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    Goldeneye: Rogue Agent (DS)    by   jp       (Apr 12th, 2021 at 18:22:11)

    I'll start by saying that I didn't really enjoy the aiming and shooting in the game, and that's the main reason I'm not playing much further than the tutorial level. I've thought about it and I'm mostly annoyed by the inconsistent hit detection - it's both hard to tell when you are hitting/damaging enemies and some hits that should (might?) have been hits didn't(?) register as such?

    Another strange design decision is that when you press a key it immediately skips the text/exposition which otherwise appears slowly on the screen. This is instead of the more common/standard for the 1st keypress to show all of the text at once and the 2nd keypress to continue. So, I missed a lot of story/exposition...

    But here's what I think is going on..

    You're an agent chasing after the bad guy from Goldfinger. There's something going on in Fort-Knox. So, you rush in...but then a nuke explodes? And you die? But then you decide to work for another bad guy - from another movie. Oh, but you have a special cyber-eye that is supposed to help you see through walls and stuff. So, you're not Bond? Or you are? I'm so confused by all this that it didn't help me want to continue playing either...

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    Moonlighter (PS4)    by   jp       (Apr 12th, 2021 at 18:10:56)

    I really this game's central conceit - by night you venture into a dungeon for loot that you then sell in your shop by day! With the money you earn you improve your own equipment thus increasing the chances that you'll succeed (go further) in your loot-seeking adventures.

    The dungeon-eering part of the game is quite straightforward. It's a "Binding of Isaac"-style roguelike. The dungeons are randomly generated, you run around dodge-rolling and attacking (for now with a sword, but you can unlock other weapons including ranged) and you collect loot that monsters drop (or you find in chests) in a backpack with limited slots/space. Additionally there are some items for which there are restrictions in terms of where they can be placed on your backpack. Obviously if you die you lose (almost) all the loot you've picked up. If you want to bail before you beat the dungeon you have to pay a price in coins - you can't just waltz out the entrance...

    The store part consists of you placing items for sale, deciding for what price and then watching punters come in and react to your prices. Too low and they get stars in their eyes, to high and the grumble and so on.

    So, you're basically managing what prices to set for things hoping to get enough money such that you can safely bail during your next run while also hopefully saving enough to first unlock shops and then afford to buy the upgrades they sell.

    The entire loop is actually explained in the game's manual of all places!

    So, I played a few sessions trying to get a feel for the action and mechanics, but ultimately I decided that I simply didn't want to engage with the game on its own terms. Namely, the loop is way too slow for my taste! I didn't really enjoy selling stuff in the store mostly because it takes too long AND there's a lot of trial and error in setting prices that just seems...well, too much for a game (I expected) to be more about the action side of things. It doesn't help that I'm not that good at the action parts of the game - such that my scavenging runs were more improductive than otherwise. Oh, to add more insult - for the upgrades you can buy in stores you need more than cash, but also items! (of the ones you've scavenged) I was just annoyed by the that I had sold (underprice) a bunch of things it turns out I wanted to keep...sigh.

    This definitely feels to me like a game that was designed additively - lets add more systems and sub-systems where each works on their own, but the entirety of the game experience simply never gelled for me. More than gelled, it seems like they're competing with each other in terms of their pace. I was just itching to go back into the dungeon, but had to snooze through the store parts, for example.

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    Undertale (PC)    by   dkirschner       (Apr 12th, 2021 at 12:07:01)

    Oops, I forgot to write anything for Undertale! I finished this months ago after I beat Earthbound. Man, it's been so long...okay, what I remember most is that the first half was way better than the second half. It started off hilarious but wore out its welcome by the end. The parodying of old RPGs is wonderfully done: enemies that care if you kill them; a story where monsters aren't all bad; the option to talk your way through the entire game; a wonderful tutorial with "Toriel" holding your hand so hard.

    Ultimately, I think I'll just remember Undertale for being supremely clever and pretty funny. But in the end, like I said, it went on for too long and started to feel like any other old RPG.

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    Forza Horizon (360)    by   Sup3rCondor       (Apr 12th, 2021 at 09:26:16)

    I love the Forza Horizon games. It was very interesting to see where it all started. Surprisingly there are a lot of parts of the game that hold up really well.

    The gameplay is a big standout. All of the car stats feel impactful, and different. Its very playable and fun. Each car itself even has a unique feel. Talking about the cars, the car models also hold up very well! They all look realistic, and sounds great. Though the models lack the depth of cars in modern games, they still look great.

    The environments in this game suffer from something that a lot of games from this generation did: there isn't a wide variety in the environmental color pallet, so pretty much everywhere on the game map feel the same. This also adds to the fact that there isn't a crazy variety in race tracks the player races on. These are minor things that probably only a 2021 gamer would complain about.

