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    Feb 23rd, 2007 at 02:44:22     -    Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)

    My friends and I looked for strengths and weaknesses in the SMB3 game. One of the bad things we noticed was the repetitiveness of the bosses. The level always starts on a flying ship where there are bullets and cannons firing. This is followed by a shelled Koopa that needs to be destroyed by jumping on its head 3 times. This in turn would gives you a wand that can be used to save the king who has been transformed into a spider or something. Seeing this again and again makes the game a bit boring. Another downfall is the frustration encountered when one looses all of his/her lives and has to redo all of the levels of that world. I find the game fun but also there is more frustration in this game since I end up redoing a lot of the levels. Some of the things I really like about this game are the different suits Mario and Luigi can get. These include the frog, raccoon, and flower power suits. Overall, I think this game is pretty cool.

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    Feb 23rd, 2007 at 02:05:57     -    Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)

    I borrowed Super Mario Brother 3 for NES from the library. It’s a game I haven’t played since I was a kid. I think this game was the first one ever to have a map where the players can select the place they are going to go next. This game also has things that are new to NES and Mario Brothers including mini games. Another thing that this game has is a place to keep a store of items that the player can use before starting the level. These advancements were revolutionary to such games. Many of these strategies are still used in games today. I think this proves that SMB3 got a lot of things right in terms of making a successful game.

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    Feb 9th, 2007 at 06:55:02     -    Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life (GC)

    As I went through another ritual-like day of Harvest Moon game play, I got to thinking…What is the end of this game? How is the ‘completeness’ defined? In some games, the goal is to beat an ultimate boss. In other games, you may want to explore and discover all of the treasures, short cuts, and dungeons. For some, it is a combination of both. Donkey Kong, for super Nintendo, is a great example of this. At the end, there is a giant crocodile king guy to beat. But, also, every time you save the game, you are given a percentage of how many of the secrets you have discovered. I guess in that case the goal would be to get 100% as well as beat the boss (although I’ve heard that you can get over 100%...as if it wasn’t complicated enough). But with harvest moon, there is no such marker of success. Your farm can always be bigger, you can always give your wife more flowers, and you can always go and catch a few more fish. There is also the concept of playing the game in different ways. This includes making different friends and having the different wives. Or, you can just go through on life as fast as possible and see what ‘the end’ entails and see how quickly you could get there. These are all different ways to think of completeness in the game. I’m not sure for this game which one I believe fits best.

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    Feb 9th, 2007 at 06:32:34     -    Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life (GC)

    Harvest Moon is unlike any other game I have played. It is so weird to not have an enemy in a game! No other players, nothing to 'kill' or destroy...yet so much to do! I must admit, the tasks this game has for the player are not always the most exciting. Yet for some reason I still give in to the fact that they must be done. Example? Watering the plants. After walking over each square of dirt with my little watering can for a good 10 minutes, I can't help but want to scream. Or do I? There is something strangely satisfying about doing it. Maybe its knowing that in a few 'days' I will have fruit to show for my labor (literally). But still, my main question is this…how is a game successful when it doesn’t have an antagonist (either the computer or another player)? Thinking back to some of our definitions of a game, I notice the following things:

    If looking at the Abt definition of a game, there is definitely some activity going on where you, as a decision maker, do or do not do things to help or hinder your life and farm. But, what is the ultimate goal? This is a bit fuzzy to me. It seems like the purpose of this game is to just exist. I guess that’s not entirely true. There are definite advancements made in the game as certain ‘life events’ occur. For example, after courting a lady for a while, you will get to marry her. After being married for a while, you will have a child. And so on and so forth. The last criteria according to the Abt definition is the requirement of a limiting context. This game has a lot of rules and restrictions to make it more ‘life-like’ including day and night, a concept of time, and limited paces and spaces for working, walking, etc. There are also a LOT of resources to manage that effect how you game play goes.
    So, in short, I guess it is a game. It just hits the criteria of being a game in new ways that involve a shovel and some seeds. Who would have thought this game would do as well as its doing?

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    1Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life (GC)Playing
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