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    Feb 8th, 2007 at 21:15:54     -    Diablo II (PC)

    So I've been playing this game pretty much every waking hour and have read a few others gamelogs on the matter and I can't help but agree that yes, its a simple and repetitive game. But its still a hell of a lot of fun. why?

    Personally, I think the characters are what makes this game, obviously the ones in the cut scenes are brilliant and really set-up the storyline, but as the player I'm only really interested in who I play as. There are five different character classes; Barbarian, Sorcerer, Paladin, Necromancer, and Amazon, each with a unique skill set. To play using a different character than you normally do requires an entirely different approach to enemies, if your a barbarian, your up close and personal, trying to kill long range attackers before you get bogged down with minions. If you're an Amazon, sorcerer, or necromancer, you do your damage from afar. Also, you become reliant on different items in the game, either potions and spells, or armor and weapons, or a supply of arrows depending on your character.
    Being as I usually sport the Barbarian, I took the time to go back and play as the other characters and I have to say it was a completely different game the second and third time through.

    Another thing about this game is that it will suck up HOURS of your time, since the only way to progress is to spend hours killing minions so you can face the boss. There is no player skill required, although there are little maneuvers you can pull, such as opening town portals when your in trouble, but other than that you don't really have an affect on how good your character is aside from ho much time you put into them.
    Speaking of portals, a godsend is having the ability to find checkpoints on every other level or so that take you to any other check point in that chapter, saving you lots of travel time. This also helps when you die and need to get back to your body quickly. Your body itself stick around and you can loot your own corpse which is good because you can get all your old equipment back.

    I've heard there is an expansion, but I have yet to play it although I would say, since it has been such a long time since Diablo 2 came out it would be nice to see what developers could make with todays graphics engines. Obviously gameplay would be similar, but the level of detail would be just phenomenal.

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    Feb 8th, 2007 at 15:11:33     -    Diablo II (PC)

    Here is another sequel that takes a good game idea and revamps it with more modern graphics, turning it into a great game visually.
    It's your basic dungeon and dragons idea with a million lower class enemies you have to kill, with a randomly generated champion or mini-boss type that you have to kill before reaching the main boss of each chapter in the game.
    Gameplay itself is deceivingly basic, your follow your character through 3d maps that play similarly to 2d ones but you don't really notice that much. The storyline is involving which keeps the monotony of killing the same enemies over and over again at bay.
    The level design splits itself into 4 chapters, each split into sub categories that then have dungeons labeled 1,2,3 etc.
    So pretty standard there. You also have a town in which to store you loot, stock up, buy new gear, identify items and further the plot. I love the way that certain characters got worked into this from the first game, in short, the first games town is placed on one of the first levels and you show up just as its burned to the ground, only able to rescue one character who ts available now to identify items. The rest are dead, or zombies.
    While by todays standards the level of detail isn't that impressive, its still pretty neat to see bugs crawling along that you can squish, characters walking in and out of bars, and detailed landscape that give you the feeling of being in a barren desert or dark jungle. The use of lighting to show when your in a dungeon or facing a boss, or in the middle of a scorching desert is also a bonus. This all helps because the player will spend hours upon hours just wasting monsters left and right before they can become powerful enough to take on the head boss.

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    Jan 29th, 2007 at 13:38:54     -    Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)

    This game has a really expansive and interactive world in which almost anything can be done or blown up. Grand theft auto splits the game play between driving missions and walking around shooting things so the controls have to mesh well, which they do, so that once you step into a car driving becomes second nature and wile on the street finding your way around and navigating the environment is not a problem. The camera follows you very well in this game, which was always a problem for this series and the ability to really control the camera's view allows you that much more control over your character. The auto targeting is a godsend because before you hand to manually aim everything which pretty much limited the more dangerous missions to those with elite finger dexterity. Now, only the sniper rifle and rocket launcher require finesse to operate, allowing those with this type of control to still get their kicks in. The characters have always been stereotypical, but I think the designers crossed the line in Sand Andreas, I personally was quite insulted by the main characters lines and most of the npc's are drawn out much farther than need be for you to get the idea that your dealing with some country hick, or Latin gangster. Admittedly, this is what made it so fun to shoot characters in vice city, but that was only because the characters were based off of the style and persona of people from the 70's and early 80's so in a way they were disconnected from modern life. This time it takes place in recognizable cities, such as LA, and San Francisco during the 90's which people still strongly associate with and doesn't really take into account the delicate social issues that the game could probably have done without and still been a great game.
    As far as involving you in the gameplay, there's always a sense of urgency when you've got two stars and are running form police. Almost every time I've watched someone play this game, or been watched something has happened like a car chase, plane maneuver an insane stunt, or an amazing killing spree that has made the game audience yell, "OH!!!!!!" in amazement that you actually swerved between those two cars or braked suddenly, causing all three cop cars that were chasing you to go flying off a cliff. Since there is so much free play, and all the supplemental characters and object react to what you do, its the actions that take place that are not scripted that are the most amazing and interesting. Of course the back story and narrative of the game is intriguing, but its when someone walks in on you playing the game and you're randomly sniping people, or flying a small helicopter through a building for no good reason that cause then to stop and watch.
    The real time weather and time settings really add an ambiance to the whole game, when your on a boring part of a long mission or driving on a moped from one city to the next, it helps to watch the sun set, or all of a sudden be accosted by the appearance of rain which mars your vision and affects your vehicles handling. This really contributes to the reality of the game, especially in conjunction to the rumble pak in the controller. You feel every bump you go over and shooting a weapon feels as really as it could ever using only a controller.

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    Jan 24th, 2007 at 20:02:21     -    Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)

    Games that come in series following the first release often have big shoes to fill and thus are critiqued harder than if they were a game on their own. At the same time, they already have the name out there and the hype form the first or second game can provide a consumer launching pad.

    Before I discuss the aspects of game play, the characters, the environment and vehicles, I'd like to discuss a small portion of the game play that I believe is highly overlooked and which i personally have been looking forward to since the first GTA.
    Multilayer action. Now, granted this game was not designed for this, and the action becomes somewhat limited as the players cannot go more than a pre-perscribed distance from each other as well as the difficulty of seeing what you are doing because the camera flows somewhat unevenly. However, experienced players with a big enough tv can actually interact with a comparable amount of items, vehicles and NPCs in much the same way the single player would be able to. I would highly suggest finishing the game so that you have all the options unlocked first, it makes the multi player experience much more rich. Although the boats, (to my knowledge) and planes/helicopters cannot be accessed by both players, you can still jump on the wings and screw around just the same. You can be arrested, killed, perform special jumps and tricks. obviously, you cannot complete missions, but the multiplayer allows the free range that the single player game offers. All in all it was a welcome addition to the game and hopefully is expanded upon when or if the next game comes out.

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    Entries written to date: 11
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    1Diablo II (PC)Playing
    2Jewphin (PC)Playing
    3Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)Playing
    4Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)Playing
    5Soul Caliber III (PS2)Played occasionally
    6Soul Caliber III (PS2)Played occasionally
    7Super Smash Brothers (N64)Playing

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