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Everything posted by Hawkwing

  1. I just got around to making a favorite-to-least favorite list of my favorite Fire Emblem games and the reasonings behind it (even though there were a lot of greater-than-or-equal-to's), and then Three Houses comes along and wrecks it, reminding me why I don't bother ranking things. Personally, the debate between whether I prefer Fates or Three Houses is whether I like the game that has several strong highs points low weak spots, or the game that's good but not amazing all around. Going through the same points as you did: Story: Since I'm still on my first run of Three Houses, I can't give a final opinion on the gameplay and story, especially since I'm taking a "wait and see" approach towards the game. That said, Three Houses definitely wins in the writing department. Characters may still be tropey, but it's not at the forefront, addressing an observation/criticism I had of Awakening and Fates. The dialogue is pretty good, unlike Fates where it seemed like every other line I could find something to edit and where I thought it didn't fit the "sword and sorcery" tone of Fire Emblem at all. The worldbuilding is solid, whereas Fates had an infamous lack of it. It wasn't a high bar to achieve, but Three Houses beats Fates in almost all fronts while being good in its own right. Doesn't mean Three Houses is perfect. I was impressed at several moments but never blown away, supports can last longer than they need to, and I am concerned about whether or not some of the intriguing plot points and mysteries that part 1 is setting up will pay off later on. Likewise, there are some elements of Fates writing I enjoyed, such as the boss conversations, battle dialogue, and the Faceless (They're a logical workaround a will based spell while being useful in other situations. Not every Faceless attack being planned adds an interesting if sadly undercooked dynamic to the war and makes for a solid setup to side missions. I can see them fitting in with in a different strategy game, with discussion and debates over their strengths and weaknesses, the best strategies to use them for, whether or not they're worthwhile, etc). The Choice: Put bluntly, which path had the better characters (personality-wise) and story didn't me a damn to me. I borrowed Conquest solely because I heard it had the best gameplay of the Fates games, and I chose the Blue Lions because I heard they were the easiest group to start with. I gave Corrin and Byleth every kill that I could before the split because I knew they would be the only character present in every single route. The story in Fates came off as just a formality ways, since I made my choice the moment I bought the game, and Three Houses has it surprisingly early, with next to no knowledge of how the group you choose performs in gameplay. They're both flawed in different ways, but I have to give it to Fates, if only because you knew you were getting the easy, hard, or sandbox game the moment you bought it. The Route: Can't really comment on Three Houses, other than I am interested in how the lord and group interactions differ between each route. Even on a first playthrough, it does seem like the game was designed around the Blue Lions, with the other routes being implemented later during development. I'm not looking forward to having to go through the same maps and mechanics every time I replay the game with a different house, though. I'm still undecided about Fates route split. On the one hand, I am glad that if I want to play Conquest solely for the challenge, I can just buy that game, instead of having to get the whole package and find out that while there is a lot of content, I'm only interested in certain portions of it. On the other hand, you have to pay quite a bit of money if you want the full experience, and the ranging quality of Fates story and gameplay really call into question whether its worthwhile. Fates gave more bang for your buck, but Three Houses costs less for more, so in a sense they're tied. The Gameplay: Conquest has the best gameplay in the series, hands down. Few things are broken, the level design is excellent, you have to pay attention to enemy stats, skills, weapons, and positions in order to succeed, and you can't grind your way through or expect to beat the game with just one unit. It's not perfect, as while all the gimmicks are interesting, they're not always fun, switching from defense to attack stance require more hoops to jump through than it should, and several of the later levels overstay their welcome. The first half of Fates was the most fun I've had with a Fire Emblem game, while I was exhausted after nearly every map during the second part because spending an hour to two hours to sometimes damn near three paying attention to every single enemy on the map because they could and would kill you for any slip up wore me out quickly, to say the least. My thoughts on Three Houses's gameplay needs some time to stew before I jump to conclusions, but while the maps and battles are simple, I still find them fun. Having more control over my units development is neat, it's nice that weapon ranks have a purpose beyond weapon triangle bonuses and which weapon a unit can wield, and