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    Mar 6th, 2008 at 05:06:02     -    BioShock (360)

    In this gameplay session, I realized that the game won't get any less creepy the longer you play. But, on the other hand, it will get a lot more fun. right near the end of my session I picked up the ability to use fire as a weapon at the snap of my fingers. This made for very interesting and rather humorous fighting technique.
    In this second session I was able to get a much better hold of the controls, which is good because it is vital that you be able to switch back and forth between your special powers and your regular weapons quickly and constantly, which can be tricky at first. I actually surprised myself with how quickly i got used to switching back and forth, but was glad to have picked it up.
    As I played through the game and my friend, who had already beaten it, watched me play, we talked about the impressive use of morals and symbolism in the game. And it is quite impressive how a game that, on the surface, seems so blatantly violent and one-dimensional can actually have a lot of depth. this made me happy and helped me enjoy the game that much more.
    As much fun as I was having lighting people on fire and beating them with a wrench, I did find that near the end of my session, I seemed to be stuck. I could not find which way to go to progress in the game and there were no indicators as to whether I was going the right way or just backtracking. I believe that when you went in the right direction, more baddies would show up and get in your way, but even after a while of walking around, I couldn't find them either! So that did bother me a bit.

    Game Design:
    One of the biggest innovations in this game and one of my favorite reasons for playing this game are the "plasmids". Plasmids are special abilities that you can use by injecting some kind of shot into your arm and letting it reconfigure your DNA. Of course, that's all done automatically in the game. But after the first time you inject yourself, you gain abilites that include pyrokinesis, telekinesis, thunderbolts, and swarms of insects. those are just a few of the huge number of plasmids you can find in the game. I really enjoy this aspect of the game because it adds a whole new level of strategy and excitement. Rather then just shooting a gun wildly at anything that moves, not taking a second though to consider ammo because it's so common, you have to conserve your ammo and decide how and when to use a gun or a plasmid. ammo for each is scarce, so you really have to think about every move you make.
    The plasmids add a sort of difficulty in using the controller to play the game because you have to constantly be switching between plasmids and weapons in mid-battle. But I think that once you get really good at it, it just adds to the fun of the game. since you're using the shoulder buttons to switch between your offensive attacks, it makes you feel like you're actually doing something fancy with your fingers.
    The level design is incredible in BioShock. They are all very detailed and interactive, including movable dead bodies, shootable trash cans, and it even throws in a half-decayed wall that you have to break down in order to move forward every once in a while. Every level is also very creepy in its own way and that is partly due to the incredible lighting in every room. Some rooms are tinted blood-red (no pun intended) and others are pitch black. Both make for very menacing and intimidating settings.
    I really enjoy playing this game and can't wait to go finish it.

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    Mar 6th, 2008 at 04:38:03     -    BioShock (360)

    BioShock is a thrilling first-person shooter in which you explore the underwater city of Rapture, finding clues as to what happened to the city. You collect the usual weapons, such as guns and explosives, but you can also use special powers like shooting thunderbolts from your hands or telekinesis to kill the mutated enemies that inhabit Rapture.

    My first experience playing BioShock was enthralling and, quite honestly, very frightening. I was completely captivated by the awesome graphics and the intriguing story line. After seeing this game demoed in class I knew I just had to play it. A couple of my friends had mention how great a game BioShock is and how much they liked it. That made me very eager to play and it also built up the expectations in my head. Within 10 minutes, all expectations were met and I was hooked.
    I am usually the first one to suggest a scary movie to watch with my friends, and I am also usually the first one to scream at the scariest parts. That kind of mentality seemed to carry over to my experience with BioShock. I was the one who kept asking my friend to let me play it, and I was also the first one to start screaming and squirming in my seat! It also didn't help that we had just been telling real-life ghost stories about our hall.
    Even with that in mind, I still found the game to be incredibly creepy and disturbing all on its own. And although I usually find that that kind of thing puts me off, I actually found myself wanting to cause more and more carnage as the game progressed. The game's use of morbidity to entice the player to enter and stay in the magic circle is anything but innovative, but done so very, very well.
    In the beginning of the game, the only thing you know about the world of Rapture is that it was created specifically for al of the world's geniuses to live undisturbed, and something has gone horribly wrong. You constantly hear different voices, usually the uglies yelling at you right before they attack you or as they patrol the hallways, but one voice is prominent in the game: Atlas. Atlas is your one friend in the game (as far as i've seen) and he is a good friend indeed. You only get to hear atlas' voice through an old radio box, but every time you do he immediately fills you with comfort and assurance. He instantly becomes one of your favorite characters because he continuously offers advice and directions. he also seems to be very compassionate about your predicament and is glad to help.
    This game is a great social game if you and your friends are in the mood for a good scaring. It's a lot like watching a scary movie that you get to control. That makes it fun to watch and scream at with your friends.

