Articles from my time as editor of the high school paper!

Posted by astrotriforce (1326 posts) -

 I've been spending a lot of time cleaning up my room, organizing things and getting stuff placed away that is still left over from the move. 
 
While going through the boxes, I found an issue of the high school newspaper (The Shooting Star) from when I went to LifeSkills. That's where I earned my high school diploma after initially dropping out. 
 
In the issue are two of my articles. The coverstory was actually written by me and it was about Bush's "State of the Union" speech in February 2005. The other article is in the videogame section (which I headed) and was about the portable market. I also have typed copies of a Resident Evil 4 review that I also wrote for the paper. I thought it'd be fun to post up the articles here. 
 
Article #1 - Cover Story - "Bush's State of the Union Address - Plans for America in 2005"
 
The big news in politics in early February was President Bush's State of the Union speech. The State of the Union Address is given once a year, by the President, to discuss the economy and other developments in the US. Including, what we are doing and where we are heading. 
 
In Bush's speech, he covered a wide variety of topics: from health care, immigration, overhauling the tax code, new forms of energy so we aren't dependent on foreign countries, education, jobs, troubled youth, and the War on Terror. The majority of the speech focused on Social Security and spreading freedom across the world, among other things. 
 
The speech itself was powerful and emotional, with tears being shed when a family who's son died fighting for his nation in Iraq was highlighted, and when an Iraqi women who's father was murdered by Saddam; stood proud amidst roaring applause as she voted for the first time in the Iraqi elections. 
 
Social Security is one of the biggest domestic issues right now, as Bush is proposing to add new private accounts, which would take a portion of the social security money you pay into your own account, where the money would grow over time, larger than what is offered from social security, would be free from government intervention and which you could pass to your children or grandchildren. 
 
So far most Democrats seem united against the idea, with the majority of Republicans in support. Bush is willing to work with both parties on an agreement, highlight in his speech even an idea proposed by Bill Clinton in the 90's for fixing Social Security. Many options are on the table, and all idea will be considered. And for those over 66, there are no worries as they wont' be affected. 
 
  There were a lot of interesting topics discussed in the speech, even amongst strong party differences. 
 
In the end, the state of the union was said to be strong, and set to keep growing and improving as old institutions are reformed and the US continues spearheading the War on Terror. To check out the speech in its entirely, log on the internet and point your browser to www.cspan.com.   
 
Article #2 - "All About the Games - 2005 The Year of the Portable"
 
2005 is being called "The Year of the Portable". For the first time, there will be over five handheld game consoles all vying for a piece of your wallet this year.
 
Nintendo has always had the largest piece of the handheld market with their Game Boy line of handhelds, ever since the original Game Boy's release in 1989. To this day, Nintendo is still THE dominant force in the handheld market, as the Game Boy Advance (GBA) & Advance SP continue to sell through the roof year after year. 
 
However, for the first time since Sega's Game Gear, released in 1991, Nintendo's dominance is about to be severely tested by the March release of the PlayStation Portable (PSP). The PSP is Sony's first foray into the handheld market and is set to give Nintendo a run for their money. Nintendo came prepared however with last November's release of their innovative dual-screen handheld, the DS. The DS has two screens, the bottom of which is a touch screen, a built in mic, and wireless play over Bluetooth, for an innovative gaming experience. 
 
The PSP has superior graphics capabilities, as well as the ability to play music and movies, and also supports Bluetooth, but it lacks the innovation of the DS with its unique touch-screen game play. 
 
These two handhelds combined with the upcoming release of Tiger's expensive & powerful Gizmondo, the already-released Tapwave Zodiac, Nintendo GBA and the Nokia N-Gage, the portable marketplace is about to get really crowded. 
 
