Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005)

Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005)

Gameplay video:


Game analysis:

  • Lens 1: Flow (number 18)

The game has a clear goal: To be the “Most wanted” in a leader chart of 15 people in the underground racing world. In other words, the game’s aim is to be the best racer possible.
As it name, “Need for speed”, suggests, when creating it, what developers had in mind was how to make a good car racing game which would satisfy the player’s need for adrenaline and speed. So like any car race, the competitive theme is crucial. By introducing the leader chart, not only is the game competitive in every race, it also makes players compete throughout the whole game.
There are some parts of the game which can distract the player. However, the development team has tied these very carefully to the main goal. For instance, there is Free Roam Mode where the players gets to go where ever he or she wishes and do what ever they want. This however will usually, if not always, lead to the player getting chased by the police because of reckless driving. Of course the whole game can be played like this, without the need of the player getting up the chart. To prevent this from happening, the game has a system that limits the player experience if they do not follow the game flow. That is, if a player is low on the chart, e.g. 15-13, there would only be normal police cars. When they go up, more and more advanced vehicles start to chase them: SUVs, faster police cars, even helicopters. Thus, by progressing on the flow meant by the developer, the player can explore more of “off-flow” features
By processing along the game, the difficulty rises, making increasing challenges for the player. Every opponent is more difficult than the earlier, every race there are more police cars interfering with actual racing…
The game starts out at the most basic driving and steering skills and helps the player learn gradually through the game. After a certain time at which the player is supposed to have learned the basic skill set, more features are introduced (better N2O, new tires…). To keep the learning curve going up, at a later stage new cars are introduced. They would usually have low steering stats, i.e. hard to control, but higher speed stats.

  • Lens 2: Time (number 39)

The length of a gameplay depends on what the player is doing. If he or she is doing a race, the time to play is determined by the length of the track and the skill and willingness to win of the player (he or she can win right-away or get to 2nd place and be happy with it). If he or she is in free roam, the chase would be as long as the police stops, that is either when the player gets caught or he or she hides in a garage.
There is no need for a time limit since the activities are relevantly fast. For racing, the track is very limited. For chases, the difficulty of the chase will incline very fast and lead the player either to getting caught or giving up (hiding in garage)

  • Lens 3: Progress (number 49)

As the goal is to be number 1 on the ladder, progress is clearly seen each time a player defeats an opponent in the ladder and goes up. Before being allowed to race those “bosses” they have to race a few races with some of their minions to prove that they are “worthy”.
Although by dividing the game in 15 “steps” is quite adequate, there can be more progress shown when doing the last bosses (maybe from 5 to 1) since progressing through those is really slow. This can prevent the player from getting bored at late game.

  • Lens 4: Economy (number 46)

The player earns money by winning races and by successfully ending police chases.
The players can use this money to buy parts for their cars, decorations and of course, new and better cars.
At end game, money becomes quite hard to earn as the races are less, more challenging and are worth less (since at that point, most upgrades would be quite expensive). This can be fixed by Increasing the amount of money for each race as difficulty goes up.
The earning and spending of money is meaningful, since by each upgrade the player either gets better racing experience (with better engine there is better performance, more speed…) or better car looks (many of the spendings can go to the esthetic look of the car)
The single currency of money is a good idea since it represents the real life.

  • Lens 5: Beauty (number 63)

The most important element of any racing car is of course the car. The developers of “Need for Speed” have taken this into account very seriously. They have bought many of the car’s copyrights and put them into the game. Without needing to worry too much about the design, they have created a huge amount of cars that would satisfy every person. There are cars from Mustangs to BMWs and of course Ferrari, Lamborghini…
However, not only the car is beautiful, the upgrades in the shop can help a player make their own creation. Different body paint, vinyl’s, hoods , etc., so many things the player can do to make their ride increasingly beautiful in their eyes.
In the context of the game, the underground racing world, beauty has a very big role. It’s not always about how fast the car is, it is sometimes about how good your ride looks so that you can boost about it with your friends.

