Thursday, November 30, 2006

Challenge and Reward In Games

I was playing computer games again, and I started to think about 2 things.

Challenge in Games:
There's a certain crunch point in most online games such as Counter-Strike Source, or America's Army, when you know you're so good, that no one can surpass you. At that point, nothing in the game is a challenge to you. Everything is second-nature. You know every strategy and every tactic, and they work every time. Every time you join a server, no matter what map, you totally kill everyone every time. Challenge = Gone.
It's at that point the game starts to become boring. Why? Because there's no challenge. Sure, it's fun to "own" people, but after doing it so many times, it becomes all the same.

So my conclusion came to be, a game must be continually challenging for it to stay interesting. This applies to single player games just as well. If you can conquer the gameplay mechanic in the first five minutes of the game, then the remaining 15 hours of the game will be boring. A good game will continually challenge the player, forcing them to become better at it until the end.

It has been virtually stated that games need to reward the players, otherwise the player will probably lose the incentive to keep playing. If Half-Life 2 just started you out with a pistol and crowbar, had you kill 100 zombies, over and over in different locations, and then it ended, there's no reward there. Instead, in the real game they give you more weapons (reward), a little bit more of the story (reward), cutscenes (reward), and new locations (reward).
There's only so much a player can endure before he's tired of playing the game, seemingly going nowhere. That is why the player needs to be rewarded in some form or manner.

Conclusion: Play different kinds of games.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Top Dogs (Categories)

The best games of each respective category are listed below, from what I have played.
& Music.

The Legend of Zelda (Series)
This series has so many gamepay elements that all contribute to one fun experience. Majora's Mask had an amazing side-quest system that gave plenty to do besides the main quest. Combine that with all the regular quests such as collecting heart pieces, upgrading bomb bags, arrows, swords, and other extra items, and you have one of the funnest gaming experiences.
Runner up: Command & Conquer (series)

Half-Life 2
The graphics are just the most mind-blowing, amazing things you have ever seen. Half-Life 2 pushed graphics to a whole new level with realistic animations, dynamic enviroments, a pyschics engine, and then just put it all together in an amazing way.
Runner up: Splinter Cell (series)

Final Fantasy VI
...has one of the longest and most epic stories, that spans over 20 hours, which includes detailed backstories for nearly all 15 of your characters - an amazing ride from beginning to end.
Runner up: Half-Life (series)

Half-Life 2

The amazing sounds of City 17, the radio chatter, voices, and computers totally bring the city to life.
Runner up: Call of Duty 2

Final Fantasy VI
A truly amazing soundtrack; so many songs are just so memorable and inspiring.
Runner up: Final Fantasy VII.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Top Dogs (Genres)

The Best games of each respective category are listed below, from "the few" games I have played.

First Person Shooters:

Half Life (Series)
Innovating games with each new chapter, yet still maintaining the most breath-taking sequences in every game, that is the awesomeness of Half-Life.
Runner up: Call of Duty (Series)

Action Adventures:
The Legend of Zelda: A link to the Past + (Series)
Epic stories wrapped up in fun mini-games, side-quests, dungeons, and collecting items; that is Zelda.
Runner up: Psychonauts

Adventure Games:
The Secret of Monkey Island + Series
One of the first adventure games I ever played, and it was one wild ride.
Runner up: Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis

Role Playing Games:
Final Fantasy VI + Series
A ridiculously epic story that never seems to end, combined with ultra-mega gameplay styles, wrapped up with amazing characters and a soundtrack that still cannot be surpassed by so many other games.
Runner up: Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic

Strategy (War Style) Games:
Command & Conquer (original)
NOD vs. GDI. One of those gems from the "earlier" days of gaming that was just so cool to play.
Runner up: Heroes of Might and Magic (Series)

Strategy (Tycoon style) Games:
Roller Coaster Tycoon (Series)
After your park hits year # 5, you can look back at your awesomeness and see the 5 roller coasters you created with excitement ratings of 8.9.
Runner up: Theme Hospital

Simulation Action Games
Wing Commander 3
You have Mark Hamill playing Colonel Blair in an epic game that is just... cool.
Runner up: Freelancer

Driving Games (or racing if you prefer)
Midtown Madness 2
Driving around San Francisco is 10x funner than being limited to a restrictive race track.
Runner up: Need for Speed (series)

Sports Games
NFL Blitz (Series?) ?
Due to the fact that I have not really played any sports games in forever, no games past the year 2000 are listed.
Runner up: NHL 2000.