I like the limited magic system and how my mages can use physical weapons if it comes down to it. Also, I frickin' love gauntlets and they're my favorite addition of Three Houses and they need to be in every Fire Emblem game from now on. Yet the monastery often means I have to spend a hour doing the same repetitive tasks so I don't fall behind, which that quickly adds up, the long supports and story sequences means there' is a lot of waiting inbetween the interesting stuff, and it's a lot slower paced compared to the 3DS games. Fates wins, but again, part of that is simply because I need to spend more time with Three Houses. The Difficulty: Fates had some more obvious differences between normal and hard and hard and lunatic, and the difficulty as a whole is very well constructed. If something went wrong, it was usually my fault in some way, and outside of a few gimmicks near the end of the game, any bullcrap I encountered was typical Fire Emblem bullcrap, like high hit rates missing or low crits activating and so on. I may as well complain about 90%'s missing in XCOM, since things like that can happen in every Fire Emblem game and are a risk the player accepts from the moment they press start. As I mentioned earlier, I do think that some of the later levels overstay their welcome, which combined with having to constantly check enemy stats and abilities and an increasing challenge that never lets up, led to me becoming more and more exhausted the further I got into the game. Three Houses Hard is competent for the most part, if easier than it should be, while from what I've heard, Maniac requires exploiting the game. It seems like there is a difficulty inbetween missing, and I wouldn't be surprised if it''s added later, like maniac was. Awakening was somewhat similar in this regard, but I found the ease that one could do challenge run helped make up for it. The Characters: I consider Fates cast to be one of the weakest in the series, but don't take that as me saying that I think they're bad. If you go in not expecting much depth, they can be surprisingly entertaining. Three Houses wins, though. They have more obvious depth, build on the games world, their tropes aren't at the forefront and several are deconstructed, and they're given more time to speak and comment on the plot. It'll just take a few more playthroughs before I decide how the Three Houses's cast ranks when compared to the other Fire Emblem games I've played. The Presentation: I know you said music, but I wanted to talk about the presentation as a whole. Fates is a great looking game, building upon Awakening and then some. The battle animations are over-the-top and fun to watch, the animated cutscenes and artwork are extremely well done, and there is a surprising amount of detail on the models and maps. The in-game cutscenes may be rough around the edges, but even when laughing at them, I do appreciate that they went further than they did in Awakening. That said, the voice acting is hit or miss, even if I think Fates has the funniest battle dialogue of the 3DS games, there are some really questionable class designs, and it has more noticeable clipping issues than Awakening which would only become worse in Shadows of Valentia, and even Three Houses still has them. I think Shadows of Valentia is the better looking and animated game at the end of the day, but really, I have to praise both games for building off of their predecessor without resorting to copy-pasting, since I noticed that only a tiny handful of animations were reused between games. Three Houses, while not necessarily a bad looking game, has so many hiccups in the the animations, models, and overall presentation that I would list it as a negative in a full review. I understand and accept that Shadows of Valentia was the result of working with the same engine for several years, so I wasn't expecting Three Houses's to have the same balance of strength and speed. Yet I'm still shocked that the battle animations have odd pauses inbetween attacks and the same animation repeats even when striking twice, the clipping issue remains but now they added floating Velcro shields, and the simplistic animations during supports aren't all that interesting to look at while some more engaging scenes are hidden behind a black screen. I know I should like a broken record regarding my criticisms of Three House's visuals, especially since I usually don't care about graphics, but the problems present are a little too glaring for me to ignore. The music of both games is amazing, but saying that Fire Emblem has epic music is like saying the sky is blue, so it ultimately comes down to personal preference. *** Once again, I think Fates is a game that has excellent high points and painful low runs, while Three Houses is good but not great all around. Both are on the lower end of my "least-favorite Fire Emblem" game scale, but I should stress that does not me I hate either game or think that they are bad; I'd just more likely to replay a different game in the series when. If you had to force me down and choose, I would say that Fates is the better game due to it's superior gameplay and presentation, but that comes with the caveat that Three Houses has stronger writing and I haven't beaten the game yet.