Saints Row the Third

Saints Row 3 ( is a “GTA-like” game, where the player can explore/conquer the city as a gangster. (The game takes a light-hearted attitude to this theme).
ESRB Rating, M17+, Content Descriptors: Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language


  1. Lens of Endogenous Value
    1. As health will regenerate automatically over time, health is never important to the player for very long; if they have been injured, they will recover the health for free (so long as they are no longer in danger).
    2. Ammunition for weapons serves as quite valuable, as the player has only a limited supply of these. Enemies will drop some ammunition if they are killed. However, enemies do not always have the most powerful weapons, so the player will reserve ammunition for the more powerful weapons.
    3. The player earns ‘money’ in the game, from completing missions, or from regions they have conquered in the city. This money allows the player to buy ammunition, more territory, or to upgrade their character. (e.g. more powerful weapons).
      The player is motivated to use the money to improve their character’s ability so they can do things more easily.
    4. Vehicles are not valuable to the player, as the player can acquire a vehicle easily by stealing it; and once they ‘own’ it, they can then retrieve the vehicle for driving, even if the vehicle has been destroyed previously.
  2. Lens of Resonance
    1. Saints Row the Third allows the player to feel as if they are a powerful, violent gangster. When playing the game, you feel as if you can ‘own’ the city, or conquer those who oppose you.
    2. Part of this feeling of power involves expanding one’s influence and dominance, through completing missions, destroying hostile gang hideouts, or by buying property in the city.
    3. The city is very “open-world”, and allows the player to navigate the city however they choose; there are a variety of vehicles: the player can race about in a supercar, or ride on a motorbike, or even go on a reign of destruction in an army tank.
  3. Lens of Character
    1. The game takes a very light-hearted attitude to its violence, and the player is free to entertain a reign of chaos if they want to.
    2. However, the game is not very different in character from its predecessor, Saints Row 2.
    3. The game includes media both from the real world, as well as media ‘made up’ for the game. This media can be played on the radio in the game, and is referred to in the story.
  4. Lens of Visible Progress
    1. The game map visually highlights which areas of the city have been conquered. So, the player can see how much they have progressed from the proportion of the map which is highlighted.
    2. The more a player progresses in Saints Row the Third, the more powerful their player can become. They will have access to more powerful weapons.
      At the highest level of progress, the player can ‘unlock’ unlimited ammunition for their weapons, as well as becoming invulnerable to bullets and other such damage.
    3. At a smaller scale, the player can also ‘complete’ various mini-games which are scattered across the map, as well as completing available missions so as to progress in short, atomic steps.
  5. Lens of Freedom
    1. In the opening scenes of Saints Row the Third, the player must follow the storyline, before they are allowed to roam free and conquer the city. However, there are still restrictions: there are certain mini-games which can only be played after completing some of the main story missions.
      There is still a high degree of freedom allowed very early on for the player; although, the game does change as the game progresses (e.g. a certain district of the city gets invaded by zombies).
    2. The player is constrained by different sets of rules when they play the mini-games. These rules may grant the player unlimited ammunition for certain weapons for the duration of the mini-game, or may give the player a tank to cause mayhem with, or may give the game an entirely different focus by having the player race to various checkpoints.
    3. When the minigames were too restrictive, this did affect the player experience. However, the game had a huge allowance for freedom, which was never so much so as to be overwhelming.
      The game is almost a toy when the player is allowed to roam the city. (And the game does not necessarily “end” when the player has finished through the story).

Darksiders 2

Website :

IGN Gameplay Demo :

Gameplay :

The Darksiders series revolves around the legendary Four Horsemen and each game which has been released in the series puts us in the role of one of these Horsemen. Darksiders 2 follows alongside the story of the first game where ‘War’ the first Horsemen’s soul has been trapped in the Abyss. The second Horsemen ‘Death’ embarks on a quest to undo the Apocalypse and save his brother from Oblivion.

The Lens of Freedom

Darksiders 2 is overall a hack and slash game where the character has a different range of weapons and armors and needs to travel through a vast map towards the goal. For the majority of the game, the character is given the freedom of action and movement. The character can travel to a place visited previously in the game at any point of time to unlock new paths to valuable artifacts which were inaccessible at an earlier point in the game. The character is also given the freedom to complete the main objectives in any order they like. At the same time, the character’s actions become restricted during vital points of the story like a Boss fight which I find important as it gives the story an essential element of progress and storyline.

The Lens of Character Transformation

At the very beginning of the game, Death almost no armor and only a simple weapon. During the game, the player needs to collect new and useful items which make Death stronger and gives Death many different abilities. As Death levels up in the game, the player is given the choice of choosing a new ability from a list. These abilities become more and more useful as the game proceeds and the player has the choice of picking different abilities based on his/her play style, whether it be an offensive, defensive or a support role. The game leaves the majority of such character transformation to the player, but there are a couple of sudden and surprising changes like gaining a new power as part of the story thus unlocking a completely new addition to the gameplay which the player can learn to use.

