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    Feb 24th, 2007 at 02:35:47     -    Mario Party (N64)

    With a free evening and nothing to do, my friends and I endeavored to play the greatest game of Mario Party the world has ever known. With four players in attendance, we were sure to have the complete immersion experience. We chose Bowser's Magma Mountain as our level. The oninous, magma-spewing volcanoes looming on the screen enticed us to play, as did the threat of Bowser himself.

    Once we had started, one thing became apparent. The random element of the game played such a huge part in the progression of the game, that more skilled players were often at a loss as to what to do. I myself am rather pathetic at the game, but my friend Anders seems to have mastered it. Despite his skill, the poor boy could not roll more than a 6 throught the course of the entire game, save for three occasions. This put him at a severe disadvantage. Even though he had enough coins to buy a star (he won almost every mini-game) he was never far enough along the board to purchase the star. Even when the location of the star changed, it always seemed to be as far away from his as it could possibly be.

    One might argue that his dominance in the mini games would mean noone else would be rich enough to buy a star, but that isn't true. Because many of the games are 2v2 or 1v3, the distribution of coints wasn't balanced, but was always maintained so that every player could buy a star.

    This, however, is an inherent trait, and, indeed, a designed one, in the game. Unlike frustrating games like Counter-Strike or Street-Fighter, the random aspect of play actually helps to level the playing field, making it possible for even the worst players to score a landslide victory. (Go me!)

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    Feb 24th, 2007 at 02:25:10     -    Mario Party (N64)

    The Mario Party Series has alwaeys been a party favorite. The group interaction required (as well as the short attention span required) has made this game perfect for big parties. The turn based, board game style video game was unique when it was released years ago for the N64, and it is that version I will review tonight.
    The game is set up to be a competition between players, to gather as many stars as you can in a certain timeframe, dictated by turn limits. Withing this basic structure of the game, lies a more coplex one; movement around the board will determine player alliance on a turn to turn basis. This alliance dictates teams for the next, most important, aspect of gameplay, the mini-games. The games are either 1v3, 2v2 or free-for-all. These games award coins, and coins are used to buy stars. They also act as tie-breakers when players have the same number of stars.
    What made this game so revolutionary for its time was its layers. Even on the surface, the game is rich and complex; a player navigates around the non-linear gameboard in the most advantageous way, and all the while he is managing resources. Even beyond this, the mini-games add the most substance.

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    Feb 10th, 2007 at 01:58:43     -    Soul Caliber II (GC)

    After playing SC II for hours, I can safely say this game is my favorite game in the genre. Playing with my friends and roomates for the past few months, I've safely adopted a character and strategy. Using KIlik, a character with a Bo staff, I've adapted to using long range strikes and simple side-stepping to avoid attacks. The use of unblockable attacks, slow to charge but lethal once charged, are also a major part of my arsenal. Kiliks unblockable is less-powerful, but faster to charge, making at a perfect tool.

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    Feb 10th, 2007 at 01:50:55     -    Soul Caliber II (GC)

    Soul Caliber is the Street FIghter of the next generation. The fighter genre has evolved and spawned from the Street Fighter series, and Soul Caliber can carry it's own weight. The three demensional cardinality is one thing I like over the SF series. The ability to move in three dimensions adds an enormous amount of possibilities to game. Unlike street fighter, where the player can only attack, block or parry, a character in SC can block, parry, roll, jump, move, sidestep or attack. These extra options, seemingly innocuous at first, help make the game much better.

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    1Company of Heroes (PC)Playing
    2Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)Playing
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