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    Feb 15th, 2007 at 05:23:10     -    Magical Starsign (DS)

    I love Brownie Brown. They're the developer of Magical Starsign. I love Brownie Brown because they're made up of former Square employees who worked on the Seiken Densetsu/Mana series, most in particular Legend of Mana. Which I adore. I love their character design, their game design, everything.

    I got so excited when I first heard about Magical Vacation for the GBA...but it never came out in the US. (I'm still crossing my fingers that they'll decide to release it someday.) When it was announced that Magical Starsign was going to come to the States, I was ecstatic. I've been looking forward to this game for months. I got it for Christmas and now I've finally got the time to start playing it.

    I played for about an hour, but a good portion of that was mainly tutorials and storyline setup. It was helpful, though. Magical Starsign mixes up the battle system a little, so it's good to know what to expect that's different from normal RPGs. It seems heavily magic-based, which is a change for me and likely other gamers. Magic is usually important, but it tends to take a secondary importance to physical attacks. (Unless you're a mage in a PC RPG or something.) I initially thought the whole thing about the starsigns and the planets was going to be complicated or annoying, but it turns out it's rather simple and will probably be an interesting addition instead of an annoyance.

    I think this is the first RPG I've played on the DS that actually makes really great use of the DS's capabilities (those being dual screens + stylus). Almost everything is stylus controlled, which can be handy and fun, but sometimes you get tired holding your honkin' DS (nooo, I don't have a Lite) up with one hand all the time. But hey, it's fun to see something actually use the stylus for once! They also use the dual screens well by making super tall scenes that split across the screens, or by having (actually helpful!) maps on the top screen while you explore on the touch screen. It feels really well-integrated and natural for the system, instead of just being a game that happens to be on a handheld that happens to have two screens.

    I love 2D RPGs to death, and it looks like this one is done well. I'm really excited about playing this game more.

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    Feb 13th, 2007 at 03:44:43     -    Mario Party (N64)

    Considering our first play of Mario Party went kind of so-so, I was a little surprised when tonight my roommate rather enthusiastically said, "Can we play Mario Party? Let's play Mario Party!" But I was more than happy to.

    This time went considerably better and was more fun than the first. We played the Yoshi's Tropical Island board for 35 turns (since 20 seemed too short last time). By the way, although playing was fun, that board SUCKS. The "?" green spaces make Toad and Bowser switch spaces, which happened ALL THE TIME. You'd be just one turn away from getting to Toad, and then someone would land on a "?" spot and you'd cry because then you'd have to run into Bowser.

    I hate seeing the roulette for the minigames, since it's like, "LOL look at the games you're NOT going to get to play!" There were always ones up there that I'd get excited about, but it would never land on those. Roommate didn't know what the game Face Lift was, but liked the sound of it, so she got obsessed with it for the whole time we played. Every time the minigame roulette showed up she'd shout, "FACE LIFT!" (even if it wasn't there).

    Roommate (whose name is Darcy, so I can stop calling her "roommate" all the time) got much better at the minigames this time around. But our skill levels were still way different, and I had a tendency to win...a lot. It made me feel kind of bad when I kept winning all the minigames. Just in general, I like the minigames where everyone collects coins or the players have to work together rather than the minigames where there is just one winner. I wonder if it made her frustrated. I know I can get kind of annoyed if I play games with someone who is much better than me. At least, if it's a competitive game. But when it's cooperative, I don't mind at all.

    We tend play somewhat cooperatively in Mario Party. It's sort of an agreement that we don't steal stars or coins from each other when given the chance. Which is how I like playing. I really enjoy playing cooperatively in video games. I'm no good with competition, and playing cooperatively just...I dunno, makes it more fun for me. Teamwork! Though, I suppose if you had four human players, you couldn't really do that, play cooperatively all around. I have a feeling that if Darcy and I were playing against other people, we'd just team up together and gang up against them. Haha.

    Y'know, after playing the original with Darcy and having so much fun with it now, I think I want to buy Mario Party 8 when it comes out for the Wii. (She said, "Yes! Do it.") I'm sure they've made a lot of improvements on the Mario Party formula since 1999, so I bet it'll be pretty fun, and since I actually know people I can play with now, it'd be worth it.

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    Feb 13th, 2007 at 02:54:52     -    Mario Party (N64)

    Ahaha, I actually own this game. Out of all the Mario Parties (8!), the only one I own is on the classics list. Which makes sense, obviously, because it was the first. But still! I bought this game ages ago and never really bothered to buy any others in the series. I imagine the later-on games were much better.

