Wild and Paper things, Odysseys and Necromancers

Now that I have free time, and am no longer stressed out by various things, I can go back to enjoying video games.  Yay.

I am continuing Wild Arms, though I have not gotten a whole lot further (just to the Outer Ocean now).  I didn’t recall how hard the game can be – Boomerang and Luceid nearly killed my party off.  Nonetheless, it continues to be fun.

I have also obtained a Wii.  As there’s nothing for Wii I want to get at the moment (Brawl coming out in 4 months), I am content to browse their Virtual Console selection.  I obtained the first star in Paper Mario a couple days ago.   Their VC selection is actually quite good – I plan to get a few more games, including Shining Force, Dynamite Headdy (never tried, but it’s a Treasure game), and Actraiser.

Yesterday, I got my hands on Etrian Odyssey (sorry, Jay!), a game that manages to be rare despite having been released only a couple months ago.  It looks to be a happy mix of dungeon-crawling (a la Azure Dreams, there is only a single humongous “dungeon” to explore), Turn-based RPG, and Diablo (you get a skill point each level).  You create your own party from scratch, sort of like the first two Final Fantasy Legends or Dragon Warrior/Quest 3.  My party is entirely unique due to three of its members:

  • My Landsnknecht (Fighter-esque), Corwin, is from Zelazny’s Amber series.  Corwin is one of my favorite characters from any book – despite the fact that he is powerful, skilled, and intelligent, he is also painfully reminded several times he is mortal.  Throughout the series, he grows from having a blind ambition to overthrow his brother Eric to setting aside the throne to pursue more important things.
  • My Alchemist (Mage), Zhongda, is Sima Yi from Three Kingdoms.  Though I would’ve preferred Kongming, Alchemists are inherently darker figures in EO, so Sima Yi is much more fitting.
  • My Medic, Cecilia, is from Wild Arms.  Her personality lends itself more to healing than to fighting to my mind.

If you managed to understand all three references, congratulations, you’re as weird as me 🙂

I’ve been trying to keep myself from getting too involved in EO.  The reason I got it is that I’ve played through all of my DS games already, so I needed something to play during my occasional plane trips.  It’s rather tempting to dive straight in, though.  One thing I do know is – it’s tough.  In the first quest, where you have to map the first floor of the dungeon (mapping is done using the stylus and isn’t as annoying as you’d think), my Protector (tank, essentially) and Corwin each died once and I had to return to town each time.  One time, my Protector was killed in one hit (!).

Finally, I’m still playing Diablo 2.  I now have 3 necromancers (bone, poison, and summoner) and 2 other party members.  D2 is mostly what’s keeping me from making progress in the above games, because it’s easy to get into and easy to “let go” of.

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