  2. Admittedly, I haven't played the game myself, but I'm not of a fan of Metal Gear Solid Peace Walkers reveal that Metal Gear Solid 2:
  3. Not helping is how voices (not just voice acting) and presentation can affect the perception of how long supports are. I thought that the supports in Fates were surprisingly short (and uncommon opinion, but I thought they were middle of the road in quality. Nothing blew me away, but nothing struck me as poor, either), but since I only played Conquest once, I don't know if they really are shorter than Awakenings, or if the lack of voice clips simply meant that I sped through them faster. While the supports in Three Houses do take a while, one could argue this is more due to them being voice acted with odd pauses inbetween (seriously, why is there an erratic pausing between when one voice clip starts and the next? Especially when Echoes didn't have this problem) and having simplistic animations that honestly aren't all that interesting to look at than the script itself being long. Anyway, counting words would easily lead into the "use 'it is' instead of 'it's' to reach the minimum word requirement" problem, where two supports with a similar amount of content would differ in length due to minor word choice differences. Going from one character ignores how two supports could be of similar length, but one could have more back and forth between the characters while the other has one character going into more detail about their background while the other listens. I don't know if there is a solid statistical way to determine support length, since as you said content is the thing that matters most. I really wonder what the development reason behind Shadow Dragon's lack of supports was. Did the writers think that there were too many characters to efficiently write for without them coming off as generic and/or sacrificing the quality of the main story, and thus decided to make most of them mute outside of death quotes and endings (of which most of them were taken from FE1 and 3)? Was it the support system of Shadow Dragon, where one character affected another but not always vice versa, and they didn't want to give the player the wrong idea by having conversations? Were the optional event conversations between characters things they wrote before or after the decision to not have supports? All or none of the above? Something else entirely? I actually really like Shadow Dragon's writing, but I am curious what the official reason for the lack of the traditional support system was. Awakening's worldbuilding simply told the player what they needed to know, and occasionally a little more, but that tended to be it. There's context for every level and I'm not left wondering why we're going from mission A to mission B, but there's not a whole lot of "unnecessary details" about the games world that may not be required for the plot but help makes the setting more interesting. Virion being from Rosanne is mentioned and his territory being conquered by Walhart is relevant to continue the story. It also shows that Valm is no longer the united Valentia that Gaiden/Echoes ended on, and Walhart aims to have history repeat despite the finer details of the conflicts being different. Yet we only get minor details about what kind of place Rosanne is, and lack of information of the other territories beyond "some oppose Walhart, others benefit, and some are on the fence" makes the whole rebellion part of the Valm arc come off as telling instead of showing. On the flip side, the Taguel actually do get a decent amount of lore that had some thought put behind it, but you have to scour through every little thing Panne and to a lesser degree Yarne says in order to find it, and even then said information is easy to miss. I like the background we're given about them, but I also admit it's more trouble than it's worth to discover. Awakening doesn't entirely lack worldbuilding, but it really only pops up when it needs to, and other times it's hidden in supports less obviously than worldbuilding was handled in the past. Given how Fates bit off a crap ton more than it could chew, I wouldn't be surprised that inbetween writing three different stories, how individual scenes would play out throughout all the routes, planning out the story reasons for why you get each character or item at certain times and making sure the you don't get a unit or weapon too early or too late, having the gimmicks make sense for the level in question, and continuing Awakenings support system of "everyone supports everyone" (which had its own issues), the writers simply didn't have the time or resources to effectively focus on the worldbuilding. It's not nonexistent (Nohr has some solid "show don't tell" regarding some of your units being non-nobles that earned high positions through their abilities, with some positive examples of how this bettered some of the characters lives and made them even more loyal, as well as the drawbacks being acknowledged since people like Peri and Hans can go far despite their horrid actions because they're good at their job), but given how Fates isn't set in a pre-established world, the lack of background on several aspects sticks out more. Doesn't help that the great level design gives an idea that there is an untold story about several maps, and Fates in general has some great concepts with lacking execution, but harping on Fates missed opportunities is beating a dead horse by this point. Crap. Well, I could always view the conversations on SF if I'm curious. I wonder why they thought that 200 turns would be a reasonable requirement, especially when the game one of the games rankings is based on speed.
