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    Mar 5th, 2008 at 22:32:58     -    Bioshock (PC)

    GAMEPLAY #2:
    As I continued to play the story was the most interesting part of the game by far but the plasmids that I got added a new way to have fun along the way. Of all the plasmids that I got I enjoyed incinerate and winter blast the most. I thought I was sadistic before while playing games but this game took it too a whole new level. There is a serious god complex involved with being able to set people on fire at the snap of your fingers. With graphics turned up all the way you can almost see the flesh peeling off of their bodies.

    I had a lot of fun during my second play session fighting enemies because there was now my choice to what I could as I had a lot of different kinds of weapons to choose from such as chemical throwers that shot nitroglycerin and napalm to a crossbow that set enemies on fire.

    As the story progresses it becomes more and more apparent how truly ****ed up this place is. From orphanages that turn children into miniature farms for money to their guardians who literally have been brainwashed and tortured to no longer resemble humans to the various splicers that adorn the hallways, this is truly a society gone completely haywire. What is perhaps the most messed up element of storyline though revolves around the games first mini-boss. It is a surgeon who gradually lost his mind. He looked toward artwork, paintings in particular, for inspiration for his plastic surgery. However, he looked at Picasso's cubic period. He thought that because the painter was heralded as a genius and his work was said to be beautiful that if he did the same to people he would be famous in the same manner. His operating room is filled with corpses hung from the ceilings of failures some almost crucified before you. Throughout my time gaming I have never seen an image as haunting as this one.

    DESIGN:
    The plot is absolutely fantastic and it is shown to you via tape recordings and sometimes through other mediums and they are found at short enough intervals that the player is kept engaged in the storyline at all times leading to a constant feeling of anticipation. It was a really nice change of pace to play a game that you were on the edge of your seat the entire time for.

    Setting is something that the developers strove for and it is unmatched by any other game I have played in a long time. The walls are crumbling and the city is leaking from the core, it is actively decaying all around you as you play. One of my favorite moments of immersion though came at a place called Apollo Square. Andrew Ryan had ordered disobediant "parasites" as he called them to be hung in the metro center to be made example of.

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    Mar 5th, 2008 at 14:35:36     -    Bioshock (PC)

    SUMMARY:
    Bioshock is a first person shooter in which you take on the role of Jack, a man who is on a plane that crashes outside of the entrance to an underwater city called Rapture. The game focuses on plot development and to make combat interesting provides a fresh new twist to the first person shooter genre.

    GAMEPLAY #1:
    The game starts off with a bang, literally, as your plane crashes into the water at speeds fast enough to rip it to pieces which float and sink in the water which, in addition to the wreckage, hosts a pillar of flame due to the burning jet fuel. Your instincts take over and you swim to the safety of a nearby structure that appears to be a lighthouse in the middle of an untold ocean. At this point I am already in awe which is a feeling that continues with me literally the entire time that I play the game. The job that the developers did with immersion is literally unmatched by any other game I have ever played. I find it necessary to point out though that in a game based entirely in an underwater city this is the only time your character ever swims.

    After you enter the building you get your first real glimpse at the grandeur of Rapture. The elegant passageways are made of stone with golden statues at every turn and above me I see a silk banner welcoming me to Rapture. The game is almost completely linear and I take the next logical step of progression which is to enter a submarine that takes me tens of fathoms under the ocean. A tape recording made by Andrew Ryan, Rapture's creator, plays and explains what you are seeing around you which at this point is massive would-be skyscrapers. Re-experiencing this part really made me understand one of the games many quotes, "building Rapture at the bottom of the sea wasn't impossible, it was impossible to build it anywhere else."

    This quote really gives way to the foundation the game has with Atlas Shrugged and Fountainhead because in order to build a utopian society, which was Andrew Ryans goal, seclusion from outside influences is necessary. The tape recording of Ryan proceeds as the submarine continues forward and my favorite moment in the entire game occurs. As you look at all of this captivating and unique scenery around you Ryan reveals the basis for the beliefs Rapture was founded on. He says, "is a man not entitled to the sweat of his own brow? No, says the man in Washington, it belongs to the poor. No, says the man in the Vatican it belongs to God. No, says the communist in Russia it belongs to everyone. Well I chose something different. I chose the impossible. I chose Rapture."