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    Feb 21st, 2008 at 03:22:29     -    Rayman Raving Rabbids (Wii)

    For my second hour of gameplay I decided to keep playing through the main adventure mode in order to get more levels to play in multiplayer and more accessories for Rayman to dress up in. What I find interesting about this game is the diversity in both difficulties and games to play. By that I mean that in every set of mini-games, there is always one that is (or at least seems like it) significantly more difficult then the rest of them. I don't want to say that this is a negative aspect of the game, because on the other side of the spectrum, some of the games seem incredibly simple, so in a way it balances out. Unfortunately, it does get annoying at times because every once in a while you will run into a mini-game that seems impossibly difficult and, at the least, incredibly frustrating. luckily the game designers took this into account, I feel, because they made it possible to only beat 3 of the 4 games to move on. I've had to, on many occasions, use that to my advantage because of the difficulty of these mini-games.

    difficult games aside, I still greatly enjoyed playing RRR again and enjoyed, even more, playing the multiplayer mode with my friends. The mini-games are great fun alone but some just beg you to invite some friends over and have at it. One great aspect of this game is that it has silly characters, such as the Rabbids, which make the game very entertaining just to watch. Some times, I'd prefer to watch! And as if the designers of this game had foresight, this is possible, even when playing multiplayer mode! Some games are standard multiplayer, as in two or more players compete against each other to get the highest score, but other games are designed so that each player will have to go one at a time. While some might think this to deter from the social aspect of the game, I found that it only enhances it by giving each player time to think about their strategy and gather information about what to do and what not to do from watching other players.

    Like I said before, this game must have been a huge honor to make for the Wii right as it debuted. While there were other fun titles to play when the Wii first came out, Raving Rabbids seems to have outlive and win the battle of becoming an immediate classic game.

    I (as well as the professor) would consider this a classic game because of its innovative controls, inter-activeness, and replay value. Obviously, any game made for the Wii will need to be made with innovative controls, because that is just the basis of the Wii. The thing that makes Raving Rabbids different is the fact that there are so many different styles of control all within one game. Take for example, the fact that you'll be wildly spinning the controller over your head in a discus-type event to make a cow fly as far as possible one minute, and then using the Wiimote to aim and the nunchuck to reload while shooting plungers at Rabbids the next minute. Everything from the use of the controls to the new spins on old style mini-games is fantastically innovative and incredibly fun. This kind of innovation instantly inspires others to come watch and/or join you in a round or two of gameplay. A game that intrigues many people instantly definitely deserves to be considered a classic in my book. And of course with all of the cow spinning, Rabbid shooting, hog racing action, who wouldn't want to play the game over and over again? This is one of those great party games that you can just put in and enjoy for hours on end.

    I'd also like to comment on another part of the design of this game: SIMPLICITY. If I could use only one phrase to describe the layout of this game, it would definitely be, "Less Is More". It astounds me how simple this game looks. You have your basic "arena" set up: a bowl, four available doors and one locked door. That's it. The designers wasted no time in making complex layouts or fancy-shmancy graphics all over the place, they just focused on the mini-games and the other innovations in the game. This is genius on their part because it forces the player to focus all of their attention on the mini-games. No story, no nothing. This is very inspiring and helpful when I think about the design of our own game. "Less is more", is definitely something I will keep in mind for future designs.

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    Feb 21st, 2008 at 02:37:58     -    Rayman Raving Rabbids (Wii)

    Rayman Raving Rabbids is an interactive game for the Nintendo Wii in which you play as Rayman. Rayman, for reasons that are not quite clearly explained in the beginning of the game, is captured by the Rabbids, a species of what appear to be strange, demonic, twisted little bunnies who put him through a series of "tests" which are the mini-games that you partake in.

    My first encounter with Raving Rabbids was also my first interaction with the Wii, about a year ago when my friend asked me over to play Wii with him. Right as soon as I started playing the multiplayer mode I fell in love with the Wii and with this game. I had never experienced an at-home game in which your actual, physical movements and interactions control the entire game. There are, of course, the famous DDR and the ever popular Guitar Hero franchises, but in both of these games there is only one type of physical interaction, either "dancing" on the arrows or pushing the buttons at the right time. In Raving Rabbids, there are what seems to be an endless array of interactive mini-games to satisfy your craving for something fun and entertaining.

    As much as I enjoy this game and was looking forward to playing it, I found myself very disappointed when I tried to play multiplayer mode right away and found a tiny fraction of the games available to play. I know, "duh". So on i went to play through the main adventure mode. Not so surprising, the story was a bit ambiguous and hardly intriguing. I say it is not surprising because from a designer's point of view, this game would have been the dream boat of games to design for the first ever sensor-activated home console. The story is sparse because it can be. People don't play Raving Rabbids because they want to know why there are cute and freaky bunnies running around, capturing Rayman, people play because they want to see what the Wii is capable of.

    As was the case for me. I have no interest in the Rayman franchise, and that's ok because the overall story of the franchise has almost nothing to do with this game. This game was almost as fun to watch as it was to play. Every set of mini-games, or "tests" was very interactive and, while maybe not so innovative, they still made you laugh and yell with excitement and joy.

    Rayman Raving Rabbids is an excellent example of what happens when a game designer takes full advantage of a system as innovative as the Nintendo Wii.

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    leisuresuite's GameLogs
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    Entries written to date: 9
      Game Status / Read GameLog
    1BioShock (360)Playing
    2BioShock (360)Playing
    3Chrono Trigger (SNES)Playing
    4Chrono Trigger (SNES)Playing
    5Golden Axe 3 (GEN)Finished playing
    6Rayman Raving Rabbids (Wii)Playing
    7Rayman Raving Rabbids (Wii)Playing
    8Soul Calibur III (PS2)Playing
    9Soul Calibur III (PS2)Playing


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