8A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 15, 2001
Creative animation puts 'Ico'
at top of pop culture icons
By Matt Grandstaff
Weekend, Etc. Editor
Every so often, pop culture pro-
best described as
For Playstation 2
where they are,
moments that are
"The Never End-
ing Story" in
film to Radio-
well - crafted
the ability to
make one forget
what they were
casted to a tomb in a giant castle.
After freeing himself from the tomb,
Ico discovers a girl trapped in a
giant cage named Jorda. Being a
"horny" and courageous little guy,
Ico rescues the girl from the cage
only to have shadowy figures try to
steal her and take her to hell (i.e.
just like those little bastards that
take people to.hell in the film,
"Ghost.") It is at this point that the
adventures of"Ico" truly begin.
With little background of what is
going on, ganers must now figure
out what to do on their own. In a
short time it is realized that your
goal is to escape from the castle
with Jorda. This nakes for an inter-
esting gaming experience as Ico
must keep his eye on Jorda at all
times, as different forms of the
shadowy figures will constantly try
to take her away. This is not that
daunting of a task, as the shadowy
figures do not put up much of a
fight. The real challenge is getting
doing and even what world they are
in. Similar in this fashion, Sony's
"Ico" for Playstation 2 has these
same elements, making it a memo-
As the game starts, you meet Ico,
a boy with horns in his head. As a
result of his "horniness," Ico is out-
Jorda from point A to point B. This
is because Jorda is a wussy little girl
that cannot physically get through
all of the perils that Ico can handle.
As a result, Ico often has to literally
take Jorda by the hand and get her
through danger. This often is more
difficult than one would assume,
because various puzzles need to be
The puzzles that you must figure
out in "Ico" are what really makes
the game shine. Similar in nature to
games from the "Legend of Zelda"
series on Nintendo and the "King's
Quest" series on PC, these puzzles
can have you stuck in an area for
The amazing part is, most of the
puzzles are relatively simple. Most
of the time, garners simply need to
take a step back and examine every
aspect of the area that they are stuck
in. In a fashion similar to how Indi-
ana Jones discovered how to cross
over the canyon at the end of "Indi-
ana Jones and the Last Crusade,"
gainers will figure out puzzles in the
Also adding to the experience of
"Ico" is the amazing graphics and
animation, which make "Ico" look
like a 3-D version of the classic '80s
game, "Prince of Persia."
Set in a vast castle, the scenery of
the game will have onlookers think-
ing they are watching the sequel to
Labyrinth rather than watching a
The animation of the characters
adds to this realism, as characters
Ico and Jorda have some of the most
fluid and realistic movements ever
seen in a videogame.
While "lco" offers unique game-
play and great graphics, the game is
extremely short. The average gamer
should complete "Ico" in less than
ten hours and probably will have no
desire to beat the game again.
Nevertheless, for those few hours,
gamers are immersed into a enchant-
ing world.-that is without a doubt be
one of the most memorable
videogame experiences ever.
"No, I swear you guys, this show is a lot different than the 12,000 other law shows out there."
Courtesy of NBC.
'Criminal Intent' promises
interesting slant on venerable'
justice system drama series,
By Rohith Thumanti
For the Daily
There simply is not a better television franchise
than NBC's "Law & Order." You can catch the original
on Wednesday nights, "Special Victims Unit" on Fri-
day and starting this season, "Law & Order: Criminal
Intent" on Sundays.
Like most other NBC primetime shows, "Law &
Order: Cl" is set
Law & Orter:
Sundays at 9p.m.
,: ? 'y'n :: -.
in New York City. You'd think a net-
work with a head of entertainment
whose title is "President, NBC
West Coast" would have a bit more
geographical diversity. Go figure.
Fortunately, "Criminal Intent"
does not dilute the "Law & Order"
brand name - something every
spin-off runs the risk of doing. If
the season premiere, which fea-
tures the police chasing a gang of
coke-addicted jewel thieves, is any
indication of what to expect from
'the new series, it promises to be a
pretty interesting series.
Vincent Donofrio's (Gomer Pyle
in "Full Metal Jacket") Detective
Horns makes life hard for leo. Doesn't help to have a wussy girl by your side too.
Robert Goren plays a very logical and calculating
detective, willing to do whatever it takes to apprehend
For example, in the premiere, he lies to the girl-
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friend of the gang's ringleader by saying her boyfriend
gave her HIV. His clever action is so effective she
leads Detective Goren right to him. Donofrio plays the
character well, but he is written as if he is omnipotent.
Hopefully his character will show some faults in
upcoming episodes, since infallible heroes really are
not any fun.
Goren's partner, Detective Alexandria Eames, is
competently played by Katherine Erbe, but at times
she delivers her lines rather woodenly. This may
explain why she hasn't been in anything notable since
"What About Bob."
Jamey Sheridan's Captain James Deakins ("Chicago
Hope") role so far just seems like a typical hard-
nosed, cynical captain, but hopefully he will get a bit
more character development as the season goes on.
Rounding out the regular cast is Assistant District
Attorney Ron Carver, played astutely by Courtney B.
Vance ("Space Cowboys"), who, like the detectives,
has no problem lying to suspects to get them to do
what he wants.
Some cheesy lines mar the script ("Bad guys do
what good guys dream"), but for the most part "Law
& Order: Criminal Intent" is a well written show with
well-researched characters. While there are certainly a
plethora of cop shows on TV these days, this one stays
fresh throughout. Let's just hope the inevitable
crossovers with the other "Law & Order" shows is
kept to a minimum, there is no way I can spend two
more hours watching TV a week.
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