Artist Avicii blends a variety of musical styles with a dance floor beat to great success on his debut album True. Two legendary franchises continue with the release of FIFA14 and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker in high definition for Wii U, which our reviewer describes as “almost breathtaking.”
True, Avicii (PRMD/Island Def Jam)
Avicii, born Tim Bergling, knows exactly what he is doing with the release of his first album True. One of the most successful EDM crossover artists, this Swedish deejay with model looks has been launched to stardom because of his ability work with practically every musical genre out there. True features bluegrass, folksy harmony, acoustic guitars, progressive house woosh, rock and roll, and barroom piano ballads, all with a rousing dance floor beat that makes it all distinctive. The super catchy mix of music somehow makes this album timeless and current at the same time. I can’t wait to hear what Avicii comes up with next. Tracks to check out are “Wake Me Up,” “Hope There’s Someone,” “Lay Me Down,” and “Hey Brother.”—Claire H., grade 11, Floral Park (NY) Memorial High School
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
The Legend of Zelda is mainly untouched in design and controls but in high definition on the Wii U it is visually striking—almost breathtaking. Players use the sword and three assigned items from the many collected to explore, solve puzzles, and fight through dungeons. Like in the original game, the layout, storyline, and action are virtually the same as players’ use weapons like the boomerang, bow, or grappling hook to complete their missions. As a Wii high definition game, players use the gamepad or pro controller allowing useful tricks with a touch screen. There are about a solid 20 hours of campaigning here but if things are not challenging enough, you can use Hero Mode. This removes any recovery hearts while doubling the damage enemies deal out at the same time. The good thing is you can turn it off at any point if things get to chaotic. Legend of Zelda was always a great game and now has had an extremely valuable upgrade that makes it one of the best Wii U games out there. Rating: E for Everyone. Platform: Wii U.—Devon C., grade 8, Floral Park (NY) Memorial High School
FIFA 14 (Electronic Arts)
The FIFA franchise has been full of improvements in the last few years and they all seem to mesh in FIFA’s latest version—FIFA 14. Although there are no earth-shattering changes here, all the upgrades make this installment more polished and just an all-around great gaming experience. Improvements have been made to the animations. The way players move, interact, and shoot is more realistic, even with something like changing direction or shifting their weight. There is a sense of momentum here and a natural feel when pivoting or cutting inside. Dribbling with Precision Movement, which has been a work in progress, really comes together. When shooting, the player has a range of shots that combined with the enhanced ball physics give you the ability to score goals that was not available in earlier versions. FIFA 14 also does a better job of mirroring a real-life game. There is better integration and the updating of statistics, as well as better commentary. The one major change is with Chemistry Styles where you determine the style of players, either Artist or Sentinel, which can be mixed to promote your team. Overall the little changes raise the level of gameplay and presentation making FIFA 14 a challenging and rewarding game to play. Rating: E for Everyone. Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PSP, Wii and 3DS.—Ameer K., grade 9, Floral Park (NY) Memorial High School
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