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    Mar 5th, 2008 at 19:59:05     -    Super Smash Brothers (N64)

    Design

    The levels in this game are based off of the original games the characters are from. For example, the starfox level takes place on the spine of a giant space ship. While maintaining the atmosphere of a 3D fighter, the player only uses two dimensions. The levels are set up so that faling off the edge means losing a life.

    The concept of the game is interesting. The opening conematics show the characters as toys in a child’s room. The idea is that the characters are being manipulated much like a child would do with two action figures. This is employed especially well into the game because the player then gets to step into this childlike magic circle and battle with these toys. The fact that the final boss is a giant hand simply called the master hand fits this concept all the more.


    Gameplay

    Single player is fun, but the true replay value of this game comes in it’s multiplayer. This game has stood the test of time since I still know people who play it, and are incredibly good at it. The memorization of each special move allows players to develop unique strategies against each other character.

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    Mar 5th, 2008 at 19:58:51     -    Super Smash Brothers (N64)

    Summary

    Super Smash Bros is a crossover fighting game released on the Nintendo 64 where players fight eachother as different Nintendo characters.

    Gameplay

    This fighting game differs from other fighting games in a lot of ways. Instead of a health bar that is reduced over time, the character’s damage is measured in a percentage that increases as they are hit. The higher their percentage, the easier they will die. The fighting abailites range greatly from each character. A character like Link has many projectile weapons as is appropriate for his fictional background in zelda. Other characters have special moves that help them in most situations, while lacking in other departments that leaves the inexperienced player at a disadvantage.

    The single player mode offers many different types of gameplay. Each level changes the fighting style the player must use to complete it. While the classic one on one brawl is entertaining, the player must work with computer allies, destroy dozens of polygon people, board platforms and break targets. The boss is a giant hand. By playing through the single player mode several times the player can unlock several other characters to fight as.

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    Feb 20th, 2008 at 04:17:09     -    Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)

    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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    Feb 20th, 2008 at 04:16:47     -    Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)

    Summary

    Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is an action adventure game in which the hero, Link, must complete a series of levels and collect a multitude of items in order to stop Gannondorf from taking over Hyrule and save Princess Zelda.

    Gameplay

    I have had Ocarina of Time for as long as I have had a Nintendo 64. I have played it more times than I could count on my fingers, and I count on my fingers to enable me to play, so it’s a win win situation. There are so many good qualities about this game it’s almost difficult to pick a place to start. Link, the hero of time, is nothing but a short Hylian child confused about whether or not he is Kokirri in the beginning of the game. It is up to the player to build him into a fierce warrior capable of bringing down Gannondorf, King of Thieves. The game begins with Link getting awoken by his newly appointed fairy Navi. She stays with him the entire journey and helps him out by telling him how to do moves (initially), target and identify enemies, and pester him while he’s busy side questing to stay on task with the mission. Link completes three levels as a child, collecting essential weapons (sword, shield, boomerang, etc) and three sacred stones to open the door in the temple of time to access the Sacred Realm. On his way there, a distressed young Zelda fleeing on horseback tosses him the object the game is named after, the ocarina of time, but I’ll get right back to that. In the Sacred Realm Link obtains the Master Sword which enables him to pass through time to seven years in the future and back if he so chooses. Though there is rarely much use for young Link in the second half of the game, aside from side quests and select levels, the idea that you can travel through time is still cool and not incorporated into video games nearly enough.

    The concept of having an instrument as an essential gameplay item (an ocarina, no less) is genius enough to have it’s own paragraph. It’s probably genius enough to have it’s own book, but I’m not going to write a whole book. Idea aside, the numerous ways in which the ocarina can be used is astounding. There are a few key songs such as Zelda’s Lullaby which opens various passage ways throughout the game and Epona’s song which calls Link’s horse Epona from where ever she was lounging around off screen ( only in fields, only as an adult). Then there are warp songs that deliver Link to a big stone triforce in front of each level. Some songs are just there for the sake of convenience. Need to skip forward three days really fast to get the Bigoron’s sword? The Sun’s Song will get Link there as fast as he can play it six times plus the time it takes the sun to rise and set really fast. Want to fill a well or get a man with a strange crank box instrument mad? The Song of Storms is only six keys away. The game also allows Link to make up his own song which can summon a hookshot-able scarecrow, though the use of this is limited and to tell the truth I’ve never gotten it to work successfully. I’m sure it’s easy, but meh. Not to mention the soundtrack to the game, which is grammy worthy at the very least. All of the music in this game, and many other Nintendo games, is composed by Koji Kondo. His musical genius should be commended.

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