Fighting Games
Super Smash Bros. (Series)
No I have not played Mortal Kombat.
Runner up: _______


Thursday, November 09, 2006

LOST - What will happen the next half season

Jack will be in a tight spot for about two episodes. He's either gonna get beat up, escape, or I don't know.
Kate & Sawyer:
They're going to try and escape but instead they meet up with that Girl (With the super slingshot of doom!) and learn more about the island. They might escape, but how can they if they're really on a seperate island?
Locke will go on more "spirit-finding journeys" to discover "the island's true motives" so he can find something to do besides hunt boars.
Using his super powers, he's going to kind of go insane and he will die or something else will happen to him. His explanation of powers will be as credible as the black smoke monster, or how they escaped the hatch with no injury.
The 2 New characters:
They are going to hang around trying to find something to do, offer some useless commentary on the situation, and then die or disappear.
Sayid and Hurley:
They might do something meaningful with the other characters.
Charlie, Claire, and the rest:
Nothing's gonna happen. At all.
Benry, Henry, Ben:
I don't really know what will happen if he lives. I mean come on, if they tell Ben what Jack did, what do you think will happen to Jack? Oh wait... Ben promised Jack a ticket off the island.

In January 24 will be back on the air. It will get about 7 episodes down (The 4 hour season premiere) and it will be 1 week behind LOST when it premieres in February.
24 and LOST will be head to head for 16 straight weeks and then clash with 2 hour season finales in May.

The only reason I made this entry was so I would keep my 4 day streak.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Ship

After 1 Awesome weekend of 1 Awesome game, I wanted to write this.

Brief Explanation of the ship:
The ship is basically hitman, multiplayer, with graphics that reminds you of the incredibles. A FPS game, with life-sim style needs, pitting you against up to 30 other players who must assassinate each other with any weapon they can find. Also you must not be caught by NPCs or other characters.

The Good:
Awesome breath of fresh-air from FPS's like counter-strike. +1
Tons of weapons to kill your enemy with. +2
Interesting features like needs. +2
Solid gameplay composed of stealth, action, scavenger hunting, and killing. +3
Customizable character outfits. +1
Good level design. +2

Needs can get a little too frustrating and in the way. It's like, your hungry bar is off the charts, so you sit down to eat. Then because you ate, you need to go to the bathroom. And because of the bathroom, you need to shower, and after that you're probably tired or you need entertainment by this time. And you still haven't searched for that awesome weapon or looked for your target yet...
The key to winning (HUNT mode) lies in finding the one good weapon and getting 2 murders. It's so dumb to get the axe and have to get literally over 100 kills to win, when you should just get the scalpel and get 4 kills to win.
Running around the ship can be exhausting, especially when chasing your killer or trying to find a bathroom. Some of them are just so big, and your "run" meter runs out too fast.
Annoying people can really get in the way. Like, some random dudes just kill everyone but their target, but it's rarely happened to me, yet it is very annoying. Other things like blocking doors and stuff are problems, but that's also in every other FPS game, so that doesn't count.

So you got a game starting with the average score of 5.
Then 5+11 = 16. 16-7 = 9.

The pros outweigh the cons, and this is a good game.
SCORE: 8.5/10.00
"Fun and different, yet a little frustrating at times."


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Those Old Adventure Games (Lucas Styles)

They were like the "super special awesome" games of awesome back in the day.

The Rating System -
0.00-3.00 - Terrible, absymal, awful.
3.00-5.00 - Pretty bad, but not the worst.
5.00-7.00 - Mediocre. Not REALLY BAD, but bad.
7.00 - AVERAGE (Fair Game)
7.00-8.00 - Fairly good and fun.
8.00-9.00 - Pretty good and pretty fun.
9-00.9.99 - Pretty amazingly awesome.

Monkey Island:
of Monkey Island - 9.3
This game was pretty amazing in every aspect. And super fun too. Also gets the funniest award.
Monkey Island 2: Lechuck's Revenge - 8.6
Back to the Islands of the Carribean, yet for me it didn't have the original charm the first game had. Also, I hated some of the puzzles. Yet it was still fun, funny, and interesting.

Indiana Jones
Last Crusade
- 8.2 I really liked this game, even though it had a lot of deadends. The whole atmosphere and the fighting/adventure gaming/multiple solutions intrigued me. Yeah, I liked it. Fate of Atlantis - 9.2 This was a very awesome game. I probably only liked Monkey Island more because of the Sword Fighting and the funniness. But this game had everything. Multiple paths, multiple endings, fighting, puzzle solving, all that stuff.
Maniac Mansion:
Maniac Mansion 1 - 6.6 It was fun I guess... but the puzzles were too confusing for me and I never really understood everything.
Day of the Tentacle - 8.4 Yes it was funny I guess, yes the puzzles were ingenious, yes it was funny, but it didn't really strike to me as "super special awesome."

Other Specials:
Zak McKracken! and the Alien Mindbenders
- 7.3 This game was pretty good in retrospect, yet there were a gazillion inventory items, endless mazes, and hard puzzles. I had to use a walkthrough for much of it. But it made very interesting uses of inventory items...
Loom - 8.6 This game probably had some of the funnest, most interesting puzzles. The plot is fantasy freaky. Good game.

