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April 10, 2007 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2007-04-10

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 5

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Watch your head, dude.
EA ups the ante with

Daily TV/New Media Editor
Springtime means one thing
for American sports fans: UEFA
Champions League soccer!
OK, maybe not, but in honor
of this year's
European club
football cham-
pionship, EA UEFA
Sports released
"UEFA Cham- Champions
pions League
2006-2007" for L09
Xbox 360. 2006-2007
As EA's fourth
soccer video Xbox360
game for 360 EA Sports
in the last 18
months, "UEFA"
doesn't stray far from its three pre-
decessors - specifically, last Octo-
ber's "FIFA 07." Although greater
innovation between titles would
likely have been nice, "UEFA"
succeeds by ironing out the many
kinks that bogged down "FIFA 07,"
which was still a fairly good game.
Perhaps the most frustrating
flaw in "FIFA 07" was the brain-
dead artificial intelligence. Direct-
ing players was an exhaustive
endeavor, and don't even think
about relying on your computer
controlled players to help you
out defensively. While the artifi-
cial intelligence still isn't perfect,
"UEFA" removed much of the
frustration from "FIFA" by giving
computer-controlled teammates a
much-needed IQ boost.
Another notable improvement
in "UEFA" is the passing system.
gives gainers a wide degree of free-
dom, allowing them to easily direct
the ball to the inside or outside
of their teammates. "UEFA" also
permits players to take control of
pass recipients, allowing players
to move to the ball, something that
was previously impossible.
Although the gameplay is less
frustrating and ultimately more
enjoyable than "FIFA," "UEFA"
doesn't quite offer the content
depth of its predecessor. Whereas

"FIFA"has alengthy Manager mode
in addition to other standards like
Kick Off and the Lounge, "UEFA's"
Manager mode equivalent involves
collecting packs of cards and form-
ing an Ultimate Team to enter into
the UEFA Champions League. The
Ultimate Team feature might be
palatable at first glance, but most
fans will prefer the more realis-
tic team management in "FIFA's"
Manager mode.
There's also a lack of depth
in player and team content in
"UEFA," which was a problem in
"FIFA 07" as well. The clubs in
the game are only from European
leagues, which means no Major
League Soccer or Central Ameri-
can squads. This isn't much of
a surprise since it's specifically
a European Champions League
game, but the lack of teams hinders
the game nonetheless. Another
noticeable absence from "JEFA" is
international squads.
One of the most obvious
advancements "UEFA" made is in
its presentation. The graphics are
crisper than in "FIFA," and the
player models are impressive. Stars
like Ronaldinho, Thierry Henry
and Wayne Rooney are easily rec-
A modest
mostly for fans.


magine someone tells you could have
everything you've ever wanted - straight
As, a jacuzzi on South Campus, that
self-possessed suave to chat up the girl who's
definitely out of your league - but only if you
unleash the sublime
power of thoughts that
you send floatingthrough
the universe. (Bear with
me ... ) I can tell you just
how to accomplish this,
but shhh: It's a secret.
At least, it was, before
Oprah went ahead and
aired it as a daytime CAROLINE
special of epic propor- HARTMANN
tions. It's one thing when
Montel Williams or Matt
Lauer runs a spot, but
when the latest fad hits American royalty like
Oprah Winfrey, it's over. For the past year,
"The Secret" has slowly gained attention as a
feature film and now a book for its New Age
theory on realizing your true potential, but it
hasn't been until recently that America's curi-
osity turned to craze.
Rhonda Byrne, the Australian mastermind
behind "The Secret" dynasty, claims to have
discovered the age-old secret to success and
happiness in a moment of predetermined
epiphany in 2004. Byrne did some research
and realized the secret has been embedded in
philosophical musings and religious teachings
for thousands of years (go figure) but has never
been available to the public on an accessible
level. So Byrne set out to transform her little.
secret into the self-help moneymaker of the
21st century. A few months of digital network-
ing and poof - a movement was born.
The "secret" is the simple law of attraction,
which (obviously) determines our destiny. By
thinking aboutwhat we want, and project-
ing those thoughts out onto the world, we're
rewarded with those desires in return - in
short, like attracts like.
I can tell you're not convinced. Let Prime
Time Productions take care of the rest.
The host corporation to "The Secret" has
successfully manipulated the public into
believing that without their book, DVD or
pay-on-demand Web-release video, we can't
possibly understand the magnitude of this
discovery. But the film alone - complete with
cheesy tableaux, intense musical interludes
and mystical graphic backdrops - can't pos-
sibly be enough to solve the complex riddles
of the universe. No, you're going to need more
than that, and "The Secret" is ready to give
it to you. As long as you have a well-endowed

