List of Video Games to try!

NBA2K21: With the NBA Playoffs in action, if you are a basketball fan, you might want to get on NBA2K21 and play with the real matchups a little bit. With the different game modes from MyCareer where you build a player or the Play Now game mode where you can play with all of the current NBA teams. This is my favorite video game and I suggest you try it. 

Madden NFL 2021: If you enjoy watching or playing football, I suggest you play this game because it is based off of the NFL. You can buy the latest version of the game which is Madden NFL 2021 at the moment, but you can also play the older versions like Madden NFL 2020 or Madden NFL 2019. If you want the current NFL rosters, you might want to play the newest edition, but if you are just looking for the Madden experience, I recommend Madden NFL 19 or Madden NFL 20. You can purchase them at a more reasonable price. 

Minecraft: Building, creativity, and survival are all different elements in this game. You can use your creativity to build different structures and homes, but you need to make sure to survive. I love to play Minecraft, especially with my sister. Playing solo is fun, but playing with friends is awesome! You can play in Survival mode, where you have to collect materials and craft tools, or you can also play in Creative mode, where the game is mainly based off of building. You have unlimited supplies, and can do anything you want without worrying about dying in the game. 

Tennis World Tour 2: If you are a fan of tennis or play the sport yourself, you might want to try this game. With Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal headlining the players you can use in this game, there are many great options for you if you are interested in using your favorite tennis players. I recommend playing this game against your friends or family, but you can also play against the computer. Also, it is a fun way of learning the rules of the sport. 

Rocket League: This is definitely one of my favorite video games. You can customize your dream car and use it during matches. My sister and I also enjoy bringing home the championship trophy after a long season filled with competitive matches against the computer. It doesn’t end there though, because you can play online against others or you can play exhibition matches in your favorite Rocket League stadiums. 

The Golf Club 2019: If you have been looking for an incredible golf game, look no further than The Golf Club 2019. In this game, you can customize your character and you can choose if you want to start a career in golf. You can also just play a competitive exhibition match against your friends.  

These games are very enjoyable and fun to play. It might take some time  to learn the controls at first, but later, I am sure you will enjoy these games as much as I have. 

-Mert A.

UEFA European Championship

Since 1955 Europe has held a tournament known as the UEFA European Championship tournament or for short the European Cup. All the countries in Europe come together to battle in a tournament. Each country in Europe brings its top players from each of its greatest soccer teams in order to compete for the title of best European soccer team and its trophy. So, in 1955 the first European soccer cup was established and would continue to make history as more and more countries joined to play in this great tournament.

There are many different parts to the European Cup. It first starts with actually qualifying for the cup. Qualifying begins in the summer with three rounds and then a play off takes place. Teams who win these rounds are placed in the groups stage for September. Teams who lose these round don’t get to participate in the Cup at all. The group stage involves eight groups of four teams, with each club playing everyone else in that group home and away. The top two sides in each group move on to the round of 16 and the start of the knockout phase begins, while the third-placed team drops into the UEFA Europa League. As teams get eliminated there will be only two teams left to face each other in the final for title of best European soccer team.

The First European Cup was held in 1955, where thousands of people tuned in to watch this magnificent battle between countries. Some fans cheered on as their team continued to rise in ranks while others booed in disappointment as their teams were eliminated. Some teams persevered while others hung on by a thread fighting for their spot in the top two. That year 16 teams played in the cup some including Milan, Real Madrid, Saarbrucken, Rapid Wien, PSV, Essen, Hibernian, AGF, Reims, Djurgarden, Gwardia, and Servette. As teams got eliminated Real Madrid and Reims were the first two teams to advance to the finals of the first European Cup. The Cup ended with Real Madrid being the first ever team to win the first European Cup, beating Reims 4 to 3. It was a glorious day for Real Madrid as they raised the first trophy of the European Cup over their heads.

The 2020 Euro Cup this year (the cup this year classified under 2020 do to the cancelling of the cup of last year due to COVID 19) is most exciting as 24 teams have entered the tournament and fans are at their edge of their seats watching the tournament this year. So far the teams that have been eliminated so far is Turkey, Finland, Russia, North Macedonia, Scotland, Poland, and Hungary. The teams that have qualified to move on are Italy, Wales, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Austria, Ukraine, England, Croatia, Czech Republic, Sweden, Spain,  France, Germany, and Portugal. This far in the tournament teams have entered round 16, also known as the knockout round. From here on teams must win each round in order to advance, there are no second chances. If a team loses they are to be considered eliminated from the tournament. This years Cup should be most exciting and it is highly recommended to watch this years European Cup as it is known to be the best tournament yet.

Rocket League Game Review

Competitive games with cars playing sports, boosting up and down the courts and fields, kicking soccer balls into goals and shooting basketballs into hoops… Rocket League is a video game that transforms the impossible into the possible. With this video game, you get an exciting experience, playing against the CPU or against other online players. You have an opportunity to compete for a league championship against the Computer- Generated teams. This game is a game that shows that anything can be possible in video games! Rocket League is a game you will not want to pass up!

