So Monday I took back the new router and the Xbox 360 wireless adapter for credit, using it to buy a copy of Enchanted Arms, a longish cat5e ethernet cable and 1600 Microsoft points. Now that the rig is all set up, complete with neatly tucked-away ethernet connection, I've been alternating between Dead Rising and Enchanted Arms. I'm barely started on either, but having fun with both.
I expect that I'll never catch up with Alan on Dead Rising, for two reasons: one, I spend maybe a half-hour or an hour at a time playing, preferring to take time with Jean in the evening before geeking out. Two, Alan has the magic god-hand, and I have nerve-less fists. Dead Rising requires some dexterity, which as we have established over time, I have none of.
Enchanted Arms appears to be a standard Japanese RPG, and so far lacks any of the action-oriented 'enhancements' of Shadow Hearts or Magna Carta. I.e. there are no 'judgement rings' or timed button sequences, which the earlier games require in order to let you even try to launch an attack. I've managed to enjoy both those games, but in spite of the action gimmicks, rather than because of them.
Renee's RPG-Radar is functioning beautifully. I've been sneaking sessions of Enchanted Arms in during her evening shower and bedtime prep rituals, hoping to get a bit into the game before she starts to insert herself into my sessions. However, tonight she popped out of the bathroom wearing a towel and dripping, and creeped into the den, asking "what's that?" Before I knew it, she was smashing barrels wherever they appeared.
As for Microsoft points, or MS Funny Money (tm), I bought a card with some of my exchange credit at Fry's, thinking that I'd save the bother of trying to use my credit card online with Xbox Live. The card has a scratch'n'sniff window where the security code for your credit resides. I didn't have a coin handy, so I used a nail file. Unfortunately, the plastic was so fragile, that I scratched off part of the underlying code. I'm hoping either Xbox Live or Fry's will show me some mercy. Otherwise, I'm kinda sour on the whole MS Monopoly Money experience...