Last updateWed, 03 Mar 2021 2pm


Volume 90 (Fall 2017 - Spring 2018)

ARK: Survival Evolved Review

Ark Survival Evolved ReviewDark and Light recently became available on Steam’s early access, and many of its systems were taken from Ark: Survival Evolved, making the two easily comparable. Studio Wildcard’s controversial but popular title, which I recently reviewed, had just left Early Access.

My greatest criticism of Ark was its developer’s unethical acts and ineptitude. Perhaps Dark and Light’s greatest advantage is that the title has little to do with that studio. Dark and Light has been developed and produced by Snail Games USA, Wildcard’s parent company, who appear to have had little to do with Ark’s development. Essentially, Dark and Light is built off the same foundation as Wildcard’s Ark, in that it uses the same engine and incorporates many of Ark’s game systems, but it is being further developed and maintained by a different developer.

Whereas Ark was meant to be a first-person action survival game, Dark and Light is locked to third-person on official servers, and draws more influence from MMORPGs. Dark and Light features multiple player races and factions, a currency, trade, human NPCs, and towns. Players can invest in these NPC towns, rent housing, or even attack the NPC residents.

The premise of Dark and Light is that the various elven, human, and dwarven civilizations fled their destroyed mother planet, Gaia, making their home on a new one, Archos. However, Archos is primal and inhospitable, so players need to tame the land’s creatures and build new homes. To make matters worse, dark creatures leftover from the destruction of Gaia are raiding Archos, attempting to destroy this new world. As with most MMORPGs, plot is secondary to gameplay, but the premise is well supported by various gameplay systems, such as undead invasion events.

Dark and Light uses the same building system as Ark, one where players gather resources, build them into various pieces, like floors, walls, or pillars, and create more complex structures by snapping these together. There are also different tiers of building materials, such as straw and iron, which create structures that are different in both aesthetics and durability.

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Tom Petty: 1950-2017

Brads StatusThe news that Tom Petty had passed away Monday, Oct 2., due to cardiac arrest was a true “heartbreaker” to the nation. He was a rock legend that inspired so many modern artists. John Mayor tweeted upon hearing the sad news, “I loved Tom Petty and I covered his songs because I wanted to know what it felt like to fly.” Petty’s music will live on for generations to come. Inevitably, he will always make his fans feel like they can fly whenever a Petty song comes on the radio or they hum his tune. May he rest in paradise and memories of his music live on forever.


Stiller Still has it in Brad's Status

Brad’s Status Starring Ben Stiller, Austin Abrams, Jenna Fischer, and Michael Sheen

Brad Sloan (Stiller) lives a respectable life as the owner of a small nonprofit. With a loving wife, good son, and a nice house, many would assume Brad has a balanced life. However, Brad is going through a midlife crisis, assessing his existence compared to those who went to college with him.

While dealing with this situation, Brad goes to Boston with his son to tour colleges.

The study of Brad’s midlife crisis is intriguing by exploring the pros and cons of his situation.

Additionally, it successfully uses narration, while providing Ben Stiller’s best performance in years

At 47-years-old, Brad has a midlife crisis where he asks himself a series of questions to determine the quality of his life. There are many instances where Brad takes stock into his life, and compares himself to others. One of Brad’s old peers is Craig Fisher (Sheen), a famous author who has connections all the way to the White House and is featured on T.V. often.

Another is Jason Hatfield, the owner of a multi-million-dollar company with his own private jet and a beautiful family.

Then there is Brad, the owner of a small nonprofit, who works at home. While others are living a seemingly fruitful life, Brad feels like he is stuck in purgatory. 

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Ed Sheeran Sells Out Barclays Center Three Nights in a Row

Ed Sheeran Sells Out BarclaysEd Sheeran sold out Brooklyn’s 18,000 seated arena, Barclays Center’s, for the 3rd night in a row on Sunday, Oct. 1st.

Opening for the world’s best solo male artist was James Blunt, who announced to the crowd he was a distant relative of Sheeran.

“I know you all aren’t here to see me,” Blunt told the crowd over his microphone. “And that’s okay. I know you only know one of my songs, and I am not going to sing it.”

Blunt was referring to his one-hit-wonder of a song, “You’re Beautiful.”

The crowd was mixed with laughs and sighs of disappointed as the singer continued on his musical agenda.

Before he introduced Sheeran to the stage, he surprised the crowd with singing the one song he refused to sing; the entire crowd belted out the lyrics after the first strum of the note: “My life is brilliant/my love is pure/I saw an angel/Of that I’m sure.”

When Blunt left the stage, crewmembers flooded the stage to reset for Sheeran and the audience waiting excitedly for what would soon be the best concert of their lives.

