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    Dec 14th, 2012 at 04:33:00     -    Temple Run (iPd)

    This game utilizes the iPod’s ability to sense its orientation to control a man running through a maze. The touchscreen is also an integral part of the controls; the player swipes a finger to duck, jump, and turn left and right. The goal is to achieve a high score of distance from the temple by avoiding obstacles and outrunning a pack of baboon-thingies.
    The level design in this game is beautifully simple and allows the player to turn off their brain and get into that “zone”, like Tetris; endless mazes of jumping and collecting coins make for a mindless and fun experience. Collecting coins is part of resource management; you can buy powerups like speed and invincibility in an in-game store. Players get onto a leaderboard in the app that compares the distance that was run before falling victim to either the baboons or the obstacles.
    Normally, I consider a good storyline an integral part of a game. But this game story is just one sentence: you stole a gold idol from a temple, so run away as fast as you can. It gets the point of the game across in just a few words, which is absolutely brilliant. The game is challenging, but simple and clean. The tutorial in the beginning explained the controls, but the real teachable moments were more subtle: the environment in this game involves visual repetition. All of the tree trunk obstacles look the same, all of the fire bars look the same, etc. This trains a player to recognize when to duck and jump, so that the responses by the player start to become easier on him/her.

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    Dec 13th, 2012 at 20:09:28     -    Guitar Hero III: Legentds of Rock (Wii)

    Guitar Hero III is a great party game. While the one-player mode is fun, it’s best played after all of the songs are unlocked so that two people can play cooperatively or competitively. Similar to DDR, this game requires the player to time their taps of a guitar-shaped controller’s buttons to match the falling note pattern on the screen. The goal is to collect points and maintain note streaks; this will result in advancement to harder songs, until all songs have been successfully played through and a cut scene establishes the player as a Guitar Hero. What makes this game unique as opposed to the first two versions of the game are the cameo appearances of two famous guitar players, who wrote challenging scores for players to duel the bosses with.
    A very interesting innovation that this game has to separate it from DDR is the inclusion of battle gems. These are power ups that players can unleash against each other (or the bosses) to interfere with their playing of the song and force them to lose. Another type of power up, Star Power, is used when in one-player mode; it multiplies a player’s score by two. Both types of power up utilize the Wii’s motion sensors. When the guitar-controller is held in a vertical position (in the same way that a guitarist will tilt his/her guitar up during a concert to showcase his/her virtuosity), the power ups are activated.
    There is scant environment development for this game; level design is not really necessary, though the background of the scrolling notes features interesting things like the band members, audience, and stage. One of the great things about the design of the background is when it shows your character playing, they are not animated to just strum over and over; their fingers actually move in the appropriate rhythm that the player is expected to perform. If a sequence is unclear or confusing, it’s helpful to keep an eye on the right hand of the lead guitarist.

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    Dec 13th, 2012 at 18:52:43     -    Assassin's Creed II (360)

    This game is amazing. The level of detail that is put into the game environment is very stunning; this game has a gorgeous aesthetic that plays right into the story. All movement and story progress is navigated through crowded streets in Renaissance Italy, and the buildings have scaffolding and windows and other details that the player has to use to climb up and down buildings and towers. The story progresses through cut scenes that the player accesses when s/he arrives at the map point in which the scene starts. There is always something to do in the game; hundreds of hours can be derived from not only the main storyline, but side missions, lesser tasks, collecting items, or just annoying the AI populace of various cities.
    The story-within-a-story narrative is very intriguing, and it’s the primary motivation to accomplish missions. The overarching story about Desmond is interwoven with the main story about Ezio, and the game does a marvelous job of revealing info in small bites and leaving constant cliffhangers. This keeps the player willing to move forward.
    This game offers a lot of freedom despite its firmly embedded narrative. Players can choose the order in which they accomplish tasks, or avoid them altogether and mess around in the environment for a while. Within missions and tasks, there is no “right” way to do anything. Puzzles about the climbing route or timing may have a best route, but other than that, missions can be accomplished in any way as long as it gets done. This is where the emergent narrative comes; a player can create his/her own experiences. My brother likes to harass the guards and civilians when he plays, whereas I prefer stealth and avoiding confrontation. This means that we have wildly varying ideas about what makes the game so much fun, and this is a great freedom to have in any game.

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    Dec 13th, 2012 at 18:08:09     -    Crash Bandicoot: N-Tranced (GBA)

    This is a platformer game in the style of Super Mario; you play as a character that runs, spins, jumps, and collects items. Like coins, Wumpa fruit (which I had always been calling ‘mangoes’ when I first got this game) can give an extra life if 100 are collected. A big part of this game is resource management and collecting; to beat a level, a purple crystal must be found within the level. Gems can be acquired if every single box in a level in found and destroyed; gems can unlock new levels. This means that the only way to 100% in the game is to meticulously hunt for boxes, and the arrangement of the boxes is often a puzzle designed to get a player to think about how s/he is going to reach all of them. For example, some boxes explode on contact; these must be avoided because of life loss, but they can be a tool for getting all of the boxes in a level destroyed.
    One of the best power ups in the game, the Aku-Aku mask, provides protection against damage. If three masks are collected, then temporary invincibility is acquired; this is similar to a Mario power star. There are no other power ups in this game; a player has to time his/her moves to avoid death. Checkpoints in the game provide a temporary save point that will not leave a player too discouraged after death.
    This game requires a very thorough knowledge of Crash’s metrics. Many of the jumps and obstacles are just barely within his reach, and many of them challenge a player to realize his boundaries. This makes the game more difficult than initially expected, and many of the extra boxes or bonus levels are inaccessible without taking a risk and trying to push Crash as far as he can go.

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    asanori's GameLogs
    asanori has been with GameLog for 10 years, 5 months, and 2 days
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    Entries written to date: 8
      Game Status / Read GameLog
    1Assassin's Creed II (360)Playing
    2Batman Arkham City (PS3)Playing
    3Crash Bandicoot: N-Tranced (GBA)Playing
    4Guitar Hero III: Legentds of Rock (Wii)Playing
    5Pokemon Yellow (GBC)Playing
    6Super Mario Bros. All Stars (SNES)Playing
    7Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)Finished playing
    8Temple Run (iPd)Playing


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