The Lens of Challenge

A player can get through most hack and slash games by randomly jamming on the keys so that the character just keeps attacking the enemies and achieving the goal. While the storyline and goals of the game might by interesting and challenging, the actual gameplay can get boring after some time. Increasing the difficulty of the game makes it necessary for the player to come up with a strategy like looking out for who is going to attack you next to be ready to counter and stringing together a combo attack to do more damage to the enemy, but I feel that the need for strategy is still quite low and can be increased by adding properties such as enemy weakness and strengths, and the need to counter them in particular ways to be effective.

The Lens of Endogenous Value

Throughout the game, the player comes across new and more valuable weapons and armor which can be used for better abilities, which have the players always on the lookout for such loot. Like most games now a day, Darksiders 2 also has the player collecting several artifacts and trophies as part of a side objective. In most games however these side quests are either too long or not rewarding enough to go through the extra work of collecting the trinkets. In Darksiders 2, some of these side quests become quite interesting as they unlock new dungeons and areas to explore and also rewards the player with new equipment making the side quests worth doing even though they are not needed to finish the game.

The Lens of the Obstacle

The Entire game takes place in two themes, the ‘Makers Forge’ and the ‘Dead Plains’. While the games goal is quite clear at the beginning of the game and the player knows that he needs to travel from the first theme to the second to achieve the final goal, the player is stopped at the very beginning by a big obstacle which needs to be overcome to go on. In this way the game throws smaller story objectives at the player which need to be finished before the player can proceed with the main objective. On the whole, rather than having a continuous flow of objectives and actions which need to be completed one after the other, the game shows the main objective to the player at the very beginning of the game and instead throws a lot of obstacles before the player thus creating the need to perform a string of actions before the main objective can actually be achieved.

Starcraft vs. StarcraftII

The 12th of next month will become a memorable date for fans of the Starcraft series because the newest sequel of the series, Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm will be release on that day by Blizzard. Starcraft is a very famous RTS game developed by Blizzard. Even nowadays, after 15 years after its first release in 1998, there are still people playing the game. Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty (SC2WOL), the sequel of Starcraft, also became fairly successful after its release on 27th July, 2010. Despite the sales record of SC2WOL is not bad, I will insist my view that it is not as successful as its precedence.

Lens 26: Rules

The rules is one of the factors that make StarCraft successful, but it is also a factor that cause SC2WOL not so successful. When StarCraft was released, there were not many games that use similar rules of playing, which we call that type of games RTS. RTS can be consider as a new type of game at that time; a lot of people had not played such games before that allows players build buildings, training units and then attack the emeries. Many people enjoyed playing this kind of games and became fans of RTS games. Although there were still some RTS games at that time, such as Red Alert, none of them could shake the dominant place of StarCraft in the area of RTS as there are some unique rules of StarCraft. For example, StarCraft has three races and each race’s units are different from others and players can choose their favorite race. Another rule is that StarCraft allows two players play the game with each other through Local Area Network, which causes the birth of e-sports. StarCraft also became the king of RTS games after many year of its release.

On the other hand, SC2WOL, as the sequel of StarCraft, inherits the rules of its precedence. However, the direct inheritance StarCraft makes SC2WOL not as successful as StarCraft because it is 2013 now and RTS games is no longer a new type of games. There are so many RTS games in the market and SC2WOL has nothing advantage to them. There are not any innovations of the rules of SC2WOL from StarCraft. The only change of SC2WOL maybe just some improvement of the graphics, so some people jokingly call it the HD version of StarCraft. Even though StarCraft is a very classical RTS game, but after playing it for 15 years, players are expecting some new rules introduced to the old ones so that it can keep attracting players.


Lens 47: Balance

Balance, especially unit balance, is the most important thing for RTS games. It ensures the fairness of the game so that no player has the privilege over others. However, unit balance is also a very difficult part for the game developers to control. Although they can make it completely balance by making all the players using some set of units, like the Red Alert, the interestingness of the game reduce because the combination of units and changes of the strategies reduce. Therefore, a good RTS game should achieve some degree of balance and StarCraft is considered to achieve this goal. Players of each of the three races take turns to win StarCraft tournaments. There is not any strategy of any race can have a certainty to win. That is also a reason why StarCraft can be the representative of RTS game.

Although Blizzard declares that SC2WOL is also quite balanced by show the winning rate of any pair of races which they collect from the Ladder, the fact is SC2WOL is not as balanced as StarCraft. Fans invented a word “imba” from imbalance to describe a race is too strong against other races. Last year was T imba as the race terrain dominant in most of the tournaments last and its turn for Zerg to be imba this year. Although developers in Blizzard are trying to balance the game, it is still not as balanced as StarCraft.


