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    Mar 6th, 2008 at 00:34:17     -    Medal of Honor: Frontline (PS2)

    Gameplay:
    Granted, there are a million first person shooter games about war and even WWII in particular. Either way I felt that the versatility of this game stands out even within the MOH series itself not only because of the intensity of the six missions that Patterson is led through, but also for the genuine nature of it. The levels vary greatly in their lengths and content, but throughout all of them the player feels satisfaction at the downfall of the enemy or any of the many destructive projects that Lt. Patterson and his squads of American and sometimes British soldiers. What I found most mazing on my second go at the game was the flawless interaction between the player and the game environment, and how well the levels aid in shooting. Not only are there randomly placed barrels containing gunpowder, but also smaller gas tanks that explode with a large enough radius to kill anybody near.

    Design:
    There are many elements to this game's overall design that are still impressive to me such as the ability to shoot through most openings and windows without question. That along with the fact that the levels vary from very open grassland type maps where sniping is essential, to hand-to-hand combat in confined city streets. The way that the towns are depicted as ravaged and battered from war adds to the game's fidelity and mood while also limiting the players movement to the right direction in most cases. Where in modern games, the player would probably just be able to crawl around or over a huge chunk of dislodged concrete, in Metal of Honor: Frontline there has to be an alternate route. I find this completely acceptable given the detail that the game has elsewhere especially in segments of the game where stealth is utilized. That is where I found the true subtlety of the game to lay was in the parts where the slightest wrong move will awaken a guard, or rouse a group of stationary soldiers.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Mar 6th, 2008 at 00:53:56.

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    Mar 6th, 2008 at 00:01:56     -    Medal of Honor: Frontline (PS2)

    Summary:
    The fourth game in the Medal of Honor series is an amazingly concise first-person-shooter game that starts right out with a simulation of D-Day at Omaha beach from the perspective of Lt. Jimmy Patterson. The aim settings are very easy to get adjusted to in the game, and like many games for the PS2 it’s partially automated to lead you through the first level as if it were a training sequence. The game is led primarily by narrative segmentation as it is relaying the story of Sgt. Patterson from D-Day through his experiences in Germany after being surreptitiously shipped overseas in a wooden crate and other such random plot fillers like that. Another thing that plays a dominant role in the game is stealth, and the ability to move unseen or unrecognized. The element of suspense is heavily reliant on this aspect of stealth within the game, but also on the fact that it is a WWII game where the enemy is Nazi Germany. The selection of weapons is something the game thrived on as well as the range of objects to be thrown or utilized in other ways such as the Nazi uniform that Patterson gets before entering the Golden Lion pub in Germany. The shock of being discovered is twice as intense at a Nazi convention, which is another part of the game where the uniform is needed, and the suspense of the plot definitely adds to the intensity of the game and it's magic circle.

    Gameplay:
    Considering that the game was out in 2002, it had very detailed levels that were challenging enough to make the game extremely engaging. The reactions from enemies when they are shot is very realistic as well in how they will fall away from the bullet, as well as die from head shots quicker than any other body part. Many buildings can be accessed for long range shooting and the ability to mount alternate weapons is excellent, but the complexity of the routes throughout the level sometimes leads to confusion as to the proper direction. When you throw grenades, Nazis will often throw it back if it doesn’t blow up quick enough, and when there are other soldiers they will even dive onto it to limit the deaths. I thought that was eerily realistic when I first saw it, but nowadays there are many subtly programmed reactions like that in most first person shooters. A lot of the missions were reminiscent of Metal Gear Solid which I played earlier in the quarter, things like deactivating bombs placed on bridges were based on the same fundamental PS2 actions and buttons. After getting adjusted to the aim sensitivity, the game got increasingly entertaining especially in situations where there's sniping.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Mar 6th, 2008 at 00:13:22.

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    Feb 20th, 2008 at 01:53:09     -    Donkey Kong Country 2 (SNES)

    Summary:
    This game is an excellent sequel, and i think that the Donkey Kong legacy has this game to thank for a lot of its success. The wide variety of backgrounds, and consistency of extra levels throughout the large part of the game I played made this session much easier than say Metal Gear Solid 2:(SOL). The mood of the game is just enough to illustrate the game's difficulty, and accented need for reflexive attention which is not only thanks to the broody graphics, but also the orchestral soundtrack. In the first DKC, I always used Diddy because for one reason or another I could always get him to jump higher than DK, and in this one he could again get higher than Dixie which probably subconsciously motivated all the kids who played the first one to buy the second with its focus being Diddy.

    Gameplay:
    The Maps for level progression were pretty much the same as they were in the first game, usually containing some kind of upward slope, hill or zenith where the boss waits in order for you to be able to pass to the next map.
    As I made my way through the levels, I realized how full immersed one can get inside the "magic circle" of this particular game. Even though it's primarily testing your direct hand-eye coordination, the game's way of addressing that ability is very artsy and fun. It isn't just about getting past the enemies when you think about all of the hidden levels, and the amount of coins that reside in each level. It is always easier to collect coins and of course flawlessly run through levels when you're transformed into a rhinoceros or a swordfish whih is why I liked how sparsely those transformations were placed around this game. Now that I play this game, I find that the skill level required (in terms of eye-had coordination) seems far lower than that of most of today's games which contain not only realistic third person perspective, but also a lot more buttons on the controller. Most of the seven year olds who play games today would have no problem with the reflexivity required to dodge giant bees while hopping from rope to rope over alligators and rolling armadillos. Regardless of this fact, the game remains one of my all time favorites fun wise and even visually and audibly.

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    Feb 20th, 2008 at 01:13:47     -    Donkey Kong Country 2 (SNES)

    Gameplay:
    This game is more than just another platform sequel to me because of it's nostalgic quality, but even after so many years the game still has its difficult parts. Diddy was also my favorite in all the previous games so having it be just him and Dixie in Diddy's Kong Quest was fine in my opinion. This game is so capturing for a number of reasons, but the fact that it was a successful follow up to Donkey Kong Country shows how many upgrades had ben made for this game. The amount of underground levels and side missions is doubled in DKC2, but of course not nearly all of them can be found because most of them require unnecessary risk to find. I love games that still manage to test my reflexes despite their lower standard of visual graphics and age. The thing about DKC2 is that it does so with graphics that were unmatched at its time of release, and I believe can still be appreciate as such. The array of villains this time around is comparable to the first DKC, but the storyline and Donkey Kong's capture gives you an incentive to tackle them even more so than the original.

    Design:
    The graphics for Super Nintendo(ES) are still up to par with the sort of pixelation seen in many hand held game systems nowadays, but I still find them just as entertaining as many photo-realistic shooter games that are out for X-Box 360 or PS3. The levels are very well designed in terms of platform layout, and that is not to mention the background pictures which move much more fluidly than the first DKC, and are a lot cooler in general. There are a lot of subtle design changes from DKC that I noticed when I first played this game, and the players' ability to change into the animals that were usually ridden in the first one was noticeably improved. Also where the first game focused mainly on the idea of industrial filth and mineshaft levels, DKC2 has a lot more levels with pirates, water and boats as opposed to snow and karts. Many things were altered and added for the second game, but there was also a lot that got taken out.

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