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    Feb 10th, 2008 at 19:28:06     -    Chrono Trigger (SNES)

    Gamelog #1

    Summary:
    In Chrono Trigger, you play as the main character, Crono, as you explore the world of Guardia looking for a way to save the Queen and time. In this RPG, you fight monsters in an "active" style battle. Active fighting refers to the fact that instead of being turn based, your characters each have a time bar and once that bar fills up, you can attack.

    Gameplay:
    This is a game which has a huge following, which obviously builds expectations and ideas about the game. Every time I mentioned the title, anyone in earshot would chime in their own experiences and thoughts on the game, which were all always very positive. This put me in a very excited and motivated state of mind to play the game.
    At First glance, I immediately thought that this was a Dragonball Z RPG, on a count of the fact that the characters in the game were almost identical looking to some of the characters in the Anime. When I stated my confusion, my friend educated me on the history of the game; how this game had some of the best minds from dragon ball and final fantasy working together. This was a very interesting fact and made me that much more excited to play because I used to be a huge dragonball Z fan and I love the Final Fantasy franchise.
    This game is very fun to get a hold of, the few battles i have been in were pretty exciting. Leveling up seems to be quite easy to do at this point, and i've already learned 3 new attacks between two level 3 characters! The down side to this RPG, as is the case for any RPG, is that it is a very anti-social game. I have been playing with a couple of friends in my room, one who lent me the game and who has completed it, and all I get from them are directions and answers to questions that I didn't even ask. Not to mention spoilers to things that come later in the game. Definitely not a social game.
    In my first hour of gameplay, I did not get very far at all. I'm still very fuzzy on the details of the story line and I have not experienced any intense battles yet, or even a save point for that matter! This is a very smart move on the designers' part because it forces the player to play enough of the game that they really get into it before they turn it off their first time. In this way, people will get hooked on playing their very first time, and almost guarantee that they'll be back for more...as I am about to go prove.

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    Jan 26th, 2008 at 02:34:37     -    Soul Calibur III (PS2)

    Gameplay:
    For my second session I asked a couple of my friends to aid in me my research by trying out the multiplayer mode. They happily obliged. Immediately I noticed how captivating and interactive the game becomes. Both my friend and I were jumping around and yelling at the t.v. within 5 minutes. Since neither of us had played the game before today, we played every round with a new character, which only added to the suspense and fun.

    Design:
    As my friend Jackie and I kept playing the game, I started to realize something; She was kicking my butt! At first I thought it was because she was using a character with an especially long sword, but sure enough, she still managed to destroy me with every character she picked. After a few rounds...and after secretly accepting the fact that she was winning by skill, not chance, I complimented her on her win streak. She happily said, " Yeah, I'm really comfortable with fighting games and I just adjusted to this one." And that's when I realized, Soul Caliber III was developed FOR fighting game gamers. Even though Jackie had never played this game before, her past experience with fighter games perfectly set her up with this game and the controls came completely natural to her.

    One aspect of the design of this game that I think adds to its popularity is the mix of easily pulled off moves that look fancy, with the ability to knock players up and off of the stage. This not only makes players feel like they're really good really fast, but it also adds to the strategy that players can use to defeat their opponents. The levels themselves are also somewhat interactive in that players can smash the ground into little pieces with certain moves and even smash other players into the ground. This kind of interactive level is something i can definitely see our design team trying to incorporate into our own game.

    Another aspect of the game that I really thought of as interesting and intriguing was the idea of buying new weapons, armor, and items for your character. I don't know if this has been the case with past Soul Calibers, but since I'm new to the franchise, I found it very innovative for a fighting game and really fun to get into. I'm not sure exactly what effects these upgrades have on the character, but there are little pictures next to each one which symbolize a power-up that comes with the weapon. This is a very smart move on the designers' side because it allows them to add another mechanic to the gameplay which involves money you win from winning fights and strategy in picking exactly what you want to buy and how you want to use it.

    The one thing that seemed like a flaw to me was the inconsistency of the difficulty of my opponents. One would assume that as you progressed through the game, your foes would grow in difficulty, but it seemed to me that every character went back and forth. This wasn't necessarily something to dislike about the game, as it was just very annoying. Overall I greatly enjoyed this game and can see myself playing it often in the future.


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    Jan 26th, 2008 at 01:33:31     -    Soul Calibur III (PS2)

    Summary:
    Soul Caliber III is a button-mashing fighting game. Your purpose in the game is to beat each new foe as you follow a specific story of the character you chose, all of which revolve around the main story of a special sword named "Soul Edge". As you defeat your opponents more of your story is revealed until you defeat the game.

