BadWolf's Super Smash Brothers (N64)
| [January 25, 2008 07:08:57 PM]
This time I played with a friend of mine, who was much more experienced. There were also other people in the game lab, but they were quiet.
We played versus mode with two computer characters. I tried playing as several characters as did she, and we played around with different color schemes and AI skill levels. I found it a much more frustrating experience, because the opponents were more difficult and I really still suck. We didn't do any real smack talk but instead talked about other stuff whenever we had the concentration to spare. The conversation once took an awkward turn when I was playing as Kirby and mentioned "swallowing" other characters.
I found it difficult to follow what was going on onscreen, especially with some of the alternate color costumes - at one point three of the four characters were brown. Also, since I was playing against a real person, I felt more competitive, so that I wasn't okay with losing anymore. The degree of randomness in the results also decreased with a human opponent and smarter AI.
The gameworld in Super Smash Brothers is very colorful and cartoony. This is appropriate both to the characters, most of which are cartoony themselves, and to the console, which was a pretty early one for 3D visuals. The attacks and sounds also carry out this aesthetic. The only real exception I noticed to the visual theme is Samus and her arena, which are darker and more blocky. It doesn't feel particularly jarring, but it is an irritating arena, with the acid (I think) that rises to cover it and will damage any character caught in it.
This brings me to the level design. Levels are themed based on the original source of the characters, and each has its own challenges. All of them are effectively two-dimensional, no matter what they look like, and all have multiple levels, usually with platforms to jump on (some of them even move). A couple of the levels are very narrow, and the risk of falling off is greater. This can be either irritating or fun, depending on one's skill level and attitude towards losing.
After each battle, the game displays a screen showing who won - the winning character is displayed larger than the rest, and the other characters are also sized according to rank. This is followed by a text ranking screen with score breakdown, but in my opinion the first of the two screens is a more motivating reward, since it's very direct. This might be something to incorporate into the game I'll make with my partner this quarter - a visual reward.
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| [January 18, 2008 06:35:16 PM]
Super Smash Brothers is a mainly multiplayer game in which one controls a well-known Nintendo character, such as Link, Kirby, or Mario, in a brawl against up to three other player. There is a single-player campaign of sorts, in which one fights a series of battles against the computer, culminating in a battle against a giant hand. It involves both skill and luck, due to the many powerful items that appear on each stage.
I hadn't played this game before today, although I played its sequel for the Gamecube with a group of friends once. Today I played through the single-player mode. I realized early on that it was kind of a bad idea to play a game like Super Smash Brothers by myself, but the single-player mode was surprisingly fun, largely because of the luck involved and the frantic pace. It has no real story, but each enemy is found in a themed stage.
I was alone in the game lab playing this game, which felt a little odd at first - I remembered a lot of smack talk from the time I played its sequel - but the recorded crowd noises helped a lot. On one of the later stages I was playing as Pikachu and the crowd chanted his name, which was really cool. I found myself joining in.
I only played as two of the characters, Link and Pikachu. I found their slow movements across the screen (they walk, not run) frustrating, and at first I found it very hard to control their jumps, which are much faster. Fortunately the game lets you play any stage over an unlimited number of times. I ended up playing about an hour and twenty minutes to get to the end of the single-player mode.
Next time I mean to play the versus mode.
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