  4. I wouldn't be surprised if the supports in Shadows of Valentia was decided upon fairly late during the voice acting process. It seems like they decided they had enough money leftover in the voice acting budget for X many supports, so they did X many. While not bad, It does seem that the writers weren't given as much time as they could have to iron out the support conversations, resulting in most of them being merely okay. I do agree that it would be nice for limited supports to return, if at least for a game or two. As much as I enjoy Awakening's cast and supports, you can tell that the writers bit off more than they could chew at points.
  5. So a common complaint I've heard against Ricken is that the majority of his character revolved around being annoyed that people were treating him as a kid. While not my favorite character, I was surprised to hear that this sentiment was so common, especially when his "war is hell" supports personally tended to come to mind firs. Out of curiosity, I decided to read Ricken's supports to find out how much of them focus on this supposed "gimmick". Note that I won't be covering the child characters, given how those only have minor differences between the fathers, and I'm taking the S-supports with a grain of salt since those vary wildly in quality for every character. Robin: Ricken is struggling with something to write to his parents, and is adamant towards Robins suggestions to write about his close brushes with death or exaggerating how he tore Risen apart limb to limb. Ricken mentions that won't go home until he restores his family name as a war hero in their B support. Ricken finally writes the letter in the A support telling his parents he misses them and hopes to see them again, with no mention of honor or glamour. He does angrily tell Robin not to treat him as a kid, but this is understandable after Robin just gave him a noggie right after telling him they gave a mature and thoughtful response. The S-support does largely joke about him being treated as a child, after Robin worries for him after Ricken went to the Ghouls teeth (Shadow Dragon reference!) to get them a precious stone as a proposal gift. Lissa: Lissa thinks that Ricken looks sick before being told that he's not fighting at 100%. When she suggest practicing to get past the block, Ricken snaps about how their enemies are out to kill them, and they survive by killing them first, although he apologizes for the outburst. In the B support, Lissa takes up combat training. Ricken lightly protests, but drops it quickly. At the A support, Ricken reveals he hopes to be an advisor for Chrom someday and explains why the lord is his hero; Chrom fended off kids who were bullying Ricken. While Ricken initially though there was a catch and Chrom was only doing it to show off, his attitude changed when Chrom fended off a wolf attack twice. He was barely able to stand by the end of it, showing that he was still human, making his bravery more admirable. S-support has Lissa complimenting Ricken for his bravery and saving her neck several times, to which Ricken proposes. Sully: Sully talks Ricken out of using a potion to age faster by telling him it takes time and effort to grow strong. In the next support, Ricken offers Sully a potion that could turn a woman into a man, while Sully tells him she hates people who are small minded about her abilities because she's a woman, not that she wants to become a man. Ricken apologizes, and Sully knows he means well, while mentioning if anyone else had offered her that potion, she would have made them eat their own guts. A support states that Ricken is done with potions and has a joke about him growing taller. Their S-support has Sully states that Ricken is a full-fledged shepherd, Ricken proposes, mentioning that he's a grown man once, and Sully accepts because she trusts him. Miriel: First two supports have Miriel doing experiments while Ricken watches the first time and helps with the second. Ricken asks both times if Miriel's experiments have a practical application, to which she says there is none. Another experiment in their A support, with Miriel mentioning that her researched is based primarily on the observations of her mother, and Ricken brings up that his family has fallen on hard times and he's planning on becoming a war hero to rebuild their reputation. He states that they aren't that different, as they both fight for their families in a sense (Miriel's mother was thought to be a madwoman by some). S-support has Ricken proposing to Miriel so they can keep working on experiments together. Maribelle: Maribelle thanks Ricken for rescuing her during Chapter 5. Ricken is surprised to hear Maribelle call him a peer, since his house is dead broke. Maribelle