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    Mar 6th, 2008 at 00:20:00     -    Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge (PC)

    GAMEPLAY:

    Another thing I really love about the Monkey Island games is the characters. Guybrush is a great mix between a brave, witty hero and an adorable, weaselly coward. He is the hero of the series and often saves the world, but most of his items are stolen or tricked away from their original owners. There are a large amount of recurring characters as well: the mysterious and all-knowing Voodoo Lady, the sarcastic and tough Elaine, Murray the megalomaniacal talking skull, and Stan the traveling salesman. It's always fun to see recognizable characters that span multiple games.

    The story of the game, if a little meandering, is quite fun. However, sometimes it's hard to remember the track of the narrative when you're caught up in retrieving item after item. Most of the game's narrative is told through the cutscenes, while the actual gameplay is more about solving puzzles and collecting things. The story in Monkey Island 2 isn't as strong as in the other games, but it's still fun enough to play out.

    DESIGN:

    The graphic design of the game is relatively poor by today's standards, but amazingly expressive for when it first came out. The characters are basically pixellated in front of hand drawn backgrounds. The style is slightly more realistic than the cartoony sequels, but you can tell where the series is heading. The graphics are a lot better than the prequel, and reflect the tone of the game adequately well. Helpfully, there is always a description of the item when you roll your mouse over it, so you're never confused by the graphics for long. The only major problem I had was that sometimes it was hard to see small, but crucial, items because of the fairly poor graphics.

    For having come out almost 20 years ago, Monkey Island 2:LeChuck's Revenge, shows a lot of emergent complexity for its time. The player has a fair few different choices of how to reply to character statements. What you choose to say doesn't really have an effect on the narrative or gameplay, but can change the responses of the other characters. You can find out different expositional information depending on how you answer, or just get different witty lines each time you play. The emergent complexity here might be extremely limited, but it is still impressive for it's time.

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    Mar 5th, 2008 at 23:03:39     -    Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge (PC)

    SUMMARY:

    After the first installment in this series of games, Guybrush is finally a mighty pirate. Unfortunately, (due to a completely unforeseeable and unpreventable series of circumstances) the evil pirate LeChuck is resurrected. Guybrush must use only his wits to defeat LeChuck and save the Tri-Island Area once again.

    GAMEPLAY:

    The gameplay in this game is so much fun, it's a wonder I didn't pick it up before. Your only weapons are whatever you can pick up and store in your inventory, and your brain. The puzzles in this game are extremely difficult, but the payoff is so much fun that you rarely get frustrated. Sometimes it takes an hour before you figure out what you need to do because you really have to think in a very different way from other sorts of puzzle games. At one point, in order to steal a key hanging on a wall, you have to lock a coffin salesman inside one of his own coffins. At another point, you have to replace the picture on your "Wanted" poster with a glass-bottomed boat flyer so you can steal from the boat's captain. The puzzles may take awhile, but once you figure them out, there is such a sense of self-satisfaction (unless you've had to cheat and use the walkthrough).

    My absolute favorite aspect of this game is the humor. Not only is the scripted dialogue hilarious, but sometimes Guybrush will comment humorously on non-essential items. For instance, there are a bunch of chickens hanging on a line in the Voodoo shack, and if you click 'pick up' Guybrush will say, "No way, haven't you ever heard of Salmonella?" Also, at one point Guybrush falls and hits his head while trying to climb a tree. He then has a hallucination about his parents transforming into skeletons and singing The Bone Song ("The leg bone's connected to the knee bone", etc...) Not even to mention the cannibals that don't eat red meat or the ridiculously non-sequitur ending. The humor is what makes me keep playing the Monkey Island games over and over again, and even for the first time in this particular case.

