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November 24, 2014 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-11-24

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5A - Monday, November 24, 2014'

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

5A - Monday, November 24, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

"Do people like me yet?"
Stale'Affairs'falls flat

Just ate a bag of shrooms. Get it?
Wi U'lls 'Super' a
smashing success
New installment of ning at a very consistent 60 Reward" challenge, many
frames per second. The intri- which are among the most di
"Super Smash Bros." cate designs of each character ficult and engaging challenge
are more consistent with each the game has to offer. An
delivers on hype other than ever, and their sim- like "Brawl," "Smash Wii U
pler color schemes work swim- sports an entirely different s
ByJACOBRICH mingly with the increased of "Events" to be completed
DailyArts Writer resolution. The animation of two-player co-op.
each movement of each char- "Smash Wii U" suppor
To call "Super Smash Bros." acter is nearing Pixar levels a staggering number of co]
a great video game series of excellent, sensible onscreen trol options. Essentially ever
would be an understatement. motion. Nintendo controller release
In the last Like the 3DS game, "Smash this millennium works wit
several A- Wii U" 's fighting mechan- this game, in any conceivab
years, the ics certainly won't replace combination. The GameCu
popular Super Smash "Melee" (the most popular controller is the best, mo
fighting Bros. for game in the series) in the familiar way to play this gam
game has hearts of competitive players. That is, if you can track dow
certainly WiI U However, it is overwhelmingly the currently sold-out Gam
attained Sora Ltd. and evident that both casual and Cube Adaptor, which, in a bri
cultural Bandal Namco hardcore players will be able liant move, Nintendo release
phenom- Gm m to find hundreds of hours of simultaneously with "Smat
enon status, Nintendo fun here. The combat is much Wii U" specifically to cater t
with the faster and significantly more its hardcore audience.
Ann Arbor area becoming one nuanced than its polarizing It would be criminal 1
of the many epicenters of its predecessor "Brawl," thanks review this game withou
massive competitive scene. in part to its wider variety of mentioning its absolute
Its newest, biggest release, characters, tweaked ledge- enormous soundtrack: ti
"Super Smash Bros. for Wii grabbing mechanics and game sports perhaps the lar
U," is an enormous, painstak- increased speed in many of the est soundtrack in video gam
ingly crafted multiplayer video fighters. history. I have over 350 uniqu
game, one that deserves a hal- "Brawl" does have one songs unlocked, and judgi
lowed spot in any collegiate advantage over this new entry, from various articles online,
gamer's library. It has yet to however: its superior single- would seem that I still have
reach perfection in its single- player modes. Those holding lot more to find. It must has
player offerings, but there out hope that another single- been a licensing nightmare t
exists no better option for player campaign to match the pull so many different son
local multiplayer fun this con- scope of "Brawl" 's "Subspace from so many different seri
sole generation. Emissary" mode will be dis- under so many different put
"Smash Wii U" is a unique appointed, as "Smash Wii U" lishers. The My Music featun
entry in the series because its lacks any kind of adventure also returns from "Brawl
hardcore audience is already mode. In its stead is an overly- presenting an easy way to na
more than familiar with its simplistic board game mode igate the soundtrack and tog
characters and gameplay, called "Smash Tour," in which gle on and off your preferre
thanks to the popularity of its up to four players compete to songs.
portable sister "Super Smash collect fighters and increase It remains to be seen whet
Bros. for 3DS," which was their stats on a minimalized er the game's online featur
released in October. The game version of a "Mario Party" are viable or not. I experience
is inherently similar to its 3DS game board. Like the 3DS's some significant lag in onlin
equivalent, but a few distinct "Smash Run" mode, it feels matches in the days follos
features along with its incredi- quite half-hearted and likely ing launch, but it's impossib
ble presentation make it worth won't entertain for more than to judge from these few se
purchasing in tandem. a few playthroughs. It simply sions whether the mode wi
The game's most distinctive doesn't have the style nor sub- be viable in the long run. Con
new feature is its expansion stance of "Subspace Emissary." sider monitoring online smas
from four player to eight-play- That mode felt like the best fan forums for the next few wee
er support, effectively elevat- service a Nintendo fan could if your purchase hinges on th
ing the series from "the best ask for, this feels like the only viability of online play.
dorm room game ever" to "the lazy part of an otherwise intri- But Smash has never real
best dorm hall game ever." cately and intentionally craft- been about online play, nor sin
Based on trailers and promo- ed game. gle-player for that matter. Th
tional materials alone, the Luckily, "Smash Wii U" inclusion of expanded onlin
idea of eight-player Smash may sees the return of series staple features feels unimportant; it
appear to be confusing and "Event Match" mode, which a concession to modern gamin
daunting. In practice, it works was unfortunately absent conventions that didn't nece
shockingly well. The five, six, from the 3DS game. Simi- sarily need to happen. Smash
seven and eight player matches lar to previous games in the about having an excellent tim
I played with my friends were series, "Event Match" is a set with the friends that are phys
certainly more frantic than of challenges and scenarios cally in the room with you.
their smaller counterparts, but often inspired by the events Does "Super Smash Bros. ft
just as fun as each of the four- and characteristics of each of Wii U" deliver in that regard
player binge-sessions I've had the classic games represented Without a doubt.
with the Smash bros. series for in "Smash Wii U" 's roster. "Super Smash Bros. for W
the last 15 years. This time, though, each of the U" was reviewed using a
The game also looks abso- many expertly designed events advance retail copy provided b
lutely fabulous in HD, run- comes with an additional "For Nintendo.


