Varsity Soccer Succeeds

Although the girls’ varsity soccer team did not do well initially, they overcame adversity and built a community.

Elizabeth Dixon ’21 has been at North Cross since 8th grade, and she has played varsity soccer since then.

“We stared off the season with a losing record and then came back winning several games in a row to pull us ahead in the conference and state,” she said. “Everyone on the team gets along really well and we all work together to win every game we have. the whole soccer team seems like a bunch of sisters to me on and off the field.”

Overall, their record is 9-5-2.

Tomorrow, support the team as they play Covenant in Charlottesville, Virginia at 4:30.

Resident Evil 2 Review

Photo Credit: GameAxis

     Gather your firearms, ammo, and healing herbs, Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield are back in action in the remake of the 1998 classic, Resident Evil 2.

     When the remake of the critically acclaimed Resident Evil 2 came out in January, it gathered minimal coverage from the general media.  While these games have gone through an almost total tonal shift, opting to go all first person for Resident Evil 7, instead of the traditional locked cinematic camera angles.  This reworking of the norm was most likely due to the unexpected criticism of Resident Evil 5 and 6, which fell more into the dull action game stereotype.

     Resident Evil 2 follows rookie cop Leon Kennedy and college student Claire Redfield, brother of the first game’s protagonist, Chris Redfield.  The first story presented to the player is Leon’s, where he makes his way to Raccoon City after an unknown virus has turned almost all of its inhabitants into flesh eating monsters.  Leon’s goal is to find his way out of Raccoon City in any way he can, fighting off hordes of the undead as he does. With different mutations of the virus turned people into everything from shambling corpses to fleshless, wall crawling, clawed beasts, Leon has more than enough resistance in his attempt to escape.

     Claire, however, is mostly in Raccoon City to find her brother, who in the game prior was dispatched to a mansion filled with the undead.  Unbeknownst to her, her brother had already escaped, and her fool’s errand leads her right into the clutches of the undead. She and Leon meet at the beginning of the game, and the story follows their adventure into the depths of Raccoon City, and their inevitable escape from said city.

     While the game follows most of the same linear structure as the original (made in 1998), it diverges in a lot of the smaller features of the game.  The biggest changes by far being the layout of the RPD, the Raccoon Police Department, and the roles that characters played, especially Marvin, the wounded police officer.  The most major changes made to the game were just to refresh the game for older audiences, and to give an experience as frightening if not more than the original.

     The Japanese culture is obviously present in Resident Evil, which even has a different name in Japan, Biohazard 2.  One major reference to Japanese culture is a character jokingly added to the game, Tofu, the fourth survivor, a fan favorite from the original Resident Evil 2.  The game has also sold more than 4 million copies since its release in January, and Capcom has set up a website with global play stats (  As of the writing of this article, the player base has played almost 7,000 years’ worth of hours in the game.  Resident Evil 2 was pretty heavily censored in Japan, with a lot of the blood and gore being cut or at least mitigated.  Although Japan hasn’t always had the best sales of the Resident Evil series, the franchise is so popular that not only is there a themed restaurant in Japan, there’s also an escape-room-esque attraction and a host of casino-type games based on the series, like pachinko machines.

     One of the best new features of the remake is the reworking of almost everything in the game to make the game enjoyable by all audiences, especially veterans of the series.  With little layout changes galore, you are sure to find some new way to get lost in the vast expanse of the police station. The zombies are also more sporadic and active, dipping and weaving while quickly lurching towards you.  The main elite monsters front the original return, like the Tyrant (T-103), a semi-intelligent monster made by the Umbrella Corporation, and William Birkin, an Umbrella scientist who injected himself with a ridiculous amount of his own personal strain of the virus, the G virus.  This, combined with the regular samples of the non-mutated virus, caused his bullet wounds (mostly on his arm) to regrow to an insane amount, even developing a mind of its own and very quickly mutating him in to an unspeakable monster.

     All of these and more combine to provide a challenging escape for the main protagonists, and once you beat the main story, you can play some of the “Ghost Survivors,” random people just trying to survive the outbreak. You can play as an owner of a gun shop, a recovery agent named HUNK, sent in by Umbrella Corporation to hide any evidence of their misdeeds, and a few more.

