacks. Mid-game is where Protoss focuses on excessive resource gathering because of the better end-game units, they will try to put pressure on the enemy while trying to set up their other Nexus. It is the least popular species in Starcraft II due to the spell casting compared to Brood War. Most of these spells are basically useless throughout the entirety of the gameplay.

  What I loved about Brood War is that the three species were all balanced in most ways, just like rock-paper-scissors. People cannot just pick up the best species and win games with it most of the time. Picking the species is all personal preference. Everything people do can be countered and so can their actions, and it was fair and balanced. During all stages of a game, people have to make the right decisions and thinking, like if they should rush someone with their units near early-game, or defend against the other player. Not only did Brood War had more strategic thinking, the gameplay was fast, random, and exciting. Battles always kept people on their toes and anticipated due to the sheer speed and randomness. Starcraft II almost never had that.. It wasn’t a good archetype as most fights just happen head to head.

  As mentioned, the whole metagame revolved around Terran, and that is obviously not good. However, the biggest problem with Brood War was extremely horrible unit pathing and movement. Occasionally units will get stuck behind buildings or walls and move awkwardly, never getting to the desired destination with a clear empty path and potentially losing games. Most of the time, this is bearable with the help of Dropships/Overlords/Shuttles.

  In conclusion, if you want to indulge in nostalgia and like fast and exciting gameplay, you should play Brood War. If you would like to play Starcraft with extremely good graphics and art with units, buildings, and less effort, play Starcraft II.

“Aquaman” is one of the best DC superhero movies

By: Leo Lin

A movie poster of “Aquaman”. By: Leo Lin

 

  After the first movie that has good review from DCEU “Wonder Woman”, the new “Aquaman” film saves the DC extended universe again. “Aquaman” is a fantasy/science fiction movie released on December 21st, 2018 based on the DC comics character of the same name. It is the sixth installment in the DC extended universe, which means all the stories from DCEU superhero movies are happening in this universe. It is directed by James Wan, and stars James Momoa and Amber Heard as Aquaman and Mera.

  The movie follows the life of Arthur, son of an Atlantis princess. Arthur was born with superpower and he rejects Atlantis after learning that his mother was executed. Arthur’s brother, Orm, declares war on the surface world, and Arthur wants to stop him. Arthur goes to find the Trident of Atlan in order to claim his identity as king to grant control of seven seas and also to become more powerful to defeat Orm. After a series of challenges, Arthur gets the trident, defeats Orm, and stops the war.

  Since this is a big budget movie, they spends a lot of money to make sure every aspect of the movie is perfect. The scene is grand and visually dazzling, and the fight scene is visually pleasing with a beautifully constructed slow motion. The narrative is both efficient and rhythmic, the character and scene design are excellent, and the music is exciting.

  Wan shows us the magnificent beauty of the ocean and the feeling of fear of the deep sea.

  Unlike other DC superhero movies such as “Batman” that focus on inner activity of superheros and deeper concepts, “Aquaman” focused on pure entertainment and visual effects. Wan uses CG techniques and ingenious cinematography to achieve visual enjoyment instead of focusing on telling a good story that has a deeper meaning.

  The actor was also well chosen. Momoa plays the character so well by showing little details of aqua man such as small facial expressions that makes this character more realistic. He not only shows characteristic of Aquaman, but also combines some of his own advantages such as being  fit and strong. He is straightforward but also willing to reveal his heart in front of people.

  Heard also does a good job as Mera, she had funny scripts and a few memorable moments like scenes in the sahara.

  I would recommend people to watch this movie. Overall, it is a great movie that has a smooth and classic storyline, grand scenes, and impressive animations. People will definitely enjoy these two hours in the movie theater.

“Bird Box” Is an interesting horror movie that was famous on Netflix

By: David Huang

Mother and daughter hides from the hideous monster that lurks nearby.

 

  “Bird Box” is one of those films that you need to watch until the end to find out what happens. But some people actually could not because they found the film so scary, or they had to take a brief pause to gather their emotions. I mean, if a movie can do that to you, then it is definitely one you do not want to miss. The movie was released on December 12, 2018 directed by Susanne Beir. In my opinion, the genre of the story is a mysterious horror movie

  Sandra Bullock plays Malorie Hayes, a survivor who lives indoors to avoid the creatures. She learned to blindfold herself, and live along with a dwindling group of companions. In the beginning of the film, Malorie warns two children, that she will be going on the journey with them and that they must not remove their blindfolds or else they will die. Five years earlier, a pregnant Malorie and her sister Jessica go to the doctor’s office for a checkup. They see a woman committing suicide when she bangs her head into a glass panel. Malorie and her sister panic and drive away. While driving, Jessica sees the creature but Malorie does not. Jessica panics and overturns the car. Later on, Jessica commits suicide by running into an oncoming car. Malorie was injured when the car crashed, and is horrified when she sees what happened to Jessica.

