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September 25, 2002 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-09-25

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ART S

The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 25, 2002 - 9

UPN introduces new 'The Twilight Zone'

By Mayukh Raychaudhuri
For the Daily

Courtesy of SCEA
The whole thing stank, but my nose had been out in the cold for too long.
'SOCOM'i-m-presses

By Matt Grandstaff
Daily Arts Writer
For those out there who are still skep-
tical about taking their PlayStation 2
online, its time to get your head out of
your ass. The reason: Sony's stealth-
action title "SOCOM: Navy SEALs"
will blow you out of the water.
At the heart of "SOCOM" is its
online multiplayer mode, where up to
16 players (eight per team) can partici-
pate in team-based tactical fighting.
Here a group of Navy SEALs are paired
against a group of terrorists in levels
designed for unbelievable cat-and-
mouse tactics. Additionally, online
gainers are given the choice of three

For those not ready to go broad-
band, "SOCOM" does offer a chal-
lenging, yet enjoyable one-player
experience. With 16 unique stages that
range from swampy jungles to blind-
ing snow levels, gainers will rarely
find the experience to be anything but
amazing. Lacking the assistance of
human-controlled teammates found in
the multiplayer mode, gainers now
take the lead of each stealth mission
with the help of three computer-con-
trolled teammates. Like the multiplay-
er mode, communication with
teammates is necessary. With the deci-
sions of these AI-based SEALs vary-
ing from brilliant to retarded, gamer
will either need to memorize a slew of

Who gave these people the right to
update "The Twilight Zone?" Other
than the fact that it's an anthology
series, which lifts the burden of
recasting classic characters, what
separates this show from others in
the canon of great television?
My guess is that "The Twilight
Zone," unlike "I Love Lucy" or
"Bonanza" has the unique, albeit
vague role in television history of
making its audience think, and not
just about politics. The original series
left its viewers with enough discom-
fort and uncertainty to spur a second
wave of McCarthyism. Instead of
becoming a political vehicle, it was a
popular success.
To live up to that standard
requires, above all else, a great deal
of ambition, and the new version of
the show, which airs Wednesday
nights at 9 on UPN, is very ambi-
tious. The choice of film actor For-
rest Whitaker as the host is
testimony to that. Whitaker is the
perfect update of the creepy but

largely unsuccessful
because of its heavy-
handedness and lack
of originality and
wit. Jenna, a rebel-
lious teenage girl
with piercings and
tattoos - played
energetically by
Amber Tamblyn -
moves with her fami-

THE TWILIGHT
ZONE
Wednesdays at 9 p.m.
UPN

er version of the
much-borrowed Shirley
Jackson short story "The
Lottery." There is little
room for wit in the
script, and by the end
the viewer is neither
involved nor interested
in the outcome. There's
an amusing mis-step in
the plot in which Jenna,
deprived of all connec-

alluring Rod Serling, pleasant but
slightly nervous, his expression
tinged with paranoia.
The show is split into two half-
hour stories that don't stray very far
from the tried and true formula of
an alienated protagonist who finds
him/herself in a strange and oppres-
sive circumstance.
The first, titled "Evergreen," is

the next day to find her tattoos sur-
gically removed and her hair back to
its natural color. All of this makes
her very upset, but not as upset as
she gets when she starts to fall for
an equally rebellious boy and finds
out what happens to teenagers who
refuse to conform.
The story follows a largely pre-
dictable path and is basically anoth-

The second half of the show,
"One Night at Mercy," is far more
entertaining, mainly due to the per-
formance of Jason Alexander as
Death, who is depressed and shares
his plight in a series of heart-to-
hearts with Dr. Jay Ferguson, a new
resident who begins the show by
saving his first life. The premise of
the story involves Death deciding
that he's worn out and needs to take
a break, and the young doctor learn-
ing a few life lessons in dealing
with the situation.
Alexander's character is written
well, reviving the brand of nervous
laughter-inducing humor of the
original series. Alexander's response
when the doctor realizes that he
really is speaking to Death: "You
wanna hit me? It's all right. Go
ahead, I understand." Funny, weird
and entirely fitting.
Ultimately, the success of the
show will rely on the writing and its
choice of actors. Shannon Elizabeth
stars in this week's episode. Enough
said? Maybe not. Will the show ever
live up to its legendary predecessor?
Definitely not.

ly into a gated community that
keeps drugs, alcohol and other
undesirable elements out with
excessive supervision of the Presi-
dent George W. Bush "a good neigh-
bor is a good spy" variety. Upon
arrival to their new home, Jenna is
drugged by her mother (now that's
some hard lemonade!) and wakes up

seemingly

tions to the outside world, looks
something up on the Internet that
without much effort reveals the
town's conspiracy. You'd think that
in a place where a pack of cigarettes
has to be smuggled, they'd restrict
the Internet. What about keeping
kids safe from all the porn?

game settings: suppres-
sion (where one team
must kill off all opposing
forces), demolition (a
capture-the-flag inspired
mode in which gainers
must grab a bomb and
place it in the opposing
team's base) and hostage
rescue (where SEALs try
to save hostages, while

SOCOM
For Playstation 2
SCEA

voice commands (highly
recommended) or use
button commands to
keep them from blowing
your cover. Gainers will
find mastering the voice
commands will not only
make them better at the
multiplayer mode, but
also give them the feel-
ing of being at the head

terrorists try to stop them). Unlike other
multiplayer games, where various set-
tings and levels are either hit or miss,
each of these modes combined with dif-
ferent levels will result in sleepless
nights. Nobody said being a Navy
SEAL would be easy.
To make things even more addictive,
Sony has packaged in a Logitech-
designed USB headset for communicat-
ing with team members. Similar to
using a walkie talkie, garners simply
need to hold down the circle button on
their Dual Shock to relay messages to
team members. This comes in handy, as
gamers can form intense game plans on
how to thwart their opponent.
The only downside to the network
play of "SOCOM" is that the game
requires a broadband connection and
Sony's $40 network adapter. But like a
junkie in need of his crack fix, money
no longer is a factor once you have
played "SOCOM." Like a resourceful
SEAL, gamers will have to make sacri-
fices, such as limiting Taco Bell rations
or becoming friends with dorm-
* dwelling freshmen.

of a real military squad.
Complementing one of the best
gameplay experiences on the PlaySta-
tion 2, "SOCOM" boasts outstanding
visual and audio effects. Combining
intense Dolby Pro Logic II sound with
progressive-scan video for digital TVs
(previously only seen with GameCube
and Xbox games), "SOCOM" is a treat
for the eyes and ears.
COLD SORES?
Before LYCALLOINTMENT, all the
drug store had for cold sores were
pall iatives to soothe and coat, or
local anesthetics to reduce the
pain while the unsightly cold sore
ran its course of a week or more.
Apply LYCALLOINTMENT at the
first sign, and it may not break out
at all. Or if it has, LYCALLOINT-
MENT may help get rid of it in a
day or two. Call your dru g ist. He
can get LYCALLOINTMENT from
his wholesaler, usually in a day.
Accept no substitute.
Satisfaction guaranteed.
Or call 800-338-0857

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