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    Oct 13th, 2006 at 18:21:00     -    Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)

    I FINALLY played through the GTA: San Andreas for a third time...what a terrible assignment this was! All kidding aside, I didn't really observe anything new during this stint of gaming. I did feel as though the game was ramping up the diffficulty as a sort of parting gift. Everywhere I turned there were rival gang members chasing me and cops looking to arrest me. One issue of character interaction I noticed was that all of the action is centered around me. I never saw members from my gang shooting at rivals without my orders. If I took a stroll through rival territory and they happened to shoot at me, the cops would stand idly by. But, the second I retaliated police cruisers, helicopters, SWAT trucks and the national guard were out to catch me. This raises the issue of believable characters for interaction. Walking around San Andreas is like being a celebrity. Everyone in sight has something to say to me. They all watch me, hingin their next decision on what I do. The characters exist as meaningless figures, poised to take action as soon as a specific event is triggered. What ensues is not interaction, but domination of the space, wherein the player decides what events will happen. I look forward to absolution of this problem, so the next time a virtual person decides to shoot at me, the police pursue the man with the gun.

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    Oct 12th, 2006 at 23:58:29     -    Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)

    So I fired up the PS2 for the second time today, and I had a few goals in mind as San Andreas loaded. I didn't want to simply run around the world, completely defining the main character, CJ. I wanted to catch a glimpse of a few cutscenes to see how the developer's characterize CJ. In order to get this done, I have to attempt a few missions. Not only do these cutscenes develop the characters, but they advance the storyline. This particular mission has me picking up women for a rapper's party. When OG Loc, the rapper, is giving me my instructions he comes off as a lame, overly ambitious rapper with delusions of granduer. The whole time CJ is completely cool, understanding that Loc has less musical talent than Milli and Vanilli, but still playing along like he's the second coming of the Dr. Dre. In this cutscene we have humor, character development and a small suggestion that the player is somehow "cool". We see an imbecile like OG Loc and can relate to CJ's feeling of superiority. This relationship between the avatar and the player beckons the player to start playing in a way befitting the character. I begin to understand what CJ would or would not do and start basing my decisions on these observations.

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    Oct 12th, 2006 at 10:33:52     -    Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)

    So dust off GTA: San Andreas after months of neglect and pick up right where I left off. I start out walking the streets, looking for a good car to steal. As I bump into the various people on the sidewalk, they spout insulting one-liners and unprovoked comments about my character. I can't help but beat up a random pedestrian and take his money, all the while thanking him for his cash. Luckily there are no police around as I commit this act of viiolence. Finally, I find a nice car to boost and I begin driving around the city. As I drive messages appear on the screen alerting me of small side missions I could continue. I notice that my strength and stamina levels are depleting so I could go to the gym and work out. Walking around I find a store where I am able to buy new clothes. Also, my relationship status with my girlfriend is in a steady decline, so I shoud probably go and take her out on a date. Soon after, my cell phone rings and I answer it. It's my girlfriend, complaining about how I have been neglecting her of late. I say I am sorry and that I will make up for it later. As I drive toward her house, I stumble into my rival gang's territory and provoke a gang war. I am able to recruit some guys from my own crew, and we have a shootout by a gas station. It doesn't end well, as the police show up, cars explode, and my entire gang is killed. So I decide to end the game there. The astonishing part of this whole experience is that I haven't continued any part of the main story, but the characterization of my avatar flows through all aspects of the game. Depending on how I respond to the characters around me, and what they say about me, my character will say something meaningful. During the shoot-out with the rival gang, my character took a leader ship role, giving instructions to take cover or attack certain enemies. It's also interesting to see the character react so differently to his angry, neglected girlfriend

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    Zack Antoine's GameLogs
    Zack Antoine has been with GameLog for 14 years, 1 month, and 14 days
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