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September 09, 2004 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-09-09

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

September 9, 2004
arts.rmichigandaily. com

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Be vewy vewy quiet, I'm hunting wabbit.

Wu-Tang clan's Masta
Killa releases solo debut

By Evan Mcarvey
Daily Arts Writer

Being from the Wu-Tang clan is like
being a Kennedy: You can't hide from
the spotlight. Nine years of hype and
myth have masked Masta Killa, the
only member of
Wu-Tang clan not Masta Killa
to release a solo
LP. His one verse No Said Date
on the group's Natural Sounds
seminal release,
Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers),
was famously recorded while he was
incarcerated and the mysteries sur-
rounding this long-delayed album
have spawned a life of their own.
Surprising for a disc of its hype, No
Said Date comes with spartan pack-
aging and liner notes that hint at the
elegance and lack of indulgence on the
album. In a brilliant move, there are
no photos of Masta Killa in any of the
material included. His form stays hid-
den as his voice wraps around the dry
atmospheres within.
Vocally, Masta Killa has a gelati-
nous monotone able to angle its way
through the occasionally knotty melo-
dies composed by almost every differ-
ent member of the Wu-Tang clan. Little
production touches - like the chirping
birds on "Love Spell" or the crawling
horns on "Whatever" - add a translu-

cent level of polish over the expectably
_ crackling sounds. In yet another show of
subtle force, the guest appearances from
fellow Wu-Tang members are often
concise, choosing to defer to Killa's
long-delayed moment in the spotlight.
Everyone knows this is his show and
even 01' Dirty Bastard doesn't hog the
microphone for too long.
Kung-fu mythology and the slow,
often brutal life of the ghetto have
always been the underlying themes of
Wu-Tang's lyrics. Instead of evoking a
lifestyle of cars and guns no one really
leads, they find solace in the endless
dream world of their youth. Masta Killa,
Method Man, Ghostface, Raekwon and
the rest are really just young men still
wishing they were superheroes.
Like a true poet, Masta Killa never
relies on one device or image to carry
him through the album. The gunplay
comes across as fittingly dark and
effective, while the scenes of urban life
sound, look and smell of truth. Listeners
imagine not just the look of the destina-
tion, but the velocity of his journey. The
calm in his voice allows the listener to
pick out their own inflections. In a pack
of amazing lyricists, Masta Killa man-
ages to distance himself. The man him-
self recalls, "bangin' on the lunchroom
table, I used to spectate / And watch
some of the M.C. greats." With No Said
Date, Masta Killa needn't worry about
his or Wu-Tang's place in history. Great-
ness may not wait, but it does return.

The lazy days of Michigan's summer proved
to be a bit milder this year than those in
the past, mimicking the somewhat banal
spread of videogames released during these past
few months. While many notable titles were slated
for the middle to late summer months, most were
pushed back to a more profitable time later this year
or even into early next year. These facts aside, how-
ever, summer did provide a small selection of mar-
quee titles spanning a variety of different genres.
The following is a look at some of the highlights
(and lowlights) of this summer's crop.
Rallisport Challenge 2
Released: May 4
While realism always seems to be a design high-
light when it comes to the racing-game genre, game-
play and control are also two huge factors: The way
a car controls and feels in the gaming environment
are directly proportional to how successful the game
will be. "Rallisport" is not only beautiful (both envi-
ronments and car models are exquisitely rendered),
but its gameplay puts gamers into the seat of the rally
cars. Damage to the vehicles will hinder its perfor-
mance. Vibrations in the road can be subtly felt in
the road surface. Details like these separate simply
good games from excellent ones, and Microsoft has
manifested this eye for detail into a truly enjoyable
racing experience.
Thief: Deadly Shadows
Released: May 25
Eldos Interactive
"Thief 'returned this summer in a new installment,
refining the genre which it helped pioneer: the stealth-
action game. Players took on the role of Garrett, a
master thief set in a medieval time. Similar in some
respects to games like "Hitman: Contracts," "Thief'
highlights the importance of sticking to the shadows
to keep well-hidden and complete goal driven mis-
sions. Garrett's ability to go mano a mano with his
enemies is severely limited, underscoring the stealth
and exploration aspect of the game. Though it's in its
third installment, "Thief' is a series that reuses old
material but hasn't yet run out of steam.
Released: June 21
"Driv3r" was slated to be one of the top competi-
tors with the new installation of "Grand Theft Auto"
and had an incredible amount of buzz surrounding it
during the months prior to its release. This buzz, how-
ever, fizzled shortly after its release. Sloppy controls,

Oh look. Cirrhosis the wonder dog.

