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Reviewed by Emil

Dead Space wasn't a game I was particularly keeping an eye on, but after its rave reviews last week I just had to go out and buy it. Apparently it was the horror game to play, and though I am not a particular fan of survival horror, I decided I may as well get some Halloween scares before for the sheer heck of it, no pun intended.

First thing that immediately hits you is the atmosphere. It really feels like you're in movies like Aliens or Event Horizon. In fact, this game has a lot of movie inspirations, and if you've watched even a few movies of the sci-fi horror genre, you're bound to find some nice homages that capture the feel of a derelict ship- I dare say even better than those movies do. The visuals are very impressive in high settings and really add to the game, despite the fact the all you'll see throughout most of it are dimly lit hallways and blood spattered rooms with flickering lights.

Though the web-reviews have been raving about the scares this game offers, I found most of them quite generic and contrived. The jump-out scary moments, though predictable, are well done nonetheless, and do get your pulse up. That would be because the 'zombies' - horribly mutated crew-members - are quite difficult to kill, and require 'strategic dismemberment' which means you have to cut off limbs as they approach you (or rather rush at you in full speed) because shooting off its head won't suffice. If you like blood, you'll like this game. What makes things more difficult is that you have no real guns to speak of, but rather improvised engineering equipment for which ammo is quite restricted.

What's more, your inventory system is also limited, and the number of health packs, ammo etc. you carry is often not enough. In fact you have to decide what you want to carry when, because you can't carry it all. Your suit, weapons and some special powers that you have can all be upgraded at stations throughout the game using very rare to find power nodes (so it's up to you how you want to upgrade your weapons for instance - for ammo capacity or damage?).

The sounds and voice acting is quite well done, and though your own character is mute, you pick up various audio diaries and journals scattered around which slowly unfolds the story (in 12 chapters that should take you about as many hours depending on difficulty). Speaking of which, the story itself is quite intriguing, and you really have the feeling that something went terribly wrong. You basically arrive on the Ishimura to investigate mysterious circumstances around its complete communications shutdown and end up getting trapped on the gigantic vessel. Though there's a lot of backtracking, it is actually a little helpful because you become familiar with some of the areas and you can pick up items that you dropped or did not have space for earlier.

The whole game is played through a 3rd-person shoulder perspective (like Splinter Cell when you shoulder your rifle) and though it can feel a little weird at first, you get used to it and the fact that the inventory and menu are all real time (you can get attacked while you're going through your mission objectives or looking for a medpack) just add to the tension. To help you find your way around clicking the right stick on the 360 puts a tracer on the floor that shows you the path to the next objective, though sometimes it can go around the perimeter of a room rather than cut across it to the door and shorten your time (especially if you're in a room filled with scary baddies).

In closing, however, I didn't find this game to be as good as the reviews stated, it is quite impressive, and if you like being stuck on dark and disturbing, 'haunted' spaceship, then you should definitely get this. Ever wondered whether you'd survive being on an Alien infested super vessel that has brought back a piece of hell? Find out.


By Faria Sanjana

It will be faster than a speeding bullet: a pencil-shaped car powered by a jet engine and an experimental rocket, roaring across a desert at 1,000mph.

The Bloodhound rocket car project, which will propel current land speed record-holder and RAF Pilot Andy Green to speeds of over 1000mph, is another step in the sporadically intense fight for the fastest car in the world.

The first part of the run will be propelled by a jet engine, originally designed for the Eurofighter. After the Bloodhound reached 300mph, propulsion duties will be taken over by an experimental "bespoke" hybrid rocket.

Wing Commander Green, 46, will lie feet-first in the Bloodhound. As the car accelerates, from 0-1,050mph in 40 seconds, he will experience a force of 2.5G (2 times his bodyweight) and the blood will rush to his head. The whole process will take about 40 seconds, amazingly.

As he decelerates, experiencing forces of up to 3G, the blood will drain to his feet and he could black out. He will practise for this pounding in a stunt aircraft, flying upside-down over the British countryside. Since the car covers the length of four football pitches every second, he will require lightning reflexes.

Naturally, possible blackouts, horrific crashes and mechanical malfunctions are all in the cards here.

If all goes to plan, Bloodhound SSC will break the land speed record by the largest ever margin, and, in 40 seconds of breathtaking thrust.

Richard Noble, engineer, adventurer, and former wallpaper salesman, reached 633mph (1,019km/h) as he drove a turbojet-powered car named Thrust 2 across the Nevada desert. In 1997, he headed the project to build the Thrust SSC, driven by Andy Green, an RAF pilot, at 766mph. As Thrust SSC passed through the sound barrier, it swung sideways and he locked the steering wheel at 90 degrees to recover. Mr Noble said: “The car was probably a few thousandths of an inch out on one side and it blew 100ft left.”

