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    Jan 19th, 2007 at 22:03:30     -    Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)

    Now the fourth, fifth, and sixth, battles in Shadow of Colossus is where things start to get more interesting. Same rules apply: climb around the Colossi and stab it in its weak points to kill it. But now the strategies to defeat them are becoming more difficult. You need to take the surrounding land and obstacles into consideration, as they are the only way you can get past these much more crafty beasts.

    Difficulty is increasing, and the strategies change a little every time you fight, so it's pretty hard to lose interest in this game. Unfortunately, there is almost no character or story development. It's simply kill a Colossi, find a new one, learn how to climb it, then kill it. Repeat until everyone's dead. Despite this predictable plot, it's still lots of fun to do all of those processes. What really makes this a good game is a combination of variety, where every battle is different, and the idea of conquering such an impossible task. It's great that you never need to get bothered with all of the little things when all you really want is the big showdown, and it's just awesome to play David in the role of taking down all of these Goliaths.

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    Jan 19th, 2007 at 19:39:51     -    Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)

    Shadow of the Colossus is a game that stands out in the action/adventure/puzzle type genres. While most action games pride themselves in throwing wave after wave of enemies at you, Shadow of the Colossus has but 16 enemies to fight. You beat 16 guys, you win. What's crazy about this is that every single enemy you face is the equivalent of a boss in most adventure games. You are pitted against enemies thousands of times your size and are expected to come out victorious. Sounds a little tough to me, but I think our hero can pull it off.

    Why fight such ferocious beasts? Well, our unnamed hero must take on this task in order to recover the lost soul of a mysterious girl. Don't really know who she is at this point, but I'm guessing she's pretty important if the hero is willing to risk his life for her. Not only that, but the gods who have put him on this quest mention that the price he pays for defeating all of these Colossi could be severe. With that in mind, our hero heads off to the first beast. Not a very in-depth story, but I don't believe that to be the point of the game.

    The first three fights weren't too bad, as they help you get used to the style of the game. The controls are a little... different, but you get used to them after a little bit. Where the game really shines is in the battles themselves. Just looking at these monsters gives you an immediate feeling of hopelessness. I knew the game was designed to allow you to beat them, but I felt like it was still impossible. Then you have to find a weak spot, get the Colossi to hesitate, and then start climbing its fur to get to the weak spot. Once you get to the weak spot, you plunge your sword in there a couple of times, and the deed is done. But it has to be done quickly, or you'll lose your grasp and be shaken off. Overall, I think the system is well done, and will only get more intriguing and challenging as the game progresses.

    I really like this game so far, and the battles are amazing to take place in. It does get a little frustrating when you're constantly falling off a Colossi or can't find out how to beat it, but if you keep trying, you will figure things out eventually. It's also a little disappointing to find out that there aren't any smaller enemies to face, nor are there any extra skills or moves to learn, but the real fun is just in developing new strategies for each battle.

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    Jan 18th, 2007 at 19:18:24     -    The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess (Wii)

    The final showdown between Link and the forces of darkness are drawing close, and Link has only a few things left before he's ready for the conclusive battle. Things start to get a little repetitive and boring when you go on all of the little quests necessary to get into the village in the sky. There are no major battles, no challenging puzzles, just a long and pointless search. With all of the anticipation for another exciting dungeon, this is just wasted time.

    Before this escapade, I decided to take on some side quests and reap the benefits. Some places are well hidden, but not too frustrating to find if you try. And the reward for finding a secret area is almost always worth your while.

    The main quest is laid out for you in plain sight, but there are a lot of side quests to discover along the path. And if you aren't that into going out of your way to get these rewards, many of the side quests are collection quests, where you gather random items as you progress through the main game. So it's definitely worth your while to make a little effort and try to get the Poe souls and bugs that you might happen to see on your way.

    I think that Twilight Princess makes the system of side quests very well: very challenging to complete 100%, but easy and still rewarding to get the quests partially complete. This is something that brings me a lot of relief because I have no intention of finishing these quests all the way, but I still like the benefits of starting them. Now that I'm back on the main quest, with a couple of extra hearts and arrows, it's only a little bit longer until I reach the exciting climax and try to bring peace back to the world.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Jan 18th, 2007 at 19:18:45.

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    Jan 17th, 2007 at 03:42:56     -    The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess (Wii)

    The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess had a massive hurdle to leap when it attempted to surpass the legacy left behind by the previous installments of the Zelda series. Nintendo has used Zelda to set standards for how games are supposed to be made, and it comes to little shock that Twilight Princess has surpassed its ancestor's greatness.

    Graphically, Twilight Princess can't be called the greatest in the field, but there is definitely more than enough smoothness and detail in the world of Hyrule to completely pull me in: every blade of grass dances in the wind, and every drop of water glistens in the sun. Not to forget the mystery and wonder of putting on your iron boots and sinking into the deep, wide depths of Lake Hyrule for the first time.

    The controls are a little weird at first, but given the new Wii technology, I guess it's practical. To attack, all you need to do is swing the remote. And shooting your various projectiles is simple point-and-click action. Everything else is pretty basic, but I never really expected much change from the old, but practical, Zelda control system.

    The story is a little recycled: Bad guys are messing with your land, and only Link, hero of time, can stop them and return peace to the world. Can he pull it off? Well, it would be a pretty crappy game if he couldn't. This time Link needs to make use of the Twilight Realm, Hyrule's dark side, to make light prosper once again. One rule: in the Twilight Realm, Link has to take the form of a wolf. Wait, a wolf? Awesome!! Personally, I can never have a dull moment when I'm tearing an enemy apart with the wolf. Being able to control Link and his wolf counterpart, along with the use of the collectible items found throughout the world, to solve the many puzzles in Twilight Princess keeps the game fresh and exciting through the entire gameplay experience. Add that with the unlockable, secret, sword techniques and mastering the fighting system, and it's difficult to not want to play the game the end.

    Where I think Twilight Princess really separates itself from the mold of the other Zelda games, is the development of many of the game's secondary characters. Usually, everything revolves around Link and his quests, but in Twilight Princess, many of the other characters are big parts in cutscenes and sidequests, making more of an impact on the player. Watching cutscenes is no longer a boring deviation from play, but more of an exciting continuation of the story. Just like watching a movie.

    Twilight Princess is overall a solid game, something I don't really find that often in games anymore. This is one I plan on finishing to the end.

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