10 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 24, 1999
'Expendable' provides mindless gaming fun
Mindless third person shooters have tended to stick
to a general formula; stick a camera next to or behind
some, kinda spaceship and shoot at big fields of stuff.
Expendable is plowing different ground by returning to
the other side of classic mindless shooters.
Games like "Contra" on the old NES were essential-
ly third person shooters, but using guys with guns
instead of an armed rocket. Once games like "Doom"
and "Wolfenstein 3D" came along, that half of the older
genre dwindled in favor of first person shooters.
"Expendable" is a nicely rendered take on this forgot-
ten passageway of the gaming archives. The game resem-
bles strategic programs like "Diablo," but excluding their
planning portions. With a camera angle above and over a
bit to view the three dimensional figures, you have a
bird's eye view of the dark landscape, licked by flames...
You control tank decanted battle clones, dropped in the
middle of a battle zone of aliens, robots, alien robots and
their dogs. You start out with a weak gun, but the more
enemies you kill, the more weapons you get from the
remnants of boxes or your splattered opponents. You can
also get medical kits and time extensions for the bomb
implanted within you that will explode if the clock reach-
es zero. Your weapon must have explosive rounds,
because enemies explode when you kill them, not to
mention crates, fuel tanks and guns. Have you noticed
that there's a lot of blowing up going on in the game?
Well, other than walking over a pink human hostage
on occasion, there's not much to do except run around
and turn stuff into shrapnel. Otherwise the game would-
n't be a shooter.
Relatedly, "Expendable" is not the most thought pro-
voking disc on the market. You need to break a handful
of green globes to open some doors, you need to walk
around and kill things, and you need to get to the end of
the level. It's fun, but it doesn't have a lot of depth. Of
course, the same can be said for games from Space
Invaders to any kind of racer, and there's no question
that those have always entertained legions of players.
- Ted Watts
The University of Michigan
SCHOOL OF Music
MICHIGAN CHAMBER PLAYERS
Sunday, September 26
Britton Recital Hall, E.V. Moore Bldg., 4:00pm.
Lynne Aspnes, Anthony Elliott, Fred Ormand, Stephen Shipps,
Bright Sheng, Sergio de los Cobos, Amy Porter, Harry Sargous,
Richard Beene, Soren Hermansson, Katherine Collier, Paul
Kantor, Yizhak Schotten.
*.Harrison: Suite for Cello and Harp;
" Stravinsky: L'Historie du Soldat
o Poulenc: Sextet
" Dvorak:Piano Quartet
UNIVERSITY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Tuesday, September 28
Hill Auditorium, 8:00pm.
Kenneth Kiesler, Conductor
" Smetana: Vltava (The Moldau) from MdVlast (My Country)
* Shostakovich: Symphony #5 in D Minor, Op. 47
STRING FACULTY RECITAL
Friday, October 1
Britton Recital Hall, E.V. Moore Bldg., 8:00pm.
Yizhak Schotten, viola
Katherine Collier, piano
Simon Wynberg, guitar
Arianna String Quartet
* Paganini Quartet for Viola, guitar, violin & cello
" Mozart Quintet in A, K. 581
* Schumann Piano Quintet in Eb Major, Op. 44
Saturday, October 2
McIntosh Theatre, E.V. Moore Bldg., 8:00pm.
UM Euphonium and Tuba Students, Solos and Duets
Music of a variety of styles and eras: including a jazz duet by two
tuba students who will also double on piano and guitar;
Gillingham "Vintage",Newton "Capriccio", Broughton "Sonata",
Scottish folk song "Carrick Fergus", Schumann "Adagio and
Allegro", Luedeke "Wonderland Duets" (Narration by Fritz
Kaenzig), Baroque and Classical duets.
Events are free and wheelchair accessible unless otherwise specified. The E.V.
Moore Bldg. is located at 1100 Baits Dr., North Campus. For more information
phone (734) 936-2214 or visit the web page at www.music.umich.edu
'Pen Pen TriIceLon'
fills 'cute game' niche
Courtesy of The w8
The cast of "The Jamie Foxx Show."
The Sega Dreamcast does not have
many "cute" games right now.
