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SMART | life Looking ahead to 2016

The Occulus Rift Virtual Reality headset is one of the highlights for the upcoming video game scene. Photo courtesy of Oculus VR, LLC. Drew Nordman

reveal of the pricing for the Oculus Rift VR headset com- ing in at $850 CAD ($599 USD). Between a high price wall and VR being something you truly need to see to believe, it will be interesting to see where Oculus's competitors set their prices. With pre-orders for the HTC Vive starting February 29th and Sony's PlayStation VR pre-order date yet to be announced (hopefully sometime before E3 in June) the fate of VR hangs in the balance. Never the less, it's a new month and that means new games! Here are my most anticipated titles for February 2016. One of my absolute favourite releases from 2012 Firaxis


Games' under-the-radar turn-based-strategy gem, XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Tink of it as an Independence Day sort of scenario where an overwhelmingly hostile alien force besieges modern day Earth and we as a species have to put our differences aside and fight for survival. You play as the leader of a coalition of nations who've been tasked with stopping the invading legion of Greys. Instead of going with the obvious and typical win scenario, for its sequel XCOM 2, Firaxis gives the aliens the benefit of the doubt and assumes that you lost the first instalment, which theoretically was an option. You see, everything in these game comes down to making choices, then dealing with the consequences those choices incur. If you don't

anuary proved to be somewhat of a slow start to 2016 with indie titles comprising the majority of releases for the month. Te most interesting news of all was the

allocate enough forces to help defend Australia, Australia leaves the coalition, taking its assets with it. If you make a tactical error in combat, your top operative whom you've spent hours training, is dead. Permanently. There's a sense of urgency and finality that makes the gravity of XCOM incredibly exhilarating. Taking place in 2035, 20 years after the events of the first game, it's your job to free humanity from the clutches of our sinister alien overlords. But just a word of advice; be sure to avoid naming all of your operatives after your best friends. It makes it even more tragic when they get torn in half by a glowing tentacle monster. Look forward to saving humanity when XCOM 2 hits shelves and Steam on February 5th for Windows and Mac OSX. If you ask any serious gamer born in the mid to late 80s

about the Blue Bomber, the first thing that comes to mind is a beloved robot, not Winnipeg football. I'm speaking of course about Capcom's 1987 masterpiece, Mega Man for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Mega Man's legacy has been vast and long lasting, influencing the industry for decades. However, due to its struggles making the transition from 2D to 3D in the late 90s, the franchise has just been sitting around collecting dust for years. Fed up with Capcom's neglect, series creator Keiji Inafune broke off from the company in 2010 with the intent of creating a spiritual successor to Mega Man. Six years and one record breaking 4 million dollar Kickstarter campaign later, we have Mighty No. 9. For all intents and purposes, this thing is the next Mega Man, save for its name. You play as a scrappy little android who runs, jumps and shoots his

way through levels until you reach the boss, whose powers you steal to progress further through the game. It's Mega Man through and through, and that's a wonderful thing. Look for Mighty No. 9 to hit stores February 9th for virtu- ally every current platform and out there. Te final major release this month is another Capcom ti-

tle and arguably the publisher's most successful franchise to date; the king of all fighting games, Street Fighter. Tis marks the fifth named entry in the series, the last of which came out seven years ago in 2009. In contrast to many other franchises these days, Street Fighter games have a much longer than life cycle than usual, due to their deep mechanics, insane replayability and the loyal competitive scene which surrounds them. Te only thing I can liken Street Fighter to is a game of chess that takes place at the speed of thought. In the blink of an eye you need to be able to analyze what your opponent will do and do your best to counter them. Sure you can fumble around, button mash and have fun for a few hours, but to truly be competent at the game, you have to learn counters, combos, fake outs/cancels, and super/ultra moves for each of the 16 characters. Te skill ceiling is incredibly high for these games and with the addition of four new characters and a new mechanic called the V.Gauge system, an entirely fresh layer of complexity has been added. Not to mention stunning new visuals that whiz by at 60 frames per second. If you're a fighting game enthusiast, you've been looking forward to this game for seven years, but for the rest of you who like fun, Street Fighter V drops on February 16th for PlayStation 4 and Windows.

Cheating: only cool in Hollywood I spent one December day watching

movies in my pajamas. In fact, most of my December days were spent this way, but this particular day was a rom-com marathon and it all started with “You’ve Got Mail.” It wasn't until half an hour

after the fourth movie began, in my rather comatose state, that I realized I had just spent half of my day watching movies that glam- orize infidelity. “You’ve Got Mail”, “Some- thing Borrowed”, “Notting Hill”, and “It’s Complicated”, all of which great movies, all involve cheating. It took four movies for me to realize this, which means I have become desensitized to cheating and it's been happening since I was old enough to watch PG-13 movies. Te cheating typi- cally happens when Character A is in a bad relationship with Character B, who is often portrayed poorly, and/or when Character A meets the love of their life: Character C. I think the average person is against infidel- ity, but movies glamorize it in such a way that we don’t quite notice the severity of it. Surely this behaviour in real life would not be so excusable…or would it? On New Year’s Eve I met a guy who my

So... does Hollywood reflect society or does society mimic Hollywood? 12 Smart Biz

What's the Story, Dorie?

Lindsey Dorie

He was loud, condescending and a bit of an ass, but I, sober, and well-knowing my harsh criticism, felt like I should give him another shot before judging further. So I did, and to my sur- prise he started to change my mind. After fifteen-minutes of conversation we re-joined our friends at the table, and just as I thought he was redeeming

himself, he began to spew out a story that involved him having sex with a married woman. I had my hand up on my face, cover- ing my view of him and his of mine, which was wide-eyed and jaw-dropped. When a guy at the table asked him how close her marriage was to ending, he responded, “very close” with a grin that was both cocky and irresponsible. I was surprised how dis- gusted I was in comparison to the others, who appeared rather neutral. I began to wonder: under certain circumstances, do we stop caring about cheating? Sure, it would suck to date a villain, and

girlfriend had been insisting I should meet, noting our personalities were so similar that we were bound to hit it off. I didn’t quite get the same impression while meeting him.

certainly being with someone who isn’t the love of your life would be challenging, just as having to face your failing relationship would be….but if it’s no good, leave. Tis isn’t a movie and there’s no script forcing you to stay. In the end though, we all make our own decisions, I just hope for your sake it ends more like “You’ve Got Mail” and less like “Gone Girl.”

February 2016

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