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    Feb 8th, 2008 at 20:38:25     -    Enter the Matrix (PS2)

    Game log 2

    Game play:

    Thus far, the story seems to be pretty interesting, although I am a fan of Matrix and anything about it would probably arouse my appeal. The game uses a mix of extra footage from the film with cinematic scenes to help the story progress, and I thought this was a pretty good way of telling the story because I enjoyed the breaks in between to watch a short clip.

    This game has a fairly deep fighting system, you can choose either to take out enemies with the wide array of guns at your disposal, or you can go on close and use hand to hand combat to take them out. When you get in close to the enemy your character automatically switches to hand to hand combat. The fighting mechanic coupled with the slow motion mechanic made the game play very fun.

    Design:

    The soundtrack and sound effects in the game was very well produced. For example, when hitting or punching someone it makes that whoosh sound like in the movies, and when you are shooting or getting shot at in slow motion you can hear the bullets going past you. Every gun sounds different which also adds realism to the game. The soundtrack used in the game came straight from the movie and this added to the realism of the game as it made a connection with the movie. It gave me the same excited feeling I had when I watched the movie.

    The slow motion mechanic in this game was probably the key to making the game somewhat interesting to play. Using the focus button you become stronger and faster (although you are moving in slow motion) while it is pressed you can cartwheel and do flips in order to dodge incoming bullets, and it is really effective and opens up many options about how to defeat an enemy. Using the focus button you could run up to a wall and do a cartwheel off of it, ending it with an aerial kick, or you could jump and roll around to dodge bullets. This game element gave me complete control over how to use my character allowing me many different possibilities to use a combination of martial art moves and gun fighting to defeat the enemies.

    One of the bad elements in the game was the camera views provided. I personally did not like how I had to run in a circle in order to view what was behind me. The character couldn’t just turn around and even when attempting to run backwards, he would peddle backwards rather than immediately turning around. This made the game a bit awkward for me since I was always spanning around most of the time. Another negative element that I noticed while playing was that if I got close enough to any enemy, I was virtually invincible especially with the bullet time mechanic. Although the kung fu moves and combinations were interesting and fun, I thought that if I played another hour of the game, I would get bored of the repetitiveness and the lack of challenge in fighting enemies. However I think what the developers did to combat this was to put the player in long aisles most of the time, where running up to an enemy and bashing his brains in wasn’t the best option. Instead you would have to resort to gunfire, but sometimes there were so many enemies and so little ammo that I found myself dying quick. Going along with my opinion that the game was underdeveloped, Id have to say that if the gunplay was as satisfying as the hand to hand or if the designers spent more time balancing issues so that you got an even mix of both, then the game would have a greater replay value.

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    Feb 8th, 2008 at 03:33:57     -    Enter the Matrix (PS2)

    Game log entry 1

    Summary:

    Enter the Matrix for PS2 is an action adventure game that incorporates the bullet time (slow motion) mechanism. The plot of the game is set in a side story of what happened in the film Matrix: Reloaded. In the game you are given the option to use either Ghost or Niobe, both minor characters in the actual film. Using either character, you must complete each continuous stage, fighting enemies using weapons, bullet time, and martial arts.

    Game play:

    First off, I really liked the bullet/slow motion mechanism that they used in the game. The use of the mechanism distinctly tied the game to the actual movie with its use of slow motion, only now the player has complete control over when to slow time and dodge bullets. The use of this mechanism along with the characters, sound, and artwork of the game created this magic circle that closely matched the experience of what I felt when I saw the Matrix trilogies, except I was actually taking park in an additional story.

    Though I have only played Ghost, I think the characters used in the game helped support the story and where the game was going, although I would like to have used Neo.

    One negative aspect of game play that I noticed was the 3rd person camera view of the character’s back as he/she ran around. The character wasn’t even able to turn around and run in the opposite direction, but instead could only back peddle without the camera ever turning, which greatly limited the control I had over viewing my surroundings.

    As I got more into the game game, it felt like the game lacked substance. It felt like it was underdeveloped and it felt like the game wasn’t too interesting, almost as if the creators rushed the game without taking time to work on game play issues. I even ran into a glitch in the game where somehow I jumped through a wall of boxes and ended up on the other side having view of the room that I was in, but not having the ability to move. The only remedy was to exit the game and reload. The glitch was almost a matrix within the matrix and I am not 100 percent sure that what happened was in fact a glitch, but if it was then it supports my opinion of how the production of the game felt rushed.

