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    Mar 4th, 2008 at 04:41:09     -    Blood Will Tell (PS2)

    Gameplay 2:

    What I found frustrating about this game was that there was little else to do beside engaging in battles. Usually I wouldn't mind that, but I was just really unhappy with how lacklustering the game was. When I took control of Dororo for the second time, I was suppose to explore two floors of a house to look for items that would help Hyakki prove that a village's "protector" was actually a demon. The rooms that I had to explore were very scarce. The only items that I found were the ones essential to the storyline and power-ups after I defeated the occasional skeleton here and there. There wasn't much else to do in regards to exploring. The game didn't seem to want the player to be able to explore this fictional world, which in my opinion completely defeats the purpose of video games. If a player isn't encouraged to explore and learn about the gameworld than how is that person suppose to connect to the game?

    I understand that as a third person action game, Blood Will Tell isn't suppose to be as time consuming and indepth as an RPG, but there are other games of the same genre such as The Legend of Zelda that I felt did a much better job with player and game interactivity.

    I will admit that I may have spoken too soon when I said that the bosses weren't difficult. The last two that I have fought have been harder. I actually haven't beaten the newest one yet, she keeps killing me with her crazy lightening and wind attacks. It's odd because in all the boss battles I haven't been able to heal myself. Hyakki doesn't have access to heal himself and there aren't any healing items to pick up during the boss battles. It makes fighting rather difficult, if not annoying.

    It's a shame because this game includes some of my favorite things: samurai, fighting, guns and swords violence, and demons....yet I don't really like it. I'm not sure if I'll actually finish playing this game. I probably will, if only to spite those damn demons, but it definitely won't be on the top of my To-Do List, if I even had such a list.

    Design:
    The idea of a limbs containing an arsenal of weapons is brilliant and amazing, but the execution of the game as a whole left me wanting. There were some design elements that I really liked such as Dororo's participation in battles. I also enjoyed how even if his health gauge ran out, he would automatically be revived as long as Hyakki was still alive. That enabled me to concentrate on my own health and not have to worry about protecting the A.I.

    The game also had a nifty map in the top right corner of the screen that marked my destination and where I was on the map. It prevented me from getting lost, which I came to appreciate as I was navigating through a dumpy village with a swarm of monsters behind me and low health.

    But despite that this game had something major working against it: the level design. Of course the game world is expected to look drab since demons are terrorizing villages, but still, this was just sad. From what I have played so far, the levels looked like they weren't a top priority. How I navigated through the levels was really basic. What's even more is that their physical appearance was lacking. The environment seemed empty and desolate, but not in a way that would help the story. It just came off as a half-hearted attempt at recreating ancient Japan. Maybe things get better later in the game, but somehow I doubt that.

    ****disclaimer: so GameLog says that I gave this game a rating of 5 stars out of 5.....yeah, it's lying. I don't, more like a 1 or 2.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Mar 4th, 2008 at 04:44:31.

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    Mar 4th, 2008 at 01:48:49     -    Blood Will Tell (PS2)

    Summary:
    Blood Will Tell is a a action platform game where the player controls Hyakkimaru, a samurai who has had 48 of his body parts stolen by demons (the Fiends). Hyakkimaru has a mad arsenal of weapons built into his body such as: swords built into his arms along with a gun and a cannon in his kneecap. He uses his skills and weapons to defeat the Fiends and in the process reclaim his lost body parts.

    Gameplay Entry 1:
    Alright, call me naive but I actually expected more from this game. Now I remember why it has been in storage for a couple years and not in my PS2. After loading my previous save from 3 years ago?--I realized that I forgot all the controls for the game and what my short term goal was. Luckily this game isn't very deep and complicated. I found that after my first run-in with a swarm of enemies I was able to pick up which buttons did what.
    Hyakkimaru has some pretty flashy moves in battle, like whipping out his sword arms and spinning in circles to do massive damage to mutliple enemies, but some of his weapons are difficult to use. His arm-gun (one of his arms can double as a gun, you shoot bullets from his elbow. It looks cool) doesn't auto-lock onto enemies and sometimes the aim is really off. His kneecap cannon is my favorite weapon of his simply because it is the most ridiculous thing that someone can think of. It does heavy damage, but unfortunately it takes too long to use. By the time Hyakkimaru bends his knee and I aim for a demon, it's already on me, poking me with its sharp claws and teeth.
    The battles come at the player in waves, which kept me occupied and entertained for a while. Eventually, though the battles became repetitive and happened too often. The boss battles weren't too difficult. They looked pretty intimidating, but since this game is an third person action game all I had to do was what one does in every boss battle for this genre: run in circles and when the boss has finished his attack move, slash & hack, and repeat.
    An interesting aspect of this game is Dororo. This little sidekick is mostly an A.I but becomes a playable character at certain points in the game. So far I've only controlled him when puzzles are involved, he's not used much as a fighter. During battle though as Hyakki, the player can issue commands to Dororo. You can tell him to fight, stay close, collect items, or search for items. I found this to be a useful feature of the game, especially since the player can only access the Item Inventory through Dororo's menu.
    So far I'm slightly disappointed with the game. The idea behind it is very appealing: having a samurai with built in weapons fight demons, but so far the game fails at keeping me excited and interested in finishing it.

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    Feb 21st, 2008 at 02:17:56     -    Super Smash Brothers (N64)

    Entry 2
    Game play:
    I decided to take a small break from the Free for All action and focused on the other one person options that the game offered, like Break the Target and Board the Platform levels. Each character has a two levels designed specifically for them; one requires the player to break a certain number of targets and the other requires that they touch, “board” platforms. These obstacle courses were fun and challenging. The courses are set up in a way that makes use of the character’s abilities. I found that some courses were much easier for me to navigate through and complete, whereas with some I was never able to beat.

    Design:
    Though the graphics are a little outdated, it wasn’t distracting. I thought that it still held up well to present times. The graphics were cute and playful, which works well with Smash Bros. because it is a game that focuses on playfulness and fun. I thought it was really interesting how the environment interacted with the characters. Certain levels had moving ledges, acid(?) that would rise up and burn characters, etc. There was even one level where ships shot at me. This interactive environment makes the battle even more challenging because not only did I have to focus on my opponents, but what dangers lurked in the background as well.
    The multi person and single person levels were nicely done. Single person levels like the Board the Platform and Break the Targets stress the importance of speed and strategy because both levels pit the player against a clock. It’s a nice switch from fighting and helps to separate Smash from other fighting games.

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    Feb 20th, 2008 at 23:43:54     -    Super Smash Brothers (N64)

    Summary:
    Super Smash Bros. is a fighting game that contains various Nintendo characters to choose from. The Free for All mode allows up to four players to fight against each other. Players can unlock secret characters by completing the Training Mode for multiple characters.

    Game play Entry 1:
    This game is addicting to play. In my opinion it is among the top most successful fighting games. The fact that the characters are from different games all rolled into one fighting game is very interesting. It’s fun to have well-loved characters like Mario and Link, put them in entirely different environments, and have them interact with one another. Though the fighting stages are somewhat lacking and definitely not as compelling as the Melee version, each stage has unique characteristics that caused me to adjust to the stage and even play with different characters depending on who would fit best in that stage.
    I spent most of my time playing with my friends in the Free for All Mode. This game is definitely more entertaining when playing against other people. I played against the computer for about 30 minutes, but when I started playing against my friends that’s when the game became more compelling. I liked how I could choose if I wanted the computer to either fight back, dodge, stand, or evade in the Training Mode, but it got boring rather quickly. Playing against other people is just more engaging and required me to put forth more effort.

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