Time 4 the ‘ultimate’ hunt

By Josh Yancosek

It’s time for the hunt in “Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate!” Explore vast new terrain. Fight new and returning monsters from previous games. Of course, craft a wide variety of new weapons and armor to up your game.


In the latest installment of the series, you are a hunter, traveling with a caravan, seeking out the origins of a mysterious virus and a piece of treasure called the Article. Along the way, hunters will meet a variety of characters such as the Caravaneer, the Man (blacksmith), the Ace Hunters and a feline partner.

This game introduces many new applications to the hunt. Top among these are the charge blade and the insect glave. The charge blade is a large sword and shield that can switch to ax mode. The insect glave is a staff-like weapons that also controls a bug called a kinsect. The kinsect can collect essence from monsters to boost stats such as attack, defense and speed. Hunters are able to pole vault into the air using the insect glave. Along with this is the ability to mount monsters. Hunters are now able to topple monsters by  completing a sequence in the game.

Players can also join together for hunts via online. This gives a whole new style to hunting. Players either win honor and victory together or taste defeat.

With so many additions, what could be wrong with it? Well, while the 3D setting can give a brilliant scene, it tends to hurt the eyes after a while. With a wide variety of weapon types, it can be hard to learn all of the controls. It can take a while for beginners to learn all the fundamentals of hunting. In addition to this, it can be very frustrating to acquire some hard-to-get materials in the game.

Besides these, this game deserves a 4.5 or 5 out of 5 stars. With a wide assortment of equipment, no play through is the same. Although, one can’t fully grasp it until they have tasted the sweetness of slaying a monster like the Rathalos. It’s time to answer the hunting gong and join the adventure.

‘Majora’s Mask’ stands the test of time

By Alex York
If there’s one thing gamers can’t get enough of, it’s Nintendo’s “The Legend of Zelda” series. The nearly 30-year-old franchise has been host to over a dozen titles that all left their own impact on the gaming industry. And, with the release of the latest model of the 3DS system, Nintendo gave its fans an update to one of the series’ most beloved entries that is capable of standing with the original alongside gaming’s best.
First, a bit of exposition: Fifteen years ago, Nintendo 64 owners worldwide were blessed with the gift that is “The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask.  A direct sequel to 1998’s “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time,” which was revolutionary in its own right, “Majora’s Mask” further built upon the combat, exploration, and puzzle-solving mechanics of titles past. However, the new title departed from the series’ cheerful roots and offered an unorthodox adventure unlike anything before its time.
“Majora’s Mask” takes place within a timeframe of three days, you see – the final three days before the moon falls from the sky and completely eradicates the strange world of Termina. Link, the hero from the previous titles, is tasked with bringing the apocalypse to an end by defeating the enigmatic Skull Kid, wielder of the eponymous “Majora’s Mask” which grants its user powers of world-destroying proportions.
The dark, apocalyptic setting is further accentuated by the inclusion of an actual time limit – and an impossible one, at that. Once players obtain the Ocarina of Time from the previous game, however, the new adventure gets much more interesting; like Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day,” Link can use his own magical artifact to return to the beginning of the three-day cycle until he has obtained all the necessary resources to defeat Skull Kid. If players fail to reset the cycle before it reaches its end, though, they get to watch the end of the world first-hand, leading to a pervading sense of urgency throughout the entire game.
Fast forward to Feb. 13. “The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask” is released alongside the New Nintendo 3DS, and series veterans are ecstatic to pick up the long-awaited update to the classic. Thankfully, the new iteration of “Majora’s Mask” fails to disappoint.
While it retains the fantastic plot and brilliant gameplay of the original, “Majora’s Mask 3D” is great in its own right. Not only are the game’s remastered graphics gorgeous, the developers went the extra mile to streamline the experience by tweaking dated mechanics. Camera controls are vastly smoother, actions are more responsive, and both navigation and time management systems can be utilized with greater ease than ever before. Other than the obvious improvements, the game remains mostly unchanged. However, because of these tune-ups, Termina feels as fresh as ever and the world’s assortment of dungeons and side jobs is all the more enjoyable to play through.
By simply dusting off a few cobwebs, Nintendo has managed to improve upon perfection. Where the original “Majora’s Mask” shines (which is pretty much everywhere), “Majora’s Mask 3D” manages to shine even brighter. With the core of a classic and the finesse of a modern masterpiece, “The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask” is an adventure gamers will be anxious to relive time and time again.

