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November 19, 2002 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-11-19

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


Tuesday
November 19, 2002
michigandaily.com/arts
nae@michigandaily.com

ARTS

5

'Curves' boasts great
female performances

By John Laughlin
Daily Arts Writer
The world we live in today bom-
bards us with images of how to act,
what to wear, say and what to look
like. Various media point to an ideal

who verbally abuses Ana with com-
ments on her weight. Carmen loves
her daughter, but constantly
reminds her of her physical fullness.
A look of pain is usually on Ana's
face and eventually that look turns
to action with a coup in the sweat-

Courtesy o Konam'

"Metal Gear Solid 2: Subtance" offers fans more of what
By Luke Smith
Daily Arts Editor

they want, Solid Snake himself.

ously unpl
ty"). The S
to the "Son

"Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance" is less of a sequel tales not ne
than Rocktar North's "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City." Despite
The graphics haven't been updated from the "Sons of Plant, Kon
Liberty" vintage on last year's PS2 title. However, ing sequen
"Substance" wasn't designed with the spirit of the bly 4nfortu
sequel in mind. There will no doubt be
a "Metal Gear 3," but the XBox's S
"Substance" is not it. Keeping this in
mind, this "Metal Gear" series redux is * *
one of the finest games to hit shelves L GEAR
this year.
The game's storyline is identical to SOLID 2:
"Sons of Liberty," with two chapters SUBSTANCE
taking place on the Tanker and Plant. For XBox
Like "Sons of Liberty," gamers will
control series legend Solid Snake Konami
through the Tanker, and play an entire-
ly new character Raiden through the Plant chapter. sions using
The character change was one of the biggest com- missions (
plaints from the series' die hard fans - "Sons of ends), elim
Liberty" gamers were unpleasantly surprised to be eliminated
playing a "Metal Gear" game without controlling ing third pe
the star of the series. Also wit
Executive producer and series creator Hideo Kojima are a serie
attempts to lessen fans' disdain for the lack of a missions, i
playable Solid Snake in "Sons of Liberty" by includ- trol Raider
ing tons of Solid Snake in "Substance." In addition to the game's
the regular Tanker-Plant scenario, there are now the ments -
all-new "Snake Tales" where players control Solid Plant. Man
Snake on five missions of varying difficulty - part of missions a
these missions take place on the Tanker, where Snake to the star
was previously unplayable. The "Snake Tales" are (with elimi
designed with the advanced "Metal Gear" gamer in turebomb
mind. In the first "Tale," Snake is armed with no an extensio
weapon and just an RP Sensor, which vibrates the con- points in "S
troller with enemy heart rhythms getting faster as they The coni
get closer. His mission takes place on the Plant (previ- are very

ayable with Solid Snake in "Sons of Liber-
nake Tales take place in a parallel universe
is of Liberty" plotline with the events of the
ecessarily falling into the "Liberty" story.
the ability to play as Solid Snake on the
ami did not add any additional voice-act-
nces with David Hayter - which is terri-
nate, as Hayter is arguably as much a part
of the "Metal Gear Solid" series as
Kojima is.
The playable Solid Snake stretches far
further than the "Snake Tales" series, as
deep as the extras in "Substance" allow.
Konami has included scores of VR mis-
sions, playable with Raiden and Solid
Snake as well as secret characters that
have their own extensive set of VR mis-
sions. The VR missions are comprised
of sections where gainers will learn each
weapon of the game (Raiden has mis-
the HF Blade, Snake does not), sneaking
where if seen, the mission immediately
nination mode (where all enemies must be
without being seen) and the new, interest-
erson mode.
hin the VR missions
es of "Alternative"'
hi which players con-
n or Snake in one of
two central environ-
the Tanker or the
y of the A lternative ar t
re similarly themed
ndard VR missions
ination) but also fea-
disposal missions -
n of one of the plot
Sons of Liberty."
trols for "Substance"
responsive. "Sub- One of the many VR

