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November 12, 2004 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-11-12

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

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......... . .. .......... .. . .

4

'Crisis'
rehashes
the arcade
shooter
By Jason Roberts
Daily Arts Editor
*I
In the opening sequence of Para-
r, ount's "Team America: World Police,"
;the heroic marionettes descend on Paris
to triumphantly hunt down a band of ter-
rorists that has set up shop there. What
results is a total
,demolition of the
historic city, cor- Time Crisis:
',plete with the fiery Crisis Zone
fall of the Eiffel PS2
;Tower. In the end,
team America Namco
;heers, as horri-
fled Parisians gaze awestruck over the
destroyed landscape that was once their
whome.
Namco's latest release of "Time Crisis:
Crisis Zone" feels a lot like that band of
crime-fighting puppets. With a reckless,
trigger-happy style of gameplay, players
'don't just kill the terrorists; they obliter-
ate everything in the environment.
e' The. fast pace and heavy-automatic
.'weapon the gamer possesses add to the
overall destruction the game encourages.
As a port of a classic arcade shooter,
"Time Crisis" doesn't spend a lot of
time developing a story or background.
pInstead, ganers are immediately thrust
into the shoes of the leader of an coun-
ter-terrorist organization sent in to lib-
erate Garland Square, a self-contained
urban complex. Within seconds, gam-
ers are swamped with hordes of faceless
enemies. Armed with an indestructible
shield and a machine gun, the fight
begins.
Giving it the credit it deserves, "Time
Crisis" is an explosive rush. The pace is
fast enough that gainers are not likely to
grow tired of one area or another because
they're swept so quickly from one locale
to the next. However, the game is com-
pletely linear, not offering any sort of
deviation from theone prescribed path.
In fact, players are only offered two
useable commands: shield (which also
reloads theweapon) and fire.eWhile this
makes for an exciting experience at the
arcade, it simply doesn't translate well
to the console. Repetitiveness becomes
the key word after a while and the game
soon grows tedious.
The developers seemed to realize this
flaw and attempted to counter it with the
addition of "Crisis Modes," mini-mis-
sions that focus on simple - or seem-
ingly simple - objectives. They include
killing a certain number of enemies
without destroying any of the surround-
ings, scoring a certain number of com-
bination points and so on. While these
missions serve as a suitable distraction,
they are incredibly difficult and, like the
"Story Mode," grow repetitive over time.
Playing through them time and time
again does not add to the game's longev-
ity; it's simply a means to get the most
out of the shallow package as possible.
Unfortunately, after the initial pleasure
of the game's presentation wears off, it
serves as nothing new to the genre.

Courtesy of UMSIZ

The guy in back isn't bald enough to be in focus.

ALL

THAT JAZZ

EXPERIMENTAL STYLINGS OF SWEDEN'S E.ST
AND THE BAD PLUS FILL MICHIGAN THEATER

By Lynn Hasselbarth
Daily Arts Writer
FINE AR-s PREVIEW
The Michigan Theater will be trans-
formed Sunday into an alternative piano
lounge with the musical inventions of Swe-
den's Esbjdrn Svensson Trio (E.S.T.) and
The Bad Plus. These two jazz trios present
distinct combinations of experimental jazz,
pop and rock that have been built on a com-
mon passion for reinvention.
E.S.T's latest album, Seven Days of Fall-
ing, provides a mix of reflective mood
pieces and ballads that build in power and
emotion. The first track, "Ballad for the
Unborn," is a rather meditative, solemn
and pulsing piece full of repeating piano
chords. "Elevation of Love" is highly syn-
copated and upbeat, taking the listener
on a stroll through city streets. Here, the
piano is more of a percussive instrument,

