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    Mar 6th, 2008 at 02:03:03     -    Starcraft (PC)

    Entry #2

    GAMEPLAY

    Gameplay continues to be extremely fun as the tutorial missions are over and more destructive objectives are given. The story continues to show a government conspiracy style storyline with secret data disks and rebellion against what seems to be the commanding government in space known as the Confederate. A lot of the fun of the game now is building up an army to destroy your enemy in the quickest way possible. The RTS mechanic of the game takes up a lot of time, about 30-60 minutes per mission, but it is worth it to see your opponent crumble against your massive army.

    DESIGN

    The most obvious feature of the game's level design is the dark color palette which creates a one of “dark times” and of the unknown. Even in the cutscences of the game show very ambiguous and dark activities. The mission briefings and the gameplay itself deliver a great sense of dealing with dark alien creatures as well as rebelling against the Confederate, which is a key mission in the beginning.

    Some great designs is how the game only allows you to see the parts of the map in which you are currently in. Having no idea how big the enemy base is and only knowing that you must destroy it provides a huge sense of exploration, especially when you are bombarded by enemy battalions. The way obstacles are laid out across a map provide spacial challenge and force a player to think up new strategies on what units to use to reach the instant goal of crossing the water. Having two interactive gameworld spaces, ground and air, provides expansive spacial challenge as each space can only interact with the other with certain units; such as, firefighters not being able to harm any aircraft.

    Being concentrated around resource management, this game provides plenty of emergent complexity. For many units a player must require to have built extra buildings or gather new resources. The reward structure in some missions appeals to me very nicely since at times from destroying enemy bases, I am rewarded with more resources, allowing me to build up, allowing me to continue killing. A happy circle indeed.

    Over the past 10 years, it is obvious why this game has still stood the test of time. The biggest intrest-grabber of this game is the network play. It could possibly the sole reason it has lasted so long thanks to the unique games people can create with the Campaign Editor. Although the game is televised in other parts of the world for big competitions, is isn't a Guitar Hero-like spectator sport in which many people may be bored by watching the gameplay. Playing the game for this GameLog has definitely reignited my spark to play this, specially with the incredibly hyped Starcraft 2 which seems like it will deliver.

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    Mar 6th, 2008 at 00:06:33     -    Starcraft (PC)

    Entry #1

    SUMMARY


    In Starcraft, the player controls units in a virtual space world and gathers resources in order to survive. There are there three species a player is allowed to control: The Terran, The Zerg, and The Protoss. The main game is a Real-Time Strategy (RTS) which is still widely played today since its release in 1998.

    GAMEPLAY

    Starcraft, like many RTS's today, delivers a more strategy oriented gameplay which leads to a more passive game experience. Although the play-by-play of the game isn't high-action-shooting-pumped-action, most of the action happens in the mind of the player. On my first run-through (first in a couple of years really) I felt at a more introductory level where the play is mainly tutorial play. It must've taken the third mission, which is 30 minutes long, in order to start to develop of better sense of the game. The rich sound the game provides truly stimulates a player's emotion as a marine's battle-cry is heard upon his death. Okay, so that happens very often, but the sound in this game is what keeps a player attentive to what's going on. Your troops dying is a big sign that you should pay attention to that part of the screen.

    The progressive story is unraveled in a very elegant way. There are mission briefings to let you know what is going on, and minimal story sequences within the game. The story itself is yet another galactic mayhem story, but what Starcraft delivers is different perspectives in which a player can play as. The way the story is revealed let's the player know what some missions from the Terran campaign might look like when playing as the Zerg or the humanoid Protoss. The first mission, being the Terran, gives a sense of rebellion against Government as the player rebels against the Confederation, which is a portrayal of the Government's Armed Forces for the space world.

    The game is extremely fun to play once a player is engaged in having control of the expansive game world. The limited space and limited resources give a chess-like approach to this game in which it is easy to understand, but difficult to master. The introduction of the game doesn't have much game flow, but the last missions ignited the feeling and access rewards incite me to continue playing just to see what new abilities I will be able to use (as I've forgotten over the years anyways.)

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    Feb 20th, 2008 at 23:02:50     -    Super Smash Brothers (N64)

    Entry #2

    GAMEPLAY

    The gameplay doesn't lend itself to much more complexity other than it's fun as hell to play multi-player. Once all characters and item options are unlocked, multi-player games become very unique but equally hilarious. Even bystaders laugh as pickachu gets knocked out by a pokeball or as Mario gets knocked out by a thrown item while struggling to get back on the platform.

    DESIGN

    The most innovative element of Super Smash Bros. is its replay value through the multi-player game, labeling easily as a Party Game. The infinite reward structure of battle objects within the battles adds variety to each game played. The reward structure may also anger the player when an item turns out useless (such as a getting a goldeen which only flops around.) The constant falling items have the flexibility to be used or thrown, giving players choices such as: whether to attack another player, get that item and use it, throw that item so another player falls off, or simply to jump around.

    This game also creates conflict between the people playing the game. Someone may be so good with Fox that everybody teams up against that person every time they choose Fox just to have a fighting chance. This creates more of a social conflict rather than conflict or social interaction by itself. The Gameworld itself compliments the gameplay, giving players stages to jump on, challenges to avoid, places to fall. Another aspect of the Gameworld, as I forgot to mention it in the reward structure, is a virtual crowd cheering when someone gets knocked out or just barely makes the edge of the stage.

    The levels are varied evenly to have a different experience with each one. Some have rising lava to avoid, while others have wind-blasting trees, or pokemon popping out at random times. But the space in the levels is the best layout a battle arena game can have. In conclusion, this game's wide variety of hilarious moments from the battle makes it a great game even for the N64's limited power, this game does not fail to deliver.

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    Feb 20th, 2008 at 21:39:16     -    Super Smash Brothers (N64)

    Entry #1

    SUMMARY

    Super Smash Bros. is a multi-player arena fighting game that allows players to use their favorite Nintendo characters in an all out brawl. The game does include a single player mode with different levels and the possibility of unlocking new content such as new characters or levels.

    GAMEPLAY

    Super Smash Bros. gives the player a rush of energy that derives from the non-stop battles. The characters during gameplay can anger you and provoke some trash talk directed towards the character's name. The game's story, during the single player mode, isn't very complex. There seems to be no narrative progression, other than just progressing to the next stage. As far as the gameplay itself, it is very entertaining. During the single player mode you are introduced to fighting team battles in which you can learn that it helps to have allies.

    The main reason for Super Smash Bros. being so fun is, of course, the multi-player. This game can easily devour hours of gametime when played with friends. I believe the funnest part is being able to beat up your friends for hours on end, specially with the infamous hammer. When the players are experienced enough in Super Smash Bros. the trash talk between players makes for a hilarious game environment. The fact that there is percentage for damage instead of Hit Points raises the excitement because there isn't a defined percentage of when you will be knocked out.

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