Rainbow Moon: Grinding heaven

I've been playing Rainbow Moon for six hours and I absolutely ADORE it. Consider 7th Dragon all but forgotten for now.

The story of how my gamer's path crossed Rainbow Moon's one is quite a convoluted one. It is actually twofold, and here's how it goes:

On one hand, I've been unsuccessfully looking for a certain type of RPG for quite some time now. Said RPG would have to be brutally grindy and to revolve solely around building up my characters' strength, preferably slowly and on the very long run. It would also have to sport a simple interface and unfussy gameplay while still boasting a modicum of depth. Gorgeous graphics and bright colours would obviously be much appreciated, if only to caress and soothe my retinas while I'm grinding like a beast. Grandblue Fantasy as described by Kina seemed to be a perfect match; but alas, it's a browser game, and a Japanese one to boot, and I rather wanted to play that super-grindy game alone with myself on one of my portable consoles. Some mobile games could have been adequate candidates, if not for the fact that they were always too simplistic, too ugly or required constant internet connexion to even be played, which is something I loathe. So I kept looking and pinning for that ideal grindy RPG, hoping to encounter it one day.

On the other hand, I recently discover an amazing website: Limited Run Games, a.k.a. A Collector's Wet Dream. This North Carolina-based team of distributors had the most amazing idea of printing and releasing physical copies of digital games, in small batches to keep the hype up and the ball rolling. Cherry on the cake, I was lucky enough to discover them just as they were about to unleash a slew of RPGs. Or nearly so: as a matter of fact, I missed the release of Rainbow Moon by a mere couple of days (which could as well have been centuries, given how their games are usually sold out in a matter of minutes, if not seconds). Undeterred, I jumped on Ebay and unearthed a fairly priced copy of Rainbow Moon; but before pressing the Buy button, I wanted to make sure that this game was really worth a physical purchase. Fortunately, I had bought it on a PSN sale a couple of months before; so I dug up the memory card that contained it, booted my Vita and started a test playthrough.

That's where the two parts of my story beautifully merge together. Not only did I love Rainbow Moon enough to warrant an immediate and frantic purchase, but that game also turned out to be the massively grindy RPG I had desperately been seeking for so long. If this is not serendipity at its most glorious, I don't know what is.

One reason I would never have thought Rainbow Moon could fit the bill and be the grindy RPG of my dreams is the fact that it has been universally presented as a Tactical RPG or SRPG. That's a bit of misinformation here, if you ask me. Rainbow Moon is actually a very classic Turn-based RPG with an SRPG-flavoured battle system, similar to Astonishia Story or Popolocrois. This SRPG overtone is a double-edged sword: while it brings some welcome variety and complexity to all things fighting, it also drags the game down by making battles overly long and drawn-out. The combination of brutal grindiness and slow battles is a potent and deadly one indeed; and while I adore Rainbow Moon, I'm not shy to admit that playing this game exhausts me. I invariably end up drained after a mere hour of play, no matter how pumped up I am when I boot my Vita. And I'm usually very pumped up.

Mind you, I wouldn't want to have Rainbow Moon any other way. The initial piece of gear sported by hero Baldren is called "Daily Grind Armor", and this name brilliantly sums up the ethos of Rainbow Moon. This is a very long game that requires patience and endurance, a game that's better played in small doses on the very long run. And heck, that's exactly how I intend to play it. Mind you, I am under no illusion that I will manage to finish Rainbow Moon in one go. Things will probably unfold that way: I'll play it a couple more hours until I get bored, then I'll play something else, then I'll come back to it until I'm bored again, and so on until I either finish it or drop it.

But hey, let's not put the cart before the horse. Finishing or dropping Rainbow Moon is but a distant prospect for the time being, as I'm relishing every second spent playing and making my slow but determined way through the game world. There are still many places to discover, many levels to grind, many foes to slaughter and many hours of enjoyment to savour. I'm not done talking about Rainbow Moon and you're not done reading about it, dear fellow gamers. See you soon for more musings about that new crush of mine! Thanks for reading, and be my guest anytime!