    Gameplay:
    I went into this game with many high expectations, and happily, they were all met. Soul Caliber III is a very fast paced, very fun game. It brings together some of the best elements of different game styles such as, obviously, the mindless button mashing of fighting games, the ease and intuitiveness of platformer games, and the addictive fun of customization from RPG's.
    I can safely say that the controls in this game are VERY intuitive and easy to learn. I deliberately started the adventure mode without any knowledge of what button did what and half way through my first fight I was consistently pulling off some cool looking, and hard hitting, moves. That being said, it in no way implies that everything is easy to do; even after an hour of playing and having beaten the game, I was still accidently pulling off new moves I didn't know I had, up until the final battle. This type of gameplay is a great example of "easy to learn, hard to master".

    There is also a story for every character in the game, but the story seems almost like an afterthought. From what I gathered, it seemed as though the developers put stories in to appeal to those gamers who want a more "RPG" experience from the game. Which is totally fine, because along with putting in these stories, they also made it very easy to skip all the text and get right into the fighting. I liked this aspect of the game because it could make the game two different experiences in just one mode, depending on what mood you're in.There were also some less exciting, though still interesting parts of the game where the game would be telling you the stories and all of a sudden, it would ask you which path you would like to take. I thought that that was very interesting because it immediately reminded me of my last gameblog entry on Golden Axe 3, which had the same exact feature, yet Golden Axe is more then 2 decades older then Soul Caliber.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Jan 26th, 2008 at 01:47:41.

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    Jan 14th, 2008 at 04:46:13     -    Golden Axe 3 (GEN)

    Gameplay: Session #2
    OK so I take it back, there is a story story line...sort of...that is literally one line: "Now that you have been released from the curse, go and kill the evil prince and bring back the golden axe!". One short, direct, powerful line. While this story is no Star Wars, it's more then enough to get you going. For my second session I decided to play through the game alone. This seemed to make the game easier to play then with someone else in the beginning, but that notion was quickly tossed out the window once i realized it was the same amount of enemies, but one less fighter. Also, I forgot to mention that throughout the game, there are two different types of animals you can ride once you hit their masters off of their seats. One is a type of lizard/snail with a long distance tongue attack, and the other is a fire-breathing dragon. Both are very helpful once you get on them, but the problem is staying on. All it takes is one normal attack from any enemy and you're knocked off. The animals will only take so much abuse before they run off screen, never to be ridden again...until later in another level, that is.
    Something else that was only in the single player mode was something that I suppose was part of the story, thought they never go much in to detail about it: every couple of levels has an unofficial boss who is actually one of the four characters you choose in the beginning, possessed by some evil spirit. Once you beat them, a flaming skull rises from their bodies and the character thanks you for your work. I would think that this has something to do with the opening line of the game, but all I can do is assume. I still found the controls to be simple and enjoyable, but the game was noticeably less exciting without some one to talk to while playing it. I quickly became bored of the repetitiveness of the slash'n'hack 'em style gameplay.

    Design
    As I mentioned before, there were definitely some very interesting and innovative, for its time period, anyway, elements of this game. These include: The power to decide which path your character will take, multiple times; The ability to knock foes off of their animal vehicles and commandeer them; A special attack system which changes the strength and appearance of your special attack depending on how many "magic potions" you have; And An interactive world where you can break barrels and stones to find items inside. All of these elements together make for a very intriguing and fun game. Even when I was beginning to get bored and tired of the fighting, I would still get excited every time I saw a breakable barrel. And even though I lost more health trying to get on the stupid lizard/snail then it was worth, I still tried every time to get it.
    Another thing I found interesting was how the game used enemies. It was a sort of snowball effect which made it fun and challenging. As you went through the game, there would be the toughest enemy at the end of the level, as in most games. But what was special about Golden Axe 3 is that after you beat that enemy, you would see him pop up in the next level as a normal enemy. So as you progressed through the game, you would be battling the easy foes, and the medium foes, and the hardest foes all at once. I liked this because it made me feel as though my character was growing in strength and skill, though it did make it quite hard towards the end.
    If I could pick just one thing to complain about in this game, it would be the depth of perception mechanic in the game. It was just plain HORRIBLE. You couldn't tell if you were standing directly in front of your enemy or slightly behind until you attacked, which, if you weren't in front of your foe, as so often was the case, made you vulnerable to their attacks. This problem caused me many a life and quite a bit of frustration. I got the hang of it by the end of my second session, but I would have preferred it to have been easier to grasp right at the beginning. otherwise, this was a very fun and enjoyable game.



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    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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