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    Feb 19th, 2008 at 20:27:01     -    Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (SNES)

    GAMEPLAY 2:
    One thing im finding really annoying is the fact that I always feel like I'm moving diagonally. I'm playing this game on an SNES emulator, so I use the arrow keys on my computer to move. In order to go straight on each map, I have to press two arrows at once (i.e. up and right). The fact that this game seems to be sort of set up at an angle always confuses me while I'm playing, because I will start to move one way and then realize that I need to be moving the opposite way. The gameplay overall is okay, but I think that the cutscenes take up too much time and are boring to watch. I guess that may be caused in part by the fact that I am spoiled with the really good game graphics that games nowadays have.

    I don't know if I really liked the story. I mean, there wasn't anything wrong with it, but it has quite an over-used, mediocre plot-line. The whole "saving the princess" thing is quite overrated. The characters are good though, but then again they are the same characters that appear in all the Mario games. Basically the two main characters are Mario, who you get to play as, and Peach...err I mean Toadstool, the princess. I don't know where the name Peach came from, but I guess the original name for her was Toadstool. I'm not exactly sure, but I'm thinking that Toadstool and Toad (the mushroom looking guy) are a couple or something. I haven't really played far enough into the game to figure that out.

    DESIGN:
    Overall I don't think this is a very good game. I mean, for its time it is a pretty good RPG, but I was pretty frustrated by the controls and the gameplay in general. Like I mentioned earlier, there is the issue of the game being angled in a way that I had to press two keys at once to go straight. I'm sure that is due to the fact that it is a 3D game, but I think it could've been oriented in a way where just pressing one key would get you going in the right direction. The turn-based battle sequences, as I also mentioned, were pretty unique, allowing equal opportunities for both sides to attack each other. However, in a way I felt like this constricted my freedom, but maybe I'm just partial to games that allow you to attack at will.

    There isn't much of a reward structure in this game. Actually, there is almost none. You really don't receive anything when you beat levels, except for the satisfaction of having saved the princess. There are no coins that you collect throughout the levels, and you don't get a prize after you beat a boss. I guess it doesn't really matter though, because the point is to get through a series of challenges to reach the princess, not to be constantly rewarded. I think Super Mario RPG could have been better, but nonetheless it is a decent game for the knowledge and technology of its time.

    This entry has been edited 3 times. It was last edited on Feb 20th, 2008 at 01:36:57.

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    Feb 19th, 2008 at 19:57:44     -    Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (SNES)

    SUMMARY:
    Super Mario RPG is a role playing game for SNES where you play as Mario, trying to find and save Peach (or as they call her in the game, Toadstool)from the evil clutches of various bad guys.

    GAMEPLAY:
    This game is surprisingly different than the other Mario games. How? Well for starters, it is in 3D animation. Your character can move freely around the gameworld, because you aren't limited to a linear 2D space. Although just like any other RPG, there are always certain restrictions as to the extent of your freedom. Obviously there are certain event sequences that must occur, so even if you can move wherever you want within a certain map, there is usually only one thing you can do to keep the plot going. You can't just run off into the bushes, or jump on top of houses or something. There are invisible boundaries set all around you that confine you to those respective areas.

    Another reason why this game is different is the way the battles play out. Instead of jumping on top of enemies, coming in contact with them sends you to a sort of "battle room" where you and your enemy take turns attacking. Neither your character or the enemy characters are able to move around freely during this battle. Instead you stand across from one another, and you go back and forth with your attacks. Mario has two controls for this kind of situation: attack or defend. I don't really see the point of defending, because every time I did that, the enemies still did the same amount of damage to me as they would normally. But anyway, this turn-based system is a lot more intense, and it makes the game a lot more exciting. It actually kinda reminds me of Pokemon!

