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    Feb 23rd, 2007 at 14:44:40     -    Goldeneye 007 (N64)

    After a bit of single-player action, a few friends came over to play multiplayer. In this, we played through a few of the levels from the single-player game, but most of the challenging levels are expansions on the originals. After each round we changed the weapons, which completely changed the challenge. Each player chose a character, but this selection didn't alter much of the gameplay. The only place where the game was affected, in relation to character choice, was found with Oddjob. With weapons that required more precise aiming, Oddjob, being a midget, is more challenging to hit. Apart from this, his movements and gestures are much more funny to watch.

    As we played a half dozen rounds, it became obvious that different players fared differently in each specific map and weapons challenge. When rockets were selected, those with quick reflexes and deeper knowledge of the map prospered. Those with the most practice at aiming with the joystick and maintaining contact succeeded with more traditional weapons. Unique to Goldeneye though, are the proximity and remote mines. These require a mix of sinister relentlessness and ingenuity in protecting the player character in a room full of explosives. These weapons were surely not designed for overuse like in a multiplayer challenge, but that makes it even more fun. With mines, the game easily becomes confusing and frustrating to those who don't get it, while the sinister planners win.

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    Feb 23rd, 2007 at 14:44:29     -    Goldeneye 007 (N64)

    Few games offer fun, simple gameplay with replay value as rewarding as Goldeneye 007. For this session, I played a friend's maxed-out saved game. Despite access to all levels and cheats I jumped right into, my favorite level, the first one of the game. I've probably played this specific level hundreds of times, and for a number of reasons. It is one of the only levels that offers a real connection to the movie, as you go about enacting the prologue as seen in the movie's first scenes. The first enemies are located either protecting or inside a gun tower and, like always, I found myself drawn up to the top of it to eliminate gunmen who pose a threat to me. I knew that once I'm up there, enemies would start streaming down the tunnel ahead of me. This particularly level is full of cues that offer the viewer what he should do next to complete the challenge.

    After passing through the tunnel, I found myself behind a truck that offered protection all-too-cinematic. Knowing where the enemies are, I traveled from one side of the truck to the other in order to shoot down threats. The truck stopped right in front of a door with a button, an obvious cue that I should press the button in order to move the truck and follow it some more. Throughout the level, cues like the truck or the switch lead me through without needing much individual effort. Enemies all react the same, and if I attempt every challenge put in front of me, the objectives melt away without a hitch.

    What is it about this game that, even the most simplest of levels, bringing the player back after a dozen years? The enemy AI isn't much to write home about, nor is the complexity of the levels' design. Goldeneye, like the blockbuster movie named after it, pulls the player through the levels by rewarding good eyes. A lock on a fence, an alarm on a wall, or a stalled truck all invite the player to explore the designer's world and unlock its challenges.

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    Feb 9th, 2007 at 15:28:11     -    Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (DS)

    In chapters after the first, Phoenix must go through a few days of investigation in order to develop his case. The player must travel around town, questioning anyone potentially connected to the crime and investigating any suspicious scenes that Phoenix comes across. A careful eye must be kept, as scenes may change in the most subtle ways. Without catching these subtle changes in the setting, such as a few documents appearing on the surface a desk, the game will not proceed. Getting stuck, even if just for a few minutes, becomes frequent and can be frustrating when the only interactions with the game world come with Examine, Talk, Present, or Move.

    Just as Phoenix Wright leaves the player frequently stuck and confused, the game rewards the careful player with all kinds of hints. When faced with character particularly resistant to questioning, Phoenix may think out-loud to. After hearing the player character mention, “maybe I should find a way to bribe this guy...” the solution to challenge becomes tangible. Sometimes the most crucial hints are simple and easy to interpret while other times the player finds Phoenix stuck and the game repeats itself like a broken record. This becomes especially frustrating when in court as, unlike investigation periods, the game limits the number of missteps granted to Mr. Wright.

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    Feb 9th, 2007 at 15:12:09     -    Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (DS)

    Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney starts off with a short introduction chapter. Here, the player is introduced to the game's characters, it's quirky style, and how to go about accomplishing its various challenges. After a few minutes of storytelling, setting the stage for the trial reminiscent of Law and Order, the player is quickly thrown into a trial. The gamer controls Phoenix Wright, his foxy boss Mia at his side, as both Phoenix and the player attack their first trial.

    While the player must prove his client innocent, the game's narrative offers significant hints to go about matters at hand. As we watch the narrative cutscene prior to the trial, we are informed right away that our client is innocent when the unidentified murderer mentions his motive to frame your client. After seeing this, the task becomes a matter of proving the story we already know instead of the challenging task of starting from scratch. Being an attorney is surely a hard job, but Phoenix Wright makes it fun. Subtle, or often not-so-subtle, cues throughout the game lead the player through the game's conflict. This relieves the most difficult challenges in order, leaving the player with a relaxed and quirky visual novel to plod through.

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    Entries written to date: 9
      Game Status / Read GameLog
    1Cooking Mama (DS)Finished playing
    2Goldeneye 007 (N64)Finished playing
    3Katamari Damacy (PS2)Finished playing
    4Kirby's Adventure (NES)Finished playing
    5Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (DS)Finished playing

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