    I wanted to say, "I didn't play this game that much!" Except when I turned it on, I was sort of surprised to realize I had 80-something stars and owned all the items possible (though nowhere close for the minigames). The sad thing about Mario Party was that I think I was usually playing it by myself because back in grade school I was friends with a grand total of about 2 people who played video games. It sucked being a girl gamer in the old days. And, of course, Mario Party is really best when you're playing it with other people.

    But! Now I have lots of college friends who play video games, and a roommate especially! My roommate is of the PC gamer persuasion, and until she became my roommate, had virtually no experience with console games. Which means that she's awkward with a controller and never knows which button is which on an SNES, N64, or PS2 controller. But she's learning! And I'm getting her to play all kinds of console games now.

    We played Mario Party together first a few days ago. Since it was our first game, I tried to make it quick and simple. So it was for 20 turns, with the CPU players both on Easy, and we played the Peach's Cake board. I'm not sure if we were really unlucky or what, but that game went horribly. Roommate and I only had two stars between us by the end. CPU Luigi was so obnoxious. He kept getting all the stars and landing on all the good spaces, and ended up winning in the end. It was sad.

    Like I said before, roommate is a little controller-challenged, so it took her a while to get the hang of the minigames, especially since some have different controls. So I had a bit of an advantage over her because I was controller-experienced, I knew the rules/goals of all the minigames already, more or less pretty experienced with the minigames. But the controls were fairly simple, so it wasn't too long before roommate managed to stop sucking get the hang of things.

    Although, Mario Party is much more luck than skill or anything else. It only takes one really good or really bad turn to make the entire game change. Especially the "!" spaces, which make players change coins or stars with each other. I HATE that space. It always causes me a lot of anxiety whenever someone lands on it.

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    Feb 10th, 2007 at 03:36:13     -    E.V.O.: Search for Eden (SNES)

    Ohhhhh yeah. I beat EVO tonight. I wasn't exactly expecting or intending to, but I just kinda rushed the last two chapters and there it was.

    First time you evolve into a mammal, you're a totally useless rat. But eventually I turned my guy into a crazy multi-horned rhino beastly thing. At least mammal evolutions were fun because you got different animal-like parts ("dog-like jaw," "moose horns," "rabbit-like body"). The cat jaw made your character's face supercute. It cracked me up when it was on a really tough body.

    I sort of missed being an avian creature though, because flying was fun. Every time I got a green crystal (which lets you turns into a previously obtained evolution for a limited amount of time), I always chose the dragon form because it rocked hard.

    I gotta admit, I've been playing this game emulator-style. And I'm a total obsessive save whore, so I'm doing save states CONSTANTLY. Especially during boss battles. Because seriously, some of these boss battles are difficult/annoying/frustrating as all get-out. I can't imagine actually playing this game on the SNES and having to restart levels and boss battles over all the time. I would cry. Even when you're as evolved as you possibly can be, a boss can still hit you once and it'll take away 1/3 of your HP. I'm pretty sure I would have given up on this game a long time ago if I had to play it without cheat-saving.

    Not just the thing about bosses, either. Some enemies, you'll run into them and they'll hit you like 5 times in a row before you can even get a chance to bite at them. Really, really frustrating.

    I really loved the mermaid evolution. It was cute (her bite motion looked like she was giving kisses, and she even made a kind of "chu!" sound), powerful, and super fast. I'm sad you only got to have it for one level.

    I knew there was the option of evolving into a human, and I tried it for a little while. You kinda expected the human to be the best evolution. But eh. Man wasn't really where it was at. I liked my hornedrhinolongneckasus better.

    Final boss was WEIRD. It took place in this weird tissue-y cell-y cave and was against a giant amoeba that was like, "I'M GONNA BE GAIA'S BOYFRIEND." Very surreal. I always find it interesting when games pull out something super crazy and bizarre at the end. I mean, this game was a little weird to begin with, but this was icing.

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    eriph's GameLogs
    eriph has been with GameLog for 11 years, 10 months, and 7 days
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    Entries written to date: 17
      Game Status / Read GameLog
    1Banjo-Kazooie (N64)Playing
    2E.V.O.: Search for Eden (SNES)Finished playing
    3Gradius (NES)Stopped playing - Got frustrated
    4Kirby's Adventure (NES)Played occasionally
    5Magical Starsign (DS)Playing
    6Mario Party (N64)Playing
    7Shadow Hearts: Covenant (PS2)Playing
    8Star Fox 64 (N64)Playing
    9The Legend of Zelda (NES)Playing

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