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    Feb 8th, 2008 at 23:46:26     -    Unreal Tournament 3 (PC)

    GAMEPLAY (Session 2):
    UT3 is really fun to play. It feels like the classic UT games, but with better graphics and some familiar weapons from the past games. It is a first person shooter, so it does have some similarities with other games of that genre, but the weapons differ from other games. The weapons are almost the same as in the previous versions, but have been upgraded for next-gen systems. The developer, Epic Games, kept the familiar weapons from the series, as well as bringing back former favorites from the first game. If you have played the previous games, this is going to be familiar, but in a good way. The vehicles are still really good and they even included a Hoverboard, which is pretty fun to ride on.

    I have played the previous games so when I started to play this, it felt familiar. Once I got into the gameplay, I didn’t look away from the screen. It kept me interested because the enemy AI is really good and they can sneak up behind you and kill you. The new maps and new rules also gave the game something new to keep in fresh, but familiar. Some of the maps are small, which gets you into combat really quick, and others are really big, requiring vehicles to move across the maps. Also, adding orbs to capture enemy nodes makes you think of strategies to keep the enemy from capturing you nodes with their orbs.

    Although sometimes weird, the AI in the game is pretty good. The enemies fight together to capture a flag or to capture a node. The same thing goes with your team AI. They keep the game interesting because they don’t do the same thing over and over. They think of ways to pass the enemy to get into their base. I even got surprised as to how smart the enemies are when I was playing Capture the Flag. They had a diversion with two of their teammates and the other two went to the base to steal my flag. It wasn’t until I heard “the enemy has taken your flag!” that I thought, “Whoa, when did they get into my base?” Moments like these keeps in the game to see if it will happen again.

    From the maps that the campaign put me in, the levels seem pretty different, but a little the same. The maps have different structures in them in different places on the map. Although they do look mostly similar, the way the graphics look for the entire game make the maps have some similarities in the shading and textures. The levels are both big and small, depending on whether you want many or few players. The variety in maps lets the player choose where to play and what map will be their favorite. In CTF, the bases are on either side of the map, with the center area open for long range combat with no vehicles (usually). With capturing nodes, the nodes are really far apart so the vehicles help to get there faster than the enemy. Really well built levels with variety in size, and vehicles that make it more fun. Good game for the PC.

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    Feb 8th, 2008 at 21:19:24     -    Unreal Tournament 3 (PC)

    The single player campaign of Unreal Tournament 3 is revolved around the character Reaper, who you play as. This takes place in the future and he is hired as a mercenary by a man named Malcolm who orders him and other men into battle. The reason Reaper accepted the job was because he wants to get revenge on the Necris, aliens who almost killed him at the beginning of the game.

    GAMEPLAY (Session 1):
    I have always liked the Unreal Tournament games and this one is no exception. The graphics are really good and story is a bit interesting, but not that much. From the beginning of the game we are introduced to the characters of the single player campaign. The character we play is Reaper, who is almost killed by a group of aliens attacking his colony. Even though I played it for an hour, the single player isn’t really up to what other shooters have done. The thing is that with Unreal Tournament, it has always been a multiplayer game and the single player is fun, but it still feels like it’s just there for practice before going online and playing against other people. I still see no point in the campaign mode, but the company did try to do it, although it did feel somewhat similar to Gears of War, there other franchise.

    I do like the characters a bit in UT3. I like some of the voice acting on the characters, but I don’t like the voice over for Reaper. It seems a little mono. I think the voice acting for his sister is really well done, although it can be a little weird for some moments in the game. During combat, all of the characters introduced in the intro do talk and say that they need help, but they aren’t really smart. The other characters remind me of the past UT game as in they are just there fighting with you, but don’t really have a connection with the player. Playing Capture the Flag or Deathmatch with your teammates still feels similar to the other games in the series, but that isn’t a bad thing.

