Friday, March 4, 2011

What I've Been Up To Lately

I'm feeling particularly verbose today. Also, this blog hasn't been updated in almost a month. It's the perfect storm.

Here are some of the games I've been playing lately:

Dragon Quest IX
This game is awesome. It takes a lot of the best elements from the Dragon Quest series (called Dragon Warrior in the United States until recently), and adds several new ones. Most importantly, the class system from Dragon Quest III (often considered to be the best Dragon Quest game... by me) is brought back, but more importantly it is improved upon. Even more importantly, it's on the DS so I can game on campus. Even more more importantly, it is about a year old now so I was able to pick it up at a used game store for a fair price.

Marvel vs. Capcom 3
That's right, the third installment is here! It's gonna take you for a wild ride!
Lame jokes aside, this game is kickin' rad. I can't offer a fair compare-and-contrast report on it, as I never actually played any of the other games in the series. However, I can say that as a player new to the franchise, this game in particular was very easy to learn but not skimpy on advanced maneuvers. Thus, it caters to both the casual and hardcore without losing too much appeal either way. The art style is phenomenal, combining arcade graphics with comic book texture. The characters are fun and flashy, the combat is fast-paced, and the music is hot (Capcom hits it out of the park once again).

Pokemon Emerald
Our friend Will finally sold his copy of this game to me about half a year ago when he was binging on classic games and was strapped for cash. I mainly have been playing it lightly to brush up a little on my Pokemon raising technique (in anticipation of the impending release of the fifth generation of Pokemon games); playing any Pokemon game helps jog my brain into coming up with cool teams and combinations. I just took a jaunt through the Elite Four again with the team that I raised over the Summer (a grass-heavy setup that I went with as a test of patience and skill; Slaking pretty much carried me through the tough parts). Wallace is a piece of dookie. That is all.

Final Fantasy Tactics
I pull this gem out every little while. It certainly makes my top ten list of favorite games (don't ask me to rank games too much, it gets messy). This time, I ran it on my laptop with an emulator (usually I don't play roms legally, but I actually own the real game so I'm completely safe from the law). I won't talk about the game itself too much, because I'd love for everyone to give it a try (like a lot of my favs, it's not everyone's particular cup of tea). The reason I'm running it on an emulator is because FFT has spawned a healthy hacking community; thus, I'm playing the game with a rebalancing hack that redefines the gameplay without mucking too much with the core mechanics (for the folks playing along at home, have you guessed why I'm single?). It's definitely changing up the game experience, which is welcome considering that between my elder brother and me we've probably beaten the game upwards of six times straight through.

With so many great new games slated to come out this year, this is just a transitory period. A new game will come out and I'll end up playing that exclusively for at least a week. After that, it gets put into the rotation with all the other games in my repertoire. Over the years I've amassed a great library of games that I can go back to; I'm never bored. What a fine hobby we gamers have.

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