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Game Review

A single frag means nothing. A million frags is apotheosis.
That's precisely what Demigod is all about. Your chosen god's ascension to Godhood. So, what's up? Chief deity, the Allfather is MIA. And that's pretty much fine and dandy, because nobody cares about that. What's important is there's a power vacuum and every god for him or herself as they battle for supremacy, for their seat at the big throne.

That's about it as far as story goes in Demigod. If you were hoping for some deep and epic story about the intrigue among a group of gods, filled with dramatic twists and reflecting cutscenes, this is not it. It is however a game that delivers satisfaction with a punch and some considerable oomph. There's nothing like the smell of burning divine flesh in the morning… It smells like victory.

The gameplay isn't something entirely original, being derived from an old old and very popular Warcraft 3 TFT multiplayer map called Defense of the Ancients (or DotA). There are two sorts of demigods- the Assassins and the Generals, four in each group. Their name implies their natures. Assassins are the ones that like to get up close and personal with their enemies relying on their own skills and powers to defeat the other demigods. Meanwhile, Generals utilize summoning minions (yes, I know. Is that not awesome?) and support abilities that empower themselves, and other demigod allies. Regulas, for example, carries a crossbow and has various ranged combat abilities. While Lord Erebus, a vampire, has health stealing abilities, and as a general can have minions.

The gameplay consists of pseudo-RPG elements wherein each demigod has their own unique skill trees. New skills are unlocked as you gain experience points and level up, allowing for you to select your skills progressively. Gold is earned by killing enemies (most of which are critters respawning every now and then from respective bases), from captured nodes/flags, destroying buildings, killing other demigods, and of course going on killing streaks.

With great gold comes great items and upgrades. Similar to DotA, there are item shops from which you can buy armours, weapons or assorted accessories like potions and support wards, either empowering allies or de-powering enemies, with special artefact shops sell more expensive and more powerful equipments. With the right set of items, it's possible to become a personification of ungodly destruction. Too bad, by that time the battle's pretty much over.

The game is played in a tournament style with 8 rounds (with 8 gods to choose from), and the rounds are Conquest, Dominate, Slaughter, or Fortress. In the conquest mode, your team has to fight their way through to the enemy base and destroy the Citadel, and victory. Dominate involves your team keeping control over flags for some amount of time. Slaughter is usually the quickest mode (in the tournament, since the winning score is 10), as it involves the player killing opponent demigods a defined number of time. In Fortress, enemy fortresses amounting to 2, 3 or 4, are scattered around the map. They're tough, and they've got a lot of hitpoints, so it takes a while to take them all out. And this usually means Fortress modes are the longest, and therefore the most fun, as you get to build up your demigod here the most.

The game isn't really meant to be played solo. Not really. It gets real boring after a while, having to fight with AI opponents. However, played multiplayer on LAN, I imagine that this game could be immensely enjoyable, sans all the unnecessary shouting and swearing and murdering taking place in our gaming cafes. I've heard that multiplayer over the internet has a lot of issues, which the developers are promptly taking care of. Gas Powered Games has already announced the advent of two new demigods to choose from, as well as new arenas. The gameplay has some balancing problems. For example, one of the Assassins - the Unclean Beast - has an ability that deals around 1500 hit points with a 4 second cool down. Use, recharge, use, recharge, use- oops, the demigod's dead already. For the all the battles, chaos and mayhem raging about, it would be a new level of awesomeness if the gods were faster, with a lot more action, and… double the blood, eh?

Minor technical issues aside, Demigod is an amazingly mindlessly fun game, definitely more so if played on the multiplayer. It's got very decent graphics, cool soundtrack and satisfying sound effects. I like the sound of crushing despair. And to top it off, the Queen of Thorns is a real hawtie. A mostly solid game, yeah? Pretty much.

8 out of 10.

By Emil

By The Anarchist Kitten

What do you get when you put together photogenic 1930s gangsters, mercenaries from World War II, terminally ill comedians, spandex-clad aliens and evil robots from outer space? The obvious answer would be- any other day at the Rising Star- but the correct answer we're looking for here is the summer of 2009, one of the best summers for movies in recent years. From remakes, to sequels, to prequels, to comebacks of legendary filmmakers- there's a lot happening this summer if you know where to look and this article seeks to be a good starting point for your summer film-fest. Here's a list, with a short blurb for each, of the most anticipated movies this summer, according to various polls and opinions of different interviewees.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
A Transformers movie set to come out means its place in a list like this cannot be disputed. Some loved the first, some hated it, but either way people talked about it and they're talking about the second, making it one of the most hyped movies geared for this year. It was one of the most conflict-ridden films of the past several years and the fact that this one is possibly even louder, crazier, and more over-the-top has everybody intrigued. Revenge of the Fallen may be the best movie of the summer for a lot of people and it may be just a Hollywood manufactured cash-cow for others, but most of us still can't wait to finally see what the hype is all about.

Star Trek
This film is anticipation for more than just hardcore Trek fans. Let us look at all the recent franchise reboots. Batman. James Bond. Superman. And what have we learnt? Going by that line of thought, Star Trek, starring Eric Bana as Quinto is definitely going to be one of the most talked about movies of the year. The movie is well cast, and the visuals look amazing. And that really is enough to sate most people's expectations from summer films. Star Trek eventually is on this list for the same reason Revenge of the Fallen is; both films have the same writers and it seems that both are on a thin line of hit or miss. And everyone wants to find out which.