In Rocket League, you can customize your dream car and unlock different accessories to decorate it. Also, you don’t just have to change the car every time you want a new look, but you can make many different cars and use each one whenever you want to. Then, you can compete in a showdown against the CPU players or you can take it to the next level, and play online with other Rocket League competitors. Rocket League is a competitive game, but it is also very fun. You can score goals and baskets in the SOCCAR and Basketball game modes. You can also take it to the ice and play hockey with your cars.

This game is fantastic because you can play it online or offline. There  are many different online modes, as well as there are many different offlines modes. The online modes  include playing an online match with random people playing at the same time, or you can play with your friends in a club. If you prefer to play video games offline, you can play multiplayer with your siblings or friends simply by connecting another controller. In addition, you can play against or with bots. It is possible to compete in seasons against bot teams for the championship trophy. 

Another great thing about this video game is that whether you are a girl, boy, kid, adult, or senior, you can always trust Rocket League to make you smile and have fun! This game is for anyone with even a slight interest in sports or cars! 

Rocket League is a fantastic video game with great graphics and can teach you the game of soccer, basketball and hockey as you play. 

I would give this game a 9/10 rating because I believe that they could add daily goals and levels to the game to make it more exciting to play and beat the levels. But, overall, Rocket League is an amazing game and I would definitely recommend you to try it!

-Mert A.

Film Review: Pele, Birth of a Legend

This movie follows the story of Edson “Dico” Nascimento, better known as the football legend Pele. This movie shows Pele’s life before his illustrious soccer career, back during his childhood in Brazil and eventual lead up to the 1958 World Cup. It shows the trials and obstacles Pele had to overcome before even playing for the National team.

Whether it be because of his mother discouraging him from playing soccer to eventually losing interest in playing soccer at all, Pele’s path to football stardom seemed all but lost. However, and as can be seen in various moments throughout the movie, Pele refused to give up. Determination and undying hope would follow him everywhere he went and would be the fuel pushing him to pursue a career in professional football.

This movie was a heartwarmer, showing his family life as a child, and showing who Pele was. Rather than just knowing him as a really good football player, it showed all the struggles he would face and just how difficult his journey truly was. What can be taken away from this movie is that you should always stay true to yourself and never once doubt in yourself and what you are able to do. Never give up in whatever happens, and no challenge is impossible to overcome.

-Kobe L.

Million Dollar Throw by Mike Lupica

Million Dollar Throw by Mike Lupica is the inspiring story of true friendship. Nate Brodie is a massive Tom Brady fan. Because of that and his arm he is often called Brady. He plays quarterback for his school football team in Massachusetts. Nate starts feeling a lot of pressure when his dad loses his job twice, his mother has to start working two jobs, and one of his closest friends named Abby McCall starts going blind. This pressure affects Nate on and off the field, but Nate soon realizes that his pressure is very little compared to others. Abby then learns that she may have to go to a special school for the blind, and this harms Abby and Nate’s friendship even more. Nate hears about a throwing contest held by the Patriots, Nate’s favorite team. Nate decides to go to the event and see if he could win. The night of the contest comes quickly, and before Nate knows it it’s time to leave for it. At the contest, Nate meets his role model Tom Brady and wins the throwing contest. The prize is one million dollars which Nate offers to Abby for a surgery that could fix her eyesight.

-Emilio V.

Million Dollar Throw by Mike Lupica is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

Cowboys Draft Plan

On Friday, April 13th, the Dallas Cowboys formally parted ways with star WR Dez Bryant. Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones has come out and stated that the Cowboys do not believe they have a receiver that can come in and completely take over the “WR1” mantle previously held by Dez. This is a sound assumption as there are no real wide receiver prospects in the 2018 draft that look as though they would be home-run picks like Odell Beckham Jr. or Julio Jones. However, there are many receivers that look to be solid WR2 receivers that have the potential to turn into WR1 caliber receivers. The release of Dez Bryant has led to many tying the Cowboys with drafting a WR in the first round. However, the timing of this release seems to state otherwise.

As many teams do not want to give any hints as to what their draft plans may be, the timing of Dez’s release seems intriguing. If the Cowboys really were planning on drafting a receiver at 19 or potentially even trading up in the draft, keeping Dez– business wise– may have been the best move to hide a lack of star receiver power. As a result, it seems as though the Cowboys are not planning on actively pursuing a receiver, but may instead be pointed to drafting a defensive player in the first round to add to their lineup. Furthermore, the signings of Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson seem to indicate they are fine with drafting a receiver in some of the later rounds of the draft, as this receiver class, though lacking in star power, has solid options that can be selected in the second and third rounds. With Sean Lee getting a year older and David Irving potentially being suspended to start the season, the Cowboys have more pressing needs at linebacker and defensive tackle and would be in their best interests selecting one of those positions over WR.