Yes virtually all their games were good to me except Zak McKracken and Maniac Mansion 1.
Yes, I left out some games. No I didn't want to comment on them.

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Monday, November 06, 2006

Those Old Adventure Games (Sierra styles)

I never understood why King's Quest 1 is always in the top 10 on Adventure Game lists. Yes, it is innovative, yes, it is probably the first graphic adventure game, yes it is a landmark in the adventure industry, but no, it is not better than the 9 other games on that top 10 game lists. It has terrible random deaths, awkard puzzles, and some other stuff.

The Rating System -
0.00-3.00 -
Terrible, absymal, awful.
3.00-5.00 - Pretty bad, but not the worst.
5.00-7.00 - Mediocre. Not REALLY BAD, but bad.
7.00 - AVERAGE
7.00-8.00 -
Fairly good and fun.
8.00-9.00 - Pretty good and pretty fun.
9-00.9.99 - Pretty amazingly awesome.

King's Quest Series:
ing's Quest 1 - 4.3 Yes I would say it's fun, but it's kind of... random... and meh. The puzzles are okay but it doesn't all tie together the best.
King's Quest 2 - 5.2 It was different, and made a little more sense and had a plot.
King's Quest 3 - 6.0 I played this game and needed a walkthrough on everything. It was really weird and it seemed like I just kept doing random stuff until I got to the end of the game. First it was like "Escape from wizard!" then, uh... I forgot. You go on some pirate ship but I forgot why.
King's Quest 4 - 7.9 I liked this game actually. It had some pretty fun puzzles and stuff, and wasn't as bad as the others.
King's Quest 5 - 7.2 What is the point of having 5 bad things you can do with each object, that potentially get you stuck in the game, as opposed to only 1 right thing to do with it? I could never beat it because it crashed or something.

Space Quest!:
pace Quest 1 (VGA) - 7.0 It was pretty fun, but it was kind of weird as in you kept wandering around and randomly stumbled into the right place and then randomly got onto the bad guy ship and killed them, yet it was fun.
Space Quest 2 - 5.8 This game was one of those ones where I just kept wandering around trying to do everything with nothing and eventually I got to the end and I was like... ok... that was interesting.
Space Quest 3 - 8.1 Man this game was soo funny. Yes so were the other ones, but whatever. This game was pretty fun all around, but the one bad thing about it was the plot. You escape from this junkyard freighter then decide to save these 2 dudes whom you know nothing about. Weirdd. But the awesomeness of the funniness makes up for it, especially the ending.
Space Quest 4 - 7.2 I don't know why so many people love this game the most out of the series. I thought it had a bunch of randomly convoluted puzzles (the beginning mainly) and then you had to run around and escape bad guys. I admit, I hate this game mainly because the chase sequences were ruined because Intel Pentium processors could not match up with the technology of 1994.
Space Quest 5 - 8.7 I really loved this game. I thought it was super awesome and fun. It was the first space quest game I played and I pretty much loved it. Really funny and awesome stuff.

QFG 1 VGA - 9.0 A very fun free-roaming game way ahead of its time.
QFG 2 - 9.1 This game had a super awesome atmosphere and everything was very awesome in it. But it was a little too hard for me or something. And it was so funny that I had over 500 gold coins imported from my previous game... But the combat/gameplay/story/puzzles, were all amazing. The ending was very awesome, especially since you could do it a different way depending on your class.

PoliceQuest attacks:
Police Quest 1 VGA - 7.6 It was ok, but not super amazing. Not bad at all, either.
Police Quest 2 - 7.7 This game has some pretty nifty sequences and puzzles, but it was too hard or something.

Yes, I would say Space Quest and Quest-For-Glory were the best series. Yes...

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

LOST: Going too much ---> that way

All these hallucinations, black smoke monsters, bad polar bear graphics, and 2 pointless characters are getting to me a little.
Hallucinations -- No. Enough of these. Stop. It would seem the black smoke monster creates these so every character can come to terms with their past, otherwise it will kill you. And the hallucinations just get really annoying and I'm staring at my screen going with a weird expression on my face.
Please do not have any more "redeem your past by going on random journeys through the jungle following hallucinations" segments.
2 Pointless Characters -- Just walk away. These 2 people really have no point and I hate them terribly. They're always like, "Ooh? Huh? Blah blah blah. Hatch? What's that? blah blah blah. I serve a purpose."

Trim down the fat on this show. Only 2 real things happened in the course of 1 hour. Those 2 things were the little Pearl Station Video thing, and the Jack conversing with that lady about surgery (in secret). I wish they would just have that stuff happen and get rid of all the pointless stuff.

Now that Ecko is gone, only Bernard remains from the Tail LOSTies. Ana Lucia, other lady, and Ecko are now all gone...



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