Twitter announced that they have suspended accounts for having links to the Russian government Thursday. The accounts in question also violated Twitter’s rules and prohibitions against spam.
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Twitter announced that they have suspended accounts for having links to the Russian government Thursday. The accounts in question also violated Twitter’s rules and prohibitions against spam.
Opening earlier this month, Damn Yankees is currently still playing at the Ball State University Theatre until Sunday, Oct. 1. This musical comedy is about Joe Boyd, an avid baseball fanatic that makes a deal with the devil in order to stop his favorite baseball team from always losing.
by Nolan Leahy Opening earlier this month, Damn Yankees is currently still playing at the Ball State University Theatre until Sunday, Oct. 1. This musical comedy is about Joe Boyd, an avid baseball fanatic that makes a deal with the devil in order to stop his favorite baseball team from always losing. Damn Yankees premiered in the 1950s and won seven Tony awards back in its day, which included Best Musical and Best Choreography. Since then, it’s made several appearances in other media such as films, high school performances, and a 1994 revival version on stage. Ball State University Chairman of the Department of Theatre and Dance, and director of Damn Yankees, Bill Jenkins, weighs in on the show: “…I think the story, whether it was written in the 1950s or today, is still very relatable… Would you sell your soul to the devil to ultimately get what you want? I think the baseball component is a big part for me.” Additionally, Jenkins says that he is a huge Chicago Cubs fan. “When we selected the show, it was before the Chicago Cubs won the World Series…” Jenkins said, “…We’re now in a situation where 108 years of depression of Cubs fans has gone away, but there were periods of time I know where you thought to yourself, ‘I’d do anything to see my team do well.'" Jenkins says that this show begs the question “What would you do to get what you want?” While the show’s relatable message was a big reason Jenkins wanted to work on this musical, he also spoke of his incredible passion for working with students: “I always love working with the students, because we have such a great student body… there’s several of our most talented students [sic] that I’m working with either for the first time or for the second time.” Gabe Ford-Dunker and Reagan Pender, the actors playing the lead roles of Joe Boyd and Mr. Applegate respectively, previously played roles in Shrek: The Musical, which Jenkins also directed. Jenkins said that he loves working with talented students. “A highlight for me is always watching them grow and get better and learn about their craft,” Jenkins said. “I’m very proud of what we were able to accomplish here and what the students are able to do. I’m really satisfied with the program, and I think that everybody will have a great time with Damn Yankees… it’s a show for the whole family and I think people will really enjoy it.” Bill Jenkins has been working with Ball State University for 18 years. Working alongside Jenkins is Emmy award-winning arranger and Broadway musical director Michael Rafter. Also working on Damn Yankees is Ball State Associate Professor Christie Zimmerman, the show's lead choreographer. Show times for Damn Yankees are Sept. 22-23, 26-30 at 7:30 p.m. and on Sept. 24 and October 1 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale either in the University Theatre Box Office from Noon to 5 p.m. and one hour before performances. Tickets can also be purchased online. Image Gallery Click the image below to see more from the show! [ngg_images source="galleries" container_ids="1" display_type="photocrati-nextgen_basic_slideshow" gallery_width="600" gallery_height="400" cycle_effect="fade" cycle_interval="10" show_thumbnail_link="0" thumbnail_link_text="[Show thumbnails]" order_by="sortorder" order_direction="ASC" returns="included" maximum_entity_count="500"] Sources: BSU, Tony Awards Images: All photography by Nolan Leahy
Netflix recently pulled an episode off of its service from the show called Maya the Bee.
