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    Oct 20th, 2009 at 00:42:27     -    Kingdom Hearts 358 Days / 2 (DS)

    Game Log Kingdom Hearts 358 Days / 2
    Session 1
    Summery
    358 Days is a mid series sequel to Square Enix’s blockbuster action RPG Kingdom Hearts. The game takes place between Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 and follows KH2’s protagonist, Roxas. Throughout the game, the player strives unravel the mystery of Roxas’ existence, the agenda surrounding Organization XIII, the group who recruited Roxas, as well as understand how all of these happening relate to various characters borrowed from Walt Disney’s own animation vault.
    Gameplay
    The gameplay is based around combat and platforming. Players traverse colorful worlds and must successfully complete a variety of different missions to further the goals of Organization XIII. Recon missions involve sending the player off to explore the different worlds in the game and examine individual pieces of the game world to better understand them. There are combat based missions which require the player to attack a certain boss character or clear a level of certain number of enemies. There are also search based missions that force the player to look for different objects such as emblems.

    Session 2
    Gameplay
    I noticed that the tutorial for this game was quite comprehensive. In fact, so comprehensive that most of my play session involved moving through the tutorial, however it exposed me to a variety of different gameplay mechanics inside of Kingdom Hearts. The designers implemented quite a plethora of features, and while I enjoyed do my fair share of combat with whimsical foes and battling in Disney themed castles, the tutorial really took a lot of the thunder out of the game’s sails.
    Design
    The developers meticulously planned every encounter, conversation and challenge to further the games story. While there is no set order for the missions, the game uses the missions to comment on the characters feelings and the events that occur in the mission to discuss themes such as friendship, loneliness, existence, and sacrifice. While the story isn’t going to win an academy awards, it should be note the degree at which the developers progress the story and especially discuss individual character growth throughout the narrative.


    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Oct 20th, 2009 at 00:42:56.

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    Sep 28th, 2009 at 23:36:13     -    Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 (360)

    Session 1
    Summery
    Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 is an exciting super hero themed beat em up that borrows the best characters from Marvel comics universe of spandex-clad titans. The game takes places during the Marvel Comic event Civil War, where players must fight against different parties of heroes. I throughout the game, players can use a variety of ‘fusion abilities. With these combinations, characters like Spiderman and Captain America can use their unique abilities in concert to quickly dispatch foes.

    Gameplay
    Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 makes heavy use of the right trigger for character abilities. By holding the right trigger and pressing the a,b,x, or y buttons attacks specific to your character can be used. For example, Spider-man can shoot webs at foes, Iron Man can blast enemies with plasma bolts, and Captain America and throw his shield across the battlefield.
    The Fusion ability also changes up the gameplay quite some bit. By holding the left trigger players can combine their abilities with other characters on their team. The fusion attacks are broken up into three catagories: clearing, guided, and targeting. Clearing attacks unleash a unified strike attacks a large pool of enemies. Guided allows one player to guide two around the screen, running over all that cross their path. Targeting allows players to combine two power blasts and attack and enemy with one concentrated power beam.
    The game allows for four players, hop-in hop-out gameplay. In this way players can play whenever it’s convenient for them without hampering with another’s game time. It can also be played online through Xbox Live or Playstation Network.

    Session 2
    Gameplay
    The game is quite fun with a group of people to bash enemies with. On one level, we were fighting against a giant hero who was literally destroying the entire landscape. On this level, my team had to time their dodge moves to evade the vicious attacks of the enemy hero. I decided to save my character instead of fighting with the team and flew throughout most of the battle. I soon discovered by attempting to fight alone in the skies, my team was quickly dispatched. Only by working together and forming a fusion attack when the giant was stunned could we defeat him.

    Design
    This game was meant to be played with a group. My friends and I ordered pizza, guzzled soda, and fought through wave after wave of heroes and villains into the wee hours of the night together. The character fusions, the hip-in hop-out gameplay, and the expansive character list only fosters group play. Everyone picks their characters ahead of time and attempt to level up each character to make them more powerful. The game was design for this type of atmosphere, and without it, it is simply another superhero game.

