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Drought? What Drought?

I’ve been back for awhile now, but have been either too lazy, busy, or tired to update this place. I did, however, post at my CAG blog; there, I shared a whole set of photos from the Dragon Quest IX launch event that took place a little over a week ago at Manhattan’s Nintendo World Store. There were lots of people, demo stations, freebies, and frozen treats from a Dragon Quest-themed Mister Softee truck.

This slime is almost as big as my backlog!

Funnily enough, although I got DQIX a day early, I didn’t actually start playing the damned thing until the following Monday. I’ve played quite a bit of it since then, though. It’s an unusual game for the franchise, in terms of how it breaks with tradition, though I don’t have anything bad to say about it so far. I do wish the dungeon designs were more puzzle-intensive, along the lines of certain ones in earlier Dragon Quest games, but that sort of thing doesn’t seem to be Level-5’s strong suit. This game also seems to have eased the difficulty in certain subtle ways, which I feel ambivalent about. On the other hand, a feature that I really like reminds me of one of Earthbound‘s best: enemies—which are all now visible on the field—are likely to run away from your party if you’re too strong.

I’ve also made a lot of progress in Pokemon Platinum. Actually, that was the only game I played on the trip, which means Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes has been relegated to the backlog for the time being. Later, I put Platinum down upon starting DQIX, then picked it up again this weekend. I’m currently up to five gym badges and am beefing up my team before taking on Pokemon Gym #6 (not its real name).

Along with the DS RPGs, I’ve been plugging away at Kirby Super Star, but I don’t know when I’ll beat it, though I’m very close to being done with everything, save the minigames, which I’ve mostly ignored. And then there’s StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty, which will arrive here in less than ten days in all its Collector’s Edition glory. Right now the plan is to beat DQIX before SC2 gets here, which will leave my August free for a super-long, and super-shiny, Terran campaign, plus some possible multiplayer and/or modding.

Oh, and my birthday happened. One of the presents I received was an Amazon gift card, which was spent in part on a used copy of Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja, an Atlus-published roguelike I’ve had my eye on. It’s now in the backlog pile, along with Clash of Heroes. Plus, I preordered Etrian Odyssey III, which is due out in September, since I had to have that artbook.

Every year, gamers complain about the “drought” that happens in the summer. Pssh. Even without Dragon Quest IX and StarCraft 2, I would be overwhelmed; there’s just so much in my backlog, and so much more I haven’t even picked up yet, like late-winter and spring releases Bayonetta, Nier, and Super Mario Galaxy 2. Come the fall, while my husband is consumed by Civilization V and World of WarCraft: Cataclysm, there will be the aforementioned Etrian Odyssey III, along with Rune Factory 3 and, if it turns out to be any good, Front Mission Evolved. Then there’s the “epic” games that I will not get right away but will likely pick up sometime, namely Kirby’s Epic Yarn and Disney Epic Mickey.

I want more “drought” time, dammit!