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I’m not sure when it happened, but somewhere along the line I hit a point where all my gaming was being tracked by someone, somewhere. If I played an Xbox game, my Xbox Live friends knew it. If I played a PS3 or Vita title, my PSN friends knew. On the PC, Steam and Raptr both paid attention to what I was playing and let my friends know.

But when I start playing a 3DS game it’s like I drop off the radar. Sure, I have exchanged Friend Codes with some of my 3DS owning friends but Nintendo kind of shuffles the Friends stuff off to the side. I do think I can see when a friend is online but I don’t think I can see what they’re playing. I’m not 100% positive though since it’s so cumbersome to check that I’ve never bothered to do so.

All of which is just a rambling waste of space before sharing the fact that I’m still playing Fire Emblem: Awakening and still loving it. I’m moving through the story very slowly and spending a lot of time leveling up my troops via bringing in Bonus Armies and fighting on DLC maps. I realize it’s only March but Fire Emblem is an early contender for my personal game of the year. If you have any interest at all in strategy-RPGs, get this game, even if it means buying a 3DS to play it on. Yup, it is a system seller, in my opinion.

I’m still poking at Ni No Kuni too. I sometimes let it sit for as much as a week before I go back in and grind a little bit more. It’s such an un-even game. Long passages of mindlessly grinding mobs followed by short bursts of interesting boss battles. I seem to remember there was some kind of a story but it’s dished out in such tiny, infrequent morsels that I kind of forget what it was all about. Probably if I could stomach boring grinding night after night I’d remember.

I’m not against grinding, really. I’m grinding in Fire Emblem honestly. The different is that Fire Emblem has a combat system that makes grinding fun, while Ni No Kuni has a combat system that just feels sloppy and imprecise to me. Most of the time spent in grinding battles is taken up in getting into and out of the battle system. The actual fights take seconds and usually I just spam the attack key until everything falls down. Mana potions are so expensive that I rarely use magic unless I’m right outside town (so I can hit the Inn and recharge my mana).

Part of this is my own fault. I switch up Familiars too often so now my characters are in their 30s but my highest level familiars are closer to 20, which means I have a lot of work to do catching them up. And random mobs tend to run away now which adds to my frustration.

But I’m going to keep soldiering on! I’m determined not to give up on this game!



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