The red haired, bestselling international artist opened up with one of his first singles “Castle on the Hill” from his new album, “÷.”

Sheeran entered center stage and the crowd shrieked in star-struck unison.

Altogether, the choir of strangers came together for the first line of the song: “When I was 6 years old I broke my leg/I was running from my brother and his friends.”

Sheeran ended “Castle on the Hill” and greeted the crowd as soon as the prolonged applause ceased.

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Blue Hawk Records Auditions for Fall Release

The fall semester is off to a quick start with the Music Industry II class jumping right into their 11th compilation album.    

A lot of new faces and amazing talent came to Woods theatre on the night of Sept. 20 last week to showcase what musical assets they bring to the table.

The music students are able to get hands on experience with this record label imitation class; each has their own role including A&R, street team, set up, live, publicity and so on.

Once artists are chosen, studio time will be scheduled for our talented musicians.

Followed by this action, the process of promotion, news articles and pop-up shows are all exciting pieces to the puzzle to come together.

The final album release concert will be held sometime in December with a venue still in the works.

Auditions were open to all Monmouth University students of all grade levels and majors for the album.

Excited, anxious, and extremely talented acts practiced in the lobby of Woods Theatre while the auditioners filled a classroom at max capacty in the music school.

Music ranged from soft rock, to acoustic, to funk-rock, to alternative and many more genres that students made their own.

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The Return of Horror Movie "IT" Was Scarily Worth IT

Horror Movie IT Worth It 1“I want to run towards something, not away,” says one of our fearless young protagonists, Beverly “Bev” Marsh (Sophia Lillis). And like the seven children at the center of this film, I would encourage all moviegoers to run toward the scares in this newest adaptation of Stephen King’s wildly popular 1986 novel It.

While not completely terrifying, the film still has enough creepiness and visual frights to make it rise above typical horror fare.

Much like the original novel, the story follows the adventures of The Losers’ Club, seven preteens who are all plagued by strange, frightening encounters with Pennywise the Dancing Clown (Bill Skarsgård). After the mysterious disappearance of his younger brother Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott), the determined leader of the club, Bill (Jaeden Lieberher) and his friends try to discover the truth behind the multiple murders of children in their small town of Derry, Maine.

For those who followed the behind the scenes struggles of bringing this film to fruition, one might be surprised to see how well executed it is. The film, which has gone on to gross over $180 million dollars and become the highest-grossing horror film of all time in less than two weeks, was plagued with director and production issues in it’s beginning. Original announced to be adapted by David Kajganich (A Bigger Splash) in 2009, then going on to be directed by Cary Fukunaga, from “True Detective” and written by Fukunaga and Chase Palmer in 2012, the film settled on eventual director Andy Muschietti (Mama) and writer Gary Dauberman (Annabelle) after Fukunaga and Palmer left due to creative differences with the studio.

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The Latest "Kingsman" is Far From Golden

Starring in order of most screen time: Taron Egerton, Elton John, Mark Strong, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, Pedro Pascal

A drug lord (Moore) and her network of henchmen launch a missile attack on the Kingsman. With most of their agents dead, Eggsy (Egerton) and Merlin (Strong) team up with the American secret agency, the Statesman, to take down the drug lord.

Remember everything you loved about the first Kingsman? The strong story, unforgettable action sequences, and stellar cast? Now take all of that, throw it in a ditch, and set it on fire. This new installment of Kingsman involves an incredibly ridiculous plot, laughable moments of absurdity, actors phoning it in, hardly any action, and Elton John’s feathered costume.

The plot is overcomplicated and makes no sense for a Kingsman feature. At first it focuses on one rejected agent of Kingsman out to get his revenge on the organization. Simple enough, for the first few minutes. Straightforwardness comes out of the equation when discovered that this rejected agent is a member of the Golden Circle. The Golden Circle is the drug lord’s network of henchmen who decide to launch a missile attack on the Kingsman of England, even though it feels like the biggest target of their operation is the United States. From here, everything goes off the wall, and it is only fifteen minutes into the two and a half hour mind numbing procedure. Characters scurry around the entire globe with hardly any objective, while the plot is being spoon-fed through Fox News reports. The drug lord attempts to explain what is happening, but even she does not make sense because her motives are unclear. It attempts to have an intricate plot, and while doing so, has the nerve to deliver a political message.

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Can He Get A Drum Roll, Please?

Sitting Down With Billy Nally, Drummer of Upcoming Alternative Band, the Wrecks

Can He Get A Drum RollIf you have yet to hear of The Wrecks—an alternative band that took the music industry by storm—I suggest you pull up your Spotify app and take a listen. Without a doubt, you will “wreck” your repeat button.

