The Rocket Star https://therocketstar.org The Student News Site of Spring Grove High School Tue, 25 Feb 2020 13:06:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 REVIEW: Clash of Clans https://therocketstar.org/2194/entertainment/review-clash-of-clans/ https://therocketstar.org/2194/entertainment/review-clash-of-clans/#respond Tue, 25 Feb 2020 13:06:37 +0000 https://therocketstar.org/?p=2194    Clash of Clans is one of the most downloaded mobile games on the App Store and the google play store. When the game was released on August 2, 2012 it completely revolutionized mobile games. The strategy attack defend style of the game was completely new and it shows how addictive it was. Currently with over 500 million downloads and throughout the companies four games 100 million active players Clash of Clans is doing very well for an 8 year old game. 

      The strategy in this game is key to being successful, building a highly protected base is important but strategizing your next attack will get you higher in the  rankings. There are tons of troops to add to the strategy of attacking, spells and boosts also play a huge role in destroying an enemy’s base. People spend tons of time making highly protected bases to combat your attacks and it’s fun to experiment with the available defensive towers.

   If you are more focused on making friends, then joining a group of players called a clan is a great way of doing that. If you are super competitive you can participate in Clan Wars and attack an enemy’s clan mates to see who is the most strategic team. 

   With such a successful game you need to try it. It’s free and has made millions of peoples’ lives more fun.

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 Future Educator Club to Sell Candy-grams and Lollipops https://therocketstar.org/2190/news/future-educator-club-to-sell-candy-grams-and-lollipops/ https://therocketstar.org/2190/news/future-educator-club-to-sell-candy-grams-and-lollipops/#respond Mon, 10 Feb 2020 12:45:43 +0000 https://therocketstar.org/?p=2190    Future Educator Club will be selling candy grams and lollipops the week of 2/10-2/13 during lunches 4,6, and 8, and after school in the lobby until 3pm. 

   Lollipops are $.50 cents and candy grams are $1.00. The candy grams will be delivered to home rooms on Valentine’s day. 

   The money $.25 of every lollipop sold will directly go to the Future Educator Club.

   The club is full of eager students ready to learn all about being a teacher, and the responsibilities that follow with that job. They shadow teachers that actually teach in the school district to see if they would like to persue that job. 

   The club also is in connection with a first grade class from an elementary school in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The students wrote each other letters to better the first graders writing abilities and the high schoolers abilities to connect with young children.

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REVIEW: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Rises Above The Rest https://therocketstar.org/2187/entertainment/review-star-wars-the-rise-of-skywalker-rises-above-the-rest/ https://therocketstar.org/2187/entertainment/review-star-wars-the-rise-of-skywalker-rises-above-the-rest/#respond Thu, 30 Jan 2020 12:44:17 +0000 https://therocketstar.org/?p=2187 A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

I love Star Wars. Always have, and always will. Since I was 7 years old and saw A New Hope on DVD with my father, I’ve followed every piece of Star Wars media I could. I played the games, I read the comics, I bought the figurines, and (most of all) I watched the movies. I saw the original trilogy a million times, watched the prequels and only regretted the first two, and now, I’ve watched the sequel trilogy in theaters.

My own personal bias aside, Rise of Skywalker is modern Star Wars at its finest. As a finale to the story that started with a farm boy on a desert planet with twin suns, Episode IX delivers everything it could and then some. Especially after the slightly disappointing Last Jedi, Episode IX is a breath of fresh air few films in recent memory have provided.

JJ Abrams’ tight direction is in full force here, and very few scenes dragged on too long. The acting chops of Adam Driver as Kylo Ren and Daisy Ridley as Rey are at their finest, and the character dynamics have never been so natural and hysterical. Rise of Skywalker is undoubtedly the funniest Star Wars film, with countless one-off gags and lines of dialogue that cracked me up. The lightsaber duels are as satisfying and powerful as ever, with one in particular genuinely getting a gasp out of the majority of my theater. Every character moment hits hard, and while some of the new characters are a bit underwhelming, they’re clearly victims of Disney needing more Star Wars shows on Disney+ after The Mandalorian’s success as opposed to being the fault of the film itself.

Without spoiling the marvelously fanservice-y finale, all I can say is that Rise of Skywalker delivers for all Star Wars fans. It is a beautiful finale to the saga of the Skywalker family, and as someone who has wanted to be a Jedi since before I could spell “Jedi”, it’s simply a wonderful Star Wars movie. To those who grew up with the prequels, or the Clone Wars TV series, to those who are seeing their first Star Wars films with the sequels, and especially to those who remember the story about the Force and the Skywalkers beginning in 1977…

May the Force be with you. Always.