    To my surprise, the game features a light storytelling element that involved beating a handful of voice acted racers. Each race involves facing off against one of these people. In order to progress, the player has to beat the racers. This kind of forced me to keep the difficulty at medium to ensure I beat the racers to progress, when I usually would've played on the harder difficulties.

    I'm not sure how much one could acquire Forza Horizon for these days, but if it is $10 or less, I would say it is totally worth the purchase and play.

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    Crime Lab: Body of Evidence (DS)    by   jp       (Apr 10th, 2021 at 13:23:34)

    Finished it! (with a little help from the game...)

    I'm really surprised by the diversity of puzzles and puzzle activities, in fact once I finished the game you can engage with lots of them as stand-alone puzzles (with 10 levels each!). So, there is definitely "value" here. The variety of puzzles goes beyond simple variation of "manipulate this to do x" with some of them nicely woven into the game's narrative. For example, I had to tap on some tiles - until I found one that rang hollow! (stuff was hidden behind!), I also had to "scan" my face (from the DS camera) and other things like that. The camera-based puzzles were actually quite wonky. (I spent coins to clear one despite it being a trivial one where all I had to do was place the stylus on a thumbpad on the screen. I don't know if it was that I was playing at night (less light) or that I was on my DSi XL (perhaps camera placement messed up stuff the devs expected?) - but the camera puzzles were definitely the least interesting ones in that they didn't really work.

    As for the story? Lots of twists and turns and bla bla bla. Nothing too memorable (for me) but I wonder if there's an earlier game? Was this part of a series? I say that mostly because there's lots that seems implied about the main character....

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    What is GameLog?

    GameLog hopes to be a site where gamers such as yourself keep track of the games that they are currently playing. A GameLog is basically a record of a game you started playing. If it's open, you still consider yourself to be playing the game. If it's closed, you finished playing the game. (it doesn't matter if you got bored, frustrated,etc.) You can also attach short comments to each of your games or even maintain a diary (with more detailed entries) for that game. Call it a weblog of game playing activity if you will.

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    1 : dkirschner's Hollow Knight (PC)
    2 : jp's Goldeneye: Rogue Agent (DS)
    3 : Sup3rCondor's Medal of Honor (360)
    4 : jp's Moonlighter (PS4)
    5 : jp's Crime Lab: Body of Evidence (DS)
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    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2)    by   C_Dubiel44

    I just started playing GTA San Andreas today and only played for about half an hour. I started off doing some missions in which CJ has to follow Sweet and Ryder on bmx bikes. I noticed right away that the game is based heavily on stereotypes based on the design of the maps and the appearance of the characters. CJ is an African American with his jeans hanging off of his behind showing his boxers. He lives in the ghetto of Los Santos, a fictional city based on Los Angeles. The other characters in CJ's gang all wear baggy clothing and look like stereotypical gang members. While following Sweet and Ryder on the bike, CJ must keep up in order to avoid being shot by rival gang members following in a car. I didn't get very far in the game, having to repeat the following missions multiple times because I kept getting shot.After this mission, I took Ryder to the barber shop, where I (CJ) changed my appearance. Next came the trip to the pizza place to learn the mechanic to replenish stamina by eating. After that I got to the mission where CJ must
    most recent entry:   Monday 4 October, 2010
    Continuing on from last night, I decided to do some more missions, ending up doing a couple of drive-bys, acquiring weapons in an alley, and buying clothes to represent the Grove Street gang. Following the story, CJ periodically asks about what happened to his mother at the beginning of each mission, but Smoke, Sweet, Ryder, and even Emmett the weapons dealer are hesitant to say too much. What CJ does know is that the Ballas are responsible. He, along with his gang, wants to get revenge by taking out the Ballas.
    In the first mission of today, I drove my gang to get some chicken and then some Ballas showed up, and immediately a drive-by ensued. In the next mission, CJ must go with Smoke to get some guns from Emmett, followed by getting some clothes to show his gang's colors. On to the next mission comes another drive-by, this time a planned one as the Grove Street gang members drive into Balla territory with CJ at the wheel.
    Once again, on the third and final day of my playing of GTA San Andreas, the stereotypes of the ghetto are blatant when it comes to going out for chicken, to wearing a gangs colors, to drive-bys. The moral topic that is heavily prevalent is revenge. Obviously revenge is never the answer, but CJ and the Grove Street Gang want to avenge his mother's death. They want to kill the Ballas so they never come into Grove Street territory again. While it might seem easy to get police involved, it does not seem satisfying to gangs for police to serve justice for them. They want to be vigilantes and settle their own scores, which in most cases becomes tragic. They feel that vigilante justice will better protect them, when in fact it causes more violence.

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