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January 25, 2000 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-01-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

OWN$

O partacus at the Michigan. Part three of the Spring Kubrick
seies plays the Michigan tonight, replete with chariots, leather-
men and Kirk Douglas. 7 p.m.
Tuesday
8 January 25, 2000

utaItwmx t
IRT

Daily Arts takes a look at the recently unveiled exhibit of
Chinese paintings at the Museum of Art.

_,..._-

Fractured
lone' no
knockout
BpArvid Vittor
,A-ke note, boxing fans -"Play it to
d Bone" is not a boxing movie with a
riodrip in it, Rather, sports guru Ron
Sheion's latest film (his previous
efforts include "Bull Durham" and "Tin
Cup") is about boxers on a road trip. It
should be clear there isn't more than 20
minutes of actual boxing in the movie.
Like many a heavyweight prizefighter,
"Bone" is down for the count shortly
after the spectacle begins, and never
gets back on it feet.
The story focuses on two has-been
middleweight boxers -- Cesar
Dominguez (Antonio Banderas) and
Vince Boudreau (Woody Harrelson).
The best of pals. they are given the
chance of a lifetime when Cesar's old

Unreal Tournament,' new
Quae hit gaming highs

Courtesy of Touchstone Pictures
'Play it to the Bone' stars Woody Harrelson and Antonio Banderas as dueling chums.

promoter (played
Play it to
the Bone
At Showcase
and State

over-obnoxiously by
Tom Sizemore)
offers them a
chance to fight
against each other
in the undercard
match ofa fiction-
al Mike Tyson
heavyweight bout
for $50,000
apiece. The catch
is it's that night
and they have to
get from L.A. to
Vegas. and quick.
Through some
silly and incon-

Convenient, isn't it?
Of the trio, Harrelson's born-again
Christian character is the least convinc-
ing and interesting. Woody seems to be
good at playing likable knuckleheads
("Cheers." anyone?), but he comes off as
an insensitive creep who alternates
between quoting The Bible and lusting
for women. Banderas tries to play a
macho man with a sensitive side, but he
did a much better job of it in
"Desperado." Gracie is merely a sexual
tension generator that toys with both of
them like a spoiled sorority girl.
The road trip is an interminable
sequence that drags on and on. Nothing
happens that make you care about the
characters. Lucy Liu of "Ally McBeal"
fame makes a short appearance en route
as a whiny, drugged out sex-kitten, but
only annoys and lengthens this tedious
portion of the film. The dialogue of this
trio seems more like forced wit than
genuine banter - Shelton is trying to
make the viewer care about them, but it
is way overdone and tedious.
When they finally arrive in Vegas to
prepare for the fight. things start to get
interesting. As we see Vince and Cesar
ready themselves for the match. one cas-
ily falls into the excitement surrounding
a big title fight. However, the bout itself
is spotty in intensity. The actual boxing is

heated and fierce as the fighting spirit of
the two boxers that was only weakly
developed in the road trip is brutally
exposed.
Unfortunately, Shelton's attempts to
capture various aspects of the fight
detract from what could have been a
match of "Raging Bull" proportions. He
often cuts to throwaway shots ofcelebri-
ties in the middle of the fight. Fantasy-
like sequences that are supposed to mir-
ror each fighter's fears and obstacles
between each round of the match seem
confusing and out of place - their
comic nature often draws too much
attention from the intense boxing that
surrounds them.
Overall, though, this climactic fight is
the highlight of this misguided, under-
written film. The outcome of the match
fails to surprise, and the ending of the
film is sloppily concluded, freeze-frame
style - -like a bad Jackie Chan movie.
"Play it to the Bone" is one of those
movies that had promise, but failed to
deliver in almost every way. If you want
a great boxing film, rent "Raging Bull."
If you want a romance/comedy/sports
flick, get Shelton's far superior "Bull
Durham." Go ahead: Knock yourself
out, but don't blame me if you waste
your time on a tired flick like "Play it to
the Bone."

This holiday season first person
shooter (FPS) fans were blessed with
two outstanding. four-star, pieces of soft-
ware - "Quake 3" by id Software and
"Unreal Tournament" by Epic Games &
Digital Extremes.
Both "Q3 and "UT" are the first FPSs
that are meant to be stand alone multi-
player games. That means that they real-
ly aren't meant for gamers who are more
into story development and plot (those
gamers should look into "Half-life" by
Valve). Appropriately though, both
games do come with a death match (lay-
man's terms for a multiplayer game)
y tutorial where you
play through a
t** sequence of stages
Quake 3 against bots (com-
puter controlled
id Software players) so that
you can gain some
of the basic skills
Reviewed needed to last
for the Daily more than a few
by Eduardo Baraf minutes in the
vicious world of
real human opponents.
While the bots in both these games are
impressively programmed to do more
than just run around and fire, "Q3" takes
the extra step by creating unique charac-

i~ ~ III

Courtesy of id Software
'Quake 3' raises the standards for intense, combat-style gameplay on the PC.