states that a persons character is more important than their purse, so to her, their houses are of equal standing. Their B support has a nice back and forth, with Maribelle noticing an injury Ricken was hiding. While Ricken tries to pass it off as a "flesh wound", Maribelle chastises him for taking unnecessary risks and wonders if she should talk Chrom into finding a way to spare Ricken from combat. Ricken shuts that idea down pretty quickly, stating that he is not a boy, he can handle himself in a fight, and he won't sit by while his friends, his family, and his countrymen are in danger. Maribelle accepts his decision while also telling him not to hide his wounds, so that she can use her abilities as well. The A support has Maribelle apologizing to Ricken for her what she said in the previous conversation, and Ricken acknowledges that she was right about him being young and how he hid an injury. Their S support has them humorously realize that they planned on proposing to each other, with Maribelle hoping to help restore Rickens family honor while also marrying for love. Panne: Ricken tries to ask Panne questions, while the latter is trying to ignore him and transforms into a beast to get him to go away. Their next conversation, has Panne try to dissuade Ricken from following her by telling him that humans change when the latter tried to ask to be her friend. Ricken talks about how he was bullied after his house fell on hard times, yet his father told him to keep his pride or else the bullies win, while acknowledging the taguel had it worse than he ever did. Panne allows him to follow her around, but quietly, to which Ricken jumps right into asking questions. Ricken asks if taguel could transform into other beasts in their A support. Panne tells him that she's met taguel who could transform into lions or wolves, and that her mother told her of a tribal leader back when the taguel ruled the world lived in an earthly paradise before their way of life was wiped out. Ricken cries upon hearing this, surprising Panne, who had never seen a human cry for their sake. Panne calls Ricken by his name for the first time in their S-support, and tells him that they should stop spending time together, as one day he would loose his innocence, and one of them may get hurt when that time comes (she calls him a young man here. She called him a whelp twice in earlier supports, but Ricken didn't seem to notice). Ricken then proposes marriage, saying they'll be friends forever, to which Panne accepts. Cordelia: Probably the one that has the most mentions about Ricken being a child. Their first support has Cordelia worrying about Ricken being tired from all the marching, to which Ricken replies that he's not a child and that Cordelia isn't tired. Cordelia replies that it would take a lot more to wear her out, and that his legs are quivering. She orders him to get some rest, and under protest Ricken obeys. Their next support starts with Ricken thanking Cordelia for the break after realizing he was being stubborn earlier. Cordelia reveals that she used to try to do too much at once and got in trouble for it, before Chrom stepped in to help her out. Ricken takes her "older and wiser" statement to apply to himself, and believes it is now his responsibility to tell people to stop being pigheaded, before Cordelia shuts that down. Their A support has Cordelia compliment Ricken on working hard and becoming a reliable young man. Ricken notes that this is the first time she's called him a man, and correctly guesses that she's flattering him. Cordelia regardless tells him that respect is earned and that his determination to improve is half the battle. The S-support has Ricken propose to Cordelia. He mentions that he knows that Cordelia is smitten with Chrom, and but that he loves her more. Cordelia says that she sees Ricken as more of a kid brother, to which Ricken replies that he is a grown man that is in love with her. Cordelia sees a young man now, and an equal in the future, so she accepts, but states that there will be no ceremony until he has come of age. Unfortunate implications galore! and I am not a fan of this support chain. Gregor: Ricken asks Gregor what happened during the last battle, since he was in the back and didn't see what happened on the front lines. Gregor correctly guesses that Ricken is recording the battles, but when he is about to explain what he did, Ricken interrupts by stating he's only recording what he and Chrom did. Ricken believes that if he keeps track of what the two of them did on the battlefield, Chrom will start treating him like a full fledged Shephard instead of a child, to Gregors disappointment. Ricken takes an interest in Gregor after seeing the "old man" fight. Gregor mentions "enjoying