February 23, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Game and Music Reviews from Young Adults

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Want to save Middle-earth without getting off the couch? The new Lego Lord of the Rings videogame makes that completely possible. For those who never tire of zombie hunting, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 will not disappoint. And it’s just possible that the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 Motion Picture Soundtrack could provide appropriate background music for the zombie hunters, with its “soulful sound” and “a bit of wailing.”

Lego™ Lord of the Rings (TT Games/Warner Bros.)

Lego Lord of the RingsFor those who think Legos are for children, think again. After the overwhelming success of the Lego Star Wars franchise, TT Games has decided to try their luck with Lego Lord of the Rings. The simplified narrative and family-friendly gameplay are a real bonus and all the most riveting moments of the film trilogy are recreated here to provide players with hours of action and adventure. The solid gameplay begins with an epic quest by Frodo and his companions to journey to Mordor to destroy The One Ring of Power. The main quests are full of side battles and players can swap protagonists at any point to take advantage of their respective abilities. There are also plenty of entertaining diversions such as seeking out white mithril blocks, racing through checkpoints, fighting enemies, and unlocking characters that help provide secrets in the campaign. Of course, this game is more fun when you play with a friend and the Orc Fortressgame allows each of you to be involved in separate campaigns that don’t negatively affect the other.  TT Games and Lego have a gold mine here and the coming release of The Hobbit movie should only make this game more popular. Rated E for Everyone. Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation, PC, Nintendo Wii.—Nick M., grade 9, Floral Park (NY) Memorial High School

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (Treyarch)

Call of Duty Black OpsThe Call of Duty franchise has dominated the gaming market the last few years and Black Ops 2 does not disappoint. Even with the familiar search and destroy gameplay, Treyarch has introduced a host of new features in Black Ops 2 that enhances gameplay. The single player campaign now has a developed storyline that is split between the original Cold War plot line of Alex Mason and Sgt. Frank Woods and the future with Mason’s son in 2025, both fighting the evil war lord, Menendez and his terrorist organization Cordis Die. New to single player mode is the option of multiple endings, which is best showcased in Strike Force missions. In multiplayer mode, (the main reason to play Call of Duty in my opinion), players have the option to customize their weapons, accessories and even perks pre-campaign, and the new Score Streaks system has replaced in-game rewards. The great online multiplayer modes such as Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag,  and Search and Destroy are here in all their glory. And of course Black Ops would not be Black Ops without Zombies—lots and lots of Zombies. This installment is better than ever with the Survival, Grief, and the Tranzit mode. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is the most thrilling installment yet and any fan of this franchise will definitely be satisfied. Rating: M for Mature. Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation3, Wii U and PC.—Andrew B., grade 11, Floral Park (NY) Memorial High School

Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 Motion Picture Soundtrack (Summit/ChopShop/Atlantic)

Like the previous Twilight Saga albums, Breaking Dawn Part 2 follows the established protocol that the listener can enjoy this great soundtrack without being a fan of the movie. An interesting selection of artists with varying degrees of fame have been enlisted to create the 14 tracks that make up Breaking Dawn Part 2.

Breaking Dawn Soundtrack 2Most of the songs have a soulful sound that are heavy on mood and incorporate a bit of wailing as well. Overall the album possesses a haunting, almost melancholy sense of mourning that is reflective of the ending of this franchise. With that being said, there is also a dance beat evident in certain tracks as well as some pop/synth rock/punk ballads. Nikki Reed, who plays Rosalie in the film, is featured with her husband and former American Idol contestant Paul McDonald on the piano ballad “All I’ve Ever Needed.” Other tracks to check out are St. Vincent’s “The Antidote,” Ellie Goulding’s “Bittersweet,” Feist’s “Metals,” Boom Circuits’ “Everything and Nothing,” and my favorite, Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years: Part 2.”—Maureen L., grade 12,  Floral Park (NY) Memorial High School

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