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December 12, 2000 - Image 5

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-12-12

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ake it up...
ck out Shakespeare's "The Tempest"
this week at the Power Center.
production runs from the 14th to
of the month. Call 734-764-0450.
higandaily.com/arts

2RTrS

TUESDAY
DECEMBER 12, 2000

5

imit'
paves

VIDEO GAME BONANZA

/rowds
s ilhelnia Mauritz
Arts Writer
ne of the first shots of "Vertical
it" seems very reminiscent of a
e from "Mission Impossible 2."

Spread f/ec
By Jeff Dickerson
Daily Arts Writer
Armed with a can of spray paint and

graffiti gospel with 'JGR'

jet-propelled roller

Cou rsyao "o.',
"~Vertical Uimit" stars lzabella Scorupco and Chris O'Donnell. This is not another "K2."

Grade: A
Jet Grind
Radio
For Dreamcast
Sega

skates, you control
an array of car-
toon characters
through the
streets of Tokyo
to spread your
graffiti gospel on
every bare wall.
Sounds like
every other
game made in
the last decade ...

letters and vibrant neon colors. Rival
skaters are not the only obstacles in
the channel to graffiti nirvana. In a
matter of minutes, the police get
word of the illegal activities and rush
to the scene in full force. As the
game progresses their weaponry
becomes more menacing. Foot sol-
diers are replaced in later levels by
tanks and tear gas. Avoiding their
fire while gracefully applying the
finishing touches on your ghetto
masterpiece is the key to success in
"Jet Grind Radio."
Finally video games have reached
the point where the player can immerse
themselves into actual cartoons. After
ten minutes playing the game, you'll
swear you're watching the Cartoon
Network. The animation is seamless
and brilliant, making for one of the
most original game environments ever

crafted.
As the title indicates, the developers
of "Jet Grind Radio" sought to include
a soundtrack to equal the visual exu-
berance of the game. The songs them-
selves are peculiar, yet in the context of
the game they work to perfection. Who
would have thought Rob Zombie
would be the ideal score for Japanese
animation?
In order to save themselves from
the vile clutches of concerned par-
ents and certain citizens of
Washington (*cough* Joe
Lieberman), Sega issues a disclaimer
as the game opens, stating the illegal
nature of graffiti despite its artistic
beauty. Another warning should have
followed to warn people of the
game's addictive nature. In case you
were oblivious to the existence of
this fabulous game, be sure to scrib-

ise of this, I

Vertical
Limit
Grade: B
At Showcase
and Quality 16

started to think that
"Vertical Limit"
could get very
long and boring if
it only involved
rip-off scenes and
plots from previ-
ously made action
movies. However
this did not hap-
pen. "Vertical
Limit" proved to
be one of the most
gripping and
intense films I
have seen in a
long time. It grabs
you from the

After a quick, tense visit between
Annie and Peter; the journey to the top of
K2 begins but is soon put to a halt when
an unexpected storm comes up and three
of the climbers, including Elliot and
Annie, are left trapped in an icy cavern.
Peter, who is determined to get his sister
back safely, immediately assembles a
rescue crew. The rest of the movie
involves the rescue mission and all the
nail biting suspense you can pack into
the remaining hour and 40 minute time
period.
"Vertical Limit" has all the necessary
components of a good action movie. Two
crazy brothers are there simply to pro-
vide comic relief. A few of the main
characters all seem to know a unique and
rare piece of information (in this case
Morse code) that comes in handy to save
the day. A mysterious hermit (played by
Scott Glenn) who everyone thinks is
crazy but of course is not, is there to help
out with his superior and much needed
knowledge. Finally you have all the
beautiful characters that continue to look
good throughout the movie, never get-
ting a hair out of place.
Every possible disaster that the writers
could think up, no matter how far
fetched and ridiculous, was included in
"Vertical Limit." From one aspect this
made the movie entertaining since the

