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Taka-kun

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  1. So having finished the game once on Hard difficulty after 70+ hours, I wanted to give impressions of the game. My apologies for both double-posting and necroing but I figured it would be okay if I posted my impressions/review of the game here instead of creating a new topic. I can safely say that TMS#FE blew beyond my expectations, particularly in its gameplay but also in the characters and their dynamics and interactions. Most FE elements are gratuitous and the overworld is lacking, but the rest is fantastic. And the music is gorgeous. [spoiler=Battle System] Starting with the strongest point (which I believe many agree on): The battle system. JRPGs tend to be very stagnant in the system, relying on stats (which in turn leads to level grinding) and buffing/debuffing those stats and it's possible to just barrel through the whole game with sheer brute force. This isn't the case with TMS#FE (at least on Hard mode) since the enemies are resilient and the playable characters, more than often, weak and if you follow the pacing of the game (i.e. not grinding unnecessarily much) even normal battles keep you on your toes. The interwoven mix of Sessions, buffing/debuffing, status-infliction, turn order and character switches in battles gave the game a strategic depth I did not expect. The pace on how you learn the different elements in the game is well structured. Sessioned through your battles? Now YOU get Sessioned! Superior stats? Get debuffed and feel the crits! Solid skills and team composition? Get Sealed/Charmed/Confused! Though normal battles were fun and all, the challenge lie with the boss battles and more than often, I had to die once just to get a feel of the boss' tactics. You are punished if you think of just Sessioning your way to victory with a regard of your own team's defenses and switching out characters for various skills felt necessary. Arena battles had its own share of fun, since it had the added element of managing your resources as well when items and switching can't be used. But it eventually lead to some team compositions being better than others so it didn't have the same variety (especially for me who likes rotating the characters). I will say however that, while the Ad-Lib performances looked cool and all, it's too unpredictable and favored the player too much. Sometimes AdLibs changed the pace of the battle entirely and there was no tactics about it, just luck. And since I depended on the Session skills alot, the animation of all the stunts got boring quick. It's fun the first time to see them do acrobatics but the inability to skip or fastforward the animations annoyed me to no end. Finally, the battle banters should have been subtitled. Most were easy to understand but others I didn't get all, which was unfortunate since it would otherwise add to the interaction between the Masters and their Mirages. For example, I understand "Give me your power, Cain!" "Got it!" between Touma and Cain since they used stock anime lines but I didn't get something Mamori said that made Draug shout. Some of the banters are unique as well depending on the costumes (Dark Yashiro's laugh, lol) but for the costumes that didn't have any story or sidestory relevance (DLC costumes, school costumes), I have no idea if there were any references or jokes at all. [spoiler=Overworld] Now the other part of JRPGs is of course world exploration and at this part, TMS#FE fails. The areas you can walk around in Tokyo are limited and there is nothing noticeable. I have never been to Tokyo myself but the game gives the impressions that it's all just buildings and shops and nothing else. The aesthetics in Tokyo didn't change particularly much either, saturated in vivid colors throughout. It's too represent Tokyo's fondness of the performing arts, I get it, but I would have preferred to see more of Japan's other structures, like shrines. Considering Mamori is supposed to represent the old performing arts, it would still tie in with the game's thene. The dungeons weren't particularly visually pleasing for me either. The ones that stood out were Daitou TV and the last dungeon (especially the last one) but otherwise I have too many memories of racing around the confusing corridors, unable to enjoy the environment at all. The puzzles were uninspiring and frustrating. It didn't stimulate me because the puzzles were simple yet felt like chores. [spoiler=Main Story] There was less of a coherent story and more of a collection of stories of Fortuna's gang in the entertainment industry while at same time battling Mirages. On the plus side, it gives more spotlight to all the characters but on the other, the Mirages comes off as generic and being merely there for the character's growth. Chapter 5 and 6 does subvert it a little, with the former showing that the enemy Mirages have the same love (if twisted) for entertainment and the latter focusing more on the main antagonistic Mirage, the only enemy Mirage who has goal and personality (though even that is underdeveloped). The existence of Mirages and their war isn't particularly prominent until chapter 6. I enjoyed the last chapter and wished the story revolving around them had stretched out over the game instead of being so condensed. [spoiler=Characters] The game benefitted from having such a small cast of characters and the side stories (plus their importance in the main story) gave them alot of screentime for growth and development. On the outside, the characters are not particularly distinctive, fulfilling a character archetype