In conclusion, although SC2WOL cannot be considered as failure, it is far from the best RTS game as the fans are expecting. A lot of fans are still missing the classical StarCraft, so I hope that the release of the series, Heart of the Swarm, will have more improvement and create another era of StarCraft.


Site of game play:

Guild Wars 2

Lens of Community

  • (Dynamic Events/ Downscale level)
  • Text in green are recalculated in lower level zones

    Encourage players to play with and guide their lower level friends. When high level players go to a lower level zone, they will get adjusted to the map level. If the map zone is for 35-45, level 80 players will have the stats of a level 45 player. This gives a bit more challenge to the high levels while not sacrificing the rewards as high level players are still rewarded with experience, gold according to their original level.

  • Events are additional quests on top of the normal quests (hearts) that occursdynamically in every map. Players within the area are alerted about the events and can just join in at anytime the event is active by just entering the event zone. It is intuitive and rewarding. While it is difficult to complete the event alone, it gets very easy when more players join in the event. Since most events are very interesting, levelling do not feels like a grind anymore when everyone is banding together participating over and over again.
  • Absolutely no disadvantages in grouping. Every player has their own allocated loots which solves the billion years’ old issue of kill stealing in MMORPGs. Grouping with guild members performing any activities even allow players to generate influence for the guild which can be exchanged for buffs that increases stats and chances of finding magical items. Hence, guild grows stronger along with active members.

The Lens of Competition vs. Cooperation 

  • (World vs. World Gameplay)
  • Guild Wars 2 like exactly what most people can defer from, has a mix of cooperation and competition. The ratio of cooperation to competition is well balanced due to team competitions. Hence, cooperation pretty much goes hand in hand with competition in this game. Cooperation level directly influences the ability to compete with enemy team.
  • World vs. World is a good example of great balance of cooperation and competition in which 3 servers engage in a territorial battle. While a single player can take down sentries and kill supply carriers, an army can attack towers, keeps and castle. While numbers still matters in WvW, players can still have a fighting chance with great teamwork and avoid complete utter defeat.
  • Good cooperation not only rewards individuals with more gold/experience. Higher contributions to the group give better rewards. Further evidences of ArenaNet rewarding cooperation are down to skills level, players can create combo finisher with specific skills/spells interacting with each other to give an additional effect.


The Lens of Fairness

  • (Permanent Stealth)
  • With several distinct professions, the game has an asymmetric approach. Every profession has very distinct abilities, skills and traits which can be adjusted to fit for different scenarios. And how someone build their character can affect drastically the performance in situations such as PvP, PvE and WvW(World vs. World). The game empowers players’ choice of build to give themselves overwhelming advantages in the scenario they wish to be excellent at. This is why some players could find it very frustrating that no matter how hard they try, they cannot beat others if they are simply presented in a disadvantageous situation or in a wrong build. Thieves are probably the most debated profession in the forums now because the current mechanics allows them to permanent stealth. This means they can choose to engage or disengage their fights with great ease.  For a situational game like Guild Wars 2 which it wants players to choose and prepare their fights properly, thieves are kings. Everyone should be given more fighting chances in disadvantageous situation so that they are not being forced to specialise in a particular build and allow skill level of player to make more of a difference. Despite how the game looks, there is still a lot of tweaking required to ensure fairness in gameplay.
  • Although cooperation plays an important role in World vs World (WvW), numbers still matter. This issue becomes more protruding as it has been several months since this game has released, most player base are relatively equally skilled. A populated server will always certainly win a less populated server. Sometimes, the lesser populated server will give up altogether and stop going to WvW. As of now, there is no in-game mechanics to balance the differences in population.

The Lens of the Story Machine

Events of your story journey recorded.

