The Blue Blur Regains His Stride

The Blue Blur Regains His Stride

Sonic Mania brings the titular Sega hero back to where he belongs.
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I was not a “Sonic the Hedgehog” fan as a kid. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the speedy platformer, it was just something I never got many chances to play. I grew up on Nintendo’s platforms, playing “Mario” and “Metroid” and the like until I couldn’t stand looking at a screen any longer. Sega was a company whose games I only really got to play a good while after the death of their hardware business. There was a Sega Genesis for the older kids in the back of the Tae Kwon Do place I went to when I was younger, and there I got to see “Sonic” in action a few times. Eventually, I played a handful of titles in the series such as “Sonic Advance” on the GameBoy Advance and though I enjoyed them well enough, they didn’t leave much of a mark.

Unfortunately, the most experience I have with “Sonic” comes in the form of hilariously bad, broken 3D console outings such as “Shadow the Hedgehog” and the infamously painful “Sonic ’06.” My friends and I have a several summers strong tradition of finding the worst of the 3D “Sonic” games and playing through them to completion, for a few laughs and nearly broken controllers. So, approaching the newly released “Sonic Mania,” this was my background with the series. No nostalgia glasses here.

Despite a lack of experience with the proper, “good” games in the series, and despite my extensive (painfully so, I must add) time with the “crap” ones, I absolutely adore “Sonic Mania.” No nostalgia required.

It exudes a colorful charm that has been absent from the series in past entries, immediately leaping off the screen with gorgeous spritework and expert animation. This is a game put together by fans with the blessing of Sonic Team and Sega, and it clearly shows. There is a loving craftsmanship on display that presents the classic gameplay of the 1990s “Sonic” outings, with new level of polish that avoids feeling antiquated in the modern gaming climate.

Sonic and friends move in such a way that feels fantastic to control no matter what speed you’re going, and exploring the huge, gorgeously designed stages is an absolute blast from start to finish. It’s tight both in presentation and gameplay, a functionality both technically impressive and joyous in its motions.

Though this is a game that revisits the classic style of the series it does not shy away from creativity. There are so many examples of thoughtful designs whether it be in a boss fight such as one where the fight is literally a round of the puzzle game “Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine” (basically the Japanese puzzler “Puyo Puyo” reskinned with “Sonic” themes), or the many different methods of stage traversal like, one of my personal favorites, the television broadcast beams in the Studiopolis Zone.

For only about $20.00 gamers are treated to what is essentially a sequel to the classic, original “Sonic” series of old. A game that is rife with features meant to please old-school fans while still courting newcomers. I’ve been playing it nonstop these past few days while sick and off of work, and you can bet I’ll be playing it even more after this. Sega’s “Blue Blur” is back.

Cover Image Credit: pressakey.com - Flickr

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25 Responses To Your Friend Who Doesn't Text Back

Omg thanks for responding so quickly...oh, wait.
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We all have that friend. That friend we love to death, but if we are sure of anything in this world, it’s that they will not respond to your text because they suck at texting. That moment when you see “Read 1:04 p.m.” and you’re like “and???? Helloooooooo!”

These are 25 responses for that dear friend.

1. Lol thanks for tagging me in that FB post, now text me tf back.


2. OMG, wait you met Chris Hemsworth and he’s professing his love to you??!! No? Okay, then you can def text me back.

3. Hey I’m coming to help you since you obviously broke your thumbs and can’t respond.

4. Lolol thanks for responding. I’ll just continue the conversation with myself. That’s cool.

5. Good chat.

6. Yeah I wouldn’t know how to respond either, pizza topping selection is a thought-provoking process. Take your time. Meditate on it.

7. The classic: ^^^^^^^^^


8. I hope you’re writing me the 8th Harry Potter novel.

9. That was a yes or no question. This isn’t difficult. You wouldn’t do well with ‘Sophie’s Choice.’

10. Omg, did you pass out from the excitement of getting a text from me? Totally understandable. Text me when you regain consciousness, love.

11. Omg what a witty and clever response. Nothing. So philosophical.

12. The only excuse I’ll accept is if you’re eating guac and don’t want to get it on your phone. Because avocados are life.

13. I love it when you do that adorable thing when you don’t text me back for hours. So cute.


14. Okay I’ll answer for you. Yes, you’re going out tonight. Glad we had this convo.

15. In the time it has taken you to respond, dinosaurs could have retaken the earth.

16. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA

17. The dramatic but also very valid response: That’s what happens when you don’t respond for 30 minutes. People die.


18. I apologize for asking if you were coming to watch Bachelor, clearly the decision has caused you serious reflection on your priorities. I’m sorry to have caused you this existential crisis.