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    Feb 8th, 2008 at 21:07:25     -    Audition (Web)

    GAMEPLAY 2:
    The more I play this game, the more addicted I get!! The main reason for that is because you can level up once you build up enough experience. I'm not exactly sure what the advantage is to being a higher level, but I do know that it makes you look cooler if you have the number 11 above your name rather than the number 2. Sometimes I play against my sister or my friends, which also adds to the fun. Audition definitely gives you lots of feelings of satisfaction, because a lot of the time there are heated battles for 1st and 2nd place, and when you get 1st you feel so good about yourself. The scoring system is pretty simple. You can get perfect, great, cool, bad, or miss. The more perfects you get, the higher your score goes. If you make combos of perfects, the you get even more points. If you miss, you get no points. It's pretty easy for the outcome of the game to change. First you think that this one guy is gonna win, but then he happens to miss one wave of arrows and then all of a sudden another person takes over his spot.

    There is a wide selection of songs in the game, which is also a plus. Some of them I have never heard of, but they are all catchy dancing songs. Audition is really a great game, because it is innovative and has no game exhaustion. You could play it to infinity and beyond because it goes on forever! Although I guess if you got bored of it, that would be a form of exhaustion...haha. Anyway, everything in the game is very vibrant and exciting. You can change the kind of room that you dance in to whatever you want; from a Halloween themed school classroom to the middle of a Japanese city to a sunny, beach-side stage. Some of the stages, however, are really bright so it makes the arrows harder to see.

    DESIGN:
    I think that Audition is very uniquely designed. It takes the concept of arrows and twists in a whole new way. While being rhythm based, it also adds in the competition factor and the leveling up. Not only that, but it throws a lot of challenges at you. But first I should describe the different channels. There is a beginner channel that you can enter when you first start out, and all the songs are pretty easy and not too fast. But if you go into the free, intermediate or expert channels, you will be faced with much more difficult songs. In addition to songs being more challenging by their bpm (beats per minute), there is also a mode called "chance mode." This causes red arrows to appear in each of your combinations of arrows. Whatever the red arrow says, you are supposed to press the opposite. So a red arrow pointing to the left would indicate that you must press the right arrow. Chance mode is optional, but many people enjoy doing it because it adds an extra challenge to their gameplay experience.

    The reward structure, as I explained earlier, is quite simple. Every time you complete a song, you are awarded a certain amount of experience and beats. It all depends on how you place. Obviously 1st place will receive the most exp and beats, then 2nd place, etc. Having two kinds of rewards is cool because then you have two things to look forward to. When you get beats, you can shop around in the fashion mall and decide what you want to buy with them. The more beats you have, the better stuff that you can buy. Right now I am saving them to get an awesome hairstyle that costs 100000 beats...so it is going to take me a while. But that is what keeps me playing! Then there is experience, which levels you up and shows the Audition world how pro you are. I just really like this game because it is a pretty simple concept to grasp, but it is difficult to master. That is what all games should be about!

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    Feb 8th, 2008 at 20:14:05     -    Audition (Web)

    SUMMARY:
    Audition is an MMO (massively multiplayer online) game where each player is represented by an animated avatar, and the goal is to press arrows on your keyboard in a specific amount of time to make your character dance.

    GAMEPLAY:
    Because of the arrows, those who have never played Audition may come to the conclusion that it is similar to DDR. However, the differences are quite obvious. First of all, the arrows themselves do not follow a beat, and they do not travel from the bottom to the top of the screen. Instead they appear in waves, so that you must press a combination of different arrows at once. Above the arrows there is a white bar with an orb moving across it, and you have to complete the set of arrows given before the orb reaches the flashing area of the white bar. When the orb actually reaches that area, you must press the space bar. It seems complicated, but once you get the hang of it, it is actually pretty simple. I really enjoyed playing this game because of the fact that you get to face off against real people and not just computers. I also liked how the avatars dance, because they do it a surprisingly realistic way. Each one of their dance moves was something I could see a real person achieving, which I thought was very unique about this game.

    Another thing that is nice about Audition is that you have a lot of flexibility with how you want your avatar to look. Although you have a limited selection of hair, skin color, shirt, pants, and shoes (in the beginning), your options open up more the longer you play. The reason for this is because whenever you finish playing a song, you receive "beats" which you can use to buy new items in the fashion mall. Most of the items in the fashion mall require real money, but if you collect enough beats then there are quite a few things that you are allowed to purchase with them. This is good because it permits characters to look good without having to spend real money.

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