Dance, dance

By Lydia Grant

Another school dance – should I go?

Dressing up and dancing is not my scene, but here are some reasons you (and I) should go:

  • You may not like the idea of dances being a big deal, but is spending the night alone better?
  • You can sit and eat free food at a dance.
  • Better yet, you can watch your peers embarrass themselves on the dance floor.
  • It’s not weird to go alone or with friends.
  • Plus, when else will you get the chance to dress up and show everyone the sly fox you are?

Dances are only bad if you make them bad. Let loose and have a good time. Maybe you’ll learn you don’t hate dancing as much as you thought or you don’t actually hate everyone at your school.

The Frozen Hearts

By Jenna Ronto

Now then, let us begin. When we are at the end of the story we shall know more than we know now: but to begin.

Once upon a time where the cars honked obnoxiously and the people didn’t stop to say ‘hello’ or ‘how do you do,’ lived a boy. He was called Connor, a boy to always find trouble, but this is quite common these days. Every day he ran in the streets, stealing off of tourists and scaring off the pigeons, never coming home when told, which caused his adopted family to worry to death.

Connor wasn’t quite like the other boys, though. He was born with a corrupted mind and a frozen heart, for it runs in his birth family. On this boy’s 16th birthday, he received a package in the mail with no return address and no note; just a mirror. This mirror was a thing of hatred; a mirror that has the power to cause everything beautiful and good to look as if they are hideous and poor and mean. Over the next few weeks, he discovered the mirror’s powers and had glorious fun with it. He caused others pain and hurt with his new toy, but eventually he grew tired of it. He then decided to play one more trick with his friends. Connor wanted to show the entire city how evil they actually were, so they climbed to the top of the Empire State Building. The higher they went, though, the harder the mirror shook. When they reached the top, the mirror shook so violently that the glass started to crack and then shattered. The tiny shards of glass spread all over the world, spreading the evil of human beings. Connor held onto a couple shards for himself, to have some more fun one day. The other fine splinters still flew about in the air: and now we shall hear what happens next.

“Connor, let’s go!” hollered a young beautiful lady with piercing blue eyes, “We’re going to have this kid in the streets if you don’t hurry up!”

“Yes Liz,” sighed a man angrily walking out of a nice white house. He shuffled towards his wife looking down at his feet. About halfway down the driveway he noticed a newly-planted rosebush at the end of their neighbor’s yard. He picked the most beautiful one and glared at it intensely, twirling it below his nose. He took a whiff before crushing it in his palm and throwing it out of his way.

“Ugly little flower,” he muttered to himself bitterly. Once he reached his wife he unlocked the red sports car and slid into the driver’s seat.

“Took you long enough,” whispered the pregnant lady as she carefully climbed into the car.

“Shut up, Liz.”

“Make me.”

“Oh, you know I will if you don’t stop now,” stated Connor, starting up his car, making Liz shut up and sit back in her seat.

“I don’t want another kid, Liz. One’s enough,” the driver said unenthusiastically.

The woman with eyes like ice looked up from her lap and slowly spat out, “Then I guess we’ll have to just put the baby up for adoption,” knowing not to anger him anymore, but wanting to keep the child.

“Connor,” a lady in her late 30’s asked whilst staring at the wall blankly, “Do you ever wonder where Kay is?”

“Who?” a male voice replied.

The beautiful woman pushed her glasses further up her nose and continued to write her news report for work. “The boy we had together 7 years ago,” she said icily.

“Oh,” the man shrugged and scratched his neck, “I really don’t care.”

