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    Apr 29th, 2011 at 11:56:46     -    League of Legends (PC)

    Description:

    League of Legends is a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) type game that is a successor to the original MOBA, DoTA (Defense of the Ancients, a Warcraft 3 mod that became hugely popular). Players compete in 3v3 (Twisted Treeline map) or 5v5 (Summoner's Rift) battles.

    The game is commonly referred to as LoL, and it is completely free to play, and the only thing that can not be purchased with game currency are skins which are purely cosmetic and the only thing that can not be bought with real money are runes which boost your stats, this makes sure that the game is balanced and not favoring those that can spend more money than others.

    The game has, as of right now, 74 champions. Each week a new rotation of free champions are released which give a taste of each of the different play style roles. Champions are unlocked permanently by either spending IP (game currency, earned by playing matches) or RP (real money).

    Player/Game Mechanics:

    Once the player selects which game they wish to play (3v3 or 5v5) then they can choose to either play Ranked (draft picks with 2 bans per a team, only 1 of each champ may be selected) or Normal (blind pick and no bans, only 1 of each champ may be selected per a team), and there are also bot matches that may be played for practice.

    After selecting the game type the player selects their champion (currently 74 to choose from), and setup their masteries (talent trees that modify your champions stats to personalize how you like to play them), and select 2 summoner spells (2 spells that each champion can choose that are separate from the champions normal abilities, and select a rune page (similar to masteries, but are setup before the game lobby).

    The game starts and players can begin moving around the map and buy items. The max level in the game is level 18, and you gain xp from killing enemy creep (computer controlled enemies that walk towards your base), enemy champions (the enemy player controlled characters), and neutral creep (similar to creep, but remain stationary in the jungle between lanes). As the player levels they are allowed to level up one of their abilities each level, and their ultimate ability at level 6, 11, and 16. Players gain gold to buy items (which strengthen their champion) by landing the killing blow on creep/neutral creep and enemy champions, also players gain 1 gold every second.

    The game progresses as the players destroy the enemy towers on the way to their Nexus (the main base, when destroyed that team loses the match). Towers attack enemy champions and creep as they enter their range and must be destroyed in order to damage the next one. After the outside turrets there is an Inhibitor which once destroyed allows players to begin attacking the Nexus Turrets (once destroyed the Nexus may be damaged).


    Graphics/Sound:

    The graphics are very nice, although not as detailed as some of the other MOBA games out. The sound and graphics play an integral part in the game since these indicate when certain champions are doing particular moves so that players may dodge or get out of danger. As well as players being able to signal warnings on the map to their allies.

    Game Session 1:

    I played as Caitlin who is a attack damage, ranged carry type character. I took the main offensive on my team and led my team in kills by shutting down my lanning opponent in the early game giving me the item advantage through gold throughout the game by constantly killing the enemy champions. We were able to quickly push through to the enemy nexus and destroy it within the first 30min of the game due to the enemy being shut down so bad.

    Game Session 2:

    I played as Amumu this time, who is an ability power, tank type character. I decided to jungle (meaning I did not go in the lanes against the enemy champions, this allows me to traverse the map without the enemies seeing me until I jump in to surprise kill them, called a 'gank'). I was able to successfully get 4 ganks before the middle of the game which greatly helped my carries (the main damage dealing champions) on my team get ahead in gold and items. This allowed us to continue to push easily. In the team fights I was able to stun the enemy and root them in place so that my carries could safely kill them without being taken out, and even tallied up a good bit of kills myself. We were able to win the game at the 40min mark.


    Overall an extremely fun and addicting game. It does have a steep learning curve as players have to learn what all the enemy champions are able to do through experiencing them in games, so that they are better able to judge situations and are more competent in the fights.

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    Mar 29th, 2011 at 11:01:08     -    Serious Sam: First Encounter (PC)

    Description:

    Alien forces called Mental are destroying all of humanitie's outposts throughout the galaxy and have come to earth now. It is up to Sam "Serious" Stone, in recognition of his many victories against the enemy, to obtain an artifact left on Earth called the "Time Lock" to go back in time to prevent all of this from happening and defeat the enemy there.

    Player/Game Mechanics:

    The main character is Sam "Serious" Stone, a decorated hero in the wars against Mental. The game can be played as either a first person shooter or a third person shooter with the click of a button. As the player travels through the different levels they find more weapons (up to 16 may be found through out the game). Each weapon is nicely varied from each other to help accomplish certain roles and gives a nice bit of variety in the gameplay and how the player may complete each level. The player must navigate through the maze of each level and solve simple button puzzles to unlock doors or disable traps to proceed. Enemies will spawn as the player continues through the level, and upon defeating certain enemies, as well as when the player tries to pick up certain items on the ground or crosses certain thresh-holds in the level (similar to the old school Doom games).


