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    Jan 31st, 2007 at 07:19:28     -    Goldeneye 007 (N64)

    After the menu screens and receiving my objectives, it was time for me to destroy some enemies rambo style. I began the first level, dam, by running past all enemies until I got to the second guard tower after the tunnel. The enemies in this game have really terrible aim if you are strafing in a non linear fashion. Once I dispatched the guards in the vicinity with my silenced pistol, I shot out the first alarm which was one of my objectives for this mission. I then proceeded to plant the bug on the monitor attached to the wall. After breaking the lock and running down the dam, it was time to go to the first challenging part of the game, that is, the shootout below the dam's surface. If you don't want to die, you can approach this area in two different ways. The first way is using the neat peak feature offered by hitting the right shoulder button and the right C button simultaneously and dispatch enemies around corners. This takes time and patience, so instead I took the easy approach. That is, running past all enemies that weren't directly in my way, and shooting those that were. I took some damage, but not enough to warrant me not to play this way. Once I got to the end of this underground hall, I activated the server and backed up the information. After running past the enemies that were still alive, it was a matter of simply destroying the other alarms spread throughout the dam before jumping off and completing the mission. Simply too easy.

    The second mission, facility, begins by placing you in a ventilation shaft above a bathroom. Now as you don't get the famous toilet scene like you do in the movie, its time to kick some ass. I began the level by exiting the stall and the bathroom without alerting any guards. I then ran down the stairs and into a door under the stairway, and shot the guard with the helmet for the keycard. This keycard grants me access to a control room which allows me to enter a locker room. This level does not reward you for strafe running past enemies, so I dispatch every one I see on the way. Now this is one of the rewarding parts of having previous gameplay experience. The next room adjacent to the locker room has three guards charge you as soon as you open the door. Therefore, upon opening the door I threw a remote mine in the middle of the room and detonated it, killing all of them without taking any damage. I peaked into the room on my right to check if the scientist had the key decoder, but he didn't so I moved on. In the next area, my previous gameplay experience kicked in once again as I moved left, killed the guard with a loud weapon, triggering a guard to come through a door thats locked. I killed the guard and proceeded on (this allows me to skip the room in the center with the control panel to open this door). In the next area, I dispatched all the guards and checked the various laboratories for the scientist with the key decoder. Once I received the key decoder, I unlocked the room with the gas tanks and Alec. I planted the rest of my remote mines on the gas tanks, and had Alec follow me to the middle of the room during the text interaction between the characters. As soon as I got him clear of the explosion, I blew up the tanks and ran out of the room. I completely avoided the ambush that was supposed to happen at the end of the level. I've played this game too much.

    On to the next level, Runway. This level has to be one of the easiest levels in the game. I began by running out and dispatching the guard in front of spawn. Afterwards, I ran to my left and entered the little guard room, took care of the guards and got the key to the tank. I ran out of the guard house and all the way to the right side of the level and hopped into the tank. It's time for some real fun. Once in the tank, I proceeded down the runway shooting guards and sentry guns mounted on the walls with the tank's explosive shells. This is one of those times in the game where you have to actually manually aim. But nothing is more satisfying then running over your enemies for a lovely crunching noise. Once everything in my path was utterly destroyed, I hopped out of the tank and into the plane. This was the end of this level and my current gamelog session.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Jan 31st, 2007 at 07:21:05.

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    Jan 31st, 2007 at 06:50:29     -    Goldeneye 007 (N64)

    GoldenEye 007, one of the 3 games I have played through over 4 times. This game absolutely blew me away when I first got it for my N64. I will begin my session by playing a new campaign on the hardest difficulty, 00 Agent.

    After you get through the menus, the game begins by giving you your mission objectives and background information. Afterwards, you get a spiraling camera cut scene of the man of the hour, James Bond. Once the camera throws you into his body, it is time to become our favorite English "Spy." I put quotations around the word spy, for he is really not a spy, but an all out Rambo. But before I get into the shooting, I will begin by explaining the movement. The movement in this game feels great, I face a direction and Mr. Bond will run depending on how hard I press the analog stick. This allows a great freedom of movement within the level's boundaries. There is also strafing offered by the C buttons, which I used throughout the whole game because strafing left and right actually makes you run faster than holding the analog stick.

    As for the shooting, the auto aim feature in this game is greatly overpowered. However, playing without auto aim on with the 00 Agent difficulty spells disaster if you actually wanted to shoot enemies by manually aiming. Noticeably, this is one of the first games I can remember having different damages for different hitboxes. If I shoot someone in the head, usually they die. If I shoot someone in the feet, it takes quite a few bullets to take them down. With the auto aim feature on, when you shoot using the Z button, Bond is designed to shoot towards the chest region. However, using the right shoulder button, a small red crosshair will appear and let you manually aim. This feature is frustrating, for I find it difficult to aim with analog sticks, which helps contribute to my hatred for most console first person shooters. That being said, it does come in handy in certain situations, such as when the enemy AI is designed to stay behind cover and not move.