19. Sorry I annoyed you with my friendship. But like plz respond…

20. Your response time is longer than Ross and Rachel’s entire relationship. 10 seasons. You couldn’t text me back for 10 seasons?!!

21. Wait. You’re responding too fast. I can’t keep up. Hang on. Don’t respond so quickly. Jeez.

22. A subtle but perfectly placed gif. What will you go with? The classic eye roll perhaps or maybe a “you suck.”


23. Did you fall off a cliff? Wait, you don’t exercise. Pause your Netflix and respond b*tch.

24. Omg I WON THE LOTTERY. *responds* Lol now you respond…

25. And my personal favorite and go to, Did you text me and then decide to THROW YOUR PHONE ACROSS THE OCEAN?! Lol swim fast, I need an answer.

Cover Image Credit: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8289/7759302068_fac2dfd31d_b.jpg

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6 reasons why the importance of libraries transcends both technology and Privilege

Believe it or not, libraries are more relevant than ever.

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Being in the middle of 2018, we're living in the age many would dub "the future." The past decade, technology has changed the way we study, conduct research, keep up with the news, write, and read. While the convenience and innovation of technology has been largely positive, it's caused us to question the relevance of a good old-fashioned public library. And while this is a valid quandary, our access to technology is also often a matter of privilege. After all, digital reading and media sources are not as universal as a physical library space. In any case, it's clear that the presence of libraries is vital and irreplaceable, regardless of society's increase in technology and financial privilege.

Libraries are the ideal option for low-income readers.

Although the public book-lending cornucopias we call libraries are relatively universal, they sometimes seem to be hidden in plain sight. Likely, this can be accredited to the fact that many modern consumers have the financial means to purchase new books and E-readers. As satisfying as it can be to splurge on a new book at Barnes and Noble from time to time, this luxury is not available to everyone. And it is a luxury-- new paperback books are seldom under $15.00, and hardcover books often cost at least $30.00. E-readers, on the other hand, can cost up to $200, and the tablets many of us use to read cost many times more. And while many people could afford this, many others (particularly avid readers) understandably couldn't. Those who see libraries as irrelevant forget that low income families and individuals rely on libraries to borrow books for school, for research, or for the unadulterated enjoyment of a novel.

Libraries provide access to new media.

Beyond traditional carbon-based books, libraries house a plethora of audio books, digital resources, and movies for anyone to enjoy. Although subscriptions to audio book apps, digital news media, and video streaming are widely used, some of us may find that we either can't afford all of these subscriptions or merely won't use them enough for what they cost. In any case, free digital sources are always a viable option for anyone who may need them, whether to substitute or to just supplement the services at our fingertips. Aside from these digital resources, most public libraries are equipped with computers that patrons can use to surf the internet or create documents. If an unemployed individual needs a computer to fill out online applications or draft a resume, the library is always available to them.

Libraries host a wide array of free community events.

Aside from hosting book clubs and book signings for various ages, libraries host workshops across topics, from genealogy, to robotics, to screenwriting. These can provide free fun for all ages and help build a stronger sense of community, particularly for children and young adults. Academically, children can benefit from reading and math clubs, and storytime-style reading events are available for children as young as newborns. For adults, libraries often host free workshops in topics like business and financial literacy. Typically, bilingual workshops are available in public libraries for non-native English speakers, and English lessons and seminars are not uncommon either.

Libraries are an inclusive public space.

With very few exceptions, most public spaces won't allow individuals to sit down, read, work, or use the restroom in their facilities without making a purchase. Since libraries are for everyone, anyone can come and go as they please without being kicked to the curb. This is especially important for people who may not have anywhere else to go, such as the homeless or children from neglectful homes.

Utilizing the library motivates us to keep reading.

For those of us who wish for more time to read, the pending due date of a library book is key to holding us accountable and pacing ourselves as readers. Even if you need to use a renewal, the presence of any deadline will motivate you to finish your book. Visiting the library to return and check out books regularly makes the process of finishing books quick, natural, and routine in a way that digital platforms of reading don't provide. In a world dominated by visual entertainment and social media, it's more important than ever to prioritize basic literacy and keep reading.

The library is timeless.

Overall, libraries remain one of the most inclusive and rich public learning spaces. Although the idea of a library is, in itself, rather ancient, libraries have a way of holding true to their original purpose while evolving and acclimating to our culture. Regardless of our technological advances, the accessibility and value of these spaces is truly timeless.

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