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    Feb 23rd, 2007 at 07:52:09     -    Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)

    After playing more of the game Grand Theft Auto - San Andreas, I noticed more things about the level design, the character, as well as a few other things that help to really shape and create awesome gameplay. The main character, CJ, starts out as a pretty scrawny guy, in a white tank top, with a boring hair cut, and not much fighting abilities. However, the player can actually choose from hundreds of articles of clothing and accessories all over the city to make CJ dress better. The player can also get him a better haircut, and the more that the player runs, works out, rides bikes, rides motorcycles, and other various tasks, the more CJ's stats. go up. Example/ If a player runs all over the city, CJ's run stats. raise meaning he can run further without running out of breath. The player must also make sure that he goes to a restaurant often so that CJ can eat or he'll get weaker. This aspect of game design puts the player into a position where they feel very much in touch with the gameplay and they feel a connection with the main character, almost like they are controlling an extension of themselves. The game designers also did an amazing job with the creation of the levels. The detail ranges from the tops of mountains, to the bottom of seafloors, and yet, the graphics aren't overwhelmingly good or bad, and it allows for an amount of loading that gives us big levels with not too much loading time. If I were in charge of the next Grand Theft Auto game, I would continue to add more weaponry to the players arsenal. Vice City and San Andreas had pretty similar weapon arsenals (which was disappointing for me). I believe that more weapons and more cars make the game more fun. In San Andreas they added a feature where the player could "supe" up a car by adding spoilers, rims, paintjobs, nitrous oxide, etc. I would like to see them expand on that idea for the next game and really make it a prominant aspect of the game. The music selections for all the grand theft auto games are pretty good, whoever makes the tracks does a great job, I would leave him to keep doing his job. I feel that a character creation mode (like the tony hawk series) would really be a cool addition to the game. Rockstar is not dropping big bucks of the graphics of the game, so custom characters would be easy to do. I also liked the addition of learning things such as martial arts. How about other traits such as learning to graffiti, drive, climb, and other things like skateboarding, computer hacking, weapon modification, I'm not 100% sure, I'm just thinking about possibilites. With the incredible amount of freedom that this game offers the player, it makes it truly epic, and hopefully the follow up game will continue to be an amazing game.

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    Feb 23rd, 2007 at 07:32:42     -    Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)

    For my gamelog I played Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It is the most recent grand theft auto game to be released onto the playstation 2 console. Rockstar (the creators of the game) took a new approach to the grand theft auto games by targeting the "hip-hop" crowd. The main character is a man from the ghetto named CJ who was just released from jail. Then (like the other grand theft auto games) you must so missions and tasks until you are wealty and powerful. The game's story was very good and well thought out. It was resonably simplistic, but it kept the gameplay constantly moving. The game relies more on freedom and gameplay more than cinematics and storyline. The level design really makes the gameplay good in San Andreas. The citys in the games are huge and take days to really get to know well. Plus, you unlock more places to explore as the game progresses, your starting city (which is gigantic) is only ~ 1/3 of the land maybe ~1/4 of the map. The incredible freedom that the game offers, awesome building, city, and landscape design really puts the player into the game and makes it a super entertaining game. I felt that one of the greatest aspects of the level design was that there were so many levels within the large level. Small hick towns, forests, mountains, and giant cities such as Las Vegas, San Fransisco, and Los Angeles are some of the levels within the grand map. The game also does a great job at keeping the game interesting by providing not only a variety of fun and interesting tasks and missions, but hours of things for the player to do such as killing rampages, racing, stealing cars, flying helicopters, fighting, taking taxi cab fares, fighting fires, motorcycle stunts, boats, swimming, hunting for grafitti to tag over, secret weapons, and many other things as well. I felt that the game had a great system of rewards, you get money, cars, houses, businesses, and weapons from completing certain missions. So every mission you beat makes you stronger. This game is a one player game, and the pedestrains in the game don't communicate with the player very much, but you usually wind up shooting, fighting, or scaring them off, so its fine that they don't communicate (it also makes them easy to kill without feeling bad because they don't feel human). Overall, this is an amazing game and it has great replay value.

