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October 01, 2008 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-10-01

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, October 1, 2008 -5A

Old isn't always best

"Head down, knees bent and... slice."

Fa irway to h eaven
Polished golf simulator updates genre-leading franchise
By Michael Passman I Managing Arts Editor

V ideo games are supposed to be relax- backswing, and spin can still be applied to the
ing. Golf is supposed to be relaxing. ball while it's flying in mid-air. The putt pre-
Video games are not relaxing. Golf view from "08" is still included, allowing play-
is not relaxing. ers to basically see into the future with a single
"Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09" - a golf video shot preview for each putt. Of all the features,
game - is kind of relaxing. the putt preview will shave the most strokes
This wouldn't seem to make **** off players' scores, but it takes some of the fun
sense, but it actually kind out of putting away a 40-footer. All these fea-
of does. By combining reli- iger tures are nice for new gainers, but anyone who
able play mechanics, casual Woods PGA puts time into the game will likely turn these
pacing and one of the best options off.
multiplayer experiences n Tour 09 Sorry, Butch Harmon: For the first time in
available in a modern sports Xbox 360 a "Tiger" game, Woods's coach Hank Haney
title, "Tiger Woods PGA has been digitized to help players improve
Tour 09" is the rare video EA Sports their skills. The most useful application involv-
game experience that's both ing compu-Haney is the new club trainer,
challenging and leisurely at the same time. which analyzes players' swings and corrects
As the fourth "Tiger" game on a next-gener- for any natural draw or fade. The club trainer
ation video game console, "Tiger Woods PGA also makes recommendations based on how
Tour 09" is a complete golf game that seemed accurate of a striker you are to maximize the
so far away when "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06" sweet spot on your clubs to best fit your game.
launched with the Xbox 360 in 2005. Although If only Tiger's old coach Butch Harmon would
the improvements over last year's iteration have held onto his client for a few more years,
are not groundbreaking, EA Sports should be he could have seen himself immortalized in a
pleased with the golf experience it's bringing video game.
to the 360. The Michigan Daily does not condone
"Tiger 09" 's controls are familiar to fans of gambling - most of the time: One of the
the series as the developers didn't deem it nec- great aspects of "Tiger" games is the abil-
essary to mess with a good thing. This seems ity to incorporate four people into a round
to have been a wise decision, although fans regardless of how many controllers you have.
looking for a revamped "Tiger" will have to Only have two controllers but have a four-
hold out for next year. some ready to tee off? Not a problem, just
The most drastic changes to the game have pass around controllers between teammates.
been made in the career and online modes, Hypothetically, you could then gamble on said
which were given a much-needed refresh. It's golf round. Not that this has happened to me
a deep game with a number of courses and or anything, but it's possible that while wager-
players to unlock, and it should keep players ing on a round, the in-game scoring could pre-
busy for a long time. maturely credit one of the teams with a hole
EA didn't reinvent the wheel with "Tiger win during a round of greensome, and the
09," but they didn't need to. With its reliable other team could flip their shit. I don't know-
gameplay, "Tiger" is the perfect way to kill anything about this because I'm not pathetic
some time with friends, whether you're pass- enough to wager on video golf, but this sort of
ing around a couple controllers or playing thing could hypothetically happen. That's all
online. Plus, you don't even have to go outside. I'm saying, hypothetically.
Flux capacitor not required: "Tiger" What? No Boo Weekly!?: Yes, Tiger Woods
games have always allowed players to cheat on is a playable golfer in "Tiger Woods 09," but
the standard difficulty level and "09" isn't any outside of him, the roster is pretty weak. Only
different. A power boost can be added to each two of the 24 players that competed in this'
shot by jamming on the A'button during your year's Ryder Cup are in the game, which means

no Phil, Sergio or Padraig. There are a number
of female golfers and fake, unlockable charac-
ters but most of world's best aren't in the game.
But hey, a sober John Daly is playable, which
allows for a lot of easy jokes if nothing else.
If virtual golf wasn't bad enough...: You
can now play "Tiger" online in even more
ways. EA added a number of new online modes
to "09," but most notable is the ability to play
a four-player round 'simultaneously. For the
first time, all players can play at the same time,
without having to watch everyone else hit.
Each player's shot path is tracked by a colored
line that allows you to see what the other play-
ers are doing without having to wait for them
to do it. It's about time video game developers
started serving the lazy - and the impatient.
Tiger Woods, meet fat Tiger Woods:
"Tiger 09" 's career mode hasn't been totally
revamped, but small tweaks have made the
gameplay more varied and given the game
a longer shelf life. After creating their own
character - fat Tiger Woods, for example -
players can either jump into PGA Tour events
or play Tiger Challenge events. Challenge
events are mini-contests that allow gamers to
build up points, which enable challenging pros
to a round and unlocking additional courses.
Unlike pastgames where players improved the
attributes of their character buy purchasing
upgrades, in "09" attributes are bolstered by
playing well. So if you putt well, you're player
will become a better putter quickly. This isn't
a total catch-22; you can still upgrade your
short game even if you're a deplorable putter
by playing post-round challenges generated by
virtual Hank Haney, but it will take longer to
level up attributes if your skills are lacking in
a certain area.
Does it hold up against "Lee Carvallo's
Putting Challenge"?: Yeah, but it's no "Bon-
estorm." "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09" is a com-
plete, polished golf simulator. Unfortunately,
this game will not improve your putting.
CAN'T GET ENOUGH TIGER?
Passman reviews the game for Wii.
(michigandoito com/nection/artsl

