Monday, 29 December 2014, 10:16 am

The Game’s the thing

By JAMIE BURTON
Columnist
J.J Mazi, Terrence Hill and Adon Ruckle zoned in on Super Smash Bros. for 3DS. PHOTO BY MAZIE BISHOPControversy, billion-dollar buyouts and rereleases galore encompass 2014 in gaming, but a string of quality new titles saves the year from being a complete wash out.
As video games continue to expand their influence over pop culture and gain in popularity, more and more elements of its seedy underbelly come to the surface.
This summer saw the emergence of the GamersGate controversy that began as a conflict of interest between game journalists and game developers, but quickly snowballed into a stance on misogyny in gamer culture.
Not all of 2014’s controversies were as widespread into social justice as GamersGate. 
Ubisoft was the target of overwhelming waves of hatred on two separate occasions. The release of Watch_Dogs in June was met with hostility as the final version of the game was not nearly as polished or good looking as the E3 demo shown in 2013. 
Their second bout with controversy hit in November...

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Fans prepare for final ride after seven seasons

By CARLY MCHUGH
Staff Writer
Sons of Anarchy’s final episode “Papa’s Goods” will air on Dec. 9. SUBMITTED PHOTOOn Dec. 9, Sons of Anarchy fans will be in full throttle for the show’s series finale.
Everything has led to this, the end of the seventh and final season colourfully referred to as the “Final Ride”. Fans hope that all questions will be answered before the show comes to a bittersweet end.
“I feel ending the show is a mistake because it is so good,” said Joshua Harwood, a Brock University student. “I feel like they rushed the plot. It would have been nice to have more of an origin story with Jax’s dad.”
Throughout the course of the show, viewers have followed Jax Teller in his quest to carry on a legacy while struggling with the moral imbalance of running Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original (SAMCRO).
One of the main touch points of the show has been the truth behind the death of Jax’s father, John. As...

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Pink Floyd’s swan song is ‘louder than words’

By LUCA GUARDARI
Staff Writer
Pink Floyd’s final album is a great listen that’s “louder than words.”
The Endless River is Pink Floyd’s first album in 20 years and also its last.
Composed from 20 hours of unreleased material from the band’s previous album, 1994’s The Division Bell, The Endless River features mostly instrumental ambient music that sets you off on an atmospheric journey.
There have been a lot of mixed reviews regarding the band’s 15th album, mainly because fans of Pink Floyd’s golden years think it’s irrelevant and shouldn’t exist.
Sure, the album is just discarded material the band did not want to use 20 years ago which begs the question, “Why use it now?”
After keyboardist and founding member of Pink Floyd Richard Wright died in 2008, lead vocalist and guitarist David Gilmour wanted to bring life back to The Endless River as a “swan song” for Wright.
“The work of Gilmour and Wright...

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One grand of international funds for five

By TORI RUTHERFORD
Staff Writer
Jeff Burch and Melenie Neamtz stand in the Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre, ready for applications. PHOTO BY TORI RUTHERFORDGood news for newcomers to Canada, the Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre (NFAMC) is giving away five $1,000 bursaries in May.
The Niagara Newcomer Bursary (NNB) is for students who are new to Canada or have lived here for less than 10 years.
Although the funding only came through approximately six months ago, Youth Services Co-ordinator Melenie Neamtz has wanted to create something to help newcomer youth since she took the position in 2008.
“When I took on this position I wanted to be able to offer something back to the newcomer youth because I have seen a need and it grows over the years as you get more clients and there’s less jobs and fewer opportunities. To be able to offer some kind of help is something that we’ve wanted to do for some time now.”
Private donors, who wish to remain anonymous, made the bursary possible. 
Executive Director Jeff Burch...

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Foo Fighters go sonic

By LUCA GUARDARI
Staff Writer
From left are Pat Smear, Nate Mendel, Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins and Chris Shiflett, of the Foo Fighters. SUBMITTED PHOTOFoo Fighters travelled to eight U.S. cities to make a new album. Was it worth it?
After announcing in October 2012 that the group would take a break for an undetermined time, the Foo Fighters release a new album two years later.
Sonic Highways, the eighth album from the Foo Fighters, is the same hard rock, grunge-sounding songs you’d expect from the band.
The album as a whole sounds like a direct sequel from 2011s’ Wasting Light, an album considered one of the Foo’s best, yet Sonic Highways is missing a few elements to consider it one of the band’s best.
The album is unique nonetheless.
Eight tracks are on the album and each song was written and recorded in eight cities in the U.S. These were: Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
The album’s front cover depicts each city in artistic...

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Photography tutorials capture Niagara

By BAYLEY NARGANG
Staff Writer
It benefits more than just the photographers, Sarah Ann Smith applies make-up to model Sarah Burgess. PHOTO BY PHIL CHEEVERSTechnology’s accessibility has made it harder to develop high-grade talents in any artistic field. Anyone can pick up a camera and call themselves a photographer, but why not do it in an atmosphere where you can learn from professionals?
On the first Friday of each month, Niagara Fotoz takes place at various locations around the Niagara region, the most recent of which was at Mahtay Café in downtown St. Catharines.
The people providing the professional studio equipment are Seann Alexander and Phil Cheevers, self-proclaimed co-founders by accident.
The success of this program has made progress in more than just St. Catharines though, Cheevers said. “We’ve had a lot of people from Niagara Falls. … We’ve had about two sessions there now.”
Niagara Fotoz was started by the duo, with the hope they can have practice time in a studio setting. However, that is definitely not the only goal.
By creating...

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Rich, crystal-clear music, literally

BAYLEY NARGANG
Columnist
The rare record, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, sits in its lavishly jewel-encrusted travelling case.  SUBMITTED PHOTODigital media is swarming the airwaves and chipping at removing the rarity of music. The question is what can we do to protect the tangibility of a physical one-off recording?
The immortal line by the Wu-Tang Clan is what echoes in response, “Yo, you best protect ya’ neck.”
Like a radical taking an aggressive stance on their beliefs, the Clan is again spitting knowledge with an in-your-face record, entitled Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.
They produced a record to be heard in museums for a limited time, under high security guard ensuring no one can taint the concept by leaking it online.
The box surrounding the record is plated with nickel and silver. The interior is, of course, laden with diamonds. This information is credited to Forbes.com through their reporter’s trip to Marrakech, Morocco to see Yahya, the artist contracted to make the record’s casing.
Having created pieces for clients that...

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