557 Layers Upon Layers.


Okay, here’s the deal about Fossil Fighters.  It could have been a Pokemon level success, but Nintendo didn’t quite put the effort into it to make it achieve that level of popularity.  It does a lot of stuff really well, but it also falls short in several key places that keep it from being super awesome.  It seems to be geared towards a much younger audience than Pokemon, so that probably accounts for most of the issues.  Visually the game is bland.  Bland like the Pokemon games are on the Wii and Gamecube.  The polygon graphics just don’t pop.  Except for the dinosaurs (vivisaurs in game).  They actually look pretty cool and are loosely based on real dinosaurs.  The story is lackluster and little more than an excuse to make you battle and search for fossils.  What saves the game is the battle system.  It’s very easy to understand but has a lot of hidden layers of strategy if you care to look for it.  I’m not going to explain it, you can look it up online and get a pretty good idea of how things work.  The long and the short of this all is that if you really like Pokemon, and I know some of you do, then Fossil Fighters is not a bad way to fill the time between now and Heart Gold or Soul Silver.  If they ever made a sequel to Fossil Fighters that shored up some of these little debatable flaws Nintendo could have two major creature gathering franchises on their hands, and I’d be right at the front of the line to get in on both.

And now, a short story:

Many many years ago a friend of mine, who married a half Japanese girl, brought me a daruma. It’s, like, a stylized head of a monk and they have various superstitions attached to them. The one he gave me had no eyes. You’re supposed to paint in one eye when you start a project then paint the other one in when you finish. The idea is that the daruma will keep one eye on you and spurr you to finish so it can have its other eye.

The other day I was holding a copy of my book that was going someplace and realized that I’d actually completed the task I started all those years ago. So, I went down to the basement to see if I still had the daruma. He was waiting patiently, in a tupperware container. I drew on his other eye, noting the obvious difference in skill between the two.

Somehow, it looked happy.