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    Mar 4th, 2008 at 21:31:06     -    Halo 3 (360)

    GAMEPLAY (Session 2):
    Halo 3 is the last game in the series and it finishes the story of Halo. At the end of Halo 2, Master Chief was arriving at Earth on a foreign spacecraft preparing to “finish the fight.” In Halo 3, he is fighting on Earth and that’s where the story starts. As you progress through the game, it reveals more about what’s happening on Earth: there is a hidden artifact underneath the planet and the Prophet of Truth is trying to activate it and you need to try to stop it. I enjoy how the story was progressing as you played through the levels, showing more information and why the Covenant joined forces with the humans. Your main goal is really to try and stop Truth from activating the artifact, but when that fails, a hole is ripped in the sky and another life form, the Flood, land on Earth via a ship. So now you have to try to destroy the Flood before they wipe out Earth, but the Covenant let you know that there is something of value in the ship: Cortana. This is your new mission and you have to fight your way through the Flood (I don’t like the Flood, but it is part of the story) and find her. The way the story unfolds is done well as you have to complete objectives before continuing on to the next level. Pretty similar to many other games, but Bungie Studios does it well in Halo 3.

    The game is really interesting to play, especially the multiplayer. The campaign is well done. I wanted to know what was going to happen in the end so it kept me interested in trying to finish the whole game. The multiplayer is another part of the game that keeps people in, myself included. You can customize your character to look however you want (although there are limitations on color, armor, etc.) and if you get all of the achievements in the game, you are rewarded with a katana on your back as you play multiplayer; something else to keep you interested in the game (it kept me interested). Multiplayer is fun, fast and exciting. You level up and you get promoted, which is always nice to have on your avatar. Also, depending on who you play with, you may or may not enjoy the experience online. Some people just have bad mouths and start to say random, stupid things, but there is an option to mute other players and that comes in handy sometimes. Halo 3 will continue to be popular because of the multiplayer and people are always going to want to have fun stealing another person’s vehicle while they are using it. I know I did.

    DESIGN:
    I mostly enjoyed the levels of Halo 3. Since the first game in the series, there have been a couple of levels that I cannot stand, and they consist of the Flood levels. Having to fight your way through Flood enemies is not fun for me, and I know that many other people don’t like that as well. I enjoyed the levels on Earth, where there were no Flood and only Grunts, Brutes, and Jackals. Everything looks great there are detachable turrets (which is new in this game) to take anywhere you want so fighting enemies can be a breeze if you’re good with the weapon you’re using. The levels are varied and the atmosphere changes when the Flood arrive on Earth; that’s good because it gives you the sense that Earth is now in danger because of the Flood so you know you have to do something about it. There is a lot of close combat which is fun, but sometimes can get really crazy and you might die if you don’t pay attention to everything that’s going on around you. What I really love about some of the levels is the open area. Rushing towards a Wraith just to steal it is fun and having different positions to try and sneak up on it makes it better. The different vehicles in the game fit well with the different levels of the game and so did the enemies. The game looks great, the AI is really well done, and the characters have depth to them. This makes Halo 3 is a good game. It’s not great, but it will last a long time because it is fun.

    Halo 3 is the first game in the trilogy made for the Xbox 360 and it’s the first Halo game (besides Halo 2 PC) to have achievements. Since the debut of the Xbox 360, all games on the system had to have achievements for the players and this was its own reward for the players. Halo 3 has achievements and anyone who owns a 360 will want to have completed all of them to show off. I enjoyed getting achievements for Halo 3. It was cool and it made me want to get every single one of them. Many of the achievements are multiplayer, but there are some that are single player as well, to balance the rewards out. For people who do not have the online achievements, they will be playing for a long time just for the ones they don’t have (I did this when I first played it). It’s really rewarding to have completed something in particular to receive a notice on the screen saying that you completed the task to get an achievement. And what do you get for completing 100% of the achievements in Halo 3? You get a katana on your back that lets everyone in the world know that you have finished the game with everything completed. Every time you play online, your sword will be there and it’s a nice feeling showing off to the world that you’ve done everything the developer put into the game.

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    Mar 4th, 2008 at 17:26:44     -    Halo 3 (360)

    SUMMARY:
    Halo 3 the third installment of the Halo franchise and continues the story of Master Chief trying to save humanity from the Brutes and the Flood. The Prophet of Truth is trying to activate a Forerunner (an artifact) discovered underneath New Mombasa (Africa), but by doing so he would be destroying all sentient life in the galaxy. It’s up to Master Chief and the Arbiter to stop Truth from activating the Forerunner and save humanity, as well as the Covenant Elites who joined forces with the humans.

    GAMEPLAY (Session 1):
    As the third game in the series, you have been introduced to many of the characters in the game: Master Chief, Cortana, Sergeant Johnson, Captain Keyes, and the Arbiter. They are all well done and have a backstory to them, so if you have played the previous games, like I did, you have a connection to the characters. Master Chief, though he doesn’t talk much, is a strong guy and he will beat anyone who tries to attack him. His story is well developed although you never see his face so you don’t know what he looks like. Cortana is another important character in the Halo franchise as she is important in stopping the activation of Halo. She is an AI character and is always in Master Chief’s head. She is always talking to you, giving you advice and having polite conversations. In Halo 3, however, this is the first time that you do not have her in your head for most of the game and it is up to you to go and rescue her. You don’t want her to become evil so it makes you want to go rescue her to save her from becoming corrupt.

