any of you that know me would know that i'm a longtime penny-arcade fan. for the past two years they've been putting on this thing called Child's Play, and they're doing it again this year. you pick a children's hospital near you and buy something off an amazon.com list that will be given to the children there - video games, books, dvds.. all of the ds' for Halifax have already been purchased. since amazon doesn't do paypal i ended up donating $40 directly instead of buying something, i don't have a credit card. but seriously, even $20 could make a sick kid happy over christmas - its a damn good cause. just do it.
i didn't realize that a person could be oversaturated by gaming goodness, phoenix told me recently that it happens. but i'm starting to feel it. i've got a library of probably about 40 games across a variety of platforms that i want to be playing, but i don't have time for them all. its hard to just pick one and go with it sometimes, but the other games aren't going anywhere so its not too bad i guess.
right now i'm playing final fantasy xii. i thought i was going to hate it - i bought dragon quest viii and played the accursed demo disc and had my mind made up about it. then i cracked and put the $50 on it and took it home. worst case, i'd have something i could trade in at eb games for a decent price. the battles are a little tedious, just like they've always been, but their stories are always stellar and this time is no different. i'm hooked.
in my downtime i've been playing Children of Mana for the ds. it isn't a stellar game, but its pushing console action/adventure even closer to Diablo, and thats where i want it. i still say Sword of Mana is the pinnacle of the Mana series thus far, but children's still good times. it makes me happy to see that people are still making 2d sprite-based games. i've seen some beautiful 2d sprite games, and sometimes you just can't get that anime feel quite right in 3d. the tales games is a good example of that - compare their 3d games against their 2d games and you might see what i mean. the 3d just doesn't look as good.
i've become a Tales enthusiast, even a fanboy if you wanna go that far. i fscking love Tales games. take a standard console rpg and do the fights in realtime. i'm on my second playthrough of Tales of Legendia. the american voice acting was pretty tight this time around. there's no Colette, at least. i'm super pumped about the Tales of Destiny ps2 remake, i'm even considering buying a japanese PS2 and importing it - its hard to tell what they're going to do to it if it ever comes over. the air-combo system is
i picked up Tales of the Abyss, and i got it started a little, but i didn't get a chance to really get into it yet. they finally added free-roam to their battle system, it really pissed me off that it wasn't there in Tales of Symphonia. i really like the fonom circle system, it makes all of the element attacks more complicated, but it really gives you a sense of how powerful the characters in other games really are. cast a spell on the ground to give an area a particular element, and then perform a standard special attack from there and it upgrades to something more powerful. Lightning Tiger Blade, for example, requires you to put down a lightning area and then to perform Tiger Blade while you're touching it. i thought that was a really awesome idea. unfortunately, putting it into practice is a pain in the ass for me still. i haven't pulled any enhanced attacks off yet.
it looks like zelda twilight princess is going to be out soon. i'll probably just pick up the gamecube version. i can't justify buying a wii for it alone. maybe if a Mana game came out for it along with a Tales game.. alot of people are going to buy it just because its new and interesting - i'm curious but i don't care all that much. i just don't have time for all of these games! i just picked up guitar hero 2 and its awesome but i don't think i'm going to play it much on my own. the gf loves it, and that'll mean i'll be logging more hours on it before i die, so i guess thats cool. i'm in the middle of okame (i got my sis' bf hooked on it) and i highly recommend that you at least rent it and give it some serious attention.