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    Sep 14th, 2009 at 08:40:22     -    Super Smash Brothers (N64)

    Session 1

    Summery
    In Super Smash Brothers for the Nintendo 64, players must battle stay on the screen in a frantic and cartoony bout that spans Nintendo’s entire game catalog. Levels, characters, and items are borrowed from games developed by Nintendo over the past years and the experience brings the best the company has to offer into a exciting, nostalgia inspiring package. This Arcady fighting game is truly a classic from Nintendo’s best years and upon the originals foundation, two sequels have become blockbuster success and classics.

    Gameplay
    The gameplay in Super Smash is sporadic. Characters race to grab powerful weapons, attack and evade at blinding speeds, and use smash moves to propel their opponents towards oblivion. While playing a round on the pokemon stage, I was pummeling my opponent with a barrage of well timed kicks and head buts as Pikachu. As the match went on, my enemies damage percent continued to climb into the 200% range. I went in for a speedy running smash attack, but he jumped, I missed and rammed into the explosive Electrode Pokemon. As I my head butt connected with the non-player character, I was shot into the sky and lost the match. The randomness of the stage added a whole new dimension to the battle. Not know what the level has planned for you causes players to constantly be on guard for the most unforeseen attacks.

    Session 2

    Gameplay
    I decided to switch to Kirby to see how his mimic ability changed the gameplay. While playing against Link on the characters stage in Hyrule, I discovered Kirby’s ability came in handy. The majority of Kirby’s attacks are close range attacks, with the exception of his jump save move that propels a crystal sword towards his enemy. When I sucked up Link and stole his boomerang ability it allow me to use mid to long range attacks. As the battle ranged, Kirby in his green elf cap, I was ably to quickly use my boomerang to attack my foe at mid distance, and follow up with a brutal jump save that sent him flying. This mechanic added quite a bit of variety to the bout and added to the randomness of each battle.

    Design
    The developers changed the paradigm for fighting games with this title. In most fighting games, players battle to deplete their opponents health bar and preserve their own. During these fights there are often long stand stills as each player fears the others possible blocks may lead to a counter and combo attack that will end them. In Super Smash, the developers force players to constantly be on the attack. While there is a defensive shield that can be called upon at any point in the battle, it can easily crack and lead to a few seconds where the player is vulnerable to a deadly smash attack. Nintendo totally ignored the standard in fighting games and remade the genre into a party game that just happens to be based around fighting.

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    Aug 23rd, 2009 at 21:21:28     -    Bioshock (PC)

    Gameplay
    Bioshock continues to take me on its roller coaster ride of violence, political commentary, and mayhem. New plasmids that incinerate enemies awakened an inner pyromanic side of myself I never knew I had. Also, the telepathic plasmid presented new gamplay mechanics, as I flung grenades at the environment to move debris, as well as displace opponents. The game continues to give me new toys to play with and new enemies to battle with.
    The run of the mill generic enemies seem to have had a rather significant AI boost, as they now attack in groups and even work to ambush me. In on remarkable moment an enemy turns off the lights in a denistry I had discovered and when the lights had turned back on a corpse appeared in the dentist chair. As I moved further to investigate it the lights turned off again and he appeared out of nowhere and attacked me. I was extremely horrified at this and nearly jumped out of my seat.

    Design
    Soon I was met with a plastic surgeon with a few bats in the belfry, and I saw the developers amazingly innovative creative minds at work. Irrational Games (now 2K Boston) created a truly horrid boss character that is influenced by the most graphic slasher flick and deprived psychological horror. Bioshock’s atmosphere, environment, weapons and characters is a testament to the game’s amazing design and keeps the players interests throughout the journey.
    This Dr. Steinman decorates his abode with the corpses of those he has tried to make “beautiful” and showed the art teams attention to detail. Floors were covered with blood and posters defaced with the remains of corpses and Steinman’s sanity. In one instance the doctor used scissors to decorate the face of a “patient” by stabbing both ends into their eyes, leaving them lying cold in the middle of the floor.
    As I made my way through the doctor’s twisted medical facility I discovered the developer approached game design differently than most. They built up to this confrontation through world surrounding the player. Each room presented an ever more morbid scene of violence or a most depressing audiotape, further showing the good doctor’s insanity.

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    1Bioshock (PC)Playing
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