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January 09, 2002 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-01-09

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Weekend Etc.
Weekend Etc. magazine
makes a sundry return from
their holiday break Thursday.

ARTS

michigandaily.com/arts

WEDNESDAY
JANUARY 9, 2002

5

TV/VIDEO GAMES SOUND OFF ON '01

New systems emerge, old consoles die:
PS2 controls video game market in 2001

By Jeff Dickerson and Matt Grandstaff
Daily Arts Editors
Following the tragic events of Sept. 11, death and
violence became a sensitive issue for Americans. In
the world of video games, the issue of death and
violence had a much different impact on the year
that was 2001.
Death first struck the video game world in Janu-
ary, when video game giant Sega and their Dream-
cast system threw in the towel. Purchased primarily
by hardcore gainers, the Dreamcast quickly fell off
the face of the map following the release of Sony's
Playstation 2 in October of 2000. Sega fought hard
until the end, dropping the price of the unit to a
mere 50 dollars, but casual gamers looked past the
aged console. Fortunately for game fans, Sega has
decided to focus on software which means its popu-
lar "Sonic the Hedgehog" and "Phantasy Star"
games will live on via newer systems.
While Dreamcast may have been the most supris-
ing death in the video game business, 2001 also
saw the end for three other systems: Nintendo 64,
Game Boy Color and the original Playstation. Nin-
tendo 64, while great for multi-player games and
classic Nintendo updates, will be remembered
more for delayed games, blurry graphics and out-
dated cartridges. As for the Game Boy Color and
Playstation, their deaths were imminent with the
releases of their backwards compatible successors,
Game Boy Advance and Playstation 2.
In addition to the Game Boy Advance (the 32-bit
handheld which became the prized possession of
millions this summer), 2001 also brought two new

When you're a vampire slayer, you're a vampire slayer all the way.
Buffy, A-merica
shine in 2001
television wrap-up

contenders to the next-generation console race,
Microsoft's Xbox and Nintendo's GameCube.
Released within a week of each other in November,
both systems managed to boast impressive sales
during the holiday season, with many parents
searching the ends of the earth to find an Xbox or
GameCube. Microsoft announced it has sold
approximately 1.5 million units from the launch
date to the end of 2001, a number Bill Gates and
Co. can be more than pleased with. Reportedly,
Nintendo has sold similar numbers, but the PS2
continued to be the best-selling hardware unit in the
crucial time-frame.
With a competitive game industry on the hori-
zon, video game publishers released a slew of titles
on several systems, with some companies choosing
exclusive rights to a hardware publisher. Square
maintained its powerful collaboration with Sony,
releasing the 10th installment of the ever-popular
Final Fantasy series on Playstation 2 in December.
Nintendo focused on rehashing older titles at the
launch of the system, putting out such remakes as
Waverace and Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Microsoft went for more originality for its system's
debut, releasing exclusive titles such as the critical-
ly acclaimed first-person shooter "Halo."
Perhaps no game was as talked about in 2001 as
much as Rockstar Game's "Grand Theft Auto 3."
Released in October for PS2, the game contains all
the elements of a classic Victorian novel: Gang
wars, stealing cars, beating up prostitutes and the
occasional assassination. Stores around the country
refused to sell the game, but that didn't do anything
but help the tremendous buzz surrounding the con-
troversial game.
Another candidate for game of the year was the
highly anticipated sequel to Konami's 1998 hit
"Metal Gear Solid." Garners waited months for the
release, with some left scratching their heads at the
convoluted plot and others drooling at the innova-
tive gameplay.
Sequels were rampant across all genres of
gaming this past
year, producing

some of the finest entertainment in the process.
"Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3," "SSX Tricky" and
"Madden NFL 2002" made vital improvements,
keeping their respective series fresh and endlessly
playable.
What might the future of video games hold?
Sony will push online gaming in the coming year,
while Nintendo and Microsoft try to maintain their
strong starts. With three
strong next-generation
video game systems
available, 2002 looks to
be an exciting year for
those still fascinated by
the bloops and bleeps of
the current batch of new
gaming consoles.

