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November 01, 2000 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-11-01

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 1, 2000

13TI

Gaming options
make for highly
replayable 'MM 2'

I

By Jim Schiff
Daily Arts Writer

CourtesyofLavaGodProduct
San Diego's Government Grown are known for their high THC percentages and raging, raging muttonchop-style 'burns.
GOVERNMENT GROWN FOR THE PEOPLE

By Chris Kula
Daily Arts Editor
With a name that connotes the finest quality of
marijuana, it's only fitting that Government
Grown cultivates a neo-hippie fan following. By
that rationale, the group,
swhich makes its Michigan
debut tonight at the Blind
Pig, should be right at home
Government in hash-friendly Ann Arbor.
Grown "This is our first trip into
Blind Pig the Midwest, and it's really
Tonight at 10 P.M. been phenomenal so far,"
said bassist Harley Orion.
It's cool getting to play at
these clubs you've read
about for years, and hitting
all these college towns that
everybody raves about."
For the past six years, the
quartet - Orion, drummer
Jeremy Moss, guitarist Tyler Hardwick and key-
boardist Evan Polselli -- has split its time
between the beaches of its native San Diego and
the tountains of hippie enclave Boulder, Col-

orado. The sun-drenched, laid-back influence of
the West Coast runs deep in the band's jam-ori-
ented roots-reggae sound but so, for that mat-
ter, do African rhythms, trance-like electronica,
and straight-up '60s rock 'n' roll.
"A lot of what we do comes from having a
variety of influences," Orion said. "Anything
from Traffic to the Police to traditional jazz is
playing in the van when we're on the road, and it
all comes together when we play."
A mix of disparate elements? A dedication to
the live show? A emphasis on improvisation?
Sounds like a jam band to me - and the band
doesn't deny it.
"We don't have a problem with the 'jam band'
label, because improvisation and jamming cer-
tainly play a big role in our sound," Orion said.
"But at the same time, we don't want to be limit-
ed to just jamming. We stress quality song writ-
ing, and the framework of a good song is always
the place where improvisation comes from.
"We work collaboratively when writing, so
we'll all bring in different ideas and contribute
different things, and whatever sticks is what we
keep," Orion said.
Upon returning to San Diego, the band plans

on continuing its grassroots campaign, promot-
ing its new album, Neiw aiees of fClui, via its
official Website (iinl.viierrientroiwnitr.crm)i.

To tell you the truth, I've alsays
been afraid of motorcycles. Not
only do I refuse to ride them, I fear
collision (non-alcohol related, of
course) is destined to occur when I
drive beside one.
Consequent-
ly, rmotorcycle
games are the
Grade: B+ last ones you'd
Motocross see on my hard
Madness 2 drive. With
ForPC "Motocross
Microsoft Madness 2,"
however, even
the most unen-
thusiastic biker can have a jolly
good time.
Sinply put, the game has soe
of the best replayability on the
market. It includes six single-play-
er events, including Baja (featured
in the original game), Freestyle
Stunts, Nationals, Superross,
Enduro and a Pro Circuit where
you can sove up in rank based on
performance.
Each event combined garners
about 70 tracks, ranging from
Chimichanga, Mexico to Munch-
berry Farms. The latter three tracks
are indoors, with the sounds of
imaginary screaming fans in the
background. Most of Baja's tracks
are open-road, forcing you to pass
through a series of gates in order to
complete the race.
For the novice player, the Baja
mode is likely to be the favorite. It
is crucial in building skills, such as
quick maneuvering and stunt exe-
cution. The lack of boundaries may
be troublesome for a few, but a
handy green arrow in the corner of
the screen is helpful in pointing the
way. Here, the gamer will learn
what sort of cyclist they are: One
who vaults through the air, landing
on his bike, or one who just vaults
through the air.
Generally, the graphics are excel-
lent. Each course is exquisitely
detailed with a series of rolling
hills, steep cliffs and narrow, flat
planes. The scenery is surprisingly
realistic, even the leaves on the
trees were given a great deal of
attention. In a few places, however,
they looked a little too pixeled, par-
ticularly on details of the bike and
the rider's costumes.
"Motocross Madness 2" has
plenty of avenues for customizabil-
ity. Though you can only choose
from 3 manufacturers of bikes
(Yamaha, Honda and KTM), there
COULD
Continued from Page 5
Vicky constantly fights her inner
insecurity from childhood teasing
and adulthood prejudice by achiev-
ing things no one ever thought she
could. Regina battles to overcome
years of being told that she cannot
do anything on her own. The way
the characters behave agrees with
what the reader believes they will do
from their personalities.
Although this makes them believ-
able, it makes the novel sometimes a
little predictable. One knows so
much about the women that it isn't
hard to guess what they will do next.
This restricts the levels that the
book can go to, which makes the
entire story seem simplistic at some

is a nice variety of nimble 125s and
monstrous 600ccs. It would have
been nice to have a reference sheet
explaining the difference among
the bikes, but after a few practice
the differences are apparent.
The multiplayer option is a wel-
come addition to any game, but
here it adds an especially competi-
tive flavor. It is enjoyable to run
your opponents off the road, send-
ing them into a giant cluster of
mulberry bushes.
My biggest complaints are in two
areas: Sound (or lack of), and the
instructions. The outdoor track
modes are silent except for the
sound of the cyclist passing
through the gate, and indoors one
can only hear the cheering of the
crowds. Some country western or
heavy nsetal wouold have beets
appropriate for thse long
endurance races. I also felt the
instructions could have been more
detailed; although most players
will be familiar with motorcycles,
the newbie has few references to
turn to for engine specifications.
But overall, "Motocross Madness
2" is a well-made, attractive and
enormously entertaining game. It
definitely has the ability to encom-
pass fans of any genre into the
motorcycle world. Tell me what
could be better than flying through
the air, landing on your side, and
emerging completely unscathed?
Not much.

Couresy o croso
points. However, the depth to which
she exposes her characters makes
up for this lack of variation in the
plot.
The individuals make the book
hard to put down, but the overall
themes of independence and hope
stay with the reader long after the
details of personal lives are forgot-
ten.
Regina, a divorced African-Amer-
ican woman with two children, still
manages to find herself and happi-
ness after age 40.
Although her friends' lives are not
perfect at the end of the novel, one
still has hope and a feeling that
everything will work out for them
Because it fades out with this sense
of happiness, "If I Could" leaves the
reader fulfilled.

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