The iPhone X reveal showed off some promising aspects. Below are compiled thoughts of what we thought was going to happen before Tuesday’s announcement as well as concluding thoughts of the phone’s pros and cons.
by Nolan Leahy Nintendo uploaded a new Nintendo Direct covering many video game updates and new video games the venerable gaming company will be releasing for its systems. The video was split up into two main sections with the first section focusing on the handheld console, the Nintendo 3DS. Nintendo 3DS Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon Update: Key to the Story: Necrozma Update: New areas in Alola and new cosmetics Prepurchase to get Special Rockruff that can evolve into Dusk Form Lycanroc (With Special Moves and 12 Quick Balls) 3DS Gold and Silver coming to 3DS Virtual Console with Celebi being a special gift in all Pokémon Sun and Moon Ultra Beast Burst and Ultra Beast Assembly Pokémon will be exclusive to Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon November 17th Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon for Nintendo 3DS Nintendo 2DS XL Poké Ball Edition releasing on November 3rd Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga remake with additional content. Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions comes out October 6th for Nintendo 3DS. Goomba and Koopa Amiibo available October 6th Kirby: Battle Royale available January 19th, 2018 on Nintendo 3DS Yo-Kai Watch 2: Psychic Specters available September 29th on Nintendo 3DS Layton’s Mystery Journey Katrielle and The Millionaires Conspiracy available October 6th on Nintendo 3DS. Minecraft New Nintendo 3DS Edition available now. Mario Party: The Top 100 available on November 10th for Nintendo 3DS Metroid: Samus Returns available September 15th for Nintendo 3DS Atlus RPGs The Alliance Alive Early 2018 Etrian Odyssey V Early 2018 Strange Journey Redux Early 2018 Radiant Historia Demo Available Now Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney November 2017 Fire Emblem Warriors available October 30th The next section of the Direct focused on the company’s home/portable hybrid console, the Switch. Here is what those who are lucky enough to find a Switch in stores can expect to purchase in the way of games in the upcoming weeks and months. Nintendo Switch Xenoblade Chronicles 2 People live on giant creatures in the clouds called titans where people have built their vast civilizations. Various Civilizations/Organizations Rex is the protagonist of the game. Salvager Pyra Quest for Rex to go to Elysium Each Titan offers unique scenery on the external and internal parts of the titans. Drivers: Frontline fighters Blades: Staunch Supporters Devote power to the driver so drivers can fight Driver arts Abilities that are designed to boost the attacks of the driver and can be augmented if the attacker is in a stragegic position Arcane Arts Cause health potions to appear Blade Arts Increase the power of the Driver’s accuracy and attack power Core Crystals Using them will awaken new blades A single driver can bond with multiple blades Weapons and Arts depend on the specific blades the driver bonds with Take Three blades and three drivers into battle Blades have different categories like healing, defending, and attacking Various strategies with blades for different situations and battles. Available December 1st, 2017 Special Edition and Pro Controller for XenoBlade Chronicles will be coming out with the game. Splatoon 2 update with new weapons and the Kelp Dome Stage Fire Emblem Warriors Lyn returns Available October 20th Special Edition will also be available SnipperClips DLC and Expanded Version (SnipperClips+) 10th Morphies Law Releases this Winter 2017 Rocket League Nintendo Exclusive Cosmetics Local Wireless Multiplayer Available This Holiday Arena of Valor Free to Play MOBA Various Team Modes Beta available this Winter Skyrim available Zelda Amiibo Compatible Available November 17th DOOM available this Holiday Wolfenstein II available in 2018 Flip Wars Update, online battle mode, Red Coliseum, Local Wireless Play Arcade Archives Mario Bros. available September 27th Breath of the Wild Amiibo available Nov. 10th FIFA 18 available Sept. 29th Pokkén Tournament DX available September 22nd. Demo available now. Octopath Traveler Nintendo Switch Exclusive available in 2018 Demo available now ARMS Update New Fighter: Lola Pop Able to inflate her pants New selectable ARMS Controller mapping available Update available now Dragon Quest Builders available Spring 2018 Kirby Star Allies New