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    Feb 21st, 2008 at 02:00:59     -    Kirby's Adventure (NES)

    Gameplay
    I really like how colorful and bouncy the whole atmosphere of the game is. From the music to the artwork to the "cutscenes" there is a general happy go lucky feeling that you don't often get in games anymore, they're almost always shooting for realism and physics and whatnot and forgot that the core of a game is just pure fun. I really liked the bonus rooms, the interesting little mini-games that popped up here and there kept the game fresh and provided some breaks to the sometimes monotonous level traversal.
    I feel it's really important to stress the humor in the game as important as well, because it really left a legacy for video games down the line from the NES to keep a sense of humor and childishness while still keeping people entertained, since it's easy to forget all about the world around you and just envelop yourself in the carefree gameworld.

    Design
    Again, the bonus levels were really a nice thing to have because of the variety in gameplay they offered the user. Jumping around on platforms can only be so much fun, so having to change tactics once in a while kept me alert and enjoying the game. Also, the game's focus on a multitude of items and enemies awoke the RPG item hog within me and prompted the seeking out of every last cool ability; being able to form an objective like that out of thin air and just play how you want to play is a nice feature of the game, too. There's not much mention ingame of the story, so it can be about whatever you want it to. I really appreciate that.

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    Feb 21st, 2008 at 00:56:45     -    Kirby's Adventure (NES)

    Summary
    Kirby's Adventure is a classic side-scrolling platformer for the NES. You control a pink fluffy balloon of a creature called Kirby, who has the ability to take and use the abilities of his enemies by swallowing them, along with the ability to inflate and fly above their heads. It combines classic "get to the exit through a maze of rooms" platformer gameplay with the added element of a stream of constantly changing enemies who provide endless entertainment in the form of cool abilities.

    Gameplay
    I've always loved Kirby because of the absurdity of the character and his world. The cartoony-ness of the whole gameworld, with a Walrus that craps out ice that he throws at you, and the ability to rock out on a microphone to destroy your enemies, is way too ridiculous to take seriously. The downside of this, of course, is the lack of or perhaps just extreme abstraction of the game's objective. I'm not quite sure why I'm going around fighting huge blue walruses, but damned if I don't like it.

    I love how the game flowed, the variety of levels and abilties kept the game interesting, and it never got too hard to handle, it was just fun. The only real complaint I have is how simple it all is. You always kill bosses by hiding until they spit out something you can suck up and spit at them. There's not much variety there, which left me wanting a more complete experience. Don't get me wrong, the game is still plenty fun, but I guess back in the days of the NES, simplicity wasn't a factor since it was the newest fad.

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    Jan 26th, 2008 at 03:06:44     -    Chrono Trigger (SNES)

    Gameplay
    I have to say, the character Frog is probably my favorite of the cast of CT. The nobleness of his character, with a little snappy humor tossed in here and there, creates a great heroic atmosphere reminiscent of samurai movies. How badass Marle is revealed to be is pretty cool, too. I mean, come on, a princess who fires a mean crossbow and can kiss your wounds to heal them. Oh yeah, and you saved her. The range of characters that all have at least a little depth to them is a pretty refreshing thing to see, too bad some of today's game designers have forgotten that in lieu of pretty graphics.

    The way the battle activation system works is pretty much my favorite system of any RPG I've ever played. Random boss battles are a pain in the butt and increase the time it takes to go from point A to B by a factor of (insert approximate rating of how sadistic your console is feeling today). The way you can avoid danger by choosing the right course of action or by remembering where you've encountered monsters in the past is really helpful if I'm just too engrossed in the story to want to fight a billion imps.

    DESIGN
    I really appreciate the tiered rewards system the game presents to the player. Like many RPG nuts, I like to go for bigger booms by getting the best items possible, and the way the game has a range of interesting and visually appealing spells, spell combos, items, and enemy attacks really hooked me into the game without even considering the other factors.

    Like I mentioned, the battle system is amazing, from the ability to choose whether to use timer based or turn based battles to the game's treatment for the drudgery of random encounters. The somewhat interactive and location based way the characters fight is pretty enticing. Area of Effect spells and skills are abundant, so this system adds that degree of randomness that seems necessary for an RPG.

    I really liked the game's use of decent music, as well. Chrono Trigger is the only SNES game I still listen to musically arranged versions of. I'm picky so I'd say that's high praise. Music provokes moods in the player, which is important for him to feel in the role. There was no shortage of examples of this observation, and coincidently I haven't found many games since I originally played it that could pull me in that well.

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    Jan 25th, 2008 at 13:28:07     -    Chrono Trigger (SNES)

    SUMMARY
    With the arrival of the SNES, with a more powerful graphics processor and more memory, developers had a lot more freedom to make a visually appealing, engrossing game. This can be readily seen in Chrono Trigger, an RPG where you are placed in the role of a boy who discovers a number of time gates that lead between different eras, meeting people along the way. The shining moments of this game are anything but hard to find; the music, plotline, and battle system are all exceptionally well balanced and fun, and keep you interested up until the very end of the game.

    GAMEPLAY

    One thing I definitely have to mention right off the bat is how well the story is being told. There's something about the way the plotline of the game develops like a movie that is really enticing. The main character's life seems totally normal within the confines of his universe until he is called to go on the fabled hero's journey of literary fame and his world is turned upside down. The game influences your emotions a bit, as well, by creating that contrast of normality thrown into chaos. I have to say it was pretty exciting going through that first time gate, even having played the game before. Speaking of time gates, I also really enjoy the visual effect they create with that, as it's something that couldn't have been done before that system's arrival, or at least not as prettily.

    The characters in the game are pretty cool, I have to say. The way Marle follows you around and makes comments turns her into a character who you care about, and when she gets knocked into the past, the sequence in which you psych yourself up and follow her gets me pretty gung ho to go save her. The character development really is the main reason why the story is so engrossing, because while the characters may not be as vibrant as in some of our finer literature, they make them quirky and funny enough to be memorable, something that's important in an RPG.

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