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March 08, 2007 - Image 13

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2007-03-08

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
'Golden'
age of
gaming
By PAUL TASSI
Daily Film Editor
Games these days don't have a real multi-
player option anymore. Everything's on "Xbox
Live," and there's no real sense of urgency or
fair play. Why would anyone want to play "Gears
of War" with four friends together in the same
room? That's ridiculous. It's clearly more fun to
log on and get shot in the head instantaneously
by every member of "Das Kill."
Winning - and subsequently taunting - is
far more fun when you can show you're the best
player in the room, rather than trying to prove
you're the best player in the world. One game
single-handedly shows the rise and fall of that
perfect era of competition - no one had seen
anything like it before and no one has since. That
game is "Goldeneye 007" for the Nintendo 64.
Multiplayer in "Goldeneye" stands as one of
the most innovative and best-designed game
modes ever. The first controller to have an actu-
al trigger, N64 makes it feel like you were really
shooting your friends. And with four people
playing simultaneously for the first time, "Gold-
eneye" helped turn living rooms into frenzied
war zones full of kids hopped up on Tang.
There was an unspoken code of honor among
"Goldeneye" players that was abided by most -
well, some. You couldn't be Oddjob, because he's
so small even grenade shrapnel would seem to
work its way around him. You could be Jaws, but
only if you were an idiot - random bullets would
always find their way to his lumbering ass.
"Wait till I have a gun, bitch!" was the cry of a
victim of a violator of the second unspoken rule:

(the b-side} Thursday, March 8,2007 - 5B

All of Shakespeare
in all of ahalf hour

Crucial decision: switch to KF-7 or grenade launcher?
never shoot an unarmed player. Combatants in
"Goldeneye" had access to some mean karate-
chop action when lacking a gun, but to kill some-
one you'd probably have to make them stand still
next to you for an hour while you hacked away.
The intensity of the rounds were unheard of
for a multiplayer game. In the best level of all
time, the Temple, two players would stand on
opposite sides of a monolithic stone door until
one of them had the courage to press B. As one
player unloaded a Cougar Magnum and the
other pumped rounds out of a KF-7 Soviet.
In addition to the game's multiplayer mode,
single-player also had its moments. Remember
being tempted to shoot quivering scientists in
the Silo who wouldn't give you that damn key-
card? or getting lost in the godforsaken statue
maze for hours, only to fail when Trevelyan gets
spooked at the sight ofyour PP7?And how many
times did you scream "Why wont you die!?" at
Jaws after you unloaded eight assault rifle clips
into his dumb, grinning, metallic face?
And then there were the cheats. They ranged
from the ridiculous (Donkey Kong Mode, where
everyone has a giant head) to the impractical
(Enemy Rocket Mode - why the hell would I

want to give rockets to my enemies?) to the fan-
tastic (All Guns, including a taser made out of a
Game Boy).
The cheats made for some entertaining sin-
gle-player scenarios. There's nothing quite like
setting off the alarm in the Surface level then
unloading double RCP-90s with unlimited
ammo into 700 Soviet soldiers. I'm pretty sure
"Goldeneye" was a covert government project
to make kids want to join the army, because
after every level you were ready to ship off and
machine gun some commies or terrorists or
pretty much anyone holding an AK-47.
Government conspiracy? Maybe, but "Gold-
eneye" is still a treasure of video-gaming his-
tory and stands alongside "Doom" and "Grand
Theft Auto" as one of the games that's molded
our generation into the mindless, soulless serial
killers our parents predicted we'd all become.
But seriously, being locked in a dark room by
yourself for 16 hours whispering into a head-
set playing "Half-Life 2" online? Dangerous.
Shouting with a room full of friends blasting
the hell out of each other with digital assault
weapons with characters dressed in formal-
wear? Classic.

By CATHERINE SMYKA
Daily Arts Writer
Do you like Shakespeare? Do you
like theater?
Even if you The
answered no to
both questions, Complete
it's not a problem. Works of
The RC Player'sW
production of
Adam Long, Dan- Shakespeare
iel Singer and
Jess Winfield's Tomorrow
"The Complete and Saturday
Works of Wil- at 8 p.m.
liam Shakespeare $3 -$5
(Abridged)" will At the East Quad
make you laugh Auditorium
anyway.
In just 97-min-
utes, a dozen actors run through all
37 of Shakespeare's classics. Some
scenes are slightly improvised, but
it's the RC Players' loose style that
really makes it feel like the jokes
and one-liners burst spontaneously
from the actors.
"Complete Works" riffs freely on
Shakespeare's esteemed profile. In
reference to the Royal Shakespeare
Company, the on-stage actors call
themselves the Reduced Shake-
speare Company, complementing
the craze the original RSC stirred
up with their campus visit last fall.
"There has been a lot of hype
around Shakespeare with the RSC
coming," RC senior and direc-
tor Lisa Fetman said. "This show
does handle the Shakespeare text
very honestly but it's also silly and
absurd."
Never has a statement been more
true. Titus Andronicus has his
own grotesque cooking show. Four
peoples rap and beat-box their way
through Othello's tragedy. And the
ebullient actors don't ever show

signs of exhaustion.
"The play is unique and over the
top," Fetman said. "And actually,
because of the improvisation, the
performance on Friday will prob-
ably turn out differently from the
performance on Saturday."
Watching these players perform
is like stepping in as the special
guest on a sitcom, especially in the
audience-participation component
of the show, when the audience
becomes involved in the clowning
around onstage. The cross-dressing,
interpretive dance and Shakespear-
ean Expert (having read two books
on Will) are pure entertainment.
"With people playing so many
different characters and changing
roles, this show combines every-
thing entertaining in the world into
one performance," Fetman said.
"The show never grows old."
Perhaps most enjoyable and inge-
nious is the cast-wide football game
in Act One, which depicts a combi-
nation of several Shakespeare stor-
ylines. When a character proclaims,
"Why can't this Shakespeare stuff
be more like sports?" the rest of the
actors get into position to pass a
crown as if passing a football. King
Lear dodges left and Macbeth runs
' for the end zone. Unconventional,
yes, but the characters stay true to
the plots of their respective plays.
Among other shockers - nota-
bly a robotic dinosaur and Scottish
accents - it's initially surprising so
much time is dedicated to the first
Shakespeare play of the set. With
only 97 precious minutes, "Romeo
and Juliet" consumes about seven.
To make up for the extravagance,
all 16 of Shakespeare's comedies
are combined into one fabulous
creation. It's a gutsy scene, but just
after preparing to wince, you real-
ize itworks.

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