unit conversion mechanic Local multiplayer Available Spring 2018 SteamWorld Dig 2 September 21st Golf Story available this month Nine Parchments Holiday 2017 Tiny Metal Indie Game Announced Battle Chef Brigade coming this Holiday season Super Meat Boy Forever Available in 2018 Square Enix’s Lost Sphere available on January 23rd, 2018 Sonic Forces Available November 7th Resident Evil: Revelations and Resident Evil Revelations 2 available on November 28th. Rockstar’s A. Noire available on November 14th Touch screen controls Features all of its DLC Over the shoulder camera angles Super Mario Odyssey Takes place across a singular planet New Kingdoms Cap Kingdom Cascade Kingdom Snow Kingdom Seaside Kingdom Mario travels on a hat ship called the Odyssey Moons power up the Odyssey Encourages vast and detailed exploration Hints will be available in game, but at an in game cost World wide ranking system Various collectables 3D camera feature Can transfer photos to social media, smart phone, or PC. Available on October 27th Mario Odyssey Amiibo will also be available Mario’s Amiibo grants his wedding outfit and grants temporary invicibility. Peach’s Amiibo grants a Wedding Dress outfit and a Life – Up Heart Bowser’s Amiibo grants his Wedding Outfit and reveals regional coin locations Mario Odyssey Nintendo Switch Bundle also available on October 27th Mario Odyssey Joy-Con and carrying case will also be available on October 27th. Mario themed Joy Con and Carrying Case will also arrive You can watch the Nintendo Direct video here. In additional news, Nintendo announced on Tuesday the NES Classic Edition is returning due to strong demand and will be restocking in 2018. Sources: Nintendo, YouTube
by Nolan Leahy The iPhone X reveal showed off some promising aspects. Below are compiled thoughts of what we thought was going to happen before Tuesday’s announcement as well as concluding thoughts of the phone’s pros and cons. For more information regarding the iPhone X’s details, be sure to check out Eben Griger’s article on the subject. Here’s a list of what we thought the iPhone X would have: Edge-to-edge display. Leaks suggest that it comes in white, black, copper or gold. No home button ‘Super fast’ facial Recognition software A SmartCam, which apparently is able to identify various objects within a scene. Augmented Reality Directions, which enable the phone’s camera to display a path in front of you so that you can follow it. Wireless Charging Faster Processor Glass backed body Animoji (animated messaging) Operating System is iOS 11 Expected Cost is over $1,000 No headphone jack [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="1093"] Image from Trusted Reviews[/caption] While some of these features look promising, it’s difficult to say that this phone will be an astounding success, and here’s why. If Apple decided to go with facial recognition, it’s a bit risky. Other companies have previously tried facial recognition to various extents, and Microsoft’s attempt with their Kinect was fairly decent. The Kinect features facial recognition software that allows Xbox users to sign in without touching a single button. It was one of their big selling points when discussing the Xbox One back in 2013 when the Kinect was initially part of the bundle. https://twitter.com/griselmania/status/909451362378715136 Despite the innovation, it proved to be a bit problematic at times, which is why the iPhone X deserves some skepticism. Too many times with the Kinect have I personally been recognized as the wrong person, or another person was able to log into my account locally. It also may not work well in the dark considering the Kinect’s issues with lighting, so unlocking the phone in the dark could be an issue if using a password becomes a tedious option. If the iPhone X’s facial recognition is accurate and as fast as the ‘millionths of a second’ report, then it will be an incredibly welcomed feature to the newest generation. Another point of criticism is the wireless charging rumor. If Apple goes ahead and ditches the charger port, which is doubtful, it will anger the consumer base even more considering that there won’t be a place to plug in wired headphones. Forcing change through a hardware product doesn’t always work out, even if the next iPhone is intended to be more powerful. If Microsoft can get slammed by the competition for forcing consumers to use Kinect, then Apple can likewise get slammed by the competition for forcing a completely wireless phone onto consumers. https://twitter.com/kawtherhaji/status/907665788479459330 