brutal honesty of small children..." at the last statement, prompting Ricken to quickly state that he's a grown man before getting back on topic. Ricken is compiling the book in their A support, aiming to become Chrom's right hand man, and noticed that he's starting to get a better idea of what goes on in the front lines, which Gregor compliments him for. Nowi: Ricken covers for Nowi burning down some tents in their C support, as the latter fell asleep while holding a dragonstone. In the B support, Ricken lost his temper at some townspeople sometime earlier, as they were saying bad things about Chrom. Nowi says that they're similar in how they want to protect people, and now they both have a secret to keep. At the A support, they get back from a wedding, which was busy enough that Ricken compared it to a harvest festival. Nowi reveals that she loves festivals, and when she was really young, she was so lonely she thought she was the only person in the world at points. She tries to join every party that she can, and while she loves the Shephards company, they'll all go their separate ways at some point, leaving her alone again. Upon hearing this, Ricken offers that, after the war is over, they'll tour around the world to visit every festival they can. In their S-support, Ricken plays a guessing game with Nowi by asking her what's in a bag that she's allowed to put her hand inside but can't peek in. Her third guess is a wedding ring, and asks if he wants to marry her. When asked about how she'll age slower, Ricken replies that looks don't matter and that it's what's in their hearts that counts. Tharja: Ricken tries to ask Tharja to teach him hexes, but she refuses, saying it's not a simple matter. It turns out that Ricken studies fencing, wyvern riding and butter sculpting, and he never gives up. Tharja tells Ricken that she can't teach him yet because she's still learning about hexes in their B support, although she likes Ricken's idea to just do something and see what happens instead of being cautious with her curses. In their A support Ricken casts his first curse on Tharja, who was close by and willing to be a test subject. It turns out that he cursed her with a happiness-contagion hex. Ricken is pleasantly surprised that there are nice curses, though Tharja warns that curses are like dreams, and whether they are joyful or horrific depends on the victim. Ricken says that Tharja is nicer than she looks, while Thaja requests that Ricken to keep this meeting a secret. They work together to get stronger at casting hexes in their S Support, when Ricken proposes to Tharja, who never actually directly says yes. Olivia: Olivia is interested in a book Ricken is reading, and after scaring him when he was so engrossed in the book, they decide to read together. When reading a scary story in their B support, Ricken is frightened while Olvia is bored (side note, Shanty Pete left his hook on the side of a carriage, which is oft overlooked lore). While Olivia loves reading, she says it's impractical to carry them around when she travels a lot, so she remembers spoken tales. This impresses Ricken, who walks right into getting her to tell him the scariest story she knows, which leads to the A support, where she shows that she's a pretty good performer and storyteller. Predictably, he proposes after she is done telling a story in their S-support, finding her cute, funny, and a great storyteller, while Olivia accepts because Ricken enjoys her stories and screams like a little girl. I wish I was making that up. Cherche: Ricken asks Cherche if he is allowed to pet Minerva in their A support. Calling himself a "monster-whisperer" due to how animals love him, Ricken believes he has the markings of a wyvern rider(Cherche private reply is " ah, the arrogance at youth..."). While it seems to be that Minerva and Ricken become fast friends at the start of the B support, it turns out that the only reason Ricken is still alive is because Cherche was there. When asked why he wants to become a wyvern rider, Ricken responds that he feels useless as a mage. Cherche tells him that, because he loves studying magic, he should put his focus on becoming the greatest mage he can be. In their A support Ricken become friends with Minerva, haven taken Cherche's advice. Ricken mentions his goal to become Chrom's right-hand man and that his family has fallen on hard times financially. Their S support starts with Cherche giving him a hat, after which Ricken proposes, mentioning that he knows he'll have to help take care of Minerva. Cherche takes the proposal seriously and accepts, mentioning that Ricken has grown into a fine young man. Henry: The support starts with Ricken thanking Henry for rescuing him in the previous battle, who