or another, but I was genuinely surprised by how some of them turned out in the end. Kiria goes from an aloof, cool girl to someone who is not restrained by the personality spectrum and ultimately becomes happier and more expressive for it. Yashiro plays around with this a bit. He initially comes off as cold and aloof as well but all his side stories are mostly comedic, especially when his hamminess is highlighted. Yet he is still the same (Master actor or an actual dork?). The fact that other characters interacted in the side stories as well (instead of him/her and Itsuki) added to group dynamics of the Fortuna kids. Itsuki actually became my favorite despite him coming off as somewhat bland in the beginning, since he lacked the drive and motivation of other characters. But he comes off as clever and level-headed and though he has no role as an idol, he becomes quite a capable Mirage Master, something reflected in the gameplay. But what I enjoyed the most is the flavor choices you get, where I played Itsuki as a real dork sometimes ("You sing the anime theme, Touma, because it and your show both airs on Sunday!" laughed too much) and I can only imagine how it is for his friends, when whenever Itsuki opens his mouth, it can either be words of wisdom or a boneheaded proposition. (Also I ship Itsuki x Ellie because her last side story, nuff said. The only time I chose to be an ass to see the responses and then reloaded for a genuine dialogue.) The Mirages get way too little focus though. Sometimes we get dialogue between them and Itsuki in Bloom Palace but they are few and far inbetween. You could have switched the Mirages for any other similar archetype in the FE type and it wouldn't change anything in the interactions. I suspect they were merely there for fanservice since if you didn't know their hidden personality before, this game will only give you a very shallow impression of them. Also Ayaha gets completely thrown under the bus. No anything at all for her, a shame. [spoiler=Music] Of the BGMs, only and were enjoyable to listen to in battle. But the vocal tracks are frankly gorgeous, which I did not expect from J-Pop. I expected most would sound like Reincarnation, which, while not inherently bad, sounded like standard pop to me. But instead there was a variety of songs and feelings embedded in them. My particular favorites are Yashiro's "Under the moon" and the Tsubasa's "Fly", due to the strong feelings they elicited in me (nostalgia and liveliness respectively). Adding to that, the music videos were beautifully animated.Serves to remind me that J-Pop is not just anime theme songs, it's a whole spectrum of different emotions. Closing thoughts: TMS#FE is a fantastic game on its own but I feel was hurt because it didn't pander enough to the fanbases. Though I can name better RPGs, TMS was definitely worth my time and it's good to have a game with a lighter tone now that we are saturated with game rooted in grimness. It didn't try to be something it wasn't (looking at you Fates) and instead delivered the tone we (that saw beyond the first teaser) expected while adding a surprisingly deep and engaging gameplay element with a fun cast. Though I doubt there will be a sequel, I do hope Atlus will at least keep making RPGs for Nintendo home consoles.
  2. In chapter 6 and just faced . I fought in a battle of attrition for 40 mins and then he downed me with two successive, Almighty, multi-hit skill. Fml. Items for multi-healing are rare however. Maca Leafs (which heals decently), I can't seem to find reliably. So I have found Mediarama (which my Itsuki now has) and Mediharana very useful after a round of enduring enemy attacks. Having healing spells on more than just one character gives me more flexibility (whether to use thunder/sword skills or wind/lance skills). In longer boss battles (like the above mentioned), it's almost a requirement to have healing spells as well. One thing I just discovered is that when you reforge/improve your weapons, you can learn an ADDITIONAL skills that you couldn't learn before. Wish I had known that earlier instead of running around with mastered Carnages.
  3. I wanna add that while the battle system is fairly simple, there is a strategic depth behind it, in how you deal with enemies (especially bosses). However, the game does encourage you to embrace it and doesn't deter you outright by making it unfair. It can be difficult, yes, but never unfair.
  4. I believe I have used 10 Seals at this point. I have been pretty straightforward with my promotion in that I just think of the class I want my Mirages to be in, which made me totally forget that the alternate class unlocks more Carnages. Yeah, there are items so I don't know why I have to keep a single-ally healing spell. Skill acquistition. You will be pretty overwhelmed by amount of skills you get because they work separately from leveling up and especially Itsuki get crazy amount of skills but you have only so many skill slots. It will be possible to reacquire skills after a certain point in the game, but I advise you to think early where you want characters to be. Don't neglect buff/debuff skills.
  5. Sexy Charm is pretty good, especially on Tsubasa who can trigger Sessions on charmed enemies, no matter affinity. Otherwise, the offensive non-Session skills (like Megido) can be useful on Kiria (with her high base damage) but it's been situational for me. If there was a skill that could Seal enemies as reliable as Itsuki's ad-lib Black Chorus, I would definitely go for it. I might want to change my strategies since when the enemies hit ailments on my party, I am in a world of hurt.
  6. Because it's FE (and SMT)-inspired, with the inclusion of Mirages based on FE characters and weapons types. But it doesn't have Tactical RPG elements nor does it have supports between bazillions of characters. My belief is that they used the word FE to draw in inclusion of FE fans. How successful it was is debatable. On its whole, the game is its own IP, with no requirement of understanding of the two other series. And no, most of the character roster is from a universe that is NOT Mario. Strictly, the Mario characters in the SSB4 is Mario, Luigi, Peach, Bowser, Bower Jr, Dr. Mario and Rosalina. Some might include DK, Diddy and Yoshi but they have their own game series. The rest of the the 58 characters are from games that have no connection at all to the Mario games aside from cameos. I don't know which game you refer to. While I can say the mechanics are not the easiest, it certainly does not have a steep learning curve. And I don't understand what you mean that FE is supposed to be less complex. It's a Tactical RPG which encourages innovative and strategic thinking and good utilization of your resources. The same can be said for TMS; just remove Tactical.
  7. I agree Wyrmicide, Diamond Splitter and Espada are pretty good, both for the damage they deal and the ability to ignore attributes. The problem is that I have too few Master Seals. I have already promoted Itsuki twice and the other characters once, and I want to promote the other characters again as well to unlock more Carnages.
  8. Starting the last chapter. I am still schizophrenic about my Itsuki. At first I intended to have him stay in Great Lord class to have another healer besides Tsubasa and additional buffer as well. But I have been building him into a strength character more and more as I find the slayer skills very useful (as they transcend Null effects), buffs/debuffs are independent of magic stat and his magic stat isn't high enough to heal well anyway.
  9. Oh, do tell. I still think light and dark attacks are useless unless I fight giants that can be easily charmed.
  10. The thing here is what makes me hard to understand the dislike for the game: The game isn't FE. That's the main (and perhaps even the sole, if we don't count the people not liking the censorship because of the sake of censorship) reason some don't like the game at all. Not criticizing the mechanism to be too hard to understand, or that the characters are bland, or that the narrative is uninspiring. Just that... it's not Fire Emblem. TMS is by no means a perfect game. The world is sorely lacking, since you can't really roam freely in Tokyo and there are few changes in the environment, so when you have seen it once, it's pretty much like that all the time. Aside from the character side quests, the "normal" sidequests are pretty boring, ranging from "Defeat this Mirage" to "Collect this thing" without really expanding on the world (of pop idols and/or Tokyo). I fear some have been too expectant and hyped from the first teaser (which was just 3 months into development of the game) but that was just one TEASER. All the subsequent trailers showed off how the world would be i.e. FE-inspired but not FE. Nowhere in the title, both Japanese and English, does it say Fire Emblem: Tokyo Adventures. It's like saying the Super Smash Bros. is supposed to be a Mario game because of Super and Bros. If there had been genuine criticism of the game, I could understand. Instead, it's either A) It's a FE/SM/Persona wannabe and/or B) "They censored it, now I can't watch teenagers in skimpy bikinis", and from my perspective, both views are quite shallow. There is no room for discussion or persuasion because those that dislike it are determined to hate the game "because".
  11. Never knew Atlus had a game series called Dept. Heaven. Feels like one of their more obscure ones, in contrast to the sucess of Etrian Odyssey and Persona. I must say it's strange the battle system has not been seen AFAIK in other Atlus games. Not even the previews of Persona 5 shows anything similar. Did they decide to have TMS as a springboard for future development? One can hope it might be spawn an Atlus series exclusively for Nintendo platforms.
  12. I think it's about time somebody made a topic like this. Personally, I warmed up to Itsuki over time, mostly thanks to the flavor choices you could make, by either making him quite neutral or hilarious with his responses. As a unit, he is probably the best due to his variety of skills allowing him to fill any role, which I found necessary because it was generally a bad idea to assign a role to just a single character.
  13. In the game, the Mirages don't play that much of a role anyway other than being supportive to their respective Masters. The story focuses on developing the human characters. Sure, you could have exchanged Cain for Kent but he would still just be a background character for Touma and his quest to become a superhero. Like shadowofchaos said, the Mirages are probably only in there for recognition factors, to appeal for a broader audience and makes more sense from a business perspective. As a newcomer with Awakening, I had absolutely no idea who the other cameo characters were and I barely knew the FE12 Mirages because SF routinely mentions them. In all aspects, TMS is a self-contained game. There is a minor plot reason for the prevalence of Akaneia/Ylisse characters but I would argue it doesn't matter at all. TMS is a story about Itsuki and co. coping with the importance of Performa and how it embodies the passion of dreams in the entertainment industry. It's an enjoyable game on its own without needing to pander too much to the fanbase of either FE or SMT.