Lastly, the price is something to be concerned about. If the speculation is true and the phone does cost over $1,000, then I think it’s going to be a more difficult sell than Apple realizes because it’s a bit intimidating to go over the previous three digit price tag. That’s what was initially thought on Monday. What was revealed on Tuesday brought the rumors to an abrupt halt with Apple’s new generation of smart phones. There are some promising features with the iPhone X (which is pronounced “the iPhone 10”), but also some others that still provoke anxiety. The edge to edge display, facial recognition, wireless charging, faster processing power, glassed back and Animoji all came to fruition within Tuesday’s announcement. In addition, there’s also an improved battery life, better camera improvements with light capturing, and elemental resistance protection. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="496"] Image from 9to5Mac[/caption] Despite these factors, my concerns with facial recognition will still stay because I’m a bit of a skeptic. If Microsoft can have issues with it, it doesn’t mean that Apple’s going to breeze on by with the feature; although, I could be wrong. Video footage of the Animoji feature seems to handle facial recognition in the most impressive way to date. What does bother me though, are various scenarios that deserve some additional scrutiny. In the family setting, middle class parents could definitely purchase one of these. Could one of the children take a parent’s phone and unlock it while he or she is sleeping with facial recognition? It’s a bit of a disturbing thought because with that consideration a child could access a parent’s credit card account or make online purchases without a parent knowing (if they don’t wake up). It’s a bit of an extreme scenario and a bit alarming, but I believe that could be the most common case of phone insecurity if a parent isn’t careful. IPhones now are pretty quiet devices and can be freely accessed without making much noise, which should be a concern for vigilant parents who are considering purchasing this device. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Image from CNBC[/caption] My other worries lie with the body and the wireless charging. With the upgraded resistance protection, how safe is an iPhone X from cracking? Scratching? High drops? If the phone itself is glass covered, then I can’t imagine it being as invincible as a LifeProof Case. If the phone itself isn’t durable enough to fit the needs of an average iPhone user, then they will need to purchase a case. With that in mind, creating a barrier between the phone and the wireless charger pad could make the wireless charging feature irrelevant. People may have to choose between a good case and the wireless charging feature. Despite those worries, this phone does deserve praise with the camera improvements. The phone looks like it takes much crisper and more refined photos with better aims at capturing the light, which is every photographer’s main concern in low-level lighting areas. This could give Canon and Nikon a bit of a run for their money for the quality of picture presented. Also being able to change the background after the shot is an excellent feature that promises welcomed solitude within selfies. https://twitter.com/Mazalthan/status/907678128826404865 Animoji seems like a fantastic addition to overall communication and creates a personal touch to all of the facial emojis used. The longer battery life is a bit self-explanatory, but yay. The last part about the phone is a bit of an issue though, which is the price. At the end of the day, it comes down to the wallets, purses, and the 4,000 quarters from children’s piggy banks that are going to be able to pay for this thing. The 256 GB iPhone X will cost $1,149! While Apple thinks that this will be an outstanding success, it’s going to be difficult to justify a price that costs more than other technology that’s used by the public. With that amount of money, an individual could buy all sorts of things according to Matthew Yapp’s article. If the price goes down or the software is incredibly impressive on all fronts, then I imagine this product doing well; otherwise, I wouldn’t expect a holiday stampede from shoppers. Sources: Byte, Telegraph.co.uk, Metro, Macworld, Mashable News Images: Twitter, Trusted Reviews, CNBC, 9to5Mac
A new Blade Runner anime short called Blade Runner Black Out 2022 is in the works and is set several years after the initial movie, according to Kotaku writer Brian Ashcraft.