T7-

.'4;

ppjAw. ...

ters with distinct
Unreal
Tournament
Epic Games &
Digital Extremes
Reviewed
for the Daily
by Eduardo Baraf

ceivably illogical plot turn, Cesar and
Vince suddenly can't get plane tickets
and have to drive to Vegas. Naturally,
they look to their mutual ex-girlfriend
Gracie (Lolita Davidovich), who hap-
pens to have a bitchin' convertible for the
trip. This sets up the trio for a long drive
through the desert with plenty of oppor-
tunities to talk about their pasts, philoso-
phize and rekindle old passions.

personalities that
allows them to act
in their own man-
ner (always trying
to get a favorite
weapon for exam-
ple) as they hunt
you down in the
single player
game. And while
"UT" doesn't have
this depth it does
expands on some

_. _ 4

Courtesy of Epic Games & Digital ExtremVS,
'Unreal Tournament' may be the best game released this year.

Boy Sets Fire blazes into Shelter

By Andy Kkin
DO4v Arts Wrter
Vith all of today's prefabricated pop
stirs dominating the airwaves it seems
necessary to turn to the underground to
find musicians who care more about the

Boy Sets
Fire
The Shelter
Jan. 22. 2000
pI
political message.

music than the
paycheck. On
Sat urda. five
piece hardcore
heroes Boy Sets
Fire took the stage
at The Shelter, the
small and dingy
basement of St.
Anarews Hall in
Detroit, and made
it abundantly clear
that they were
serious about
music and, like-
wise. their heavy

treated to three opening acts before the
main event. This is Forever, Hyatt and
Reach the Sky got the crowd moving, but
it was not until BSF took the stage that
the energy and excitement of a hardcore
show was achieved. People clawed
towards the stage, screaming along to the
emotional lyrics while moshing violently
vet respectfully, in the small and over-
heated club. BSF's music and lvrics make
them one of the most intense bands in
emo-core.
Out of the silence of one song, soft
guitar entered and a high pitched voice
sang, "I am no one, I am nothing" then
crashing back in with a scream of "God
please help me!" Other numbers dealt
with larger social movements which gen-
erate an equally powerful response from
the audience as they scream along to
lines like, "Silence kills the revolution!"
BSF however. reaches a level of rele-
vance beyond other hardcore bands by
being able to step outside the relatively

r

encapsulated hardcore scene. Lead
vocalist Natvin Gray interspersed both
political and personal dialogue in
between songs, covering a variety of top-
ics from rape. revolution and even the old
lyrical standby, heartbreak.
Yes, even these guys take time out for
love. Yet it was hard to find love amongst
themselves and almost called it quits this
past summer when internal conflicts
caused a rift. Now on a new label.
Victory Records, BSF is stronger than
ever.
What makes BSF different from other
bands with a similar agenda is their abil-
ity to step off the soap box and look at
things realistically. Gray talked about the
importance of making their message of
equality and justice known outside the
hardcore scene. He then explained a
song about an older friend who spent a
lot of time partying while younger, and
now was dying of cirrhosis of the liver
and AIDS while drinking herself to
death.
When the show was over the band
stuck around the stage to exchange hugs
and conversation with fans until the
sweaty crowd finally emptied out into the
cold night thoroughly exhausted and
enlightened.

Paying a mere seven dollars, fans were

of the bots' cooperative functions (such
as allowing computer controlled team-
mates to give you and each other cover),
which fits nicely with the game's ingen-
uous, level design. Nevertheless, these
bots really contribute little to your over-
all enjoyment and not what you should
be buying either of these games for.
Neither should you buy them for the
stories they offer in the single player part
of the game. In "Q3,' the plot revolves
around Sarge who, after propelling him-
self unarmed into an army of adver-
saries, must fight an assortment of foes
until he gets to the last bad guy, Xaero, in
the Final Battle.
in "UT" the story is the overused sci-
fi plot where the world has done away
with war by having fighting death
matches, with the players purpose being
to defeat all the competitors in these
killing-no-holds-bar leagues and achiev-
ing the title of Grand Champion.
With the stories out of the way let's get
to the elements that really matter, start-
ing with your arsenal or in other words
your main form of contact with your fel-
low players.
Arsenal
Few things are more important than
the artillery you are offered in a first per-
son shooter, it is the means to the mass
genocide of your adversaries and no new
game can contend in the every crowding
FPS market without a complete set of
weaponry.
"Q3" comes with all the standard
weapons, from the up close and person-
al gauntlet to the weaker, yet still effec-
tive, machine gun and shotgun (the
strafers favorite) to the three more devas-
tating weapons: the rocket launcher,
lightning gun and rail gun all of which
carry the appropriate punch, at times,
sending players vaulting across the
arena. Over the years, id has edged these
weapons to the perfect balance where
anyone person with any weapon can kill
any other, leaving skill to be the deciding
factor.
It is important to note that some hard-
core "Quake" players (including Thresh,
the player who won a Ferrari and a load
of cash in "Quake" tourneys) who feel
the slight changes, like slowing down the
reload speed of the rocket launcher a few
milliseconds, has ruined the game. Aside
from that, "Q3" does spice it up with its
over the top special items like "Quad
danage" "Regeneration" and "Haste"
that make the empowered player the
most devastating but also the most tar-
geted. These items aiso remain after the
enhanced player is killed leading to a
steal the bacon type rush that results in

