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    Mar 6th, 2008 at 00:45:13     -    Star Wars: Republic Commando (PC)

    Gamelog Entry#1

    Summary
    Star Wars: Republic Commando is a science fiction themed tactical first person shooter. The player is given the role of the leader of a four clone elite commando squad. The setting is set during an era in the Star Wars universe that is mostly fought in large part by cloned humans and autonomous robots. The player must utilize weapons, terrain, and squad mates to successfully complete the mission assigned and help turn the tide of the Clone War for the Galactic Republic.

    Gameplay

    Given that this is a first person shooter that is played with a computer keyboard and mouse, the controls are relatively easy to pick with anyone familiar to the control scheme of FPS’s. The game did well to provide a very enjoyable and interactive gameplay experience. What set this game apart from other first person shooters was the depth of interaction I was given with my squad mates. I was given a great deal of freedom in how I wanted my squad to defend, attack, or monitor during play. For example, going down a long straight path filled with enemies, I was able to assign a squad mate to hang far behind the rest of us in order to provide sniper support in order to allow us to find cover and neutralize the enemy. Other orders could be to breach a door with explosives or software hacking, manning turrets, and taking other offensive positions. The freedom given to the player in solving battlefield conflicts is enormous. I felt I had a more intimate interaction with the game since my squad mates would listen to my orders. The freedom of choice in this game also helped with the gameplay experience by creating conflict. For every situation I had a variety of ways to approach them which led me to think where I could best make the use of 4 soldiers and limited ammunition against entire armies.

    The interface of the game and weapons further added to the general positive gameplay experience. As a soldier in a technologically advanced army, I had been given an advanced interactive helmet with a H.U.D. which allowed me to communicate with squad mates, monitor health and ammunition, and navigate to waypoints. The player uses this interactive H.U.D. to view the environment, aim, and use the said features previously mentioned. This H.U.D. added an extra layer of authenticity that helps the player feel like an actual republic commando. While there are a few weapons available, I never felt bored with any. Each reflected the culture of the user that it came from. For example, the well financed Grand Army of The Republic gave their commandos weapons that were quick, adaptable, and lethal. The standard commando issue DC- 15 rifle acted provided a role as an efficient plasma rifle, long range sniper, and anti- armor fire in one sleek black package. Weapons used by greedy and violent mercenaries usually looked like it consisted of scrap metal and junk while using older technology. These weapon’s fire rates, damage, and accuracy made them very distinct from one another. The variety of weapons further added to the tactical gameplay of Republic Commando by allowing me to decide what weapon would be more suitable for each conflict.

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    Mar 6th, 2008 at 00:44:45     -    Star Wars: Republic Commando (PC)

    Gamelog Entry #2

    Gameplay
    As the player progresses through each level, new weapons and enemies were slowly introduced. I felt that this progression allowed the player to spend enough time with each weapon and enemy and discover the strengths and weaknesses of both.

    One major flaw that I found was the quantity of health stations in the game. They were found in what I felt too many locations. By doing this the game looses a bit of its difficulty edge since the player can find a healing station in the general vicinity. Although I did enjoy having that luxury at times, I knew that if they were less in number I would be more weary over my movement in enemy infested settings. Although not a huge drawback, it does give the player a sort of safety blanket that it could do without.

    Design
    Levels through out the game were well put together. Various ways to tactically trek through the environment were placed. Settings were graphically appealing (for the time of release) and interesting to explore. Setting ranged from heavily vegetated forests, barren desert worlds, and even a drifting ghost space craft.

    The first campaign that I was assigned involved helping an infantry offensive on enemy territory, later it is changed to destroying part of a battle droid factory due to the haphazardness of war. It acted as an introduction to the game’s interface and proved to be very enjoyable while still teaching me the way to interact with the game. Factors such as having my commanding officer change my mission objectives mid way into a mission due to the termination of another fellow commando squad added to the sense of reality; it felt like if I was in an actual science fictional war. Progressing into the game, I was shipped off to other places around the galaxy where they needed covert operations to handle a conflict. The way the game submerges the player in this alternate universe is fantastic. The designers created missions that sounded completely logical if the setting was in a technologically advanced universe. For example, the Republic Army found a missing capital spaceship and wanted to investigate why it went missing without alerting anybody, their solution comes in the form of a four clone commando unit. These missions are realistic in this fictitious world which greatly added an addictive realism on top of an addictive gameplay.

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    Feb 21st, 2008 at 00:12:21     -    Super Mario World (SNES)

    Gamelog Entry #1
    Summary
    In Super Mario World, the player takes on the role of one of the Mario Brothers in a new world. The player will once again face off against various enemies across dangerous terrain to advance in the game. Bowser has (Surprise surprise!) kidnapped Princess Toadstool, and it is the goal of the game to rescue her. The format of the game has not changed, it is still a side scrolling platformer.

    Game Play
    People familiar with the control scheme of the Super Mario Bros. Series should have no trouble picking up the control and going. The controls remain relatively the same. Enemies are neutralized by stomping...etc. A new addition which was absent in earlier games was the addition of Yoshi, a friendly ally to the Mario Bros. Yoshi added new way to move,attack, and defend in the game. The player now could plug into a new slew of power ups on top of the previous mushroom and fireflower.


    I experienced a very fluid sense of action progressing through levels. The areas never got so inactive that i was bored, or too hectic that it was impossible to move without dying. Enemies were as fun to defeat as they were challenging. The variety increased the way to approach them. No longer were most just "stompable ". Bob-ombs blew up after you stepped on them and charging chucks would try to jump on you.

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    Feb 21st, 2008 at 00:04:36     -    Super Mario World (SNES)

    Gamelog Entry #2

    The replay value on this game has increased dramatically from the previous series installment. The major factor into this is due to the amount of secrets that are in the game. Levels are filled with secret passages and power ups. The addition of these allows for the player to have a relatively large amount of freedom in how to complete the game. For example, if the player chooses to spend some of the alloted time in a level to search out pipes that lead somewhere, the end result might lead to a short cut in the overworld that would lead to the end of the game sooner. There are two main ways to approach the game from this, the player can either speed through the levels to finish the game quicker or spend time seeking secret areas to extend the game with new levels.

    I enjoyed the themes that the game possessed. The settings were consistent throughout the game. If the player was in an underground overworld, the lighting, terrain, and music would reflect this. It would be dark, rocky, and have a darker tone to the music. These characteristics also extended to the levels themselves. The music also was astonishing in by itself. It reflected the game play in an incredibly well put together manner. If the game play forced the player to be constantly jumping and moving, the fast tempo light hearted music would reflect it. Areas that involved much dark emotions such as the Haunted Houses or the Castles would half slow dreary and sinister sounding music to add to the mood.

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