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March/April 2018

Sea of Thieves Game Review

By Colin Kermode

Sea of Thieves is a modern, open world, first person pirate game. This game revolves around no story and is a game based off cosmetics and skill. There are no better weapons: all weapons are balanced.

The game’s base is to make everyone feel like a pirate. It has a very cartoony art style and is very fun. But to really enjoy the game, friends or doing matchmaking is a good idea.

But there is one big, angering problem: the game is incomplete. On the day of the launch the servers were down for hours, angering a lot of people like me. Also, the game is very bare, with little diversity of content. Most of the things you do are fetch chests, skulls, or valuables and sell them.

The game is a good game at heart but more needs to be added and fixed before most should buy it.  

Overall, the game gets a 6/10 from me.

Stranger Things

By Makaelee Hansberger

 

On July 15, 2016 season one of Stranger Things was released. It became an overnight sensation. Over the last year-and-a-half, it has gained millions of fans. And the fandom has been going crazy over season two.

Warning, spoilers ahead!

          The basic plot line is that Will Byers is taken into the upside down by the Demogorgon. His friends Mike, Lucas, and Dustin decide to go out and find their friend. But, when on the hunt for Will they encounter a young girl their age named Eleven that had come from Hawkins Lab, where she was used as a lab experiment. The boys soon take her back to Mike’s house. They later find that she has powers and has the ability to move things with her mind. While this is all happening Joyce Byers (Will’s mom) is believed to be going mentally insane because she claims she can talk to Will through the lights (which in fact she is not crazy she is right). Nancy (Mike’s sister) goes to her boyfriend house with her best friend. Her friend, Barb, decides to stay outside while Nancy and her boyfriend go inside. She mysteriously vanishes. When in reality she is taken into the upside down by the Demogorgon. In the end, Will is saved by his mom from the upside down and Eleven kills the Demogorgon. But Barb is found dead in the upside down.

Fortnite

By Nikki Blanchard

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Fortnite is an XBox One game that has recently boomed out in the young generation society. It is considered the new “craze” to take over any youth’s spare time. The object of the game is to be the last one alive. Easy, you may think, but you have to steer clear of the deadly storm that is slowly enclosing, and defend yourself from the other 100 players who are all against each other.

So, why is this game so addicting? Many people and parents ask the same question. BeYourself article writers say that it is because of two reasons: “If a player loses the game by a little, they can examine the state of the game and note that they were just one or two moves away from winning! I’ll win next time for sure! Or if a player wins the game by a lot, they can examine the state of the game and note that they are amazing at the game. I’m just going to knock out a few more levels while I’m on this hot streak.”

I have recently started to get involved with the game to “try it out” but after I got third in my first battle I couldn’t get my hands off the game. When I play I tell myself that I will only play one game I end up saying to myself “one more” “one more game.” This game is also luring, in my opinion, because if you purchase a headset, you have access to play with your friends on a team of four or a team of two, while talking to them.

 

Fortnite is a free game to download, however one cannot play the game without purchasing a live membership. The company tricks people in this way and also by offering packages to buy new outfits, dance moves, or new weapons. Overall, Fortnite is a time consuming but successful game that lures kids and teens in.

Microtransactions in Battlefront II

By Nathan Peters

In the age of modern first person shooter games (FPS), the game that surprised the gaming industry was Battlefront II. It did a lot worse than expected. The game costs $60 to download, but it had content that requires purchasing special editions to access the full content. This game embodies what is wrong with the gaming industry today.

 

Based on microtransactions (payment that furthers a player in the game), it first hooks the player then tempts them with packs of credits or early access downloadable content (DLC).

 

The decision to include microtransactions in an already expensive game sparked backlash from the gamer community. They felt that since they already spent the money, they shouldn’t have to spend more just to enjoy the game. Eventually, after increasing pressure from gamers, Battlefront II removed the microtransactions and the issue was resolved.

Who We Are...

Writers: Nikki Blanchard, Olivia Borland, Haley Dodman, Hannah Egan, Makaelee Hansberger, Sophie Harlan, Abby Hickson, Samantha Joseph, Colin Kermode, Morgan Lamond, Aliana Lloyd, Stephanie Martinez, Cindy Mayares, Keira McPhie, Nathan Peters, Ella Stevenson

Editor: Colin Kermode, Aliana Lloyd

Instagram: Nikki Blanchard, Makaelee Hansberger

Webmaster: Abby Hickson, Morgan Lamond

Advisor: Kristine Cross

Archived Issues

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Get Ready for Harbor, Seabees!

By Aliana Lloyd

 

It’s somewhat of a nerve-wracking time as eighth graders are preparing for their freshman year in Newport Harbor High School. I included!

 

Yesterday a majority of the Ensign eighth graders and even some students from CdM attended the incoming freshman orientation. The Harbor Sailors cheer team opened the event with a great performance: so many flips and spins! Next came the choir and ensemble who obviously had a lot of practice before singing for their audience. The dance team performed a mind-blowing routine that left me amazed at their talent. I’m still shocked by how they were able to stay in sync with each other and move so swiftly with each beat. This was only a few of the many activities that are in our future at Newport Harbor, many of the sports programs were introduced to us, as well, including the highly competitive surf team, which was probably the most unexpected high school team of all time!