  14. How it all come together really. Targeting weaknesses to trigger sessions, balancing skills to tackle regular and boss battles, switching party members to change turn order and abilities etc. Nothing particular, just... everything I guess.
  15. I would say the battle system is definitely the most enjoyable part of the game, though most other aspects in the game (such as the character sidequests and flavor choices) amped up the enjoyment.
  16. Does anybody know if Atlus has a similar system in their other games? The last Atlus game I played before TMS was Persona 4 and I don't recall it having such an intricate system. I am much more interested in playing another Atlus game since TMS was so much fun.
  17. I actually liked Tsubasa'a and Ellie's hiphop costumes more than the swimsuits. The swimsuits were just... swimsuits for me while the hiphop costumes exuded color and uniqueness and it's more fun watching the two fighting Mirages when they wear such costumes, yo.
  18. Do realize that you and I have different perceptions about battle scenes. Yours seem to involve dialogiue inbetween while describing the exact movements. I myself prefer (from most authors I have read from) when the battle is viewed from one side with a flow that takes into account surroundings and environment. A short excerpt if I had written Corrin vs Mozu (confusing as hell, since I thought it was Mozu(me) first). The key difference here I think is that my (just described) action sequence is very short but I take more time describing the thought processes and the surroundings. This draws the reader into Corrin's (or Mozu's) mind and it assist in envisioning the battle. Longer sequences would be just "the steel clashed and sparks flew as they continued the dance of death", because A) Not every single part of the fight is interesting and B) Ideas run out very quickly. I just made this on the fly. I suggest looking into books with action sequences and more prominent fanfictions writers (not sure if there are any though).
  19. While I am glad TMS#FE still merits some interest here in SF (since I still has yet to finish it) I can't believe the discussion revolves around a single person's complaints about lack of abs, cleavage and swimsuits who clearly hasn't thought through about their choices with their purchase of the game. The Internet...
  20. What is this tier based on? Damage? Usability? Versatility? Personally, I find everyone usable depending on the situation on hand.
  21. I am going to be brief with you (and you know at this point that I am honest), this chapter was pretty terrible. The battles weren't described well enough to give a good mental picture and consist mostly of "hacking this, slashing that". And I can't tell you how jarring it is with the way the characters speak as if it's this is 21st century New York. The speech form is simply not fitting with the medieval settings of Nohr and Hoshido. Why would they know "the Shining" and why would they say "say what" like some gangsters? I wish I could say something nicer but the chapter felt like a mess. I think you should tone down on the battles and more on the narrative but I guess you are tired of hearing that now.
  22. I am not an exact fan of the Avatar system, since I tend to think of them as their own characters after all, with varying results (good with Robin, bad with Corrin). That said, - There should be more flavor choices. Even if it doesn't affect the story, it allows the player to define their own character based on their own belief. Mass Effect is an obvious example of this done well. I like how they did it in Xenoblade X and TMS#FE as well. - Not the "main character" as many have already said, but perhaps still an important character that manages background work while the Lord has the glory. Again, Xenoblade X did this well by focusing much on Elma for the main story, her decisions and her dilemma while the Avatar runs around helping people in various tasks in the city. - More style customizations, like hairstyles and accessories. Fates did better than Awakening in this so it's probably on a good way.
  23. Don't worry, you are not the only one stuck on the bosses. The game is cleverly designed to give you a challenge while at the same time requiring careful thinking and resilience. Normal battles and boss battles are two different beasts altogether. The former you can just breeze through by stringing together sessions attacks and tanking light attacks, the latter is a brutal beast where you have to do everything to just survive. The difference can be overwhelming. Just yesterday I spent a good hour just trying to survive Mamori's sidequest boss while simultaneously shaving off his HP, bit by bit. Although frustrating, I feel such moments are what makes the game so much more fun than I initially thought.
  24. There are multiple ones throughout the dungeons, not just 106. Alright, I guess it's some kind of a plot point.
  25. Just finished ch 3. The boss was easier than the boss for ch 2 so it was mostly a cakewalk. Now that I am running around doing the sidequests, I just realized these unbreakable doors in the dungeouns cutting off large sections. Does anybody know when I can breach them?
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