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    Mar 4th, 2008 at 18:41:33     -    Devil May Cry 4 (360)

    GAMEPLAY
    As I got through more of the game, some of the best fights were with the bosses. Each boss is completely unique from the others,a and each has its own particular weaknesses. By far the best part of the boss fights however, is when they become temporarily stunned. When that happens, if you grab them with Nero's arm, it goes into a prolonged grab that looks fantastic and does a ridiculous amount of damage. They were some of the best finishing moves I've seen in any game.
    While you play as Nero for the majority of the game, the game throws a curve ball the players way about three quarters of the way through. Nero gets captured by the bad guys, and the player plays as Dante for almost the rest of the game. Dante is a half demon bad-ass from the previous Devil May Cry games, and he plays very differently from Nero. To begin with, Dante doesn't have a demon arm. To make up for this, he has multiple "styles" that he can switch between, each with its own abilities. The trickster style makes Dante more acrobatic and nimble, able to dodge attacks and jump higher. The royal guard style gives Dante a powerful block, which absorbs damage and can release it for damage. The gunslinger style focuses on ranged combat with Dante's guns, and the swordmaster style focuses on using Dante's melee weapons. Because of all the styles, Dante has many more combat options then Nero, despite lacking any throws. Players also receive a new weapon for Dante after defeating every boss, with Dante having three melee weapons and three ranged weapons by the end of the game. This character switch was surprising, but was a nice change of pace, and Dante's levels are some of the most fun in the game.
    DESIGN
    Devil May Cry 4 doesn't make any huge innovations, but what it does it does well, and there is enough new content to make it interesting. One of my few complaints with the game is the level design. While the levels themselves are fairly unique, players go through the same areas multiple times. In fact, when playing as Dante, you are backtracking through EXACTLY the same levels that you just went through as Nero. In fact, you even fight the same bosses again, in reverse order, in exactly the same way and place. Combine this with the fact that in the last level you refight all of the bosses in rapid succession, and you actually fight most bosses three times!
    Aside from that complaint, the rest of Devil May Cry 4 is fairly solid. The story is actually fairly deep and complex, if you actually pay attention to it rather than just skipping to the next fight. There are several betrayals and reveals, as well as a comical scene between Dante and one of the bosses where they have an almost Shakespearian exchange of dialog (complete with spotlights, soliloquies, and even a guy talking to a skull!). Throughout it all there is also the story of Nero trying to save his love, as well as the intense rivalry between Nero and Dante. Overall, Devil May Cry 4 is a game I enjoyed playing, and would willingly play again.

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    Mar 4th, 2008 at 17:57:45     -    Devil May Cry 4 (360)

    SUMMARY
    Devil May Cry 4 is a pretty standard hack and slash game, in which you play as punk kid Nero through most of the game. Nero has white hair, a giant revvable sword, a double barreled pistol, and a demonic left arm. He starts out the game trying to save his girlfriend Kyrie from a demonic invasion, but ends up uncovering a huge conspiracy involving a local semi-religious group, various giant demon gates, and a mysterious stranger named Dante.
    GAMEPLAY
    Devil May Cry 4 has been described as a "hack-and-slash-and-shoot" game, and it is an apt description. The basic game play involves moving from area to area hacking your way through groups of enemies, interspersed with occasional boss battles. However, there are a multitude of combos and abilities to use in completing that goal. Nero can freely switch between melee attacks with his sword, shooting with his gun, as well as grabbing and throwing enemies with his demon arm. In between levels, the player can buy more powerful combos and abilities for his various weapons. Because of the versatility in Nero's arsenal, no two fights play out the same way.
    While going through the game, Nero picks up several new abilities as well. One such ability, called the demon trigger, allows Nero to temporarily turn into a demon, giving him increased damage and more powerful throws. He also gains the ability to grab distant targets with his arm, and to slow down time temporarily. All of these abilities can be further upgraded, giving Nero more time in demon form, or allowing him to grab enemies from farther away. Although teh formula of the game is familiar, there is enough innovation to make the game interesting and fun.

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    Feb 15th, 2008 at 00:51:48     -    Wii Sports (Wii)

    GAMEPLAY
    In bowling, any number of players play 10 frames of a bowling game. Players can adjust where they are aiming the bowling ball, and they swing the Wiimote underhand as if they were actually throwing a bowling ball. You can also twist the Wiimote as you swing it to put spin on the bowling ball. At the end of ten frames, whoever has the most points wins the game.
    In baseball, players take turns playing as the pitcher or the batter. The pitcher holds down a button and swings the Wiimote overhand to pitch the ball. The batter has to swing the Wiimote at the right time to make the Mii swing the bat. How many bases are ran depends on how far the ball goes, not whether or not the ball gets to a base. Aside from that and the fact that there are only 3 innings, the rules are the same as baseball.
    In golf, players take turns trying to hit a golf ball into a hole. Players have control over the direction and which type of club to use. Players swing the Wiimote like a golf club in order to actually hit the ball. How hard the player swings determines how far the ball goes.
    DESIGN
    Wii sports is interesting in that is one of the few games that takes full advantage of the Wii's unique capabilities. Each game has the player using the Wiimote's motion sensing capabilities to its full effect. The games themselves are fairly simple and easy, but they are a lot of fun when playing with friends. The game is fairly lighthearted, with the avatars being bobble headed and cartoony. This fits well with the feel of the mechanic, in that it feels childish in a good way. It lets people get in touch with their inner child, something that many people need.
    Wii sports does a very good job of creating social interactions. All of the games are at their most fun when there is a group of people playing. Even when not playing, it is fun to watch others wave their arms around while having comical avatars run around on screen. Overall, Wii sports is a fun, if rather minimal game that sets landmarks for what can be done with the Wii's motion sensing abilities.

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    Feb 14th, 2008 at 22:51:58     -    Wii Sports (Wii)

    SUMMARY
    Wii sports is a collection of five small games, each game is based on a real world sport, and each utilizes the Wii remote in a unique way. There are five sports: tennis, baseball, golf, bowling, and boxing. The avatars on the screen for each game are Miis created by each player before hand. Although you can play against computers, Wii sports is meant to be played against other people.
    GAMEPLAY
    Each game is based on a different sport, and so each game has its own style of play. Tennis is one of the easiest of the games to pick up, and it is also my favorite game. You play a doubles game of tennis, with each player swinging the Wii remote to swing the tennis racket. If there are four players, each controls one player, while if there are two players, swinging the remote makes both players on a team swing. The Miis move around the field on their own to get to a position from which they can hit the ball. Every time a player misses a ball, the other team gets 10 points, up to 40 points. Players can play one game, or best out of three or best out of five.
    Boxing is one of the more complicated games to get good at. players use both the Wiimote and the nunchuck attachment. Punching with the Wiimote makes the Mii punch with his right hand, while punching with the nunchuck makes the Mii punch with his left hand. You can also block by holding up the Wiimote and nunchuck, as well as dodge by moving the Wiimote and nunchuck from side to side. The point is to knock out the other Mii, but sometimes your punches don't seem to correspond to the actions on screen. Nevertheless, it is still fun beating up on the other mii, and boxing is also the best exhausting of the games.

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