Liz combed her fingers through her long almost-white hair in a frustrated manner, “I’m going to find him,” she whispered to herself determined to find her boy. Her baby boy that she wanted to keep but her awful, good for nothing husband refused to take care of. She would’ve kept Kay no matter what her husband said, but it was too risky for her other daughter.

“That’s him!” The mother gazed into her computer looking at a picture of a child that appeared to be Kay, her child she had to give away seven years ago. Liz started to put her nicest clothes on, preparing to find the house in which Kay has lived in all these years. As she was finishing up, her husband walked into the room.

“Where are you going?” the surly man asked with an edgy undertone.

“None of your business, Connor,” Liz stated through her gritted teeth. The man’s face turned a deep shade of red and clenched his fists. He walked up to the now frightened woman and grabbed her arms tightly, most likely leaving bruises.

“Ow,” she whispered, scared of what this monster will do next.

“Tell me.”

“No,” Liz said boldly.

Connor squeezed his wife tighter and slapped her across her pale face. “Tell me. Now,” he said in a menacing tone.

With tears in her eyes, she whispered, “I’m going to find Kay.” This time he slapped her even harder, causing Liz to fall to the ground with a thump.

“I told you before. You are never seeing him again. I don’t care how hard you plead; you do not need to see him. What’s the point?” Connor angrily spat out.

“The point is this,” swinging her fist into the man’s face, catching him off guard as he stumbled to the ground. The woman ran out of the room and then out of the house.

“Come back here, you lying sneaky…” Liz didn’t hear anything else because she was too panicked. She climbed into her car and searched for her keys, praying that they were there. She rubbed her face, wincing internally from her husband’s blows. Hands shaking, she looked again.

“Yes!” she screeched happily. She silently thanked herself for being so careless. Liz glanced out of the window and saw her worst nightmare: Connor. The woman frantically started her car, watching the man chase after the car. Right as she started driving down the road her husband bellows, “I will find you, and that little beast of yours!”

“Hello?” an older woman questioned, opening the door of Kay’s home.

“Yes hi, my name is Elizabeth, I am Kay’s birth mother,” the stranger to the older woman trailed off.

“Oh,” the woman stated, staring at the younger lady, “I’m not really sure if that’s a good idea, dear.”

“But, I need to see him! You don’t know how much I have been through! I-I,” she stuttered, practically sobbing.

“I understand, I really do, but I need some proof that you are actually my boy’s birth mother,” the woman stated in a cold and rude way while quickly shutting the door.

No,” Liz thought to herself, “I made it this far. I’m not giving up now,” Liz stated in her mind. She glared at the small apartment building through the snow blizzard as she fixed her thin coat. She then noticed a window with a shadow of what appeared to be a little boy. Her eyes bulged, determined to see Kay. She ran closer to the house, looking for a way up to the window. To her surprise, she found a rose ladder leading straight to the window. The woman began to climb even though she knew it would not hold her up for long. When she reached the window, she set her eyes upon her baby boy and the ladder began to wobble. As she fell, her face began to smile just a little, satisfied she got to see Kay. She hit the ground with that smile on her face, unaware of her husband lurking in the shadows.

Connor stared at his wife’s limp form in the snow and kicked her in the side. Looking up at the boy’s window, he had a brilliant idea.  He heaved the woman’s body over his shoulder, knowing exactly what to do next.

“Ow!” a little boy on his front porch step yelped.

“What is it, Kay?” a little girl beside him asked, concerned for her best friend.

“It’s just,” he trailed off, “something in my eye, Gerda. Don’t worry about it,” Kay said, obviously in pain.

“Oh, let me see,” the girl insisted, reaching for his face.

“I’m fine!” he whimpered, holding his chest.

“Now what’s wrong with your chest?” Gerda questioned.

“Nothing.” Kay snapped, “What is wrong with those roses? They’re so ugly!” he then stomped on the precious roses that were previously dear to his heart. He looked up at Gerda with hatred, and grew angry when he saw tears in her eyes.

“Why are you crying? You look hideous!” He bellowed and ran to his house. Gerda began to cry and ran to her own home.

