Wow it’s been a long, long time since I’ve done a Gamer Diary, this is mostly due to the hubbub of losing my internet, and honestly not playing that much. Last year I did a lot of work, but this year because of one circumstance or the other, I’ve been playing a lot more of my backlog.

I’m proud of myself for one reason, I haven’t gone too crazy with buying more games. This is mostly due to lack of access, as well as not having too many games left to get for my existing systems. This changed very drastically of course with finally getting a PS3, but due to financial circumstances after getting the system I’ve only purchased one game...that I haven’t played yet. So that bad habit isn’t dead yet.

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First off of my pile: 999: Nine Doors, Nine Persons, Nine Hours

I got this game last Christmas after being badgered by everyone in the chat room. A VN game for the original DS, it’s a somewhat older title but a very fun game full of lots of feels. As you work through the plot of escaping a sinking ship in 9 hours, you have to escape various rooms by solving a bunch of puzzles. It’s like Professor Layton meets Saw. The characters are very interesting, and as you play through and discover their secrets you really start to get to like them, and they have really nice character designs. The one downside is you have to play the game a few times to get the real ending, and while each branch reveals new information that fleshes out the story, it got irritating to have to solve the same puzzles 2-3 times. While you could zoom through the dialog, you have to do the puzzles each time including finding the pieces, reading the instructions, etc. The world and background information are interesting enough that you’re determined to learn what exactly the hell is going on, and the true ending is surprisingly touching for a game that starts out quite gruesomely.

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Next: Ar Tonelico: Melody of Elemia

The first game in the Ar series, from Gust, the same company behind the Alchemist games I love so darn much. Originally I had purchased Ar Tonelico II first, and it took a while to find a copy of the original game that didn’t break the bank. The original Ar games became crazy expensive, and at $40 became the most expensive used game I ever purchased. But it’s really worth it. One part sci-fi RPG and one part Dating Sim, exploring the dying world of Ar Tonelico and trying to stop the crazed Goddess threatening to destroy humanity was actually a lot of fun. Much darker in tone that the majority of the Alchemist games, it still has a very moe/candy colored feel to it, but the story, particularly in the second and third phases gets actually pretty sad and touching. The game had multiple endings and I got such a sense for the Reyvatails (the female cyborgs whose minds you have to explore in order to unlock powerful attacks) that this was one of the few games I made multiple save files so I could go back and unlock all the content. The game is a bit glitchy and would freeze numerous times, but aside from that I loved all the characters.

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Fire Emblem: Awakening

I bought this game two years ago and tried to play it on Classic. After getting Sumia murdered on a Risen quest, I set the game down in frustration and guilt. Then I decided to start a second file on Casual to go through the game again. This was a smart decision, because I have learned I am fairly awful at tactical roleplays. If I stayed on Classic pretty much my whole army would be dead at one point, which would be a pity because for a fairly weak and straightforward story (destroy the evil dragon god with the power of the good dragon god) the character interactions make this game so much damn fun. Seeing everybody get together, and allowing my inner shipper run wild, I could pair most of my favorite pairing together. It was probably what I did most when I wasn’t running through the chapters. Probably my favorite non-Robin pairing was Lissa and Gaius. I haven’t been able to get some of the end-story characters due to this game being really, really hard. Even when I put it on the lowest level and on casual, it wouldn’t be unusual to have my entire army wiped out.

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Right now I am playing Ar Tonelico II which is a lot stronger than the first game for many reasons, though I am sad that this version of the game only lets me get close to one Reyvatail per game.

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