Music critics are a finicky
bunch. We're often
criticized for not lik-
ing anything, and at the same time
for loving the songs that give most
people headaches or are so far from
actually being called songs that
terms like avant-garde don't even fit.
We usually don't like what's popular
at the time and
we reduce most
things to being
stereotypicalp
drivel.
But there
are much fin-
ickier people out M rA l
there. They're EAM Y
the classic rock
aficionados. They're the ones who
know no album will ever be better
than anythingthe Beatles put out
and they're the group that is stuck
listening to Led Zeppelin on repeat,
arguing that Robert Plant's talents
are more pleasurable than a snow
cone in the desert.
For the most part, they're right.
Groundbreaking albums flew out
of the'60s and '70s like kids out of
the end of a McDonald's PlayPlace
slide. We all know the groups our
parents rave about - The Moody
Blues, Simon and Garfunkel, The
Beach Boys - and the number of
times we've listened to those Time
Lifebest of the'70s albums is huge.
Those were the best songs ever
written, apparently.
Butthey're also the songs that
won't letthe classic rock aficiona-
dos leave the goddamn past. '
Blogs should've helped this. If
there's one good thing music blogs
have done, it's clearly been the
way in which they've been able to
huck music at the masses like never
before. No longer does someone
have to work through record deals
and rent studio time and spend hun-
dreds of dollars to put out a3-song
EP. Instead, an album can be made
in one day and heard on iTunes the
next. Or say Stereogum picks it up,
and then you've been a hit overnight
without even releasing a hard disc.
So considering this abundance .
of music that's out in the open for
everyone to grab, there should be
no reason why music isn't better
than ever. We should have a new
Brian Wilson every other day.
Every single musical voice can be
heard now and it's just a matter of
time before someone discovers the
neo-"White Album" or the next
"(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay."
But it's notchappening. Classic
rock freaks are still stubborn and
more convinced than ever that noth-
inggood ever comes out anymore.
There are a few reasons whyjit
isn't happening, but the grand one
is timing. Music isn't given enough
credit forbeinga product of the
time it arrives. There's a reason the
punk movement worked in the '70s.
and started to die in the '80s. At the
time, punk rock was the anti-Christ
and clearly clashed with the buttery
and flowery nature of a group like
The Carpenters and anyone still
chirping about the hippie times.
Punk worked because no one else
was doing it. It was a counterbal-
ance to the music out at the time,
which was released in a significant-

'ly smaller amount than it is today.
I'm nottrying to knock the Beat-
les, nor am I trying to single-hand-
edly end The Doors's reign, but we
do need to evaluate the popularity of
bands and songs more subjectively
as a product of the times they were
made in. A lot of the songs the popu-
lar groups released were just plain
stupid. Yes, Ican adopt the stance
that what they were doing didn't
exactly sound like anything that
had come before it, but all they were
doing was tweaking the original
conventions of rock'n'roll and mak-
ing it accessible for white people.
Take something like the Beat-
les's "I Want to Hold Your Hand."
Any song released today with lyr-
ics even close to those would have
been annihilated by critics and
shunned by a lot of others. It might
have been picked up for its poppy
sensibilities - which itccertainly
has - but the song was initially a
sensation because the Liverpool
guys were cute. The same goes
for something like "Yellow Sub-
marine." Silly and fun, but not the
sonic equivalents of Heaven.
Imagine ifa song like Katy
Perry's "I Kissed a Girl" had been
released by Joan Jett. We might be
looking at the most uplifting and
surprising lesbian power-anthem of
all time. But instead, the song isajust
atemporary hit and reason for guys
to cheer and for girls to justify mak-
ing out with their best friends.
The second reason why today's
music isn't the best of all time is
quantity. The overabundance of
music has spoiled us more than we
expected. We can dispose of songs
Second-guessing
those old LPs.
at will, listen to hundreds of radio
stations in minutes and we can only
pick the cream of the crop. Why
not choose the songs we know are -
good? Or at least have heard are
good because everyone over 50
hails them as such?
Imagine if the availability of
musicwould have been like it is
now in the'70s. I'm notsure if we'd
be listening to allthe songs we are
now and treating themlike divine
religious icons. And imagine all the
untapped talent that was missed due
to the lack of technology and record-
ing equipment. Who knows how
many eight-track recordings still
sit in attics,untouched, all because
somerecord exec said, "Eh, doesn't
sound like Paul McCartney. Pass."
I'm not sure we'll ever see the
Greatest Album of All Time! Label
attached to anythingever again.
And tobe fair, it's probably a good
thing music wasn't as abundant
then as it is now. Ifit had been,
we might not even have anything
to compare today's music to. But
check your attic just in case; you
might have a legend collecting dust
up there.
Emery wears his plaid Moody
Blues shirt everyday. Tell him to stop
at emery@michigandaily.com.

