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January 16, 2002 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-01-16

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 16, 2002
'Super Smash Bros. Melee'
fine for Nintendo nostalgia

ARTS

Artists utilize three
different mediums
in Union showcase

0

" By Rohith Thumati
For the Daily
If you want a new and original video gaming
experience, do not look to "Super Smash Bros.
Melee." Check out "Pikmin"
or "Super Monkey Ball" for
Grade: A the GameCube, or "Frequen-
cy," "Rez" and "Grand Theft
Super Smash Auto 3" on the Playstation 2
Bros. Melee instead. But, if you want a
GameCube game that is a blast to play
Nintendo with friends, is easy to get
into, and cannot be beat as
far as multi-player fighters
go, "Smash Bros. Melee" cannot be beat.
Nintendo basically put the original N64 ver-
sion of "Super Smash Bros." on a diet of andro
and ereatine and came up with "Melee." The
game pits all of Nintendo's most famous mas-
cots such as Mario and Pikachu in deathmatch-
es.
Differentiating "Melee" from other fighting
games is how "falls" (kills) are performed -
rather than having to deplete an opponent's life
meter, the opponent has to be knocked off of the
playing field, which is made easier the higher
the damage he or she takes. Also, up to four
people can play at the same time, something that
no other major fighting game, save for the
Xbox's "Dead or Alive 3," can boast.
Setting the game apart even further apart from
typical fighters are the power-ups that litter the
playing field, almost all of which are based upon
actual Nintendo games. The power-ups range
from health items such as Heart Containers
(from the "Legend of Zelda" games) to offen-
sive weapons such as the Super Scope (an actual
light gun accessory for the Super Nintendo) and
Pokeballs, which spawn a random Pok6mon.
There are 14 chiaracters immediately playable,
with I 1 more unlockable, for a total of 25 usable
characters once certain goals have been met.
The other characters immediately playable range
from well-known heroes such as Link, Donkey
Kong and Samus to more obscure ones such the
Ice Climbers (from the obscure game on the
original Nintendo, and you control both of them
at the same time) and Ness (from the Super Nin-
tendo game "Earthbound").
While most of the secret characters are clones
of others just with tweaks to their speed and
power, each character plays completely different
from another, require unique strategies and offer
something different to the gamer. Be it the hyper
aggressive, counter-happy or anywhere in
between, the wide variety in characters allows
nearly everyone to find a character that is best
suited to his or her style. And while it may be
tempting to write off some characters such as
Princess Zelda and Princess Peach as jokes,
you'll stop laughing when they're knocking you
out for the fifth time in as many minutes. These
girls can hit. Hard.

The environments are all keyed to certain
characters and are extremely varied, ranging
from relatively calm and standard as far as
fighters go (Pok~mon Stadium) to almost like a
platforming game, as the Ice Climber's Infinite
Glacier can attest.
One key difference in the environments as
compared to the N64 version is that they gener-
ally are much smaller and have a lot going on.
For example, on the Mute City F-Zero level, the
fight takes place during a race, replete with cars
zooming through the field of play and moving
platforms. This makes for a far more frenetic
pace and much more chaos in the course of the
battle than could be found in the original
"Smash Bros." or any fighter, for that matter.
Melee features graphics that any game con-
sole would envy. It is clear that something of
this caliber simply could not be made with less-
er hardware. While it is not life-like (purposely),
details such as the denim texture on Mario's
overalls are incredibly realistic. The characters
are supremely fluid, with even long hair moving
believably -- one of the tougher things to do in
a video game.
The sound is also top notch. From remixes of
the original "Mario" theme and the DK Rap
from "Donkey Kong 64" to stirring renditions of
the Overworld Theme from "The Legend of
Zelda," the score is simply incredible. Throw in
sound effects that are spot-on, and you get a
game that is as sure to please aurally as visually.
The heart of the game is the multi-player.
There are several different modes to choose
from: Stock (set limit of lives per player), time
(most number of kills in a given amount of
time), coin (get as many coins by beating
opposing players up as much as possible in a
certain amount of time) and bonus (most style
points wins). Up to four people can play, but
the computer can take any unfilled slots, if
you wish.
If there is one weak spot in this game, it has
to be the single-player mode. It is impossible to
realize within the first few minutes of playing
the single-player game that this game, as well as
its predecessor, was meant to be a multi-player
game, pure and simple. It is not that there isn't a
lot to do - there is.
"Melee" boasts not only a version of the sin-
gle-player mode from the original, but also a
new "adventure" mode, an event mode that
places the player in special circumstances, sev-
eral training modes and 300-plus trophies that
feature characters, objects, places and moments
from Nintendo's illustrious past. They can
only really be collected by going through
the single player games dozens upon
dozens of times. The real question is,
why would anyone bother with it
once all the secret characters and
stages have been achieved?
Having said that, no Game-
Cube library can be considered

