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    Apr 27th, 2009 at 02:21:08     -    Paper Mario (N64)

    Paper Mario gamelog

    First, let me clarify to those that do not know: This is Paper Mario, not Super Paper Mario. This Paper Mario is the first of the two, being released on the Nintendo 64.


    Overview:

    Like most Mario games, the main character in the game is none other than Mario, the plumber. Also, the game’s ultimate objective is just like all other Mario games: defeat Bowser and save Princess Peach.

    The game starts off with Mario and Luigi being invited to a party at Princess Peach’s castle. Once you (Mario) and Luigi arrive at the castle, Luigi leaves so that you can go visit Princess Peach alone. Shortly after arriving in her room, the game goes to a cutscene with the castle rising into the air. Bowser then comes in with the Star Rod, a magical item with the power to grant any wish. With it, Bowser is super strong and the current Mario cannot stand a chance. You lose, falling like paper back to Earth. You are found by a friendly Goomba, a mushroom-like creature native to Mario games. You eventually find out that the Stars have all been captured and if you save them all, then they can provide you with the power to defeat Bowser and save the princess. Your journey then begins from there to save all the Stars. Once you rescue all the stars, you defeat Bowser and save the Princess once again.


    Gameplay:

    Unlike most Mario games, Paper Mario isn’t a side scrolling game. It is an RPG. As such, you can get items, better equipment/abilities, and level up. The main two ways for Mario to attack an enemy is using a hammer and jumping. There are also items that can do damage. Some enemies are resistant to one of the two kinds of attacks. For instance, spiked Goombas cannot be jumped on. Also, the battle system is turn based.

    Besides being able to play with Mario, you get special characters. All the special characters help in battle. Each special character has its own kind of specials. When not in battle, all except the first provide you with an on-field technique. For instance Bombette can blow up cracks in walls, providing you with new places to go or secret items.

    While on the field, you can talk to NPC’s, engage or dodge enemies for battle, and find items or coins. Mario can walk, jump, use his hammer, use the special character’s abilities (if not a passive ability), and do a dash that is like paper spinning in the wind.


    Final Thoughts:

    Considering the main storyline is the same, Paper Mario still brought a new twist with the paper-like characters and having to go around saving stars! The dialogue throughout the game brought me laughter quite a few times. The dungeons were not to hard to figure your way through, and with some thinking and proper leveling/equipment, the bosses weren’t any harder than one would expect. There were also enough save points around so that if you did happen to die, it wouldn’t be a great loss. Overall, this game is very solid and I would recommend any RPG fan to play this game if they haven’t already.

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    Jan 22nd, 2009 at 00:26:50     -    Racquetball (Other)

    Racquetball...
    In Mississippi State University, for those that don't know, we have 7 courts that you can play this game in (once 8 but one has been taken over by workout equipment... grr)!

    So what is this game.. called racquetball!? From the outside of the court, it may just look like people taking turns hitting a ball around this enclosed room, but I assure you... It is more than that!

    In racquetball, you can play with 2, 3, or 4 people. If 2 you play one versus one. if 3, you play cutthroat (more details later). Last but not least, if 4, you play two versus two.

    THINGS YOU MUST HAVE TO PLAY THE GAME:
    A racquetball racket. Isn't a tennis racket the same thing? NO! A tennis racket you can and for most cases should hold with two hands. A racquetball racket you always hold with just one.

    A racquetball.

    Goggles to protect your eyes. Those people that wear glasses, this isn't required unless you are playing against pretty good players.

    THINGS YOU SHOULD HAVE TO PLAY THE GAME:
    Shirt
    Shorts/pants(shorts preferrably)
    Shoes

    Now i can talk about the actual rules!

    Just in case that didn't work, http://texasracquetball.org/Portals/57/images/racquetballclipart/court.jpg.

    Considering there are different lines on the floor, the best way to help tell the rules is if there was a guiding picture along with it! In the picture, you see the blue area between two lines. As it says, that is called the service area. What do you do there? YOU SERVE THE BALL! Not hard right? Moving on...

