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Tycho / on Fri, Jul 23 2010 at 12:00 am

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Blood And Oil, Part One

Today marks the debut of a guest Automata “event,” drawn by the incomparable Ben Caldwell and “Book of Eli” scribe Gary Whitta.  We don’t have any right to talent like this, and giving the site over to them for a week or so will probably get you accustomed to work of genuine quality, at which point they will usurp us and we will have to get new jobs.

So, maybe not our best plan ever.  I guess we’ll see.

Dragon Quest IX and my Nintendo DSi entertainment system are now fused, representing a single, dedicated entertainment apparatus.  Anything not absolutely necessary for the playing of this most recent Dragon Quest has become vestigial.

I couldn’t even tell you where my stylus is.

I keep thinking that the joy will abate, or that the game will get too comfortable with itself, or some other thing that never ends up being true.  It exhibits confidence and class well beyond what should (by rights) fit on a tiny square this size.  And its portability assures that it is always there, like a hound gnawing a tennis ball, wagging its tail by the door in a state of eager, perpetual joy. This must be what the true Dragon Quest enthusiast wants: to come in to the series completely fresh. Well, I’m doing that. And it’s as great as you hoped.    

It makes me feel bad that I want it to look better sometimes, but I do; it makes me feel like I have a prickly heart and that I’m not truly capable of love. Key NPCs are surprisingly great - easy on the eye, legitimately evocative. The menagerie is also a treat, with beasts that visibly delight in their own evil nature. But your characters, being lathed out of chunks in the hero factory, don’t always rise to the level. This is the third piece of Nintendo DS hardware I’ve purchased, and I’ve had as much fun on this system as I’ve had on any other, but when I see my character’s clubby, pointy non-hands in this game I purse my lips.  Those inhuman stumps may be my only complaint. The 3DS really can’t come soon enough.  

(CW)TB out.

from the day he was one


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