Connor watched this scene with a twinkle in his eye, satisfied with his work. “Such an ugly creature like him,” he thought to himself, “needs a personality to match.” Staring at the last glass shard in his hand he saved all these years, he walked back into the dark street while grinning like a cat.

Liz woke up in a hospital bed with a sharp pain in her chest. She jerked the IV’s out of her veins, wincing at the inevitable pain, but it never came. She slowly swung her bare legs around the bed and sprung onto the cold floor. Liz looked around curiously and cautiously, wondering how she got here and why. She ran her hand through her tangled hair, noticing a large bump in the back of her head. She slinked out of her small room and peeked around the corner at the secretary at the desk.

“Ma’am? Are you okay?” a lady in green scrubs asked, who noticed Liz’s hospital band and her hospital dress.

“I don’t think you’re supposed to be out here. Let’s take you back to your room,” the woman said hesitantly while starting to get out of her chair.

“I’m fine!” Liz screamed, swinging her arm across her body towards the nurse. As she did that, Liz felt a tingling sensation through her fingers. She looked up from her hand and saw, to her surprise, the lady in green was encased in ice.

Liz ran from the scene she just caused, wondering what she did and how she did it. She ran through the hospital, whilst bumping into doctors and visitors, causing them to freeze. When she finally reached the exit, she turned her head slightly, then turned her whole body towards the hospital. The floors were ice and the walls were covered with frost. The last thing she saw was a doctor frozen with a stricken face before she ran to anywhere other than the disaster she just caused.

The woman with no memory of what happened ran until she could not run anymore, which would be the middle of the forest. She sat down and caused the ground to freeze underneath her. She wallowed in her misery for a little longer, and then told herself to stop being so pathetic. The lady stood up and looked down at her hospital gown.

“Oh, this will not do,” she whispered to herself. She then used her newly acquired powers and slid her hand across her clothing, causing it to transform into a gorgeous sleeveless gown made from ice and freshly fallen snow.

“Much better,” the woman said, louder and with more confidence, “Now, what’s next?” she wondered. She took in her surroundings and saw an open field ahead. The girl with the beautiful dress began to smile to herself, seemingly getting an idea. She gracefully walked to the open field with a trail of ice behind her. As she stepped into the area, ice began to form around her, creating beautiful columns of ice and a door the size of an elephant. When she continued walking, a palace began to form around her, completely made of ice. She finally reached the back of her new home and sat in a throne still forming around her and stared at the shining walls in front of her. The beautiful woman then began to build an icy wall within herself, hoping someone will break past it and tell her who she is.

“Hey guys,” a boy said mischievously, “I have an idea.” The boys surrounding him immediately stopped pushing each other around and looked at the boy with excitement.

“What is it, Kay?” a boy with an especially excited look on his face questioned.

“Let’s play a game,” Kay said, getting a look in his eyes that all parents hate, “out there,” he announced, pointing at the busy streets.

“Uh, are you sure?” One of the boys asked nervously, “That looks pretty dangerous.”

“Exactly!” Kay shouted, running into the streets filled with cars and buses and taxis. The other boys all glanced at each other, not knowing what to do.

“Guys, that’s pretty risky,” a brave and smart boy spoke up, “I’m not going out there,” pointing at the traffic. All of the boys agreed and began throwing a basketball around, completely content with doing just that.

The cars honked and beeped at the careless little boy running through the streets. Kay was having glorious fun, and he hoped his friends were too. He glanced through the traffic, searching for them, but finding no one. He shrugged to himself and continued to run through the streets.

“Their loss,” Kay thought, completely unfazed by his friends’ absence. As he was distracted, a lady in a beat up van was also. The van hit the boy with a thump. The driver of the vehicle stopped and climbed out stopping everyone in the streets. The woman walked around her stolen vehicle and stared at the unconscious but unhurt boy. As she stared at him, something pulled at her frozen heart and she decided she couldn’t just leave him there, so, she gently picked him up and laid him down in the backseat of her car. To the woman’s surprise, no one noticed or cared that she was practically kidnapping the boy. Liz’s face grew more and more pleased as no one stopped her on her way to her one month old palace with a boy with a heart like hers and a mischievous way of seeing things. As she sat idly in heavy traffic, Liz began to wonder how she acquired her powers.