7th Dragon III: Done and (nearly) dusted

This time it's for real, people. I am standing proudly on VFD's still sizzling remains, covered in sweat, blood and grime, in the middle of a battlefied littered with dragons' corpses. Oh, the thrill!

That cursed beast was not so hard to kill after all, and a bit of preparation went a long way into making it easier to slaughter. I buffed up all my units with special accessories, treated the cats at Meowdens to some Fancy Cat Food in order to fill up all Exhaust Gauges and then went back at it with a vengeance. I used all three teams to make the most of everybody's Exhaust Gauge, unleashing devastating EX Skills at the very beginning of each phase to get a good edge. I kept my usual Rune Knight/Agent/Fortuner team for the third and last phase, with the idea of taking advantage of the Hacking that can be generated by my Agent's EX Skill. Things when as planned, with VFD 3.0 being hacked right from the first turn. Hooray! It couldn't focus and attack after that, which allowed me to use Dragon Hatchlings on my Rune Knight and Agent and unleash a second wave of devastating EX Skills, combined with buffs obtained from Support Skills for good measure. Oh, the intensity! VFD 3.0 was hacked again and left with only a tiny portion of its HP bar, which I proceeded to empty with my most powerful regular attacks. The showdown was over after a couple of turns, without having required more Dragon Hatchlings or even a Unison attack. Now that's a neat and sleek boss fight if I ever fought one. Now that the dragon counter is empty at long last, let the credits roll!

Roll they did; and before I knew it, I was standing at the entrance of the postgame dungeon. Said postgame dungeon turned out to be quite disappointing, if I have to be totally honest. Not only is it a boss rush that implies fighting stronger versions of every single boss fought in the game, but its takes place in a dungeon that recycles bits and pieces of all the dungeons visited throughout the game. Oh, and it boasts dragons as regular trash mobs, obviously. Now, do I want to explore the same dungeons again in order to kill bosses I've already killed? Heck, no!! If I wanted to do this, I'd replay the game itself, thank you very much. Give me an exclusive dungeon with exclusive foes, Sega!

Oh, well. I can't say I'm crestfallen by this turn of events, because I've already had my fill of dragon-slaughtering and dungeon-crawling (or nearly so; but more on that in a bit). 7th Dragon III is an amazing game that I adored from beginning to end, and I'm immensely grateful to Sega for having localized it. With hindsight, I'm also glad that I own both the Japanese and North-American versions of the game, because it deserves all the support it can get. As a matter of fact, I'm planning to purchase the European edition as well as soon as it's released, to show the depth of my love for this game. And one extra purchase can certainly not hurt when it comes to supporting the series and paving the way for future western localizations of its entries, oh no precious.

All in all, 7th Dragon III is pretty much a perfect game in my book. Great aesthetics, great music, great gameplay, great atmosphere, great game overall. The flaws I mentioned in my very first post were somehow taken care of: the excessive easiness disappeared and the railroading, while remaining present and stringent throughout the game, was so brilliantly executed that it was hardly noticeable, let alone painful. The pacing was brisk while maintaining breather moments at the right time and I was always eager to move on to the next step in line no matter what, so all this railroading really didn't hurt at all nor tainted my whole gameplay experience. One teeny-tiny flaw I would like to mention actually revealed itself at the very end of my playthrough: there is not enough dungeon-crawling in 7th Dragon III! This is not really noticeable during the game because of the high encounter rate and the many dragons hovering around, but dungeons are actually quite tiny and there are not so many of them. Now that all is said and done, I'm left with an unsated crawling hunger despite the 35 hours of play I poured into that game. I'm pretty sure that this is due to my insatiable appetite for all things Roaming&Crawling, though; most gamers will probably deem the amount of dungeon-crawling present in 7th Dragon III perfectly decent.

Now that I polished off 7th Dragon III, discovering the series at long last in the process, I totally plan to play the original 7th Dragon as well as 7th Dragon 2020 and 2020-II. I own them all, which is a great starting point; and from what I've seen, they use the same templates as 7th Dragon III when it comes to interface and general gameplay, so I should be at home when playing them even if my Japanese is still lacking. The box of 7th Dragon is sitting on top of a console at home, taunting me and begging me to play it; I don't know when I will, but I'd wager that it will be quite soon. Thanks for reading, and be my guest anytime!


