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    Mar 6th, 2008 at 02:37:17     -    Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (GC)

    GAMEPLAY

    The next races would be done under multiplayer with 3 of my friends. We would all select small characters (Diddy Kong, Paratroopa, Baby Mario to name a few) to avoid someone gaining an advantage with better control and acceleration. Our first race took place at DK Mountain, which is known for it’s downhill path from the top of the mountain and Nintendo’s intricate level design made for drifting. But as long as you stay tight around the corners and avoid falling off the mountain (which will be provoked by both the elements of the course and your opponents), you could easily find yourself in first or second. Another thing to commend Nintendo on is how each race garners excitement until the very end. Stronger weapons are handed out more frequently to the players in lower (4th place and behind) positions, making the race an interesting one until the very last lap.

    DESIGN

    The design of Mario Kart compliments its easy-to-play, hard to master feel. Every theme you notice is directly related to the Mushroom Kingdom, and its interactive courses create a better strategy aspect every second you play. The game lacks in overall modes in which to entice the gamer (a fast single-player, a basic multiplayer, the general time trial additions, and a forgettable battle mode) but makes up in creative design of each character, kart, weapon, and track. Mario Kart’s simple formula along with its beautiful presentation of each race puts it on top of the ‘wacky-racing’ genre with the likes of its 64-predecessor and Crash Team Racing (ß yeah, I said it).

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    Mar 6th, 2008 at 01:22:39     -    Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (GC)

    SUMMARY

    Mario Kart: Double Dash!! is a first-party kart racing game from Nintendo, which utilizes characters (16 total, 4 unlockable) directly from the Mario Bros. series. The game is simply Nintendo’s spin on a kart-racing syndicate, manned by both a driver and someone who uses weapons to corrupt the race and the other players.

    GAMEPLAY

    Considering how easy the premise of this game is (make it to finish, attack others) and how addicting it is due to how nostalgic every aspect is (the Nintendo spin-off formula), I’ve found myself playing Double Dash since earlier high school years. Despite only having sixteen stages (each either character themed course or originally made), every race is guaranteed a different result from the last whether you play against the computer or with three other friends.

    I first engaged myself into the ‘Mushroom Cup’ (made up of Luigi Circuit, Peach Beach, the popular Baby Park, and Dry Dry Desert), selecting my usual combination of characters (Toadette and Baby Bowser, with use of the blue Toad-kart). Double Dash should be commended for its racing physics under the design scheme of an unrealistic, cartoon-esque world, more specific the three weight classes of different characters. I dominated most of the races with the small character perks (better acceleration, better handling for boosting), and dominated with the usual weapons given when found in first place (banana peels, red shells, or fake mystery boxes) or the occasional “special weapon” from either Toadette or Baby Bowser, including the ‘golden mushroom’ for an large speed boost or the large Bowser shell.

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    Feb 21st, 2008 at 02:33:29     -    Rayman Raving Rabbids (Wii)

    DESIGN

    RRR looks and feels like a Ren & Stimpy spin-off from the humor to the art style. But that alone didn’t take it above its Wii mini-game rivals (the likes of Super Monkey Ball and Wario Ware: Smooth Moves for example), due to lack of overall game-play originality. While some games were accessible and generated interest, the majority felt rushed and disguised by the insane themes and level design. Flaws in the multiplayer included round-based mini-games (instead of real time multiplayer) and trouble with detecting Wii-mote at times.

    The level design for each mini-game is very unique however, and makes each separate game entertaining to watch. The idea of using the ‘rabbids’ as a centerpiece to the level design and story arc is fresh in this cinematic game era. The conflict and is decided by those who play it, as the story mode didn’t seem as appealing as just picking up and playing mini-games. But as wacky and fun loving as the game’s presentation is, it doesn’t foster as much innovation as the other Wii mini-games do.

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    Feb 20th, 2008 at 22:50:49     -    Rayman Raving Rabbids (Wii)

    SUMMARY

    ‘Rayman Raving Rabbids’ is a next generation game that rejuvenates the old Ubisoft mascot (dating back to games from the Atari Jaguar and Playstation) Rayman as the avatar in this wacky assortment of mini-games. The game places focus on incorporating the Wii-Mote and the continuous theme of ‘Raving Rabbids’ (Rabbits) during every mini-game. The challenges presented are through progressing in story mode to unlock more games, and breaking mini-game records.


    GAMEPLAY

    This was the same emotionless reaction I was expecting when I first came across Rayman Raving Rabbids. I never was that big of a fan of the Wii-based minigames, and I knew Rayman wasn’t going to make me a believer. A friend and I started out with the pick-up and play ‘Score’ mode, and started to customize our Rayman’s features similar to a Mii avatar. After selecting my stereotypical, dark colored, bandanna touting “Gangster” Rayman, the first game we were set to do was a simple rail-shooting duel for points that used plungers for ammunition and the ‘raving rabbids’ as targets. Sadly enough, this competitive, wacky rail-shooter would be one of the only mini-games that stand out during this first session.

    After watching how extensive and how detailed the shooting game was, it was disappointing to take part in the next game which was lousy a jump rope duel (jumping done by a quick flick of the nunchuk… that’s it). The next game following that would be you taking part as a dentist and trying your best to remove worms from out the rabbids’ teeth (which was done by pressing A and a lucky flick of the nunchuk). Thus far, the game might be rewarded for it’s bizarre design and the not-take-itself-seriously attitude that we love in most games, but its over saturating of basic motions of the Wii-Mote under elementary slow multiplayer games is becoming boring fast.

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    1Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (GC)Playing
    2Rayman Raving Rabbids (Wii)Stopped playing - Got Bored
    3Rock Band (360)Stopped playing - Technical problems
    4skate. (360)Stopped playing - Got Bored
    5Wii Play (Wii)Stopped playing - Got Bored

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