action never stopped but by the end of
the two hours, the events started to accu-
mulate and get a bit ridiculous. I found
mvself thinking "what next" numerous
times and vet there continued to be a
"next" followed by another and another,
you get the point.
The special effects in "Vertical Limit"
were remarkable even though the first
shot's terribly fake looking hawk threw
me off a bit. The up-close shots involv-
ing K2 looked amazingly real. The sirn-
ulated disasters put you right in the mid-
dle of the action and gave you a sense of
what it might feel like to be left to
nature's own devices on top of a moun-
tain. At times I felt as though I should be
wearing a parka and some snow pants to
keep warm amidst all the snow.
Admittedly a few of the stunts were a
bit above the top. The impossible jump
demonstrated by Peter that is shown in
all the previews says it all. I don't care
how good a climber you are, there are
limits involving gravity and aerodynam-
ics that would make a few leaps totally
undoable. Of course, as with any good
action movie, you have to give away to
reality at least a little bit. "Vertical
Limit is like any good roller coaster;
there are inevitably a few ups and downs,
but by the time the ride has come to an
end. you'll have had a good time.

wrong. With "Jet Grind Radio," Sega
has created one of the most memorable
and unique games in recent years.
The premise is simple. Protect and
expand your territory against rival
gangs by painting the streets with bold

Gomad

in

Midtown' wth Microsoft

By Jim Schiff
Daily Arts Writer
From the people who brought you Word, Excel,
PowerPoint,and complete global monopoly comes the latest in
a string of successful sports games. Microsoft confirms its
presence among gaming giants with "Midtown Madness 2," a
slightly flawed but incredibly entertaining romp through urban
locales.
"Midtown Madness 2" is an easy game to learn but a diffi-
cult one to master. Before racing opponents, the player can go
through One of two tutorials: a crash course in steering and han-

.ping scene and drags you along until
closing credits.
peter Garrett (Chris O'Donnell) is a
tographer for "National Geographic"
ned in the Lower Himalayas near
istan. After his co-photographer has
accident and needs to be flown into an
ay base for medical attention, Peter
Irs that his sister, Annie (Robin
ney), is in the area planning to climb
he top of K2 with a wealthy million-
i, Elliot Vaughn (Bill Paxton).

Grade: B
Midtown
Madness 2
For PC
Microsoft Games

dling fundamentals in London, or stunt
instruction on the San Francisco Bay.
As a nice touch, the designers include a
narrator who teaches you techniques
and insults you for your mistakes. The
London course is voiced-over by a cab
driver with a painfully thick Scottish
accent a la Groundskeeper Willie and a
mouth like Chris Rock.
If crash courses aren't your cup of

turn and in which direction.
The courses are designed extremely well. The famous struc-
tures adhere to their locations in the city as they would in real
life. In San Francisco, you can see the Coit Tower, the Palace
of Fine Arts and the Golden Gate Bridge, while in London you
can charge the gates of Buckingham Palace and play in
Trafalgar Square. As this is "midtown" madness, in both cities
you'll be faced with obstacles such as traffic lights, water, tall
buildings, police cars and pedestrians. in the menu prior to
each race, you can set how dense you want non-player activity
to be.
Kudos to Microsoft for including such a nice variety of race
ing vehicles. The player can choose from a London city cab to
a Cadillac Eldorado to a Mustang GT. My favorite was the
giant "MSN Gaming Zone" bus that can be used to trample
oncoming traffic. There are also a number of "locked" cars that
require you to win designated races to gain access, such as the
Audi TT and the Hummer. Though the cars are attractive
graphically, there seems to be little difference in engine noise.
One would expect a Mustang GT to growl like a tiger when
accelerating, but it seems to just purr along instead.
This leads to the game's only significant weakness: the races
aren't realistic. Essentially, one could take a VW Beetle and
knock out countless large trees parking meters and large mov-
ing trucks, emerging with only a few minor dents and scratch-
es. The pedestrians also seem to dive into your car as you
attempt to run them over, which seems unlikely in most places.
But this weakness is also the game's greatest strength, as it
makes racing much more exhilarating than driving through the
countryside. As the Scottish cabdriver says, "if you don't feel
the breeze under your kilt, you're not goin' fast enough!"