 

OVERALL SCORE:

4.5 out of 5 stars

 

SHOULD YOU SEE IT?:

Only if you’re a Star Wars fan, and enjoyed the sequel trilogy (The Last Jedi notwithstanding, as it’s very different from both the films before and after it). If you aren’t a fan of The Force Awakens, steer clear of Rise of Skywalker. But if you do like the sequels, go see Rise of Skywalker in the theaters as soon as you can.

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Byleth, the Hero of Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Joins Smash House! https://therocketstar.org/2184/entertainment/byleth-the-hero-of-fire-emblem-three-houses-joins-smash-house/ https://therocketstar.org/2184/entertainment/byleth-the-hero-of-fire-emblem-three-houses-joins-smash-house/#respond Mon, 27 Jan 2020 12:49:22 +0000 https://therocketstar.org/?p=2184 Byleth, the main character of Fire Emblem: Three Houses is the fifth DLC character to appear in the party/fighting game Super Smash Brothers: Ultimate, as revealed by the game’s director, Masahiro Sakurai, in a livestream early last week.

 

Byleth hails from the latest game in the Fire Emblem series of tactical JRPGs, and is most notable for using multiple different “classes” of weapon in their Smash Bros. moveset (sword, spear, and bow). Much like the character Corrin, also from Fire Emblem, Byleth has both male and female playable skins, due to both male and female main characters being playable in most Fire Emblem games.

 

The reveal of Byleth has led to quite some disagreement within the Smash Bros. community, with many people being upset that another swordfighter from the Fire Emblem franchise was included in the roster, alongside the multiple others already in the game, while many others are glad that the newest Fire Emblem game is given representation. Common agreement, however, is that the character was only chosen to advertise the upcoming expansion for Fire Emblem: Three Houses, similar to how the Inkling characters were chosen for the base game to advertise the then-unreleased Splatoon 2.

 

Byleth will be playable as of January 28th, 2020, and will be available to all who own either the Fighters’ Pass DLC pack or purchase the Challenger Pack 5 DLC. Alongside Byleth, multiple other Smash Bros. DLC items will be available, including a Mii outfits based on the characters of Cuphead, Altair (from Assassin’s Creed), Mega Man X, and Mega Man.exe (from Mega Man Battle Network), and a song from Cuphead.

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Harry Arrives in Canada to Join Wife and Son for Post-Royal Life https://therocketstar.org/2181/entertainment/harry-arrives-in-canada-to-join-wife-and-son-for-post-royal-life/ https://therocketstar.org/2181/entertainment/harry-arrives-in-canada-to-join-wife-and-son-for-post-royal-life/#respond Mon, 27 Jan 2020 12:46:33 +0000 https://therocketstar.org/?p=2181    Former Prince Harry arrived in Canada Tuesday to join his wife, Meghan Markle, and eight month old son Archie, to begin a new period of their lives away from the royal family. Both Harry and Meghan had recently agreed to give up their royal titles and move to North America. After meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Harry flew to Vancouver Island in British Columbia, where the couple now lives. 

   “Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the commonwealth, and my military associations, but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible,” Harry said at a charity fundraiser in London on Sunday in his first comments since announcing the couple’s plans to step back from their royal duties.

   The couple will pursue new financial independence, partly from books and speaking engagements.They receive 95% of their income from property and investments via Prince Charles, Harry’s Father, and 5% from the taxpayer-funded Sovereign Grant. The couple must pay the $3.1 million it cost taxpayers to renovate their Windsor home, and they will stop receiving money from the grant. 

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REVIEW: Frozen II is a Cold, Cold Meal https://therocketstar.org/2170/entertainment/review-frozen-ii-is-a-cold-cold-meal/ https://therocketstar.org/2170/entertainment/review-frozen-ii-is-a-cold-cold-meal/#respond Tue, 21 Jan 2020 13:07:12 +0000 https://therocketstar.org/?p=2170 Disney, in recent years, has had a complete monopoly on the film industry, especially the kids’ film industry. This has almost always been how Disney’s operated, ever since the Disney Renaissance of the 1990’s that brought such iconic films as The Lion King. In the 2010’s, however, Disney had a different face; namely, that of the 2013 film Frozen. The film became one of Disney’s most popular in recent memory, and (to put it bluntly) made too much money for Disney to not make a sequel.

