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The Grind – August 9, 2013

I’m back.  Did ya miss me?

xillia_combatThis has been a big release week for me personally.  Primarily because what was probably my most wanted game of the year released this week, Tales of Xillia.  And let me tell you, from what little time I’ve gotten to put into it so far it does not disappoint.  It’s a old school JRPG at heart, but there are definitely plenty of updates here that make the experience feel new and fresh.  One of the biggest is the battle system which introduces the Link system.  Basically you can “link” your main character to another of your teammates in battle and that character becomes your personal support.  They will flank the same enemy you’re fighting, heal you when you need it and the two of you can perform special Link attacks together.  It really helps focus the combat and is a blast.  I’m looking forward to digging into this game further this weekend.

dragons_crownThe second big release of the week is Dragon’s Crown, another game by Vanillaware (the makers of Muramasa: Rebirth).  The easiest way to describe Dragon’s Crown is Golden Axe meets pen & paper Dungeons & Dragons.  Gorgeous hand-drawn graphics are a given with Vanillaware, of course.  But the game offers far more than that – it’s a hack ‘n slash, sure, but it’s one that’s mission based, loot focused and has a ton of depth.  With 5 playable characters (each of which has their own distinct playstyle) and both online and offline co-op play, there’s a ton of game included in this package.  After briefly comparing both the Vita and PS3 versions I give the slight edge to the PS3 in this case – there’s simply too much going on at times to be able to follow it on the small Vita screen.  But if you like the genre, you can’t go wrong with either.

shelvesI’ve been busy since I last posted.  I’ve completely redesigned my gaming room.  I took out several store bought shelves that did not match each other and made the room feel cluttered and in their place I installed some custom shelves.  I still have a little more work to do before calling the room finished, but I’m definitely pleased with the results so far.  My collection is better displayed and the room looks more open and orderly.  Please note, the TV you see in the picture is not what I play my current gen games on, it’s for my “old school” systems.

I’m sure there’s a lot I’ve missed talking about over the past month.  I’ll try to make it up to you with some more regular updates over the coming weeks.  The fall gaming rush is almost here!

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