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    Apr 25th, 2009 at 15:23:59     -    Left 4 Dead (360)

    ==Overview==
    Left 4 Dead is a first person shooter developed by Valve, and was released for the PC and Xbox 360. It features a 4 player Co-op mode where you fight through hordes of zombies, and a Verses mode where players can control the 'special' zombies against a team of 4 human controlled characters. The game is different each time thanks to the “AI Director” which sends zombies at you at different intervals every time through the game. This helps with the re playability of the game by making each play through a new experience. The basic plot of the game is that Earth has been infected by zombies, and you are one of four survivors who must fight through the hordes of zombies to reach safety.

    ==Game Play==
    Left 4 Dead is a first person shooter and has very similar controls and game play to other first person shooters. What separates L4D from other FPS is the cooperative elements of the game. The game is designed to be played with 4 people helping each other through the different challenges the game throws at them. The main enemy the players fight is a zombie, which is pretty easy to kill. To counter this weakness, they attempt to overwhelm you by sending many of them at once, while also having to fight off other harder enemies. There are 5 types of special enemies, each with their own special abilities. The first special enemy is the hunter, which will jump onto a player and pin them down. When this happens you need your teammates to come over and knock him off of you. The next type of enemy is a smoker, which gets its name from the fact that when it dies it lets loose a cloud of smoke that causes anyone near it to start coughing. The smoker has a really long tongue that it uses to grab someone and drag them away from the group. Your teammates need to either hit the tongue with the butt of their gun to release them, or shoot the smoker and kill him. The next type of bad guy is a boomer. These are distinguishable from others due to their portly appearance and their habit of spitting on people. Their spit is highly effective at bringing more zombies to the party. The fourth kind of bad guy is a witch. These sit in a corner crying until they are disturbed. Once one of the members interrupts her she goes crazy and tackles whoever disturbed her. This instantly knocks them down and their teammates have to save them. The last type of enemy is a tank, which is the biggest one of them all. These guys have a seriously bad temper and will knock over anything that gets in their path. They are hard to bring down and need all 4 members shooting them. The game has multiple stages and it is completed by making to the end of the level and calling for help on the radio. You then have to defend your position for a certain amount of time while you await your rescue.

    ==Graphics==
    The graphics for L4D are very well done, and are very detailed. When you shoot a zombie's extremity you can see it explode or fall off. They also use lighting to establish the mood of the game with effective use of shadows.

    ==Innovative Elements==
    L4D sets itself apart from other FPS with its use of cooperative play. The main aspect of the game is focused on coop play instead of deathmatch style play like most FPS go for. This gives L4D a fresh feel and sets it apart from other games, something that Valve is known for, as they are one of the top game developers for PCs.

    ==Audio==
    The sound for this game does a very good job of setting the mood. There are different events that occur in game with corresponding sounds, that signal coming up events.

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    Mar 5th, 2009 at 18:16:06     -    Circle Pong Extreme (PC)

    After the first 15 minutes of playing the game, the game is not very difficult. There is a help screen that tells you the basics of how to play the game, but does not explain any of the power ups and what the different colors mean. This adds some randomness to the game, but it is not really necessary to collect the power ups to keep the game going until the paddle gets really small. The power ups come so frequently that I was able to keep the paddle pretty big since its decays at such a slow rate. The power up which created multiple balls was pretty cool until you realize that it becomes a pain to keep more than two or three in the playing field so it was really just worth it to focus on one ball. Eventually I got a power up that made the ball really huge and slow, and once this happened I had no problem keeping the ball going. It made the game really monotonous and boring. Also the controls made it pretty easy since if you pass the cursor over the middle of the screen the paddle will quickly warp to the other side of the screen. Whenever you lose the game, the ending is simply a screen that says press F2 to start a new game, which does not help make the game less boring. The color scheme is pretty bland also with a plain black background and a small white line for a paddle. The red ball was pretty easy to follow on the background but total package just doesn't have enough to hold someone's interest.

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