    After all this build up and making you think that Rapture sounds like paradise the game is quick to remind you that it is a dystopian city and society here has all but completely collapsed. As soon as the submarine or bathysphere as the game calls them lands in the docking bay you witness the brutal murder of your rescuer who is there to guide you to safety by some shrieking monster that vaguely reminds of a Clockwork Orange for some reason, probably the mask that it wore.

    Soon the game introduces you to its unique twist on first person shooters-plasmids. Plasmids are genetic modifications that give you superpowers but in this city they are seemingly commonplace which adds to the otherworldy feeling that you get while playing the game despite the fact that the principles of Rapture are so close to what we hold in our society. The first genetic upgrade you receive is called electro-bolt which shoots lightning out of your hands in a manner a little too similar to Emperor Palpatine.

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    Feb 19th, 2008 at 01:01:03     -    Super Smash Brothers (N64)

    GAMEPLAY #2:
    My second gameplay session was very entertaining and a lot of new things were thrown into the mix. The first time around I didn't play with items but the second time around they were enabled and they drastically changed the fight by quickening the pace and adding a slew of new tactics to use during the battle such as a ray gun or giant sledgehammer. As a side note there is nothing more satisfying than hearing the CLANG! of a home run bat as you slam it into Jigglypuff's face...revenge.

    Sadism aside I had a lot of fun with the game and am kind of disappointed that I hadn't played it a decade ago when it first came out. I have always been more PC oriented and playing some of these classics has shown me what I have been missing all of these years by not venturing into consoles.

    DESIGN:
    While playing the game I felt pretty excited most of the time and free to do whatever I wanted too, and despite the fact that the stages were small they felt incredibly open and some of them were even mildly interactive which added the new element of not only fighting against your opponents but the stage as well.

    From what I have seen the most major issue in fighting games has been covered and that is balance. There were a couple of errors made though in my opinion such as the distance that Pikachu's backward grab throws people. For the most part though I felt that I could pick any character and remain a competitor in the match.

    The game's interface is very streamlined and easy to use. It is straightforward and to the chase and is dedicated to getting the player into the thick of the fray as soon as possible. The various versus match game modes are all interesting and unique even though I only found two to my liking which were stock battles and time battles.

    The only real flaw I found in the game was the camera. Sometimes it would position itself in very awkward places that did not seem useful to any player and often caused me to plummet to my demise off the bottom of the screen.

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    Feb 18th, 2008 at 23:04:30     -    Super Smash Brothers (N64)

    SUMMARY:
    Super Smash Brothers for the Nintendo 64 is the first in a series of fighting games of which there are now three. The series is a Nintendo franchise and is now one of their most popular exclusive titles.

    GAMEPLAY #1:
    Because this game's multiplayer is what it is renowned for I decided to just jump straight into it and for the most part ignore the single player. Despite not having played the game before I found all of the characters that the game had to offer familiar and, being a huge fanatic of the Nintendo 64 Zelda game, I chose Link as my first character(with the red tunic of course, because red Link is made entirely of win). My friend being the sadistic *Insert Expletive* he is chose Pikachu.

    So after fighting for a few matches I decided that hearing the television scream "PIKA-CHU","PIKA!", and "PIKA-PI" was a little more torture than any human being should subject themselves too for an extended period of time. So, I made him pick a new character. He chose Jigglypuff...

    The fighting occurs at a nice pace and is easy to learn but perhaps the most fun I had with this game during my first session was the trash talking involved while playing the game which increased exponentially with each person who entered the room and joined in on the game. The "ooohhhhs" and "ahhhhhs" of the crowd in game and out and of course the controller throwing that goes hand in hand with competition are what made this gameplay experience classic for me.

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    1Bioshock (PC)Playing
    2Crysis (PC)Playing
    3Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)Playing
    4Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)Playing
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    6The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (PC)Playing

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