Courtesy or Activision

a muddled plot and uneven missions overshadowed
the cinematic storyline and sheer scope of the project.
Though three actual cities were digitally replicated
for the game (Miami, Fla., Nice, France and Istanbul,
Turkey) the gameplay - the most important aspect
of a videogame - felt tacked on. While the game
was trying to create an "action movie" atmosphere,
only a few of the missions actually reached that thrill-
ing plateau. Disappointing as it was, it served to make
the anticipation for "GTA" even greater.
Doom 3
Released: Aug. 3
Finally. Though it was believed by some that id
Software would push to get this title out last year (at
the 10-year anniversary of the original's release),
they chose to move the release date back a bit and
come out storming in the beginning of August.
The developers have crafted a game that immerses
players in a world of stunning graphic quality and
terrifying 5.1 surround sound unlike anything seen
or heard before. Even though the gameplay was
criticized by some as being a bit trite, the immer-
sion and overall environment the game crafted kept
players gripped until the very end. "Doom 3" stuck
to the storyline of the original, keeping gamers on
their toes with demons and "things that go bump
in the night" looming around every corner. id Soft-
ware has truly upped the ante with this release; it
will be interesting to see what develops will do with
their finely tuned engine.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow
Released: Aug. 4
Following closely on the heels of the spring hit
"Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow," "Black Arrow"
is the latest title boasting the Tom Clancy moniker.
"Rainbow Six" has been a tactical shooter from the
beginning and "Black Arrow" does not stray far from
this tried-and-true path. It does, however, do what it's
designed to do well. The single player missions have
the gamer taking on villains and terrorists across 10
different maps. Things get interesting, though, when
the game goes multiplayer. With Xbox Live support,
"Black Arrow" has added to the already quality online
action of previous "Rainbow Six" installments.
Madden NFL 2005
Released: Aug. 9
EA Sports
Every August, eager sports gamers anticipate the
return of one thing: "John Madden Football." This
year's edition turned out to be just as entertaining as
previous iterations. The newly ramped up defenses
had even the most ardent pigskin enthusiasts strug-
gling to break open their offenses. Combine that with
the addition of Xbox Live support and the king of
football retains its crown. Gainers don't even need the
man himself and his telestrator to see that.
- Compiled by Jason Roberts
and Adam Rottenberg



Make an informed decision - know the consequences
Effective September 1, 2004,
the Michigan laws and consequences
have been changed

C l S Sltater is Cb h eh riceel s
Co o thCharies



The University of Michigan
Department of Recreational Sports
Intramural Sports Program


Entries taken:
Mon, 09/13 ONLY
11:00 AM - 5:30 PM
IM Building
Entry Fee:
$88.00 per team
Manager's Meeting:
Wed, 09/15
6:00 PM
IM Building
Play begins:
Thurs, 09/16
Mitchell Fields

- r

Entries taken:
Mon, 09/13 ONLY
11:00 AM - 5:30 PM
IM Building
Entry Fee:
$88.00 per team
Manager's Meeting:
Wed, 09/15
8:00 PM
IM Building

Play begins:
Thurs, 09/16
Yost Ice Arena
(Frat, GFS, ResHall, Ind Men, Ind Women & Sorority)

Entries taken:
Mon, 09/13 ONLY
11:00AM -5:30PM
IM Building
Entry Fee:
$50.00 per team
Manager's Meeting:
Wed, 09/15
7:15 PM
IM Building
Play begins:
Thurs, 09/16
IM Building

Entries due:
Wed, 09/15
4:30 PM
IM Building
$88.00 per team
Manager's Meeting:
Thurs, 09/16
6:00 PM
IM Building



Entries also
taken online

Play begins:
Sun 09/19
Mitchell Field

Secretarv of Mate for traclune


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