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    Assassin's Creed III: Liberation (VITA)    by   jp       (Mar 24th, 2017 at 14:27:45)

    I hadn't played this in months. Almost a year, perhaps? I booted it up the other day and...man, I couldn't remember how to play it at all (not for traversing the world, but for combat) and, after too many failed attempts at a mission I realized that, well...I just wasn't up for it anymore. There was no easy way to for me to practice/relearn either (I couldn't even pull up a list of all the moves and stuff).

    That being said, I do remember a bit of frustration with combat and my general lack of understanding of what to press, when, and how. I guess I was able to fumble through before but not anymore?

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    Velocity Ultra (VITA)    by   jp       (Mar 22nd, 2017 at 19:15:37)

    I don't often play 2D space shooters - I'm just not that good at them, but I have been wondering what design innovation looks like in this space. Most of what I've heard has to do with what sound like hyper-specialized combo/score systems and variations of Ikaruga's mode-switching (where you change modes and thus become vulnerable or invulnerable to certain kinds of enemies/bullets).

    Velocity Ultra does add something I hadn't quite seen before (not saying it's new, just that it's new to me): backtracking in a 2D space shooter. It's kind of surprising how this affects the pacing and level of intensity of a shooter. Though, to be fair, this isn't a super intense game either - you're normally flying around slowly (you can boost to go faster), there aren't that many enemies, and it's more about navigating the space because you can also teleport. Tap somewhere on the screen and your ship teleports there. I'm not sure you can use it in combat effectively - but it's mostly about warping into secret areas or warping forward because there's an impassable barrier in front of you.

    Anyways, a few levels ago (I'm about halfway through at this point, 23/50?) a new type of teleporting was introduced. You can press triangle to "drop" a warp spot and then, once you've moved past it, you can bring up the map, select your warp spot and warp back to that spot. Most levels now require that you do it because they have branching paths (and you need to explore both) as well as targets you need to destroy in a particular order that is not the order in which they appear (so you might have to destroy "1" and then warp back to destroy "2" and so on). There's lots of these and there also often interconnected ('cause there are numbers and also colors - the most I've had in a level so far was three colors and each with numbers up to 9 - I think. There was a LOT of backtracking).

    I'm not entirely sold on the idea, but it is fresh and it does work. I'm just not sure that it's made the game more compelling...but maybe I've only seen the "simple" levels?

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    Earth Defense Force 4.1 (PS4)    by   jp       (Mar 20th, 2017 at 18:54:29)

    I got this for the couch co-op and my first impression is that this is THE SAME game as before. The same. I think the destruction animations might be more detailed/sophisticated and you can jump a bit higher...but other than that it seems like exactly the same game.

    I'm not sure how I feel about this.

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    Spyro: Hidden Legacy (DS)    by   jp       (Mar 20th, 2017 at 18:51:20)

    I played a bunch of the Spyro games back in the day on the Playstation, and since then I've played Skylanders which are sort-of Spyro games? Anyways, I was curious about the handheld version and I wasn't too sure what it would be like (didn't even bother looking at the back of the box, if I recall): would it be a sidescrolling platformer? 3D platforming (like the original games)? Something else entirely?

    From the intro, I'm guessing that my questions are dumb questions because it feels very much like a sequel. The game starts with a bunch of characters essentially saying goodbye and taking off. My guess is that they're all the buddies you met in the previous game?

    The game is an isometric platform RPG game...and I've had a terrible time so far. Mostly because it is really awkward to move Spyro around AND jump. And there's a fair amount of "miss this jump and die" sections. The jumping is so bad that at times I've jumped, landed and then gotten stuck (can't move). The only way to get unstuck is to jump again (in place), and then you can move... I've also had a fair number of jumps where I land the jump. I see Spyro land. And then he dies. Infuriating!

    The RPG parts seem interesting, there's lots of little quests, you get experience, you level up, and then you get new abilities from some senior dragonfolk. I'm guessing that the abilities make you better in combat and also let you access previously inaccesible areas. Curiously, there's even "draw stuff on the touchscreen" abilities!

    I've reached level 3 and I'm done. I collected enough gems to fill my "bag", and there's no way for me to spend/use the gems (there is a shop but it's closed - presumably it will open up at some point...but I can't be bothered really).

