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    Feb 9th, 2008 at 02:28:45     -    Guitar Hero III (PS3)

    Gameplay: Hour two was much tougher than hour 1. Both on the level of difficulty of play and of my physical ability to play. My fingers were getting all cramped up which slowed my gameplay greatly. I unlocked a lot more songs and got further in my "career". I also got a bunch of bonus songs (and though they don't unlock levels they add to your overall score, and besides, I like a lot of them).

    Design: This is a game of progression that has very few qualities of emergence (though they do exist). You have to follow a set of songs in order to get to the next set of songs, however, you only have to beat 3 our of 4 songs in order to progress to the next set. In this way it is a bit of emergence, because if you feel like the song is too hard, you can choose a new path. However, overall it is progression, because you have to beat 3 of the 4 songs in order to reach the status of "rock star" (in the end).

    As I said in my previous log, I explored the reward system more in this hour of play. I find the structure more interesting now because, though you can get songs with the "money" you make, who cares about the clothes and the extra guitars. I am not looking at my character, I am looking at the guitar, because thats how you play the game. Perhaps it is for those who want to have every bit of the game complete including all the characters and owning all the clothes, songs, etc. However, I am not that person, so the reward is less inviting for me. The only reward for me personally is unlocking more songs and the bonus songs and this is the whole goal of the game, so it only makes sense to do so. So I wish there were more rewards and secrets that had more bearing on the game rather than the characters, like more story based levels that you had to complete tasks to beat them. Could be fun.

    The graphics still suck, which makes me sad. If I designed this I would have at least put more effort into the crowd or to the stage atmosphere. In this way it feels more like a "rock" environment. I have found that when playing this with friends the environment takes on a much more concert like environment with people cheering and the guitarists dancing and acting crazy. The problem is that playing by myself I lost a lot of what brings you into the magic circle, that is the environment.

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    Feb 9th, 2008 at 00:38:41     -    Guitar Hero III (PS3)

    Summary: Playing Guitar Hero III was a fun experience for my gamelog. I had played in the past, however, since it seems to be so popular (and I did not own one of my own) I never had a chance to play for a long period of time. I started a band in career mode and beat several levels and, after an hour on medium, I got "sponsored" (aka- I beat 3 sets of songs+ additional encores).

    Gameplay: Playing for an hour straight was intense. I could have taken a break, but I wanted to challenge myself to see how far I got in an hour. I did not get very far, but since each song is a set ammount of time, timing myself is not the most appropriate challenge for this game. I found after about 40 minutes my fingers started to hurt.

    I also found that after several songs in a row, my eyes would hurt from the downward scrolling of the guitar on the screen. I think this affected my gameplay greatly because if your hands and eyes get tired, you will not be able to play as well, and subsequently the game became less enjoyable. However, though I was tired, it was fun to see what levels I could unlock. It is not like it is some big secret what is going to happen in the game, yet still the drive to "become a rock star" is a huge force in the game.

    I thought that since I had played on medium before it would be better to play at that level than on easy because I may be bored waiting for notes to scroll on easy, and yet I found myself very rusty (even on such a low level). It is a very interesting game because the difficulty of the songs (quickness of notes, beat, etc.) frustrate you at the same time as entertaining you.

    Design: In the short time I have been playing this game I have come to notice several things: graphics and the reward structure.

    The graphics are not very good at all. Compared to Guitar Hero II for PS2, these are much much worse. This is sad to me because it was such a highly anticipated game and for those who do not have an XBOX 360 ot PS3 (and who rely on old faithful PS2) we get sort of sad graphics with automaton audiences dancing as one big unit. The loading screens are still witty saying things such as "dropping your pants on stage does not deploy star power", which made me laugh. However, the characters look slightly disinterested and the backgrounds are also equally boring.

    The reward system is something I will further explore in my next gamelog hour, but so far I have been "sponsored" by a lable, which sounds nice to me, and I keep making money. I am told there is a store in which to spend it to get songs and new stuff for my characters. I think this is a great reward, and can't wait to see what songs are offered in the bonus sections. Really the main reward is getting to hear what songs are on the next set, so the game in and of itself is a reward (because I really like the music on it).

    So far career mode is fun, but playing with a room full of people or a partner/competitor seems to be way more fun to "rock out" with.

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    Jan 26th, 2008 at 01:09:43     -    Katamari Damacy (PS2)

    Hello again, while playing my second hour for my game log I am happy to annouce I officially beat the game. I was a bit put off by the fact that I was unable to pick up continents and or galaxies in my day's rolling, however, I picked up most clouds, sea monsters, islands and one rainbow.

    Gameplay

    Beating the game was very fun. Though you don't really know when the game is going to be over, it is nice when it finally ends. It may be because it is a bit repetitive, but nonetheless it is still engaging to the end. It was when I started picking up buildings that I got very into it. I wanted to go further and pick up bigger things, but alas! The final challenge is to make the moon and you have 25 minutes. Compared to the first challenge that was 3 minutes, it feels like a lifetime.


    Design-

    Like I said before, the game design does not change too much as the game goes on. It mainly stays cute and very brightly colored. There are different placed to "roll" though. You can start in a living room, kitchen, garden or city. By getting bigger you gain perspective that the house is in the town which is near the city which is on an island which is in a in archipelago (presumably Japan)which is in an ocean on the world. It is great how it is designed in a real world perspective. Like we talked about in class today, it is sort of like a "room" in a game (except it is the entire game) with walls you can't see. You assume the screen is the wall but you keep rolling and rolling and as you get bigger you discover more places to roll to.

    Katamari is also unique in design because it is hard to categorize. It is not really a puzzle game, though it is puzzling when you have to find objects only smaller than yourself, it is not exactly an adventure game, and it not at all an action game (except for the terrified screams of those you roll up). All in all Katamari Damacy is rather unique. I am not really sure what cataegory of game it would be under (and I am interested in finding out).

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    Jan 25th, 2008 at 01:58:32     -    Katamari Damacy (PS2)

    Summary:

    Katamari is a game in which you play the prince of the stars and under the guidance of you God of the Stars father, you are making new stars for the sky. This is done by rolling your "katamari" around the world. This katamari is ultra sticky and picks up anything it touches. The goal is to make the size of your katamari match what size is given to you each round within the time limit (which gets up to 30 minutes at some points).

    Gameplay:

    This game is highly entertaining and fun. With its bright colors and crazy Japanese music, it is deffinetly easy to play for long periods of time. I have played this game to a fairly far point before, but I decided to start a new file for this gamelog entry just to see how far I could get in and hour. I suppose because of my experience I got fairly far. I made it to 8 stars and about 6 constelations. I enjoy making the constelations most because you are picking up sepcific objects. This game is so innovative. I have seen plenty of drab games with earth tones and guns before. Hoever, Katamari is the first I have seen where it is a serious game (and by serious I mean not a satire etc.) with neon bright colors and a purely light and fun theme. Its a lot of fun to be rolling up crabs for the constelation cancer and its very challenging to try and get 1, but the biggest possible bear, for Ursa Major.

    Though you are rolling up people (who scream or cry when you pick them up), mostly it seems like harmless fun. I think the best aspect of this game is that it plays of fantasies without being dangerous or lude. Unlike many games today, the idea of picking up cities and flying around the world (and eventually universe) is fun and not dangerous (because it is so unrealistic). Unlike many shooting or driving games, it isn't showing blood or creating a complacency with crime and violence.

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