Gems gems gems

July 18, 2007 by Tim

So I picked up some portable games on a whim last week, probably because I’m doing a lot of traveling for cons right now. I’ve been neglecting my PSP and DS for some time now, so I thought I’d see what was out. I grabbed Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror for the PSP, which has redefined the system for me. It made me wish I had more cause to use portable systems. I also grabbed Puzzle Quest for my DS, and let me tell you, I’m hooked.

It’s an RPG, but instead of regular RPG battles, you fight by playing a little gem game. It sounds silly, but the genius is in its execution. You match colored gems (3 or more) to gain mana in any of four different colors. Earn enough mana and you can cast spells which affect the puzzle board in various ways. Match three purple stars and you earn XP, match gold stacks and you earn cash, and match skulls and you do damage to your opponent. It’s turn based, you really have to think a couple of moves ahead, lest you set up your opponent to smack the shit out of you. It ends up being really fun.

I guess the game is on the PSP and DS right now, but will be coming to the Wii and Xbox Live Arcade pretty soon. Then PS2, PC and mobile phones eventually as well. It’s definitely a nifty little title. Personally I think I would favor the DS just for the touch screen movement of the little gems.

You’ll probably see me playing it quite a bit at Otakon this weekend.

Speaking of which, I’ll be there on Saturday (only), with Zack. I’ll have some Volume 3 and Analog and D+Pad Issue #1, though not many. Since I’m flying down, this stuff has to be shipped ahead of me, and I don’t want to have to bring any back. So I’ll only have 60 or so copies of each, which may go quickly. Right now I’m planning to hit my table around 11am(ish), so you might want to plan on getting there early if you have your heart set on a signed book.

I’ll also have some art prints, and Zack whipped up a really cool Analog and D+Pad mini-poster which we’ll be selling at the convention, so there’s always that as well. Also since I’m flying down, and I don’t expect to be at my table for too long, I’m not bringing any fancy booth decorations. I’ll try and post a map of where my table is before I leave Friday.

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