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September 11, 1998 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-09-11

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10A - The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 11, 1998

Shall we play a game? If WarGames, definitely!

I

WarGames: DEFCON 1
Sony Playstation
MGM Interactive
Some of you might remember the old sci-
fi/war film "WarGames," in which a very
young Matthew Broderick matches wits with
the computer program that deploys all of the
United States nuclear missiles.
But if not the computerized "Shall we play a
game?" statement popularized by the movie
should be familiar. MGM Interactive picks up
the WarGames storyline in "WarGames: DEF-
CON I" for computer.
Set 20 years after the time of the movie,
"WarGames" pits the human North American
Air Defense Command (NORAD) forces
against the revived and revamped War
Operation Programmed Response (WOPR)
computer. Fierce strategic battles take place
over land, sea and air, with the future of
humanity at sake.
At the start of the game, players choose
which side they would like to represent.
Then the player begins a campaign guided
against the opposing side. Each campaign
consists of 15 missions full of different

objectives and vehicle choices. Naturally, the
player is horribly outnumbered in every mis-
sion.
And if that isn't enough to cause headaches,
there is another enemy: the DEFCON timer.
As the battles rage, the timer slowly ticks from
five to one, measuring the level of aggressive-
ness of the opposing side.
If the timer hits one,
then airstrikes will
commence on the play-
ers' vehicles and base.
The destruction of the'
base spells disaster for
the home team. Thef
timer can be nudged
back towards five with
the destruction of the
opposing units or$
buildings.
The biggest challenge
is trying to balance accomplishing the
mission objectives with causing enough
damage to keep the DEFCON timer away
from one. That can be a very difficult task since
a lot of time is spent moving slower, more pow-
erful vehicles into position.
The graphics immerse the player in a warlike
environment. Missiles leave smoke trails as
they whiz toward their targets, buildings are

devastated in smoky explosions.
The player feels a sense of urgency as gun
towers slowly swing their turrets in your direc-
tion. A steady rain may fall or snow might
cover the battlefield in colder climates.
The camera can be adjusted anywhere from
behind your unit up to a bird's eye view, giv-
ing a decent range of vision.
Classical music plays when
undertaking the NORAD
missions, while new
age/tekkie tracks
accompany the tech-
nologically advanced
MIA WOPR forces.
Urgent screams
of "We're under
attack!!" float
through the air, and
f{ notification of new
/ objectives are brought
* ?? to your attention.
Combine these
sounds with plenty of in-
your-face explosions and
weapons fire, and you have a highly addictive
game on your hands.
On the downside, the game has a few minor
play control issues. For example, steering isn't
as crisp as it should be with some vehicles,

and the powerups that restore vehicle power,
ammo or shield are somenimes difficult to pick
up. The combination of the two often causes a
bit more frustration where it is least needed.--
in the heat of battle.
While MGM Interactive did a good job with
the artificial intelligence, there were a few
oversights. The useful command that calls all
of the player's units to them is problematic.
Once the command is entered, the computer
brings the other units to the player by the most
direct route. The player loses quite a bit of time
here, since the controlling has to be done manually.
The multiplayer versus mode also seems
stacked in the more powerful WOPR's advan-
tage, as several lopsided matches with friends
proved. The multiplayer cooperative mode
provides a lot of fun, however, since more
strategy is involved and you don't have to rely
on the computer to back you up.
Overall, "WarGames" is a solid title that
promises many hours of gameplay. The strate-
gic elements and the involving storyline will
keep gamers coming back for more until the
job is done.
"WarGames" is perfect for strategy/action
game lovers and a good addition to any
gamer's lineup. Yes, computer, we shall play a
game.
-. Devervn Q. Sanders

I

* I

-: <,.<.

f .,

Bic.ycloe, toI VICE
accessories
Reducei on
0111998 Bikes,
In Stock 1999 Bikes by:
a R NEELeMond
ssionate about bikes Univega
GT/Dyno
528-3030 Gary Fisher
3162 Packard Rd. at Platt " Ann Arbor
Open 7 days a week Mon.-Fri. 11-8, Sat. 10-6, Sun. 12-6
Limited to stock on hand

Looking for someplace to put your
creative energy?
Daily Arts is the place for you. Next
Tuesday, Sept. 15, and Thursday, Sept. 17,
there will be Daily mass meetings for those
interested in writing, photography, graphic
and online production for the Student
newspaper. If you are at all interested,
come by 420 Maynard St. at 7:30 p.m. You
don't know what you might be missing if
you don't stop in and say "hello."