    The gameplay in Halo 3 is pretty fun. At the beginning of the game you get a hold on your first weapon: an assault rifle, which hasn’t been in a Halo game since the Halo 1. It’s similar to other First-Person Shooters, but it’s still fun. One of the first enemies you encounter is a Brute and they are one of the toughest enemies in the game. Depending on what difficulty you have it on, they can be as easy as a Jackal or as hard as a Hunter so choose the difficulty wisely because on Legendary, they are a real pain, as well as every other enemy. To me, it’s always fun to be able to stick a grenade to tough enemies to kill them instantly and Halo 3 lets that happen plenty of times, and with the introduction of new grenades, you have another choice of grenade to use instead of the original standard grenades and Plasma grenades. Since it is an FPS, it will get repetitive eventually, though it will take a little while because Bungie Studios added a bunch of new vehicles to drive and new weaponry, which is a plus to many fans of the series.

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    Feb 20th, 2008 at 23:01:30     -    Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)

    GAMEPLAY (Session 2):
    Playing through the game was really fun. It’s a 2D platformer with Mario as the leading character. The beginning world is pretty much an introduction to the rest of the game where you learn how to control Mario and is powers. I remember playing this game when I was younger and getting frustrated because my sister knew many tricks to get further in the game and I didn’t know what she did. But as I was getting older I found some hidden secrets and it’s the same today although I don’t remember exactly where they are. I really like that Nintendo added a lot of hidden surprises within this game because it lets the players choose whether or not to play through the whole game, level by level, or jump to the last level to see what happens at the end of the game. I must admit that I haven’t actually played through every single world. I always used an item to get me to the end, which I like because I wouldn’t like to play every level just to see the ending. I really enjoyed this game because of the oldschool feel to it. It reminds me of when I was younger, which is why I guess Nintendo put it on the Virtual Console.

    Along with being a fun game to play, it was interesting to play as well. Going through the levels lets you see the different looks of each world. You could tell when you were going to play through a water level or you could see that you would be fighting a Hammer Bros. Some of the levels are not really challenging, but other can get you a bit frustrated if you don’t time your jump correctly, which happened to me a couple of times, but that’s part of the experience; trial and error. Just seeing what different powers Mario could get is really cool and wanting to get through a level just to see the outfits he wears is reason enough to play through a difficult world. And the music is really familiar and everyone likes to hear the familiar Mario tunes while playing the game.

    DESIGN:
    I thought that the level design in Super Mario Bros. 3 was really good. You have many different enemies placed in different places on each level (even though there is only one way to get through the level). The way the backgrounds look is really good for each world as it matches exactly what the world contains. Within each level you have different challenges to beat and sometimes they are really rewarding (for me it’s the water levels because I really don’t like those levels. It feels hard for me.), and some just are there to continue the game. The worlds are really colorful with bright colors and not many dark colors, although the last level is really dark because that’s where the final boss battle is going to take place. Many of the powers that Mario gets let him do things better depending on the world that he is in, like a frog suit to let him swim better. Very cool looking outfits for all of his powers and I can’t wait to play a new Mario game to see what new powers he will have.

    So this game is a bit challenging if you haven’t played it in a long time. Many of the platform elements can be done pretty easily but there are some levels where you can get frustrated a lot. There are some levels where you have to continuously grab a Star so that you can run across deadly plants. If you don’t, you die. I found this in one of the worlds and it got me frustrated because I couldn’t get one Star that I needed to continue so I got stuck on a brick with nowhere to go. Much of the other levels in the game have you dodge every enemy (or kill them) just by jumping or running, but there are some enemies, like a giant fish, that can’t be killed unless you have a weapon power (like fireballs or hammers). You need to have good timing with jumping to get past some of the levels because if you don’t time it correctly, you’ll have to start it over and sometimes it is fun doing it over, but if you die over and over, it loses the fun so try to get it right in a few tries. Most of the game isn’t really difficult, but it is challenging, especially when you ride the battleship to get to the boss for that world.

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    Feb 20th, 2008 at 20:57:20     -    Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)

    SUMMARY:

    In Super Mario Bros. 3, you play a plumber named Mario. You move from world to world completing a variety of levels within that world. The object of the game is to move from world to world trying to save all of the kings that have been turned into creatures by the enemy Bowser by returning each of their wands.

    GAMEPLAY (Session 1):

    Super Mario Bros. 3 is a classic game from the 8-bit era. It’s one of the games that showed off the power of the NES. This was the game that gave Mario different abilities for his adventure to attack is foes. One of the most recognizable powerups for Mario is the Raccoon tail and it’s the first one that you get in this game besides the Mushroom. Since his first days as “Jump Man”, Nintendo gave him a better identity, a plumber named Mario who has a brother named Luigi. Since I was little, I have always enjoyed the Mario games, and playing this one again brought back memories from the first time I played it.

    So Mario is the protagonist, Peach is the damsel in distress, Bowser is the antagonist, and they are pretty much the main characters. You play as Mario, the lovable plumber trying to restore every king’s original form by defeating different Koopas to get their wands back. After playing for an hour, there are different Koopas with different abilities trying to defeat you, but, you overcome them by jumping on their heads at the right time. Before you reach the Koopa bosses, you need to complete different levels filled with different enemies, like Goombas, Koopa Paratroopas, and other similar enemies. They all appear in most of the levels, along with some other enemies that are harder to kill. Also, after every king that you save, Princess Peach sends you a letter, along with a new ability to use whenever we want to. These are helpful when you don’t want some of the enemies killing you, like an angry sun.

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