7th Dragon III: Curse you, VFD!!

Remember when I promised in my last post that I would write again once I stood on the final boss' remains? Well, said final boss is still alive and breathing, to my utter irritation. Still, I didn't completely break my promise: although I'm not standing on its remains yet, I still killed it somehow. Twice, actually. So I'm perfectly entitled to write that post, all the more so as I have some burning and whirling feelings to get off my chest.

That bastard VFD!! I had pondered the meaning of its initials before, settling on something like "Very First Dragon" or "Very Final Dragon"; but I'm now convinced that it means "Vile F*cking Douchebag". How dare that boss pull off a stunt that no boss in the game had pulled out before, namely to boast several forms? And how dare Sega play such a nasty trick on me, subverting my expectations for that final fight? That's so underhand, that really is.

Mind you, that's my fault to some extent. I went into the fight mostly unprepared to test the waters, and was careless and silly enough to waste all my carefully saved Dragon Hatchlings during the first phase of the showdownwhich I thought would be the only phase then, in my defense. That first phase was easy enough, but I was in for a nasty blow when witnessing the appearance of the boss' second form. I switched teams and soldiered on, finally managing to snatch a resounding victory after a most glorious Unison attack. Oh, the joy! I was ready to execute a victory dance, but then came the cursed third form! I totally crumbled on the spot, I swear I did. Then I picked up my shattered bits from the ground, put up a brave front and kept fighting, although I was starting to feel seriously wretched at that point.

Things had gone on nicely and smoothly enough until then, despite the blows to my morale inflicted by the boss' unexpected rises from the dead; but this last phase was bound to change the story. VFD 3.0 managed to wipe out my whole team with one powerful attack, forcing me to make another attempt at eating away its mammoth HP bar. The game was fortunately merciful enough to let me restart at the beginning of the third phase rather than force me to undertake the full showdown again, which I'm immensely grateful for. Alas, this was not enough to change destiny: beginner's luck was decidedly not with me back then and winning that fight on the first attempt was not meant to be.

I could have won, mind you. After two subsequent tries, I was starting to figure out VFD's patterns as well as tricks to work my way around them; and I'm pretty sure that I could have taken that pest down with a few more tries, despite my initial lack of preparation. The reason why I was forced to surrender was a mundane yet unescapable one: I had to set out for work, dear fellow gamers. Time to work hard after playing hard! Now obviously, I could have put the 3DS in sleep mode and resumed the fight once I was done playing slave to the wage; however, I wanted to get a better start and snatch a clean victory from VFD's jaws. Just you brace yourself, you filthy protean abomination! I'm coming back with a revamped team, maxed-up skills, better equipment and strategies up the wazoo. Oh, and a good amount of free time with no obligations looming on the horizon, obviously.

With that, dear fellow gamers, I'll see you again once my dragon counter is down to zerofor real this time. Thanks for reading, and be my guest anytime!


7th Dragon III: The end is near

After 30 hours of play, I'm finally down to the last dungeon. I have 40 dragons left to eradicate, which happen to be all conveniently located in said last dungeon; and since I'm done polishing off all the sidequests available in the game, it's going to be one clean and neat final push from now on. That's just how I like last dungeons to be, so that's perfect.

Since my last post about sidequests, I discovered another feature I had neglected to explore until then, namely the romancing. Which has actually little to do with romance and everything to do with having your way with every single major NPC, from big boss Allie to grizzled officer Yoritomo. You can literally get into everybody's pants, regardless of their gender—or yours, for that matter—and regardless of how many other NPCs you've been intimate with before. Isn't that the perfect promiscuity simulator? Add to this the fact that the ultimate carnal knowledge resulting from dating NPCs is very unsubtly signaled by sentences that range from embarrassing to hilarious (I still laugh inside when thinking of Yoritomo offering me dessert before uttering "I did say that I would answer any request, but this... Go easy on my old bones...") and you get a feature that I would have royally ignored if not for the awesome benefits that can be reaped from acting as Nodens' resident sex fiend. Said benefits are nothing less than exclusive powerful weapons for all classes, which can be obtained from every NPC after you get to know them in the biblical sense of the word—which happens after three dates, en passant. Granted, these powerful weapons are bound to become outdated as soon as the 6th item expansion becomes available at the beginning of chapter 7; however, they can make the two ultimate fights of chapter 6 much easier and smoother, so they're totally worth sweating for—in every sense of the word.