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    Hidden Folks (iPd)    by   jp       (Mar 18th, 2017 at 22:22:29)

    I got this because I was intrigued, wanted to show it in experimental games class, and thought the art looked nice. It's a very slow-paced take it all in and poke around kind of game. Having just finished a few hidden object games on the DS, this one fits right in. The main difference here is that this game has a lot more going on in terms of little micro-interactions and animations, the art is super cartoony and cute, but...at least so far, it's visually less interesting for some reason? I'm not sure if it's the lack of color, or what seems like not all that much variation in characters? Where's Waldo is super dense, the artist has a strong style, but it always feels like things aren't the same in a Waldo book. This game doesn't quite get there. So far. For all I know there's a lot of different areas to come? I've only done a few of the jungle ones...and really, the monkeys and people all look mostly the same...

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    GameLog hopes to be a site where gamers such as yourself keep track of the games that they are currently playing. A GameLog is basically a record of a game you started playing. If it's open, you still consider yourself to be playing the game. If it's closed, you finished playing the game. (it doesn't matter if you got bored, frustrated,etc.) You can also attach short comments to each of your games or even maintain a diary (with more detailed entries) for that game. Call it a weblog of game playing activity if you will.

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    Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)    by   RageoftheSage

    Probably the best video game.
    most recent entry:   Wednesday 20 February, 2008
    Gameplay

    It is the infusion of the vast array of facets employed in this game that makes it fun to play. The hundreds of enemies, which vary in difficulty and weapons used to kill them, never seem too difficult to beat, but are just enough of a challenge to keep the player glued to the screen. The same can be said for the successive tasks throughout each level. The game difficulty accelerates upwards at a slow but acceptable pace. What I’m trying to stress is that the point of this adventure game is to have an adventure, not constantly be bombarded by close to impossible enemies. The story is also awesome in the way that it brings together all these different races spread across the land of Hyrule to ultimately prove that unity and good will prevail over evil. Whether this is done peacefully, however, is up for debate seeing as Link definitely kills a lot of stuff to achieve that peace, and in the real world violence only begets violence. So I guess it’s a good thing that Zelda is a video game and not the real world then, although that would be so awesome. I’d be much more inclined to kill a Deku Baba than a fellow human. Then again, I’m glad real life isn’t a video game.

    The items in this game are at the crossroads of awesome and useful. The variety of gameplay that they allow is indeed quite huge. Link receives a new item in every level that allows him to complete tasks designed for that type of gameplay and mostly importantly each boss. Within Link needs to collect and use all of these items to defeat the final boss Gannondorf. Aside from the Hylian shield, the ocarina, and deku nuts, most of Link’s items are time sensitive to how old Link is. Bottles can be incredibly helpful for capturing fairies to gain extra lives and other random creatures or substances. In addition, items like magic beans aren’t at all necessary to complete the game, but planting them can be helpful for traveling short distances quickly or obtaining heart pieces. The most common items are Rupees which differ in color and therefore differ in value. Rupees are used to buy replenishable items. Other items can be gained through contact with the Great Fairies. They endow Link with a magic meter that has to be replenished as well as items that drain magic. The different magically powered arrows also consume magic. The magic meter is just one example of some probably intensely complex code that enhances gameplay exponentially. I’m glad that the game designers had to do that job. The job of playing the game seems like much more fun, although it probably doesn’t pay as well.

    Design

    The game is intricately webbed with dozens of side quests. Not all of them are necessary (Happy Mask Shop, fishing), but many of them are incredibly helpful to completing the game (heart pieces, Biggoron’s Sword). Collecting the shells of scratchy sounding enemies called Gold Skultula gains Link different upgrades from a house of people afflicted by the wrath of this spider as killing more of them relieves them of spider-like symptoms. Aside from the Great Fairy side quests, collecting heart pieces is the most crucial and most rewarding system of side questing in the game. Collecting four pieces of heart gains Link another heart container of life. The locations and ways in which these heart pieces can be obtained are often so spread out and different that it takes a serious amount of time to collect all of them.

    The graphics and perspectives of this game are outstanding. Each level is styled according to the biome specific community that surrounds it. Likewise, the enemies are also themed respectively. The level Jabu Jabu’s Belly takes place inside a giant fish. The walls of this level pulsate different colors and breathe. The forest temple contains a twisted hallway that can change the direction of gravity and thus lead Link in a different direction. These are only a couple of the cool aspects of this game. The list of details goes on and on. At this point the best way to attempt to grasp the sheer awesomeness of this game is to play it if you haven’t already. And there’s no excuse for you to not have played this game if you enjoy video games. No excuse at all.

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