  • (My Story Feature 1:30 onwards)
  • If anyone has played Guild Wars 2, it is obvious that Guild Wars 2 has attempted to allow players create their own experience and story throughout their gameplay with the use of “My Story” feature. What it simply does is that it records player’s experience and events like a diary chronologically.
  • Players are able to choose their character’s race, background history, their religion and their character’s personality upon the character creation menu. These details are recorded in the dairy and each player can have varying starting stories.
  • Eventually throughout the story mode, players are given options to choose how they may proceed to achieve. Most of the time, they are given 3 choices catering to 3 very different play styles. Particularly after the turning point of the story, there are three orders which one can choose to join. Each order has very diverse play style. For example, Order of Whispers likes to gather intelligence and sabotage to accomplish tasks, Order of Priory like to do things the intelligence way through researching and discovery and finally Order of Vigil which embraces typical hack-and-slash way of solving things. Through players’ choices, they diverge in different sub stories according to the play style/order they have chosen. To experience the entire picture, players have to play 3 times with three different characters joining three different orders which is considered very good replayability as that story mode are able to stay fresh.
  • Another key success is in the details. All decisions, actions and conversations that players made are recorded down and reflected in the game world which is why the game is able make player feels like they really have a huge impact on the events that happened.
  • The non-linear story quests have excellent voice acting, sound tracks and following dramatic curve of events which are often adopted in films. All these reasons led me to believing in that Guild Wars 2 has been very successfully in the lens of the story machine.

The Lens of Meaningful Choices

  • In Guild Wars 2, there is almost always

    Players have options to choose how they want to achieve their mission

    more than one way of accomplishing objectives and every choice makes senses and makes differences to the game world. Like the story quests, your choices determine the next story mission and can have many alternate paths catering to different play styles. The traits and build of the character affects a lot how it performs in different situations.

  • Players have choices on how they want to level. There is no dominant strategy in levelling and it is totally fine to not level the traditional way of completing quests and exploring maps. In fact, crafting gives good experience and max levelling a single job like tailoring can level players up 10 times. World vs. World is also an option for blood-thirsty players like me because I levelled from 50 to 80 by conquering other worlds/servers’ territories. In Guild Wars 2, there is no need to try hard to level because the game will level your character from whatever you are doing. These levelling choices will eventually aid players in some ways. WvW not only give gold and experiences but honor tokens which allow them to purchase high grade armors. Crafting help players to earn money by selling their products and have the abilities to craft exotics weapons. If players managed to complete all quests and explored the entire map, they will be given a handsome reward as well.
  • Often, the decisions that player made changes the environment/world. For example, liberating a town under siege can give players access to a waypoint. The game let us feel that they really have the power to make an impact in the game.

Game Review [A0078114]

Game title: Defense of the Ancients (DotA)
Game Website Link:
What DotA is about:
DotA is a multi-player online game based on Warcraft 3. The objective of the game is to destroy the opponent’s Ancients which are heavily guarded by layers of defensive towers. Players of 5 will form a team and they stand for the Sentinel and the Scourge separately. Each player takes control of a powerful unit called Hero, each of them with unique abilities. Heroes can level up and accumulate gold to buy equipments.
Analysis Using Lenses
Lens #34: The Lens of Skill vs. Chance
1. Skill is much more appreciated in DotA. In general situations, a better skilled team has a much higher winning rate over a less skilled team; a better skilled player has a better performance over a less skilled player.
2. However, in some delicate scenarios, chance can play a vital role; the effect of chance may vary from some small advantages for a player to a turning point for the whole game play.
Lens #35: The Lens of Head and Hands:
Because the pace of the game is fast and intensive, so it is both a challenge for minds and hands.
Minds may mean:
1. How well you read the game and analyze your strategies as well as your opponent’s strategies.
2. How you maximize your role play in the game.
3. The timing and entry point for a battle.
4. How you allocate the team recourses and how to spend the money etc.
Hands means:
1. How to improve your gold gaining by maximizing your ‘last hitting’.
2. How to cast skills to make the highest damages possible.
3. How to dodge enemy’s skills to survive in a massive nasty battle etc.
Different players have different level of minds and hands skills.
Lens #36: The Lens of Competition
Dota is no fun if it is not competitive and winning a respectful team can be very satisfactory and delightful. It is a measurement of player’s skills as well as the level of a team’s cooperation. Many world-wide tournaments are held for this game and many teams are to compete for
The complexity of the game provides the basis for competition in the game. There’s no single hero or a combination of heroes that can dominate the game; there’s no single strategy that can take care of the victory. Even if you are losing all the way, if can win the game by finding a mistake and turning the situation around. Anything is possible in the game.
Lens #37: The Lens of Cooperation:
One exciting characteristic of DotA is team cooperation. In Dota, players can talk to each other easily by chatting function. They can also signaling (alert enemy coming or attack synchronization) to each other in mini map. To win a battle, the timing and participation is vital. An experienced team can always take down the opponent by initiating a fight with outnumbered participation.
Another aspect of cooperation is division of roles. Different heroes have different abilities and, therefore different roles. There are supporters, carries, initiators, pushers etc. To maximize a game play, the combination of hero’s pick is utterly important.
Lens #47: The Lens of Balance
Because of the complex and diverse nature of the game, the balance of the game is always a hot topic both for players and developers. From my 3 years of game experience, the game has been updated and revised for more than 30 versions. It gets balanced gradually and steadily. No heroes, abilities or items are invulnerable. Whether a hero is powerful or not is usually determined by a player’s skill and its strategy about how to play that hero. In addition, it also has great to do with the combinational effect with allied heroes or against certain types of opponent’s heroes.

