On Set: The High Road

A behind the scenes look at the filming of a new series that will air online and potentially on Travel Channel: The High Road. From Travel Channel’s “Booze Traveler,” Jack Maxwell is now exploring medicinal marijuana and hemp after recently being diagnosed with cancer and searching for relief. In this video, the crew is in Crestwood, KY visiting “Robert H Deibel Greenhouse,” particularly in his hemp greenhouse. In addition, “Hempsters” are in the background displaying/marketing their hemp products. You will get the meet the cast and crew on this set while eavesdropping on conversations in between shots.

PlayStation 4 Tetris VR Game Review

ABOUT:

Tetris Effect is a tile-matching puzzle video game developed by Japanese studios Monstars Inc. and Resonair and published by Enhance, Inc. The game was released worldwide for the PlayStation 4 and VR on November 9, 2018.  Average price: $40

               Gaming is obviously one of the main platforms for virtual reality aside from videos. PlayStation is one system that is buying into the hype coming out with to beloved “Tetris” game in virtual reality format. Through a co-worker that owns the game, I was able to test it out for myself. Online reviews gave this game an average of 8.5-9/10, and overall I’d say that’s somewhat of a fair assessment.

                Honestly, I’m not exactly a fan of VR experiences simply because I don’t think headsets are comfortable or ideal. I usually get a headache if I wear one for more than a few minutes, and being a lowkey gamer, I know that I want to be invested in a game for at least an hour or so at a time. So from that perspective, I know I wouldn’t buy/use this for myself. However, other people are more tolerable of it, so I reviewed the game fairly based on that.

                Overall, the visuals and sounds effects in this game were incredible. Tetris is a satisfying game to play regardless, so being fully immersed in board enhanced the gratification that comes with making smart moves/matches. The level I played had a dark background with bright blue colors flaring on the board and in the background. It was comfortable for my eyes to focus and entertaining to watch the “show” in the background while interacting with the board in the foreground.

The background music choice they chose during gameplay was super weird…I understand that there are cultural differences and the majority of games made overseas have a different taste than that of the states, but frankly it was too dramatic and sounded like EDM church hymns. The sound effects, however, were fantastic. The high pitched “pings” positively reinforce the player, and I found them to be tasteful and tolerable.

Another critique I have regarding VR video games in general is that although people often play alone, they also watch/play with others. I enjoy watching other people play video games, and it’s kind of an ordeal to have to set up the TV to mirror what’s happening in the VR set. It’s really, really boring to watch something in a headset without any type of visual representation of what’s going on in the virtual world they are experiencing.

My rating for this game would be a 7.5/10. It’s pretty straight forward and while I would enjoy playing it every once in a while, I don’t feeling any strong desire to go back and beat more levels…there really is no story line, which is fine, but after beating so many boards the experience gets a bit stale and I lose interest. Click here to view the gameplay for yourself!

UK Baseball Stadium: Kentucky Proud Park

Our VR Project takes the viewer on an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour led by two current UK Baseball players. Get an inside look at the new complex/field and all of its features.

Camera Operation: Josh Moultrie

Editing: Haley Higdon

Inside Abe’s Office

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mE0UFgyY4HY

The director of the CollegeHumor VR Story “Inside Abraham Lincoln’s Oval Office,” Michael Schaubach has been working with CollegeHumor for almost ten years, and sticks within the realm of comedy is regards to the type of content he is associated with. The producer Shane Crown is also solely known for his work with CollegeHumor Normally, CollegeHumor tends to stick with more conventional platforms to tell a story, so VR could be considered a bit out of their comfort zone. It is indeed a new challenge to take on a method such as this, but it seems that CollegeHumor did a fine job of preserving their unique touch which intertwining it with a modern phenomenon.

This VR story transports the viewer into the oval office when President Lincoln was president making some of his most notable decisions. Of course, CollegeHumor throws a comedic twist on the storylines to make the historic events a bit quirky, interesting, and inaccurate.

To a degree, there is a three-point structure to this story. Characters build towards the beginning, the script guides us through the plot, and the end has us all anticipating a final decision/answer. However, it is not so clear-cut that it comes across as uninteresting; it works for the context.

The characters were, in my opinion, the most important aspect of this VR story. Without them, it would just be an empty, silent, office with no action, only still objects to look at and be bored with after 60 seconds. I wouldn’t say this story used clear-cut emotion, but rather anticipation, and even minor stress. At some points, there were many people crowding the office with demands, complaints, or other statements. This is not a bad thing because it added to the story and feelings of the viewers; it expressed the overwhelming job of the president. I, along with other reviewers, believe that the space was never boring and there was always something to look at in the office.

As mentioned before, this VR story was heavily driven by the script spoken by the characters. Of course the location was significant, but the same story likely could have been convey just as well in another building. The experience was not that exciting or unique, but it served its purpose and was entertaining for what it was. I believe that with this storyline, VR was the most appropriate method. If I were to watch this in a plain video format, it would not be nearly as interesting. Reading it in a comic or other literary platform would likely work considering this is heavily character/script driven, but the VR experience takes it to the next level.

Honestly, my biggest critique is that I thought that this was just too long of a story. It was interesting for the first 4 min, but I felt that it drug on for the last 2 min and I was anxious to get to the end. I felt that there were a few too many plots going on at once and the acting was a bit poor. The camera placement was fine and I felt like a fly-on-the-wall, but there being only one location was a bit dry towards the end, which is why I felt that 6 min was a stretch.