Putting reality television under the knife

By MAUREEN SULLIVAN
Daily Arts Writer
Workingclassgirlwithpoorman-
ners and crude speech is scooped
up off the street
by wealthy and Fashioning
refined professor. adsan
This handsome ladies and
professor, through Taming
lessons on eti- Tramps
quette and groom-
ing, transforms Today at
the sorry girl (who 3:30 p.m.
just happens to 2239 Lane Hall-
have remarkably
high cheekbones)
into a lady. They both have a taste-
ful and happy "ever after." So goes
the plot of the iconic film "My Fair
Lady" (1964) starring Audrey Hep-
burn and Rex Harrison.
This storyline is constantly revis-
ited. American culture is enthralled
with new starts: the rise from rags
to riches, the ugly duckling trans-
forming into a swan, hard work and
resourcefulness breeding success.
It's the American Dream. Perhaps
no medium has latched onto this
cultural trope more than reality
television. On TV shows like VHI's
"Charm School," WE's "American
Princess" and TLC's "What Not

to Wear," D-list celebrity person-
alities such as Mo'Nique and Paul
Burrell (the late Princess Diana's
butler) serve as "experts" on pro-
priety while women are tamed and
trained through a series ofchalleng-
es and tasks until a winner emerges.
Some shows include grammar and
speaking lessons, while others fea-
ture lessons on things like fine wine
and cricket.
Karen Tice, a professor at the
University of Kentucky, will lecture
today on the pop-culture phenom-
enon of the makeover reality show
and the implications such shows
hold for gender, class and race
issues.
Tice explained that since 2000,
there has been at least 100 real-
ity shows produced about mak-
ing over our bodies, behaviors and
wardrobes. She refers to the shows
as important "cultural artifacts"
because they not only possess a
multi-ethnic cast, but also a diverse
and sizable audience. Tice's lecture
will explain how we may view this
type of programming as important
social lessons instructing their
audience on how to be a proper
man or woman in the modern era.
In uncertain economic times, Tice
believes that these messages are

even me
"Giv.
is a me
tery," T
your lif
social s
person.
Mak
ence th
and ta
stantly
celebrit
or rec
T
s
mi)
Spears)
them b:
back to
don't se
tion. D
himself
tion an
was sai
to a fe.
would r

ore relevant. "Charm School" brings audienc-
en our financial chaos, there es a group of badly behaved women
ssage of self-help,.self-mas- described on the show's site as "so
ice said. "If you can refine nasty, vicious and rough-around-
fe in terms of dress, body or the-edges that even Flavor Flav
avvy then that can be your didn't want them." The women are
al safety net." dressed up in prep school attire -
eover shows play to an audi- short plaid skirts and navy blazers
at is versed in Perez Hilton - and taught to behave properly.
bloid covers that are con- "These shows are about tighten-
displaying images of female ing boot straps and bra straps. It's
ies as they engage in wild controlling and restraining," Tice
kless behavior (i.e. Britney repeated on multiple occasions.
"Hair maybe pulled. Spit may fly.
Fists may land. But one thing is for
V m akeover sure, when these ladies stab each
other in the back - it will be with the
hows send proper utensil,"the promotionalsite
5 oWSsend teases audiences. Tice believes that
Xed messages. these makeover shows send mixed
messages to audiences. While they
push propriety, they conversely
allow the kind of toxic behaviors
that they discourage - fighting,
just so that we can build drinking and general cattiness.
ack up again and they can go . "That's where the drama is,"
winning VMAs. Male stars Tice said. "It's very important to
'em to be up to such subjuga- sort of critically evaluate what our
avid Duchovny just checked messages and the kinds of silences
f into rehab for sexual addic- - what's being left Out of the story...
d hardly a judgmental word I'm just weary of propriety shows
d. If the same had happened that provide easy solutions and
male celebrity, the tabloids ignore the structural problems of
have been all over it. gender, race, class and ethnicity."

I o 5

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