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    Feb 9th, 2007 at 19:16:29     -    Warcraft III -- Frozen Throne (PC)

    So I played more warcraft today. Warcraft is a really fun RTS that incorporates RPG elements. When building up an economy and an army inside your base, you must also train heroes that can level up and give bonuses to units around them. At level 6, heroes get a really big skill as well that dramatically enhances base destruction capabilities. A Night Elf hero, the Priestess of the Moon, gets 'starfall', which is a continuous cast to rain down death upon all buildings and units in a certain area around the hero. A human hero, the Archmage, gets the ability to teleport 24 units at once to anywhere on the map, perfect for a surprise back-door attack.
    Blizzard has been known to make really good map editors for its games, and this is no exception. When looking for custom games, nearly all one can find are UMS (user map scenario) games. One of the most popular games is DOTA, defense of the ancients, in which a player controls a single hero and is part of a team that tries to destroy the other team's base while defending their own. This game works perfectly within the framework of warcraft 3 because of the included RPG elements in the game.

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    Jan 28th, 2007 at 21:27:44     -    Gradius (NES)

    Gradius is still very frustrating. The reward structure is set up to give you weapons, but I find it too hard to continually shoot and dodge everything at the same time to be worried about what powerup I want and when I need to press b in order for me to select it. The level I'm on is nearly impossible- bubbles fly everywhere, and if they're in front of you you can shoot them down. If they're in back of you however, you are forced to dodge all of them, which can be extremely difficult. There are no cutscenes or bonus 'level complete' rewards, shields, extra lives... just weapons. There is no real reason for me to continue playing this game, it just gets me frustrated. If the game had a difficulty selection it would be nice.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Jan 28th, 2007 at 21:29:25.

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    Jan 27th, 2007 at 22:25:01     -    Gradius (NES)

    Gradius is a really hard and frustrating side scroller space shooter. The game feels decent, without any 'ick', but doesn't feel solid- it just doesn't seem quite as polished as other games of its era like mario or feel as nice as later shmups. Compared to later shmups, it is really primitive and the weapons are lackluster. However, the gameplay is still incredibly hard. I'm playing on an emulator, so I am able to save the gamestate. I tried playing without saving states but I couldn't even make it past the first half of the first level.
    After saving the gamestate frequently, I was able to make it to level 4 in about an hour.
    Since it is a shmup, there is no real character development besides weapon upgrades. The story is non-existent and there is no narrative. Since it is the most basic of shmups, it is not terribly innovative- the games that follow build on it and add extra features, but the original Gradius is quite basic.
    The level design is decent, each level having different strategies needed to win. The first 'boss' battle is a battle to survive while two mountains are spewing rocks everywhere onto the screen. I found the easiest way to win was to hide in the corner and keep shooting, eliminating rocks that would kill me before they reached me. The second boss battle requires you to keep flying everywhere around the screen, however, because the big teal rocks that spawn all around the map start tracking you wherever you fly.

    This entry has been edited 2 times. It was last edited on Jan 27th, 2007 at 22:29:01.

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    Jan 18th, 2007 at 22:24:19     -    Kirby's Adventure (NES)

    Second session: game is getting sort of boring. While it is a fun game to play for 15-20 minutes, it loses its captivity after a while. Perhaps it is because there is no real reward system. Once every couple levels you unlock an extra room, such as a bonus level where you have to play a little grabber game- like they have at the front of Denny's. You have to control the grabber arm to pick up plush kirby's for 1ups. Other unlock rooms give you special monsters so you can absorb their powers and rooms where you kill a boss and are able to absorb his power and get a tomato to restore all your health. Health is a more complex issue than in mario too- Since Kirby has 6 bars of health, sometimes you have to sacrifice some health in order to drop a weapon so you can pick up a different one to overcome a certain puzzle, letting you pick up a 1up or larger health potion later. Weapon choice is important for some bosses or puzzles but not essential. The level design is good for this game as well, enabling you to choose whether to fly over some enemies or hop from cloud to cloud wiping out enemies. Overall, there is a larger variety of things one can do compared to a platformer like mario which enhances gameplay. I think this is a good game but fails to keep me interested for long periods of time. It is fun to play in small amounts, but long sessions get boring.

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    Dragutin has been with GameLog for 15 years, 10 months, and 26 days
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    Entries written to date: 14
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    1Final Fantasy XII (PS2)Playing
    2Gradius (NES)Playing
    3Katamari Damacy (PS2)Playing
    4Kirby's Adventure (NES)Playing
    5Soul Caliber III (PS2)Playing
    6Super Smash Brothers (N64)Playing
    7Warcraft III -- Frozen Throne (PC)Playing

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