  As a viewer, I really wanted to know what the mysterious creature looked like. In the film, Susanne, the director, did not show the creature to the audience. I also have a question to ask, what is the meaning behind the changes in the eye colors? This film is a non-stop, thrill-a-minute, roller-coaster ride that keeps the suspense building throughout the entire film! Many superb actors gave awesome performances, like Sandra Bullock and John Malkovich who are in the film along with many other great performers. To me, this would be in my top 10 horror films of all time. I watched “Bird Box” two times already, and find new plot twists everytime! I still get scared at the parts of the film where things get morbidly crazy. I like how Susanne made the movie, showing some of the early story and goes back to the life that they were living.

  Some viewers may not like the movie due to not being able to see the creatures or why some movie characters can see them and some can not. Most of the movie viewers were expecting to see what the creatures look like. However, that does not mean that the story was bad. In my opinion, the story was very interesting, and it was creative that they thought of people being blindfold to survive in the film. Which explains why viewers do not see the creatures. It is also like a protection for the audiences. Even though the director did not let us see the creatures, I still think that the movie was good. I will recommend watching “Bird Box” with someone if you are the type of person who hates watching horror movies by yourself.

Fallout 76 is a Beautiful Disaster

By: Jonathan Chen

Player uses target assist system on high level enemy.

 

  Fallout 76 has to be one of the most disappointing games I’ve ever played. It feels like Bethesda (Fallout game developers) barely did any playtesting. A broken game can still be fun as long as the player has friends to play with.

  The “Fallout series” is about post-apocalyptic events, which takes place in an alternate universe where the United States goes to war with China over resources. The war eventually ends with both countries demolished because of nuclear warfare. The player plays as a survivor who sought shelter in an underground fallout vault and is coming out after the dust has settled. Underground vaults were located throughout the country, from California to New York.
In previous games, a key feature would be the vast amount of human non-playable-characters (NPCs) which players would frequently encounter. Fallout 76 is different, as Bethesda added no human NPCs and all of the stories are being told through the environment. Every piece of lore is all stored in voice recordings and readable notes left behind by the survivors of the nuclear bomb.

  In the 7th iteration of the Fallout series, players play as a survivor who left the vault in West Virginia, where all of the wildlife has been mutated and all of civilization has fallen. The player’s goal is to find out what happened to the vault overseer, who left the vault years earlier and to rebuild what is left of America.

  Through your journey in the wastelands, players will encounter other players. The player base of “Fallout 76” is usually friendly. If you are lucky enough, one or two players would give away items to assist you in your adventure. Unfortunately, a small minority of players who find toying with newer players to be comedic and fun. These players destroy the bases new players have built, murder them constantly due to their high-level gear, or do both. Thankfully, bullying in this game is very rare. I am very glad that the game disables player versus player combat until players reach a certain level.

  Most of the weapons from Fallout 76 are copied from the previous game Fallout 4, every firearm feels the same when used. On the other hand, Bethesda added new melee weapons, such as: a guitar modified into a sword, chainsaw, drill, and pitchfork to name a few. I am happy that they added new weapons to the game, such as the 10mm SMG, single-action revolver, paddle ball, and a pump-action shotgun.

  With the new addition of “perk cards,” players can now modify their stats and abilities to better fit their own playstyles.  For instance, you can have a character who specializes in only using melee weapons. If you play in a group, the game has perk cards that can benefit everyone. A very useful team-oriented card would be the “inspirational” perk card that increases Experience Points earned.

  For my playthrough, I had my character’s perk cards centered on the use of shotguns. Within my group, I had a friend use an explosive-oriented character, and one runs a melee-centered one. With the freedom to mix and match perk cards, the possible combinations are nearly endless.

  The game was filled with bugs and glitches at launch, which made the game almost unplayable. Players, including myself, encountered odd glitches such as enemy NPCs becoming stretched out with distorted body parts, or encountered a game-breaking glitch that would make it very difficult to progress through the story.

