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I like the games that get panned....

Well, to be fair, Atelier Marie+Elie for the PS2 only got panned because it was a stripped-down version of the Dreamcast version and cost too much. If you don't have either game in any other incarnation you aren't going to complain.

I just finished Atelier Marie tonight. It only took me a week to beat, but I'm proud of myself for completing what is basically a text adventure in Japanese. At this point my Japanese language skills are high intermediate at best. I got the ending where Ingrid tries to convince Marie to become a teacher because she's the greatest alchemist in the world, even better than the principal at the Academy, but Marie decides to go on a journey and become "alchemist to the world" instead. (My words, not hers) ^o^ So, I reached level 50 and made the Philosopher's Stone. I think I did pretty well for someone who's never played a game in the series before (thanks mostly to Kristen's backseat driving). There were quite a few things I didn't do, like beat the Demon King at the top of Airfolk Tower. I missed quite a few in-town events, probably because I spent most of my time in my atelier alchemizing stuff. ^O^;...It was a very fun game. I was intimidated at first, but eventually I became addicted to it.

Another game I've ended up liking in spite of its terrible reviews is Saga Frontier. It's an extremely difficult game and not for everybody, but what can I say? I find it...compelling. Asellus's story mode is very compelling. It's easier than Minstrel Song,at least.

I've been reading a lot lately, too. Kristen and I agreed that after we both finished Od Magic we would never read another book by Patricia A. McKillip ever again. It's a shame, because I loved The Changeling Sea and liked Ombria in Shadow almost as much. Kinuko Craft's cover art is simply gorgeous but I've got to stop buying books just because they have nice covers. Alphabet of Thorn has a beautiful cover, too...;_;

But there are good books with ugly covers out there. Speaking young adult fantasy, the books in Jane Yolen's Great Alta series have terrible covers. I like Jane Yolen, but I had a hard time convincing myself to pick up the first book because it did not look at all like anything I'd be interested in. I've now read both Sister Light, Sister Dark and White Jenna. I thought they were both terrific--both exciting and intelligent. I just wish they'd quit giving her books Photoshop-style covers. She really deserves better than that!

E. Nesbit's children's books are hilarious in spite of being written over one hundred years ago. They're also loaded with Socialist propaganda, which makes me grin when I think of what my father would say if he caught me reading them.

On the adult front, I read another miserable book by Andre Brink. The Other Side of Silence is his most miserable book yet.

I've been writing a lot myself...having some difficulties. I need to work harder. Fwahh.....