[A0074324L] DotA – Defense of the Ancients – Dota 2 trailer – Completed Game, World Final.

DotA is one of the most famous games nowadays. It was created and developed in 2003 but millions of people still play it every day now. In a 2008 article of video game industry website Gamasutra, the article’s author claimed that “DotA is likely the most popular and most-discussed free, non-supported game mod in the world”. So what is DotA and why is it so popular? DotA stands for “Defense of the Ancients” and is a multiplayer online battle arena mod created and developed by Icefrog for Warcraft III. It was only a map of Warcraft III but now Valve Corporation makes it into a stand-alone game, DotA 2. The game is a battle between 2 teams (5 players per team), the objective is to attack and destroy the opponent’s Ancient. The Ancient is heavily guarded by structures and creeps spawn every 30 seconds. The players control a powerful hero chosen by them. There are 3 types of hero: Strength, Agility and Intelligence. As in role-playing games, players level up their heroes throughout the game and use gold earned to buy equipment to upgrade their hero. Now, what makes it so popular among game players around the world?

  • Competition:
    • It’s a player versus player game.
    • Playing against AI is boring. Not because AI cannot be good but it only reacts according to what it was coded. Player’s creativity makes the differences.
    • DotA is a fair measurement of players’ skill since you cannot know what your opponent will do in certain situation; even novices can catch the experts off guard and defeat them.
    • People always want to win when playing against other players, which is a huge motivation for them to think and react better than they usually do.
  • Skill: 
    • Online games nowadays are all about money; the more you pay, the better you will be. Skills only take a small part. In my opinion, I don’t like it. Why money always matter? Skill is what makes a good player.
    • DotA is a fair game of skill. DotA players have good awareness, fast reaction as well as good strategy.
    • So far, there are 110 heroes to choose from and each hero has 4 skills and 6 item slots. Therefore there are many combinations for a game, which require player to think and react accordingly.
    • Since the outcome cannot be unforeseen, there is no skill that dominant. All skill is needed to be a good player and they can be improved by practices. Practice makes perfect.
  • Chance:
    • This feature is what makes players feel up and down many times.
    •  For example: there is a hero called Faceless Void and one of his skills gives him 10%/15%/20%/25% chance (according to level) of completely dodge any coming attack. This means that he can dodge 1 attack out of 4. But those are just number. There many videos online show void backtrack for nearly 10 consecutive times.
    • The chance is truly random. For a Void player, he could feel really happy but for his opponent, they could feel really bad. However because it is random, people trying to kill Void never give up and Void also not afraid to jump into battle. You don’t know which side luck is on.
    • – Void backtrack x10
  • Character Transformation:
    • Any hero can grow strong. It depends on player’s skill and game situation.
    • The main transformation is by buying items. You can earn money in game to buy new items. So depend on how well you earn the money, your hero will transform slow or fast.
    • Players can buy any items that they feel suitable for the current game situation but one wrong items build can make you and your team loses.
    • you can surprise and interest people by buying different items, but don’t lose because of it. Losing is not interesting at all.
    • there is 5 players per team game so you can communicate with other player to create different team transformation suitable for the game.
  • Cooperation:
    • a competitive game but you play it 4 teammates.
    • help you push up your teamwork and communication. Communication between players in DotA is really important since it’s a team battle, people watch each other’s back.
    • Each player play different role. Some heroes are strong in the beginning; some are strong at the end of the game. So players have to support each other’s throughout the game.
    • usually you can play with your friends or you can cooperate with other players around the world.

Candy Crush Saga

Candy Crush Saga is a puzzle game set in a candy land where player have to match 3 candies or more to remove them and score points.

1. Elemental Tetrad
The game has all four of the basic elements. However, aesthetics and story plays more an important role in this game, as the mechanics of the game are simple and similar to the other puzzle games.

a) Aesthetics

The game looks interesting and the candy like theme makes it pleasant to look at. The background song sounds like a fairytale song, which matches well with the theme. In addition, the sound of making a move or crushing the candies adds to the realism of the game.

b) Mechanics

The basic mechanics of the game basically to match candies to remove them and score points. A special combination of 4 or 5 candies will create special sweets, which will then able to help to crush more candies when combined with other sweets.

