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Street Fighter 4, back to the basics

In the fourth installment of the Street Fighter franchise, all of your favorite characters are back in the new take on the arcade game. You battle through story mode, making your way to the final battle as you unlock characters and alternative colors. This game is a classic throughback to all those people who loved the earlier editions of this game.

Game Play

Game play can be downright intense. Even on the easiest setting you can feel overwhelmed as you battle your way through arcade mode, fighting the various opponents available. The game runs rather fluidly though there were times when I wished it ran smoother; but over-all it’s fine. The cut scenes prior to the fights can at times be extremely funny and some of them actually give the game a bit of a story, barely any real story at all. There is an new addition to this game where the EX moves allow you to absorb energy from special attacks and use it to recharge your health. This can be useful if you time it right, allowing you to gain back just enough energy to push through to your eventual victory. All of the specials are back, along with a few new ones. The configuration for combat follows the old rock, paper, scissors format. This means one move beats another and then another move beats the first type. The game in and of itself might be ideal for those who play fighting games, for the people who pick this up for the casual experience they will be disappointed. The controls are somewhat difficult and the easiest setting can been very difficult.

The Good

The game’s graphics are a big step up from the previous games, though they managed to keep that sort of old-school arcade look with the extremely disproportionate body figures. Not to mention the graphics feel 2-D at times even when they are 3-D. This is not a bad thing. In my opinion, it allows for a continued enjoyment of the game’s heritage. The backgrounds to the fights are also a big plus. A great deal of time and detail has clearly been put into these backgrounds, which range from a random parking lot to a stadium full of people falling into the arena you are fighting in. There are a bunch of unlockable characteristics, and while not adding much to the game itself. They do add a nice bit of customization to the characters.

The Bad

There are a bunch of bad things about this game, though the majority more or less have to do with your level of experience in fighting games. If you are new to fighting games then you will be in for a shock. The controls are difficult to master, coming out downright clunky and awkward. The voicing, while not a key component, could use some work. Also, arcade mode defaults you to play ranked matches while connected to the Internet. It takes some doing, but there is a way to turn this off. It’s just a pain to find and more than likely whoever is playing will become frustrated to the point that they will disconnect so they can make it through the game without receiving the overly annoying “New challenger” notification.

Whim Rating:3/5

Official Trailer

Video from an outside source

pictures from:

ps3.ign.com

adrianruhi.wordpress.com

http://www.destructoid.com

Paranormal Activity, does it live up to the hype?

I am a monstrously huge fan of horror movies, but I have not seen one in years that scared me to the point of screaming in horror. “Paranormal Activity looked like the answer to my petrifying prayers. This was a movie I have been looking forward since I first saw the TV spot a couple months ago. I even went online to demand it be released nationwide. Well, 1 million demands later, there was a nationwide release planned. Paranormal Activity” has been said to be one of the the scariest films of the year, perhaps even the decade. Could be true? Could this finally be the movie that can make audiences squeal in terrifying, horrific delight?

Not quite.

Plot Summary

Everyday, average couple Micah and Katie buy a video camera to record the not-so-average paranormal phenomenon that seems to be following Katie. At first, it is only noises and slamming doors waking the couple at night, but It quickly progresses into more violent and creepy happenings like footprints made in flour on the floor. Finally, Katie calls a physic who informs the couple that the entity in their home is very aggressive and he can do nothing for them. Micah then takes matters into his ownhands by going around the house cussing out the demon spirit (bad call) and then proceeds to borrow a Ouija board in an attempt to make contact. Unfortunately, his plan not only upsets Katie (who wants to take the smart approach to the situation and leave the evil spirit alone), but also causes even more disturbances, including possession. Katie is filmed doing things she can not remember in the morning, such as standing beside the bed for 3 hours like a creeper, staring at Micah while he sleeps. Katie begins having more blackouts and strange behavior, and Micah is lost on what to do. He suggests they leave the house (one of the view good ideas this guy has) and Katie agrees at first, but then changes her mind, saying “everything will be okay now.” That should have been a big red flag, and the audience can sense that something is about to go down, and we all know who it’s going to be. The end is sad, slightly reminiscent of The Exorcism of Emily Rose and The Exorcist , and too sudden. Paranormal Activity beats comparable films, like The Blair Witch Project, all to crap, but there could still have been more done with it if they had actually had a decent budget.

Is it worth your time?

The “home-video” feel to the movie makes the story seem more realistic, as Katie and Micah could be your next door neighbors. It actually puts me in the mind of Ghosthunters on the Scifi channel, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sure, that kind of approach can make the audience feel a little let down in the special effects department, but that’s part of the fun of this movie.

As with any film, “Paranormal Activity” comes with its share of problems and goofs. There are times you can hear the main characters call each other by the wrong names, but the viewers would be to engrossed in the situation to even notice the first time around.

What this movie does bring to the table is something different, a change of pace from the usual serial killer/monster movie we are starting to see a trend of. If you’re a fan of the psychological horror, this film can mess with your head if you let it. But, if you walk in not looking for the thrill of becoming scared, you probably won’t find this movie very threatening in the nightmare department.

See it or Skip it?

See it. I admit, I was caught up in all the hype surrounding this movie and expected to have to sleep with the lights on for a night or two, but I was a little let down. Maybe I expected too much and my standards are too high. I know this film would have scared a lot of my friends, so this is why I’m saying, give it a chance. This might be a film for you. As a viewer, you need to let yourself get into the story, and that’s when you can really enjoy its subtle terror. On the other hand, you might find this film funny (I did), and even that is worth some entertainment points, but it still does not live up to the hype.

Final Result: See it or wait to rent it (with a big group of people at night. That might make it more fun.)

Check out the trailer:

Photo courtesy of Blumhouse Productions

Video courtesy of YouTube.com

Zombieland: giggly gruesomeness

The season of horror movies is officially here, and what better way to start the gorefest of October than with some zombie bashing like what you would find in “Zombieland”? While the number of zombie films has fallen in the last few years (replaced by movies like the millionth “Saw” and anything with vampires), this film shows all the promise of reigniting the fresh-eating frenzy all over again, even if it is with kicks and giggles.

I have never been one for horror/comedies, but I could not pass this one up. There was something about it that compelled me to see it. And it was totally worth it.

Plot Summary

The story starts with Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), a multi-phobic, shy college student giving a monologue of his survival rules and a brief history of the apocalypse. The story is as follows:

Welcome back to Whim Internet Magazine

Welcome back everybody to the wonderful world of Whim. We have had many changes over the past few months, and we now prepare for a full semester of exciting content. This semester you have features, movies, podcasts and much more.

As for the world; well, many things have changed this year. People are in an uproar over health care, the king of pop is dead … still, political critics are now racists, “Twilight” is still coming; God help us all, swine flu is rampant and President Penelope Kyle was given a raise … in July (so much for relevant, BREAKING news). So pretty much some things are news, some things are ludicrous and some things are just wrong. You can count on Whim this semester to keep things straight or at least fun.

Some might have thought Whim to be dead; some might have wanted Whim to die. However, we remain and we continue to do what we do best: be real. There won’t be any bland, PR features here. You will only find the truest and most cutting-edge articles. Enjoy Whim daily this semester. Also, if you want to give comments or just general ideas, e-mail us at whim@radford.edu.

Have a good year,

Adam LaFon
Executive Director, Whim Internet Magazine

Here is just a sample of what is to come: