Monday, February 18, 2008

Grim Grimoire

Monster Summoning meets Risk style playing field - In between working full-time and preparing for Tekkoshocon, I've stared playing a game that's been sitting on my shelf since August of 2007.

Grim Grimoire is the story of a magic school run by a wizard named Grimmel Dore... yeah... that name sounds familiar... In the story you play as a goody-two-shoes magic student named Lillet Blan. She's the new girl who wants to do everything by the rules and impress all of her teachers. She somehow gets stuck reliving her first five days of school over and over in a Groundhog's Day like fog where she makes friends, learns magic, gains Grimoires (which are magic books used for summoning), gets betrayed and has to save the school, her classmates and teachers from some evil characters who are after the Philosophers’ Stone.

I'm honestly not very big on stories that take place in or around school. Magic and ninja schools are no exception; however Grim Grimoire brings some interesting elements to the playing field. Instead of wizards learning how to use magic, magicians are taught four different types of magics: Glamour (the fairy magic), Alchemy (the science/magic combo pack), Sorcery (the devil's magic) and Necromancy (the magic of the dead). The characters "summon" (or "create", if they're using alchemy) familiars to gather mana, defend runes or attack enemies. A big unexpected plus is that all four magic types can be used together! How refreshing!

Grim Grimoire is the second game recently released by Vanillaware. It's big sister, Odin Sphere, was a major hit because of it's beautiful 2D character and setting designs. Grim Grimoire is shaping up just as beautifully. The characters are creative and easy to fall in love with. The 2D images of the characters are not completely still. They actually breathe while they wait for you to advance the dialogue! The in-battle scenery doesn't change much, but the dialogue backgrounds are very nice.

All-in-all I am pleased with the game. Though if you're one of those people who don't like spending an hour in a single battle just to lose, start the game on easy. The battles can be time consuming, but are a lot of fun.

(Images came from wallpaper available at:

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Tekkoshocon 2008

Tekkoshocon, the Anime & Asian Culture Convention based in Pittsburgh, PA is right around the corner. What does this mean for NMALLENART?

NMALLENART has teamed up with Dani Cat Designs and several other talented artists and craftsman to put together an art table in this year's Tekkoshocon Artists Alley. It's official, our first venture into the world of art sales will be April 11th - 13th at the Radisson Hotel in Green Tree. We're hard at work creating various kinds of swag featuring some of your favorite cartoon characters, symbols and sayings to offer to this years con goers. We are even working on an awesome raffle basket that some lucky otaku will get to take home at the end of the con!

Check out the Tekkoshocon website for more information. We hope to see you there.