Funny People
Judd Apatow is the man. And he has carved his own place in filmmaking with the comedy classics The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up. This summer he's giving us Funny People. The 40-Year-Old Virgin dealt with sex, and Knocked Up dealt with the aftermath of it. Funny People deals with mortality and it seems to be the natural next step for a very talented comedy writer. Adam Sandler may have lost fans with his silly family films but we know he still has it in him, and the buzz goes that this movie will be his comeback. Also in this film are Eric Bana and Seth Rogen. Now you definitely cannot miss it. A summer isn't complete without its over-the-top, crazy, hilarious feel good comedy.

Inglourious Basterds
As a long time Tarantino fan, this reviewer admits that Grindhouse was disappointing. And the fact that Brad Pitt is starring in the latest Tarantino film is even more of a let down. What's the man thinking? But if one thinks of classic Tarantino, then on some level the cast choice makes sense. The plot is set during World War II, where a group of Jewish-American soldiers known as "The Basterds" are chosen specifically to spread fear throughout the Third Reich by scalping and brutally killing Nazis. And one may very well assume what to expect, knowing it's a Tarantino Movie. From the trailer of the film, “Each and every man under my command owes me one hundred Nazi scalps... and I want my scalps!” Both written and directed by Tarantino, the film is narrated by Samuel L Jackson. Now it really is a complete Tarantino classic. Who's NOT looking forward to an ultra-violent, three-hour Quentin Tarantino WWII movie about crazy soldiers killing Nazis?

Public Enemies
Think about Michael Mann's filmography. With movies like Heat, Collateral and Miami Vice under his belt, it seems he's destined to create for the big screen the story of depression-era gangsters John Dillinger, Melvin Purvis, Pretty Boy Floyd, amongst others. And this is possibly the only summer movie that is already generating huge Oscar buzz. With stars like Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Billy Crudup and Channing Tatum this movie is undeniably the most anticipated of the year.

So there you have it folks, our top most anticipated upcoming movies for summer. You can provide feedback at ds.risingstars@gmail.com if you want to complain about the exclusion of such big hits as Fast and Furious or G.I. Joe or even Terminator Salvation, which you may consider to create cinematic history. You may also be inclined to send us your views of the review of movies selected for this list

Music Review

By Ihsan B. Kabir

A relapse is defined as a condition that affected a person in the past and is affecting them again (Wikipedia). This is the perfect description of rapper Eminem's new album. After a 5-year musical hiatus, he is back with his deepest and darkest sound yet with Slim Shady, his evil alter ego, presumably at the helm. After going through a whirlwind of events, such as his best friend Proof's death and the second break-up with his ex-wife Kimberly, his album reflects the turmoil he is going through. Yet, he has proved to us once again he is lyrical genius.

Dr. West (skit)- (5/5) This is by far the best intro to an album since Jay-Z's intro to the Black Album.

3 a.m.- (4/5) Not Eminem's best beat- at times can get a little annoying. Catchy hook and amazing lyrics.

My mom- (2.5/5) The hook is quite annoying, and the lyrics get worse as the song progresses. The beat is odd.

Insane- (5/5) The scariest song in the album- it talks about how a kid got raped by his stepdad. It does get really gross at times. Great hook, flow, lyrics, beat, and everything- it is the complete package.

Bagpipes from Baghdad- (4.5/5) This song wins the award for coolest title on this album. The beat is ridiculously amazing, the lyrics and flow are good, but the hook is decent- a big letdown

Hello- (4/5) Best beat on the album- turn the bass up on this song! Lyrically it is good, not great, but the hook is pretty good.

Tonya (skit)- (5/5)- This skit fits perfectly with the theme of the album. It really enhances the mood set up in this song.

Same Song & Dance- (4/5) The beat is really smooth and the flow of this song is really great, but the hook is kind of annoying. Lyrically strong, but cheesy at times.

We Made You- (4.5/5)- The funniest song on the album. The hook, beat, flow, and lyrics are all pretty good, just not great.

Medicine Ball- (4.5/5)- Great beat and flow, and a relief to the ears after listening to “We Made You”. Lyrically it is pretty solid, even somewhat deep. The hook is curious, to say the least.

Paul (skit)- (5/5)- “Skit master” returns- sets up pain and anguish again, showing that everyone hates him.

Stay Wide Awake- (5/5)- Awesome beat, smooth lyrics, a flow you can bump to, and a hook that sticks in your head- this song is really solid

Old Times Sake- (3/5) Annoying beat, but Dr. Dre saves the song lyrically. The hook is quite weird, and lyrically it is lacking.

Must Be the Ganja- (3.5/5) Very odd song presented by Eminem, the song can give you headaches. Good hook, ok flow and beat, and a terrible hook.

Mr. Mathers (skit)- (5/5) Best skit on the album. Eminem is presented close to death then they revive him. Continues into next song.

Déjà vu- (4.5/5) Pretty good beat and lyrics, but the fact it was a continuation of the skit is kind of annoying.

Beautiful- (5/5) Great excerpt to start off the song- deep and dark, yet it sounds uplifting. The hook is really catchy and the lyrics, beat, and flow make this one of the best songs on the album.

Crack a Bottle- (5/5)- First single- great hook, beat, flow, and lyrics. 50 Cent sucks, but Eminem and Dre are great.

Steve Berman (skit)- (5/5) Nothing to say- it is great. Shows how great Eminem is.

Underground- (5/5) Best song on the album by a mile. Amazing beat, superb lyrics, perfect flow, there is no way someone can get enough of this song. The hook is simply genius.

Overall- (4.5/5)- Really great album. Sticks with the theme throughout, takes different approaches, and he really delivers a rap masterclass. It is so good to have him back after 5 years.


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