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From Coleco Vision To iPhone Games: Some High Water Marks In Video Game Design History – Part 4

 In this fourth part of the series we will examine some more of those classic moments where video game designers undoubtedly got it right and delivered a memorable, enduring and progressive gaming experience.

Street Fighter II (arcade) Developed by Capcom as a follow-up to their much maligned original Street Fighter title, Street Fighter II (SF2) solidified the company as the industry leader in fighting game design.In searching for the standout design elements of SF2, the search begins and ends with the games incredible balance.Featuring 8 characters, SF2 presented players with more character options than most arcade games up to that point.Faced with this large selection, many players chose one of the games stars (Ken & Ryu) as their character of choice.Armed with their combination of ha-do-kens and sho-ryu-kens, these two seemed at first glance to be the games strongest characters.However, the beauty of SF2 was the fact that each character had their own strengths and, despite initial impressions, their own vulnerabilities.Despite the fact that most players used either Ken or Ryu, many of the worlds best tournament players could be found using the games quartet of boss characters: Sagat, M.Bison, Vega and Balrog.The mighty Zangief was another darling of world class players due to his incredibly powerful arsenal of moves, while those who invested the time into mastering Dhalsims intricate ranged attacks also garnered their fair share of tournament victories.Thanks to ingenious balancing on the part of the games designers, each character offered players their own distinct path to victory and placed all players on equal footing among their peers.Day of Defeat v1.2-1.3b (PC) This popular World War 2 themed Half-Life mod has since gone onto retail release, but most fans will agree that the game actually peaked with the release of Beta 1.2 in April, 2001.With precious few levels (and even fewer actually being used), most of the games of this early iteration of Day of Defeat (DoD) were played on the maps DoD_Caen, DoD_Hill, DoD_Snowtown, DoD_Dam, Dod_Valley and a selection of Normandy-like maps.The incredible amounts of traffic on DoD servers at the time spoke to the quality of the game, but much like SFII, the standout element for this game was its near perfect balance.Players had the choice of choosing either the Allied or Axis forces, but the choice made little difference to the overall gameplay.DoD, perhaps more so than any other shooter before it, truly allowed the player to showcase their skill set.Missing were the super guns or tactical nukes of other games of the era.Instead, players were armed the most basic options of rifle or machine gun.Battles were won with teamwork and skill rather than firepower and a race to the super weapons.In an era where space themed shooters and a bigger is better attitude dominated the FPS landscape, DoD delivered a gaming experience that demanded collaboration to succeed, and kept the players grounded in the harsh reality of wartime combat.Balanced gameplay, skilled players rising to the top to become team leadersFree Web ContentFind Article, limited but near perfect maps and a less is more approach to weapons and player classes are what makes DoD v 1.2-1.3b a game that truly deserves its place among the all time best.

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Tim Kennedy writes on behalf of AppsPatrol. He recommends you visit AppsPatrol for your iphone app reviews and iphone game reviews.

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