Mid-week doldroms

Evenings sure do go by quickly during the week, don’t they? I feel like I’m just settling down for some gaming and its time for bed. That’s not literally true, but it feels that way.

Which gets me to my point of not having done much that’s blog-worthy. I played some Persona 3, having gotten re-enthused about it both by playing Megaten and by the glowing reviews of Persona 4 that are going around. P3 is proving to be a difficult game to jump back into…so many things that I no longer understand. So I play a bit, read a bit, back and forth, and slowly its coming back to me. I just really don’t want to start over from scratch.

I also updated the Beta That Shall Not Be Named and started playing it, but its one of these games that causes every fan in my system to kick into over-drive until it sounds like a vacuum cleaner is running inside my case (Warhammer does this at times, too). I don’t know for sure that its bad for the machine, but it is certainly annoying and I’m not willing to risk my system to beta-test. 🙁

Then I updated Dream of Mirror Online, once again inspired by Tipa. I knew I’d played it before but couldn’t remember which of the many Free2Play MMOs it was. Once I got in, it all came back to me. This game starts out simple to the point of dull. Get a quest, open the map, click on the quest location on the map. Your avatar runs there on auto-pilot. Click the baddie and wait until its dead. Open the map, click on the quest-giver to return to him. Turn in quest. Repeat.

I’m sure it gets more interesting at higher levels but last night I got to exactly where I got the last time…out of the starter areas and into Eversun City. It was hard to get enthused about going back the first time, but reading Tipa’s posts gives me hope.

So all-in-all, I got nothing accomplished last night. Reading about the RMT in EQ2 took a lot of time, granted. But I need to focus on choosing ONE game for a given weeknight rather than flathering around between several.

I captured a monument site in Nile Online and started harvesting Limestone for the monument itself (which will take about 5 days at the rate I’m going now).

The baby guinea pig is settling in nicely, starting to play in her house (pushing toys around, running laps, etc) and not being so freaked out when held.

Beta report! Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine

I was reading Tipa’s post about Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine (aka Megaten, aka Persona Online) this morning, and not an hour later Massively had a post announced beta client and keys were available from Filefront.

I was kind of in an “Off the grid” mood tonight so a beta mmo where I was completely anonymous sounded like just the thing (that, and Tipa hasn’t steered me wrong yet). I snagged the client, patched up and jumped in. I was warned going in that the servers were being a bit flaky tonight; they just rolled out some big patch I guess, and this *is* beta, and sure enough I didn’t get too far in before I got disconnected and as of right now even their web site is throwing an Error 500.

But from the half-hour or so I got to play, I was very pleasantly surprised. The game starts feeling very much like a JRPG, with you an untried hero ready to fight against the demons that have invaded our world from otherwhere. The perky older, more experienced warrior that guides you through your first steps is a comfortable cliche and does a good job of teaching basic controls (and I’m pretty sure this first bit was a solo instance). Oddly when you leave her side, you go to a ‘virtual battlefield’ where a crusty old cliche warrior walks you through the same steps. I imagine one or the other of these sequences will be cut from the release game.

Tipa’s post covers the early game well enough that there’s no need for me to rehash things, and she got more time in. Combat is active/actiony, and thankfully WASD movement is supported (not always a given in Eastern MMOs). The interface felt clean and crisp. The art-style is pure Persona and so is the music. It just had a real nostalgic feel to it. Unfortunately a lot of the storyline text is still in Japanese, and the fact that this bugged me in itself says something about the title: I want to know what happened!

Definitely another title to put on my “to play” list. These Free-To-Play MMOs are really growing in quality lately. Not very long ago they were all cookie-cutter grind-fests, but not any more.