stance" has considerably more feel on the XBox than
it did on PS2, with Snake and Raiden being even more
responsive to the pressure sensitive XBox controller
than the PS2 counterpart. The game's control setup is
more conducive to game play than the PS2 version.
Konami's "Substance" is not, however, without
flaws. Because the game wasn't designed for the
XBox specifically, and certainly wasn't retooled in any
major way to utilize the more powerful Xbox engine
and graphics system - "Substance" is simply a port.
And from time to time, not even a great port at that.
During the early sequences in the game, there is some
slowdown. The pouring rain Solid Snake maneuvers
through when outside slows that entire portion down.
Similarly, when in the VR mode, the Stinger missile
launcher and the explosions it causes, have displayed
slowdown as well.
This is not Microsoft's fault, instead, blame can be
pointed in the general direction of Konami, who
rushed the Xbox version to shelves and left these mis-
takes.
With "Substance" XBox users finally get to play
"Metal Gear 2" in Kojima's own words, "the way it
was intended to be played." The complete storyline
from "Sons of Liberty" is intact,
jarring and awkward as bits of it
are, but the extra modes and fea-
tures comprising the VR Mis-
sions and Snake Tales make
"Substance,"despite its occa-
sionalslowdown, the definitive
version of "Metal Gear 2." It
remains to seen if there will be
added extras and features on top
of theXBoxversion, when the
game hits shelves for PS2 in the
first quarter of 2003, but until
then, garners should enjoy one of
Courtesy of Konami the finest titles of the year in all
nissions. of its glory.

body type which many young girls shop of m
seek to attain, but for
many may prove genet-
ically impossible.
"Real Women Have ***
Curves" is not the sim-
ple story of "the over- REAL WOMEN
weight girl with inner HAVE CURVES
beauty" that films such
as "Shallow Hal" and At Madstone
others have capitalized Newmarket Films
on. "Real Women" is
the story of a young
Latina girl, growing up in a tradi- control o
tional family, who does not wish to mother co
remain isolated in the world she and curse
grew up in. When Ana
Ana (America Ferrara) has just and atten(
graduated from High School in Bev- ship, she i
erly Hills, but unlike other students independen
she does not come from a wealthy she knows
family. Her father is a gardener and While th
the women in her family work in ty is at wo
Ana's sister's dress shop - or rather, tor Patricia
sweat shop. Literally the women make it th
sweat at work since fans are not reason th
allowed due to the dust that would work on r
collect on the fabrics. Working long family an
hours on dresses that are made for a growing u
minute fraction of the sale price, notably by
these women have a bond with one Ana is an
another and are quite reluctant to let world of d
Ana enter their "sewing circle" for victory thr
summer work. inner stren
Having visions of going to col- With its
lege (more specifically, Columbia), plistic cam
Ana protests at her sister's shop and its pacing
does nothing but stir up trouble. The male. Cine
trouble she causes is usually met acter deve
with anger from her mother Carmen throughou
(Lupe Ontineros, "Chuck & Buck"), gains anyi

most comical, but telling
proportions.
There is a love inter-
est in the film, but one
that exists for Ana to be
able to stand strong in
her femininity and feel
beautiful. She does not
choose to remain tradi-
tional and keep her vir-
ginity. She has sex
because she wants to
and in doing so asserts
ver her self-image. Her
mes to suspect this action
s her daughter violently.
decides to defy her mother
d Columbia on a scholar-
s finally able to assert her
rnce and become the woman
she is.
he play on inner/outer beau-
rk in "Real Women," direc-
a Cardoso has chosen not to
e focal point. It is for this
at the film is allowed to
many levels ranging from
id identity to a story of
p. The performances, most
the women, are laudable.
element introduced into a
defeated selves and brings
ough her very presence and
gth.
low-budget feel and sim-
nerawork the film falters in
and representation of the
ematically speaking, char-
lopment is only dispersed
at the film and one never
real insight into the men of
d. While the strength of the
s feminist statement, its
lies in the credibility of the
mien. Ana's teacher, her
grandfather,tor anyother
nteracts with are simply too
nd too easily manipulated.
s is most likely directorial
helps show the strength of
acter, the male characters'
mbivalence towards her and
of development weakens
bility and undermines the
ntent of the film.

Ana's worl
film is its
weakness i
various im
boyfriend,
men she in
fleeting an
While this
intent andl
Ana's char,
extreme am
their lack
their credi
feminist in

Courtesy of Newmarket Films
Looks like a toothpaste ad.

Rm

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