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February 03, 2011 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-02-03

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2B - Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Michigan Daily - michiganclaily.com

28 - Thursday, February 3, 2011 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

FOOD*WARS
Each week, one Ann Arbor staple menu item becomes a battlefield
as Daily Arts staffers butt heads over which restaurant makes it best.
Caesar Salad

Dear Will.i.am,

For the sake of us all, no nip slip.
Sincerely, the Super Bowl

Dear Snowpocalypse,

And they wanted me to close the University for THIS?
Sincerely, Mary Sue Coleman

0

AMER'S
530 South State
The best thing about the salad at Amer's
is the delicious, chewy hunk of bread that
comes with the meal, balanced precari-
ously on the plate of leafy lettuce, crunchy
cucumbers and tasty tomatoes. Though
there isn't technically a Caesar salad on the
menu (youhave to order the "Grilled Chick-
en Salad" with Caesar dressing in order to
reproduce the classic), the added carbs take
the health food a step above brilliance.
NOODLES & COMPANY
320 South State
Noodles & Company's Caesar salad
boasts an impressive variety of leafy, ten-
der greens, yet there are too many watery
white chunks of romaine left on the plate
at the end of the meal. The dressing is a
perfect balance of salty and sour flavors
with a subtle hint of anchovies. Unfortu-
nately, though, the grilled chicken is bland
- it just seems to be thrown on top as an
afterthought.

PANERA BREAD
777 North University
There's something about Panera that
makes every University student just have
to stop there in the minute before class
starts. But it's clearly not the Caesar salad.
Drowning in dressing and plagued by a
faint, out-of-place taste of bacon, this salad
would never pass an emperor's muster. The
only redeeming quality is that it comes
with a rich piece oftbread or an apple - but
that's hardly any consolation.
QUIZNOS
Inside Pierpont Commons
Featuring generous shavings of parm,
peppercorn-infused Caesar dressing and
bite-sized pieces of chicken nestled under
warm flatbread, the Quiznos Caesar salad
is a taste sensation. The lettuce is fresh,
crunchy and provides a good balance for
the other flavors. Be careful though: It's
pretty garlicky and comes with onions -
don't forget mints if you plan to be around
other people.

Dear Mary Sue,
This isn't over.
Sincerely, Snowpocalypse
Dear "The Social Network,"
I'm CEO, bitch.
Sincerely, "The King's Speech"

And the winner is: Quiznos. Really.

Q 'BALDUR'S GATE 1I' (2000), BIOWARE
'Baldur's Gate' still setting standard for RPGs

By TEDDY PAPES game styles that were the pre-
Daily Arts Writer cursors to "Dungeons & Drag-
ons." Gygax was working on
When a genre is first estab- board-driven war games, while
lished, it's hard to recognize it. It Arneson conceived of the con-
takes time to explore and tweak cept of controlling a single char-
it before its full potential can be acter rather than entire armies.
realized. As time passes, it'sslowly The two joined forces and
accepted until it becomes a given together published "Dungeons &
part'of public consciousness. Dragons," and the first RPG was
Role-playing, for instance, has created.
come to define so many video As fantastic and complex as
games, but it wasn't initially cre- "Dungeons & Dragons" was, its
ated for video games. Both role- potential was hardly tapped. Once
playing and video games took it had been thoroughly played
time to grow, and it wasn't until and scrutinized, potential for
"Baldur's Gate II" that they were improvement was uncovered. To
flawlessly fused into one of the address the necessary changes,
best games of our generation. a reworking of "D&D" was pub-
In a time when games and lished by Gygax. But even the
media are becoming more shal- reworked game, "Advanced Dun-
low and ephemeral, it's impor- geons & Dragons," was still far
tant to understand the history from complete.
of "BGII" and its connections to Intrinsic to the imaginative
"Dungeons & Dragons," which and limitless world of "Dungeons
are as extensive as the games & Dragons" was a lack of concrete
themselves. In the early '70s, presentation. It wasn't until tech-
board game designers Gary nology caught up with Gygax and
Gygax and Dave Arneson were Arneson's evolving ingenuity that
experimenting with various "Dungeons & Dragons" could

take o
BioWa
on the
the fir:
Gate,":
& Drag
acter
even tc
based
fantasy
a new f
A
'I
clic
geons
- visit
left un
but in:
they c
II." Itvw
couldn
rate ma
"BG

n a new form altogether. "D&D" adventures begin: waking
re sought to render "D&D" in a dark, decrepit prison, escap-
computer and did so with ing from captors and gathering
st installment of "Baldur's together a party along the way.
using "Advanced Dungeons After this destitute beginning,
;ons" as the basis for char- the player escapes into a fully
classes and combat. And fleshed-out world in which the
hough "Baldur's Gate" was volume of content is unmatched
on such a well established in modern gaming. The story
system, the transition into follows the player's character,
ormat was much like "Dun- the son of the Lord of Murder,
through the grapples of an insidi-
ous wizard who seeks to awaken
11 the fun of the evil in the protagonist. The
unfolding story is nothing short
)&D' at the of epic, but the greatest asset
of "BGII" is the world that this
:k of a mouse, story exists in. The main city has
so many characters to be helped
and quests to accomplish that it
creates a world as real and intri-
& Dragons" at its inception cate as any of today's games. The
onary, but with potential amount of content is nearly over-
tapped. As these separate whelming at times, but the risk is
tertwined games evolved, for better, as it gives a sense that
oalesced as "Baldur's Gate only the player can forestall the
cas everythingthat an RPG world's descent into chaos.
't have been until the sepa- Its easy to see how quickly
aturations united. games become outdated in terms
II" opens the way many of story, voice acting and script,
but the only thing about "Bal-
dur's Gate II" that recalls the past
is its technological limitations.
The voice acting and deep char-
acterization are totally ahead of
their time and make the charac-
ters really feel alive. Other games
1/ Aii

COURTESY OF BIOWARE

Technologically limited, but awesome in every other way.

Michigan College Advising Corps
is now hiring UM Grads for full-time,
paid service positions as
college advisers
Apply Now!
The Michigan College Advising Corps seeks new
graduates to serve as college advisers in underserved
high schools across Michigan
Application deadline: February 21, 2011
For more information and an application packet visit
www.ceo.umich.edu/mcac

that came out around the release
of "BGII," like "The Legend of
Zelda: Majora's Mask," are enjoy-
able, but have vacuous characters.
The "Final Fantasy" games, while
appreciated for their deep story-
lines and fleshed-out characters,
had linear stories that allowed for
little deviation. In "BGII," charac-
ters band and disband, progress
and even die. Events aren't always
scripted, and the player usually
has multiple options when com-
pleting quests.
There is a decreasing sense
of open-endedness in modern
games, but "D&D"-based games
stay open-ended. "Final Fantasy
XIII" and "Metal Gear Solid
4" took a narrative style that is
closer to film, as it subjects the
player to a story. "BGII," true to
its "D&D" origins, lets players

explore their own stories. There
are scripted conversations and
events, but the way they are han-
dled and the results of circum-
stances vary based on decisions
made and the composition of the
player's party.
It's strange that as time has
progressed, the length and depth
of games have diminished. Even
though "Baldur's Gate II" came
out 10 years ago, it shows the
potential all video games have.
BioWare is still carrying the
torch with its continuously com-
plex games, and it no doubt keeps
"BGII" in mind when makingnew
ones. Hopefully other companies
will take note of BioWare's adher-
ence to quality; they would do
well to keep in mind the origins
of RPGs and their perfect realiza-
tion in "Baldur's Gate II."

0}

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