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    Mar 6th, 2008 at 13:15:23     -    Sonic the Hedgehog (GEN)

    2nd Gamelog entry:
    Gameplay: My emotional state as I continued to play Sonic the Hedgehog didn’t change significantly. I wasn’t emotionally involved with the game but I was very much physically involved. I was captured by the speed and swiftness of the game. It progressed so quickly that I felt I had to have my eyes set on the screen at all times. I grew even fonder of Sonic as I became more appreciative of his methods of attack. Since the plot doesn’t play a big role in the game itself I didn’t feel any kind of emotion towards the avatar, I merely enjoyed his design.
    I wouldn’t exactly call Sonic the Hedgehog an interesting game but it is certainly entertaining. Although there isn’t much thought process involved in the gameplay experience itself, the game is able to capture the attention of the player completely, similar to other games of its age such as Super Mario Bros. There isn’t much social interaction between the characters in the game, making it even more of a game that involves merely eye-to-hand coordination and little complex thought.
    Design: At the time of Sonic the Hedgehog’s release it was one of the fastest platform games on the market. Unlike most other platform games, the game’s levels were designed to encourage the player to progress through the level quickly. Slops, loops, and springs are all available to boost and challenge the player to reach high speeds.
    Sonic’s main method of attack is very unique. As a hedgehog he is able to curl up into a ball by either jumping up or rolling along the ground and can thereby attack his enemies by colliding with them. When Sonic rolls down slopes curled up in a ball he is able to gain speed and most slopes were made to be irregular (a feature very rare in most platform games of the time). The irregularities in the slope affected the speed and manner in which Sonic ascended down them. Including elementary physics in the game made it revolutionary for its time. It gave Sonic the Hedgehog a more realistic feel as well as a more fast-paced gameplay experience.
    The game has six levels: the Green Hill Zone, a tropical environment; Marble Zone, an ancient ruin; Spring Yard Zone, a mountain city; Labyrinth Zone, an aquatic maze; Star Light Zone, a roller coaster-like urban level; and the Final Zone which features the battle between Sonic the Hedgehog and Doctor Robutnik.
    The challenges do not change throughout the game. They are kept interesting by the speed of the game itself. The avatar is constantly affected by the slopes and irregularities of the ground on which he travels therefore Sonic is constantly moving at a varying speed. This makes the challenges of the game interesting throughout the gameplay experience.
    The tone of the gameworld is that of a fantastical land but the storyline doesn’t exactly much it. Although the plot is fantastical, it plays such a small role in the game that it doesn’t seem to match the environment.

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    Mar 6th, 2008 at 11:39:49     -    Sonic the Hedgehog (GEN)

    I chose Sonic the Hedgehog because it was one of the first video games I ever played.
    Summary: Sonic the Hedgehog is a platform game that was developed by Sonic. In the game, Sonic must prevent Doctor Robutnik from collecting the six Chaos Emeralds in an attempt to rule South Island. He must travel through six zones, each made up of three stages until he confronts Robutnik in the final zone.
    Gameplay: At the time of the game’s release, Sonic the Hedgehog was one of the fastest platform games. Sonic can run, jump, and roll at speeds significantly higher from those in other video games of the time. High-falls, springs, and loops were available to both boost and challenge the player to reach higher speeds. Indeed, the speed of the game kept me from being distracted by things around me. I was so engulfed in Sonic’s world and so involved in his speedy movements that I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen in fear that I would miss something and lose the game.
    Sonic is a great avatar for the game. Children love him because he looks like the cartoon characters they watch on TV and adults love it for Sonic for its speed and agility. The plot of the story, however, seems to play a very small role in the game. I think that if the plot was made a bit more intricate and was more important to the game it would make Sonic’s world more fantastical and would therefore be more enjoyable for young children to play.
    I definitely experienced flow while playing the game. Sonic’s speed makes the game extremely enjoyable to play because the player must always stay concentrated on the game and can’t be distracted by whatever is around him or her. This made the game more interesting and fun to play.

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    Feb 21st, 2008 at 15:18:21     -    Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)