    Now for the most disappointing aspect of the game, the enemy AI. That being said, the enemy AI did not hamper my gameplay experience. They did their job rather well. Notice me, aim, shoot, and finally chase me if I'm running away. The enemy has a rather timely delay in between the notice and shoot process, giving the player ample time to dispatch them if they have the jump. Some enemies are designed to stay behind cover, and these enemies do not actively pursue you if you run past them. The enemy's aim is rather devastating if you stand still, which leads me to play in the strafing run and gun with auto aim on mode. In some levels, its actually safer to just run past most of your enemies than shooting them. This is one of the major flaws in the gameplay. A funny note is when the enemy AI is randomly trigged to roll on the ground in a pathetic attempt to avoid your bullets, if you kill them in their rolling animation it will finish it before they die.

    The level design offers varying degrees of linearity. Some levels (such as silo or train) have an extremely linear design, and there is literally only one direction in which to progress. On the other hand, there are some levels that aren't very linear at all (such as surface 1 and 2), which plunge you into a vast snowing level where there is really no set path.

    In my next log I will actually get into my gameplay experience.

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    Jan 19th, 2007 at 18:28:28     -    Soul Calibur III (PS2)

    As I was playing through the "Tales of the Soul" mode, I noticed more flaws in the game's design. First of all, this game has way too many unlocked features that I feel are useless(concept art, character backgrounds, weapons etc). I also noticed that every character has the same cut scenes where they act exactly the same but pitch different one liners. I feel this is very redundant, and lacks the creativity to put characters into different situations. The first time I saw the clock gear fall on my character I was kind of surprised and liked the little effect, but after seeing it 20 times with different characters, it gets old and annoying really fast. Since I already know whats going to happen, why does the game make me have to watch the cut scene all over again? Because I have to wait for the prompt to dodge it, otherwise I start the fight handicapped, and I think that is quite lame. I believe each character should have their own story and their own sets of cut scenes, because I think that is good game design.

    Another thing I've noticed when battling the AI, is they are very vulnerable to a run and grapple at the beginning of the fight. For some reason, the computer does not push you off, and 80% of the time you can gain an advantage at the beginning of the fight. During the fight itself, they sometimes push you off grapples, but not at the beginning.

    Also, another thing I've noticed is that for some reason the AI is extremely difficult to beat when you have to fight against Setsuka or Talim. I think this is due to the quick nature of their attacks, and their animations are hard to read to time guard impact properly. I usually resort to running at them and grappling, otherwise I'm usually in for an ass kicking. Which is another flaw in the game's design, I can win a lot by using this cheap strategy.

    (On a side note, I just found out it was possible to ring out on Ivy's stage if you hit them over the ledge in the back)


    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Jan 31st, 2007 at 06:08:53.

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    Jan 19th, 2007 at 18:01:58     -    Soul Calibur III (PS2)

    Soul Calibur III is a 3D fighting game where each character has a unique weapon to battle with. Weapons ranging from your standard swords and rapiers, to scythes and quarter staffs. The game's design is very simple, either deplete your opponents health before he depletes yours, or knock him out of the ring. The fights are always 1 vs 1, and depending on what options you pick in the menu, have a time limit.

    I am currently playing through the "Tales of Soul" mode with Raphael. Raphael is a favorite character for me due to his easily executed combos, and I love the animations of his fencing style of fighting. The graphics of this game are awesome, as well as the sound. Well, everything is great in the sound department except for the voice actors, but that's having minimal affect on my gameplay experience. The general character design is also excellent, as you have a large representation of different fighting styles and weapons from many countries. However, I do not have a fondness towards the "over the top characters" wielding huge axes and or having demonic appearances. I know the game's aim is not towards realism, but for some reason I just can't get into the likes of these characters.

    Each character has a unique stage where they are either high in altitude or surrounded by lava or water. I suppose they design them this way to reward players for trying to go for ring knock outs. But every stage has a great feeling and sense of uniqueness representing the character. For instance, the Pirate Cervantes fights on a pirate ship, and the wealthy Ivy fights in a mansion. Each stage also adds a unique element to the fight, due to the radius of the arena. For instance, in Ivy's mansion you can't actually ring out, but in Yoshimitsu's lava arena it is very easy to ring out.

    But what it all boils down to is not just the presentation, but the gameplay itself, and this is where I believe the game is really successful. The game is rewarding to different types of players, and is easy for a novice to get into. The guard impact system is my favorite aspect to the game's design. I love the fact that I can parry attacks then unleash my own combos. This appeals to me because I don't fall into the category of losing to button mashers or over using my defense. Instead, I'll give my opponent the chance to strike me, rely on my reflexes to block the attack, then unleash my own combo. However, if I fail in timing my block, I get in a world of hurt. This gamble is what makes the game exciting for me. There are basically 4 different types of attacks. Square and Triangle execute different types of attacks with the character's weapon, and circle is to execute a kick which is sometimes useful to use to stop characters from unleashing huge attacks, or powering up. X is your standard blocking mode, which cannot be broken unless hit by a powered up attack or by a grapple.

    As I am playing through the "Tales of the Soul" mode with Raphael which I'll get into more detail later, I noticed a few flaws in the game's design which through me off. First of all, the way the story is presented is through windows of text and a cursor on the map. The text is rather uninteresting and not presented in a good fashion. After the first few lines of text, I became really uninterested in the story and started skipping it all. To give you little interactivity, the game sometimes prompts you to make a choice which ultimately leads you to always to the same place anyway.






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    1Goldeneye 007 (N64)Finished playing
    2Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)Playing
    3Pro Evolution Soccer 6 (PC)Playing
    4Soul Calibur III (PS2)Playing
    5Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time (SNES)Playing

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