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    Feb 9th, 2007 at 14:03:35     -    We Love Katamari (PS2)

    Most of the things that I liked about KD1 were kept in this game, like the present and cousin searching within each level. (I also like how they have the kids from KD1’s cutscenes in some of the levels for you to pick up!) Not only did they keep the present/cousin feature though, they improved on it! The prince can now wear two presents at a time, one on his upper body and one on his lower. I was also reading in the booklet that came with the game that once you get the camera present, you can take pictures within the game. I haven’t tried this yet of course, but it sounds pretty amusing and intriguing. As opposed to the first game, in KD2 when you catch a cousin, you have the option of then playing through levels as them. I really like this aspect of the game, just because I really really like the cousins and their crazy designs (especially Ichigo.)

    Another thing that was improved on in the game was the music. I really liked the music in the first game, but so far, I’m liking KD2’s music even more. The music’s more diverse, and playful. I also really like the fact that before each level, the player has the choice of choosing which song they’d like to accompany the level.

    My only real complaint about the game is that the story line is a little weak. Basically, the point of the game so far is to appease the fans of KD1 who want you to do menial favors for them. There seems to be no real end goal that the player works towards. In the first game, the prince had to rebuild the galaxy, but in KD2, there’s nothing much for him to do, really. Other than that though, I think the game stands up pretty well so far, especially as a sequel. I look forward to playing out all its awesomeness to the end.

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    Feb 9th, 2007 at 14:01:14     -    We Love Katamari (PS2)

    I’ve been really anticipating playing this game ever since I beat the first Katamari game. I’ve played three hours into the game as of now, and so far I’m enjoying it just as much if not more than the first. Compared to KD1, I’m noticing that the levels the player plays through are a lot more diverse and creative. (Like rolling katamaris up underwater, or on a racecar track.) One of the hardest and most interesting levels I’ve done so far was one in which the I had to roll a flaming katamari, and if I stopped picking things up, or if I fell into the water, my katamari would go out and I’d fail the level (and get zapped by the King’s laser beam eyes.) It took a lot more time and strategizing for me to beat this level. Not only did I have to concentrate on constantly picking things up, but also decide where and how far I could go until my katamari extinguished itself.

    I don’t really care for the opening cutscene compared to the first game, just because it doesn’t strike me as absurd and ridiculous as the first. But I think I’m enjoying the cutscenes interspersed throughout the game more than KD1’s. The king’s past is pretty hilarious so far, and I particularly like his rebellious years, when he still had his noble-looking pompadour intact. What I also think is really great is since I (or the player in general) have already developed somewhat of an attachment to the King in KD1, I really care about the King and want to learn more about his past. I wonder how players who played KD2 first reacted to the cutscenes as they played through the game, and if they felt bored or apathetic towards the cutscenes or not.

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    Jan 31st, 2007 at 01:29:42     -    Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)

    January 30th, 2007

    I’m pretty far through the game now, I’ve defeated nine of the colossi so far and I’m preparing myself for the tenth. What’s really bothering me though, is that even seven hours through the game, I still don’t really know what’s going on with the storyline. I keep expecting to see some sort of flashback or hear some explanation from the main character giving me some context for everything that’s going on. After seven hours, I would have expected to learn a lot more about the relationship between the main character and the dead girl, or the shadow people in the temple; some sort of history. It’s frustrating for me to realize that I know just as much as I did at the beginning of the game. I think the game would be a lot more fresh and engaging if instead of repeatedly showing the crumbling statues after defeating a colossus, they give you a cutscene, or a character monologue relating to the story.

    On a more positive note, I’m really enjoying the world created in this game. I think it’s pretty distinct and different than what I’m used to. I think one of the things that help create this different feel is the complete lack of living things in the environment (besides the colossi, birds and lizards.) It’s alienating but really intriguing at the same time. I’m wondering if there’s some connection with this to the storyline. That’d be pretty cool.

    I’m also liking the music so far too. Sure, it’s just the same old orchestral, but something about it really gets me going, especially when I’m battling. I also really like how the music is synchronized to a certain extent with your actions. For example, when you’re scrambling up a colossus, the music shifts into this sweeping, heroic theme. It really makes the gameplay a lot more exciting.

    This is definitely one of those games I will allow to distract me from my homework in the very near future. I don't think I'll be able to put the game down until I've beaten it.

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    Jan 31st, 2007 at 01:10:59     -    Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)

    January 29th, 2007

    I’m currently two hours through the game, and I’ve just defeated my first colossus. It’s been pretty hard for me to learn all of the controls so far. Even when the tutorial tells me what to do, I end up forgetting it half a second later and then wind up having to figure it out myself. This sad process has led to many embarrassing occurrences throughout the game so far. I spent so long figuring out how to make the sword light up (although now that I know how, I realize it’s so freaking easy.) I also ended up falling into a random pit while looking for the colossus and since I couldn’t figure out how to climb out, I ended up having restarted the game. I guess the whole situation was pretty ridiculous on my part, and looking back on it now, I realze that none of this would’ve happened if I had read the booklet that came with the actual game. But be that as it may, I’m really enjoying the game right now. It’s pretty intriguing.

    I especially like the battling aspect of the game so far. Once I got the hang of the controls, figuring out how to defeat the colossus was really fun (the colossus’ design is really awesome, by the way) and I’m really looking forward to the many more colossi I’ll probably be facing as the game progresses.

    Another thing I’m finding really awesome and original is the fact that the whole game is in a different (made-up, I’m assuming) language. What I like about this is it really detaches me from the game’s characters and world, and makes the world seem so much more foreign, and different from all the other game worlds I've experienced. I also like how the player is expected to figure the plot out as the game unfolds. There’s no beginning narration explaining the world or the main character’s dilemma, the player dives straight into the story.

    So far, one of the only things that really bother me about the game (as small and insignificant as it seems) is the way the main character runs. I can’t decide whether he’s really intoxicated, or somebody broke both of his legs and he’s trying to run regardless. I wouldn’t even really call it a “run,” it’s more of a sad wobble. It’s so horrific, especially compared to the movement of the horse, which is excellently done, in my opinion. Not only does it canter, gallop and rear like a real horse, but it also has the mannerisms of a real horse (the swaying of the head when standing still, the snorting, etc…) I was really impressed with that.

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    1Final Fantasy XII (PS2)Playing
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    3Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)Playing
    4We Love Katamari (PS2)Playing

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