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    Mar 6th, 2008 at 02:32:25     -    Devil May Cry 3 (PS2)

    GAMEPLAY

    After more time with the game, the main problem with the game continues to be the sharp difficulty curve that crosses the line from the entertainingly challenging to the aggravatingly so. The first boss was seemed ridiculously simple in comparison to the headache the first; I can assume “real” boss is in this game.

    The flow of the game suffers because of this by almost requiring that you play the first tutorial mission again and again in order to acquire enough currency to buy health ups and upgrades to your weapons in order to progress from one level to the next. As a result sometimes you forget what happens in the other missions, and it becomes harder to stay firmly in the magic circle when you are forced to constantly replay the same mission again and again for currency to just be able to survive.

    Despite the need for massive amounts of replay necessary the narration progression, if played one mission after another as is meant to be, is very good. The player is told just enough about the characters and their different motives to make you want to keep playing to discover them, yet at times it can make it seem like a bad thing by making the fact that you can’t proceed all the more disappointing in the end.

    DESIGN

    Some innovative elements of Devil May Cry 3 are the class system, style system and Devil Arms that are implemented in the game. You can tailor your gameplay style to whichever style suits you best. If you like shooting more, there is the gunslinger style, if you like dodging there is the trickster and if sword fighting is more your thing, there’s the sword master style. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses and must be leveled up to become more powerful. The game also keeps you from falling into a button mashing rut by having a point system that encourages the combination of the gun and the melee weapons that can be switched between two different devil arms instantly by pressing a single button. This leads to massive combos and visually stunning fight scenes even early in the game. In addition each of the devil arms and guns are very different styles of play and are useful or useless depending on the situation and space that Dante’s enemies confront him.

    The game is extremely linear, as you cannot go anywhere but in the step-by-step movement towards a boss at the end. There are hidden side rooms or treasure such as extra health, lives, or money, but other than that the game is a straight path with segments of demonic ambushes. The tone of the gameworld is also extremely dark and menacing, the levels are either in a burnt out, abandoned industrial district or in a demonic tower leading into the bowels of hell. The levels are varied and has very difficult puzzles that unfortunately end up as not much more the complicated fetch and unlock puzzles such as get key A to unlock door A and etc.

    This game sets up for a amazing fights that can cause a very cinematic feel that can even in gameplay that causes for some great fights. However the time in-between the fights are usually dull search and find puzzles and the boss battles are almost impossible, making this one of the nicest, but also one of the most frustrating games that I have ever come across.

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    Mar 6th, 2008 at 01:45:12     -    Devil May Cry 3 (PS2)

    SUMMARY

    Devil May Cry 3 explores the origins of Dante, the main character of Devil May Cry 1 and 2, as you battle through scores of monsters, using special demonic weapons, as he tries to prevent his brother, Vergil, from releasing Hell on earth.

    GAMEPLAY

    This game has definite ups and downs. One up is that the characters are on the whole very action movie awesome. Dante starts out as a insult talking, gunslinging, beast, who can shrug off a scythe to the chest and go on as if nothing were wrong. The fighting is pretty fluid and that lends to a nice atmosphere that Dante knew what he was doing straight from the get go.

    One of the main problems with the game is the difficulty curve. The beginning tutorial level was a bit a struggle to complete, not too much but unusually high for a learning mission. The first boss of the game even is unbeatable, after almost a dozen tries. This high difficulty curve makes the game almost completely inaccessible to a more casual gamer, leaving it to the only most hardened of players.

    Despite this, the game remained pretty interesting to play because of the intricate combat and style systems really encourage you to combine your guns and sword in tandem to pull off combos to get more points, earning you more money to buy more power ups to strengthen Dante so he can weather the harsh enemies you encounter along the game.

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    Feb 21st, 2008 at 05:11:13     -    Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)

    GAMEPLAY

    When I resumed playing, this time with a sword in hand, things became much more fluid and flowing. What made this game interesting is that most of the challenge comes from solving the puzzles, even the enemies can be seen as a type of puzzle, as once you discover their weak spot, they are fairly easy to defeat.
    The storyline and characters are simple, yet still enjoyable; it is accessible to younger children who can love the hero saves the princess and the kingdom deal, and the older gamer can also enjoy the thought provoking puzzles that come up rather frequently throughout even just the first part of the game.


    DESIGN

    Ocarina of Time came out in 1998, and as such, the game is a bit simpler than those today, however this is not always a bad thing, it simplifies a lot of the game and allows the player to get into the bulk of it without having to learn complex commands and controls. There is more or less one button that encompasses every action in the game, from attacking to talking to people. The target lock on system also will disengage in convenient times, usually resulting in a lost heart. However, these snags can be attributed to the games age, and thus do not count against it too much.ß
    The dungeons, for their complex puzzles and challenges, are all quite linear, and follow the same template: get the map, then the compass, then a new tool which is key to figuring out a lot of the puzzles and beating the boss, then dispatch the boss. To balance this out, focus is made to make the puzzles intuitive and subtle, creating an overall complexity to them.
    Another interesting mechanic is that there is a running clock of day and night that we begin to see, which divides the world up accordingly, with different monsters and different areas accessible in day and night. Additionally, you are given the ability to say “yes” or “no” to most things, although you have to answer yes in most cases to advance the plot, you can break off from a conversation by disagreeing, this gives you more control over the conversation than many of Ocarina of Time’s contemporaries allow.

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    Feb 21st, 2008 at 05:10:43     -    Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)

    SUMMARY

    In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, you assume control of Link, a “kokiri” who is destined for great things. As Link you traverse dungeons and temples to protect your homeland, Hyrule, from the growing threat of a great evil.


    GAMEPLAY

    Playing games of the N64 again was very nostalgic, from the three-pronged controller to pushing in the big cartridge to play the game. The Zelda series is known for complex puzzles and thought provoking boss fights, which Ocarina of Time gives in spades. The graphics are phenomenal considering the year this game came out.
    The game, despite Okami-esque voice acting made all the worse by Navi’s incessant complaints and cries, is very fun to play. The puzzles are far more difficult than most other games. Yet, making you work hard for everything gives you sense of accomplishment for obtaining the smallest things. It took me about 20 minutes to just get the sword in the beginning, but when I finally got it, I was ecstatic over my triumph.

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