by Nolan Leahy A new Blade Runner anime short called Blade Runner Black Out 2022 is in the works and is set several years after the initial movie, according to Kotaku writer Brian Ashcraft. Shinichiro Watanabe will be the director for the short. Watanabe’s background involves directing the award winning and popular anime mini-series Cowboy Bebop. Cowboy Bebop’s story involves four vastly different people who travel together as bounty hunters through space while simultaneously dealing with their own pasts. Another acclaimed work of Watanabe’s is Samurai Champloo, which is about a girl named Fuu and her two companions, Mugen and Jin. The three journey to find an old samurai who Fuu remembers smelling like sunflowers. According to Kotaku’s interpretation of the foreign teaser clip, Watanabe’s main influence for his critically acclaimed anime has always been Blade Runner. If Watanabe can create something as successful as both of the anime’s mentioned from Blade Runner’s influence, it’s going to be exciting to see what Watanabe has in store for Blade Runner Black Out 2022. Sources: Kotaku, YouTube, The Nerdist Image: Kotaku
by Nolan Leahy Len Wein, the co-creator of Wolverine and renowned comic book writer, died Sunday of an unknown cause according to Marvel. Hailing from New York, Wein’s dream was to be a comic book illustrator, but he settled on becoming a writer. “By 1975, he’d contributed to such titles as AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, DEFENDERS, FANTASTIC FOUR, INCREDIBLE HULK, POWER MAN, STRANGE TALES, and WEREWOLF BY NIGHT,” according to Marvel’s website. Hugh Jackman tweeted on Sunday, “Blessed to have known Len Wein. I first met him in 2008. I told him – from his heart, mind & hands came the greatest character in comics.” The ComicPop YouTube Channel posted a short video stating, “…to his loved ones and colleagues he was a treasured friend and trusted mentor…” In creating a comic book character that resulted in nine films with over $1 billion in revenue, the world has truthfully lost one of its greatest storytellers. Wolverine simply won’t be the same without one of its creators. Sources: Marvel, Twitter, YouTube, avclub
Len Wein, the Co-creator of Wolverine and renowned comic book writer, died Sunday of an unknown cause according to Marvel.
by Nolan Leahy Streaming services are constantly used where there’s a stable Internet connection. It’s grown quite popular with the millennial generation, as evidenced by the heavily-used phrase "Netflix and Chill." On Thursday, Spotify and Hulu announced a combo deal that gives Spotify Premium and Hulu Plus for $5 a month, which is in effect as of Thursday’s announcement. The normal subscription for Hulu Plus is roughly $8 per month, which allows streaming of numerous TV shows with the tacked-on requirement of watching advertisements. Spotify Premium for students only charged $5 before this new deal struck. Now it’s essentially allowing students to get Hulu for free. This combination of services is a competitive move to keep up with AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile who have individually offered combination services like bundled DirecTV or Netflix. According to a Spotify News article, Senior VP and Head of Distribution and Partnerships at Hulu had this to say: “We are proud to announce Spotify as our newest strategic partner – they’re an iconic brand in music streaming and a proven leader in reaching and engaging young consumers.” The idea of combining music and television services together for college students is incredibly generous for $5 a month. To put it into perspective, that's the same price as one year’s worth of Xbox Live or PlayStation Plus. With that in mind, it’s going to be difficult to stop students from taking advantage of this deal that may also ditch the streaming competition. Sources: The Verge, Spotify News, Alternative Press
by Nolan Leahy Apple’s latest iPhone is on the way and will be revealed Tuesday. Many heavily anticipate its release, but the expected specs are nothing more than whispers at the moment. The issue that The Wall Street Journal brings up today is the fact that the iPhone 8’s production has slowed due to “production glitches.” With these production glitches, it harmed the expected product available for the iPhone 8’s launch. The Wall Street Journal said that some analysts predict only 5 million units at launch. What’s worse is the expected price point at which Apple wants to sell their device. The new iPhone 8’s price, which was speculated back in February by Byte writer Bradly Dean Jones, is expected to be over $1000. This is also the predicted price by The Wall Street Journal and other media outlets. Due to a recent leak from 9to5mac, it’s also now revealed that Samsung is the sole supplier of the iPhone 8’s OLED screens and further constitutes the reasoning to such a high price. According to 9to5mac writer Zac Hall, “… KGI estimates OLED unit cost at $120-$130 per unit versus the $45-$55 unit cost of LCD panels.” With Samsung making money off the OLED screens, Apple is betting hard that this new model will bring in “between $49 billion to $52 billion in sales in the September quarter”, according to tom’s guide. Apple needs to greatly appease consumers with new features on the iPhone 8, because it’s going to severely harm the company considering that they are directly dealing with their primary competitor. Sources: Bytebsu, Tom’s Guide, 9to5mac, The Wall Street Journal Image: Pixabay
Apple’s latest iPhone is on the way and will be revealed Tuesday. Many heavily anticipate its release, but the expected specs are nothing more than whispers at the moment.