“It doesn’t matter,” she thought to herself. “It makes life more… Interesting, more daring.”

  Kay woke up in a very strange and cold place. The floor was slippery and frozen, just like everything else in the ice room.

“Do you like it?” a strikingly beautiful woman asked behind him. The lady was wearing a dress that resembled the ice of the castle.

“Where am I?” Kay questioned, but not at all afraid.

“This is my palace. Are you cold dear?” the stranger asked, noticing him shiver.

“No,” he stuttered, obviously lying.

“Come here darling,” she said while walking towards a frozen chest. The woman pulled out a large fur blanket from the seemingly small chest. She wrapped the fleece around the little boy and kissed his forehead.

“What about my family and friends? Do they know where I am?”

“Oh, don’t worry. I took care of that,” she said, not completely listening to him, “Now, what is your name boy?”

“Kay. Are you the Snow Queen? Someone…” the boy trailed off, “Someone told me about you,” he said, almost innocently.

The woman’s eyes glazed over at the mention of the child’s name. “Yes,” the Snow Queen said staring at the frozen wall, “Call me Snow Queen.”

As this was happening, a little girl was sitting on her front porch step, wondering where her best friend could be. Gerda started to think he was gone forever, but quickly pulled herself together and said confidently, “No. I’m going to find Kay, no matter how impossible. Even though he’s been ignoring me ever since that day on the steps, I will find him. He will always be my best friend,” and the little girl ran off, with only her love for Kay to lead her to him.

Three months later, there was a routine the Snow Queen and Kay became accustomed to. When the Snow Queen woke up she would leave Kay in the bed beside hers and go out to the frozen pond and stay there for hours, thinking about nothing and everything. When she came back, she would find Kay playing with the puzzles and video games she bought for him the day he arrived. At the end of every day, Kay would skate on the frozen pond while the Snow Queen cleaned up after him. When he came back, she would always ask if he wanted to go home, and he would always say no. Today was no different, so once Kay got back to the palace the Snow Queen asked, “Would you like to go home, dear?”

Kay looked up at her with a smile on his face and said, “This is my home now!” and ran off to their room to prepare for bed. The woman was left there with a confused but happy look on her face.

Then, as she began walking to the stairs leading to their room, she felt something move in her chest. She began to think of Kay’s family and how worried they must be, knowing they have no idea where their son is. The Snow Queen, who vowed to herself that she would never love anyone, felt her heart warm when she thought of Kay.

She stumbled on the stairs and hit her head off of a step. She reached her hand to her head, but that wasn’t what was hurting her. She looked at the stairs and saw three drops of blood and a tiny shard of glass beside them. Not thinking much of it, she got up but immediately was pushed back down by her memories coming back.

Everything about Connor and… Kay. Her Kay, her boy. The realization of finding her lost son caused Liz to break down in tears. ‘I have to get out of here,’ she thought to herself. She frantically found a piece of paper and pen and wrote, ‘Kay, I’ll be back soon. I need to take care of a few things. Love, SQ.’  With that, she ran away from yet another disaster she caused. As she ran with tears streaming down her face, she didn’t notice a little girl with a hopeful but sad look on her face, looking lost, or maybe trying to find something she lost.

When Elizabeth finally calmed down, she realized that she left her son all alone and felt so stupid. Putting all of her emotions aside, she ran back to her palace. After hours of searching for it, she started to feel her toes freeze. After noticing that, she stumbled across her ice palace. She shivered at the sight of it, afraid of what she has become. The Snow Queen ran through the doors calling out to Kay, but there’s no response. ‘Surely he’s up by now. If not, he should have heard me calling for him,’ she whispered to herself. She started feeling panicked and ran up to their room. She opened the door and found nothing, other than a note that read, ‘Goodbye, Snow Queen.’