A level can only be completed after achieving an expected score to gain a star and complete the challenge at every level.

The mechanics of the game are similar to any other match-3 puzzle, which allows player to learn the game easily.

c) Story

The game has a storyline for every stage, which makes the game more interesting to play. In addition, the story is being described as an animation and allows the player to interact with it. In every episode, when a few levels have been reached, there are new stories coming up and new goals that need to be achieved. An example of a story would be that by completing level 1 to 20, the candy maker is able to wake up and make the candies.

d) Technology

The game can be played either or the computer, offline or online, mobile and tablet.

2. Curiosity

The game consists of 215 levels of which for every 20 levels or lesser, there is an episode. An example would be only by completing level 1 to level 20, player are able to wake up the candy maker to make the candy and go on to the next stage. The episodes in the game have aroused the curiosity of the player in wanting to know what is there in the next stage. Personally, I keep playing the game because I would like to know what’s going to happen next. Arousing the curiosity of the player could make them keep playing and getting addict to the game.

3. Flow

Since the game has so many levels, the game has varieties of mode with different challenges that is moves & score, jelly, ingredients, time limited and candy order. It keeps the game fun with the varieties of mode. However, as a player, it could be confusing. It is not yet the next episode but there are so many modes during that single episode. As a player, I ended up forgetting what is the goal of that level whether to get the expected scores or collect the ingredient. The flow is somehow lost which eventually make the player not able to complete the level goal.

4. Feedback

The game explains the instruction for every level, which allow the player to know what are the objective of the game. There are also hints provided during the play therefore the player won’t be stuck. Having this feedback to the player will make the game easier and fun to play as there is not a need to keep reading the instruction to play the game. However, with the feedback pop up too fast, it could annoy the player. As a player in the game, I feel that the hints sometimes distract me while playing the game and make me felt unsatisfied towards the game.

5. Meaningful Choice

The player has to decide the movement of candy to make them disappear. It is important that he make the correct position or else the level could not be solve as the subsequent moves will depend on the previous moves. There are hints given in the game but that does not mean the hint is the best solution. Therefore the player has to make the decision. The choices in the game make the game more fun as it allows the player to think twice before making any moves.

Soul Calibur V

SoulCalibur website :
Gameplay video :

The SoulCalibur franchise has been one that I have been following since young and provided me hours of great enjoyment and entertainment. Soul Calibur is a 3D fighting game, by developer Namco, which first started off as ‘Soul Edge’ in 1996 on PlayStation and Arcades. SoulCalibur exhibits a variety of original characters in a beautifully designed medieval environment and is accompanied by well-orchestrated original sound track which adds in to the heroic feel that the game has. But what appealed to me the most is that unlike most of big name fighting games, SoulCalibur heavily features the use of a wide array of weapons as its fighting mechanism. Today the series is at its 8th instalment with ‘SoulCalibur V’ released in 2012 and it will be the game I will analyse for this assignment.

The lens of skill

SoulCalibur V is all about real skills which physical, mental and social skills.

The physical skills requires the user’s dexterity and reflexes to both input commands and react to the opponent’s attack. While simple attacks can usually be performed by pressing one button and a direction, long combos and special attacks are much more demanding in terms of physical skills. They require pressing a series of buttons of two or more buttons simultaneously in a strict timing. Critical hit are usually performed with the notoriously hard to input command involving a double quarter circle on the direction pad and pressing 3 buttons at the same time. Of course, this command can be more easily performed by using the analogue stick and shoulder buttons of the PS3 controller, but the player still needs to time his input to his opponent move. Whether a critical hit will be effective or misses is often a frame-by-frame matter.

The player must also memorise each move of his character in order to vary his attacks and make him less predictable. Combos can be learned and practiced in the Practice mode of the game and players can achieve a reasonable level of mastery in quite a short period of time. However, to truly excel in the game, knowing his own character is not enough. One must also learn the moves of the opponent’s character and know how to react to them. Knowledge about the length, speed, direction and range of a combo as well as the vulnerability interval of each attack give an edge to the player.

The strategic and tactical aspect is perhaps the thing I enjoy the most in a battle. It involves social skills like reading the opponent, trying to feint him and counter his attacks. The game takes a whole new dimension when skilled players are trying to outsmart each other, using their character’s own set of skills and attribute. The game emphasizes a lot on space and situation awareness. The player always has to gauge his opponent’s range and speed while avoiding certain areas on the fight ring which would expose oneself to a ringout, automatically losing the round.