I

1' alums explore wacky web world

Katie Den Bleyker
y Arts Writer

NBC's new show "Dot Comedy" definitely has a unique
mise, as it claims to be "the first American network show
celebrate the wild and wonderful material on the World

Dot
Comedy
Grade: C
ABC
das at 8:30 p.m.
}V

Wide Web" Unfortunately, as anyone
who's been on a blind date can tell you,
unique does not always equal good.
"Dot Comedy" is set up as a sort of
show-and-tell for technogeeks. Hosted
by Jason and Randy Sklar (University
alums!) and Annabelle Gurwitch
(TBS's "Dinner and a Movie" lady),
the show presents a series of (suppos-
edly) amusing tidbits from the
Internet. These tidbits can be accessed
by college students desperately avoid-
ing writing term papers by going to the
show's website,
http://abc.go.com/priwetime/dotcome-

dlr/otcomevdr_hoe./iuil and clicking on links.
The problem with "Dot Comedy" is that like the inventor
of the Internet, Al Gore, it is not very funny. The only amus-
ing part is the fashion-clueless hosts, one of whom bears a
striking resemblance to Austin Powers's Mini-me. However,
the hosts seem somewhat uncomfortable in front of the
camera, sharing awkward and inane banter in between
showing the Internet clips, which are supposed to be the real
stars of the show.
These clips are also lacking in the comedy department,
as they include a Website for a man's barf-bag collection,
which seems to be his pride and joy. There is also a web-
site for a personal ad for a man who is every bad disco
cliche rolled into one. This isn't funny, people: its just
plain scary!
"Dot Comedy" is a time-killer at best. Like sitting onlin
e for hours waiting for someone to come on Instant
Messenger, this show leaves you feeling somewhat numb
and wondering, "Why did I just waste my time doing
that?" I don't know about you, but I sure have better things
to do with my Friday nights.

tea, you can try one of the other racing modes that "Midtown"
offers. Though previous Microsoft efforts boast more variety,
one can still engage in time trials, race computer opponents, or
vie against humans with a modem, TCP/IP or the Microsoft
Gaming Zone. Regardless of the mode, you can choose from a
variety of tracks in each city. A small map in the bottom right
corner of the screen tracks your course through the city and
displays yellow circles for each checkpoint. As further guid-
ance, a large arrow at the top of the screen tells you when to

N I

REGISTRAR'S BULLETIN BOARD
Wolverine Access via the World Wide Web
http;//woiverineaccess(aumich.edu
WINTER TERM CLASSES BEGIN THURSDAY, JANUARY 4, 2001
WINTER TERM * Register or drop/add: on WWW at http://wolverineaccess@umich.edu
REGISTRATION Wolverine access will be available over the Winter Break.
REGISTRATION TRANSACTIONS AVAILABLE on Wolverine access: INITIAL
REGISTRATION for classes, ADD a course, DROP a course, SWAP a course or sections
of a course, MODIFY a course, WAITLIST a course.
DROP/ADD for Winter 2001 will be available through The Web from your appointment
time through January 24th (except during scheduled maintenance). Access through
Wolverine Access on the World Wide Web (under Student Business).
If you need to obtain PERMISSION for a class, you must 1) contact the department to
obtain an electronic override, AND 2) access Web Registration to process an add.
WITHDRAWAL PLEASE NOTE: IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGENTS' POLICY, STUDENTS WHO
FROM REGISTER AND SUBSEQUENTLY WITHDRAW AFTER THE BEGINNING OF
WINTER TERM CLASSES WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE REGISTRATION AND
(DROP ALL DISENROLLMENT FEES. THIS ASSESSMENT OF $130.00 FOR WINTER TERM
COURSES) WILL BE MADE REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT YOU ATTEND
CLASSES.
If you wish to disenroll from Winter term and avoid all charges, you must do so by January
SENROL L 3, 2001. Either 1) send a letter to the University of Michigan, Office of the Registrar, 1010
L.S.A. Bldg., 500 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1382. 2) FAX (734) 763-9053
3) e-mail (ro.crisp.questions @umich.edu) 4) Visit a Student Service Site (1010 LSA Bldg
or 1212 Pierpont Commons.
The dates to withdraw from Winter Term and pay only a $50 Disenrollment Fee and an $80
Registration Fee are January 4-24 (before the end of the first three weeks of classes).
FALL TERM 9 Hear your grades on Touch-Tone: Call 8-1645 (on campus)

S , . T C
6
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