We Happy Few Game Preview

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Image courtesy of Compulsion Games

Bryce Fraser
Staff Writer

Compulsion Games has done a complete change of the survival game formula that we have seen in other games. Instead of a post-apocalyptic land the game takes place in a dystopian 1960’s London and instead of zombies the player must fight off people addicted to happy pills known in the game as Joy. The game takes place in Wellington Wells where people who don’t take the pill known as Joy are known as Downers. The people of Wellington Wells even wear a white face make up of some sort representing the mask they put on when using their happy pills. The player who chooses not to take the pill, ends up a Downer themselves and must survive by finding food, water, and must sleep.

The game takes place in Wellington Wells where people who don’t take the pill known as Joy are known as Downers. The player ends up being a Downer and must survive by finding food, water, and even sleep.

The game is still in early development with some features that may end up in the finished game might be missing and bugs are also a strong possibility. The main story is not available yet but they tease of things to come. When you start the game you get an option of playing the character prologue The game also promises that later in development you will have a choice of their characters.

In the prologue you play as Arthur Hastings, who works as an information redactor censoring information that would bring the population down. When a newspaper clipping comes in about the Hasting brothers bad memories flood Arthur’s mind of his brother Percy and then he is offered the choice of taking a Joy pill or remembering. Hilariously, if you take the Joy pill the game goes to credits and then back to the main menu If you choose to remember.

As Arthur walks to the conference room he starts to think and notice things about the world. When going into the office next to him, he finds that Clive Birtwhistle wants his office when you read the notes around Birtwhistle’s office, he even a poster of Arthur with devil horn drawn on it.

The main floor of the office is filled with piles of Newspapers lying all over the place and Arthur says out loud how he never noticed how behind on work they are. When entering the conference room a few of his coworkers are gathered around a piñata. When Arthur hits it he is splattered with blood, then sees it was a giant rat the whole time showing that the effect of the Joy is slowly wearing off. When declining a Joy pill he is labeled a Downer and runs from the coming authorities who finally catch up and knock him out and the player wakes up in the Wellington underground.

It is unclear how Arthur got here but it seems that somehow he made it through the door, either way that was the end of the prologue. Now he awakes in the room on the other side. A TV is on with Uncle Jack playing. Uncle Jack is the face of propaganda in the game proclaiming the values of taking Joy.

The player must craft a jimmy bar to crack open the above hatch door to enter into the world above. The crafting system in the game  is simple you must find the allotted amount of items to craft the wanted item. You can craft different suits that offer protection or allow you to fit in better, Jimmy bars are useful for getting through locked doors or other locked containers, and of course crafting bandages to heal the player.

The game graphics art and styles are unique, the game really sets itself apart from other games with its bright colors and 60’s London style architecture. You first end up in Wellington Gardens District,  a rundown place with dull colors and what seem to be broken people. This is where all the Downers end up.

The Garden District, offers some interesting little side quests, crazy legs a man running around saying he has an important date he is late for who the player must somehow incapacitate,  finding a purple pill for a poisoned individual, or even rescue a doll for a very interesting fellow in a tree-house.

To get out there are two bridges one that requires you to know who won the Simeon Says game in town last week and one guarded by someone who really loves honey. I found the bee hive nearby, the game suggests crafting a padded suit so you can withstand the bee stings, I managed to grab the honey without crafting the suit and healed myself with a few bandages. Once you get the honey you are attacked by Downers who want it so they can cross the bridge. I jabbed them a bit with my sharpened stick and ran all the way to bridge where I rewarded the guard with his much sought after honey and made it through the gate.

The game offers a rich world to explore full of lure which are documents found in the world written by the people who live there, they sometimes offer hints to the player for figuring out quests or finding items.

The game allows you to free roam and explore the rich world of Wellington Wells It offers the player a decent amount of game play for someone who is interested in supporting the game by purchasing it before its initial release, the developers created a unique game and it will be interesting to see what they will do with the main story.

 

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Fitz and the Tantrums plays at the Ace Of Spades

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Fitz and the Tantrums’ percussionist and singer Noelle Scaggs, singing on stage, Thursday August 18, 2016. The band performed for a soldout audience at the Ace of Spades in Sacramento Calif. Photo by Bryce Fraser

 

Jonathan Ayestas
Staff Writer

The year 2016 has proved itself a productive year for Fitz and the Tantrums. With the release of their new album and hit single “Handclap,” and tour dates across the country, the six-piece pop-rock band is streamlining from their indie roots toward a mainstream presence.