    Between the second line and a dashed line, there is the red area called the safety zone. Originally, this zone did not exist. The committee who made up the official courts and whatnot decided it wasn't safe for the server for another player to be so close during his/her serving of the ball, so they developed that area to protect the server or serving team!

    Last but not least, the area between the dashed line and the back wall, aka closest to the outside viewer is the receiving zone. This is the area of the court that the non serving player or team stay in until after the ball has been hit by a non-server at least once.

    Now to the rules...
    First I would like to note that actually playing the game allows you to understand the rules a lot better than just reading.

    General serving rules:
    Server bounces the ball once on the ground in the service area and hits the ball. First and foremost, once the ball leaves the server's racket, the ball must FIRST hit the front wall. after that it is aloud to hit one of the side walls before hitting the ground past the fault line. The fault line is the line between the safety zone and the service zone. The ball MUST hit between the fault line and the back wall in order for it to be a legal serve. If it hits the ceiling or the back wall before hitting the ground, it is a fault. You basically only get two faults before you have to give it up to the other player/team.

    After a legal serve, the other player/team must hit the ball to the front wall before it bounces twice. It can bounce off any walls, just not the floor. Once the first returned serve is hit, everyone is free to go wherever in the court.

    Rally ends when the ball bounces consecutively twice on the ground without hitting the front wall. The one that last hit the front wall successfully either gets the serve or a point. Only the server or serving team can score points.

    First to 15, with at least a 2 point difference, wins! aka I cannot win with a score of 15 if my opponent has 14. i must win by getting 16!

    1v1 play:
    Nothing changes in the rules above. One person, doesn't matter who, starts off the game by serving first. Until the non-serving player wins a rally, it will keep being the server's turn to serve and rack up points! Once the non-serving player wins a rally, the two switch roles.

    I've had my share of losses and wins playing 1v1. It is difficult in the fact that you have only yourself to return the ball and if you are close to a wall and the ball heads to the opposite wall, it is hard to get there quickly enough. On the upside, there are less people in the room, thus giving you more cool air and room to move around!

    2v2 play:
    The only thing that changes is serving. Both team members get the chance to serve before the teams switch roles. Also for some reason, only one player on the team gets the chance to serve at the beginning of the game.

    Two versus two.. If you want to know about trust, here's a great place to test it out. To effectively play and win, you must trust your teammate to either hit the balls that he/she says he/she is going to hit, or allow the balls that you don't have the best shot at to go by you. Some teams play one person front, one person back, while others play one person left, one person right. Personally, I like playing the front/back strategy because it allows my teammate and I to not have to potentially travel as far to make a good hit.

    The only real downside to this mode is the amount of people in the court.. It feels a wee bit crowded.. Also someone is more likely to get hit in this mode of play than the other two. I don't have any real proof of that last statement except personal experience.. 3 years experience that is.. ha


    1v1v1(cutthroat)

    This is my favorite mode of play.. CUTTHROAT! Sounds evil, but really isn't. Serving rules are like 1v1 except the non serving players make a temporary team against the server! So in essence, its always 2 versus 1!

    When it comes to challenging, the other modes don't compare to having to try to score against two people, at least for me. I find that I win the most games in this mode than any of the other modes! I think I really try since I know its a challenge to beat two people!

    With only three people in the court, there is still a lot of room to maneuver! Only down side to this mode would have to be the temporary teams. Some people have a hard time keeping track who is their teammate this turn, so they hit the ball out of turn, thus probably giving the server an easy point!


    Racquetball is a game thoroughly enjoyed by me. Unfortunately, you can't simply jump in and expect to play with the big dawgs(ha MSU joke!) and do well. You must practice to get better at this game. You also need to be in somewhat of decent shape in order to chase the ball around the court as many times as one must in order to score or stop the other team/player from scoring. All in all, if you want to play something that can give you a work out as well as hone some reflexes, try this game!!

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