When choosing a system to buy, examine the various features of each and choose based on your gaming interests, the price, and what games are available and upcoming. If you like Nintendo titles and innovation, the DS can't be matched. If you are big on power, wow-factor and want more than just games from your system, the PSP is the perfect choice. If you are looking for a cell phone and also enjoy games, the N-Gage does both. Or if you are a high-tech device person and have money to burn, then check out the underdogs: Tiger's Gizmondo and Tapwave's Zodiac. Both offer features that no other system has, such as a built-in camera and GPS tracking for the Gizmondo & PDA-like features on the Zodiac, but will cost you over $200 with fewer games available. If you want to take the safe route, the GBA SP offers hundreds of titles, support from virtually very developer, backwards compatibility and comes at a the lowest price point of $99.99. 
 
Whatever your interests, there is something to go around for everyone this year in the portable sector, meaning the consumer wins. And that is the way it should be.  
 
Article #3 - Resident Evil 4 Review

Holiday season '04 turned out being one of gaming's biggest ever in regards to top titles, with the likes of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2), Metal Gear Solid 3 (PS2), Halo 2 (Xbox), Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (GameCube or "GCN"), Doom 3 (PC), Half-Life 2 (PC) and many more being released within 3 months of each other (Oct-Dec.). The result of all that end-year activity usually means that the industry is dry by the time New Year hits. But not so in '05. Because of all the big-name titles in '04, '05 started off with a bang as publishers delayed their other big titles to avoid competing with the holiday releases. And the firs game to kick-start the banging was Resident Evil 4 (GCN), released only days into the New Year and already being heralded as a contender for Game of the Year.
 
In development for years (Devil May Cry [PS2] originally started out as Resident Evil 4), the newest game in the Resident Evil ("RE" for short) saga set out to rid itself of established conventions that had bogged the series down; giving a fresh take on RE that's more focused on action. Indeed, the game lives up to it's aspirations.
 
RE4 has been given a full 3D coat of paint, with beautiful, highly detailed graphics, and a new over-the-shoulder viewpoint that allows for precision aiming. The pace of the game is much faster than previous titles, and puzzles are few, far between, and easier than before, rarely interfering with the action. 
 
In the game, you play as Leon S. Kennedy (from RE2) who, after the Biohazard outbreak and the zombie carnage that ensued, joined up with the US government once the Umbrella Corporation was disbanded. Assigned to protect the President's family, he finds himself in a remote part of Europe when the president's daughter is mysteriously abducted. If this all sounds foreign to you, don't distress, no knowledge of Re's rich background story is needed to enjoy this title, as it stands on it's own, only slightly adding to the overall RE mythos.
 
The true highlight of RE4 is its cinematic presentation and its spectacular boss fights. The run & gun action of RE4 is relentless as you blast away foes with a cavalcade of weapons. The movie scenes are jaw dropping,, and many scenes use a new interactive mechanic that places Leon's fate in your hands, as the movie scene plays, by having you pressing buttons during certain moments to keep Leon alive. Other scenes of this ilk have you jamming on the A Button to sprint away from oncoming foes or runaway boulders, timing button presses during an incredible knife fight sequence, and much more. These scenes are truly amazing and they give the game a unique feeling by having you involved instead of just watching. 
 
All said RE4 is a must-have title for anyone with a GameCube. The game lives up to the Resident Evil name while driving the series fullbore forward on all cylinders into new uncharted territory and features excellent graphics, a great storyline, the token spooky atmosphere, smart new enemies that attack you in swarms and make the previous RE's zombies look like petting zoo animals, great fat-paced gameplay, lots of unlockables and extra modes and so much more that I don't have the space to mention. 
 
Resident Evil 4 will be a GameCube exclusive until the end of 2005, at which point you'll be able to pick it up for the PS2. But why wait? On a scale of 1 to 10, RE4 snatches that coveted perfect 10 from me. Evil is calling, and there's a shotgun with your name on it. :)
 
----------
 
It's fun to go back and read these again. I'll post pics of them as soon as I get my scanner hooked up. Thanks for reading. :)

#1 Posted by astrotriforce (1326 posts) -

 I've been spending a lot of time cleaning up my room, organizing things and getting stuff placed away that is still left over from the move. 
 