1. "America: A Tribute to
Heroes" - On Sept. 21, television
history was made. In an unprece-
dented multi-network event, the
entertainment industry's elite stood
together for a wide-scaled tribute to
the victims of Sept. I in "America:
A Tribute to Heroes." After Sept.
11, the television medium literally
became a "window to the world," as
heartbreaking and staggering
images filled the television screen.
This star-studded tribute paid
homage to America's fallen
brethren in New York and Washing-
ton, and raised millions of dollars
as well. Tom Hanks eloquently cate-
gorized the event as a chance for
V entertainers "to raise spirits as well
as lots of money." While many stars
like Hanks, Julia Roberts, George
Clooney and Tom Cruise described
their own reactions to the tragedy as
well as stories of incredible
courage, other stars like Jack
Nicholson, Whoopi Goldberg and
Robin Williams sat ready to answer
phones. The tribute also featured
incredible performances by Jon Bon
Jovi, Bruce Springsteen and Billy
Joel. "A Tribute to Heroes" provid-
ed a lasting image of a community,
one usually riddled with strife and
scandal, which can come together
and share a common goal and
express the grief of a stunned
nation. It also pulled in $150 mil-
lion for the Sept. 11 th Fund.
2. David Letterman - After
the events of Sept. I 1th, New York
mayor Rudy Guiliani urged every-
one to go back towork. That first
Monday after the attacks, David
Letterman returned to the air with
more wit and heart than ever. Let-
terman's silly antics gave way to
serious and truthful discourse about
politics and moving forward. He
began awkwardly, but found his
rhythm by just speaking his feel-
ings. His opening remarks echoed
the grief and anger of the entire
nation. His return to work signaled
an attempt to return to a state of
normalcy. Letterman wanted to stay
at home but felt it was his duty to
come back and show the world that
New York and America would not
be held down. Dan Rather and
Regis Philbin were his guests. The
most poignant moment came when
Rather broke down for the second
time and needed a few moments to
regain his composure. This touching
and important show helped to heal
the wounds left by the attacks. After
this first episode, Letterman paid
tribute to the courageous leaders,
firefighters and police officers that
became heroes throughout that dark

day.
3. "South Park" - "Shit" was
uttered 161 times. To illustrate a
point, creators Stone and Parker had
their characters utter a word not
allowed on network TV. That and
the Bin Laden episode have helped
resurrect the show after a dismal
previous two seasons.
4. Tenacious D on Letterman
and Conan - Usually when Letter-
man and Conan O'Brien stop with
their stunts and monologues, it's
time to switch off the TV and sleep.
But the D brought the house down
on both shows, especially their ver-
sion of "Tribute" on Letterman.
5. The World Series - As
much as Bob Costas was sorely
missed on the broadcasting, this
was the best World Series since
1991, and far more entertaining
than any other sports event, espe-
cially the Super Bowl and the dull
college bowl games The Yankees
losing is one thing nobody should
ever get sick of seeing. Seven
games, two dominating teams,'the
way the game was meant to be. If
only they would move up the broad-
casts so more people could watch.
6. The Emmys - Ellen
DeGeneres had one great moment,
speculating how upset the Taliban
must be at a lesbian host surround-
ed by a bunch of Jews. Otherwise,
she wasn't all that funny, shameless-
ly promoting her new show. At least
Edie Falco, James Gandolfini, and
"The West Wing" won. But c'mon,
"Sex and the City" as best comedy?
The best part about the Emmy
broadcast was their joke about
updating viewers on the World
Series score. So Fox trumped them
and updated viewers on the Emmy
results. Fox 1, ABC 0.
7. CBS is back - "Survivor:
Africa" inexplicably is still pulling
in viewers, but CBS is finally giv-
ing viewers a reason to watch
before Letterman. "Becker," "CSI,"
"Everyone Loves Raymond" and
"Yes, Dear" are all pulling in sur-
prising ratings, forcing the other
networks to take them seriously.
8. Buffy: the musical - Why
did UPN steal the show away from
the WB? Episodes like this. This
season hasn't been the best, but the
show clearly stood out, especially
on Tuesday nights full of new talent
("Scrubs," "24").
9. "Band of Brothers" and "Six
Feet Under" debut on HBO -
HBO is, on certain days (Sundays in
particular) an excuse by itself to
have cable TV. "Band of Brothers"
was a powerful war drama and "Six
Feet Under" continues the quirky
tradition of HBO original shows.
Maybe the networks should pay
attention and learn to develop
shows as well.made ("Bob Patter-
son," anybody?)
10. Ross is announced as the
father of Rachel's baby on
-I.-.-- 11 A rC. -v nl...nn