    Graphics/Sound:

    The Graphics have been updated with new textures and character models in the HD remake that I played. The graphics are bright and mostly open areas, and the enemies really pop out of the background with their varied forms being distinctly out of place for the Earth environments which they find themselves in. The sound plays an integral role in the game, as each enemy makes certain sounds as they approach you to alert you to what enemies may be trying to blind-side you.

    Levels:

    Each level is based in a different area, which makes each area fresh to the player as they traverse the multiple levels on their quest to obtain the "Time Lock."

    Game Session 1:

    I played through the first few levels and in the initial levels I started with a combat knife and a revolver. The revolver had infinite ammo, but had to reload after every 6 shots. The levels were very open at first which made dispatching the enemies very easy before they could get close enough to do anything. The movement is pretty fast in the game which allowed me to be able to sidestep most attacks. I found a dual-revolver weapon pick-up a little way through which greatly helped since the enemies began to spawn in larger numbers to try and overrun me, but overall I thought the game was overly easy and no real challenge. Once I found the shotgun it allowed me to quickly dispatch the only enemy that gave me a problem, which was a skeleton bull that charges you. Was reminded of old school Doom as I went through the levels because when ever you enter a room it may be empty, but as soon as I would go for a health pick-up or armor enemies would spawn right behind or around me.

    Game Session 2:

    I continued the game where my last session left off and was pleasantly surprised to see the difficulty ramp up considerably. Particularly when I found the coachgun (double barreled shotgun). When I entered the room it was a massive Egyptian architecture room with many pillars, and as soon as I approached the gun I was met with tons of enemies continuously spawning as I defeated them. It became evident that the game was just going through a warm-up in those early levels. There was also quite a bit of old 90's action humor mouthed by Sam as I defeated enemies or encountered more or found new gear/weapons. Also, I found a reference to Indiana Jones where he was being chased by the boulder, and had a good laugh. Once I found all the elements that I was sent to find I went to a city called Memphis where the enemies became much larger and greater in number, but I also found a Rocket Launcher and a Tommy Gun to help even the odds. I ended my game session in the middle of a desert where I had to fight off all the enemies I had previously fought, but in large waves of each that just continued to come until I was overwhelmed by all of them.


    Overall a fun game to kill time with and it also has co-op which should be fun, but without anything that really grabbed me I found it hard to continuously play the game.

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    Jan 27th, 2011 at 15:01:29     -    Magic: The Gathering (Other)

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    ---------Magic: The Gathering----------
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    Type: CCG (Collectible Card Game)

    Players: 2 or more

    Objective: Win by reducing opponents life to 0, opponent no longer able to draw a card when required, certain cards have a win condition that over-writes these conditions, and forfeit.

    Components: A deck (consists of at least 60 cards, with no upward limit)

    Optional Components: dice (for keeping track of life), token cards or coins (to keep track of token creatures)

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    Terms:

    Spells: All cards in the game other than lands are considered spells. These are divided into multiple different types (defined in the "Types of Cards" section)

    Tap: Rotate a card 90 degrees to use certain abilities, or to activate Land to get mana.

    Untap: Return a card to its normal vertical position.

    Mana: Used to cast different spells.

    Summon: Bring a creature to the field.

    Field: The game play area.

    Graveyard: The pile that made of cards as they are used or destroyed.

    Deck: The player's deck that they are playing with.

    Hand: The cards that the player is currently holding during the game.

    Mulligan: When the game starts each player draws 7 cards, and if their hand is not satisfactory then they may reshuffle their deck and draw their hand over again, but with one less card. This may be performed until the player has no cards in their hand.

    Stack: The Stack is the order of cards played in response to one another. When all parties are finished the stack is resolved with all effects taking place from most recent back to the bottom of the stack.

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    Types of Cards:

    Lands: There are 5 different colored lands (and also colorless lands as well), which are used to tap for mana that is used to summon creatures or cast spells.

    Creatures: The main type of spell. creatures are summoned by using enough mana, which is gathered by tapping lands, or from creature abilities.

    Sorceries: Spells that a player can play during their 1st or 2nd main phase and can have a wide variety of effects.

    Enchantments: A Subset of Sorceries. These can be attached to creatures to alter them in some way, or are just placed on the field providing a lasting effect as long as they are in play.

    Instants: Spells that a player can play at any time in the game, usually used as counters.

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    Colors:

    There are 5 main colors of cards (as well as colorless cards). These cards are divided into: Red, Black, Green, White, Blue. Each subset has a general theme to it that cards of that color usually embody.