While going through the boxes, I found an issue of the high school newspaper (The Shooting Star) from when I went to LifeSkills. That's where I earned my high school diploma after initially dropping out. 
 
In the issue are two of my articles. The coverstory was actually written by me and it was about Bush's "State of the Union" speech in February 2005. The other article is in the videogame section (which I headed) and was about the portable market. I also have typed copies of a Resident Evil 4 review that I also wrote for the paper. I thought it'd be fun to post up the articles here. 
 
Article #1 - Cover Story - "Bush's State of the Union Address - Plans for America in 2005"
 
The big news in politics in early February was President Bush's State of the Union speech. The State of the Union Address is given once a year, by the President, to discuss the economy and other developments in the US. Including, what we are doing and where we are heading. 
 
In Bush's speech, he covered a wide variety of topics: from health care, immigration, overhauling the tax code, new forms of energy so we aren't dependent on foreign countries, education, jobs, troubled youth, and the War on Terror. The majority of the speech focused on Social Security and spreading freedom across the world, among other things. 
 
The speech itself was powerful and emotional, with tears being shed when a family who's son died fighting for his nation in Iraq was highlighted, and when an Iraqi women who's father was murdered by Saddam; stood proud amidst roaring applause as she voted for the first time in the Iraqi elections. 
 
Social Security is one of the biggest domestic issues right now, as Bush is proposing to add new private accounts, which would take a portion of the social security money you pay into your own account, where the money would grow over time, larger than what is offered from social security, would be free from government intervention and which you could pass to your children or grandchildren. 
 
So far most Democrats seem united against the idea, with the majority of Republicans in support. Bush is willing to work with both parties on an agreement, highlight in his speech even an idea proposed by Bill Clinton in the 90's for fixing Social Security. Many options are on the table, and all idea will be considered. And for those over 66, there are no worries as they wont' be affected. 
 
  There were a lot of interesting topics discussed in the speech, even amongst strong party differences. 
 
In the end, the state of the union was said to be strong, and set to keep growing and improving as old institutions are reformed and the US continues spearheading the War on Terror. To check out the speech in its entirely, log on the internet and point your browser to www.cspan.com.   
 
Article #2 - "All About the Games - 2005 The Year of the Portable"
 
2005 is being called "The Year of the Portable". For the first time, there will be over five handheld game consoles all vying for a piece of your wallet this year.
 
Nintendo has always had the largest piece of the handheld market with their Game Boy line of handhelds, ever since the original Game Boy's release in 1989. To this day, Nintendo is still THE dominant force in the handheld market, as the Game Boy Advance (GBA) & Advance SP continue to sell through the roof year after year. 
 
However, for the first time since Sega's Game Gear, released in 1991, Nintendo's dominance is about to be severely tested by the March release of the PlayStation Portable (PSP). The PSP is Sony's first foray into the handheld market and is set to give Nintendo a run for their money. Nintendo came prepared however with last November's release of their innovative dual-screen handheld, the DS. The DS has two screens, the bottom of which is a touch screen, a built in mic, and wireless play over Bluetooth, for an innovative gaming experience. 
 
The PSP has superior graphics capabilities, as well as the ability to play music and movies, and also supports Bluetooth, but it lacks the innovation of the DS with its unique touch-screen game play. 
 
These two handhelds combined with the upcoming release of Tiger's expensive & powerful Gizmondo, the already-released Tapwave Zodiac, Nintendo GBA and the Nokia N-Gage, the portable marketplace is about to get really crowded. 
 
