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    Feb 8th, 2007 at 23:12:21     -    Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz (Wii)

    OH MY GOD. This is so frustrating. I got all the way through world seven up until the boss without getting a game over. And then, (of course) I got my game over fighting the boss. Worse still, it was because I ran out of time. I only had to hit her one more time! Arrrgh! There goes an hour of playing down the tubes.

    Now I have to do the whole world over again AND beat that stupid boss in order to get the crown. I am so disappointed. I was so close! My heart is still beating fast and my hands are still sweaty as I type this. This is just so not cool! World seven is so incredibly difficult. I don't even know how I'm going to do it over again. Or how I got that far without using a continue in the first place.

    On the plus side I will feel really really great beating the crap out of that stupid boss next time around. Now I know what to expect...

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    Feb 8th, 2007 at 05:38:22     -    Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz (Wii)

    I'm feeling drained, a little stressed and my deodorant has gone MIA after an hour of this. And to think that I once claimed this game was too easy! Yeah, easy to learn, hard to master.

    Most of the negative things I had to say about this game have melted away in the last couple of days. My opinion changed greatly when I recently beat the game and learned that no, this isn't an overly short or watered down Monkey Ball game. On the contrary, this is the most challenging one yet! And why? Not just because the last two worlds were hair-tearingly difficult, but because "beating the game" really just opens the door to a new challenge: unlocking the two hidden worlds and completing the game!

    Apparently there are 20 levels spread across two hidden worlds, and you can't unlock them until you beat all of the previous worlds individually without getting a game over. (Each time you beat a world this way, the game puts a gold crown next to it in the world-select screen indicating your success) To crown all 8 worlds is an insanely difficult goal and one I set out to achieve earlier tonight. Hence, the sweat, stress and fatigue.

    I actually made it pretty far, crowning all worlds up to seven. One nice thing is that the game gives you a chance to practice in any level before you put your lives on the line playing it. So I just kept doing that--practicing in levels I felt shaky on until I could confidently beat them, then going out of practice mode and actually beating them. I got pretty far this way, but I just couldn't take any more of it after world seven. My frustration-o-meter was over the top.

    It's going to be crazy difficult to get the crowns for worlds seven and eight, but one thing I'm glad of is that this game was designed to reward skill instead of sheer luck, (a welcome change from Super Monkey Ball 2).

    I wish more games were this challenging and rewarding!

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    Jan 31st, 2007 at 14:50:11     -    Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)

    One thing I love doing in this game is causing as much mayhem as possible while seeing how long I can evade the cops. This time I threw in a limiting factor--my only vehicle would be a bicycle. The cops get pretty aggressive once they're sufficiently pissed off, so having police cruisers ramming my bicycle led to me getting killed / busted repeatedly. Oh well.

    The gameworld is so insanely big. I took a look at the in-game map and the first city is only a tiny chunk of the whole thing. And the first city is huge. I have no idea how the developers made such a big world but it's awesome. There's certainly some motivation now to play through the bare minimum of missions to unlock all the locales. I really don't like the "gangsta" stuff, though. It feels contrived.

    I spent a long time at the (in-game) gym leveling my characters physique / endurance up. It was really easy and fast to turn him into a muscle-bound hunk, but it's taking a long time to improve his endurance. I haven't really seen a tangible benefit to having the muscles, as his melee skills haven't improved. But the endurance thing is easily noticeable--he can run much farther now without getting winded. I can't say that it was much "fun" just running around in a virtual gym (certainly makes me miss the day when UCSC's gym wasn't such an insane madhouse), but I'll probably appreciate the benefit in later missions. Maybe?

    Oh well. No matter how you cut it, this game is a HUGE improvement over the previous GTA games!

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    Jan 31st, 2007 at 14:05:32     -    Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)

    Just got a game started, So far, this game seems much, much cooler than Vice City or GTA III. First off it's based in California in the 90s so the theme is much closer to home. Secondly, there are so many more activities available to differentiate this from earlier games. A cool new feature is the ability to ride bicycles and swim (finally). Also there's a leveling system to improve character stats such as stamina and strength as you progress in the game. Customizations such as clothes, hairstyle and physique are available depending on actions you choose.

    Because of these things, the game feels much more immersive when you're just running around doing stuff. I wasn't really thrilled with the missions so far because I can't identify with any of the characters, and I feel like the gang wars are petty. But the ability to run around doing whatever the heck you want is what makes this game great.

    There seem to be missions available apart from the main "story" missions, but I haven't found many of those yet. Also, the game keeps you limited to a certain portion of the gameworld by having cops come kill you if you stray too far. The city you start out in is based off of Los Angeles and it's pretty big, but it would be cool to see the other places in the game without having to complete the story (this is pretty standard fare for the 3D GTA games).

    One last thing: why is this the only game I've ever played with a black protagonist? Before this game, I never really thought about how pretty much every game hero is white. San Andreas is a refreshing change from the norm in a lot of ways!

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    Zinn's GameLogs
    Zinn has been with GameLog for 17 years, 6 months, and 16 days
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    Entries written to date: 16
      Game Status / Read GameLog
    1Animal Crossing: Wild World (DS)Stopped playing - Got frustrated
    2F.E.A.R. (PC)Played occasionally
    3Half-Life 2: Episode 1 (PC)Finished playing
    4Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)Stopped playing - Got Bored
    5Super Mario Bros (NES)Finished playing
    6Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)Playing
    7Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz (Wii)Playing
    8The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess (Wii)Played occasionally

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