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    Feb 23rd, 2007 at 23:11:59     -    Super Smash Brothers (N64)

    After playing some more, the single player has struck my fancy.

    The game, in the single player mode, is great. Especially for a fighter. The colorful, prototypical Nintendo graphics mesh perfectly with the level-by-level approach that the single player mode takes. The intermittent minigame-esque additions are all really well done, and feel like they fit very well.

    Furthermore, the final boss fight with the Master Hand is really unique; most bosses are simply stronger characters, whereas in this game they take out the usual method of winning and replace it with the more conventional (with regard to other games) method of reducing HP.

    The brilliance of Super Smash Bros is the balance that it presents. It's not the most technically balanced fighter; it's certainly no Tekken, where every character plays differently but similar. It's a game that is balanced within itself, and not with regards to characters. Everything feels like it has a purpose, and fits into the overall construct of the game, which is really all you can ask for in a noncompetitive fighter.

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    Feb 23rd, 2007 at 14:41:37     -    Super Smash Brothers (N64)

    This game, to me, is more a contemporary classic than anything else. I can still remember stealing it from my friend for months at a time on the pretext of forgetting.

    Now, however, I can appreciate more technical aspects of the game.

    The first thing that a gamer should notice is the abnormal level design. Maps like Pokemon Stadium have interesting set ups, and then they add things like Pokemon who assault you at set intervals in order to, presumably, give new players a hard time and veterans a laugh.

    The levels are all relatively well done in and of themselves, some more than others (Corneria being the default favorite, of course), although their gimmicks have a tendency to get annoying after a few rounds, where you just want a decent, non-competitive fighter to play around with your friends.

    Luckily, the sequel fixed this by making Final Destination a playable level.

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    Feb 9th, 2007 at 21:16:24     -    Call of Duty 3 (Wii)

    In order to clarify my reasoning behind ignoring things like level design, atmosphere, and character development, I'll actually delve into them.

    I started out on some random level relatively far into the game; me and my roommate are switching off, and he's a lot more enamoured with the game than I am. The squad members, I've noticed, have that archetypical video game character feel; the squad leaders are all straight out of Platoon, the main character is Rambo, and so on.

    This ubiquity of cinematic tropes is the hallmark of the "blockbuster videogame," especially the world war two shooter. Or really, any widely sold piece of merchandise. This one-dimensionality, existing everywhere from Sex & the City to Superman comics, creates characters that almost anyone can relate to or, at least, immediately be aware of how to identify as good or bad or likable or unlikable due to societal designation (or, if you'd like to be less positive about it, stereotyping and groupthink).

    These characters then go on to do what they aren't supposed to do; that gives them development. The good ones die and the mean ones save your life. The only thing that seperates this game from any big budget film is that the characters aren't predestined to die; they just almost always will, regardless.

    This games level design is the norm for blockbuster games of today. Realism over all else seems to be the developers motto since the release of the last generation of consoles, so teams were sent out to Paris, and a load of other locales, where buildings were sketched and maps were consulted and all that. This means, of course, that not only is the game marvelously historically accurate, it's essentially a clone of a million other games. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, just not one spending a whole lot of time deconstructing.

    Similar is the atmosphere. The gamer knows exactly what they are getting into when they play a game like Call of Duty, so the atmosphere is pretty much there regardless of how well the team does (unless they botch it completely).

    The controls in this game have actually started working out a lot better, like I hoped they would. The learning curve is a little steep, but I expected it to be for an entirely new style of gameplay. But after you finally get down the ability to aim and shoot and punch and everything, this game really does come together.

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    Feb 9th, 2007 at 15:51:53     -    Call of Duty 3 (Wii)

    (I wrote this all last night, in notepad. That's my normal method, but I got slightly too distracted to create this gamelog and post it.)

    Call of Duty 3, on the Wii, is hard to judge. Especially when I had just played Call of Duty 2 on the PC less than a month ago, for the first time. The primary thing that one notices when playing this game is the control scheme; pull the trigger to shoot, thrust the remote forward to punch, shake the nuncuk to reload, shove the nunchuk forward to change weapons... it's all rather confusing, to be quite honest.

    The game itself is simply another Call of Duty. It's a World War 2 shooter. There's really nothing special about it, except that it is exceptionally well done; compared side to side with any Medal of Honor or Battlefield 1942, however, it really isn't anything special. Everything about the game is undoubtedly well done, but the genre is so oversaturated in todays mainstream video game market (as evidenced by the existence of things like Bloodrayne and that Snoopy's Red Baron game set in a fantastical WW2-esque environment) that things like level design and squad character development are so ingrained in the ethos of these games that it is entirely unnecessary to attempt to break them down, because they've all transcended their game-specific nature.

    The thing that sets this particular game apart from it's brethren, both in the genre and in the series, is the new control scheme (well, and the significantly reduced graphics). The importance of this new approach to games is important in the context of both the basic level, enjoyment of this game, and the overarching sense of the Wii, where the success of games like this and the eventual Metrod Prime 3 will determine what the particulars of control for the prototypical Wii shooter will be, as well as how common they are and commercially viable.

    Call of Duty 3 works. That is definitely accurate. It uses essentially the same controls as Red Steel, but they somehow feel better. Even though you might not be able to turn your gun, the ability to use either the default, intuitive Wiimote controls or the more conventional button-pressing of the D-Pad allows for this game to transition easily from a precedence-driven FPS to a new experience.

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    Benladen's GameLogs
    Benladen has been with GameLog for 17 years, 4 months, and 10 days
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    Entries written to date: 13
      Game Status / Read GameLog
    1Call Of Duty 3 (PS3)Finished playing
    2Call of Duty 3 (Wii)Finished playing
    3Half-Life 2: Episode 1 (PC)Stopped playing - Something better came along
    4Katamari Damacy (PS2)Playing
    5Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)Finished playing
    6Super Smash Brothers (N64)Playing
    7Trauma Center: Second Opinion (Wii)Playing


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