While the Wii Remote technology that was first introduced to us back in 2006 gave joy to millions, some companies weren't happy about its existence. A company known as iLife filed a lawsuit roughly four years ago. Yesterday in Dallas, Texas iLife won the lawsuit of iLife Technologies Inc v. Nintendo of America Inc. according to the Rolling Stone.
This summer had some pretty phenomenal films. War for the Planet of the Apes offered stellar performances by Andy Serkis and Woody Harrelson; Wonder Woman blew up on the Internet for being one of the most inspirational films for women in today’s society; and Dunkirk’s beautiful cinematography gave a believable recreation of the dark World War II event. Despite these highly acclaimed films, Hollywood’s summer box office has received the lowest amount of ticket sales within the last 25 years, according to the Los Angeles Times.
by Nolan Leahy This summer had some pretty phenomenal films. War for the Planet of the Apes offered stellar performances by Andy Serkis and Woody Harrelson; Wonder Woman blew up on the Internet for being one of the most inspirational films for women in today’s society; and Dunkirk’s beautiful cinematography gave a believable recreation of the dark World War II event. Despite these highly acclaimed films, Hollywood’s summer box office has received the lowest amount of ticket sales within the last 25 years, according to the Los Angeles Times. Multiple screening companies have seen a massive drop in shares since Memorial Day. Regal Entertainment lost 28%. Imax owners had their shares drop by 18%. AMC has also lost 45% of its shares. Reasons for the box office flop seem to be varied. Initially, when taking a look at the top grossing films of the summer, there’s a noticeable trend. Many of the top-grossing films are science fiction or fantasy sequels to what has come before. In fact, the top three are Wonder Woman, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and Spiderman: Homecoming. Each of these three are a continuation of what’s come before in their specific superhero universe, and some are growing tired of the consistent sequels of supers. Several journalists have explained their hero film fatigue by saying that superhero films have gotten stale. The superhero films seem to be coming out too often, and many of the films that are coming out are featuring more than one hero, which allows for less character development. The worst part is that it’s feeling like a bit of a gimmick at times with what heroes star in between their own films. For instance, if someone is a fan of Iron Man but isn’t a fan of Spiderman, the person might go ahead and see Spiderman: Homecoming just because Tony Stark makes an appearance. At this point, it feels frustrating that Marvel is making more excuses to go see these movies based off a given character's fandom rather than displaying an exceptional trailer, no offense to Spiderman. With this sort of mentality coming out of Hollywood, it could be a contributing factor in why theater seats remain empty, though a local Ball State Student thinks there’s a different reason. James Rossman Jr. is a senior at Ball State with a major in Telecommunications with a video production focus. He’s an aspiring filmmaker who’s absolutely passionate about the big screen. "A lot of people complain how much money it costs for a ticket... People also complain how much the concessions are. Little do people know that the movie theater chains do not make any money off of the tickets what so ever." He’s definitely not wrong about the ticket and concession prices at the theaters. According to David Lieberman, a writer for Deadline, “High ticket prices were the biggest culprit.” This was two years ago, but what he’s saying is aligning with Rossman’s statement. According to a PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) report back in 2015, 53% of those who responded said that ticket prices were the main cause of empty seating. Currently, an adult ticket to see The Hitman’s Bodyguard at the Muncie local AMC Theater costs roughly $9.19, and that’s before getting $6 small popcorn or a $5 small soft drink. The prices are rather high, and people are asking whether or not a movie is worth seeing immediately upon its release. Options such as illegally pirating movies or waiting for them to come to streaming services such as Netflix or Hulu are also alternatives that may seem more appealing, especially considering the lack of lines and no risk of sitting with bothersome viewers. Hollywood will need a comeback to get the people’s interests back. A strategy to get people back into the theaters is the recently introduced Moviepass, a monthly $10 subscription fee to see an unlimited amount of movies a month in select theaters. “Hopefully that will get more people into the theaters and seeing films again,” Rossman said. I do too, because a world without the local big screen is yet another reason to keep us all cooped up at home. Sources: Los Angeles Times, Hollywood Reporter, BoxOfficeMojo, Mashable, Deadline, Moviepass, AMC Image: USA Today
This article contains spoilers for Game of Thrones.Game of Thrones.