The proof was in Thursday night’s crowd as the show was not only sold out, but the atmosphere felt thick with anticipation for the band to show up. Once the members started taking their position past the smoky background of a stage, cheers filled the room to a band that assumes a superpower presence confidently.

While the show overall was entertaining and poppy, Michael Fitzpatrick’s voice failed to reverberate past the front row. When comparing the studio version of “Spark” to the live version at Ace of Spades, it was unfortunate to hear Fitzgerald’s voice lack that sharper edge that creates such an appeal in the band’s later work.

He hadn’t redeemed himself till much later on when he treated his fans to the nostalgic gem “Moneygrabber.” At that point, the expectation of a sharp voice by a live Fitzpatrick had already left the venue.

The night was not without total consequence. The show was very much energetic — just not mainly from Fitzpatrick. Instead, co-lead singer Noelle Scagges brought the hype with her encouragement of crowd clapping and dancing during instrumentals. She reminded people that they were at a live show.

Then there’s saxophonist James King. His solos not only demanded attention but retained it. His mastery of playing is one of the reasons why Fitz and the Tantrums’ eccentric style of music doesn’t come off as eccentric. It somehow combines elements that shouldn’t go well together into a fusion that proves itself a coherent, competent unit, which is a blessing for the usual mix of Sacramento bands that pride themselves on fusion.

It’s not like Fitzgerald’s singing was atrocious, either. His monologue to the crowd before each song excited the audience. Fitz and the Tantrums is still a band worth seeing, but the differences between studio sound vs. live sound showed stark contrast and should be noted before attending one of their concerts.

The retro-reminiscent band remains a treat for the Sacramento scene. Sactown’s usual scene of fusion mixes could learn a thing or two from Fitz and the Tantrums, a band that has broken barriers of the swathes of indie bands trying to get their name in the limelight. If any band could do that, Patrick Fitzgerald and company are capable of doing it.

The sound is there. The energy is there, as is the capability of captivating the ears of larger crowds. For example, the Golden1 Center that is due to finish this year. Fitz and the Tantrums was a treat at Ace of Spades, and it would be worth a listen to seeing them in a Staples Center-sized venue.

Maybe it’s to their benefit that they emerged in the later half of the 2000s, when the indie-rock craze has mostly fizzled down to who made it and who remains deep in the indie woods.

But above all, it should be noted that this is one of the bands that sounds different live compared to what you listen to on your Spotify. It is up to the listener on what they like more.

The Joy Formidable @ Harlow’s

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Ritzy Bryan lead singer of the Joy Formidable performing at Harlow’s Photo by: Bryce Fraser

Bryce Fraser
Staff Writer

Harlow’s nightclub and bar in the heart of midtown Sacramento was host to the performance of the Welsh indie rock band, The Joy Formidable hit the stage at Harlow’s alongside opening band the New Regime who had performed for an ecstatically excited crowd.

The band Joy Formidable has been on their USA Spring Tour around the nation for months now since their new album Hitch was released last March.

The opening band was New Regime, their sound was a blend of electronica mixed with hard rock and the drumming was very hard rock of the 90s in style. The band did great in getting the audience pumped up.

The band, The Joy Formidable, came on stage amped up and ready to perform for their fans. After the first few songs they apologized for being a few minutes late getting on stage and informed the crowd that the reason involved the dog that travels with them. They informed the audience the dog was ok and now enjoying a much needed quiet time.  They performed many songs from all of their albums, such as “Cradle” from their album The Big Roar.

The Joy Formidable played “Radio of Lips” and “Last Thing on My Mind” from their new album Hitch. The song “Radio Lips” really showed off Rhydian Dafydd versatility going from bass to keyboard while doing vocals.

The band returned on stage for an encore, they then preceded into the middle of the audience where  they  played “The Brook” from their new album acoustically without any microphones, or electric instruments. Ritzy Bryan, front-woman and lead vocalist of the band, explained how when writing their songs they are created acoustically away from usage of electric equipment.

Bryan showed off her angelic voice during the performance within the crowd while preforming “The Brook”. The band finished off the night with their hit song, and a favorite among fans, Whirling, getting the audience members got excited.

The song included a prolonged instrumental section at the end where the band jammed out as hard as they could. They invited a few audience members up on stage and even let one hold and even play guitar all while the instrumental continued, and then ended strong and with satisfied fans.