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    Mar 5th, 2008 at 22:53:37     -    Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 2 (PS2)

    GAMEPLAY

    For my second session, I battled some of my friends. They were much more experienced than I was, which meant that they knew how to utilize the individual characters and their modes and therefore won more often. The results of the game seemed somewhat random though, as I was able to just blindly press buttons and win some of the time, or at least beat someone up in an interesting way.

    Part of the pleasure of the game is just watching the avatars beat each other up. There is enough variety in the characters and their moves to make rather entertaining battles. Another pleasure of the game is that it is drawn directly from an anime series; unfortunately, not being familiar with the series this aspect of the game had little to offer for me.

    I learned the game just quickly enough not to fall too behind, but after playing I realized that I have a long way to go.


    DESIGN

    The graphics in the game are detailed enough not to look cheap, but sometimes rather simple. Though the gameworld is 3D, it is for the most part a 2D game. An avatar can move left or right, jump, and occasionally jump to another plane on which they can move in the same manner. The camera moves but does not change angles much, so that a battlefield is only viewed from one direction. The characters themselves have a number of different positions but are essentially flat and simply drawn, while the background is more detailed. Complex moves are shown with pre-animated clips.

    As a game which is based on player-to-player interaction, the computer does not act as a challenging agent, but only as a template with very structured rules. In addition to this, there is no structured level design; rather, the players can choose their own backgrounds, avatars, and the dynamic of their battles. This allows for a different type of gameplay and challenge than any single-player game or game of progression.

    Overall, the game felt pretty smooth, which was nice. Menus were good, graphics were good enough, and nothing felt particularly jerky or out of place. Furthermore, the graphics were interesting and made for a pretty visually entertaining game.

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    Mar 5th, 2008 at 22:53:24     -    Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 2 (PS2)

    SUMMARY

    Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 2 is a 3D fighting game based on the anime series Naruto. The players can choose from a variety of characters and battlefields from the anime series Naruto and duel other players. Both players can use a combination of techniques to try to win duels by obliterating their opponent’s health.

    GAMEPLAY

    The Naruto game is pretty similar to Super Smash Brothers, but with an anime theme. For someone who is neither very familiar with Super Smash Brothers or the anime series, I had a fun time trying to figure out the dynamics of the game.

    The game is a game of emergence and the fun comes from the complexity of player-to-player interaction. Because of this, each game is unique. A change in characters, setting, players, or mood can result in a completely different gameplay experience. The game is difficult to master, and players can improve their skill with each experience. Because of the sheer wealth of different combinations of these elements possible in the game, it would take a long time to completely master the game.

    I began by taking advantage of the Training mode that the game offered. This gave me a better feel for what the different moves I could do were. Training mode let me battle a computer-controlled character without either character being able to die, which was a nice way for me to learn how to play and employ different moves/combinations without being killed. This took up pretty much the whole session.

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    Feb 21st, 2008 at 01:29:20     -    Wii Sports (Wii)

    GAMEPLAY

    This round of playing, I tried two more of the games: baseball and bowling.

    I don’t think baseball was as well designed as it could’ve been. Even though there were two players, only the one playing the batter really had any impact on the score. The pitcher just had to press buttons, and neither of the players had any impact on catching the ball once it entered the field. Each player would then bat until his or her team was out. I felt like the turns were too long and the game felt too slow overall. There wasn’t enough direct player interaction such as their was in tennis. In this way, I felt that the inherited rules of the game were a limitation. But my bias might also come from the fact that I have never been a big baseball fan in general.

    Bowling was a little more fun than baseball for me. It took me a while to get the hang of it, but once I did, I was almost flawless. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten such a high score in actual bowling! At first I thought it was too slow, but after a while I had fun working with the precision I needed to get a good turn.

    Overall, I think the game is easy to pick up and fun to play, especially with other people, but it is not a game I would get really hooked into. For the Nintendo Wii, it’s a good, simple starter game.

    DESIGN

    Compared to other modern games, their seems to be somewhat minimal effort put into the design of the game. It has a very bubbly, cartoonish feel which I neither liked nor disliked. It fit the light mood of the game. The characters are incredibly unrealistic, but their meager design proves that what matters is the gameplay itself. The best part of the character design in my opinion is that the player has a lot of control in their individual design. Therefore I could make a character that looked like me (or whatever I wanted to) and become attached to it.

    The best part of the graphic desing of the game was the playing fields. Bowling felt like a real bowling alley, especially with other games going on in the background, and the reacting crowds in tennis and baseball were entertaining.

    I felt that the transition from real life sport to video game was done pretty well. Their was just enough player control to make the game interesting to play without giving the player so much control that it became difficult.

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    Feb 21st, 2008 at 01:29:03     -    Wii Sports (Wii)

    SUMMARY

    In the game Wii Sports, the player can choose from one of five games which imitate real sports games: Tennis, Baseball, Bowling, Golf, and Boxing. The players can swing the Wii controller to imitate some of the actual movements used for the real life sports. Up to 4 players can play the game.


    GAMEPLAY

    I had a fun time playing Wii sports today. It’s a very simple game with its background in some of our culture’s most familiar sports. At the same it contains an unfamiliar element because I must play the games using the Wii controller. It seems like one of its main purposes is to show off the Wii controller. Using the controller to play the sports was pretty fun; I didn’t realize that videogaming could involve so much exercise!

    The first game we played was Tennis. It took me a few tries to get the hang of it, but afterwards it was really fun. Because Tennis involves several players (in my case two humans and two players that were computer generated) directly interacting with eachother, there is a lot of room for player interaction and variation. This can make a lot of complex gameplay.

    The most fun part of Wii sports was probably player interaction. The concept and the rules are simple and the graphics are underdeveloped, but I had a lot of fun just playing with other people. It doesn’t seem like it would be as fun if I was by myself.

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