by Nolan Leahy This review is based on the Nintendo Switch version of Sonic Mania. The game is also available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. For 26 years, Sonic has been one of the most iconic mascots in the gaming industry, to the point where both young and old gamers can easily recognize him. Despite his recognition, he’s had a bumpy road ever since his youthful 90s with his push into the 3D environment. The Sonic Adventure games were fairly decent. Sonic Generations provided a nice partial remake to some of his 2D levels while providing some mediocre 3D levels. Sonic The Hedgehog (2006) was…well…yeah. Sega took one of their biggest gambles with the creation of Sonic Mania by giving the creator keys directly to the most die-hard fans. Despite this risk, it’s one of the biggest payoffs within the past decade. The beauty and the beats Sonic Mania’s art flourishes and provides well-detailed environments throughout each zone. Green Hill Zone provides an additional path on the lower portion of the level with additional water effects, and the totem poles are larger and more detailed within the background. Studiopolis Zone offers fantastic visual effects for when Sonic reaches particular areas in the zone, leaving the player awed in its visual finesse. Animations of the bosses and Eggman (Robotnik) offer personality traits that don’t require dialogue to explain, and the transitions between zones offer more of a connection and fill in the gaps better than some of the 90s installments. In addition to the art, the music is also ridiculously good. After hearing the tracks loop several times, it’s difficult not to hum the melody. There definitely isn’t a single awful track within the game, and listening to these tracks feels magical as the game takes you on a reinvented 90s trip. Wait, that wasn't there before... Sonic Mania’s gameplay offers far more than it shows on the surface. When giving it a simple glance, it can be easy to dismiss it as a general remake of classic levels with a bit of artistic polish and a few new levels. That’s not the case with this game. Sonic Mania not only brings back the classic zones from Sonic’s original trilogy, but also redefines them completely in their mechanics, layout, and difficulty. Levels are much longer on average in comparison to their older counterparts. Many levels can be passed within roughly six minutes, but some are so long that reaching the ten-minute time limit serves as a real danger. Classic Sonic veterans will be shocked to see the changes that Christian Whitehead has made to the remastered levels. For instance, grabbing the Fire Shield power-up in Green Hill Zone will allow for the spiked, rotating bridges to be burned down completely. At times, the Electric Shield serves as more of a tool to get from point A to point B that feels more necessary, but in a good way. In the case of the Electric Shield, the player doesn’t necessarily have to worry about losing the Electric Shield in order to track across the level because the obstacle is either optional or right in front of the source of the Electric Shield. Sonic’s speed in this game is absolutely thrilling. Experiencing him roll and run through the designed tracks is satisfying and provides tension when he’s rolling upside down with no lower ground to land on. Think of it like a roller coaster without seat belts, or anything to protect the rider other than hoping he stays in the seat. The possibility of losing traction is absolutely frightening because of the grave that sits below, teleporting Sonic back to the last checkpoint.