There's Sonic Adventure of course,
but that's about it except for the
quirky racer "Pen Pen TrilceLon."
You're on an alien world, ready to
participate in its wintry games,
known as the TrilceLon. As the name
implies, there are three events in the
game; ice walking, belly flopping
and cold water swimming. Every
course has at least one of each of
these types of competitions.
Different contestants have differ-
ent attributes and different looks.
With players ranging from happy
penguin types to bad attitude shark
characters, the look of the game
takes a little from San Rio and a lit-
tle from Hanna Barbera. You can
even dress them up with items you
win in races.
The game involves steering,
jumping and stroking at the right
time and nicely enough attacking
your opponents at an opportune
moment. This is not the model of
racing we've come to know, but
more on the order of a track meet.
Of course, it's not like any track
meet you've likely seen; huge fans
try to blow the runners off track,
fish try to butt heads with the swim-
mers, and flying bats buzz the belly
floppers. Sure, occasionally you'll
get a sniper in an Olympic stadium,
but that's still the exception in most
of the world.
Gameplay does not take advantage
of the Dreamcast's vast powers, but it
does not need acrobatics to fulfill its
function; one of the problems with
many Dreamcast games is that there
is overuse of the console's capability
to the detriment of the games. The
worst of these is constantly shifting
camera angles at unfortunate times
and in unfortunate places, making
you fall off a cliff or not see an
enemy you are about to get stepped
on by. "Pen Pen TrilceLon" is pretty
simple and keeps fairly simple cam-
era work while play is on, making it
controlled easily. In addition to only
having two working buttons, there
are few options of where you can
flop, walk or swim.
This may not be enough for some
people. The environments are limit-
ed in their scope, but that's endemic
to lots of racing games. The trouble
is that "Pen Pen" is not aimed at the
average Nascar fan. It's going to
appeal more to the "Mario Kart"
crowd, and these courses are not as
varied and the ability to trash your
friends is not as evolved. While still
a good game, it might disappoint
those expecting a fast and changing
- Ted Watts
WB launches series
Friday night at 8 p.m.
By Heather Riedy
For the Daily
Tonight is the first time that "WB
will be the place to be" on a Friday.
During the past four years, The WB
Network has continually expanded
it's programming, starting with
Tonight at 8
C o m e d y
1995 to six
nights of prime-
tonight. Not only
is WB expanding
to a new night
filled with com-
edy, but it is also
the only station
to launch a new
night this sea-
After an hour of Jamie Foxx an
Garcelle Beauvais dealing with their
on screen relationship, "The Steve
Harvey Show" is about a high school
teacher and his daily trials with his
students, the principal and his good_
buddy Cedric. This season Harvey
might be moving up the ladder from
teacher to vice principal, Cedric is. F
pulling out all the stops to finally ast p
his girlfriend Lovita to marryhint+
and as always, whenever you tur
your back a bunch of high schoo l
kids are getting into trouble.
Last but definitely not least, thei
funny series, "For Your Love" deaisr
with three different couples in com-
pletely different stages of their rela-,
tionships. Reggi and Bobbi are sti $
getting use to the idea of their-
breakup, even though both want to
be together, it just does not seem like
they will ever be in the same place ,,
once. Malena and Mel Ellis are hav-
ing a fun time working out the kinks
of being a married couple. The funny
duo of Dean and Sheri Winston
keeps the comedy flowing due to,
Sheri's recent purchase of a product; ,
that makes her appear pregnant. Not
only is she getting use to the idea of
carrying around the extra weight, bt;
she and Dean are profiting from her
The WB's new lineup hopefuly
will bring a little laughter to your,
evening, starting at 8 p.m. with "The..
Jamie Foxx Show" and ending with
"For Your Love" at 9:30 p.m.
Foxx Show" continues to follow
Jamie King on his pursuit of success
as a singer. King finally has the
chance to be with Fancy, the woman
he has pined over for three years,
however, he has a hard time with, the
idea of a commitment.
The second episode of "The Jamie
Foxx Show" continues with Jamie
and Francie's relationship and how
Jamie feels inadequate with his pre-
sent career situation. Even though
Jamie doesn't want to compromise
his "big talent" as a singer he might
just have to in order to move into a
more respectable job.
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