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    Jan 25th, 2008 at 21:31:36     -    Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)

    GAMEPLAY (Session 2):
    For the second hour, it went by quicker than the first hour, gameplay wise. There wasn’t as much story because it had already been told at the beginning of the game. This is good because it gives players the chance to see the game world. After seeing Hyrule field, you get the sense of how big the world is. This is a good thing because it gives the player freedom to go wherever they want to go. This is also slightly bad because at the beginning of the game you play as Young Link and you have to run around Hyrule field which is a bit boring but once you get your horse Epona, it becomes faster to cross it and more fun.

    I felt that the progression of the game felt really well. As I entered Hyrule, I knew that I was supposed to go to the castle to see the princess. The trick to get into the castle was to sneak past the guards. That was pretty fun because I didn’t want to get caught. This was the first time that the player got to use the Ocarina to play a special Zelda song as well as receiving a letter that lets you move around the castle without the fear of being thrown out by the guards. By the end of the second hour of play, I had bought a brand new shield, found lots of rupees, learned about the story and reached Death Mountain, home of the Gorons. I still have MANY hours left to go to complete the game completely.

    One thing that I didn’t like was that there is no dialog in the game. The audio is really well done. The Zelda games have a great soundtrack with their familiar songs and you play them with the Ocarina of Time. The songs you play with Ocarina really stay in your head because they are catchy. This game has a really good story but with no dialog there is a lot to read. Though this is negative, I would prefer reading dialog than listening to bad voice acting. There are many games that have bad voice acting and I’m really sure that Nintendo would not want to mess up one of their favorite franchises with that acting.

    The level design in Ocarina of Time is really good. The center of the world is Hyrule field. It’s really big with a ranch in the middle, but there isn’t really much to do here other than walk across it and fight monsters during the night. The other towns in the game, like Kakariko Village and Death Mountain, are pretty detailed and the view from them gives you an idea of how high you are and how far you are from the rest of the world. There are many side quests in these different towns so you have plenty to do if you want to complete the game with every Heart Container and every item. Of course you don’t need to get all of them to finish the game, but the fun is trying to get everything to fully complete the game.

    This entry has been edited 2 times. It was last edited on Jan 25th, 2008 at 21:32:12.

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    Jan 25th, 2008 at 19:41:15     -    Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)

    In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, you play as Link, a young boy who has a dream about a young princess, Zelda, about to be kidnapped by an evil man named Ganondorf. As you continue throughout the game, you learn more about the story of Zelda and who Ganon is. On your journey you gain equipment that let you progress to your goal of rescuing Princess Zelda.

    GAMEPLAY (Session 1):
    The game starts off with the story, of course. It doesn’t take long to get through the beginning and once you get your fairy, you leave your room and start to head off to meet the Great Deku Tree. Now, the story is something that we all know about. Link is the hero who has to go save Princess Zelda from the evil clutches of Ganondorf. This story can become pretty repetitive, but the way Nintendo uses it, makes it exciting. And this was the first 3D Zelda game on the N64, so the depicting the characters in 3D was important to the story to make it intriguing. I have to say, even though the story throughout the Zelda games is pretty much the same, Nintendo knows how to tell the story well enough that it doesn’t matter that the story is the same, just that the game is really fun. The story was a lot of the beginning of the game, but once it was over you had rupees to collect and a sword to find so that you could leave the town you were in. It was a little boring but I understand that you had to do this so that you could defend yourself once you reached the Great Deku Tree.

    Now the actual gameplay is something that is really well done. It is fun and you can pretty much go anywhere you want (although in the first hour of playing I could only go to the Deku Tree). The control scheme isn’t hard to understand. It’s really simple to do actions because the A button changes depending on what you see (i.e. if you’re next to a movable block, the button will either say “grab” or “climb” depending on whether you walk towards the block or stand next to it). It’s fun to just run around slicing bushes, signs, or collecting rupees (that’s money in the game) although it does get boring after a while. Learning most of the moves for combat takes only a couple of minutes so once learned, you can take the whole game to master them in combat to kill your enemies faster and faster.

    This entry has been edited 2 times. It was last edited on Jan 25th, 2008 at 21:25:10.

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