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    Feb 9th, 2007 at 05:54:28     -    Tony Hawks Underground (PS2)

    For my continued session of Tony Hawks Underground, I played the versus mode, as well as continuing my story mode. I played the versus mode “trick attack mode” versus my brother. I played as my created character against my brother Brendan and his created character. We set the time limit of the trick attack mode for 10 minutes. Basically, the object of the game is to accumulate a greater total point score than your opponent by using combinations of flip tricks, grabs, grinds, stalls, manuals, special tricks, and cavemen. We played on every single level, even the bonus levels of the original Tony Hawk games. The versus mode seems to have an incredible replay value and remained entertaining throughout the gaming experience despite my brother being much better at the game than me. The versus mode levels are the same ones as in the story mode, and are equally as expansive.
    After playing the versus mode for a while, I returned to my story mode game. I had just finished the competition to become an “amateur skater.” When the player gets his character to the amateur level, he can complete more tasks to increase the characters statistics. The player must also choose which sponsor that he wants his character to have. The sponsor that the player chooses determines what happens in the story, who he meets, and what types of boards that he skates on. The player can choose between Birdhouse, Flip, Girl, Zero, and Element. I chose the Element skateboarding company as my characters sponsor. As a result, I skated with professional skaters who are sponsored by Element in real life such as Bam Margera and Mike Vallely. This game has incredible replay value because the character can choose multiple story paths. The game also has different levels of difficulty ranging from easy to sick mode. The more challenging the level, the harder the challenges are to complete and the harder it is to level up the statistics of the character. The incredible graphics and the expansive levels help to make the game amazing, but the most important part of the gameplay is that the character can trick off of anything, allowing him to combo across entire cities for minutes at a time if the player is good enough. The versus mode, expansive story mode and levels, the many things to trick off of, the character creation, and the incredible replay value have made the Tony Hawk series into classic games. This one may be the best one that I have played yet.

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    Feb 9th, 2007 at 05:10:40     -    Tony Hawks Underground (PS2)

    For my gamelog I played Tony Hawks Underground. I believe that it is the 5th game in the Tony Hawk game series and it is as amazing as the previous ones. The game has a massive story mode, a freeskate mode, and multiple versus modes such as "trick attack, freeskate, horse, graffiti, and tag." The game has an amazing character creation mode that was awesome for its time. It has many faces to choose from, skin colors, genders, clothing, skateboards, and the player can even adjust the characters height and individual body part sizes. The story mode is a progressive game where the character that you create plays his way from a nobody skater, to a professional skater. The levels are located in big cities such as Miami or New Jersey. The cities are filled to the brim with hundreds of places to “trick off of” and create huge combos. The character can grind his board on a variety of things such as rails, ramps, ledges, or even things such as tree branches and telephone wires. The character skates around the levels completing skateboard oriented tasks for the citizens or the city and for fellow skateboarders. The tasks are fun and challenging, and can range from simple things as having to prove your abilities by busting huge combos, or having to ride all over the city delivering peanuts to distract security guards so that you can sneak into a building to skateboard. The hundreds of places to skate across the city make the game constantly fun and allow the player to increase their characters statistics. The characters become better as the player accomplishes tasks such as grinding for 15 seconds without breaking, doing a 900 degree spin trick, or 10 flip tricks in one combo. As characters become better, they can do bigger, better tricks and bust much larger combos. If a player and a character become good enough, they can combo across the entire city. One very important aspect that was added to Tony Hawks Underground is that your character can get off of his/her board, run around the city, or climb onto buildings. If the player is fast enough at hopping off and onto his board enough while in a combo, it the combo continues. The game so far is expansive, constantly entertaining, has elaborate levels, and a wonderful character creation.

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