Impressive titles "Grand Theft Auto
3" and "Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of
Liberty" led Playstation 2 to great heights in
2001.

courtesy of Rockstar Games

C.ourtesy01of onail

A retrospective on last year's TV losses

By Jennifer Fogel
Daily Arts Writer
This year the TV community lost
some icons, both to death and can-
cellation. In a year with few quality
TV debuts, the losses are that much
more significant. Compiled here is
a short list of those who we will
miss from television.
Jack Lemmon (1925-2001) -
Along with strong performances in
television movies like "Inherit the
Wind" and "12 Angry Men," Lem-
mon captured the hearts of audi-
ences with his incredible portrayal
of Morrie Schwartz in "Tuesdays
with Morrie." Lemmon turned act-
ing into an art form, inspiring hun-
dreds of other actors, including
Ving Rhames who practically
"gave" his Golden Globe award to
his fellow nominee.
Carroll O'Connor (1924-2001)
- O'Connor will forever be
remembered as a patriarch. As the
set-in-his-ways father of the dys-
functional Bunker bunch, he never
quite got his foot out of his mouth
during the run of the series, but the
man behind Archie Bunker always
knew what he was doing - forcing
the audience into social discussion.
After his stint on "All in the Fami-
ly," O'Connor once again took on
the role of the patriarch as Sheriff
Bill Gillespie on "In the Heat of the
Night."
Behind the scenes, O'Connor was
a father struggling to keep his own
family together only to face the
grief from the loss of his son.

A mentor to many actors, O'Con-
nor ushered in a new geperation of
actors who have desperately tried to
recreate the talent of this fallen star.
William Hanna (1910-2001)
- One half of the dynamic anima-
tion duo of cartoon powerhouse
Hanna /Barbera, William Hanna
enjoyed a wonderful career full of
characters'like Huckleberry Hound,
Scooby Doo and The Flintstones.
Hanna and partner, Joseph Barbera,
effectively paved the way for mod-
ern animated sitcoms like "The
Simpsons."
Christopher Hewett (1922-
2001) - As America's' beloved
steward, Mr. Belvedere, Hewett
served his "typical American fami-
ly" with humorous disdain. Fading
from the limelight after the end of
the show, Hewett died from compli-
cations from diabetes.
"Mister Rogers' Neighbor-
hood" (1966-2001) - Fred
Rogers hosted this beloved chil-
dren's television program that fea-
tured an imaginary world with
puppets living in a medieval- type
kingdom. Saying his last "won't
you be my neighbor," the host
ended his run after 35 years.
"3rd Rock from the Sun"
(1996-2001) - After playing
aliens playing humans for six sea-
sons, John Lithgow, French Stew-
art, Kristen Johnston and Jordan
Gordon-Levitt said goodbye and
headed back to that big head in the

award-winning NBC ratings giant,
original cast member, Eric La Salle
left his position at County General.
In a wonderfully subdued episode,
Dr. Benton chose his child over his
career and gracefully takes a new
position at another hospital. La
Salle's departure leaves only
Anthony Edwards and Noah Wyle
of the original "ER" crew, (the
returning Sherry Stringfield as Dr.
Susan Lewis doesn't count) and
Edwards is headed out the door at
the end of the season.

Lemmon and friend.

''Eonhlu'

I1

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