Failing the Focus Saving Throw

I guess if Tipa can own up to being distracted, so can I.

Not too long ago I got a tax refund. Now, in my old life I was a huge Game Grazer, and I bought a *lot* of games that I never finished, or in some cases never even tore the shrinkwrap off of. But life changes, and with it finances, and my buying habits had to change rather dramatically.

So these days (meaning for the last year or so), I buy very few games, but the tax refund made me feel unjustifiably flush at the same time that I seem to be more-or-less on a break from MMO gaming, and I have to admit I gave in to a spurt of retail therapy.

Problem now is…I can’t decide what to play first! So instead I’m round-robin playing all kinds of things, and not really making any progress in any of them. Must…gain….focus!!!

So over the past few days I’ve spent time in:

Rune Factory Frontier
(Wii): Day 30 ended up being a disappointment, but that’s another post. I really need to keep moving forward with this one, but I think I’ve accepted that it’s going to be a tortoise rather than a hare game. Given how many hours its taken me to get through the first season, I know I’ll never “finish” (if you really can finish) if I try to play it exclusively.

Final Fantasy Chrystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time (Wii): I’d heard that this was a pretty good action-rpg hack & slasher. I’ve only played a tiny bit. The graphics were a bit of a shock: you can get this title for the Wii or the DS and apparently the same assets are used in both versions. In fact on the Wii there are two screens (side by side) emulating the dual screens of the DS.

At the same time, what little bit of the writing I experienced, I liked. It sounds bizarre saying that, like taking a first paragraph of a book and declaring “This is a great book!” but it was just a feeling. I think I’ll enjoy the story. The combat seems ok, but again, much too early to say for sure.

Phantasy Star Portable (PSP): Yes, another hack & slash action-RPG. Only two sessions with this one so far. Lots of systems that aren’t immediately obvious. I think I may have to shelve this title until I’m ready to really focus on it. The controls are just ‘off’ enough that they’ll take some time to feel at home with, and that by itself kind of demands exclusivity. There seems to be a LOT to do in the game though, all kinds of ways of building your character using a FF like job system. Looking forward to it, but for now it might have to be back-burnered.

BTW, I bought Phantasy Star Portable for about $1 after trading in some old games to Amazon for $25 credit plus a $10 promotion they were running, so it doesn’t have to do a lot to prove its value to me.

Luminous Arc 2 (DS): This was an Amazon Lightning deal, I think. It came with a CD of the in-game music and an art book (which is kind of nice). I can’t remember what sucked me in to buying it beyond the fact that Atlus has a genius marketing department and I love supporting little publishers like this one. I *thought* I was buying another J-RPG, but it turns out this is a turn-based s-rpg, a la Final Fantasy Tactics or the wonderful Jeanne d’Arc on the PSP. I really, really enjoy games like this one, so I’m pushing it towards the top of the stack, but honestly have only played the first mission. Lots of story cut-scenes, which I absolutely love, but I know many people hate the idea of story slowing down their games.

Fallout 3 (PC): I fear this one got over-hyped. I keep waiting for it to hook me but so far it really hasn’t. It’s depressing as hell and, ironically enough (after what I said in the above paragraph) there’s way too much talking through dialog trees. I played for an hour today and never left town. Well I lie…I finally left town, started to fight something, and the game locked up. Yay PC gaming!

I’ll say its well written enough that Angela will chuckle or comment as she overhears 1 side of the conversation. I just think the pacing is a little off. Get the player out there fighting and then layer on the storyline. When I do leave town, I have to run all over hell and back through grim and *EMPTY* wasteland before I get to do something. I keep hearing this is like a 100 hour game, and I’ve only put in about 3 hours, so I probably need to cut it some slack. Maybe I’ll download that “greenery” mod for it.

Free Realms (PC): I’m in the beta, but I dunno if they’re going to wipe (I assume they are) and launch is soon, isn’t it? I’m a bit wary of playing a lot, then getting wiped and having to re-do all the same stuff. NDA says I can’t comment on the gameplay, but I’ll definitely be giving it a look after launch.

EQ2 (PC): Don’t tell Angela, but I re-activated my account on Friday, got all patched up, but haven’t logged in yet. See above for reasons why. I’m very resistant to being sucked down the rabbit hole of an MMO right now, but she’s so excited about showing me the new guild hall… I need to figure out a way to play it “a little bit.”

LOTRO (PC): I log in here every so often to pay my rent and grind out some quests and just wander Middle Earth. Really enjoy the game but again, MMO. I’m kindof gravitating towards single player games with a The End screen that’ll eventually appear, these days.

Whew! So I think that’s everything (well, except quickies like Peggle & Aquia on the DS) or low-level shorties like Animal Crossing which I log into a couple times a week just to week the town and stuff.

Needless to say, I’ve got enough gaming here to last me through to December! And I pre-ordered that crazy Zeno Crash brawler from Steam that comes out this week. So more to come!

8 thoughts on “Failing the Focus Saving Throw

  1. I only got the briefest of glimpses at the new guild hall myself – I’m out of town on business through Tues Night, and it was only fortuitous timing that caused me to log on to burn my crafting rested exp at the exact moment we were packing up and moving. The place was huge and very empty, it’ll be interesting to see what it looks like come Wednesday. πŸ™‚

  2. “EQ2 (PC): Don’t tell Angela, but I re-activated my account on Friday, got all patched up, but haven’t logged in yet.”

    RAR! Log in already, you know you wanna! Maybe we can have piano-lounge hour or something! πŸ˜€

  3. I think Fallout is chock full of places of interest. Sure, it’s mostly a blasted, brown, desolate wasteland, but this is the apocalypse. But I ran into all sorts of interesting areas just wandering around aimlessly. Plus, you start out fighting – right outside the vault you start in is a school where you do some early fighting. The only real flaw I had with the game is that ammo was really, really hard to come by in the beginning (so VATS was incredibly important for combat), but once you get to GNR ammo is endless supply. It was a night and day difference; given that this is a post-apocalyptic setting, I would have preferred that the game remain stingy with the ammo longer.

  4. I don’t remember a school. I left the vault, walked to Megaton. Spent an hour or so talking to everyone in Megaton. Went to a supermarket to get some supplies, and did fight some raiders there. Went back to Megaton and spent another hour talking to everyone, plus standing in a pool of radioactive water for 5 minutes to get my radiation sickness up for a quest. Then walked a long way across a barren landscape to a place where I have to fight some ants and the game locked up.

    Hopefully I have a recent auto-save so I didn’t lose a lot of progress.

    Anyway, total play time: ~3 hours. Total combat time: 10-15 minutes of fighting raiders in that store.

    I’m sure it gets better, (by most accounts I’m just 3% of the way into the game) it’s just a game that is going to require a significant investment of time.

    And me retraining myself to SAVE OFTEN! I’m so used to playing MMOs on the PC that I never remember to manually save. LOL

  5. Oh, just blow up Megaton and move on to more interesting things already! They do chit chat too much. That’s why they had to die. πŸ™‚

  6. You know I think just a couple of hours on the weekend would be ideal for EQ2. Maybe on say… Saturday Evening πŸ™‚

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