You've probably noticed by now that I ditched the blue-eyed samurai girl featured on the game's cover and her human sidequicks in favour of a more feline team of Atlantean characters. Things will probably stay that way until the end, because I love both the looks and alchemy of this new trio. For the record, that's a Rune Knight, an Agent and a Fortuner we have here, and they rock together. On the other hand, I didn't click with the last two classes, the Banisher and the Mage. The Banisher is a lot of hassle to handle because of the bomb thing, and the Mage is little more than a copy of the Duelist. I doubt I will ever use my two Banishers and my Mage on the battlefield; their buddy skills, however, can be quite useful, so I'm still keeping them in the back teams.

I don't have much to add, really. I'm currently gathering my energy before the last stretch, which will certainly be a slaughtering frenzy. 40 dragons in a single dungeon, people! My Atlantean three currently boast a hefty lv. 65, and I'm confident they can climb up to Lv. 70, if not more, by the time they reach the final boss. With that said, dear fellow gamers, I'm on my march towards destiny. I won't see you again before standing on the final boss' remains, I promise! Until that fateful moment, thanks for reading, and be my guest anytime!


7th Dragon III: Sidequests with (LOTS of) benefits

I just emerged from a slew of sidequests that acted as a welcome breather from all the dungeon-crawling and dragon-killing. Mind you, this turn of events is rather unexpected: in the early stages of the game, I had decided to virtually ignore the sidequests after having tackled a couple of them and realised that they were rather boring in execution. They consist exclusively in running back and forth between people and places to look for this and that item, with sometimes a battle or two thrown in the mix. Add the fact that these quests are just as much on rails as the rest of the game, with pointers conveniently indicating where the people and items involved in the quest of the day can be found, and you'll understand why I decided to steer clear of them. However, the game had other plans in mind and basically forced me to clear a couple of them in intermission chapters. I was not exactly reeling with happiness at first, but I changed my mind when I saw for myself the many benefits of these sidequests. Since then, I've been tackling more and more of them with an ever-increasing delight. These sidequests may be on the boring side of running errands, but see for yourself the awesome benefits they bring:

—The rewards for polishing off these sidequests are always plentiful and tremendously useful: cold hard cash, field skills, rare pieces of gear and items that are not sold at the local shop, skill points, you name them. For instance, one of the quests yielded an awesome skill that can totally suppress random encounters, while another gave me access to a no less awesome skill that can multiply by 1.3 the amount of XP reaped from the next fight. On the spot before fighting dragons, as you may expect.

—These sidequests also provide interesting insights into the storyline, sometimes even at the meta-level of the series itself. Thanks to a trio of quests, I could infer that the original 7th Dragon on the DS is actually a sequel to 7th Dragon III, while 7th Dragon 2020 and 2020-II on the PSP are prequels to it. It's also fun and refreshing to see the characters interact with each other in a light-hearted and often humorous way during the quests, and it certainly helps flesh out my crew as well as NPCs.

—Last but not least, some of the dragons are solely accessible through sidequests. This is definitely the main draw for me, as I plegded myself to slaughter 'em all in the early stages of the game. A good way to know if more dragons can be found in an area after the dragon counter for this area is down to zero is to check for the presence of Dragonsbane flowers in the area in question. If the Dragonsbane is still blooming there, then some dragons are very likely still lurking around. Go clear these sidequests to get them! Not only is it a thrill to unearth hidden dragons, but scouring areas from the Dragonsbane as a result is deeply satisfying. Now that's a job well done!