    First Gamelog Entry:
    • Summary: The Legend of Zelda is a game published by Nintendo. The game is set in a fantasy land called Hyrule in which the Royal Family of Hyrule resides. The playable protagonist is a boy named Link who aims to rescue the Princess Zelda from the antagonist Ganon. A former human king of thieves, Ganon has become a dark demon emperor. For the most part his motives include domination of Hyrule and the world beyond it. By collecting eight fragments of the Triforce, Link is eventually capable of Princess Zelda. The Triforce is referred to as “The Golden Power”. It is a sacred relic that represents the essence of the Golden Goddesses who created the realm of Hyrule.
    • Gameplay: What I enjoyed most about the game is its fantastical storyline. The game was made much more enjoyable by the plot that it centers around. My first hour of gameplay was relatively confusing considering it was my first time playing the game. I enjoyed the different elements of the game. It made Zelda much different from other games I played because it incorporated elements of all different genres. This also made the game a little more difficult, and therefore gave it replay value and made it more enjoyable.
    During the game playing experience I found that I really felt close to the protagonist Link. After reading through the story at the beginning I found that it really inspired me to do well. The story itself, taking place in a fantasy world and being considered fitting for a child, made the game better because I felt as if I was playing a kid’s game again. As opposed to other games like Grand Theft Auto, this game felt like the games of my childhood.
    Second Gamelog Entry:
    • Gameplay: The game incorporates aspects from action games, role-playing games, adventure games, and puzzle games. The goal of the game is to collect the eight fragments of the Triforce and thereby free Princess Zelda. The game begins with the player controlling Link from an overhead perspective, armed with a small shield. If Link enters the cave he receives a sword with which he can defend himself. Throughout the game merchants, gamblers, old ladies, and others, help guide Link with clues.
    Link’s progress is barred by creatures he has to battle to locate the entrances to nine underground dungeons. Link must successfully navigate through each dungeon, which is designed as a maze-like collection of rooms, to obtain one of the eight pieces of the Triforce. The dungeons hide items that could be useful such as a recorder with magical properties.
    At this point pretty much had the game down. It became much more enjoyable because I had a better understanding of how I needed to play to succeed. However, I found I felt a bit more disconnected with the storyline. I figure perhaps once you understand how the game works and there are really very few surprises left the player disconnects from the storyline. The game remained very enjoyable and I must say, I’m pretty sure I’ll be playing it again.
    • Design: What makes this game very unique is the ability to take different paths. Link can wander the overworld freely, finding and buying items. This allows for several different ways of playing the game and thereby gives it replay value. Although this is quite common in video games today, at the time of the Legend of Zelda’s release it was nearly unheard of. Legend of Zelda is a good game because of its storyline, its replay value, and the incorporation of aspects from different game genres to create a complex yet easy to play videogame that most anyone can enjoy.
    After completion of the game, the player can even access a more difficult quest known as the Second Quest. At the time of the game’s release, few games offered a “second quest” with completely different levels.
    Challenges that exist in the game include the navigating through the dungeons and defending Link from the monsters that guard them. The first six dungeons have entrances that can be seen and the last three are hidden. Finding the last three dungeons is also a challenge faced by the player. While navigating through the dungeons the player often finds useful items that act as a form of reward structure.

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    Jan 14th, 2008 at 23:59:25     -    Frogger (GBC)

    Frogger is a game most teenagers today are pretty familiar with. It’s hard to believe such a simple game would have gained such great popularity, even in the advanced technological gaming world of today. However, gamers across the world still play Frogger religiously.
    I decided to play Frogger on my Gameboy Color because I remembered the game from my childhood in the days when I was still very impressed by the purple cover for my Gameboy. The rules are that the player must guide three frogs across roads with motor vehicles that include trucks, buses, cars, taxis, and motorcycles. The player also guides the frogs through rivers by jumping on moving logs or the backs of turtles. He or she must avoid alligators, snakes, and otters in the river but can catch bugs and escort a female frog for bonuses. In higher levels the player must guide the frog over slippery ice so that it can slide directly on a moving log rather than falling into water. The levels are timed therefore every player must guide his or her frog to its “frog home” as quickly as possible. I believe that I largely enjoyed the game because of my nostalgia. The game is simple and to the point and in that sense similar to other games developed around the same time such as PacMan. The game requires little thinking and planning by the player and is thereby easily entertaining.
    By the second round of playing Frogger I became more frustrated with the game’s simplicity. Although it was still entertaining enough for 45 minutes it seemed the challenge was gone. As I advanced through the levels I realized there was little surprise coming up in the game. I didn’t expect any new aspect to it, anything to bring more excitement to playing the game. Also, Frogger required little thinking or strategy. Unlike the video games of today that are often constructed as puzzles, while playing Frogger it seemed I was going as fast as I could and hoping for the best.
    It’s hard to say what aspects of the game are particularly innovative since it was created over twenty years ago. When compared to another famous game created at around the same time, Frogger is different from PacMan in that the layout of the levels changes. The player doesn’t just maneuver around an area that looks completely the same, rather he or she must bring their frog over busy roads, through rivers, and over slippery ice.
    What makes Frogger such a good game is its simplicity. Since the game requires little to no strategy to complete the player can play it time and time again without being bored of using the same strategy over and over to win. The fact that the levels are timed also adds to the difficulty of the game, often driving the player to act hastily and thereby lose and try again. Frogger isn’t a very challenging game because of its simplicity. Still, the player often finds him/herself frustrated by their inability to complete certain levels which require quick thinking and eye-to-hand coordination. The game offers little conflict at all except perhaps for misunderstanding what opposes the player’s completion of the level and what can be used by the player as a tool. The levels are increasingly faster and challenging. They are all designed in a very similar manner although later levels are made more difficult by including slippery ice that requires the player maneuver the frog over the ice at exactly the right time for a log to carry it across the water. The player in this game is rewarded with nothing more than seeing his or her name at the top of the list of players as having gotten farthest in the game so far.

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