Frozen II is a 2019 war documentary taking place… sometime after the first one. It seems to be relatively soon after, as much of the first film’s events are referenced as if they’re very recent, but at the same time, other scenes treat the actions of the original film as old news for the characters. Either way, the film follows the main cast of the original film until about midway through Act 2, when it just writes out everyone except for Elsa and Anna for the remaining 50 minutes of the film. The story is equal parts predictable and nonsensical, but not in the way that something like Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling uses well. Story beats just come and go, with the vast majority of the film seemingly having no real “goal” beyond having Elsa and Anna onscreen for as much of it as possible. The music, arguably the highlight of any modern Disney film, is also calculated and mediocre, with each character getting a song that the marketing team can easily convert into an .mp3 file to play out of toys’ speakers. The only truly notable song in the entire film is a parody of 90’s boy bands, which is equal parts hysterical and surprisingly sound as its own song.

From an animation standpoint, nothing has changed from Frozen to Frozen 2. The comedy and writing, however, have taken huge downfalls.Whereas the character of Olaf from the first was clear “we need a character to turn into plush toys” bait, Josh Gad’s performance and the almost improv-sounding dialogue made him a genuinely funny character that only crossed the line into obnoxious a handful of times. In Frozen 2, however, Olaf’s character is replaced with only marketability and how often and loud he can yell all his lines. Even outside of the dedicated comic relief character, Frozen 2 has very few attempts at comedy, and far fewer that hit their mark.

It is my philosophy that “it’s a kids’ movie” is not a valid reason for a film to be good or bad. Just because it’s Disney doesn’t make it perfect, but just because it’s rated G doesn’t mean it can’t be just as good as an R-rated film. Frozen 2 is a textbook case of “kids’ movie”, where everything in the film is either made to make toys or to appeal to young children. After the original Frozen was one of the best modern Disney films (alongside Zootopia and Moana), the fact that its sequel is completely passionless doesn’t bode well for the future of Disney’s ALL AGES film catalogue. I’d make a joke here or reference the film, but I don’t have anything to say, so… the main theme sampled an Usher song, so there’s that.

 

OVERALL SCORE:

2.5/5 stars.

 

SHOULD YOU SEE IT?:

If you’re a huge Disney completionist, or have a younger sibling who wants to, go ahead, but don’t expect anything much beyond mediocrity.

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NASA Finished Tests on X-59 https://therocketstar.org/2168/news/nasa-finished-tests-on-x-59/ https://therocketstar.org/2168/news/nasa-finished-tests-on-x-59/#respond Tue, 21 Jan 2020 13:01:16 +0000 https://therocketstar.org/?p=2168 NASA has recently finished their tests on a part of the “Low Boom Flighty Demonstrator project”, the X59.

      Itself is part of NASA’s Integrated Aviation Systems Program, the X-59 sparks discussions into fast-than-sound flight. This has been something that exited commercial use when the last of the Concorde aircraft were grounded.

     Assembly will be likely be split up into three primary areas: the main fuselage, the wing, and the empennage.

     While the super sonic qualities of the X-59 are the most noticeable feature, it’ll also be a test bed for other advanced features. 

     The External Visibility System (XVS) is a main example of this, a front-facing window and instead use a camera and display system for the pilot.

     Senior NASA management will meet again to send the orders to get the X-59’s first flight, which is likely to take somewhere closer to 2021. 

     Overall, this new flight will see it travel over the continental US, with data and individual feedback to gage the audio profile and help shape rules for future commercial supersonic air travel over land.

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Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell Okay After Wild Dirt Track Crash. https://therocketstar.org/2164/news/kyle-larson-and-christopher-bell-okay-after-wild-dirt-track-crash/ https://therocketstar.org/2164/news/kyle-larson-and-christopher-bell-okay-after-wild-dirt-track-crash/#respond Tue, 21 Jan 2020 12:59:27 +0000 https://therocketstar.org/?p=2164 For Nascar stars Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell, there was no off season, as the two ventured to New Zealand in December for some indoor wingless racing. Larson started his New Zealand kick off good. He finished 2nd in his first heat and won his second. 

       Larson was running the cushion while running 3rd in the second United States vs New Zealand vs Australia test heat race. The car stepped out, and he lightly tagged the wall with his right rear; the car landed sideways and he was violently cast into an immediate set of barrel rolls. Larson rolled five times, making little contact with the track itself in the process.

        Bell joined Larson in the same dirt track division. Both drivers had qualified for the feature race. In a similar test race, Christopher Bell also rolled. Ironically, Bell also lost it in the same corner. He knocked a rut which turned him into the wall. Contact with the wall sent him into a barrel roll.

         Unfortunately, even though both drivers left the crash without serious injury, Larson left the crash with a black eye and bursted vein in the eye and both drivers were not able to make it out for the feature due to the damage to the cars.

