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    Mar 5th, 2008 at 16:12:02     -    Rock Band (360)

    Gameplay 2:

    The social aspect of this game is what makes it so fun to play. 4 people can play together, independent yet connected, and they interact in the gameworld. When you have 4 competent players, you can talk to each other, coordinate when to activate "overdrive", or just sing along during the choruses. With the ability to create a character that looks like you, dress it however you want, and make it look a little ridiculous. You also get to save money from your band's performances to buy instruments. Then when you're playing a gig together, you can all have color coordinated outfits, matching leprechaun tattoos, or the same hairstyle. This is a great game for parties because everyone wants to play when they see someone playing, and you can rotate pretty easily, allowing a lot of people to enjoy a Rock Band experience.

    Rock Band uses the ability of next generation systems to access the internet by allowing players to download new tracks every tuesday. The set list is ever expanding, making it a longer game, giving people more songs to beat more regularly, and allowing the players to submit requests on the Rock Band website. This type of interaction with a game wouldn't have been possible as little as 5 years ago. It certainly seems like a great model for future games of this type.

    Design:

    The game mode "Band World Tour" is exactly that. It allows you to take your band, which contains 2 to 4 human players, to about 15-20 different cities to play different sets, earn fans, and make money. There are so many sets to play that you could be playing this game for a very very long time. While you can beat the game and see the credits roll after a good amount of playing (100-200 songs), you can keep going and going, eventually reaching a set called the "Endless Setlist", which contains every song that was originally on the game. This is a great design idea, as it lets you keep playing for a ridiculously long time.

    The most aggravating thing about Rock Band is the hammer-on system. When there is a string of notes that is very close together, you can hammer-on to them without strumming. However, it is extremely sensitive and difficult to do in Rock Band. You end up missing a large number of notes you shouldn't necessarily have missed. If I were to remake this game, I would improve the hammer-ons because they should at least be consistent with the hammer-ons in Guitar Hero 3, which has made it extremely easy to hammer-on. This design aspect makes the easy songs incredibly easy, but the hard songs ridiculously hard because you can't get through the long hammer-on sections.

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    Mar 5th, 2008 at 15:50:44     -    Rock Band (360)

    Summary:
    Rock Band allows you to play as any of the 4 fundamental members of a band of your choice: Guitar, Bass, Drums, and Vocals. Play a large number of popular songs from the last 50 years, leaving your own stamp on classic music.

    Gameplay 1:
    Having already played the Guitar Hero games, I was already familiar with the gameplay of Rock Band. I was able to jump right in and play most of the songs on guitar. However, singing and drumming provided new challenges. First of all, I don't have very much control over my voice, so singing is a struggle, even for songs I know pretty well. I much prefer to have another person sing, and maybe sing along during the choruses. As the level difficulty goes up, you have to be more precise with your pitch and your timing. Drumming is difficult for me because of the foot pedal. I don't think I've ever used my foot to play video games before, and it makes things more difficult. Having to manage two different rhythms, my hands and then my foot, is too difficult. I can't play the higher level songs that require a lot of random foot pedal.

    The songs in this game are varied, from Metallica's hard, rapid style to the just released Grateful Dead song pack. While playing, I often gravitate towards the same songs because I like playing them and I'm learning to play them better. Believe it or not, you can actually practice in this game. Eventually you and your bandmates might play a perfect song together. The variety in musical style means you can switch it up, play something intense or laid back, or whatever you feel like. Chances are a band you like has a song in this game, and you can almost always get people to sing along.

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    Feb 20th, 2008 at 15:33:52     -    Super Smash Brothers (N64)

    Gameplay:
    Single player mode sheds a little light on the premise of the game, which is pretty clever: You are in your room playing with action figures, making them fight. This is evidenced by the final boss of single player being "Master Hand", and by the main menu screen being the characters lying limp on a desk in a bedroom. This is a cool idea for a story, and adds to the competitiveness. Everyone usually has their own favorite character, and this is a way for you to have them fight in an organized environment. I know I definitely had my action figures fight other kids when I was little, and this is a more fun, interactive version of that.

    This game never gets old. There have been versions released on newer consoles, but the original is just as good. I love that the game keeps cumulative stats of the multiplayer mode, showing how many times a character has killed or been killed by all the other characters, shows their winning percentage, etc... It's fun to look at those and realize how many hours have been spent button mashing and playing this game. One of the aspects of this game that I think has been so fundamental to it's success is your attachment to certain things. For instance, I love playing with captain falcon, I love using the beam sword item, and I love the big levels where there is lot's of room to fight, or hide. The truly remarkable thing is that most people I know have attachments, but it's to all sorts of different things. Everyone finds something they like in this game, and that's what makes it so great.

    Design:
    With the ability to make the game as long or as short as possible, you get varying types of gameplay. When you play in timed mode, you win by killing more than you get killed, with your spread being the determinant of score. There is always the possibility of a thrilling sudden death overtime, where both players are one hit away from death. Stock mode, however, where each player has a certain number of lives, is more tactical, as you try to stay alive and don't necessarily have to record the most kills to win. Both game types are fun, but stock mode is more straightforward as the winner always has to single handedly defeat the runner up.

    The levels are a very important part of the gameplay. There are hazards on each level that could hurt you, and knowing the terrain can be very strategic and helpful. Each level is a different character's "home base", which doesn't mean much, but is kinda cool because it gives a little more personality to the characters. Some levels are larger, which usually encourages longer, more strategic games, and some levels are smaller, which create hectic, quick games. This affects your tactics greatly.

    This entry has been edited 3 times. It was last edited on Feb 20th, 2008 at 22:54:41.

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    Feb 20th, 2008 at 15:33:37     -    Super Smash Brothers (N64)

    Summary:
    In Super Smash Brothers, you face off against up to 3 opponents in a free for all or team battle to the death. Pick up items and avoid the pitfalls of each level while playing as classic Nintendo characters to emerge as the victor.

    Gameplay:
    Super Smash Brothers is intense. This game is lots of fun to play, but even more fun with other people. I got really competitive, yelling out celebratory expletives and trash talking my opponents. It is incredibly satisfying when you land a solid blow on someone, and they go flying out of the screen to their death. The direct competition with your opponents gives you the satisfaction of fighting someone with none of the consequences.

    The characters in this game are really cool. By choosing various protagonists from other classic Nintendo games, like Donkey Kong and StarFox, new life is breathed into old reliables. Devout fans of the original games can defend their character's honor in combat. It seems like this game was created out of the thought: "Who would win in a fight, Link or Mario?", and the designers just flowed with the idea. Each character has their own unique abilities, and they all have different strengths and weaknesses. I personally chose to use captain falcon because I like his strength. Alot of newcomers gravitate towards kirby because he can jump more times than everyone else and is pretty hard to kill.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Feb 20th, 2008 at 15:49:58.

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    1Assassin's Creed (360)Finished playing
    2Burnout Paradise (360)Playing
    3Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)Played occasionally
    4Rock Band (360)Playing
    5Super Smash Brothers (N64)Playing

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