April 23, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Game and Music Reviews from Young Adults

End of summer means less outside time, more indoor time, so make sure you have the latest video games on your shelves to share with your teen patrons. Our reviewers recommend Darksiders and NHL 13 as excellent distractions. And if you’ve been wondering what Pink has been up to, give a listen to The Truth About Love.

Darksiders 2 (Virgil Games)

DarksidersDarksiders 2 continues the story of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse and is a follow-up to the 2010 original Darksiders. In this installment, Death, the protagonist, believes that his brother War has been unjustly accused of extinguishing humanity. His quest is to restore mankind and clear his brother’s name. To accomplish this, Death must embark on an epic journey that involves invading fortresses, slaying beasts, solving puzzles, and completing monumental tasks. The force Corruption, with his multitude of demons, stands in Death’s way and continues to wreak havoc across Hell, Heaven, and zombie-infested Earth. Darksiders 2 is standard dodging and attacking fare and Death is quite nimble while wielding powerful weapons. As you progress, you can gain more weapons, the ability to summon demon lords, or even split your soul in two to solve complex puzzles. While a lot of the action is repetitive, there are some challenging fights that keep things interesting. The game consists of a dramatically larger world and a campaign that’s about three times longer than in the original version. It’s definitely a great game, but it has lots of blood and gore. It’s perfect for players who enjoy the morbid side and quest-driven plots. Rated: M for Mature. Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.—Eugene K., grade 12, Floral Park (NY) Memorial High School

NHL 13 (EA Sports)

As a big hockey fan, I’m enjoying the changes that have been made in NHL 13. It’s a thoroughly engaging game that’s tons of fun to play. The game uses True Performance Skating to make the skating experience more realistic. Hockey is a game of strategy and positioning, not of bulk and speed—and NHL 13 mirrors real skating: to stay in control a player must sacrifice speed. Another change to the gameplay is the revamped AI which is called EA Sports Hockey IQ. Goalies and skaters now react to rushing more appropriately. Plus, players can skate backward more easily, as well as cradle and handle the puck better. Goal tenders are more acrobatic and more likely to stop easy goals.

NHL13 also has two new modes. One is NHL Moments live, which allows gamers to relive great moments from games past by challenging them to recreating the exact moment themselves. The other new mode is GM Connected. This very popular feature lets gamers create a hockey league that consists of managers, players, and a commissioner. With scrimmage modes, playoffs, tournaments, and more, NHL 13 really gives you an awesome hockey experience. One might even say that it’s better that what the actual hockey season has to offer. Rating Everyone, 10 and older. Platform: PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.—Andrew B., grade 11, Floral Park (NY) Memorial High School

The Truth About Love, Pink (RCA)

The Truth About Love is Pink’s sixth album and has been much anticipated after a four-year hiatus. The ferocious rocker delivers on Truth, showcasing a variety of musical styles, all with that Pink attitude that fans have grown to expect. The lead single, “Blow Me (One Last Kiss),” combines defiant lyrics with an edgy dance-pop that makes it an instant smash. “Are We All We Are” is another in-your-face protest song in which Pink is fed up with everything and lets you know it. Her great vocals shine on her mushy acoustic ballads such as “Beam Me Up,” “Try,” and “The Great Escape.” Her stunning voice will give any top singer a run for their money. On Truth, Pink also collaborates with some of the best and does it with their comfort zone in mind. She works with Lily Allen on “True Love” and Eminem on “Here Comes the Weekend.” Overall, this is a great album that proves that Pink has got what it takes no matter what’s going on in her personal life.—Claire H., grade 10, Floral Park (NY) Memorial High School

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Empowering Teens: Fostering the Next Generation of Advocates
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