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    Mini Metro (PC)    by   jp       (Apr 20th, 2018 at 19:01:36)

    I'm surprised by how easy this seems, but then it isn't. I lose pretty quickly even though I usually feel like I'm entirely on top of things. So far I've improved my game by:

    a. Not holding back in the early game with starting new lines.
    b. Trying to make circular lines that overlap on a single station (which is then upgraded)
    c. Making sure each line has a circle, triangle AND square. One of each is super important.
    d. Being less scared to pause and completely redraw everything as needed.

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    Rime (PS4)    by   jp       (Apr 16th, 2018 at 18:04:57)

    Finished! (over the weekend)

    I want to say it gets better - the environments, art, and so on definitely get more interesting. But also, I felt like it never really "took off". That's a bit unfair because I went back to the 1st chapter (to pick up some trophies) and I realized that there's a remarkable amount of variation in terms of how you solve different puzzles and so on. This is not a game that tries to give you all the possible variations of a single mechanic. Thankfully!

    Towards the end the story starts to make more sense...but it only comes into focus at the very end. I think it's supposed to be a big twist/surprise but it didn't quite work. I was mostly confused to be honest. With a bit of "oh, I guess that's what it all means". Part of me wants to say that it would work better had I known the premise going in. Otherwise it's just too metaphorical?

    In all, beautiful game but it felt a bit emotionally...dry? On the plus side, it was cool to read the credits, and then the after-credits credits with a whole bunch of stuff in Spanish. It turns out the developers are Spanish! Yay!

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    Magical Starsign (DS)    by   jp       (Apr 13th, 2018 at 18:45:02)

    4 hrs in and I've reached the (a?) 4th planet. My party now has a total of 4 characters and I must admit that I'm getting more and more interested in the game. The last planet was fun because it involved more talking to people, a few fun gags, and not that much combat. The standout was a comedic sequence where you visit the Space Police HQ to file a complaint about space pirates and are given the run around from one desk cop to the next - all different bureaucratic offices. It was short, but funny. Especially as you catch on to what is actually going on.

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    Rime (PS4)    by   jp       (Apr 13th, 2018 at 17:54:05)

    I've pretty much wrapped up the 2nd chapter/section of the game. The game is pretty...and it seems like it's trying too hard to be Journey. At least that was the impression I got in the first chapter. There are puzzles, but they're not really that hard, so I don't think that's the main point or focus of the game.

    There's a story/narrative that I'm slowly uncovering but, to be honest, I'm not really paying all that much attention to it and I'm not sure it's that interesting? I guess I'll see...the game is definitely still pretty and, I've really enjoyed how the 2nd chapter was different from the first with new puzzles and more interesting environments to explore - especially the sections where I had to swim around.

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    Titanfall 2 (PS4)    by   jp       (Apr 13th, 2018 at 17:49:11)

    Ugh. I was sure I had written an earlier entry...oh well.

    So, finished!

    It's definitely the bombastic experience I was hoping for and expecting with an interesting set of mechanics. Weirdly, I didn't particularly enjoy riding around in the Titan - it felt too slow and I don't think I was that good at it. I mostly went "all in" and then retreated to heal the titan up, so I don't think I was really making the most of the different powers and abilities. It's almost like the Titan combat veered into fighting game territory (attack, respond, block, etc.) rather than shooter territory. In the former I really need to be up to speed on what my opponent is doing while in the latter as long as I hit the enemy and use cover I should be ok.

    Strange.

    The standout moments of the game are by far a few of the middle missions where you discover/use the time travel mechanic. It was an interesting experience as you start to realize the tactical potential it has - namely that you can warp in and out of combat giving your opponents an incredibly hard time to respond. I also thought the way those experiences were layered over successive areas in the game was well thought out, interesting, and engaging to play.

    After I finished the campaign I spent an hour or two in the multiplayer - I joined a group playing a "fight back waves of enemies" mode that was interesting, but I wasn't all too excited to run the experience grind to get better equipment and loadouts and all that stuff. Made it an easy decision to move on to another game...

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    Halo 3 (360)    by   Maxwell Weinberg

    No comment, yet.
    most recent entry:   Tuesday 22 January, 2008
    Gamelog Entry 2: HALO 3

    GAMEPLAY:

    This time around, I focused on online multiplayer Team Slayer and Team Hardcore (a variant with different, more "professional gamer" weapons, such as starting with the Battle Rifle for longer range). This time, however, I joined a party with a close friend of mine, as he played from his house, and I from my dorm room. I found that I actually played better when in the virtual-reality presence of my friend, and we seemed to work together well, as we've played the Halo games since their original releases on the Xbox. I found it more enjoyable and motivating to get congratulations and team support from my friend, which allowed me to actually play better. Winning the game, I found, depends on teamwork and strategy much more than individual skill.
    Again, I didn't want to stop playing, even after losing a game.

    DESIGN:

    The design of Halo 3 is truly unique. It isn't necessarily "realistic", but it gives a feeling of immersion nonetheless, as it stays consistent.
    The animation flows very well, and even with online play, the lag is minimal and doesn't ruin game play or visual design. The characters themselves are made to stand out against the beautiful backgrounds, so you can spot an enemy all the way across the map, and yet they all fit in with the environment. The weapons are split into three categories, depending on their "creators" (the Humans, the Covenant Elites, and the Brutes), and all have distinct styles, both visually and functionally. Elite weapons are plasma-like, and are able to take down shields very well, while Human weapons do more damage to a shield-less body. Brute weapons seem heavier, and throw spikes or grenades, rather than energy or bullets. They do a lot of damage but are somewhat harder to use.

    Another aspect that makes Halo 3 an attractive game is the fact that there are, really, four different kinds of attacks. First, there is your regular weapon (typically your gun [sometimes a sword or hammer]). Then there are grenades (Plasma, Frags, Spikers, and Firebombs). Melee is the up-close physical attack of swatting your gun at your enemy to deal a large amount of damage in intense "fist-fights". And the new addition to Halo 3, Equipment. Equipment items allow for new situations that have never been seen in games before, such as a deployable "Bubble Shield" that temporarily completely protects anyone who steps inside (Which means an enemy can kill you and hijack your bubbleshield for protection).

    Each level is laid out with specific weapon locations that the players soon learn by heart, providing unique gameplay and visual experience with each one. Some levels are indoors, causing more use of close-range weapons, while some levels are wide open, allowing the use of the Sniper Rifle and other long-range weapons, and possibly vehicles.

    Vehicles themselves create situations where two or three teammates can work together in a single vehicle, such as the Warthog car. A turret mounted on the back allows one person to shoot, one person to drive, and one person to ride shotgun. The shotgun player can use any weapon that he was holding when he entered the vehicle, which allows a variety of situations to arise from any warthog encounter.

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