Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Then I can get that +5 Skull...

Being something of a slave to the RPG, and having managed to catch the second wave of copies flooding into stores, I am now happily enmeshed in Puzzle Quest. The idea that Bejeweled + Progress Bar is enough to make me engage in high level spatial reasoning in the name of mana development is, I think, some comment on my desperate wish to be considered clever by machines that do not consider me one way or the other. My humble DS can, of course, parse the ramifications of a specific rearranging of the game grid far faster than I can, and seems to smirk at me as I miss the obvious Four of a Kind that I could have done in advance of the cool thing that distracted me.

Until I got the Ultimate Troll Ring or whatever it is, that regenerates three points per turn so long as my blue mana pool is at some level (15?), I was getting schooled. I firmly believe that I was spending waaay too much money on my citadel in the early game, and not enough on bling. This is perhaps a function of not reading the manual, yet. I mean, how hard can it be, right?! On the other hand, much of the Shop is level-locked, so I don’t quite characterize it as misuse of funds, really. Suffice it to say that with the ring my little wizard is rocking the kazbah. Need a new burn spell, though. Fire Bolt is weak sauce.

Anyway, the point is that having acquired an “RPG” which promises dual-dialogue cut scenes aplenty, I was aghast and agog to discover that a bona fide contender in the RPG genre was released today for the DS. Looking a little like the prettiest Hunt the Wumpus you ever did see, Etrian Odyssey has a lot going for it on paper – a mapping subtheme that allows you to remember your own damn way out of the Labyrinth, rich graphics, and spritely anime heroes to level up to your heart’s content. I was a little bummed to see that the dialogue and menu options appear to still require the use of the direction pad and A spamming (as opposed to the immensely more gratifying tap-spamming) but all in all it looks like a pretty darn good game, and a no-brainer for people like me who just can’t wait to spend skill points like a mad fiend…

In other news, I also picked up Touch Detective today, in the hopes that it would be appropriate for the boo boo to play along. She is a fiend for the mysteries. I’m beginning to think that I’m just going to have to design a scenario-based tabletop detective game for her - a la 221B Baker Street, but in this case more like 221B Sesame Street.

Has anyone come up with a workable solution to the “tiny chip, gigantic box” problem with DS games? I’ve seen some tacky little folios that solve the “where’s my game” problem, but I have no idea where to stick the cases…might be time for a purge.

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