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    Mar 6th, 2008 at 04:27:22     -    Conan (360)

    (Gameplay Session 2)

    [GAMEPLAY]
    As I progressed through more of the levels, I found the core game mechanic of killing anything and everything in your path fairly satisfying, especially when limbs or heads came off. I can assure readers that I'm not truly supportive of going around lopping heads off, and although some may not appreciate the violence in the game, the game was originally based of a series of short stories created in the mid 20's. Thus, just remember that the books came before the game!

    Getting back on track--since Conan lost his armor, he seemed to have "forgotten" all of his cool combos. By killing enemies and destroying destructible environment objects, I was able to earn red experience runes that I could save and later spend on learning different sword-shimmering combos. Not only was it fun, but it was satisfying as well to dispatch of the different enemies by cutting of limbs or a head and receive experience runes as a result.

    For the most part, the levels and game flowed smoothly. There were certain points where I'd find myself become stuck due to difficulty of getting past certain stronger characters, but once past that small hurdle, continuing on with the game was no problem.

    [DESIGN]
    One of the really interesting and engaging aspects of this game is the depth of the skill tree and weapons system. Conan is able to wield three weapon types: single sword, dual-wield, or two-handed broad sword. He is able to switch between these on the fly at will based on what kind of sword(s) the player picks up off the ground dropped by fallen enemies.

    For each weapon type, there is a very large skill tree. Unlocking different skills requires that the player has enough experience runes to spend on each skill. Also, certain skills are not available for purchase until an earlier skill item is unlocked/bought. This system allows for supporting and encouraging the player to continually try to do well and earn as many experience points as possible so that they can unlock lots of new combos. The player will try to perform to his or her best so that they not only survive, but also earn more experience runes as well.

    The levels in Conan seem to follow a similar format. For the most part, the levels are primarily hack-and-slash your way through until you get to a boss or beat the level. Certain levels here and there, however, have minor puzzle elements embedded in them that the player must solve in order to continue. The puzzles seem to be surface-level though; if the puzzles were more frequent and pushed further, the game could potentially compete more with a similar title such as God of War. Overall though, Conan does a really good job of performing as an action-adventure title with a solid weapons and combo/skill tree system, as well as does the Conan title justice.

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    Mar 6th, 2008 at 04:27:00     -    Conan (360)

    Jacob Pernell
    CMPS20 - Whitehead
    3/5/08

    -| Conan |-
    (Gameplay Session 1)

    [SUMMARY]
    Conan is a third-person action adventure game based off of the original Robert E. Howard Conan character. Set in a fantasy world, Hyboria, Conan must travel through different lands to hack, slash, and slay his way to defeat an evil magic lurking deep within the realm of this world.

    [GAMEPLAY]
    When I first started this game, my first thought was, "wow, this character is badass." Conan stood before me, clad in a shiny set of armor pieces with his hi-definition abs of steel hidden underneath the chest piece. Sword in hand and ready for action, I knew that Conan would let no man or beast stand in his way.

    Immediately into the first level, I was allowed to control Conan and have full-access to his weapon skill tree. Fighting against spirit type creatures, I made my way through a type of cave level that introduced the story of the game. Fighting against spirit/ghost armor warriors didn't feel as satisfying to kill as it did against real human enemies later in the game, but it was still fun to try out different combos on them.

    At the end of the first level, the story truly unfolds and Conan loses all his armor to a dark sorcerer. The narration and story is simple, yet solid enough that it allows the player to have a goal: find the various armor pieces and search for this sorcerer in order to defeat him.

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    Feb 21st, 2008 at 02:45:24     -    Chrono Trigger (SNES)

    (Gameplay Session 2)

    [GAMEPLAY]
    As I continued playing the game, I felt more and more attached to the characters. Chrono eventually meets up with Lucca, an eccentric female inventor who builds a time machine. Her randomness and eccentricity adds to the collection of fun and engaging character design. In addition to that, the enemies in the game are apparently aliens disguised as humans. When they revealed their true alien form and ended up fighting me a few times, their quirky yet evil personalities add to the fun of the gameplay experience.

    Overall, I felt that the game flowed smoothly. Most of the time, narrative/dialogue hints would guide me in the right direction as to where I should head, but still left me room for exploration and fighting enemies on the map. Every so often, I would get distracted and explore the map, or not necessarily know where to go, and so I would have to spend a little more time talking to people or walking around to find my correct destination.

    [DESIGN]
    One of the more interesting aspects of the game was the battle system itself. The battle system in Chrono Trigger is turn-based, so it is not unlike many other RPG's. However, the game does not cut to a separate "stage" in which the characters battle; the characters engage in battle right on the map or inside the dungeon room, and once the battle is completed, you are free to move around again as normal without having to cut back to a different screen. This allows for the game to flow more smoothly, since battles happen with almost no interruption between walking gameplay and the battle gameplay.

    At times, Chrono Trigger leaves things slightly ambiguous in terms of where to go. Overall, however, the game is fairly easy to follow and progress through to find the right way. If I were to remake the game or change anything, I would possibly add a few more dialogue hints if the character became absolutely stuck.

    The levels in Chrono Trigger are fairly straightforward. The "dungeon" type maps are a typical maze-like setup. They are varied enough in both art style/mood and layout to keep the players interested, and the rooms do have puzzle elements to them though, so the player is presented with challenge in addition to fighting off enemies to reach the final goal.

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    Feb 21st, 2008 at 02:45:06     -    Chrono Trigger (SNES)

    Jacob Pernell
    CMPS20 - Whitehead
    2/20/08

    -| CHRONO TRIGGER |-
    (Gameplay Session 1)

    [SUMMARY]
    Chrono Trigger is an RPG with a story revolving around time travel through a fantasy world. With a unique turn-based battle system and engaging characters and story, Chrono Trigger really leaves the mark in classic RPG history.

    [GAMEPLAY]
    When I first started playing this game, I was slightly surprised by the lack of introduction and tutorial. Most recently-made RPG's have some form of tutorial mode to explain the battle system. This game just starts of and lets you immediately control Chrono, the main character, which I found quite fun since it allowed me to explore on my own accord without having to wait through a lot of intro cutscenes or tutorial modes.

    Another aspect of the game that caught my attention was the character design. Immediately upon seeing Chrono and his spiky red hair, I felt more attached to the character because he looked like someone I could trust playing as throughout the game. This goes to show that strong character design is a key aspect to game development.

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