@Shingro I’ll keep the lean box puns to myself. I’m pleased though that it’s the USA-made blood ‘n guns console that’s showing the most tarty skin and tarty guns. No deal on a preorder though unless the Japanese also thought to put a tramp stamp in the form of the xBox logo somewhere classy.

Continuing to soldier through Ghost Trick, still having a fun, though a LOT of people are dying in this game in extremely macabre ways. I wonder if the ratings board had any difficulty with this one. “No language, blood or boobs… but damn Bob, how many ways can you crush a man’s life out under a heavy weight and still feel good about handing a game off to your kids?”

Now the news you’re all dying to hear: more Nier.

Officially more than 50% of the way through the (admittedly short) game. Stockholm syndrome? Perhaps.

I’m not in love or anything but after 10 hours the game is starting to gel with me. I like the regular additions of strange little bits of writing and voice acting that accompany even random events like buying stuff or completeing sidequests (of which there are MANY MANY, and all of the fetch quest or ‘farm 10 zugs’ variety). Not thrilled about that last part but the other facets of the game which is starting to emerge at the halfway point actually have plenty of character. Kind of like that dinosaur skeleton kit you got as a kid that let you sloowly dig up the remains of something cool from a block of compressed, unglamorous sand.

Nier certainly is the dogfaced girl that gets more interesting the longer you spend in conversation with her. Not somebody that you’d want to marry and bring home to mom, but someone that might be interesting to be trapped on a Greyhound with for a long ride somewhere. Unfortunate that the game quite obviously is one of those games where the formula is: “by the time you get to the end of the game and you have all your powers and party members and knowledge of what you’re doing, it’s quite enjoyable!”. Then they take ALL your powers and abilities at the beginning of the game so you have no idea what’s in store. Whee.

I have no response to claims of ugliness and boneheaded design decisions. They’re in there, for sure. I WILL say that I have already encountered some wonderful and truly creative boss fights I’ve had in quite a while (and I have heard it gets even better by the end of the game) as well as some weird as hell ideas. No, seriously, the game turned into a seriously meta choose-your-own-adventure book for more than an hour there last night, and this isn’t counting the already showcased “Diablo time” and “Twinstick shooter time” going on. These developers have odd brains.

Oh, also the devs are FAMOUS for bleak and depressing story arcs involving the death of most of the PCs and futile effort to no purpose. After having had about 80% of my side quests end in a tragic resolution, I have to agree. Nothing says FUN FUN like struggling on a side quest that spans 4 different areas and about 5 fetch quests only to have the final result be “That kid that you reunited with his family? Yeah, he was trying to get away from a life of crime. Now he’s on the lam because his deadbeat parents re-captured him and forced him to participate in a huge credit fraud scheme that’s kind of ruined this village. Way to go dumbass.”

At least the in-game characters are like “WRAAAAAAugh!! WHY did we do all that? This is the stupidest thing ever!!!”

And no, you don’t get any reward for it. Not even XP.