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    Mar 6th, 2008 at 01:05:12     -    Roller Coaster Tycoon (PC)

    Game Play:

    I Believe that Roller Coaster Park Tycoon is a great game that give the player vast control over all parts of game play. That said there are several problems with the game. The first and most major is that after playing this game through several levels having to wait 3 years(in game time) to complete an objective when you have already satisfied the conditions a little after year one is really annoying. The time it takes to complete a level can be an asset in the beginning but after some time at this game it is a major drawback. Another flaw that this game has is that even if you have new roller coasters and new theme parks, the theme of the game is still the same. You can only build roller coasters for so long before it becomes boring. After the first couple of levels you are just going through the same motions to complete objectives that you have already completed. Another problem that occurs in the game is that sometimes your theme parks are so small you are unable to build some of the big coasters that the game has. At certain points in the game you fill up your theme park before the goal is met and the only thing left to do is sit there and what the time pass. This can be really boring. Another aspect about the game that can be both good and bad is the need for handymen and mechanics. While it is cool that when a ride breaks down the game automatically send someone to fix it there are some cases where the computer controlled character is so stupid he will wander around the same part of the theme park and get lost. When this happens your rides don’t get fixed and you loose money. In general this is a very good game if taken in little increments. One level a week will enhance your enjoyment of the game while hiding the flaws that pop up so often.


    Design:

    The games design is very well done. All of the rides have a lot of customizing features even if you pick pre made coasters. The game also gives you the ability to advertise, hire employees, alter terrain, build one of a kind rides, and alter how money is spent all through out the park. These elements of game design are really very innovative and only seen in games like the Sims. This game allows you near total control over all the actions taken in the park and how your park will be run. The roller coasters are really cool looking and only get better after investing money in ride improvements. All the levels vary from flat grass lands to hilly forest, and desert areas to lakes and islands. Because certain rides are very particular about where and how high they can be built it is often times a challenge to find the right peace of land to put your ride without taking up to much space for more rides in the future. Sometimes you will be given a park that is almost completely vacant and you need to make a Roller Coaster Park from scratch or you will get a working park and will need to improve it in some way. Often times when playing the game you will realize that you don’t have enough money for a particular action. You are allowed to take out a loan from the bank but your line of credit is limited in the beginning. You must also learn what is an appropriate amount of money to charge for rides and admission. If your prices are too high people will not come and you will not make any money. The tone of the game is often times happy and up beat and this is reinforced by the music that is playing in the background of the game and all the sounds that are common to a theme park. This is a very god game despite some pretty large flaws and the design for a game of its time is very good.

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    Mar 6th, 2008 at 00:34:35     -    Roller Coaster Tycoon (PC)

    Summery:

    In Roller Coaster Park Tycoon the player is given control over their very own theme park. They have different goals that they mush accomplish by building up their theme park with roller coasters amusement rides and stalls where people can buy things. Once you have completed several challenges new parks and ride open up for you to try.



    Game Play:

    I decided that I wanted to play a game where there was a little more control over the game than you find in most platform games. I like the ability that I have in the game to control all aspects of the park. I love to see how much money I can make and how cool I can make all the roller coasters that I have access to. It is even fun to build roller coasters that are so over the top that no one will go on them, just because you can. Each level lasts for quite a long time; I can spend hours on a particular level before I have completed the objective. Even beyond that if there is a park that I feel can continue I can still build on it even after the objective is finished. In my opinion this is a very fun and engaging game but it is a very one player oriented game and it can drag you in and make you forget about the time. It is fun thou to show people what you have constructed after you have completed a level. I always love to show off my coolest original coasters to friends and family after they are completed. I have been yelled at for spending too much time playing this game. The game is relatively easy and very engaging in the beginning but it does get harder as time progresses. I feel that the flow of the game keeps people interested and can very easily make one loose track of time while playing.

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    Feb 21st, 2008 at 01:39:23     -    Super Mario 64 (N64)

    Game Play:

    I mentioned that one of the really terrific features about Super Mario 64 was that it was open and expansive. While I still fee that this is a great part of the game I do feel that some of the levels were too confusing and too open. Sometimes looking for that last star or figuring out how to complete that last quest can be really irritating. Another flaw that I saw in the game was lack of story. The reason that I always fall back on long RPG’s is that I like story that keeps you playing and keeps drawing you back in. It is kind of like a good book where you just want to read one more chapter before you go to bed. I think that even standard games can be fun if there is an interesting story tying everything together. That said I feel that after the first hour the story needed to be better. I had played several levels by that time and I was getting bored. I could see picking this game up and playing for a little while but nothing like my 12 hour marathon on Elder Scrolls 4 Oblivion. The game play is fun but not completely unique and there is not much beyond that to encourage a person to play it for more than a couple hours at a time if that. Because this game is solely a single player game there is no draw for other people to want to play it with you and once you have gained all 8 stars from a level the only reason to return to it is if you want to shoot yourself out of a cannon just for fun. I think that this is a good game but I feel that in some areas Nintendo did actually use Super Mario 64 as a crutch making certain aspects of the game really good and completely missing others. This makes for a game that is not too well rounded and a burden to play sometimes.


    Design:

    Super Mario 64 capitalized on the then state of the art aspects of the N64. The 3D aspects of the game are phenomenal and make for a great non linear game that has loads to offer. The challenge of the game is that unlike most Mario games before and since which were very linear this game makes use of the 3D environment to create big open worlds to explore and more than one way to complete each level. This is also one of the drawbacks. With so much free movement and so many ways to complete the level it is often easy to get lost and turned around. Because each level is different each room housing the “painting” that allows access to each room as well as the level have different music suitable to the mood of the level. In the dungeons the music is spookier than it is on the floating level that is wide open and sunny. Also because the rewards that one gains either don’t affect the play of the game or don’t appear often it is often the case that the rewards are not as important as they could be. For example, stars are gained at the successful completion of each level but they only unlock new levels. They don’t have any barring on Mario or his progress in the level. The hats that Mario gains like the wing, invisible, or metal cap don’t appear all that often and even when they do they are often difficult to use well. Thus I feel that the reward system leaves a lot to be desired. This is an ok game from a game play perspective but it is a remarkable game from a design format, for a game of its time.

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    Feb 21st, 2008 at 00:14:14     -    Super Mario 64 (N64)

    Summery:

    In Super Mario 64 princess peach is once again kidnapped by Bowser and it is up to Mario to save her (yet again). In the game Mario enters Bowser’s castle and must find the castles stars in order to find Bowser and defeat him. In the castle the way to get stars is to enter the worlds of the various paintings in the castle and complete certain objectives. When you have enough stars you advance to fighting Bowser, and then to other floors.


    Game Play:

    The game is relatively easy to control considering that you are in a 3D world. I often times get engrossed in games that contain massive amounts of story and linear progression and in Mario sometimes it is just fun to wander around and see where a new path takes you. The openness of the game leads to a lot of player choice but also requires you to complete various objectives to keep you on the story line. An example of the openness that players have is in the very first level. Some times it is fun to complete objectives and gain new stars but other times it is just fun to get the wing cap that allows you to fly and shoot yourself out of a cannon for no other reason than because I can. I feel that Mario is and will always be a classic Nintendo character. I feel that to a certain extent Mario is used to much by Nintendo as a crutch and some of their Mario games suffer because of it. In this particular case I do not find this to be true. I think that Super Mario 64 is a fantastic game that was and is innovative fun and challenging to play.

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