When choosing a system to buy, examine the various features of each and choose based on your gaming interests, the price, and what games are available and upcoming. If you like Nintendo titles and innovation, the DS can't be matched. If you are big on power, wow-factor and want more than just games from your system, the PSP is the perfect choice. If you are looking for a cell phone and also enjoy games, the N-Gage does both. Or if you are a high-tech device person and have money to burn, then check out the underdogs: Tiger's Gizmondo and Tapwave's Zodiac. Both offer features that no other system has, such as a built-in camera and GPS tracking for the Gizmondo & PDA-like features on the Zodiac, but will cost you over $200 with fewer games available. If you want to take the safe route, the GBA SP offers hundreds of titles, support from virtually very developer, backwards compatibility and comes at a the lowest price point of $99.99. 
 
Whatever your interests, there is something to go around for everyone this year in the portable sector, meaning the consumer wins. And that is the way it should be.  
 
Article #3 - Resident Evil 4 Review

Holiday season '04 turned out being one of gaming's biggest ever in regards to top titles, with the likes of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2), Metal Gear Solid 3 (PS2), Halo 2 (Xbox), Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (GameCube or "GCN"), Doom 3 (PC), Half-Life 2 (PC) and many more being released within 3 months of each other (Oct-Dec.). The result of all that end-year activity usually means that the industry is dry by the time New Year hits. But not so in '05. Because of all the big-name titles in '04, '05 started off with a bang as publishers delayed their other big titles to avoid competing with the holiday releases. And the firs game to kick-start the banging was Resident Evil 4 (GCN), released only days into the New Year and already being heralded as a contender for Game of the Year.
 
In development for years (Devil May Cry [PS2] originally started out as Resident Evil 4), the newest game in the Resident Evil ("RE" for short) saga set out to rid itself of established conventions that had bogged the series down; giving a fresh take on RE that's more focused on action. Indeed, the game lives up to it's aspirations.
 
RE4 has been given a full 3D coat of paint, with beautiful, highly detailed graphics, and a new over-the-shoulder viewpoint that allows for precision aiming. The pace of the game is much faster than previous titles, and puzzles are few, far between, and easier than before, rarely interfering with the action. 
 
In the game, you play as Leon S. Kennedy (from RE2) who, after the Biohazard outbreak and the zombie carnage that ensued, joined up with the US government once the Umbrella Corporation was disbanded. Assigned to protect the President's family, he finds himself in a remote part of Europe when the president's daughter is mysteriously abducted. If this all sounds foreign to you, don't distress, no knowledge of Re's rich background story is needed to enjoy this title, as it stands on it's own, only slightly adding to the overall RE mythos.
 
The true highlight of RE4 is its cinematic presentation and its spectacular boss fights. The run & gun action of RE4 is relentless as you blast away foes with a cavalcade of weapons. The movie scenes are jaw dropping,, and many scenes use a new interactive mechanic that places Leon's fate in your hands, as the movie scene plays, by having you pressing buttons during certain moments to keep Leon alive. Other scenes of this ilk have you jamming on the A Button to sprint away from oncoming foes or runaway boulders, timing button presses during an incredible knife fight sequence, and much more. These scenes are truly amazing and they give the game a unique feeling by having you involved instead of just watching. 
 
All said RE4 is a must-have title for anyone with a GameCube. The game lives up to the Resident Evil name while driving the series fullbore forward on all cylinders into new uncharted territory and features excellent graphics, a great storyline, the token spooky atmosphere, smart new enemies that attack you in swarms and make the previous RE's zombies look like petting zoo animals, great fat-paced gameplay, lots of unlockables and extra modes and so much more that I don't have the space to mention. 
 
Resident Evil 4 will be a GameCube exclusive until the end of 2005, at which point you'll be able to pick it up for the PS2. But why wait? On a scale of 1 to 10, RE4 snatches that coveted perfect 10 from me. Evil is calling, and there's a shotgun with your name on it. :)
 
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It's fun to go back and read these again. I'll post pics of them as soon as I get my scanner hooked up. Thanks for reading. :)

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