That'll be

PayPal account, that is.
Whether or notyou believe "The Secret" is
benefiting the world, one convert at a time, it's
impossible to ignore the ingenious marketing
campaign that's ballooned to include every
motivational tool you can imagine. With a few
clicks through their website, you can equip
yourself with everything, be it printable PDFs
- with titles like "Genie of the Lantern" and
"The Alchemist" - or flash videos for enhanc-
ing your visionary capabilities. "You have
more money than King Solomon's mines," the
scrolling screen declares, which is apparently
all it takes for my wallet to start bursting at the
Other features include a memory game to
further ingrain the secret principles into your
psyche and a "Feel the Good Vibes" photo
gallery of cute animals posed with even cuter
children. It's no wonder "The Secret" has risen
to No. 1on the New York Times bestseller list
and Amazon.com. This isn't just another feel-
good website dangling in cyberland - this is
a cult.
We all want to believe in something, and
during a time when the religious right espe-
cially has blurred the line between faith and
politics, Americans are more eager than ever
to latch on to the latest school of thought if
it promises enduring happiness - even if it
means adhering to a system that feels more
like paranormal nonsense than a proven
dogma of success.
What "The Secret" really preaches is
self-esteem and confidence, but within the
mesmerizing mantras is the slogan that our
happiness depends on wealth and social status.
By exploiting the public's materialistic desires,
"The Secret" is selling a faith that will only
further drive middle America to believe in the
possibilities of unfathomable riches.
Cognitive psychology and positive life affir-
mations aren't exactly new on the scene. Start-

ing in the 1800s, psychologists like William
James, Carl Jung, Aaron Beck and David Burns
have suggested various forms of mood-altering
methods to promote similar goals. But "The
Secret," wrapped up in an emerald-tablet pack-
age touting followers like Plato and Einstein,
is out to make a buck off your insecurities and
unrealistic wishes. No one ever said benevo-
lence comes cheap.
There's something to be said for optimism,
but where "The Secret" goes too far is offering
a false sense of hope to the millions who now
believe they can essentially will themselves
out of social oppression, to the average com-
muter who now thinks they can wish away
highway traffic with thoughts of being on time.
If the greatthinkers have all known about the
secret, and now we're privy to that knowledge,
too, wouldn't the world be a more perfect
place? "The Secret" evokes the same dilemmas
we wonder about when psychics fail to foresee
global disasters or predict tomorrow's weather.
Though Byrne acknowledges that sitting
on your ass and thinking good thoughts won't
automatically deliver results, the implication
is inescapable. Stare at the photo montage of
ancient Egyptian pyramids and genie bottles
long enough, and the cure for cancer is right
at your fingertips. Need a couple mil for that
dream house? Done.
At this rate, I bet we could patch the ozone
and reverse global warming while we burn fos-
sil fuels, too.
If you think "The Secret" is, in fact, the
answer we've all been searching for, be my
guest, but in the words of George Bernard
Shaw, "The fact that a believer is happier than
a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact
that a drunken man is happier than a sober
- Hartmann is a card-carrying member.
E-mail her at carolinh@umich.edu.

"What is the secret, oh great big man in the sky?" "Please read off your credit-card number...,"


ognizable on the pitch. Smaller
changes like shot counts being dis-
played during play and the inclu-
sion of third jerseys also come as
welcome additions.
While "UEFA" is not the hugely
innovative title some were hoping
for from EA, it is an encouraging
development in the evolution of
EA's soccer juggernaut. Owners
of "FIFA 07" don't need to throw
away theircopiesjustyet,buthard-
core fans will certainly appreciate
the advancements "UEFA" made.
b I
Ii I
342 S. STATE ST. 734.222.7000
3365 WASHTENAW AVE. 734.477.0000
537 W. CROSS ST. 734.484.2700
Jol t. JIMMY
3EATS 5 "o

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Participation inThe Ultimate Performer
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