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January 29, 2004 - Image 18

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-01-29

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6B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend Mfagazie - Thursday, January 29, 2004
Spots wings best bet for Super Bowl shindig

The Michigan Daily - Weekend Mtagzin

EA Big's new release
as real as the Streets

By Anthea Stolz
Daily Arts Writer
Super Bowl Sunday: time to watch
the two best teams in the NFL, analyze
outrageously expensive commercials
and if you're hosting a Super Bowl,
figure out how to feed the slew of
friends piling in your just-too-small
living room. Assuming that you are
feeding a bunch of carnivores, chicken
wings or buffalo wings are a great
solution. Small yet filling, messy and
carpet staining (but who really cares
anyway, you're only renting the
house!) wings provide a quick and
easy solution for feeding the masses.
I scanned the menus posted on eat-
blue.com to identify the businesses
within the community that carry
wings. To both simplify the host's
responsibilities and for the sake of con-
venience, the search was limited to
those places that delivered. Pizza and
chicken wings go hand in hand on
many menus, including Bell's Pizza,
Domino's Pizza, Hungry Howie's,
Leonardo's, NYPD and Pizza House.
Mr. Spots was the only non-pizza place
to have wings.
Of these, I chose four, represent-
ing different price levels (listed from
least expensive to most expensive):
Hungry Howie's, Bell's Pizza, Mr.
Spots and NYPD. To identify the
best wings, I assembled a group of
friends and a blind - well, almost
blind - taste test.
Hungry Howie's's chicken wings
had the slight disadvantage of arriving
when everyone was seated at my din-
ing room table eagerly awaiting the
beginning of the tasting and, deciding
that they would be best savored in the
piping hot state in which they arrived,
they were not subject to a blind analy-
sis. Howie's's breaded wings were
salty, to the liking of most, and pleas-
antly spiced, although a couple of
tasters complained that they were not
hot enough. I was surprised by how
minimally greasy Howie's' wings
seemed to be compared to their fried
counterparts.
Bell's Pizza made it fairly easy to do

a blind tasting as their wings arrived in
a nondescript brown paper bag sans a
Bell's logo, and even the receipt sta-
pled to the bag bore no telltale mark-
ings identifying the company. If you're
only ordering one order of chicken
wings, this is not a concern, as you
probably remember from where you
ordered. Things can get a little more
complicated if you've got food coming
from half a dozen different places.
After tasting the wings from Bell's,
it occurred to me that maybe they don't
actually want customers to remember
that such sub-par wings had come
from their establishment. Their adver-
tised "chicken wings: hot and spicy"
were far too dry and small, tasteless-
clearly lacking a kick. My experienced
tasters had no trouble identifying Bell's
wings. You get what you pay for.
NYPD's chicken wings were salty
and fried (definitely not too dry), sim-
ilar in texture to Hungry Howie's, but
they are left unseasoned. This wouldn't
have been such an issue had it not been
for the disappearance of the accompa-
nying hot sauce into the deep depths of
my kitchen, never to be found again.
Over-priced and very slow to be deliv-
ered, the wings were better than the
wings from Bell's but not as good as
Hungry Howie's.
If appearance didn't immediately
give away Mr. Spots' wings, taste cer-
tainly did. Mr. Spots lived up to its
reputation for having the best wings in
town, available "really hot" with sui-
cide sauce, "hot" with original buffalo
style sauce or "mild" with Spots' own
recipe - and delivered with unrivaled
speed in 13 minutes.
The suicide wings were very spicy
and tangy, burning my lips and turning
my mouth into an inferno but leaving
me longing for more. Bleu cheese
dressing and celery garnished the sui-
cide wings, serving as fire extinguish-
ers. One daring taster claimed that they
weren't hot enough, insisting that he
needed to be sweating more ... but per-
haps he'd had too many beers by that
point in the exercise. Mr. Spots' BBQ
wings had a different appeal, however,
sweetly contrasting with the fire of the

By Admn Rottenberg
Daily Arts Writer

E A REVIEW
EA Big, known to fans for such
extreme sports series as "SSX" and
"NBA Street," now takes its expertise to
the gridiron. By infusing elements of
the playground into the classic football
experience, the developers have created
an exciting arcade game experience
with "NFL Street."
Fans of the "NBA Street" series will
be pleased to know that many of that
franchise's best
attributes have NFL Street
been retained.
"NFL Street" is the XBox, PS2 and
heir apparent to its Gamecube
basketball cousin EA
and its imprint can
be found in not only the graphics and
music, but also the gameplay.
The game is easy: seven-on-seven
football, the first to 36 points wins. The
basics of the sport are retained, but there
are no penalties and the playbooks are
simplified. The controls are similar to
"Madden Football," but everything
moves at a much brisker pace.
What makes the game unique is the
selection process of the seven players
on the team. Instead of EA merely giv-
ing players the members of the team,
each game is dependent on the roster
selected prior to the snap (with about 12
players per team to pick from) and
every player plays both ways, so quar-

terbacks stink on defense while corner-
backs make great receivers.
Game modes include Exhibition,
Pick-up and NFL Challenge. Challenge
is the heart of the one-player experi-
ence. The player begins with a fictitious
team and must complete a series of tri-
als in order to gain attribute points,
unlockable retro Pro Bowlers (like
Barry Sanders) and new stadiums. This
part of the game is fun in short bursts,
but eventually it becomes monotonous.
The place where "NFL Street" shines
and takes the mantle left in the dirt from
Midway's "NFL Blitz" is Pick-up. NFL
players are randomly selected for each
position and a draft takes place between
each gamer, recreating the experience
of playground football. Every draft
brings different players and the selec-
tion process can be a double-edged
sword. There may be only two quality
running backs available, so does the
gamer grab both to screw over his oppo-
nent, or try to draft players at every
position? The draft process is almost as
fun as the game itself, with interesting
match-ups created and the ability to one
- up the competition.
"NFL Street" is one of the best multi-
player games on the market, but the sin-
gle-player experience is a little lacking.
EA Big has successfully converted its
"Street" moniker to a new title and kept
the spirit and solid gameplay intact.
When the inevitable sequel arrives,
hopefully it builds upon the solid struc-
ture of the game, while adding that extra
element to make playing truly special.

Fast as fast as you can, you'll never catch me, I'm the gingerbread man.

JEFF LEHNERT/Daily
LSA senior David Strauss sinks his teeth into a savory, succulent chicken wing, courtesy of Mr. Spots.
suicide wings. They met approval but .
some wouldn't choose an order com-
prised solely of BBQ wings. This,
however, raises a fundamentally divi-
sive question: salty or sweet chicken
wings?
After declaring Mr. Spots the clear
winner, a few tasters yearned for more.
Spots' wings are available in various
quantities: one half dozen for $3.85,
one dozen for $7.50, two dozen for
$14.95, or fifty wings for $28.00.
Concerned about cost? Start off with x,"
the suicide wings, allow your friends to
incinerate their taste buds, rendering
them unable to distinguish between the
winner and the losers. Additionally, by
the second half, and a few beers later,
your guests might not be as discerningT
as they once were. Either way, you
could probably serve inferior wings JEFF LEHNERT/Daily
after half-time. While essential to any Super Bowl party, BBQ Wings can be quite the messy treat.

We're concerned.

Last year's

winner

Best Slang was
Whatever happen
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WHAT DOES
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HEL. IF WE
KNOW*

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