with bright staccato to punctuate the mix.
In contrast, the piece "O.D.R.I.P" is rather
haunting, with distortions in tone on both
the piano and bass.
E.S.T. takes full advantage of the diverse
physicality of the ensemble's three instru-
ments. It's hard to imagine how some of the
sounds created are spawned from a grand
piano, double bass and drums. Esbjorn
Svensson can be seen delving inside his
piano to dampen or pluck its inner work-
ings, Dan Berglund strikes the double bass
with aggressive hands and bows and Mag-
nus Ostrom coaxes unnatural sounds from
his drum set.
While the trio's first two albums sprang
into the music field with such originality,
the group now maintains its own distinct
musical vocabulary - a balance between
soft ballads and imaginative flights of
fancy. Sometimes, however, one song is
both: starting off as a lush, smooth tune
then morphing into something altogether

different, even dissonant. E.S.T. creates and
deconstructs such a wide range of moods,
atmospheres and vibes, its no wonder they
were awarded the 2004 European Jazz
Award.
Saturday evening's double line-up of
E.S.T and The Bad Plus brings two incred-
ible ensembles onto one stage. Bassist Reid
Anderson noted, "It's a healthy thing to
enjoy another band. Each is able to spur the
other on in a positive way."
Although the two ensembles have been
compared in the past, it's important for
audiences to approach each with an explor-
ative attitude. Much like the musicians
themselves, listeners should not seek to cat-
egorize the music. Those who are intrigued
by fresh ideas and challenged to redefine
the status quo will be pleased with Sunday
night's performance, Anderson noted.
"As jazz musicians, we're all improvisers.
That's where we live at the end of the day,"
he said.

Esbjorn Svensson Trio and the Bad Plus
At the Michigan Theater
Sunday at 8 p.m.
Tickets range from $16-$36, and rush tickets are available for $10

Challenging pieces highlight Glee
Club's return to renovated Hill

By Sarah Peterson
Fine Arts Editor

only thing the group is known for.
Singing songs inspired by writers
who were inspired by the University,
either about or for the school, has

The time has again come for the
choral men on campus to take the
stage at Hill Auditorium for Men's
Glee Club's Fall Concert. With
everything from blues to jazz to
traditional choral pieces included
in the program, the concert prom-
ises to have a little something for
everyone.
This year marks the 145th Anni-
versary of the Men's Glee Club, a
group that has, for the last four years,
received the honor of being named
the Best Male Choir by the Llangol-
len International Musical Eisteddfod
in Llangollen, Wales. This tradition
of excellence, however, is not the

become a crowd-
pleasing custom.
Vice President
Andrew Pickens
stated that this
concert is one of
the few places
where you will
hear "all of the
words of 'The

Men's Glee
Club Concert
Tomorrow
at 8 p.m.
Tickets: $13-$15,
$5 for students
At Hill Auditorium

said.
Also challenging has been the rep-
ertoire picked for this concert. High-
lights include "Canticle" by Conte,
and "Daemon Irrepit Callidus" by
Gyorgy Orban. Pickens described
"Canticle" and "Daemon" as, "fiery,
passionate pieces that will be very
exciting for the audience" and "O
Magnum" as a song that, "when done
right, should make people cry."
Pickens and Campbell both
expressed their excitement at being
able to sing at Hill Auditorium
again. During its renovation, the
Glee Club was temporarily relocat-
ed to Rackham Auditorium. Camp-
bell explained, "You can barely put
the difference into words. Singing at
Hill is a privilege, and since it seats
so many, it allows us to concentrate
our energy into one show. Also, it is

Courtes o fMen'OGee Cub
The 100-plus member Men's Glee Club will celebrate its 145th annfersary
Saturday with a performance at Hill Auditorium.

4

Victors' sung."
This year has been a challenging,
but rewarding one for the Glee Club.
With a large turnout at auditions, the
group is significantly larger than it
has been in past years. "We usually
have around 80 to 90 singers, but
this year we have over 100," Pickens

inspiring to look out at a crowd of
3,000 people."
With The Friars, an a cappella
group made up of Glee Club mem-
bers, also performing tomorrow, the
concert should strike a "good bal-

ance between whimsical andserious
music," Campbell explained."It is a
tremendous musical experiece, but
it is also entertaining." An( in the
words of Pickens, "It's a uniqe sound
that you can't get anywhere tse."

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