February 20, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Music and Game Reviews from Young Adults

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Whether your teens like blasting a soccer ball into the net or covering their enemies in corrosive goo, our reviewers think they’ll like the the new releases FIFA 13 and Borderlands 2. For those that want to get their feet moving instead of their thumbs, Push and Shove from No Doubt delivers a pack of dance tunes guaranteed to delight old and new fans.

Push and Shove, No Doubt (Interscope Records)

Push and ShoveFans of No Doubt have been waiting for a new album for about ten years, and thankfully, Push and Shove does not disappoint. These 11 tracks mark a return to the group’s type of ska-punk sound reminiscent of the 80’s and 90’s pop scene. This by no means makes the album sound dated. On the contrary, No Doubt mixes in electro-pop, dancehall, and semi-dubstep with Mazor Lazer, all expertly produced by Spike Stent. The songs have a catchy dance beat that gives the album character and a certain uniqueness that not all artists possess. Definitely check out “Settle Down,” “Looking Hot,” “One More Summer,” and “Sparkle,” to name just a few. Fans of No Doubt or just Gwen Stefani will be satisfied with this release. Hopefully the next album won’t take as long.—Latyese, grade 11, Floral Park (NY) Memorial High School

Borderlands 2 (Gearbox)

Borderlands 2The enemy, Handsome Jack, has just attempted to murder you. Luckily you are nursed back to full fighting strength by none other than the chatty robot Claptrap from the original Borderlands. Stuck in Pandora, your mission is to stop Handsome Jack and his army of robots from claiming all the riches of Pandora for Hyperion Corp. Most of the quests focus on the town of Sanctuary, which helps streamline the action sequences and gives the player the ability to tackle side quests when needed. Combat is the heart of a game where there is plenty of shoot-em up action complete with a treasure trove reward. Players choose one of four vault hunters and each one possesses certain fighting skills or psychic powers. No matter if you’re Salvador the Gunzerker, Axton the commando, Maya the siren, or Zero the assassin, you can wield any of the weapons from pistols to bazookas that Borderlands 2 has to offer. Some weapons do more than fire bullets; they set the enemy on fire, electrocute them, or cover them with corrosive goo. The Borderlands 2 campaign is more fun to play with friends, and now with Badass Rank players can receive Badass redeemable tokens when they win certain challenges. Borderlands 2 will provide hours of combat and shooting rampages that should satisfy those who are into war games. Rating: M for Mature. Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC.—James M, grade 10, Floral Park (NY) Memorial High School

FIFA 13 (EA Sports)

FIFA 13FIFA 13 is definitely a step up from FIFA 12, and that is saying a lot since I loved FIFA 12. With the addition of First Touch Control players can add more weight to the initial touch that is put on the ball. This introduces an air of risk since passes are not certain to hit their mark, and play does not become rote. The dribbling feature is also better since players can pull both triggers when handling the ball. This ensures that the player will face the opponent resulting in a maximum offensive advantage. The improved AI really keeps the game going, allowing teammates more focus in creating plays and driving the ball. The feel here is more flexible, adjustable, and adaptable, which is just more challenging and fun. Another great feature is the EA Sports Football Club. The Catalogue rewards players’ actions with in-game items that will boost career mode players. Match Day draws in the real soccer season by rating what players and teams are doing in real-time while you play the game version. FIFA 13 also incorporates Kinect features so players can give verbal commands as well. This is truly an awesome game experience that delivers lots of excitement and demanding play. Rating: E for everyone. Platform: Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation3.—Ryan A., grade 9, Floral Park (NY) Memorial High School

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