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    Feb 23rd, 2007 at 01:53:19     -    Mario Party (N64)

    Today was my second day playing Mario Party, and during this session I paid more attention to the level design and mini game designs. What always seems to amaze me about Mario games is the designer’s ability to apply the “Mario world” to many different venues. How does an Italian plumber spit fireballs? Save the world? Play tennis? And still find time to party with his friends? It just amazes me how the designers can take the concept of Mario’s World and use it repetitively and consistently. It’s the same thing over and over, yet it’s still interesting and engaging. Another thing I love about Mario Party is the mini games and their gameplay. The games are kind of like Pong in a sense that they’re so simple yet you are so engaged in it. I’m sure we’ve all gotten that blister at the bottom of your palm from playing Mario Party. The game is so great you could be playing your 18 year old cousin and your 9 year old sister and still face some fierce competition. Believe me, my sister is a Mario Party fiend.

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    Feb 23rd, 2007 at 01:52:59     -    Mario Party (N64)

    Yesterday I played the classic, Mario Party on N64. I never owned this game but played it a lot at friends’ houses when I was younger. When you first play Mario Party, the gameplay can be a little confusing but the game eases you in nicely. I think the overall concept of Mario Party is pretty clever. It takes the concept of a board game and combines it with simple video mini games to create a hybrid that can keep players occupied for hours. I think what makes this game so great is the different elements of play you get with it. You get the classic elements of a board game with components of simple yet great video games. This doubles the competition between players. You not only have to be decent in your mini games but also concentrate on buying stars at the right time or choosing which way on the map to go. There are so many different things to focus on in the gameplay that it’s hard to be a “good” Mario Party player. There are so many uncontrollable variables that the game is always different and fun.

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    Feb 9th, 2007 at 04:40:46     -    Gears of War (360)

    Today I played Gears again with a friend who already beat the game. It was easier playing with him because he knew exactly what to do and where to go. We played on a harder difficulty then I had before playing by myself. The game is so much harder; you have to be very good at headshots. While going through the game, I thought about how much I liked the level design. The transition from cutscene to gameplay was almost seamless which I loved. They game designers were able to tell their story without delaying the gameplay. Another thing I thought the designers did well was conveying the characters personalities through their dialogue. The dialogue seemed so realistic and was probably what soldiers really say to each other. There was even some humor and sarcasm in the dialogue which I also enjoyed. My friend and I played for hours but it didn’t seem like it. He said to stop because we were almost done and I was shocked because the game transitions were so smooth it went by fast. I liked the levels, especially the one where you couldn’t step into the dark for too long because of the krill. This changed the gameplay so much, it was genius.

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    Feb 9th, 2007 at 04:39:54     -    Gears of War (360)

    Yesterday I began playing Gears of War on Xbox 360. The first thing I thought was “wow look at these graphics.” The detail on the levels was awesome. In the beginning of the game the training is very integrated into the gameplay which I thought was smart. It didn’t take long for me to figure out what made this game different from other games such as Halo is the hiding/jumping system. You are pretty much dead if you stay out too long. I thought this was pretty clever and realistic. It’s a nice change from a game like Halo where you can take a lot of fire and it’s not as challenging. However, one thing I did not like about this new system was the how it took away from the shooting aspect of the game. It was kind of reminiscent of games like Golden Eye where you don’t always have crosshairs to aim your gun. Just like in Golden Eye you have to press an additional button to bring up your crosshair. Personally, I like the shooting more than the hiding so I didn’t really like the hiding system. Don’t get me wrong though, I thought the new system is very smart and innovative. As far as the rolling and jumping aspect of this control system, I thought it was pretty annoying. You can’t really control what the player does. Because they assign so many actions to one button (hide, roll, jump/climb over), the computer decides for you what it’s going to do at a given moment. I remember one instance where I had to dodge a charging enemy and I ended up rolling right into him because I had no control over the direction of my roll.

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    1Gears of War (360)Playing
    2Goldeneye 007 (N64)Playing
    3Halo 2 (XBX)Playing
    4Mario Party (N64)Playing
    5Super Smash Brothers (N64)Playing

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