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Rising Stars: The game

SO, after that hectic day, you wish to relax your fatigued mind for a while. Perhaps into the Digital Realm? But wait, you just exhausted your entire game collection and they all revolve around the age-old formula; start as a beginner, collect Game Points, beat the bad guys, rescue the chick and win. Enter Rising Stars.

Name: Rising Stars: The Game
Creator: Rising Arts, Inc.
Platform: Windows/ Mac
Hard Drive Space: 320 GB
RAM: 25 GB
Processor speed: 28.2 GHz
AGP: 16 GB
Rating: 18+ (some scenes may be TOO disturbing)
Game Rating: 9.75/ 10

Now, provided that the aforementioned system requirements didn't stop your heartbeat, kudos, let's begin. Introducing Rising Stars: The Game, the best thing to happen to the entertainment industry since Mario Brothers and Angelina Jolie.

You have just been selected as the latest addition to the Rising Stars team. Everyone's happy, you're happy and you cannot just wait for the first day. Once there, you realise it's not all just fun and games (well, mostly) and so get down to some serious (again, mostly) work. As you progress, you understand how the print world works and also have a few surprises along the way.

The game opens with you just receiving a call that you have been called in for the Big Interview. Let's just say that the developers have kept a darn good punch for this part of the story and it's designed to get you by surprise. However, for the experienced gamer, a few tricks helps in successfully completing this stage, which means you get the job.
You start off as a New Recruit, codenamed Fresh Meat by some stalwarts. Time-crunching assignments, bone-crunching and nerve-wracking senior colleagues are all just part of the action. Tackling assignments gives you Writer Points, which increases your skill as a writer and also enable you to get stuff like a decent pay and proper work conditions. Games do have a funny way of giving you a break from cold, harsh reality, don't they?
The Game's a multi-player game, which means it's not only the Player and the Computer. Or in this game's terms, there are other New Recruits besides yourself. You share first-time thoughts about the game, comment about the “intense” action, and most importantly, bark about the Regulars (that's the term for the old gamers). Fun, right?
The difficulty of each assignment increases with the Writer's Skill Level. Besides, working on tasks alone, you now have the baility to Collaborate with another writer and the game rolls. In time, you shed the New Recruit rank, get promoted to Regular and know the game like the back of your hand. Only thing is; it's Recruit Season again and some new “players” just got into the game.

That's where role-playing is taken to the next level and it's then that you realise having Fresh Meat around for dinner isn't really half as that bad. In fact, it has never been better.
Again, tackling the Recruit gives you Writer Points, a bonus with your usual work. In this case, the points allow your methods to be generally accepted among other Writers, or Players, and eventually gain their support. That's the reason for the age rating.

Recommended more as a Hallow'en gift than a Birthday gift, the game's worth playing with pals on a lazy afternoon. System requirements and game pricing is a bit high (the Pirated Version's US $1,999 ONLY). While the game occasionally gets boring with a predictable storyline and even more predictable players, it's fun all the same. Rising Stars: The Game requires a bit of practice, devotion, patience…oh, who am I kidding; it's a rough world out there, so just play, and play it HARD!

By Wahid T. Khan

Kana machi

'KANA machi bho bho jake pau ta ke cho' remember this chant coming from almost every playground or any open area? Most probably yes, if not then lets refresh your kana machi memories. Kana machi was one of the most popular games usually played amongst children. This game required a spacious area (preferably out doors) and minimum of 3 players to maximum 10 or maybe more as there weren't any restrictions to how many players could participate. One player was chosen to be the kana machi that is he/she would be blindfolded while the other players ran around him/her trying to distract the person, usually by poking.

The purpose of the game was that, the kana machi had to catch a player and if caught then that player got to be the next kana machi... and so the game went on like that. Nowadays, thanks to video game consoles, lack of space and no time kana machi is hardly played by the children population. But hey if you try you can make both time and space and bring this interesting game back. If you are living in an apartment which most of us do, you could try playing in the garage or go to a park nearby. Never play in the rooftops and make sure you don't run in to anything that can hurt you. So, boys and girls what are you waiting? Get your friends and a piece of cloth and keep chanting the famous 'kana machi bho bho . .'.

By Fariba Rakhsanda

Book Review

Boy meets girl

Let's play a love game, play a love game
Do you want love, or do you want fame?
~ Lady Gaga

Kate Mackenzie isn't having the best time when the final book in Meg Cabot's epistolary 'Boy' series opens. Her social work career never took off, her boyfriend Dale, who she's been dating, suddenly has cold feet about their future together, which compelled Kate to move out and seek refuge at her best friend Jen's apartment. Her own apartment hunt isn't yielding much success, and recently, her boss Amy Jenkins wants her to fire the sweet Ms Ida Lopez, the dessert trolley lady, for refusing to serve the obnoxious Stuart Hertzog, who just happens to be Amy's brand-new fiancé. As if all that isn't bad enough, the disgruntled Ms Lopez sues both Amy and Kate.

Representing the interests of the defendants is Mitch Hertzog, Stuart's much nicer, much cuter younger brother. It's instant attraction for Kate and Mitch, but the romance is beset by problems from the start. Dale keeps turning up like a bad penny, Amy keeps trying to pin the blame on Kate, Stuart is constantly on Mitch's case, and every time Kate and Mitch get together, something happens, and the lawyer gets his clothing ruined by some mishap. Mitch and Kate feel that Ms Lopez is indeed the wounded party here, but in trying to prove this, Mitch manages to antagonise his brother's fiancée, and she makes Kate a scapegoat and fires her. Jobless and homeless, Kate blames Mitch for being so heavy-handed, even though, as Christina Aguilera would say, 'her body's saying "Let's go". Will Kate forgive Mitch? Will Amy get away with her nasty politicking? Will Mitch actually get to complete a date unscathed? You'll have to read the book and see.

As plots go, this one feels like a poor knock-off of its predecessor, Boy Next Door, without the benefit of the kind of chemistry that made readers fall in love with the principle characters. The narrative style of this book expands the scope of the epistolary form to include phone messages and journal entries scribbled on coupons and tickets to further the story, something that doesn't really work as well as the other two books did. Why this book is still worth a try is because of Meg cabot's wry sense of humour, and also because for once she got her supporting cast right, and they don't come across as good Samaritans on Prozac. Both Stuart and Amy are mercilessly portrayed in their petty and hypocritical glory, without going overboard. This book is perfect for those who want to switch off and just settle down with something fluffy and entertaining.

By Sabrina F Ahmad




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