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    Feb 8th, 2008 at 17:41:48     -    Gurumin (PSP)

    Gameplay

    The game is rather light. The story is not anything complex and the level design is simple. But this does not take anything away from the gameplay. I have enjoyed myself just walking around the world and playing the various minigames that it has. What I think captured my interest the most would be the story and artwork. I myself have never played a game like this, and it feels like a simple and enjoyable fairy tale. Plus, the character designs are particularly well, as they are not your run of the mill characters. The main villain is not a man with a long sword and long silvery hair, and the hero is not a 14 year old boy.


    Design

    The controls of this game are not rather unique. It deploys similar strategies seen in all adventurous type games. Circle is jump, X is attack, and square is a quick run. However, because of the style of the gameplay, and the challenges presented, Gurumin is a rather fun game to play. Each level has a mixture between enemies to fight, and puzzles to solve. The flow of each level is basically kill the various enemies, and figure out the main puzzle to progress further in the game. The style of art of the game adds a quirky feeling to the gameplay, and always keeps me entertained. The only problem is so far it has been rather easy. The level of difficulty is not high, and should be rather quick to get through most of the game. The game is easily a game of progression, as you need to beat each level to find out more of the storyline. So far, the story is interesting, as most of it is kept from the player. The cardinality of the gameplay in Gurumin is 3d, which allows for more fun in exploring the world this game has created. I have had lots of fun looking around and checking things out, and because you can move in all directions, it makes it feel more interactive. Unfortunately, the game has standard gravity settings, so you can only jump once, which makes it harder to get to the higher areas.
    What I like about this game are the various items you are able to equip throughout your adventure. First, the weapon that you are given to use is a gigantic drill, with which you can learn new combos to annihilate your enemies. But you can also equip a headband, which will increase your attack damage by a certain percent. Or a ‘monkey head cap’ which will increase the amount of money. You can also equip various elements to your drill to add different effects, such as lightning and fire. The reward system of the game is what gets you the new items, so I always found myself just completing each level with a 100% to get better items to help me progress in the game.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Feb 8th, 2008 at 17:43:57.

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    Feb 8th, 2008 at 17:41:30     -    Gurumin (PSP)

    In the game Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure, you play a little girl named Parin, whose parents left her to live with her grandfather while they go out adventuring without her. Once you acquaint yourself to your grandfather’s hometown, you are overwhelmed with sheer boredom. Since the place is a small mining town, there is not much to do. What is even worse is that there are no other children in the town. But on one faithful day, you run into Pico, a small female monster. Turns out, there is a small monster village outside the town in an alternate dimension that the grown ups were completely unaware of. A few days afterwards, the monster village is attacked by an evil group of monsters termed phantoms, who destroy the village and steal the furniture. Being the adventurous type you are, you set out in search of missing furniture pieces and to save the world from being destroyed by the gang of phantoms.

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    Jan 25th, 2008 at 22:21:08     -    Katamari Damacy (PS2)

    Gameplay

    Once I started playing Katamari Damacy, I got hooked. It was always interesting and refreshing to play since the design and gameplay are so different than any other game I have played. What appeals to me the most is its simplicity. The story line is, your dad, the King of All Cosmos, destroys the universe in a drunken frenzy, and you the prince have to fix his mistake by creating the stars and planets. To do it, you simply roll around collecting bigger and bigger items. The level progression, however, does not really change. In each level you still roll up bigger and bigger items. Though at first it may not seem like fun, it is still engaging due to the different challenges the game presents. For example, setting a time limit or only being allowed to roll certain items makes the game fun and exciting until the end.

    Even though the multiplayer mode is not that well developed, it still was fun to play with other people. In multiplayer mode, the players would go around collecting items in a certain level, and whoever got the biggest katamari won. However, the other player could either run into you, causing items to fall off, or roll you up if your katamari was too small. Having that aspect in the gameplay always made multiplayer a challenging and fun interaction.


    Design

    The design elements that Katamari Damacy has makes it a great game to play. First, the whole look of the game sets it apart from anything I have played. All the bright colors and quirky characters makes the game have a more happy tone. This makes the game fun to play, as you are having a good time playing around in an odd world. Furthermore, the way the levels are designed make the game feel extremely open. The only boundaries are large objects you might not be able to roll up. But once you roll up more items, you are eventually able to collect the bigger objects. This allows the game to have a sense of freedom to do anything in the sense of rolling a katamari. Furthermore, it keeps the player interested. The game is similar to a snowball effect. You start and roll a few items, and start to get a bigger katamari. But it is always fun to learn what new things the player can start to roll up. Once you get to start picking up actual buildings, it is fun to plow through the giant city that your playing in.

    Furthermore, the reward system allows for the players to keep being interested. Throughout the levels, you are able to roll up the main character's cousins, and random presents that The King of All Cosmos has left for you. When you achieve one of these items, you can switch between a cousin and the prince, and play as a new character. This does not change the gameplay, it just simply gives the player a new avatar. The presents that you get also let you deck out the prince or your cousin with whatever you have, like a pair of headphones or a scarf.

    What I would say is most frustrating is how the game creates conflict. The time limit and the limitation to rolling up certain objects are fine, but if an object is too large and you accidently run into it, items will start falling off of your katamari. At first this seems like a fair objective to put into the game. However, I found myself extremely annoyed when I couldnt pick up an object that my katamari was clearly bigger than.

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    Jan 14th, 2008 at 02:27:01     -    Azure Dreams (PS)

    Summary

    Azure Dreams is set in the town of Monsbaiya, with a gigantic Monster Tower looming over it. The tower holds swarms of hazardous traps and monsters, but also gold, which lures in many adventurers to the town. You play the role of a boy named Koh, whose father was the strongest monster hunter around. Unfortunately, your father mysteriously dissappeared in the tower when you were a boy, and the point of the game is to figure out what happened once you become of age.

    Gameplay

    Although this game was not a major success, I absolutely love it. Though the game is a simple dungeon crawler, it is especially item based. An entire run through the tower could be ruined if you dont get a 'wind crystal' which will warp you back to town. That may seem harsh at first, but if you get a nice supply of them during a run, you can bring one with you the next time you enter the tower. However, the game is effective on making sure one doesnt cheat their way through it. First, you start at level one everytime you enter. Second, you can only bring 5 items with you when you enter the tower. Lastly, you cannot save and exit on a level and then restart it, or else your character will die.
    But these characteristics is what makes the game so fun. When playing you can come up with various types of strategies needed to beat the game, but then be in major trouble if you mess up. The game is addicting, however the story is a little weak. It folds out to be the stereotypical 'guy trying to take over the world' type story. But in all honesty I could care less. The minigames, monster collecting, girl flirting randomness of the game just keeps me entertained throughout the end. This is definitely one of the best games I have ever played.

    Design

    The design of the game is unfortunately rather mediocre. The game is basically go through this dungeon to get to the top. The graphics are alright, even for its time, and the few cut scenes that the game has doesn't really play into the story that much. But the soundtrack of the game is very well composed. It fits this game perfectly, and always catches the mood that the game is trying to convey.

    This entry has been edited 2 times. It was last edited on Jan 14th, 2008 at 18:33:42.

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