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    Jan 25th, 2008 at 22:46:16     -    Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)

    Gamelog Entry #2

    Game play:

    As I played more, there was still little known about the characters, which somewhat affected the flow and story of the game. Like I didn’t know why the character was on this journey. Was it because it was for love of the dead girl or did he have a different agenda? The lack of info just made it seem like I was just completing the task to ultimately beat the game without story or substance. Other than that it became a little more fun to play and a bit challenging as I had to find out how to defeat each colossus.



    Design:

    To start off, there were some good elements about the game. The artistic design was very good; from the vast landscapes and different terrain to each of the colossus themselves. It exemplified the hero’s meager size compared to the vastness of the environment and the colossal size of his enemies. It promoted this sense of fantasy that he was in some foreign land where gods and giants lived.

    Another good element of the game was the different colossi that I had to fight. Instead of classifying this game as an action-adventure, I would say it’s more of an action puzzle game. Each colossus represented a unique level in which I had to figure out how to use different tools whether it was my surrounding environment or the weapons given to me to defeat the boss. For example, for one of the colossi, I had to shoot the bottom of his foot with my bow and arrow so that he would kneel down allowing me to climb his leg to the top of his head where I could kill him. The design of the colossus was well thought of because although there were only a couple ways of killing each boss, the means of getting there was totally left up to the player. For example, for one of the bosses I had the option of scaling the giant by jumping onto his tail or choosing to jump onto some rope hanging from his chin, which was more difficult but faster.

    Some of the bad elements to the game were the navigation of the game and some of the controls. Like I described in my previous log, I was pretty much lost in the beginning of the game, which kind of showed that the navigation of the game wasn’t all too clear. The map given to you in the game has little to no use, because it only provides a map of the landscape and that’s it, no directions or no pinging dot about where you’re suppose to head. So, if you didn’t know how to use the sword, you would be left wandering the entire map. Although it was a little fun riding a horse, it wasn’t too appealing because it was like driving a bulldozer. The horse could hardly maneuver in small areas and in order to keep running I had to keep tapping x.

    Another problem that I seemed to start noticing as I played more and more was that the camera angles were always messing up my direction. For example, I was climbing up a colossi’s leg and he was shaking which moved the camera around, so in order to get my camera angle back on my hero, I had to manually rotate the camera to actually see where I was going. It felt like I was fighting the default camera view all the time, which made maneuvering difficult.

    Another drawback to the game was the time spent climbing or waiting for the colossi to do something so you can attack it. If I fell off the colossi I would have to wait another minute or so before he would try to attack me again, which became a little irritating. In another instance, there was a walkway that I had to walk up in order to reach the next colossi. At the end of the walkway was a jump that I had to make to get to another platform, but because I missed it and fell, I had to spend another 30 seconds or so walking all the way back up and trying the jump again.

    In conclusion, although each colossus was challenging and sparked a little amount of fun, the overall game and game play didn’t suit my appeal. The several drawbacks about the game allow little to no replay value and the lack of story makes the game a little bland. There was no reward system so there was a sense of repetitiveness as you were teleported back to the “main center”, just to go out and do the task all over again with no immediate reward. Although, one good thing that I take from this game that I might be able to use in my own project is the use of puzzles on a live action monster. The incorporation of puzzle like features into the action of the game was a genius feature.

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    Jan 25th, 2008 at 22:45:05     -    Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)

    Gamelog Entry #1

    Summary:

    The game I have chosen to play is Shadow of Colossus on PS2. It’s an action adventure type game where you start off with a character named Wander who is attempting to revive the lost soul of a girl named Mono. In order to revive her he must defeat these colossal giants.

    Game play:

    While I started playing the game, I was a bit confused on where I was supposed to go because I wasn’t given any direction until I realized that the sword when in sunlight focuses the reflection of the light in the direction you’re suppose to go. My initial thought on this game was that it wasn’t very explicit and easy to understand. For example, there was no background story to any of the characters, so it just felt like you we’re being thrown into a world without much information. Additionally when I came to the area where the first boss was located I was wandering around for 15 minutes trying to figure out how to get to the top of the hill. Only until I read the walkthrough did I realize that the character could climb, and that I had to climb a certain area of the wall to get to the top. I’d have to say that I was a little irritated running around the map trying to figure out what I was suppose to do. After scaling the wall I came to the first colossi. To defeat the colossus I had locate certain weak points by shining my sword upon it. Then I had to figure out that by jumping onto its leg and stabbing it made him kneel down, allowing me to jump on his back and run up to his head where his other weak spot was. By stabbing his head I was able to defeat the giant.

    So far, I like the graphics and art to the game because it gives it a real ancient majestic feeling. In terms of flow, I didn’t really feel the flow because I was stuck trying to figure things out for awhile and because of that, the game didn’t really arouse my enthusiasm, but I would have to see after another session.

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