After having pledged myself to kill all dragons, I've now pledged myself to clear all sidequests, regardless of how mundane and on-rail they may be. There is always a neat benefit to be reaped from them, and they act as a pleasant breather from the frienzied and grindy dungeon-crawling and dragon-slaughtering to boot. Now if you'll excuse me, dear fellow gamers, a guy wants me to deliver a love letter on his behalf. A dragon hunter's work is never done, indeed! Thanks for reading, and be my guest anytime!


7th Dragon III: Perfect curves

I'm not referring to the characters' perfect body lines and postures there—although mind you, these terms could perfectly apply to them. They are getting more awesome by the sprite and I really wish I could have selected some of the latest models at the beginning of my playthrough. But I digress.

I'm here to talk about other curves, starting with the awesome difficulty curve, which is the most perfect one I've seen this side of Link's Awakening. I mentioned the easiness of 7th Dragon III in my last post in a slightly disparaging tone; but after 18 hours of play, I have no complaints anymore in that department. I went from a smooth place where I was able to take down dragons in two turns, was swimming in money à la Uncle Scrooge and basically owned the dungeons to a much rockier place where I have to grind for money to purchase equipment, face double dragon battles on a regular basis and have to play hard even in field battles if I don't want to end up in a bind. Oh, and cherry on the nastiness cake: the Dragonsbane flowers, which used to be pleasantly innocuous in the early stages of the game, are now hurting me—in a vicious nod to the original DS entry. And you know what? I absolutely adore this evolution. The most awesome thing is that I didn't even realise that the game was getting harder by the dungeon, because the difficulty curve is so smooth and flawless that there is virtually no difficulty spike. I just suddenly pondered things after disposing of a particularly tricky boss and thought: "Wait a minute, where is the easy game I was playing a couple of hours ago? What I'm playing now is a grind fest, and a hard one at that! Hooray!" I'm so totally lapping this up, and I hope the game has more challenges up its sleeve before the end. Which I'm sure it has.

Never a truer sentence was spoken.

Another curve 7th Dragon III draws just right is its learning curve, especially regarding party matters. I started with three party members, a limited amount of skills and battles that demanded no further implication from me than spamming the attack command every turn; 18 hours later, I'm managing nine party members wielding skills by the truckload and I have to carefully strategise each move in battle if I want to escape unscathed. And once again, getting from the former to the latter didn't hurt a bit thanks to the learning curve being so brilliantly executed. You would have thought that a serial solo runner like me would absolutely hate being stuck with so many units to manage, but I'm actually relishing it, to my utter surprise. The game did a great job in introducing new party members very slowly and letting me get properly used to them, while skillfully drawing my attention to all the benefits brought by these extra units rather than to the micromanagement hassle they could generate. As a matter of fact, they really don't generate that much micromanagement hassle, rather bringing a welcome variety to the gameplay. When I was getting bored of my first trio of dragon hunters, I switched to the second one and nearly felt like I was playing a different game. Right now, the game is requiring me to roam the dungeon du jour with one team at a time, which is a neat challenge. (Cherry on the convenience cake, I didn't even need to grind to level up my new recrues; while they are waiting to take the stage, they stay safely tucked away in the back row while XP is raining on them.) In a nutshell, the learning curve is so utterly perfect that it's nearly frightening.

I'm now climbing these flawless curves with an eagerness that's only growing by the dungeon, and I hope they still have many delights in store for me before I'm done with eradicating the last dragon of the game. By the way, I didn't miss a single one of them so far! I'm now down to 139 and counting—the halfway mark is in sight, hooray! The current dungeon alone still hosts 37 of them, so I'll have scoured a good chunk of that pest when I finally make a triumphant return to the Nodens headquarters, all drenched in sweat, blood and grime. With that said, I'm getting back to it! See you soon for more dragon-slaughtering epics, dear fellow gamers; and as usual, thanks for reading, and be my guest anytime!