    Red magic: Usually a fast aggressive style with many Sorceries and Instants that cause damage to the enemy player and/or creatures.

    Black magic: Usually revolves around leeching life from the enemy or draining it from different sources, as well as reviving dead Creatures.

    Green magic: Usually the strongest creatures as it revolves around nature. Is great at spawning many Creatures quickly.

    White magic: Is generally used for life gain and great defense and utility.

    Blue Magic: Usually revolves around countering enemies moves and preventing the opponent from being able to act.

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    Game Rules:

    Each player starts by making a deck of at least 60 cards, but no more than 4 copies of any one card unless it is a land. Each player then shuffles their decks and cuts the opponents deck (take the top off and place the bottom on-top of it, many variations are possible).

    The players then decide who goes 1st (many different way to do so, decided upon by each set of players). Each player draws 7 cards, if they do not like the cards in their hand they can elect to Mulligan. When both players are satisfied the game begins with which ever player is going first.

    The player that goes first does not draw a card on their initial turn.

    ----Normal Game Flow----
    (These are the normal rules. All rules are subject to being modified/changed/added to by cards that are played during the course of the game. Also, instant spells may be played at any time in the game.)

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    Upkeep:

    Player untaps all their cards.

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    Draw:

    Player draws a card (number of cards drawn may be augmented by certain game cards)

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    Main Phase 1:

    Player may play only 1 Land each turn (unless modified by a card's effect). Player may summon any Creatures or play any Sorceries, Instants, Enchantments that they can afford the mana cost of.

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    Battle Phase:

    Player decides if they wish to attack the opponent with any of their creatures, this is done by tapping the creatures that they wish to attack with. The opponent that is being attacked may then chose to block creatures with their creatures (no limit to the amount that can block, but they must be untapped and able to block the specific creature). Players then go back and forth in response to the other's actions with instants until both pass, then the stack is resolved. Creatures that block compare each other's strength/toughness to decide which creatures die and which live (strength is subtracted from all opposing creatures' toughness, and is cumulative during the Battle Phase), if any are brought to zero or less toughness they are destroyed. Any creatures that were not blocked deal their strength worth of damage to the opponent's life.

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    Main Phase 2:

    Same as main phase 1. If a land was played during main phase 1 the player may not play another.

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    End Phase:

    Player resolves any effects on the board and the next player starts their turn.

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    Summary:

    Magic: The Gathering is a very complex card game that can be played in a variety of ways and is constantly being added to in terms of cards and different game types. The game is equal parts strategy/skill and luck, with the deck construction being the strategy beforehand and the luck of the draw combined with how skillfully the player plays with what he is able to draw.

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    First Session:

    I played with my elf deck, which is a Green-mono deck, against Trey who was using a Red/Green deck. I started with a good hand of land and land gathering. After a few turns I had taken a little damage, but had my Wellwisher out which is an elf that heals me for each elf on the field, so I was fine for health the rest of the game. Trey started to get some bigger creatures on the field so I was unable to attack without losing creatures, so I waited a few turns then got a Taunting Elf onto the field which has the ability that forces all enemy creatures to block it when it attacks. The next turn I drew an Alpha Strike, which is a sorcery that boosts both strength and toughness by +2 for each 2 mana that you spend, and I put 6 into it, and then attacked with everything including my taunting elf which won me the game in 1 attack since all of Trey's creatures had to block the taunting elf allowing all my damage to hit him directly.

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    Second Session:

    This session I decided to use my Sliver Deck, which like the Elf Deck has creatures that work off of having more of the same type of creature on the field. Each Sliver has a global ability that they give to each Sliver on the field, so with each one you get on the field your entire force gets stronger and stronger. I was again playing against Trey's Red/Green deck. In this game I got off to a rough start with lands, but luckily had a few of my low cost Slivers in my hand so I was able to get at least something on the field. Trey again got out his hard hitting combos which took me down to half health before I managed to start getting some more land and defend myself. About 7 turns in I finally had a handful of slivers on the field including my Slithering Sliver which makes all slivers unblockable as long as he is on the field, so I was finally able to start getting some damage in on Trey and evened out the score. Trey then came out with a series of instants and sorceries that blew up several of my powerful slivers, but then I got out my sliver that has the ability to regenerate slivers by tapping a sliver (regenerate is used in reaction to a creature about to be sent to the graveyard, which brings it back from the dead). With this sliver on the field I was able to get another slithering sliver and then proceed to chip away at Trey's health without losing any creatures, but just as i was about to land the final blow to his health, he cast an instant to deal 4 damage to my regenerating sliver (killing it) and 2 damage to himself which killed him before I could do so myself.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Jan 27th, 2011 at 20:19:50.

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