The lens of competition

Competition is present throughout almost all of the game modes. I usually spend most of the time playing the offline versus mode against friends, trying to beat the other and finding out who is the most skilled. The gameplay provide a lot of tension and winning a match can be particularly satisfying. The online versus mode also enables players from all other the world to compete against each other and the online ranking system try to achieve a fair ground for players to compete against opponents of the same level. The difficulty level can be adjusted for the game’s other offline game mode, thus enabling novices t0 meaningfully compete against the game AI.

The lens of beauty

SoulCalibur graphics are gorgeous. The characters are beautifully designed, with each having their different costumes and weapons reflecting their own personality. This makes the characters more believable and helps the player relate to the more easily, thus making them more fun to play with. From the magnificently crafted stages to the good voice acting and the epic-heroic sound tracks, all is done just right to provide a compelling environment. Story telling is also quite well done using cinematographic scenes, and keeps the player interested enough in the storyline of the game. The soundtrack is also a delight, with very well-orchestrated heroic-epic music which makes the game this much better.  

The lens of the avatar

Character creation or customisation is definitely one of the features that I enjoyed the most in the game. It allows the player to create a new characters based on the default fighting style, by selecting from an array of different body types, outfits and equipment. SoulCalibur V’s character creation system is an expansion of its prequel, where the user is given more customisable options. This creates a connection between the player and the created character or avatar. I actually did spend a lot of time creating new characters and I can more often than not, project myself into this avatar. As such, playing with this avatar becomes more engaging and also adds variety to the characters we encounter in the game, especially in the online mode where people across the world can fight as their own avatar. This gives the impression of playing against other people and not just an AI controlled default character in the game.

The lens of the character web

The SoulCalibur’s story has bas been spanning over more than 16 years now and a lot of the characters have been introduced in the series. Each of them has different relationship with other characters that seasoned players are familiar with. The series often introduce new characters which add on to the intricate relationships. In order for players to keep up with the relationship among characters, a character web has been presented, allowing seasoned and new players alike to get a better understanding.




Trailer :

Summary : LIMBO is a horroresque puzzle game where the protagonist of the game, a little bob-haired boy (whose name is never mentioned), tries to find his way out of a wasteland by running through deathtraps and gigantic spiders.

#26: The Lens of Rules

Within minutes of the playing the game, the player will realise:

  • Death is not an issue
  • Jumping from a high height is deadly
  • Watch where you walk


Through trial and error, the player will come to realise that the rules of the game is narrows down to two things; obey the laws of physics and keep trying.

 #34 : The Lens of Skill vs. Chance

To jump or not to jump? There’s plenty of risk taking in this game as the puzzles is designed in such a precise way that you can survive, just barely, if you take the leap of faith at the right moment. If you don’t survive, it’s okay you can always revive at the start of the puzzle and try again. The skill of the player lies in detecting the risk and deciding whether they want to take the risk or to look for another method to solve the problem at hand.

#42: The Lens of Simplicity / Complexity

The goal of the game is simple; survive the wasteland. However, it can be too simple as the player will often be found reiterating the same sequence of actions, mainly running, solving a puzzle and avoiding death. Beyond the challenges presented by the puzzles in the game there are no game mechanics such as plot or economy to keep a player captivated. Thus a player who is not easily intrigued by the explorative puzzles may become bored quickly.

#45: The Lens of Imagination

A black cube is a box. Eight spindly black extrusions connected by a round black blob in the middle is a giant spider. The graphics in LIMBO is made up of white, black and shades of gray. The protagonist, sprites and objects in the game are portrayed as silhouettes so this ramps up the power of the player’s imagination as they encounter silhouettes that are too eerily reminiscent of creatures and devices found in nightmares and horror films.

#48: The Lens of Accessibility

At the beginning of the game, there is no introduction or instruction on how to play the game. Just the protagonist on the screen and a player with a controller. Through trial-and-error, the player will realise that the boy can run and jump around on screen at will– until he walks over a bear trap and is snapped to death. But no worries, as the boy will revive in front of the trap, and the player will now realise that the protagonist is supposed to avoid the trap by jumping over it.

This is similarly so with the different puzzle mechanics in the game. Much of the game mechanics can be assumed through real world comparisons; a see-saw will swing higher and higher if you work with the momentum and a signboard hanging on a loose screw will fall if you put too much weight on it. If something surprisingly fatal happens, you can always learn to overcome it on the next try as death is never an issue.


by    Chua Chong Yun