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    Nov 10th, 2006 at 10:09:51     -    Okami (PS2)

    Another mission in Okami involves finding more dogs. This mission is prompted by a lady who sends you out on this mission to find her eight dogs. Five of them are found in the immediate city that the player is in. However, once that is done the lady sends you out into the world to find the other ones. This began another slight frustration with open world design. There were three locations marked on my map that designated where the dogs where. I started with the one closest to me and searched forever and couldn't find the dog. After exploring for quite some time I discovered that you had to go to dog farthest away and then work your way back to find the others. There was no hint or sign that this was the case. Talking to people did tell the player a lot about the story, but did not advance him in the direction of the correct dog. It took a lot of exploration and feeling that I'm stupid for not being able to find the dog before I realized that he wouldn't show up until I found them in the correct order. This shows the issues with linearity in an open world game. Knowing that I could explore everywhere I assumed that order didn't matter, but it obviously did after trial and error.

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    Nov 10th, 2006 at 10:03:43     -    Okami (PS2)

    For this entry I want to talk about a failed side mission in Okami. I received a request to kill 8 certain enemies. The problem arises in both the open world design and the design of encountering enemies. From the instructions given I believe that these enemies could be found anywhere within the world. This presents the issue of having to explore a very large area once again to find what I'm looking for. The issue of finding these enemies presents even more of a problem than finding the dog. At least when finding the dog I found the cave and it was very recognizable once I had done so. Enemy encounters occur when Ameteratsu collides with a ghostly looking rug-thing. The problem is that all of them look the same so finding the 8 enemies I'm looking for involves exploring all areas of the world and trying to encounter enemies hoping that I just happened to run into the right one. This became very frustrating very quickly and digressed into me just hoping I would complete the side mission as I traveled and completed the main missions.

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    Nov 10th, 2006 at 09:56:02     -    Okami (PS2)

    Okami is a game somewhat similar to Zelda about a god Wolf trying to restore order to a world. One mission I encountered involved trying to rescue a boys dog. This mission was extremely frustrating because due to the open world nature it took me a long time to figure out where I was supposed to go. Eventually I ended up finding how to enter a cave and completed a Zelda-like dungeon "level" to rescue the dog. The dungeon was quite vast in itself. This type of game-design is interesting to me. It creates discrete "levels" but places them within an open world environement as to simulate non-linearity. In reality the game is fairly linear, but provides for a lot of exploration within the world. Often times exploration is necessary for progression of the game. In trying to find the dog I searched all the areas that I had previously explored and came up empty until I finally found the correct cave. This is an issue I believe open world games can cause. If direction and focus is not clear then it may become difficult to locate objectives. Sometimes it can just be frustrating to have to run all over the game's world to find what you are looking for. Both of these problems were present when I was trying to find the dog.

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    Nov 9th, 2006 at 22:56:52     -    Mercenaries (XBX)

    The third mission that I completed was for the Mafia. The mission itself was simple. I just had to blow up some machine guns and steal a truck. However, the fact that this mission was from the mafia is what's important. It is not another country and your allegiance to the Mafia can really affect the gameplay. The Mafia offers a shop that provides a lot of really nice items that could aid in your missions. However, crossing the Mafia and losing their allegiance can cause this shop privelage to be revoked. From playing before I remembered that aiding one country can lose allegiance to another if they are enemies. The Mafia however is somewhat independant. However, getting on the Mafia's bad side can be a detrimental thing. This adds another level to the balance and cooperation found in Mercenaries.

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    1Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (PS2)Playing
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