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    Mar 6th, 2008 at 01:23:31     -    Fable (XBX)

    SUMMARY

    Fable is an open-ended RPG. The player controls a young boy whose town is ambushed by bandits, and that boy can either grow up to be evil or good, depending on the actions the player chooses. For example, in one mini-quest, players can either steal money from a farmer while he is away, or simply hold down the fort like he asks. If you choose the former, you get evil points, if the latter, good points. Fable is set in a fictional pseudo-medieval time.

    GAMEPLAY

    Sometimes games have a way of being very slow to start. Fable is not one of these games. Right from the beginning you start making choices about good and evil and doing quests and gaining experience. Eventually, when you get to the 'home base' of the game, you start to learn about what you can become in terms of being a hero. You can focus on magic, ranged attacks, or melee attacks. There are also a variety of side quests with which you can gain experience, money, or good/evil points. You can also woo other characters (not just girls) into liking you, which provides quite a lot of entertainment.

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    Feb 24th, 2008 at 17:29:07     -    Goldeneye 007 (N64)

    SUMMARY

    Goldeneye 007 is a first-person-shooter featuring James Bond, a British MI6 agent who infiltrates enemy structures to recover various sources of intelligence. Based on the 1995 film "Goldeneye", players follow the storyline of the movie. Goldeneye 007 also has a multi-player feature that allows up to 4 players to battle deathmatch style in the various maps in the game.

    GAMEPLAY

    As I played each map, it was a little confusing in terms of where I needed to go, who to kill, etc, and sometimes I had to wander around for 10-15 minutes to find the place I needed to be. However, when the (linear) path was easily discernible, it was very fun! The AI are designed rather well considering how long ago the game was made. For instance, if they are not facing you, you can sneak up on them without them even knowing. In some maps, there is an infinite number of potential enemies, and one can hide in one spot while the alarm is on and engage in a long session of target practice.

    The guns vary from realistic to ridiculous. Some guns (like the Klobb) require a good 10 billion bullets to be fired before the enemy thinks about dying. Other guns are more realistic and will kill an enemy in 2-3 shots. Also, bullets fired in certain parts of the body do more damage than others (in the head vs. in the foot). My favorite weapons in the game are the proximity and remote mines. The proximity mines, when activated, will explode when any character (including yourself) gets too close. The remote mines can be activated at any time by the person who laid it. In deathmatches that only have these weapons, it can lead to some interesting tactics.

    This entry has been edited 4 times. It was last edited on Mar 3rd, 2008 at 09:57:31.

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    Feb 9th, 2008 at 02:29:45     -    Splinter Cell: Double Agent (PC)

    SUMMARY

    Splinter Cell: Double Agent (SCDA) is an action game where the player controls Sam Fisher, a covert agent for the NSA. On the way home from a mission, Sam's controller informs him that his daughter has been hit by a car and was killed. He feels that now he has nothing to lose, and takes his most dangerous job yet: infiltrating the ranks of a dangerous terrorist organization as a double agent. During each mission, players must choose which objectives to complete (some are from the terrorists, others are from the NSA) in order to gain either organizations trust.

    GAMEPLAY

    SCDA is a 3D stealth action game, which means players must hide in the shadows and use silenced weapons to remain undetected. If detected, enemies will fire at will, and Sam will lose his organizations' trust. In addition to hiding in shadows, players can also use weapons and EMP charges to disable lights and cameras. They can also sneak up behind enemies, put them in a choke hold and interrogate them for information (such as passcodes or item locations).

    SCDA has a linear story-line, but each mission is somewhat open-ended and allows players to complete missions how they choose (interrogate a guard for the passcode, or hack the nearby computer?)

    The controls themselves take a while to get used to, and can get frustrating sometimes. Simply the left/right/up/down movements are slow to respond and have gotten me caught by guards (multiple times).

    The ability to pick and choose which objectives to complete gives players more freedom in each mission, and allows for more playability, and also makes in actually feel like you are a NSA agent undercover in a dangerous environment.

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    Jan 12th, 2008 at 20:09:34     -    Counter Strike: Source (PC)

    Gameplay

    I've been sticking with the map I played on my previous entry, and it's really becoming clear how tactics can evolve. When you play one map enough, you get a feel for the intricacies; I've found places to shoot enemies that I would have never thought of before, along with new tactics that (I think) are really clever. For instance, throwing smoke and flash grenades at the front door to make the terrorists think a rush is coming, while the rest of the team rushes in the back instead. The game is really easy to play for long periods of time because there are so many possibilities.

    I've also come to be able to predict events like rushes, people hiding in corners, etc. For instance, if I open a door and get greeted with bullets, I know to close the door before a grenade comes sailing my way.

    Design

    I'm really starting to respect the designers when it comes to level design. They predicted events that would probably cheapen the experience, and took measures to keep it from happening. For example, since players can shoot through walls, it would be easy to figure out where enemies commonly hide and shoot through the wall to kill them, but the designers put in pillars and props to shield them.

    It should also be noted the detail they put into each level. The warehouse level has a story that its a washing-machine warehouse (but it's really for money laundering), and the boxes have the company logo, name, etc. There are even stacks of money that, when you look at them, you can see the individual dollars' features.

    There are, however, some glitches that players can exploit with the help of other players. If one player crouches under the main office and another player jumps on top, and both players jump simultaneously, the top player will get wedged between the floor, and can shoot their enemies up above (but not be seen). Using these glitches in most servers results in a ban from that server.

    Also, since the game is internet-based, there are discrepancies in bullet timing. One player could swear he made it behind the wall but the server shows him dead a few feet from it. This is because of each player's ping, which measures how long it takes for information to go to and from the server to each computer.

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    Entries written to date: 5
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    1Counter Strike: Source (PC)Playing
    2Fable (XBX)Playing
    3Goldeneye 007 (N64)Playing
    4Splinter Cell: Double Agent (PC)Playing

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