weekend recap: strangeness all around me

I’d started a post last week, but never got around to finishing it; things are still a little weird, and I’m finding very few pockets of idle time these days.  A brief summary of what’s going on in apartment-land can be found here.

As for games & stuff.

To be honest, these days I’ve mostly been playing Dungelot on the iPhone, which recently went free.  Also Pixel People, which is a strange but addictive hybrid of Tiny Tower‘s resource management and Doodle God‘s creation mechanic.

I’ve also been getting very deep into Antichamber;  I’m far enough into it now where I can only play it in short bursts before my brain starts hurting.  I feel like I’m not smart enough to talk about it.  Certainly it’s the closest thing we’ll ever get to living inside an MC Escher drawing.  It’s a very strange game for me to be playing right now, at any rate, because I only find myself with game time very late at night, when I’m exhausted from dealing with apartment stuff, and it’s not really a relaxing experience.

I took a sick day last week, and in doing so I plowed through the end of Devil May Cry (or is it DmC?) yesterday.  I liked it a lot, which is a hell of a lot more than I can say for any of the previous games.   I’m not a DmC fanboy, and I think that this game was made for people like me, and to that end I think they succeeded admirably.  The action was continually satisfying and engaging – and even if I played on the “normal” difficulty setting, so what?  I had a lot of fun with it, which is, again, a lot more than I can say for the previous games.  And the graphics and overall visual design continued to be just as jaw-droppingly insane as they were in the beginning; I’m tempted to buy it on Steam the next time it goes on sale just to be able to see it on my kick-ass monitor at 60 fps.

I’ve been slowly moving further along in Ni No Kuni.  My wife was sitting next to me on the couch, reading, and every once in a while she’d look up and say “This reminds me of a Zelda game.”  I kinda wish this was a Zelda game, to be honest.   JRPGs live and die more or less on their battle systems, and while there’s an awful lot to love about Ni No Kuni, the battle system feels a bit tedious and unnecessarily complicated; I’d much rather just engage in a real-time combat system.  I do like the idea of improving people’s moods by taking/giving heart, but the game (at least in the early going) holds your hand a bit too much, which means you can’t actually solve the puzzle on your own; you have to have this mandatory conversation that’s just long enough to be annoying, since you already know what it is you have to do.  Still, though, I’m only 3-4 hours in, having saved my game after finishing the missions in Ding Dong Dell and moving along to the next city, whose name escapes me.  Somewhere in the desert, I think.

Beyond that, it’s just apartment madness and work busy-ness and impending baby stuff.  Good times all around.

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