No one is sure what problems await a car that travels 300mph faster.

A prototype jet engine, developed for the Eurofighter and bound for a museum, was donated to the project. This will take the car to 300mph, after which a “bespoke”' hybrid rocket designed by Daniel “Rocket Dan” Jubb, 24, from Manchester, who built his first rocket at the age of 5, and now supplies the US military, will boost the car up to 1,000mph. It's an experimental rocket. And that's the word that scares us, 'experimental'.

Movie Review

By Osama Rahman

Those who loved Wanted, should experience the rush of 'Bangkok Dangerous'. A re-make of the 1999's movie of the same name, Bangkok Dangerous knew they had to live up to the hype generated by the previous movies credentials. No wonder they brought in Nicholas Cage.

The movie is about a hired hit man, Joe (Nicholas Cage) who has already made his name because of his flawless work. The movie starts with kill and we learn that Joe's next assignment will be in Bangkok where he is hired by some big time gangsters, who want to clear their path. Joe has to do the dirty work for them and of course for a price.

During the movie we get to learn about Joe's principles or rules that he lives by, all which contribute to his fearsome reputation. No one has seen him, no one knows him, yet with the right amount of money, Joe can eliminate anybody. Though we begin dwelling into the mind of the assassin, we suddenly find ourselves thrown into the thick of the action.

Joe goes to Bangkok for his next mission, which involves assassination of 4 men. There he hires Kong ( Shakhrit Yamnarm) who acts as the go-between for Joe and the gangsters. Upon completion of Kong's task, Joe decides to kill him according to his principles. But lets him live after receiving some instructions and then begins to train Kong.

However, all does not go according to plan. Joe's top priority remains anonymity, but his employers are not too willing. The rules of the games are twisted again and this time the hunter becomes the hunted, as Joe finds his life endangered more gravely after every completion of every mission.

Joe and Kong both become romatically involved, the latter with a deaf-mute girl. In the original Bangkok Dangerous, the assassin was the deaf-mute one but the Pang Brothers, writers of the movie, felt that Cage needed some dialogues and they wanted to add another dimension to the character.

The scenes are well set and though the movie lacks super special effects it still captures emotions, the gore and the action pretty well. The plot however is seen as being 'dumbed down' by some quarters and at various moments it becomes much too clichéd. The ending can be almost determined after a while, but there remains one unexpected twist. And perhaps it is this twist that makes the movie so watch-able.

Though it qualifies as an action movie it isn't as action-packed as it should've been. The effort seems to be more focused on generation box-office revenues instead of letting movie-watchers relive the experience of the original Bangkok Dangerous. The plot at times becomes much too dull and one maybe compelled to hit the forward button, more than just once.

Despite its drawbacks, the movie remains pretty watch-able. If not for Cage's stoic acting then sure for Shakrit's believable and active characterization of Kong. Those that did enjoy 'Wanted' would enjoy this too, just don't expect all the special effects and numerous dragging on twists that were rampant in 'Wanted'. We at Rising Stars decide to give 'Bangkok Dangerous' 7/10.

Music Check

Katy Perry

Katy Perry, apparently music's newest 'it girl,' was former Christian artist who ditched the sacred sounds of CCM for a secular mix of sass and spunk, Katy Perry combines the cheeky, club-ready pop music of Lily Allen with the commercial pop/rock of Avril Lavigne and Alanis Morissette.

Born on October 25, 1984, in Santa Barbara, CA, she grew up in a Christian household as the daughter of two pastors. Though she was not allowed to listen to secular music as a child, Perry later found herself captivated by Alanis Morissette and Freddie Mercury, having discovered Queen's music during a slumber party. Religious music remained at the forefront, however, and Perry released a self-titled Christian album in 2001 under the name Katy Hudson. She would later abandon the genre in favor of a pop career.

At 17, she worked with Glen Ballard (producer co-writer of Alanis Morissette's chart-topping Jagged Little Pill in 1995).

She later teamed up with Matrix who had collaborated with Avril Lavigne, Shakira, and Korn. Tired of producing music for other artists, the Matrix had plans to record their own album with Perry serving as one of the group's two singers. The project was ultimately shelved.

Perry then signed with Columbia in 2007. Her debut single, "UR So Gay," generated some online buzz with its mischievous lyrics and accompanying music video. However, "I Kissed a Girl" proved to be her true breakthrough single, topping the charts in 20 countries and pushing its accompanying album, 2008's One of the Boys, into the Top Ten in America.

Similar to: Ashlee Simpson (more pop), Alanis Morrisette (similar vocal styles), Missy Higgins (softer, more soothing)


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