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    Feb 21st, 2008 at 01:59:18     -    Wii Sports (Wii)

    GAMEPLAY:

    For my second session, I played bowling and boxing. I have also decided that boxing is my favorite Wii Sport of all time! Virtually punching Mii's in the face is the most fabulous way to relieve tension that I can think of. Again, the "virtual reality" is very realistic, which makes the fake punching really cathartic. It was also super fun to taunt my opponent like it was a real boxer. "Yeah, you just try and get up again sucka!" The bowling was a tad more slow paced, and while I don't want to say it was boring, it definitely lacked a lot of the multiplayer competitive spirit that the other sports have. Again, the form is very similar to actual bowling and for this particular game, form is everything. Bowling is one of the sports that would be really good to practice with on your own because it isn't as fun as the others in multiplayer.

    I think Wii Sports works very well despite not having any sort of narrative. It's very easy to get into for the first time because there's no story to follow. This was the first game I'd ever played on my Wii and it was a great start for me to get used to the controls of the Wii-mote without having to worry about a complex game. It also allows you to focus more on taunting your friends (which I believe is a necessary part of the gameplay).

    DESIGN:

    This game is so innovative because it was the first game for the Wii, and considering that the Wii is the first basic "virtual-reality" console, that makes Wii Sports the first basic "virtual-reality" game. Using the Wii-mote to move instead of a controller really gets you moving a lot more than average games do. It also forces you to think spatially in a way you aren't used to in most other games. Also, the fact that it uses Mii's as tiny avatars of yourself, while not the first game to do it, does so in a way that blows it's predecessors out of the proverbial water. It's amazing how much the Mii's actually look ike you considering the ridiculous features they have as options.

    However, because all of the creativity went into the mechanic, it left a lot to be desired in the level design and challenges. The levels are different for each sport, but that's where the variety stops. For example, in tennis you use one court over and over again no matter how many times you play. Now, this is fairly realistic, but lacks the fun of a game like Mario Tennis which allows you to play on many different courts, each which affect the playing field differently. Also, the AI of the computer players you go up against is very weak. It isn't hard to beat your opponents over and over and over and over again once you've fairly mastered a sport. They don't seem to increase noticeably in skill level at all, eve if you do. Of course, this just makes the multiplayer far more challenging and interesting.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Feb 21st, 2008 at 02:46:31.

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    Feb 21st, 2008 at 01:46:27     -    Wii Sports (Wii)

    SUMMARY:

    Wii sports doesn't have so much of a story per se as much as it is a conglomeration of virtual reality-type sports games. You can play tennis, baseball, bowling, golf, or boxing alone or with up to three friends. It also happens to be one of the most innovative games of all time.

    GAMEPLAY:

    For my first gamelog session, I decided to play tennis and baseball. I played with my friend Leila, who is also in this class. The gameplay of Wii Sports is amazing! It totally combats the typical complaint about video games being too inactive. Tennis is one of my favorites in Wii Sports because the controls are so responsive, and it actually feels like you're swinging the racquet. With baseball too, it really feels like you're swinging a bat which adds immensely to the fun level. It's like mixing video games with role-playing (much like Guitar Hero does with "air guitar")

    A great part of Wii Sports is that you get to play with all the Mii's you've made. There's nothing more inspiring to me than when I'm playing baseball, and suddenly my senior English teacher is up to bat. It also allows you to identify way more with your game avatar because it feels like you're actually playing, even more so when you're going head to head with a friend who also has their own Mii.

    Socially, this game is very rich as well. Sure you have the option to play in single-player mode, but the true point of the game is to interact with other people (whether it's in your room or online). Wii Sports managed to turn a simple assignment into a Wii-thon where several people (some of whom aren't even in the class) saw me playing and begged to join. It was also extremely fun to taunt and badmouth my friends while I was beating them.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Feb 21st, 2008 at 01:58:24.

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    mirokulove's GameLogs
    mirokulove has been with GameLog for 12 years, 4 months, and 17 days
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    Entries written to date: 8
      Game Status / Read GameLog
    1Katamari Damacy (PS2)Played occasionally
    2Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge (PC)Playing
    3Super Paper Mario (Wii)Playing
    4Wii Sports (Wii)Played occasionally

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