Daniel Head

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Welcome Back 2017

Fine Singing, Fine People

Image of The Finer Niners Performing
Photo by Daniel Head.

The Finer Niners, the only a cappella group at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, took the stage wearing formal attire after an introduction by Rachel Burrow, a sophomore.

The pieces they sang included recent hits such as “Closer,” originally by The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey, as well as “Uptown Funk,” originally by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars. The first song they sang was “Closer,” which immediately got the crowd hyped up and awarded The Finer Niners with a tremendous amount of applause.  The next song was “Hold My Hand,” originally by Jess Glynne, this is another recent hit song and the entirety of The Finer Niners seemed to really enjoy singing this piece as well. It was a nice upbeat song and I think the lyrics are relatable around finals “Just put your arms around me, tell me everything is going to be okay.”  “I See Fire” originally by Ed Sheeran was an excellent piece, slowing down the pace some. The pace was picked up a little bit again with “Love On Top,” originally by Beyoncé, and it was very noticeable just how happy all of the singers were.  The Pentatonix cover of “White Winter Hymnal,” originally by Fleet Foxes, was an excellent piece to include and really reminded the listener of winter and gave a very nice feel. The Finer Niners did a particularly excellent job singing this piece and it was my favorite piece of the night even though “Closer” has been one of my favorite songs to listen to as of late.

The Finer Niners Performing.
Photo by Daniel Head.

“Uptown Funk,” originally by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars was the best crowd pleaser of the night. The crowd was extremely excited for this piece, and they were not disappointed. The next piece was “Heartbreak Medley,” which was a medley of seven different songs and really varied the pace.

“Send My Love,” originally by Adele, was another big crowd pleaser and once again the singers simply looked happy, as well as the crowd. This song had a particularly nice sound to it and even though the lyrics could be taken as sad, this was one of my favorite pieces The Finer Niners did in the concert.

The next, and second to last, piece was a mashup of “Blank Space,” originally by Taylor Swift and “Bleeding Love,” originally by Leona Lewis. This song was very good and was also one of my favorites. The singing was superb and the mashup was very interesting as well.

The final piece was “Winter Wonderland / Don’t Worry Be Happy” originally by Pentatonix featuring Tori Kelly. This song made me feel happy and made me remember my childhood and the mix of those emotions and the great singing left me feeling incredibly cheerful and supremely hopeful for a White Christmas. The final piece was a fantastic song for the season and left the crowd off with a cheery holiday spirit.

The Finer Niners Performing.
Photo by Daniel Head.

This was the last concert by The Finer Niners for this semester and it was a fantastic end to the semester. For more information about The Finer Niners, please visit http://www.thefinerniners.com.

5 Great Games for $5

From now until Nov. 14 these five great games are on sale on the Steam store for less than the price of my favorite Starbucks coffee, a venti white chocolate mocha. They are all games with high reviews on Steam, and it’s hard to beat the great prices coupled with great reviews!

 

Sanctum Trailer

“Sanctum” – $1.49 for Windows and Mac 

"Sanctum" poster courtesy of Coffee Stain Studios
“Sanctum” poster courtesy of Coffee Stain Studios

“Sanctum” is a game that combines the strategy and tactics of a tower defense game with the action and intensity of a first person shooter. The game focuses on you building walls and towers to defeat the next wave of enemies and then allowing you to join in on the defense with your own weapons during the waves. You have the choice of spending money on your own weapons and abilities or on your towers. There is a large and fun variety of weapons and towers to choose from, and the fun is only enhanced by playing with friends. Since the game’s release in April 15, 2011 there have been over 2,400 reviews made on the Steam store and ninety percent of them have been positive.

This game is available here for Windows and Mac computers at $1.49 for the base game or $2.84 for the collection which includes the base game, map packs 1 and 2 and the official soundtrack. This price is 85% less than it’s normal retail value and a great steal if you’re wanting to play a good co-op game with friends. And with the winter holidays coming up, the four pack of the game for $4.49 might be perfect for you and gifts for your friends.

Empire: Total War Trailer

“Empire: Total War” – $4.99 for Windows, Mac, and Linux

"Empire: Total War" cover courtesy of Sega
“Empire: Total War” cover courtesy of Sega

“Empire: Total War” is an installment of the Total War series featuring land and sea combat in the 1700s and grand strategy on a global map. A player may choose to focus on the grand strategy part of the game and let the AI control their armies, but this is nowhere near as effective as playing out the battles yourself. The game is very historically accurate, has some very interesting battles and can be very fun. On easier difficulties it may sometimes seem too easy, but ramping the difficulty up truly ensures a difficult game for the player. The realistic units and battles are a joy for history buffs and armchair generals, and while the graphics may seem a bit outdated they’re still good and the smoke effects from muskets and cannons add a very nice touch to the game. Released in March 2009, this game has over 10,000 reviews on Steam which are 92 percent positive.

This game is available here coming in at the very top of our $5 range for the base game at $4.99, which is still a lot of bang for your buck considering the immense features in the game. Just above our $5 range, at $8.74, you can also purchase the Empire: Total War Collection which includes four unit packs and a campaign pack.

One Way Heroics Trailer

“One Way Heroics” – $1.74 for Windows

“One Way Heroics” is a 2D role playing game with rogue-like elements featuring a “nearly infinite number of worlds to save and explore,” as well as multiple classes with different play styles. Rogue-like games often feature dying and trying a new run, and this particular game allows you to save worlds you like to play on again and even to store items for future runs. The story is that of an adventurer, the player, traveling across the land to face the Demon Lord before the darkness encompasses everything. The game also features side scrolling gameplay which adds urgency for the player, forcing you to keep moving to the right.

This game is available here with over 3,000 reviews which are 94 percent positive, and at just $1.74 for the base game and $3.32 for the “Plus Edition” bundle, this a very great price for a unique role playing game. Players who enjoy rogue-like and role playing games will get the most out of this game.

LiEat Trailer

“LiEat” – $2.09 for Windows

“LiEat” is a Japanese style role playing game focused on storytelling, and it features three chapters of game play. Throughout the game, there are hidden items and conversations which can be great for players who love achievement hunting. In the story’s universe, dragons have unique powers matched to their human partners’ desires. One traveler has a dragon which can see and eat lies, and they travel the land looking for information.

This game is available here for just $2.09, and since it’s Steam release on Feb. 26, 2016, it has acquired over 700 reviews which are 97 percent positive.

Unholy Heights Trailer

“Unholy Heights” – $3.19 for Windows

“Unholy Heights” is a game in which apartment management and tower defense are combined, with you playing as the apartment manager and also happening to be The Devil. You have to get monsters to become tenants, charge them rent, and then upgrade their rooms periodically to make sure they stay. The tower defense part comes in when the heroes try to stop the your plans to make a monster apartment complex, and you must use your monsters to fend off the heroes. You have to take on quests, fight heroes, keep monsters happy, and build reputation with certain monsters in order to succeed. Monsters also have different hobbies desires and jobs which are all procedurally generated.

This game is available here and was released on Aug. 16, 2016. With over 900 reviews which are 90 percent positive and a price of only $3.19, this is a unique game with apartment management, tower defense, and world domination.