7th Dragon III: A long-awaited foray

Ever since I read Kina's inspiring posts about 7th Dragon, I've been longing to play the series. Alas, my meagre notions in Japanese didn't allow me to dive senselessly into the first twoor three depending on how you consider theminstalments, released on the DS and the PSP. (Not that I didn't try, mind you; but the kanjis were barely readable on the DS screen and the text scrolled way too fast to allow a beginner like me to decipher it. Oh, well.) I though I would have to wait a few more years and make substantial progress in Japanese to be able to discover the series, until Sega took the gaming world by surprise by announcing something no one expected: they would localize 7th Dragon III both in North-America and Europe, and grace us with physical releases of the game to boot. Oh, the joy!

Since Sega announced the North-American localization long before the European one, I pre-ordered the former and was treated to a lovely 'Launch Day Edition' that packed a small art book compiling all the character models and bites of concept art. Given that the game's art is all-around gorgeous, this is certainly a nice treat, made all the nicer by the fact that I didn't expect it at all. Thanks a lot, Sega!

This gorgeous art book inspired me so much that I decided not to shelve the game, sticking it instead right away in my 3DS and starting a playthrough. I chose the blue-eyed girl featured prominently on the game's cover as my main character, because in my mind, she's somehow the hero of the game. She's not, of course: 7th Dragon III is one of these games that let you choose your party members' character model, completed with palette swaps and voices options so that you can craft the ultimate moe team of your dreams. Anyway, upon having selected the solemn and aloof beauty featured on the cover, I was pondering a solo run for a little while; but that plan was quickly ditched when I discovered that the game kindly allots the exact same number of XP to all party members, regardless of their numbers. Running solo would have meant that I would have literally needed to grind thrice as much than with a regular party, which I was totally not in the mood to do. Especially not when there are so many cute character models and interesting classes available.

So far, I absolutely love 7th Dragon III. Interestingly, it reminds me somewhat of Ecco the Dolphin, of all games. I reason that this uncanny association is due to the splendid crystalline colours, the 70s prog-rock infused soundtrack (layers upon layers of synth, what a ear candy!) and, last but not least, the Sega logo that graces my eyes every time I boot the game. (Oh, sweet nostalgia.) I've played roughly 9 hours, and from what I've seen, 7th Dragon III is shaping up to be a rather long game. Which is totally fine by me if it keeps being that wholesomeand awesome.

If I had to express a minor gripe, that would probably be the fact that the game is a trifle too easy, even in the normal difficulty mode. I didn't especially go out of my way to grind, and yet my team is so powerful that they can take down minor dragons in two turns without suffering a shred of damage. I expected these dragons to be more of a handful and to have more bite, so to speak, so I'm a bit disappointed; however, that minor point doesn't tarnish my love for the game in the slightest.

Another minor gripe is the fact that 7th Dragon III is extremely linear and pretty much a game on rails. My team is at the beck and call of the shady organisation they enrolled into, jumping when their bosses say jump and exploring that dungeon when they say explore that dungeon. Explore might be too strong a word, mind you: given that dungeons are as linear as they get, there is very little actual exploration to be performed there. Heck, even random encounters are streamlined. See that bar on the up-left corner of the picture on the right? That's a random encounter meter of sorts. As your team runs around, it goes from blue to red and triggers a random encounter when it's fully red. This means that random encounters always happen with the same frequency, which is a bit boring when you think of it. All in all, the only space of freedom granted by the game regards the decision to kill or spare the many optional dragons littering the dungeons, which is left to the player's discretion. You probably know me enough to guess that I decided right away to exterminate every single one of the 250-or-so dragons that roam the game world. Grinding is me life!

With that said, I'll take my leave, dear fellows gamers. These pesky dragons won't slaughter themselves, now will they? See you soon for more juicy bites of 7th Dragon III! And as always, thanks for reading, and be my guest anytime!


Gaming plans

Here's a quick update regarding my overall gaming plans for the months to come. There will be no such things as a list of games I'm planning to play though, but rather general guidelines; and they'll actually be more about peripheral things than about gaming per se. Oh, well. Let's get started!

First, the collecting thing. After five years of super-intensive collecting, I'm burnt out not so much on collecting in itself, but rather on ordering games from the internet, waiting for them and paying those wretched custom fees before being allowed to lay my hands on my precious acquisitions. I'm thus declaring that I will from now on stop ordering games from the internet and rather perform bulk purchases anytime I'm holydaying abroad, which happens often enough to guarantee that I will not miss out on any coveted games. Well, I may have to keep ordering from the internet occasionally, for instance if I want to get my paws on Japanese games; but I will try to keep these instances to a minimum. Less custom fees, more collecting happiness!

