While I didn't get the chance to put the kind of time in that I'd hoped to, I'm glad I was able to play a bit more of SMT:N. In addition to leaving the first area (Shinjuku Medical Center), I was able to start adding demons to my party. Yes, it's Pokemon with demons. I should have named my character Ash and the other characters Brock and Misty. Maybe the next time I try it.
I did do the first boss battle (a rather demonic looking manta ray) and got my first glimpse of Dante, a special added bonus over the original Japanese only version. It's a cool game that I can see playing in bits and pieces. I don't think it will be too hard to pick up and play again - the menus are easy to use and the battles are fairly straight forward. That is becoming one of the advantages of this process that I didn't originally plan on - the ability to have a set of games that I can come back to whenever I have the time because I've already gotten into the game and know how to play them. There are still many facets of the game that I don't really grasp (when to use magatama, for example) and I figure that because the game is rated as hard there are certain resources that will need to be hoarded and used sparingly (like ammo in a Resident Evil game). One of the dangers of an RPG, but I'm glad I got into this one, nonetheless.
For next week, I thought that since I started the month with an older title, Ace Combat 04, I would end the month with a brand new one - Hotel Dusk: Room 215. This just came out for the DS and has been getting some very good reviews. Plus this will be my first Game-a-Week handheld title, giving me the ability to play it just before bed (as in just before turning out the lights) and/or at lunch time. It will be interesting to see how it goes.
Other bits: Our little squad of FFXI highbies has hit 65, found itself a new linkshell to join, and completed one of the three crags needed to enter CoP. Been a good week in Vana'diel....I got the Shadowrun cartridge and it does indeed have the right ROM. Booting it up, I forgot how good SNES games looked. That is still an amazing system. I'll have to plan a retro Game-a-Week month at some point. Can't forget our video gaming roots.