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    Apr 13th, 2009 at 21:58:23     -    Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (PS2)

    Guitar Hero is a very well know title on multiple platforms. I began playing Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock the day after it was released, however as every veteran of the Guitar Hero franchise knows, after a few weeks of not playing the game, when you pick the controller back up, it feels as if you are a newborn all over again. This means that before my game demonstration I had to redevelop my guitar hero skills; this also allowed me to remember what it was i loved about the game.
    Guitar Hero 3 is my favorite, thus far, of the musical game genre. The notes are easy to see, and especially more lenient on actually hitting the note. The lee-way is perfect in guitar hero 3, you don't feel as though the game is not challenging enough, nor do you feel that you "TOTALLY HIT THAT NOTE!"
    *most of the time*. The graphics are just sharp enough on the playstation 2 version that it does not take away from the experience, nor is it as bright and shiny as the newer platforms' version. This, I feel, is a good balance. I don't feel my attention being drawn away by the background.
    The controls are what you have come to expect from guitar hero, amazing. Solos in guitar hero 3 are especially comfortable to play now due to the increased ease of play. This allows for a new experience in the guitar hero franchise.
    The only downside to playing the game on the playstation 2 is the lack of downloadable content, but that is easily overlooked when you do not have to tie on a 400+ dollar price tag for a new system.

    I would highly advise everyone to at least try guitar hero 3. It is a very very enjoyable experience.

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    Mar 5th, 2009 at 19:46:55     -    Circle Pong Extreme (PC)

    Circle Pong Extreme is a nice attempt to make a Java Application game. Java is not renound for it's ease of use when doing drawing programs, so I commend team Alpha on their accomplishment.
    To start off, the game is more fun than it may look, when it works correctly. The shrinking of the paddle adds a new gameplay variety. The powerups are also nice. They are composed of Multi-ball (few and far between), Sticky ball (i wish were uninvented), Lengthen paddle (handy), Large Ball (good IDEA), and possibly others (that i never got).
    Again, team alpha played it safe by going with a tride and true game, but at the same time really chanced dropping the ball. My main concern with the game is the collision detection. The Large Ball powerup made the ball easier to see, but did not actually make the ball bigger at all. If you didnt quite Center it on the paddle, it can just pass straight through. Also, in the same aspect, the powerups had almost non-existant detection themselves. If you did not pass the ball STRAIGHT through the middle, you werent getting it.
    My first 15 playthroughs were quite short. I double-clicked the Exe and watched as it loaded. The game screen turned on, It loaded the paddle and the ball, then I told me "You Lose HighScore : 0" on the 16th playthrough i managed to actually MOVE THE PADDLE without losing, then the ball dissapeared and i lost anyway.
    Shortly thereafter, i loaded it up and played a round. I could play easily enough, then almost as is it were an act of god, i got the Stick Ball power-up, and noticed, with a slight shock, that the paddle had become invisible. However sicky the paddle may be, being 99% invisible does not consitite a POWER-up. Generally power-up "Empower" the player. Needless to say, I lost AGAIN. This pattern of game crashes, vanishing balls, and invisible-sticky-multiball, no paddle powerups continued for another 5-10 games.
    I finally took the time to TRUELY try my best. 110% of my gameing mind went to defeating the high score, however rediculously high it was. I got powerup after powerup, even turning my monitor's brightness up so high it gave me a slight sunburn so i could see the thin blue paddle. I was 3 thousand points short of the record when I hit a muliti-ball powerup, which hit two more multiball powerups, which caused the game to physically cut itself off.

    In the end, the game is a good attempt, especially in java. If the paddle shrinkage were smoothed out so it didnt jump in increments, the power-ups had bigger "hit boxes", and the ball didnt vanish upon the start of the game, i think it would be more impressive.

    Very very nice try, but I guess God, Satan, or even Tizoc did not wish for me to enjoy the overall experience.

    -JB Little

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    Jan 20th, 2009 at 16:29:08     -    Starcraft: The Board Game (Other)

    Game play: The game play, though having a steep learning curve, isn’t as confusing as one might think when they see the game for the first time. The sheer amount of pieces, around 180, would make anyone's head spin without reading the rules. The layout is very familiar to anyone who has played a Real Time Strategy game. Each player picks a faction (Zerg, Space Marines, or Protoss) and a color, which each faction has two of. After that... read the manual... Later on in the game things get more challenging, especially when you have to think a few moves ahead of each of the players.

    Innovative elements: This game uses several different kinds of buildings and commands to give a feeling of "pace" for the game. Everything feels like its happening fast, even though the game takes, in the case of my first play through, a few days. You can give commands to any planet that you can feasibly go to, even if you aren’t there YET. As long as you are sure to give your commands in the correct order, you can do very complicated yet precise attacks and builds.

    Good/bad design elements: IT TAKES FOREVER if you ignore ANY ONE of the rules that are in play, to which there are MANY. For instance, each player has a "special victory condition" (example: Space Marines win if they control 2 planets when the third stage of the game is reached). Also, a player wins if he accumulates 15 "Command points". Command points are won by controlling specific points on a planet. The last way to win, and the hardest to do, is to be the only race left alive.

    Level Design: The level design for the game, though a little hard to get used to, is actually very easy to use. Again, there are far too many rules to go over in this gamelog. The best way to describe it is a cross between Risk and Warhammer 40,000. Several different types of units can be moved at once, giving the game a grand scale, yet the board is set in a manner that lets players feel as though its not too expansive, a really good feature.

    Conflict: When the game begins, players are placed on different planets; generally they are set worlds apart. However, each player gets to put a "warp gate" allowing their planet access to any other planet with an "open spot". This allows for players to choose, at least attempt to choose, who they have direct access to attack. Be careful not to act rashly though, other players can connect to your planet just to reach a completely different planet that you are connected to. This adds an element of offence and defense to every strategy.

    Story: The main plot of the game is WAR. The only objective there is, is to destroy the other races and control the solar system. That is the only driving force. Kill, or be killed. However, if you look at my first play through, I didn’t even attack anyone the entire game. Why is this? It’s because I built my defenses and waited until my player card’s “Win Condition” was hit. All I had to do was reach stage 3 of the game, which is denoted by the drawing of “event cards” when you research new technologies for your building. Again, another strategy which REALLY pissed my roommates off, but just remember… war is hell.

    Overall: Overall, my two play throughs of the game *the second being highly, highly non eventful* were “Okay”. I probably won’t be playing a whole lot of this game again, because… well, honestly?... I’d rather play the REAL Starcraft. At least then I wont have to worry about one of my roommates always having an odd interpretation of the rules and have to wait on constant re-reading of the manual almost every turn.

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    Entries written to date: 3
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    1Circle Pong Extreme (PC)Playing
    2Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (PS2)Playing
    3Starcraft: The Board Game (Other)Playing

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