  Fallout 4 had its resources ported over to Fallout 76, but it also carried over the glitches from when it first came out. One notorious glitch is when players enter in certain armor, their characters would become stretched out and slightly contoured. On the bright side, Bethesda has been adding fixes to the game. It shows that they have not given up on the game yet and are willing to commit to fixing it.  

  The story has an interesting concept of fighting a new type of enemy, meeting new companions, and learning the ways around the wasteland, but it is executed poorly. Every main quest felt like a boring fetch quest that would overstay its welcome. A fetch quest is when the player is assigned to retrieve some a certain item. These types of quests have been littered across the game and break the flow of play.

  Another problem with the game is that some quests continue for too long and I ended up losing interest when I hit the midpoint of the story.

  If you have friends joining, it would make the game much more enjoyable. I went through the whole story with my buddies and we had an enjoyable time.

  After finishing the story, players can fight through a nuclear compound and eventually launch a nuclear missile at any location on the map excluding the location where new players start. After the nuclear missile touches down, every NPC within that area would change. It turns any low-level enemy into a high-level enemy that is worth a large number of experience points and is also an ideal place to find new gear and level up.

  Overall, the game was mediocre when I was playing by myself, but I had a blast when I had my friends tag along. With the number of bugs and problems still present, I don’t think the game is worth its initial price of $60. I wished the game was cheaper because at its current state, the game is not even worth $40 dollars.

R. Kelly Allegations Prompts the Bigger Question

By: Kelly Romagnoil

Survivors Kitti Jones (top right) and Lisa Van Allen (bottom right), accuse R. Kelly (left) of sexual assault on Lifetime documentary “Sur-viving R. Kelly.”

 

  Many Americans are aware of the past, present, and recently brought up allegations of musical artist Rob Kelly aka R. Kelly. In brief summary, physical and sexual abuse of underage girls as well as holding them captive in a prison and cult-like environment in his house are primary claims against Kelly. Evidence of these acts include a number of women speaking out in the recent documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly,” telling their nightmare-like stories of sexual, mental, and physical abuse from Kelly as well as a video of him engaging in lewd acts with multiple underaged girls and peeing on one which he attended court for in 2002.

  Though Kelly did go on trial for this case of child pornography, he was not found guilty. He and the victims both denied ever being in the tapes, though a relative of one of the then underaged girls, identified her as her niece. According to the jury members, they were sure it was Kelly in the tapes but uncertain of the victims and their ages. There have been a number of other allegations brought up in court against Kelly, some of which include him running a sex cult, videotaping during sex without knowledge, and sexual coercion. All victims were black and Hispanic young woman, there is no proof of any White women ever being involved.

  Even though these acts and allegations have been going on since the 90s, starting with young star Aliyah, a large handful of girls and women speaking out, multiple accusations, and stone- cold video evidence, Kelly has not yet been found guilty. This sparks a bigger question for America, If victims were white, would Kelly already have been convicted for his crimes?

  During the fourth episode of the documentary/series, a White juror during Kelly’s child pornography case, John Petrean was interviewed. Defending Kelly, he stated “I just didn’t believe them, the women. I know, it sounds ridiculous. The way they dress, the way they act, I didn’t like them. I disregarded all of what they said.” I find it interesting how Petrean gave such vague reasoning on why he just simply did not like the victims. I wonder if  “the way they dressed, the way they acted,” had something to do with how he viewed them color-wise. If the way they appeared and spoke was different, maybe the color of their skin, would Petrean still disregard everything they said?

  “100% of the women and girls who are accusing R. Kelly are Black and Latino, and we’ve seen historically that our claims particularly around sexual violence and physical violence are often fallen on deaf ear,” said #MeToo founder Tarana Burke on part of why Kelly’s behavior was allowed to happen. A number of other interviewee’s throughout the series also made statements on how Kelly would not have gotten away with this had the victims been White. Survivor Mikka Kendall spoke for society saying, “Why didn’t anyone notice?” And then, “We all noticed, but no one cared because we were Black girls.” Many Americans may agree with Burke, Kendall, and the other interviewee’s that for society, it is much easier to look the other way and blame victims of color in particular.

  Race is still such a prominent focus, topic, and issue in America that it would come as no surprise that women of color’s cries for help are less heard. “Surviving R. Kelly”, to me, is a perfect example of how society fails to protect victims of color. Even when such raw evidence, stories, interviews, and breakdowns are presented,  people will still choose to ignore the authenticity of the women’s voices.