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    Mar 7th, 2010 at 22:02:01     -    Banzai: The Television Betting Game (Other)

    Banzai is a truly crazy game. Its tons of fun once you get into it. Each player has a plastic pair of chopsticks and a plastic triangular bowl. One player sets a wind up timer and everyone starts putting as many plastic pieces of sushi into the plastic triangular bowl as they can before the timer goes off. When the timer finally dings, everyone counts their sushi and those who do not have the most sushi in their bowls must put more in until everyone has the same amount. The person who originally had the most sushi gets control of the game. You press play on the DVD player and a rather unorthodox betting game is shown. Sometimes they have baby races; other times you must bet who will stick their foot in a shoe that has poop in it. Once everyone has made a bet, through the use of four or five cards that have A-F labeled on them, the person who has control of the game shows his card and someone presses play again to show the results of the earlier bet. If the person who has control of the game guesses right, then it doesn't matter what anyone else bet, he wins all the sushi. If he guessed wrong the sushi is split among those who one. This continues till only one person has any sushi left.

    This game is great. It's hilarious, a complete game of luck, but tons of fun. I have never played a game like this so I would have to say that every part of it is very innovative. Having to use chopsticks was a great design element as it allows for some very awkward, though funny, moments even before the game has really gotten started.

    The game created conflict through betting (which almost everyone loves to do) and it keeps interested because, until you lose your last piece of sushi, you could always come back and win.

    My wife found the game frustrating because she is not good with chopsticks, but she still said she greatly enjoyed it.

    While this game doesn't give me any specific ideas for my games, it does teach me to keep an open mind and try anything that comes to mind because it might just turn out to be tons of fun.

    I did experience flow with this game but that is largely due to the people I was playing with. My friends, wife, and I lost track of time while playing to the point that we forgot to fix dinner!


    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Mar 7th, 2010 at 22:03:54.

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    Jan 27th, 2010 at 22:08:10     -    Demon's Souls (PS3)

    During my second session of play through my opinion hasn't really changed. The game is still very addictive for a few hours at a time. Its unforgiving nature makes it hard to stick with it for very long before you want to take your remote and bash the dish to pieces.

    The art work is amazing when you are able to see it. Due to the majority of the playable area being dark, itís hard to see any details. This time around, though, I did get a chance to look at the back drop of the game and it is quite breathtaking.

    Having learned the controls better, I have found it easier to obtain demon souls in the earlier areas that I have already beaten but venturing into unexplored areas still involves a lot of running back to spend demon souls.

    Since I bought the game used, I still have a chance to take it back to Game Stop but I just can't bring myself to do it because for a few hours, I'm completely immersed in an addictive world with addictive game play.

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    Jan 27th, 2010 at 13:01:50     -    Demon's Souls (PS3)

    During my time with Demon Souls I've come to the conclusion that the game is fun in short bursts. While certainly not for the faint of heart, the mechanics of the game are simple to understand. The controls will be familiar to anyone who is familiar with this type of game.

    In Demon Souls, you fight demons, gather their souls, and then use their souls as a form of currency. With this currency not only do you buy new gear and upgrade existing gear, but you also use this currency to increase the stats of your character. The cost to increase a stat increases with each stat point raised. It seems to me that the use of a single currency to do so much was a bit off. What makes it worse is that when you die, you lose all your souls and they remain at the site of your death. If you die before you get those souls, though, they are gone forever. This leads to a lot of back tracking so that you can spend your souls so you don't lose them. Multiple deaths in a row often led me to frustration and hour or two long breaks from the game.
    The level design in Demon Souls is very well thought out, though most of the finer details are missed due to the game being very dark throughout most of it. The portions of the levels that could be seen were very detailed and gave a sense of danger and foreboding which I believe the maker was going for.

    Despite the frustration revolving around losing precious Demon Souls all the time, there was definitely a feeling of flow while playing. The quick combat and drive to better my character would have me playing for several hours before I realized how long I had been playing.

    What is most interesting with this game is how it implements a multiplayer experience. Despite the fact that no other players ever joined my game (which is possible as either a partner or an adversary) I never felt alone. Players can leave messages written on the ground for other players. The messages can be warnings or even traps trying to trick the player into dying. The only real negative side to the messages is that they are predetermined. You choose a message such as "There is XXXXX ahead", then you fill in the XXXXX with a list of choices.

    All in all I would say this is a good game. Its unforgiving difficulty and extensive dependence upon one currency are quite daunting but it's definitely a game worth playing. Looking back, though, I probably wouldn't have paid full price for it, luckily I got it used.


    This entry has been edited 2 times. It was last edited on Jan 27th, 2010 at 13:05:17.

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    1Banzai: The Television Betting Game (Other)Playing
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