*Thanks to Mark C, been a busy beaver. Well, an unbusy beaver with things I should be working on, but busy with leisure:

** Fatal Frame 4: CLEARED. This game is not coming out into English because Nintendo is stupid: They are forcing TECMO to implement some sort of changes or bugfixes that TECMO doesn’t have the money to do, and thus everyone loses. And yet, while the game was overall pretty ok (gameplay) to great (story), it could be that Nintendo is protecting western audiences from the MOST ANNOYING BOSS BATTLE IN YEARS.

** Oboro Muramasa: The Demon Blade: Cleared 3 of 6 endings, watched the other three on Youtube. Incredible game. If you’re learning Japanese, this game is basically Level 10 of your learning cycle. It is endless awesome of middle-ages spoken royal grammar, with both keigo and low speech cranked up to “11″, and tooooons of references to classic Buddhist references: Various Boddhisotvas (Acala/Fudoh-Myou-oh? Shinra-Bansho/The Universe? Sweet). It’s 3 kin of Japanese culture in a 380 monme bag.

** Fragile/Goodbye Ruins of the Moon: I mentioned before that this is like a Feelgood Anime Fallout 3. Gotta revise that: It is better described as “Sorrow and Loneliness: The Roleplaying Game”. If you like unique experiences in console games, you GOTTA check this game out. Admittedly, there’s some boring bits with long empty hallways,  and the inventory system is a little shady at times in the length of menu switch times, etc.  But overall: Holy crap, got choked up a few times.

Why? We don’t know what the incident is, the game doesn’t talk about it at all and is likely not to. But at some point most of humanity dies, billions and billions of people. And the thing is, they all knew it was coming and had time to prepare themselves. So you encounter these artifacts, toys and books and items and stuff, and when you pick them up you hear the story of their owners: Abstract pictures appear while the narrator tells a small story:

- A wedding ring. A father in law talks to his daughter in law, welcoming her into their family. Later, you find another item where it’s the father in law railing about the sorrow that his son and new daughter will never have a chance.

- A dog collar. The dog narrates, licking his master’s face as he cries.

- A school class picture, and a kid laments that he loves those school days, and is afraid of dying alone.

It’s a very similar overall theme to Fallout 3, but man the emotional punch this game packs is both brutal and exhilarating, far more than Fallout. It’s hard to reconcile that with the fact that the game looks and feels so anime sickly-sweet.

Anyway, I count it as a *must-play*. If you’re into light console RPGs. And gut-punching sorrow.