     Overall I would say this game is a major upgrade from the original, not only in graphics, but in gameplay.  The game is responsive and the over the shoulder camera allows for quick reactions and even quicker escapes, but it definitely doesn’t go easy on you.  I personally prefer this camera style over the original’s locked, cinematic camera angle, which allowed for a nice view of events, but could lead to confusion and wrong turns, eventually leading to death.  This game also does a great job of keeping you on your toes, whether you’ve played a Resident Evil game or not. I would highly recommend this game to anyone with a console or computer that is able to play it, but maybe wait till it goes on sale, $60 is a hefty price tag for any game, even this masterpiece.

Morbid Stuff Review

Photo credit: PUP

     With harsh riffs that echo back to their older music, PUP finally dropped their third album, Morbid Stuff.

     PUP is an indie punk rock band from Toronto, Canada.  They came together in 2010 after three of the members: bassist Nestor Chumak, guitarist Steve Sladkowski, and drummer Zack Mykula, met the vocalist/guitarist Stefan Babcock.  The band started its life as Topanga, named after Boy Meets World actor, Topanga Matthews. This changed shortly after their first EP came out, Topanga EP (now renamed to Lionheart EP).  The name PUP came from Babcock’s grandmother, who instead of liking rock, said it was a, ”Pathetic use of potential.”

     In 2013 the band came out with their first album as PUP, a self-titled album comprised of seven songs.  This album hosted a wide variety of songs, from the song “Mabu”, inspired by the death of his family car, to “Lionheart”, a party fueled rock song worthy of much more praise than it gets.  In 2016 PUP came out with their second album, The Dream Is Over, the name of which was inspired by Babcock’s doctor, who told Babcock that his vocal chords were so damaged that “the dream is over.”  This album also consisted over very different types of songs, from the first track, “If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You, I Will,” to the heavy rock song, “Sleep in the Heat.”  Not only does the band like to play loud, fast, and energetic rock music, they also take inspiration from other bands in the genre, like Grizzly Bear and Queens of the Stone Age.  They have a large variety of songs, both fast and slow, and they originally played lighter indie rock as Topanga.

     It has been three years since the last album, and after the long break they’re finally coming out with a third album Morbid Stuff.  Presented with delightful pastel pictures and great music videos, the current releases thus far have been amazing.  The two songs as of the 20nd of March are “KIDS” and “Free At Last”.  The music video for “KIDS” follows the characters they’ve set themselves up as in the other music videos.  Following a fictional version of their lives, the band members in this video experience life in the future, where Babcock abandoned the band and went into hiding.  The music video has many great moments, like when Chumak sees an old concert of theirs and the lyrics, “I should’ve tapped out, given in to my demons.” The song is about their early lives as musicians, and when they, as the title states, were kids.  The song mentions the 1997 Camry that the song “Mabu” was centered around, and even makes reference to Monty Python, with the line, “It’s alright it’s just a flesh wound.”

     The second song, “Free At Last”, was released in the form of chords and lyrics long before the band actually released the song, inspiring more than 250 people to do covers of it before it even released.  Many of these covers are featured in the music video, which spends almost two minutes showing off the performances. The video then goes into almost a tutorial on how to play it on every instrument they use.  These instructions are also interrupted by goofy editing and great uses of Photoshop and stock footage of concerts, with a sing-along scroll of text at the bottom of the screen. “Free At Last” focuses on an issue Babcock is attempting to break away from, saying “I was a compass without a map, a drifter on the side of the tracks, I was free at last, though I can’t escape it, but I can’t, and I won’t.”  Babcock has often struggled with alcoholism, and this song references how his unnamed lover reacted to that, and how his depression affected their relationship. This apathetic view of a semi-separated romance, with his lover being disinterested in his sadness, is a story much more nuanced than just some loud rock song.

 With nine other songs on the album, PUP has managed to put out yet another great album.  The slow tone of “Scorpion Hill” is starkly contrasted by the loud riffs of “Bloody Mary, Kate and Ashley”, and many of the other songs on the album help to broaden its range of tones.  This album has a great mix of music and is sure to please most rock fans.