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    Feb 23rd, 2007 at 00:35:26     -    Katamari Damacy (PS2)

    The combination of emergent and progressive gameplay qualities in Katamari Damacy have created a game with an addiction potential similar to that of hard drugs like heroin. The method of play is really simple: it consists entirely of the aforementioned elements. However, the difficulty levels of each level increase, and the size ranges of each level become so much more outstandingly ridiculous that it becomes difficult to stop playing due to the excitement of "how far will they go? I had better check out the next level." Also, once each level is completed, the player can still go back and try to outdo old records, which means that there is a source of motivation from the statistics and the player's own pride as a gamer to maybe skip that next class to try and roll up the biggest Katamari. In other words the reward system (usually expressed as the final size of the Katamari or the time it took to complete)is effective at maintaining the player's interest.

    Another point of interest is the level where you have to try and make the Moon. You get big enough to pick huge chunks of land. The sheer ridiculousness of it has had me shouting "YEAH! SWEET!" out loud to nobody in particular.

    In conclusion, playing this game should be mandatory.

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    Feb 22nd, 2007 at 23:04:00     -    Katamari Damacy (PS2)

    the hardest part of playing Katamari Damacy is getting started. To start, you have to select a file to save to (represented by pieces of the company's name "namco") and roll the ball (the Katamari) over the corresponding letters. The trick is, the only indication of how this is done (using both analog sticks at once) are little circles with arrows in them, which I didn't get at first.

    The storyline, while compellingly ridiculous, is not necessarily essential to gameplay. The premise is that the King of All Cosmos got drunk one night and accidentally destroyed all of the stars in the sky, and has given the task of replacing them to the prince, who is the player's character. The player is expected to accomlish this task by rolling a ball (known as a Katamari) around on the planet Earth and letting it stick to objects of like size (starting with really small objects such as thumbtacks) and gradually increasing in size until larger objects can be collected (this ranges from things like shoes, foods and small animals to such things as people, cars, streetlights, and bigger.) Once each mission is completed, the King of All Cosmos reviews your work and shoots the katamari (by now, a clump of random earthly objects) into the sky, where it becomes a star.

    the key factor is that you can only pick up items smaller than your Katamari, so if you find an object that is too large, you must go and accumulate more mass in order to pick it up.

    The tutorial for this game, while quite possibly the most boring tutorial ever, is essential for learning some key moves that will make or break a player's success. The basic movement controls are simple: the analog sticks are used like tank wheels, so pushing both of them forward or backward causes the katamari to roll forward or backward, both of them pushed to the side cause the katamari to roll sideways, and pushing them front and back in opposition to each other causes the forward direction to rotate. By pushing forward at a short enough obstacle (stairs, for example) the katamari can be pushed to higher elevations. Quite possibly the most helpful move is the one (the name escapes me) where you move the sticks back and forth in opposition to each other really fast until your katamari starts spinning and then shoots forward. This is good for clearing out large areas of smaller items more quickly.

    the King of All Cosmos (who speaks via subtitles, and whose voice is apparently the sound of records being scratched) adds a certain distinct charm, interrupting the game to check your progress, advise you on how to proceed, and offer several quips and non-sequiturs that make him a somewhat complex (if not just a tad silly) character.

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    Feb 8th, 2007 at 23:00:32     -    Arkanoid (NES)

    The second round of Arkanoid began with the words "I will make it to level three if it kills me." I am happy to say that, thanks to determination and a little bit of luck, I did. However, I found that the most challenging aspect of level three was the proximity of the first row of blocks to the paddle. Even at the initial low speed of the ball, it was really hard to keep up with it, and the extreme angles at which the ball would bounce made it impossible to win.

    After I was satisfied by reaching this high level, I kept playing for the sheer addictive fun of it. I found one sneaky little rule about the boundaries that offered an interesting affordance. Along the sides, there are objacts that appear to be doors. One time, I stumbled completely by accident into a door that I did not realize was open. It then teleported me to the next level and gave me a 1-up. That made it easier to progress, because I ended up skipping the end of level one and starting level two with some lives to spare.

    This time around, I also bothered to watch the cinematics before the game. As basic as they were, they did introduce a sense conflict (other than simply "The blocks must die!") to the game. Apparently, the paddle is a ship that escaped from the wreck of the mothership Arkanoid, and is now trying to escape some kind of twisted scenario. So, destroying blocks is my way of escaping to safety.

    Overall, I found this game to be really fun, really addictive, and frustrating beyond reason. The game is so simple, which gives the player the impression that it might be easy. However, so many erroneous moves are made that look like they could have been preventible, it's hard to resist the urge to give it just one more try.

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    Feb 8th, 2007 at 21:55:04     -    Arkanoid (NES)

    After the first 45 minutes of play, I found that arkanoid is as addictive as it is challenging. The object of the game is to bounce a ball (or balls-more on that power-up later) back and forth between the paddle, which serves as the player's avatar, and a wall of colored blocks. When the ball strikes the brightly-colored blocks, they disappear. When the gray blocks are struck, they remain after the first blow, and then vanish like the others after the second blow. The goal is to destroy each increasingly-difficult arrangement of blocks to advance to the next level.

    I really like the level-ups in this game. They make it both easier and harder at the same time. For example, everytime I got the laser powerup (enabling me to shoot twin laser shots from the paddle to destroy blocks while waiting for the ball to return) I found that the advantages of this added firepower mitigated my ability to concentrate on the most important part of the game, namely making sure I didn't miss the ball and lose a life.

    For a novice player like myself, the reward system of points awarded for objects destroyed seemed relatively meaningless. My main goal was to stay alive long enough to see the second level. Getting to the high score of 50,000 did not seem very attainable, since mine usually ended up around 10,000 or so. The one or two times I did make it to level 2 were fleeting victories at best, since I consistently did so with only one life remaining.

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    macuna's GameLogs
    macuna has been with GameLog for 13 years, 4 months, and 5 days
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    Entries written to date: 10
      Game Status / Read GameLog
    1Arkanoid (NES)Playing
    2Katamari Damacy (PS2)Playing
    3Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)Playing
    4The Legend of Zelda (NES)Stopped playing - Technical problems
    5Toe Jam & Earl 2: Panic on Funkotron (GEN)Stopped playing - Got frustrated


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