By Sonya Sutherland
Daily Arts Writer
The chances to be part of the
"nu-art" movement on this cam-

3 Artists in 3
Dimensions
Michigan Union
Through Friday
host to a share

pus are rare. A
trip to the 'D'
or fabulous
Ferndale is
just about the
only way to
enjoy fine art
receptions.
Fortunately
for those
wanting to
culture them-
selves or per-
h a p s
appreciate
"nu-art," the
'U' serves as
of talented stu-

complete without this game. As many other
reviewers have stated, Melee is Nintendo's ulti-
mate self-tribute, and the attention to detail is
simply ridiculous. "Super Smash Bros. Melee"
is the ultimate party game. The game is simply a
riot to play with friends. "Tekken Tag Tourna-
ment" or "Marvel Vs. Capeom 2" may beat
"Melee" in technical
ability, and "Dead or
Alive 3" may be pret-
tier, but none can top
it in fen, and
isn't that
why we play
games in the
'# first place'?

dents and their installations. This
Friday brings one of those oppor-
tunities that you, living in this day
and age 'of boy bands and Nelly,
shduldn't pass up if you ever want
to be considered "cultured." The
second floor of the Michigan
Union's study room hosts a trip-
tych installation featuring the
fibers of Julia Klein, photography
and clothing of Sarah Burger and
sculpture by Andreas Garces.
This Friday's reception marks
the closing of the fortnight exhi-
bition, which combines the differ-
ent artistic mediums and
expressions as parts of a greater
whole. "We are all working differ-
ent media -- if you look at it, it's
not necessarily related in a way
but it all complements each other.
I think it's neat when you can find
connections between things that'
don't seem to have anything
between them," said Klein about
the inter-relationships found
among the different pieces. "You
don't get bored of looking at it -
there are lot of different ways to
approach it."
The photography and clothing
in Sarah Burger's current installa-
tion reflects the issue of gender
neutrality, a pattern present in
some of her past short film work.
"I would love it if everyone had
more of a gender neutrality. Some-

where between male and female
- if you look at the photos close-
ly - there is a picture of a person
wearing a bald cap and I think that
gender is linked in this instance to
taking away the hair," said Burger.
She expanded on that idea,
remarking, "I tried to do as much
to disregard gender as I could
while still maintaining the look I
wanted. With the mannequin, for
example, I tried to do with as little
anatomy as possible."
While Burger takes a more
defined approach to her art, the
fabric work of Klein invites the
viewer to make his or her own
interpretations regarding the use
of repetition. "I don't want to say
anything that makes static the
meaning of my pieces. I'm not
really interested in that I don't
have a message," said Klein. "I'm
interested in patterns and rectan-
gles and squares and things being
repeated."
Tying together with the other
two, Garces' sculpture is a explo-
ration of lines and space which
rely on pattern to convey a mes-
sage. In the case of his installa-
tions, Garces wanted to compose
space, planes and lines with
respect to the idea of take over. "I
had two objects and I wanted to
make one seem like it was over-
whelming the other. It'is set up so
that the bigger one has a move-
ment that overwhelms the smaller
one and the smaller one is kind of
reeling or crouching beneath the
larger piece." As far as the inspira-
tion for this concept, Garces said,
"I started off studying synergy
which is growth formation, pat-
terns of growth in nature and I
started making models. That's
what I do. It's very entertaining
creating rhythms and movement in
space - it's very exciting."
Unity and relationship, gender
issues and space concepts provide
the environment for this installa-
tion. Even with only the intent to
look more educated, five minutes
at this thought provoking event
will get you a lifetime pass to the
"I'm now cultured" club and you
don't even have to leave Ann
Arbor.

Courtesy of Nintendo
Link is one of several
classic Nintendo
characters to choose
from in 'Smash Bros.'

9

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