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    Feb 9th, 2008 at 02:24:46     -    Guitar Hero 2 (360)

    Gamelog #2

    GAMEPLAY

    Even after playing Guitar Hero 2 for an extended period of time (somewhere around 4 hours), I still found it extremely fun and interesting to play. The only criticism I have is that if you cannot defeat a particular song, playing that song over and over again can get a bit tedious and, as a result, the player might give up for awhile. I, however, was determined to reach the end of the game and was ecstatic about sometimes barely making it through a final song.

    DESIGN

    I believe one of the good design elements of this game is the guitar controller and the steep learning curve of the game. If you happen to be really good at Guitar Hero, you will soon find that many of your gaming friends will worship you like a god. This, in a way, is a glory reward through games as systems of rewards. The steep learning curve is such that mastering the game is a very difficult thing to do - and very few have actuallly succeeded.

    In more detail regarding the guitar controller, this controller actually makes you feel like you are playing in an actual concert in front of the crowd. When you succeed, the video crowd cheers for you and if you fail, the crowd boos you off the stage. The controller and star power function allows you to enter the magic circle more quickly and immediately be entranced by the game. When the star power is deployed, your character begins to do amazing power-ups on stage and it is easier for you to maintain your "life." Surprisingly, this also allowed me to strategize throughout the game and determine how I could effectively make it through a difficult song. I had to be very careful where to deploy my star power.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Feb 9th, 2008 at 02:27:05.

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    Feb 9th, 2008 at 02:18:02     -    Guitar Hero 2 (360)

    Gamelog #1

    SUMMARY

    In Guitar Hero 2 the player uses a guitar controller to press a series of colored buttons and strum the guitar to succeed in playing many popular songs. The player can also activate "star power" to gain life and essentially "power up" their characters. Throughout the game, you acquire songs and earn money which you can use to buy new characters, outfits, guitars, and songs.

    GAMEPLAY

    My emotional state while playing Guitar Hero 2 was extreme excitement. I thought the game was extremely fun and it was easy to get into the songs. It was also a great game to play with friends and I think the replay value is very high. I had a lot of social interactions while playing this game. During my first time playing this game, I actually was invited by my friends. I was very intimidated by the game and I was stubborn to try to learn. However, after I got past a few songs on easy, I quickly found how addicting the game could be. I would say I have always had the most fun playing this game with friends.

    Guitar Hero 2 was fun to play mainly because the songs provide and pretty steep learning curve in playing all of the songs. I found it was most fun to get to the end of the game and try to learn the more complicated hammer-on series. The song list of the game is also very addicting, which also greatly improves the gameplay. Guitar Hero 2 definitely makes you feel like a rock star when playing it.

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    Jan 25th, 2008 at 01:14:04     -    Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)

    Gamelog Entry #2

    GAMEPLAY

    After playing Shadow of the Colossus for the rest of the day, I quickly realized how boring the game was going to be. It was, again, EXTREMELY frustrating because I spent a good hour just trying to LOCATE the stupid colossi. The scenery consists of nothing interesting and there are no "games within the game" or side tasks/obstacles. All I could do was meander around on a horse and try to find my way to the next object of excitement. Unfortunately, even the challenges of defeating the colossi quickly became repetitive and not very entertaining. Also, looking down the line of how long it would take me to defeat this game, I have around eight colossi left to defeat and locate. I have no where near enough patience to do that.

    In addition, even after I have been playing this game for a good seven-eight hours, I still found the control design/set-up to be ridiculous. Riding the horse continues to be a rather dumb attempt to cover ground relatively quickly. There were some times when I just dismounted the horse and walked...because it was faster (something seems to be wrong with their physics engine if you ask me).

    DESIGN

    The design of this game can overall be described as poor. Shadow of the Colossus fails to keep the player interested because of its overly expansive maps and lack of interesting and engaging environments. I understand that the essential "levels" are the colossi themselves - however, climbing giant after giant can get a little tedious, especially when the goal is to simply reach the top of each one. The level design is not varied at all. The goal is way too repetitive and fails to keep the player guessing and on their toes.

    Despite the fact that I disliked this game overall, I will give the game designers credit for implementing potentially creative design ideas. I think the designers just failed to fully max out the potential of these ideas. For example, one idea that I thought was interesting was the light beam that comes out of your sword to show you where to find the colossi. Over the time I played this game, I realized that the designers were very strategic in deciding where they would allow the environment to provide you sunlight and where they would not. I found that many times during the playing of this game I desired to gain some guidance from that sword, only the game did not permit me to use it because of a lack of sunlight. This is a very ingenious way of creating conflict and controlling spacial relationships in my opinion.

    Another game design concept that I thought was a creative idea, but not executed well, was the design of the colossi as "levels." I have to say, this is the first time I have ever seen a moving, 3-dimensional, "live" being be the main level. It's very creative and I found it interesting for about the first four colossi. I think the game designers could have made the game a bit shorter. This way the originality and uniqueness of this idea would be preserved, instead of being beaten into the ground.

    Overall I was pretty disappointed with Shadow of the Colossus. However, I recognize that it did have its creative aspects and it does, in my opinion, deserve to be on the classics lists for this class. The game design is definitely unique and attempting to push the boundaries of what we consider normal gameplay.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Jan 26th, 2008 at 05:26:57.

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    Jan 24th, 2008 at 15:58:00     -    Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)

    Gamelog Entry #1

    SUMMARY

    Shadow of the Colossus is a progressive RPG. The story is about a boy who wants to bring back a young girl's soul and to accomplish this, he must defeat these god-like beings called colossi. When he defeats all of the colossi, he will then possess the power to bring back the dead. The object of the game is to find these colossi and figure out the varying strategies on how to defeat them. Each colossi has unique weak points, behaviors, and body structures. The setting of the game is pretty basic; it has some ancient ruins and large plains.

    GAMEPLAY

    My emotional state when attempting to defeat the first colossi and become familiar with the controls was extreme frustration. I have been playing on Xbox 360 controllers much too long. It was very difficult for me to revert back to the PS2 controls. However, even after I continued to play Shadow of the Colossus for a few hours, I still found the controls frustrating. The camera angles are slow to respond to the movement of the main character. Also, I found the capability of movement when riding the horse to be ridiculous. It seems like the horse never goes where you are trying to go. In addition to this, scaling walls was also very difficult. I feel like the gameplay was constantly interrupted by inadequate control design.

    In further criticism, I believe the storyline to be under developed. I still do not have a very good sense of the character backgrounds. I read the game manual and the plot was essentially no different than I described above. I do not know why we are trying to save this young girl - however, I do acknowledge that it is possible that the story will be further developed as I progress through the game. Hopefully this is just part of the "mystery" of the game and not a fault in plot design.

    Also, the beginning set up of the story was EXTREMELY slow paced. I was greatly tempted to press a button and skip the introduction. The beginning consisted of just a boy riding a horse and massive spannings of scenery. The pattern looked like this: boy riding horse, massive camera span of mountains and plains, close-up of boy riding horse, mountains, mountains, plains, river, close-up of boy's face...quite tedious to watch if you ask me.

    On a more positive note, it has been great fun trying to figure out how to defeat each of the colossi. Each one is unique and provides a new challenge to defeat it. I think it is interesting how each colossi is essentially designed to mimic and 3-dimensional moving level. I definitely like the creativity of this aspect of the game.

    Overall, the game has been slightly frustrating in attempting to locate the colossi and navigating through the land, but once you face the colossi the game kicks into a high level of fun and challenge.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Jan 26th, 2008 at 05:29:22.

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