 

This goes to prove what a wide variety of sports will be provided at NHHS including volleyball and field hockey. And I haven’t even mentioned the courses such as world language and culinary or visual arts. This is all on one campus. Eighth grade get ready to move on up, it’s going to be an exciting four years!  

National School Walkout on March 14, 2018

By Olivia Borland

 

As you have probably already heard, students across the country organized a National School Walkout on March 14, 2018. This event, scheduled for exactly one month after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, honored the lives of the 17 people killed in the shooting. It also protested gun violence and brought attention to the demonstrators’ goal of gun control.

 

At 10:00 to 10:17 AM, to represent the 17 victims, students throughout the country gathered outside their classrooms for the duration of the event.

 

Here at Ensign, we gathered by the grass area behind the portables. There was an amazing turnout with about 400 students participating in the event. Although some of the attendance could be attributed to mob mentality and getting out of class early, it was nice to see such a large group of Ensign students standing up for their beliefs and taking full advantage of their right to free speech. A majority of students were respectful throughout the event, so thank you to everyone who represented Ensign well! We might only be in middle school, but events like these prove how we can stand up for what we believe in and take a stance in politics. After all, we'll be leading the country someday, so why not get involved now?

Black Panther Movie Review

By Olivia Borland

 

Marvel's newest movie is set to live up to some of the greatest superhero movies ever. Black Panther, which has been in theaters since February 16, has made almost 500 million dollars in the U.S. box office alone after less than two weeks in theaters. This PG-13 film has done so well for a number of reasons. First, the depth of the characters involved is amazing. Supervillains don’t usually get this sort of reasonable backstory, but Killmonger’s motives and actions definitely put him above other villains like the Red Skull. He has a storyline that makes you question which side is the “bad” one rather than being monotonous source of evil for the hero to defeat. Also, in accordance with almost every action movie, he gets a final fight scene with the hero that is pretty spectacular (and heart-wrenching)!

Speaking of the hero of the movie, T’Challa, a.k.a. the Black Panther, really shone, especially in the character development department. His introduction in Civil War set a basis for the character, so it was awesome to see him settle into his role as king and protector of Wakanda that you only got a glimpse of in Civil War. And, as cool as the Black Panther was, (there's a reason he's the star of the movie), the supporting characters really stole the show. Shuri, T’Challa’s sister and unarguably the coolest princess in the Marvel universe, had a spotlight on her character, especially. As one of the smartest people in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, Shuri manages to be an inspiration to literally everyone that sees her while simultaneously being the comic relief of the movie. Okoye, the general of the coolest warriors ever, was another highlight. In the short time when you aren’t marvelling at her fight scenes, her amazingness and loyalty commands a whole other level of “wow.”

Besides the characters, the quality of the movie was stunning. After the first few minutes which feels like you are continuously on the first few seconds of a giant roller coaster, the movie’s quality makes you want to just pause for a couple minutes and take it all in. Wakanda, the home of the Black Panther, is pretty amazing in terms of having to say “wow” every time the camera pans across the insanely advanced jungle nation. One way this movie breaks the Hollywood mold is having an almost entirely black cast. This movie marks an important step in representation in media. After all, shouldn’t everyone get to look up to a superhero that looks like them? This movie has basically every requirement for being awesome. There are explosions, sacrifice, epic battles, a non-plot-consuming romance, and even attack rhinos. Seriously, I would see this movie just for the attack rhinos. So, if you are a hardcore Marvel fan, or just want an awesome movie idea, check out Black Panther!

 

(By the way, there are two end credits scenes if anyone is willing to sit through a very long list of names for 20 seconds of extra movie).

Olympics

By Keira McPhie and Hannah Egan

 

The Olympics are a time in which the world connects over raw talent in sports. In spite of this assumed natural talent, many succumb to the pressure of winning and therefore consume drugs to enhance their performance. In the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, athletes from the countries Russia, Slovenia, Japan, etc. have taken various drugs.

 

For example, Russia’s bobsledder Nadezhda Sergeeva fell victim to trimetazidine, a drug banned from usage. Moreover, Aleksandr Krushelnicki lost his Olympic medal due to his use of meldonium, also a drug banned from intake by athletes.

 

Secondly, the Slovenian hockey player Ziga Jeglic was suspended after being tested positive for the use of fenoterol.  Lastly, Japanese speed skater, Kei Saito, was banned from Pyeongchang after testing positive for taking acetazolamide.

 

There has been a tragic amount of drug usage in the history of the Olympics. In the 1960 Rome Olympics, Danish cyclist, Knud Enemark Jensen, fell off of his bike and died due to a loss of consciousness from the drug amphetamine. Furthermore, East German female athletes in 1990 were found out to have been administered drugs by their coaches and trainers, some of them as young as eleven years old. When the truth was uncovered, they were therefore stripped of their medals.

 

The use of drugs to enhance performance eats away at the assumed pure talent that makes the Olympics unique. People get so extremely excited to see the Olympics because they are watching people achieve the impossible. These skills give the normal person hope, and the use of drugs erodes the idea that an individual can succeed on their own.

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