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November 29, 2010 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-11-29

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, November 29, 2010 -- 7A

MUSIC COLUMN
* Let's not linger
on music lists

VIDEO GAME REVIEW
Pac-Man gobbles his way to greatness

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getting to be that time of nyism. It's hard to deny the impact
ar: weeks of progressively of hip sites like Pitchfork or Gorilla
lder weather, nostalgia vs. Bear's tastemaking. When they
d; half of the music on the put out a "Best-Of" list, everybody's
om now paying attention. But the Internet
nuary has afforded us not only a wider
ve sleigh mine of music to explore, but an
igher even wider mine of opinion. Taste-
s; car making is infinite now. For some
its; ham. sources, it's a chance to push a
st of all, financial agenda, and keep custom-
time of ers biting for more. For others, it's
son for JOE a chance to say, "Look how cool I
DIMUZIO am."
end of Lists, especially when they start
r is a to repeat themselves, can lock out
dation of tastemaking. Over lots of music that gets ignored. If
t month, writers from O you're casually digging through
ne to Impose will compile the albums of past decades, what's
the year's music, lists of the the easiest way to find some taste-
the "favorites" and maybe tested classics? Lists. Easy way to
rst." They're guaranteed to affirm a flimsy opinion of "your"
d, they're fun to make and favorite album? Find it on a list.
ill probably be one in the Back it up with a "high score."
a month's time. When we settle for lists, with-
have a love-hate relation- out engaging in the music itself,
th lists. On the one hand, we're doing nobody favors. When
they're an engaging way songs, artists and albums become
e tastes and bite into that numbers, badges and cudgels with
nal spirit of pop music. On which we wield our subjective
er, they're cheap, narrow pretension, it's not about the music
cs at preserving a brand anymore.
sometimes pushing a bot- To a certain extent, that's what
e. lists are. A chance forus to take
individual stake in the music we
had no part of. A chance to express
ourselves. But lists should expand
our horizons, not close them. I've
S thoughts found some of my favorite music in
lists. I have fun thinkingthem up.
nfl 'Best-Of' ButI try to remember that a list is
" a list, and it doesn't come close to
listening.
My 2010 list will never be fin-
can serve many purposes. ished. Some of the songs aren't
think of them as trad- written and half of them didn't
ds, or a scrapbook. Every come out this year. My favorite
a while it's fun to reflect music of the year was the music
rites and proudest finds, I dug and "discovered" and that
gue with other people who found a place in my life. Some of it
ink the same way and came out last month, some of it SO
vingly with those who do. years ago. Some of it I can't play
a satisfying sort of com- on a stereo. Songs I wrote, songs
when you share favorite I sang and songs I heard other
or songs with other peo- people play - it's the music that
ause the question is big- meant the most to me this year.
n what you liked or what Does it make me cool? No. Does
ened to. It's a chance for it lock me out of the conversation
k, "What does this music with the "bests" and the "clas-
ut me? How canI present sics?" Maybe. But I'm okay with
through taste? What do that. Because maybe Sgt. Pepper's
think of me?" was always overrated.

Latest entry ups
ante on mazes,
ghosts and fun
By SHIN HIEFTJE
For the Daily
Think Pac-Man is antiquated
and irrelevant to modern video
games? Well, think again. "Pac
Man Champi-
onship Edition **** ;
DX" morphs
the core game- Pac-Man
play of the Ch p .i
series into
something Edition DX
more excit- Xbox L.v
ing and enjoy- ive
able than any Arcade,
game with Playstation
"Pac-Man" in Network
its title has any Nam Bandai
right to be in
2010. It's probably the best thing
Pac-Man has ever been a part of,
and one of the best downloadable
games released this year.
"Championship Edition DX"
still has the same classic idea: Eat
as many dots, fruits, power pel-
lets and ghosts as possible to get

a high score. But the concepts
behind each of those goals have
changed drastically. Each maze
that Pac-Man has to navigate is
now horizontal instead of verti-
cal, and when all of the dots are
eaten on one side of the maze, a
fruit materializes. When that fruit
is eaten, the other side of the maze
transforms into a different layout.
When all the dots are eaten on
that side of the maze, the other
side transforms and the process
continues. The constant shifting
of the maze design keeps you on
your toes, figuring out which way
to go.
This on its own is compelling,
but the revamped ghosts make
the game an absolute blast. Many
ghosts begin the game sleeping
and idle. Passing them on the
way to eating dots and fruits will
awaken them, and they will give
chase. An insane amount of ghosts
will actively and intently pursue
players until a coveted power pel-
let is found. The feeling of turning
around and eating 50 ghosts or so
in a row is ridiculously satisfy-
ing. It's the best part of the game
and it never gets old. It's also the
quickest way to gain points, so it's
something to try often.

All modes in "Championship
Edition DX" are time-based,
offering five- or 10-minute score
attack options. Time trials also
track how fast a certain amount
of fruit can be eaten. Each maze is
smartly designed to show a clear
path to all the dots. But as your
score increases, the game speed
also increases at a frantic rate so
veering off course is inevitable.
If Pac-Man is about to run into
a ghost, the game automatically
slows down into bullet time, giv-
ing a bit of breathing room to
make split-second decisions.
The game looks and sounds
phenomenal. Everything has a
colorful, neon glow to it, with
a thumping, energetic techno
soundtrack that fits well with the
frenzied nature of the gameplay.
The retro sound effects are ter-
rific, especially the noise when
eating ghosts. Each maze has
numerous color palettes and art
styles, as well.
The complaints that could be
lobbied against "Championship
Edition DX" are really quite incon-
sequential. Yes, there are a total of
10 mazes, and while it would have
been nice to have more mazes and
modes, that's pretty nitpicky for a

$10 game. The game is also lenient
in handing out lives, meaning it's
too easy to survive, but it's not
about surviving. It's about the
high score and getting a ranking
on the global leaderboard. The
absurdly fun "Championship Edi-
tion DX" is ne of the few games
that actually make high scores
feel like they matter in this day
and age.

magazine or newspaper
aking a list can be an enter-
and frustrating experience
ring, community and cro-

Dimuzio is making his list and
checking it twice. If you're naughty,
e-mail him at shonenjo@umich.edu.

"Ice is nice!"
SKATING
From Page 6A
awesome the performances of
the contestants were, and lays on
the hyperbole. When phrases like
* "This is the most thrilling and
dangerous show on TV!" are fol-
lowed by gawky ice gliding, it's
really hard to try to take the pro-
ceedings seriously.
And then there's the fact that
every star's most difficult move is
replayed in painful slow motion
after the fact, which makes each
performance even more uncom-
fortable. No one needs to see
Vince Neil twirl ineptly twice,
ever. It adds insult to injury - not
only for the stars, but for everyone
watching.
And then there are the judges:
Johnny Weir, Dick Button and
Laurieann Gibson. They don't

really seem to know what the flip
they're talking about. Ninety-five
percent of their comments are
just a mesh of random adjectives
thrown together because they
didn't know what else to say. Even
pro skater Weir, known for his
colorful antics, just exclaims how
"awesome" and "inspiring" every
sucky performance is. It's clear
the judges also think this show is
a piece of crap on ice, but are just
going with it in hopes that the gig
launches their next 15 minutes of
fame.
"Skating with the Stars" goes
past the point of obnoxious and
straight to intolerable, practically
forcing you to turn the TV off. In
the end, the only thing that could
save this show is if one of the stars
completely biffed it on the ice and
made an even bigger fool of them-
selves. But the show denies us
even this pleasure, which may be
the biggest injustice of all.

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