DailyArts Writer
"State ofAffairs,"NBC'sglossy
new entry into the "Homeland"/
espionage market, is a show
we've seen
before. For all
the critic talk
of unoriginal- State of
ity, it seems
tantamount Affairs
to national Series
treason for a Premiere
show to lin- Mondays at 10 pm.
ger in forged NBC
Yes, Katherine Heigl's ("Grey's
Anatomy") troubled Charles-
ton Tucker is a saner facsimile
of Carrie Mathison, with self-
medicating habits that miracu-
lously don't put a dent in the
whip-smart, unflappable and
hyper-competent demeanor
we associate with all cogs in
the government machine (oh, if
only). And sure, Tucker has the
supple leather jacket collection
of a Florentine slaughterhouse,
or maybe just Kalinda Sharma,
but despite its recycled tropes
which TV fans will quickly spot,
Alex Hawley's "State of Affairs"
is a half-decent show.
Heigl stars as a CIA analyst
responsible for assembling the
President's Daily Briefing, a top
10 list (the listicle trend has obvi-
ously even infiltrated the White
House) of the day's most serious

crises. As revealed in a cringe-
inducing flashback, Tucker's
fianc6 Aaron Payton (Mark Tall-
man, "Grand Theft Auto V") was
killed in a terrorist attack three
years ago in Afghanistan. Of
course, it's more muddled than
that, with an anonymous texter
threatening to reveal what really
happened. Unlike the standard
procedural format, the larger
conspiracy backstory immedi-
ately intermingles with the day-
to-day operations, with Tucker
juggling the conflicting agency
interests of saving a kidnapped
doctor (Gavin-Keith Umeh,
"One for the Money") in Kenya
and a tracking team's poten-
tial ability to kill Omar Abdul
Fatah, the terrorist who killed
her fianc. However, Tucker's
decision-making impartiality
is held suspect by the Chicago
doctor's uncanny resemblance
to her dead fiance, and her sub-
sequent choice to leave the Fatah
development out the Presidential
Daily Briefing leaves Tucker vul-
nerable to an office politics coup.
"State of Affairs" is tasked
with introducing fast-paced
action into the quieter corri-
dors of power, where combat
is more of the Machiavellian
than machine-gun variety. The
pilot episode paces itself well,
lithely moving between its
White House, CIA and Kenya
locales just enough to keep the
show from feeling claustropho-

bic. After all, it is smart enough
to recognize that its audience
power isn't drawn from a dense
cerebral atmosphere like "Dam-
ages," but from flashier bells and
whistles. "State of Affairs" needs
the formalistic support of sinis-
ter texts projected on the screen
in neon font, suspenseful music
and flashbacks that wouldn't
look out of place in a single-
shooter video game, because its
star, while capable, is not capti-
It doesn't help that the sup-
porting cast is sidelined for the
marquee name. For example, a
very compelling Alfre Woodard
("Desperate Housewives") plays
President Constance Petyon
with alternating maternal com-
passion and calculating deci-
siveness, but there simply isn't
enough of the talented actress.
The briefing team Tucker heads
is also well cast enough to have
a natural chemistry that the
show doesn't tap into, especially
Maureen James (Sheila Vand,
"Argo"), Tucker's slightly mis-
anthropic best friend who Vand
levies with a dynamic acerbity
that Heigl's performance lacks.
Regardless, if viewers need an
hour of familiar entertainment,
"State of Affairs" is equipped
to fill the void. But if art is to
.do anything more than compe-
tently splice together a handful
of tropes and topical references,
"State of Affairs" fails.

Email: dailydisplay@gmaiL.com


RELEASE DATE- Monday, November 24, 2014
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Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
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