Ziggy Marley
&' The Melody Makers

'PUBLISHERS
WEEKLY' BEST
SELLING BOOKS
HARDCOVER
FICTION
1. "Rainbow Six" by Tom Clancy
(Putnam)
2. "Tell Me Your Dreams" by
Sidney Sheldon (Morrow)
3. "I Know This Much Is True"
by Wally Lamb (HarperCollins)
4. "No Safe Place" by Richard
North Patterson (Knopf)
5. "Summer Sisters" by Judy *
Blume (Delacorte)
6. "Memoirs of a Geisha" by
Arthur Golden (Knopf)
7. "Message in a Bottle" by
Nicholas Sparks (Warner)
8. "The First Eagle" by Tony
Hillerman (HarperCollins)
9. "Point of Origin" by Patricia
Cornwell (Putnam)
10. "Bridget Jones's Diary" by
Helen Fielding (Viking)
U NONFICTION/
GENERAL
1. "The Day Diana Died" by
Christopher Andersen (Morrow)
2. "Tuesdays With Morrie" by
Mitch Albom (Doubleday)
3. "The 9 Steps to Financial
Freedom" by Suze Orman
(Random House)
4. "Sugar Busters!" by Steward,
Bethea, Andrews and Balart
(Ballantine)
5. "A Pirate Looks at Fifty" by
Jimmy Buffett (Random)
6. "Angela's Ashes" by Frank
McCourt (Scribner)
7. "A Walk in the Woods" by Bill
Bryson (Broadway)
8. "The Millionaire Next Door"
by Thomas J. Stanley and
William D. Danko (Longstreet)
9. "Men Are From Mars, Womer
Are From Venus" by John Gray
(HarperCollins)
10. "The Death of Outrage" by
William J. Bennett (The Free
Press)
MASS MARKET
PAPERBACKS
1. "The Notebook" by Nicholas
Sparks (Warner)
2. "Dr. Atkins' New Diet
Revolution" by Robert C. Atkins
(Avon)
3. "Special Delivery" by Danielle
Steel (Dell)
4. "The Perfect Storm" by
Sebastian Junger (Harper)
5."She's Come Undone" by
Wally Lamb (Pocket)
6. "Protein Power" by Michael
R. Eades and Mary Dan Eades
(Bantam)
7. "Into Thin Air" by Jon
Krakauer (Anchor)
8. "Lucky You" by Carl Hiaasen
(Warner Vision)
9. "The Cobra Event" by Richard
Preston (Ballantine)
10. "Blood Work" by Michael
Connelly
TRADE PAPER
BACKS
1. "Divine Secrets of the YaYa
Sisterhood" by Rebecca Wells
(HarperPerennial)
2. "Cold Mountain" by Charles
Frazier (Vintage)
3. "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
... and it's all small stuff" by
Richard Carson (Hyperion)
4. "The God of Small Things" by
Arundhati Roy (HarperPerennial)
5. "Little Altars Everywhere"by

(HarperPerennial)
6. "Chicken Soup for the
Teenage Soul" by Canfield,
Hansen and Kirberger (HCI)
7. "Under the Tuscan Sun" by
Frances Mayes (Broadway)
Carol Kline (HCI)
8. "D-Day" by Stephen E.
Ambrose (S&S/Touchstone)
9. "Citizen Soldiers" by Stephen
E. Ambrose
10. "A Child Called 'It'" by Dav*
Pelzer (HCI)
- compiled from Associated
Press wire reports

I

N

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The
STRING CHEESE
INCIDENT

11

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