When it comes to backup systems, I'm pretty much done purchasing every console that caught my eyes; and as a matter of fact, I now have enough systems to keep gaming for decades—providing that these precious stand the test of time, which remains to be seen. Anyway, my ultimate planned purchase in that department is none other than the gorgeous Pearl White New 3DS XL that is going to be released in November this year. See, I recently reassessed that particular model as I started playing 7th Dragon III on my American New 3DS XL, which I had not used prior to that. As I did so, I discovered that this beast was unexpectedly comfortable to play and strained my thumbs and wrists considerably less that its smaller counterpart, the regular New 3DS. Cherry on the cake, the screen is nearly as wide as a Vita screen and deliciously crisp and sharp. In a nutshell, the New 3DS XL is now my favourite iteration of the whole 3DS lineup, and I absolutely need the European version of that thing of beauty, ergonomy and performance. If I'm in a collecting mood, I may even end up purchasing the pink and orange versions on top of the white.

Let's now move on to the blog matter. I'm very much planning to continue writing about games; but after three years spent on the free side of blogging, I now want my own website, with domain name and hosting fees included. My ethos is pretty much to grind and sweat to get my paws on good things—as my love for grindy RPGs abundantly proves—and I know for a fact that maintaining my own website with my own money is going to prove ten times more satisfying than mooching off Blogger. I'm studying the different hosting options for the time being, although it's quite likely that I will go for the famous and ubiquitous Wordpress. Any advice regarding that matter is most welcome, dear fellow bloggers!

Last but not least is gaming per se. I don't have much of a plan in that department, except to follow my gaming instinct wherever it may lead me, which is as glorious a plan as it gets. Oh, and I will definitely stop trying to play more than one game at once. I'm probably the worst multi-tasker on this hemisphere, and I never get as much pleasure out of a game as when I concentrate solely on said game. Even two games at a time is too much of a hassle for me, so I'll wisely stop trying to be the multi-task wizard I am not and I will, well, play it my way.

With that, my gaming plans for the months to come are laid out. See you soon for my first impressions on 7th Dragon III, dear fellow gamers! And as always, thanks for reading, and be my guest anytime!


On to the next game!

Yes, I'm back! After more than a month of complete rest, I laid my fingers again on a gaming device at long last. And boy, did it feel amazing.

It certainly doesn't hurt that I reclaimed a lot of my passion for gaming and collecting during that month spent away from gaming devices. Both had become a bit of a part-time job these last months, and I had come to tackling them in a semi-automatic way without even realising it. It didn't help that my collection had been standing in boxes ever since I moved to a new place one year ago and that I had resorted to throwing new gaming acquisitions in boxes and pantries without bothering to sort them. But I finally endurtook that long-overdue endeavour and reorganised my whole beloved collection, generating plenty of pleasant feelings in the process. Sentences such as "oh, I remember I got a super bargain on that game!" or "jeez, this game was so hard to find!" or "gee, I didn't even remember I owned this game!" popped up in my head on a regular basis, along with an overwhelming sense of pride and happiness. I worked really hard on my beloved collection and I'm deeply content that I did.

But most importantly, I recovered the feelings of elation and giddy innocence that used to be mine when I started collecting. I see games again like I did back then, i.e. as promises of many hours of delight and thrill. When I look at my collection now, I don't think anymore about the games I still have to purchase to "complete" it, but rather about the countless hours of enjoyment packed by all the games I already own. It's an amazing feeling that I had lost along the way, and I'm intensely glad it came back to me.

All in all, I'm quite grateful for this forced break away from gaming. I'm coming back refreshed and rejuvenated and more than ready to roll again. Oh, and of course, my wrist is now fully healed! I obviously have to take it easy and go slowly to avoid ending up in the same predicament again, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem. See you soon for more juicy gaming bites, dear fellow gamers! Thanks for reading, and be my guest anytime!