Here's What I've Been Doing Lately...

Gratuitous Space Battles is sort of like a tower defense game, except you get to design the towers. You build your fleet of ships from an array of modular components, give your units orders that determine their behavior, then sit back and watch the fireworks. The game is almost a little too complex, especially when you first pick it up--there's no slowly ramping-up series of introductory missions designed to familiarize you with each weapon in your arsenal, just pages and pages of little parts like Lego pieces with numbers attached. But after fiddling with it for a while, I started getting the basics worked out and decimating the opposing fleets in gorgeous technicolor laser displays. My only real complaint about the game is that you end up doing quite a bit of trial and error, throwing fleet after fleet of meticulously designed ships at your opponent until you hit the right balance to win. Still, it's fun, and I've certainly gotten my $10 worth over the last couple of days.


In the future, all the cool kids will do battle with sharpened antler-guns with training wheels on them.

In other gaming news, I've been trying and failing to summon any sort of enthusiasm for Final Fantasy XIII. This review in Wired leaves me wanting to run for the hills, while this review on Kotaku basically says everything the Wired review does and adds, "But it's fun anyway!" While I love looking at beautiful androgynous teenagers as much as the next lecherous old woman, the last few installments of this series have left me feeling fairly flat. The last time I really cared about a character in a Final Fantasy game was a long, long time ago, before I even knew that they had a different numbering system in Japan.

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