-Kobe L.

LA Lakers vs. Sacramento Kings

On Monday, April 1st, the Los Angeles Lakers played the Sacramento Kings in the Staples Center, with the Kings coming away with an 84-83 victory. Attending the game in person, I was able to feel the intensity of the atmosphere in the stadium, making the whole experience much more enjoyable. Being able to rejoice with fans over the Lakers making a three-point shot and feeling frustrated at bad calls by the referee, I could feel my general interest in the game much higher than when I usually watch basketball games at home.

First driving up to the stadium, I was taken aback by the sheer number of fans present at the stadium. Though I did expect there to be a lot of people, I was surprised at just how many Lakers fans were in attendance. Entering the stadium, I saw a lot of purple and gold, as well as memorabilia all over. As my family and I settled into our seats, I looked around as saw many different types of fans present at the game. There was anywhere from little babies to more elderly fans, some dressed in normal streetwear, others decked out with Lakers gear. I also saw some Sacramento Kings fans, though they were much less in size than the amount of Lakers fans.

Throughout the game, I cheered with the fans and shouted and clapped along to the songs playing during the game. I eagerly watched the players run up and down the court, taking shots and dunking on others. It was an overall great experience, and I highly recommend it to everyone, whether you are a basketball fan or not.

-Kobe L

Fraternize by Rachel VanDyken

Best book I’ve read so far in 2018.

So let’s see where to start…

Emerson (referred to as “Em”) was in love with her best friend Miller when they were young kids. They did everything together, and when she wasn’t allowed to play football, she became a cheerleader. When Miller left in their senior year of high school, Em kept a big secret from him.

Miller ends up being traded to the same NFL team that Em is cheerleading for. They have a really bad past at this point, so he is literally the last person she wants to see again. Then Grant Sanchez comes into the picture. He is on the NFL team as well. He is extremely cocky, and Miller starts fighting with him almost immediately.

But Sanchez see’s something in Em the first time he lays eyes on her, she doesn’t reciprocate, but he keeps trying.

Eventually, Miller and Em reform the bond that they used to share. But at that point Em likes Sanchez too. The question for her is, who will she pick?

As time goes on, the choice is obvious to Em who she will pick.
“I think…That I’ve always been yours. I just didn’t realize it.”
Yes, I know that I made this book sound like a huge cliche, but it isn’t. It is such a great, great book, and I enjoyed each and every little part of it. You will too! READ IT!

-Skylar N.

Fraternize by Rachel VanDyken is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

Shaken: Fighting to Stand Strong No Matter What Comes Your Way by Tim Tebow

When I saw that Tim Tebow would write a young readers copy of his book Shaken, which I read and loved, I was ecstatic! I adore Tim with everything he does, and this book is no different!

The book starts off with Tim going through a tough time in his life: getting let off from the Eagles. He explains how he got through it and how we can all get through tough times by letting God lead us and remembering his love for us. Throughout the book he let’s us into the kid’s life’s that he has worked with and how tough they have it and what he has learned from it. He never comes off as having an ego and always tries to tell us that it doesn’t matter how people view you on Earth, it doesn’t matter if you are popular, we are all equal in God’s eyes!

I believe this book would be perfect for any child going through a tough time (especially if they know Tim and enjoy football). It really manages to hold the readers attention.

Thanks to Blogging for Books for sending me a copy to review.

-Skylar N.

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally is truly rare. How many books do you know that contain a female football player? I can only think of one (other than this one). Boy does this book hook you in. It starts off during a football game. This is Jordan’s senior year of high school so she wants to do her best as captain so her dream college (Alabama) will take notice of her as the football player she is, and not just as a female. All of the players on her team respect her for who she is, a really great football player. But her and Henry are best friends. So much so that they have sleepover’s together and they sleep in the same bed, head to toe.

“Later that night, Henry slept over at our house. He has always stayed in Mike’s room, but in the middle of the night, Henry sneaked into my bed because he’s had a horrible dream he’s been eaten by a whale.
He’s stayed in my room ever since.”

But during Jordan’s senior year, a new player comes named ‘Ty’ and he wants to be quarterback just as much as Jordan does. But Jordan feels something towards Ty, that she has never felt before. Eventually she starts dating Ty but it just doesn’t feel right to her. She starts thinking back to Henry.

“All those nights of sharing a bed
All those times he put an arm around me
All the things he’s done to make my happy
…encouraging me to give Ty a chance
He must really love me if he’ll watch me date another guy just to ensure I’m happy”

Eventually Henry and Jordan get into a fight and stop talking. Jordan’s dad talks to her

“Jordan, he’s loved you forever. It’s obvious. Have you not seen how he stares at you?”

You will need to read the book to figure out the ending though. All in all, I thought this was a super sweet book and I thought that both Henry and Ty were great people.

Unfortunately this book is not available at the Mission Viejo Library, but it is available through the OCPL system.

-Skylar N.