The Wrecks’ sound is unique, yet familiar in a sense. The band is oftentimes compared to distinguished alternative bands like Cage The Elephant, The Black Keys, and The Arctic Monkeys.

The band consists of 5 members: Nick Anderson (vocals), Aaron Kelley (bass), Nick Schmidt (guitar), Weston Weiss (guitar) and and Billy Nally, (drums).

Luckily, Billy was able to find time between sound checks and a 3 hour time difference to give us an inside look at his life.

William “Billy” Nally, 20, the drummer for The Wrecks, was just a small-town guy with Hollywood sized dreams. He grew up in Lacey Township, which is just 45 minutes away from our own Monmouth University.

After posting a few videos on YouTube in high school and sending them around to agents and managers, he began to realize the talent he truly possessed behind that drum set—and so did professionals in the industry. This realization quickly turned into action.

At the brink of just 18 years old, Billy decided it was time to make his passion into a career and move to the heart and soul of music: Los Angeles.

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Look What Taylor Made Me Do: Swift’s New Single Slithers South

Taylor Swift Single Slithers SouthTaylor Swift, usually known for her soft love songs and pop hits, decided to change her look and sound drastically recently; removing all of her social media mysteriously and releasing her first single from her new album, ominously titled, Reputation.

The single, titled, Look What You Made Me Do, does its best to tell the world that the old Taylor “is dead.”

Swift’s reason for ‘killing herself off’ is even more mysterious, given that her old persona and music style has earned  her great success in the past.

Even more interesting about the new song and music video is her allusion to alleged celebrity feuds with Kanye West and Katy Perry.

West and Taylor have had an awkward relationship to say the least since 2008 when Swift won a Grammy and West publicly told the world on live television that Beyonce deserved the award.

 Since then, West has mentioned Swift’s name in one of his recent songs.

Perry and Swift have also feuded in the past, and grew progressively  worse when Swift’s released her song, Bad Blood, which was rumored to be about cutting ties with the pop artist.  

Swift brought the drama and  her newly found thirst for revenge, letting fans and foes alike know that she has a “list in red underlined, and much like Santa Claus, she’s “checking it once and twice.”

 Swift continues to send her message of settling vendettas in the lyrics, “Maybe I’ll get mine but you’ll always get yours.”

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Don’t Pay a Visit to Aronofsky’s Mother!

Dont Aronofsky MotherStarring Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeffier

A woman, called ‘mother’ (Lawrence) and her husband (Bardem), only known as ‘Him’ live a quiet life in a secluded area. One day, their world goes completely off the rails when a stranger (Harris) comes by to stay the night.

That is supposedly the plot.

Director Darren Aronofsky, the visionary behind works such as Black Swan and The Wrestler, gives audiences one of his most ambitious, yet excruciating efforts to date.

 Although the film’s ‘story’ has a profound meaning, it is buried under a string of chaotic sequences, and poor performances.

In its first two minutes, we begin with a burning corpse shedding a tear, then Javier Bardem placing a crystal on a small display, which brings life to a house in ruins.

Right off the bat, it establishes the strange energy felt throughout this huge home and its many occupants.

After the initial strange imagery, everything feels normal for a nice five minutes, until the first stranger arrives on the couple’s porch.

This stranger is the first of many who will raid through the home and cause havoc.

For the first hour, it is entertaining to see how the situation with the one guest escalates to the smaller additions of other guests.

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A Magic Moment with John Stessel

Magic John Stessel 1Do you believe in magic?

John Stessel sure does.

Sitting on the steps of Wilson Hall, John removed the deck of cards from his pocket and began to shuffle.

 It was just last year that John was a student at Monmouth University. He double majored in Business Real Estate and Finance and manifested the spot to graduate first in his class in both majors; but that is not what John is remembered for.

He is known for exactly what he’s doing right now on the stairs of Wilson: Manipulating a deck of cards and mesmerizing whatever crowd happened to walk by.

He has since moved from those steps and climbed to new heights in the direction his dreams.

Nowadays, he can be found in New York City serving as Head Magic Consultant for the renowned magician, Dan White, on his off-broadway show called, “The Magician” at the Nomad Hotel.

John’s job is to oversee all operations of every show.

“The Magician” transcends all statuses with audience members from Kanye West, Kim Kardashian-West, Neil Patrick Harris, and Ivanka Trump, just to name a few that have attended.

Jimmy Fallon is also a huge fan of Dan White’s work; out of the six times he has appeared on The Fallon Show, John has been present for five of them. 

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Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151