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    Feb 21st, 2008 at 00:29:48     -    Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (SNES)

    Game Play
    I love Super Mario RPG so much so I wish they made another one on a on the Wii. The game is done really well by the best RPG designers I know Square Enix. For starters the graphics were uncommon for the SNES it was almost 3D. The game play consisted of exploring new areas clearing waves of enemies group by group, avatar by avatar. The fight was turn based so it wasn’t that heart pumping but syncing your button pressing with your attack did keep you on you toes. A multitude of special abilities also made defeating those tougher opponents more fun. Like Mario’s infamous jump attack and fire balls. Some moves did seem to affect some foes but that made it more challenging to find out which moves where more affective against certain foes. The game still drew me in by its story line but that should be the case with any RPG.



    Design
    As far as innovations go I’m not as knowledgeable with gaming in the 90’s but Super Mario RPG was the First RPG in the Super Mario Francise made my Square Enix. That said how can the game turn out bad? The only Innovation that caught my interest was the fighting system. I am not used to choosing my attacks and then timing them accordingly to the on screen avatar. What makes this game amazing is first off its Narrative. People have always wanted to play an RPG with Mario in it so here you go.My favorite design elements would be the character models done almost 3D, its similar to the GBA title Golden Sun but years ahead. The SNES is mainly a 2D system but I believe they did a decent attempt at showing the potential with the SNES with Super Mario RPG. What Bugged me was the level design. The levels were very small and they looked like they were floating in a sort of space limbo. But aside from that the levels were great. They incorporated puzzles and rewards as you went along. Along with that as you progressed with the level the multitude of enemies increased along with variety. Different enemies with different strengths and weaknesses offered a nice challenge. Conflicts in the game are fairly straight forward as RPG’s go. You have the main quest along with side quest. It remains pretty standard as far as that goes. As I said before the game keeps players interested with the narrative. As you progress you meet up with new friends and fight new foes and unravel the epic that is Super Mario RPG. Like most Mario games this game keeps the same clean fun childish tone. This are clean crisp and cartoony. For the most part this game doesn’t encourage play with others. Like most RPG’s you are probably going to play the majority of the game by yourself. If I had to change one thing in the game I would make that levels much bigger. The small levels made it too confined. This game is defiantly a game of progression no doubt. The letters RPG kind of give it away form the start.The reward system was prefect you got little rewards frequently by defeating waves of enemies and you got bigger rewards by defeating bosses. Cut scenes are essential to an RPG, this game is no exception. The whole introduction of this game was a giant cut scene.


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    Feb 21st, 2008 at 00:29:21     -    Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (SNES)

    Summary
    Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars is a turn based role playing game where the player controls a party of characters progressing in a epic story line. The object of the game is to pregress thought the story line and save Princess Peach(Toad Stool) as usual but this time something worse than Bowser is running amok.

    GamePlay
    The game feels a little small and confined over all. The old 2D graphics try to mimic a three dimensional world, although fairley well done for the SNES it just feels like a small level floating in space. For the most part it feels like most Mario games: Clean, Fun, and fairly simple. The characters in the game are what you would expect from a Mario. The usual suspects with a few new awkward additions like Mallow the wizard frog that looks like a walking marshmallow and the new antagonist a talking sword. This brings me to the story. The story is unique in the way that Bowser is not the main villain. In fact you pair up with Bowser against a common foe. But you still need to save the damsel in distress Princess peach. The game was very fun to play. The Fighting was a mix of choosing your attacks and pressing buttons with precise timing to increase damage done or decrease damage received. For the most part the game kept me interested just by the sheer curiosity of the narrative. I wasn’t able to finish the game in its entirety so I would like to very much see what happens in the epic journey. Personally RPG’s don’t cause any social interaction with bystanders unless they are taking turns with you so aside from that its not a party game. The game contained an excellent tutorial system that was barely noticeable so much so that as a gamer I can claim it as an intuitive style.


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    Feb 9th, 2008 at 00:08:41     -    Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (360)

    Game Play
    This is a must have game for any comic enthusiast but I would not recommend it to the average gamer. The big selling point of the game is its extensive all-star cast of Marvels most popular super heroes and super villains. The games fighting system was like any run of the mill hack and slash game. But what I really enjoyed was the level of customization you had on you team of super heroes. Each hero had his own set of costumes moves and abilities that really accurately depicted them from the comics. Other than the narrative and characters this doesn’t really offer much more to the player.

    Design
    The level design was not too impressive each stage seem to be more of the same thing. The levels were all interior and didn’t provide enough room for a team of super heroes to wreak havoc. The game does provide narrative challenges to keep you interested but they fail. Again the on reason I played on was so I can upgrade my team of heroes. The game world remained very authentic in its comic ways it look just like a comic book almost In fact one of my friends thought it was a cartoon. Another aspect that can be seen as a selling point of this game is its multiplayer option. They play may choose to play single player or play four player co-op. How can you say no to multiplayer? The multiplayer is a fun destroy everything in your path experience it doesn’t provide for any deeper meaning but it is really fun. If I had to change one thing in the game it would be the game levels. We often find our selves in bad camera angles to to the small narrow game levels. I would include exterior game levels that would offer more cardinality.The game seems to be both a game of emergence and progression. There is this RPG aspect of it where you upgrade characters and follow a story line but the game also segments the game into waves and boss battles that give off emergent traits. The reward structure in the game is the only thing that kept me coming back for more. You collect tokens throughout your battles to ultimately spend them on your characters during a save points to improve you characters.The cut scenes are visually stunning in this game and deserve to be recognized. Each cut scene was like a mini theatrical trailer that adds to the over all comic book feel of the game.

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    Feb 9th, 2008 at 00:08:22     -    Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (360)

    Summary 

    In Marvel Ultimate Alliance the player controls a custom team of four super heroes.The player my switch between characters in game The object of the game is to eliminate all the waves of enemies and defeat the boss. There is also mystery that you must uncover in the narrative.

    Game Play
    The game is really exciting to play. In the beginning of the game you are immediately thrown into the heat of combat. The mix of hard music, fast game play and stunning visuals at contribute to the exciting feel. The characters in the game consist of an all star cast of Marvel super heroes and super villains, its awesome. Every playable character is unique in his own way. Each character has a custom set of costumes, moves, and abilities that adds to the uniqueness to this game.The story is kinda bland for anyone familiar with the comics but it provides a perfect introduction for anyone who doesn’t know comics. The gameplay over all is pretty fun. Its your average hack and slash but with a super hero team twist. The overall flow of the game is kinda erratic though. The game is in no way predictable. You are often thrown into situations that seem to offer something new, be it in game of narrative.


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    1Fable: The Lost Chapters (XBX)Finished playing
    2Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (360)Playing
    3Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (SNES)Playing
    4Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War (PC)Playing
    5Wii Sports (Wii)Played occasionally

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