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    Mar 6th, 2008 at 02:28:01     -    Counter Strike (PC)

    Gameplay 2

    In my second hour of gameplay, I participated in a "scrim" with some friends of mine. For someone of my experience, it's the primary fun of the game. Scrimmages are intense, fun, and sometimes overwhelming. They require complete concentration and winning a scrim gives the player a huge sense of accomplishment, especially against a well ranked team. There is a code of conduct in these matches, but while teams switch sides, trash talk ensues. The second hour scrims did not go as well, and I was very unhappy. I made a few bad decisions and caused my team to lose a few rounds we shouldn't have lost. Once again, however, the experience was intense and extremely engaging.


    Design

    Counter-Strike is innovative because of its multiplayer component and "spray patterns" as well as hit boxes. One of the things that keeps Counter-Strike interesting is the fact that the game can never be mastered completely. Instead of "point and shoot," bullets are altered by a number of things. Moving makes firing more inaccurate, and holding the buttons down makes "spray" go in a pattern, which is semi memorizable but not easily repeatable. Therefore, some prefer to "burst" or fire one or two at a time, and some prefer to spray and try to control recoil. Almost every gun has a different firing pattern, and the best way to be fired, aimed, and how to move varies with each gun. There is also a huge element of sound; with proper sound, or good headphones, I am able to hear someone take a grenade out from very far away, or hear footsteps. This alerts me that there are people there and allows me to position myself for when they come out. The strategy of these 5v 5 matches is unrivaled in any other game, the coordination and skill required to compete at Counter-Strike is enormous. Counter-Terrorists must protect multiple bomb sites on most maps (in scrims, most will assign one or two to hide in each bomb site, and one in a "middle area") and have to watch every entrance and exit to the bomb sites as well as other areas. Terrorists can utilize flash grenades, fake a walk, or do other things to throw the other team off, as well as many other strategies to either kill all the counter terrorists or set the bomb and get it to explode. The levels are varied and require different strategies, and the intricacies of these matches is simply astounding.

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    Mar 6th, 2008 at 02:27:48     -    Counter Strike (PC)

    Gamelog - Counter Strike

    Counter Strike is a first person shooter, played mostly online with other players. The players are able to choose between terrorist and counter-terrorist teams, and each team has objectives that they can choose to do, or kill the other team.

    Gameplay

    In Counter-Strike, the player takes the position of a Terrorist or Counter-Terrorist and play against other characters. Because there are no characters, story, or progression, most of the fun of Counter Strike comes from the gameplay itself and the social interaction while playing. Counter Strike, since it is played against other players rather than AI, has much more of a rush when played with others, especially in an organized 5v5 "scrim" where a pre-made team (usually using some sort of voice communication system such as ventrilo) plays another pre-made team, 15 rounds on each side. Trash talk is absolutely normal, and accusations of cheating generally fly in public games (I'm unable to go into public games anymore, my ability to hear people and shoot through walls generally gets me banned for what they think is cheating extremely quickly). The social interaction is enormous, so much so that many will travel to PC cafe's or have LAN parties (everyone brings their computer to one persons house so they can play together). Being able to see the other players is very fun, and enhances gameplay. Counter Strike is very fun, and it is so big that there are websites devoted to videos of people playing.

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    Feb 21st, 2008 at 01:24:03     -    Super Smash Brothers (N64)

    Gameplay 2

    In the second hour of my play, I invited a few friends over to play the multi player mode. While the single player mode is fun, the multi player is the true fun of the game. We started by playing a free for all 4 player game, with stock (5 lives each). Because one of my friends was much better than the rest of us, we all ganged up on him first. One of the great aspects of the game is the copious trash talk that often happens; anyone who bragged was intentionally targeted first, and there were almost "alliances" where I would leave one of my friends alone in order to try to eliminate someone else. The game continued to be very fun, and never gets old. There are an infinite number of combinations of moves and tricks, and there is no "skill cap" to the game, making it have the same appeal as a game like Counter-Strike.

    Design

    As a game, Super Smash Brothers is very innovative. The use of the screen as a "death point" is original, and the percent damage system simply adds to it. Each percent of damage amplifies the distance each move knocks you out. Someone at two or three hundred percent damage will fly significantly farther from the same kick as someone with 10% damage. This system, combined with the amazingly designed levels, makes for engrossing gameplay. The levels have obstacles, places to fall, and moving platforms. Unfortunately, a large portion of the game turns into who is better at edge guarding and whether your character has a spike. Nonetheless, the ability to dodge, shield, use items and double jumps make the game require an immense amount of skill to play well. Also, the "delay" between attacks, where you can't move, are important gameplay mechanics, as well as each characters run speed and the time it takes the character to punch or kick. The levels are varied, and provide various challenges; the Zelda level has tornados, the Pokemon stage has moving platforms and Pokemon that come out of the opening in the center platform, the Donkey Kong level has the barrels, and so on. The game continues to be interesting for as long as the player wants it to be because of its mechanics, and there is almost infinite room for improvement. The game uses 3d characters in a 3d landscape, but the characters can only move on a set path, making the game very fluid. Super Smash Brothers was also one of the best games for the time that was designed specifically for multiplayer, and these types of games foster social interaction. There isn't much to change about this game - it is well balanced and well made, and the sequel, Super Smash Brothers Melee, seemed almost a downgrade to me. While it had better graphics, the gameplay and mechanics were not quite as good. The games reward structure relies more on social rewards, and while there are no "upgrades" or other rewards, the satisfaction of beating the other player is a reward in itself.

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    Feb 21st, 2008 at 01:23:03     -    Super Smash Brothers (N64)

    Summary

    In Super Smash Brothers, the player controls one of twelve Nintendo characters, ranging from Mr. Game and Watch to Link and Gannondorf. It is a crossover Fighting game and was revolutionary for its time.

    Gameplay

    While Super Smash Brothers has very little in the way of a real plot, the characters hold emotional attachment as they are characters from previous Nintendo games. It is generally a happy game with upbeat level design, and the constant action keeps all players entertained for the duration. The games story is very simple, but fits the game well. The opening video shows the characters as dolls that come to life. While the single player is fun, the game truly shines in its multi player mode. This mode lets players select teams or free for all, as well as handicap to make the game more fair. There is a heavy social aspect in Super Smash Brothers, and it is at its best with four players engaging in team or free for all battles. The game is well suited for trash talk and social interactions, as well as tournaments. The game is fairly balanced and most characters have a decent chance against any other characters, although the top players have ranked them into "tiers" and few use the lower tier players in competitive play. The game definitely has flow, and makes the player happy with its intense high paced play.

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