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How to help those affected by Australian wildfires https://therocketstar.org/2161/news/how-to-help-those-affected-by-australian-wildfires/ https://therocketstar.org/2161/news/how-to-help-those-affected-by-australian-wildfires/#respond Tue, 21 Jan 2020 12:48:39 +0000 https://therocketstar.org/?p=2161  Multiple brush fires have been damaging Australia for months, devastating towns and rural communities. The national death toll in Australia’s 2019/2020 bushfire season was 27 as of Monday January 13, with 20 confirmed deaths in New South Wales, three in South Australia and four in Victoria. The scale of the threats are immense, causing authorities to evacuate people from their homes. 

   Australians that are caught in this crisis are taking to social media and begging for help. In New South Wales and Victoria, some of the most populous states in the country, people had tried to outrun the blaze and highways were backed up with cars. South Australia’s Kangaroo Island has been experiencing its worst conditions in the month of January. Popular cities, such as Sydney and Melbourne, continue to be covered in a dense smoke. Some ways to help those in need are donating to the firefighters, relief and support groups, Housing, and wildlife. 

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REVIEW: Super Mario Maker 2 v. 2 https://therocketstar.org/2157/opinion/review-super-mario-maker-2-v-2/ https://therocketstar.org/2157/opinion/review-super-mario-maker-2-v-2/#respond Tue, 10 Dec 2019 13:12:12 +0000 https://therocketstar.org/?p=2157 Mario Maker 2 has been out for almost 5 months now, and after 475 plus hours on the game I think I’m qualified to write a follow up. MM2 is better than I could have imagined after first seeing the commercials. Although it blew my expectations out the roof, it also has many problems that need to be fixed. 

     MM2 sold 2 million copies in the first 3 days of the release. If we compare this to MM1, MM2 has already sold half of MM1’s lifetime sales. So sales wise the game is doing outstanding. The one thing many people thought was going to be a good addition to the game is the story mode. The story mode isn’t anything special in my opinion, the levels do a good job at introducing the new mechanics but, the level design is lacking and can be boring. Story mode isn’t completely useless because after playing through the “story line” you unlock the builder suit and the superball flower. 

     The endless mode is fun as always and the only thing that could be changed is the amount of lives you start with maybe add five lives to each difficulty.

     If you have a creative mind this game can be addictive, there are so many items and blocks to use in unlimited ways so if you can tap your creative ideas and use them in a fun way the game won’t get old. I have made and uploaded 16 levels that are all very fun and the amount of people that play the levels really shows, there something heartwarming when you see a player comment or like your level. If you find yourself bored you can try to join some MM2 teams. Being part of a team involves playing a certain amount of the teams levels or making one for the team.

      On December 5 Nintendo released version 2.0 and the new items/enemies/features are awesome, the additions include the master sword from Legend of Zelda which is a whole new power up that makes you turn into link. You have many new moves including, throwable bombs, a bow and arrow, a sword, and a shield. Links moveset is completely overpowered and will be interesting to incorporate in levels. The new enemies include Spike and Pokey, Spike regurgitates hug spike balls and throws them in the direction of Mario. Pokey is an adjustable height enemy that walks on the ground at a slow pace. The new blocks include frozen coins, p-blocks, and dash blocks. Frozen coins are blocks that once contacted by a fireball or potabo’s, p- blocks are two state blocks that change from interactable blocks to walk through blocks after hitting a p-switch. The last notable change are dash blocks which once run on boosts your speed to that of a F-1 car. Other changes include slight maker point adjustments and a new mode, Ninji speedruns, which is a course made by Nintendo that is made to optimize and see who can get the best time beating it by the end of the week.

      Now after the praise I gave to this game I can talk about the much needed fixes. To start off I do not consider glitches in MM2 to be a bad thing (of course Nintendo thinks differently) the glitches in MM2 are not intrusive to game play, they are just weird mechanics and lack of game testing on Nintendo’s part. Plus some of the glitches can be used in level and be laughable when you encounter them. 

     The two real problems are trash levels and multiplayer co-op and vs. There was always a problem with “hot garbage” courses in MM1 and I have to say there are a lot less five year old making terrible levels that require an invisible star to beat, but the problem is still there. Nintendo has a reputation at being slow at accepting trends in gaming. Something they are still lagging behind at is online capabilities, the online gameplay in MM2 the servers are extremely laggy to the point where after 30 seconds irl is only one second in game. This is an extreme issue, Nintendo needs to strengthen servers so playing together isn’t so annoying.

     Overall MM2 is a great game and there are only a few problems that I see with the game in its current state. I believe that maybe new content to the game would be nice but it’s a relatively new game and it is good how it is currently.   

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