that stick out from the bunch are the dev-
astating rocket/grenade launcher combo
that can be charged up to shoot 6 projec-
tiles at once, the immensely useful and
deadly sniper rifle (great for picking off
campers) and not to forget the Redeemer
wich gives you a nuclear'missile at your
disposal. The rest- the impact hammer,
ripper, flak cannon, Bio rifle, etc. - are
worthy additions to a "UT" master's
selection. With all these creative addi-
tions, it is a little disappointing that the
"UT" team didn't flesh out the items
scattered around the levels, but this is a
minor complaint.
Both "Q3" and "UT" come to the
table loaded to the teeth, but while "Q3"
sticks to the weapons it made famous
through "Doom" and "Quake," "UT"
flexes its muscles and adds a few wel-
come wrinkles to its mix making it the
definite winner in this category.
Graphics/Sound
Graphically, both games are impres-
sive and keep your computer hot, push-
ing it to the limits, but at the same time
these two similar games have two very
different, distinctive looks.
"Q3" is a much darker and grayer
game sticking to the dungeon and space
locals of its predecessors, but with the
godlike programming at id (amazingly
the graphics engine is programmed by
just two people, John Carmack and John
Cash, rather than the double digits of
most programming teams) have put
together the 'absolute best 3D. game.
engine out there, if only because it final-
ly brings curve mathematics (true round-
ed surfaces rather than ones composed
of small squares) to the genre.
"UT" is still beautiful and actually
much more vibrant with colorful lighting
effects and tight textures but just doesn't
push 3D graphics anywhere new like
"Q3" does.
Sound in both games comes in strong
and it's hard to critique either. "Q3"s
weaponry and explosions pump the bass
letter and more convincingly than
"UT"s, but "UT"'s over-the-top mortal
kombat-esque announcements ("Player
one is on a killing spree!") and its often
mature, spoken taunts ("Die, bitch!")
definitely liven its adrenaline rush.
So while "Q3" wins this category
because it sets the next watermark for
3D graphic engines, "UT' manages to
take a close second with it's wider vari-
ety of textures and fantastic lighting
effects. But looks aren't everything and
although graphics and sound visually
separate the two games, few would argue
its importance over gameplay.
Gameplay/Level Design

of red eye from the constant fear of
blinking. This type of crazed gaming is
what "Q3" was developed for and it
shows, all the levels are tight and intense
and the weapons all connect in moment
However, "UT" is in no way slow and
often gets your heart pumping just asfast
as in "Q3;" it just comes off as much
more of a thinkers game. This is due to
its far more expanded weaponry; pro-
moting stopping to pick the best weapon'
for any given situation, as well as~its.far
greater variety of types of gameplay:
Other than the standard Death-match
that "Q3" is in total control of, the on
other type of gaming it offers is CaptuiF
the Flag, where multiple users are bro
ken down into teams which try to invade
the others teams camp in search of their
flag
"UT" on the other hand has the stan-
dard Death-match and capture the flag
but it also offers Domination where you
battle in teams and try to keep hold' of
marked location in a level as long as pos.
sible as well as the truly inspired assault'
levels in which it is your team agait
another like Capture the Flag
Domination but you are trying to secure
some large building or object. The levels
go from trying to board a train from a
helicopter to storming a castle to raiding
a beach a la D-day (that makes "Saving
Private Ryan" look like "Driving Miss
Daisy") as well as many more.
To give credit where credit is due
"Q3" is at the core of great gameplay.
Everything about it is intense and exitir
but the element it is missing is the lasting
appeal that "UT" gains form its excessio
variety. "Q3" is amazing but after sitting
down and playing "UT" for a while one
can't help but notice its shortcomings.
and that is why "UT" is better game m
this category.
Conclusion

- MULTI COLOR SPECIALISTS
. ARTIST ON STAFF
* RUSH ORDERS
" NEAR U OF M CAMPUS
1217 PROSPECT, ANN ARBOR 665.1771
JFF with this ad.
http:www.tahirtstudio.com

-I

-i

'1

Multicultural Career Fair
January 25,2000

To

Michigan Union

SCOREKEEPERS
S
75 LLA
DRINKS
U hpCK ANF

Standing alone, "Q3" and "UT" are
beacons of light that future gameswill
follow. Yet there can only be ct
brightest star and unless you are only
looking for forensic death matching
that has you dodging three rockets
while circle strafing an opponent
while trying to move toward a quad-
damage spinning above the corpse of
its old possessor that is offered in
"Q3," "UT" with it's expand'dd
weaponry, level design, gameplay
types and full-blown level editor Th-
comes free with the game (though yc
must be quite a computer wiz or a 3D
architect to get any use out of) is the
game to buy. especially since it offers
almost the same blazing gameplay.
And it must be extremely frustrat-
ing fog id Software, the company that x

I

i

Noon - 4:0pm
Discuss full-time and internship positions with
organizations from across the country.

Meet with graduate/professional school programs.
Viour homepage for a list of participating
oranizatio)ns and schools.

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