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    Feb 26th, 2007 at 02:30:08     -    Gradius (NES)

    EDIT: I thought I had added this entry but apparently it didn't go through last time.

    After a more thorough playing of this game, it is inevitable that one comes upon the powerup system. The way they handled the power up system in this game is unique as far as I know.

    First and foremost, you must kill an entire group of enemies to earn a powerup. After acquiring the powerup the player must choose either to use it immediately, or to save up multiple powerups to gain different effects.

    In my opinion, this one little mechanic differentiated the game from other scrolling shooters. Although, in the time period that this game was released there probably wasn't a lot of competition and the expectation for a game was perhaps not quite so high.

    That said, the ability to choose when to use the powerup engages the player and introduces an emergent quality to the game. The player can then learn to recognize patterns and use the powerups correctly, thereby creating allowing the player to overcome challenges and create an enjoyable experience.

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    Feb 23rd, 2007 at 19:48:29     -    Gradius (NES)

    After having played the likes of Kirby on the NES, the visual and audio levels of the Gradius game were dissapointing. I suppose we take for granted the work that some designer/programmers do to create a game which maximizes the capability of a system's hardware.

    That aside, the gameplay of Gradius seemed fairly straightforward as one would expect from a shmup. The game also introduces the familiar elements of enemies attacking in patterns as well as power ups. At the end of the first level, there is a volcano type boss which was somewhat original as most other shmups usually have giant enemy ships as the boss component.

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    Feb 9th, 2007 at 00:04:50     -    Counter Strike: Source (PC)

    After getting some more playtime with the game, I am starting to regain some of my old skill. The game has evolved a bit obviously, the tactics people employ are a little different then when I used to play. Most of the old tricks still work fairly well but once in a while I found myself coming upon a player who uses a rapid strafing technique that one would not be suprised to find in Quake but seems a little out of place in Counterstrike. The strafe does cause weapons to lose accuracy but in my experience I had difficulty hitting the player and once my clip was empty the other player was able to shoot at me more or less with impunity.

    As I mentioned in my first entry, sound plays an integral part in the game. One element that I forgot to mention in my first log is the directional mechanics of the sound. For example, while hiding behind cover, the enemy can sneak behind around you and flank you. Your defense against this is of course to listen carefully for the sound of footsteps approaching. If you listen carefully enough you can actually tell from which direction the footsteps are approaching and how close they are to you.

    One of the distinguishing gameplay elements of the game is of course the different characteristic of each weapon. Factor in the financial management, i.e. you have to purchase your equipment and depending on your resources your equipment and consequently your tactics for that round change, and you have some of the elements which make this game a fun.

    Of course there is also the objective based gameplay, i.e. the terrorist have to bomb the target on certain maps and counterterrorist have to rescue the hostages on another. While other first person shooters have tried to implement this sort of objective based gameplay, CS:S is the one who has managed to implement it most successfully in my opinion.

    The final major point of design in this game is the level design. Each level looks and play differently, the environment majorly influences the gameplay. FOr instance any object you see on a map that you think you can use for cover, you can really use for cover. Hiding just around the corner, quietly waiting for an unsuspecting enemy to pass by is a very successful tactic. Other tactics like briefly popping out of the window to fire off a few shots before passing back into cover, and pretty much anything else you can think of can be successful. That is probably another thing that makes the game enjoyable, it challenges the player to make a plan of action and it's fruits can be almost immediately seen by the player. If it fails, the player can think of something else, if it is successful the player feels a sense of accomplishment; either way the result is revealed quickly.

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    Feb 8th, 2007 at 23:30:58     -    Counter Strike: Source (PC)

    Preface: I used to play the original Counterstrike a few years ago. I got in right before the time the game itself went retail and played it for a while. Shortly after the flood of new players came in, I quit the game for various reasons. Today, I decided to give CS: Source a shot.

    From a designer's standpoint there aren't too many differences between the last Counterstrike version I played and Counterstrike: Source. Obviously, there was a graphical update taking advantage of new hardware common in PCs today. Visually, the player and weapon models have seen improvements. Along with the environment, all the models benefit from higher resolution textures. The flashbang grenade actually creates a ringing effect for a nice touch. All these elements no doubt, work together to create a superior sense of immersion.

    The game from it's earliest incarnations clearly put a lot of emphasis on sound; each of the weapons have a distinct sound. BEyond an immersion standpoint this serves a gameplay purpose as well, as being shot at by different weapons would require the player to use different tactics. It goes without saying that in a multiplayer game like this with practically no single player qualities, this is purely a game of emergency.

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    Entries written to date: 11
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    1Botz (PC)Playing
    2Botz (PC)Finished playing
    3Counter Strike: Source (PC)Playing
    4Gradius (NES)Playing
    5Katamari Damacy (PS2)Playing
    6Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)Playing


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