mentioned they were previously part of the Plegian army but never went into battle due to Grangrel's defeat. Henry is curious what a battle against the Shepherds would have turned out like, much to Ricken's distress. Their B support is pretty well-known, with Ricken asking Henry about some of the people he served under, thus giving us some tidbits about several of the bosses fought in the first part of the game, ending with Ricken being reminded that his enemies have friends and families and aren't just faceless blobs. In their final support, Ricken asks Henry if he resents the Shepherds for cutting down his comrades, to which Henry replies no, but if Ricken were cut down, Henry would seek vengence, since he considers Ricken a friend. After reading through these... quite honestly, I'd say that Ricken's family is a more prominent point of discussion that him being treated as a child. Even then, his supposed "gimmick" is really only the focus in his support with Cordelia. Every other time, it is either not brought up at all, only mentioned as a quick joke, or relevant to the conversation to ranging degrees. I still think Ricken is an average character, but like most of Awakenings cast, I did gain a new appreciation when I started to see more sides of him. Also, Ricken has some really short S-Supports. I know they're infamous in general for happening really quickly, and I could be mis-remembering how long most of them are, but still. It's very noticeable with this guy. These are summaries, of course, so some details may have been missed or glossed over. I also haven't looked at any barrack quotes or level up dialogue or anything like that yet, but I've spent enough time on the topic as is. Formatting suggestions are welcome, since I admit this is a bit crunched. I'll fix any spelling errors later and maybe add some more thoughts later, since I got tired near the end.
  6. Maybe someday. I have enough games I still need to complete at the moment, but I'll keep it in mind. Plot Twist: It could never run a Playstation 2 emulator in the first place. Not without serious issues, anyway.
  7. I see. I don't know anything about the game, so I suppose the joke was lost on me. It's been screwed up for nearly half a year now. I, uh, may have dropped and/or punched it a few times....
  8. I'm currently playing through Blazing Sword (the tutorial being slow for veterans and having around a half dozen games I'm alternating between doesn't help with progressing quickly), so I can't really comment on how well or badly the GBA games handle gaining supports. For Awakening it could just be I suck at going through with a definite plan in mind, since anytime I try, a different combination of units ends up having more synergy, or my MVP changes. Granted, each run being unique is why I enjoy they game (and Fire Emblem as a whole), but those change in plans mean I unlock things later than intended. Fates I only played once, and I ended up being very limited in who I used, so I would need some time to think and remember if I unlocked supports quickly or slowly. I'd say Three Houses's issue is that the supports are long and the presentation is lackluster. The former has advantages, considering that several of Echoes supports suffered from being too short, and the timeskip means that several things have to be developed before and after it occurs, making the extra length necessary at points. They're just so slow and the erratic timing of the pauses inbetween each sentence doesn't help the pace. As for the presentation, it kinda gets the worst of both worlds, since the models and animations aren't static enough that most events could be left to the imagination (something portraits did accomplish, and the GBA games little bounces and movements definitely helped communicate what was happening in a scene without actually really showing anything), yet at the same time they aren't vibrant enough to be enjoyable to watch on their own merits (an advantage cinematic videogames do have). It's telling most of the conversations have basic animations, but anytime something complex happens, they switch to a black screen. I understand the production reasons behind his, but it ends up doing more harm than good.
  9. Since I struggle with getting supports in every game not named Echoes, I appreciated the opportunity to obtain support points of my choosing outside of battle. It was a nice way of speeding up the support chain of a unit the avatar worked well with, or catching up with a character I may not have fought alongside much. Considering Corrin's personal skill relied on having a C support, this was a good call. Similar sentiment with recruiting in Three Houses, as getting supports with units was in many ways more practical than meeting the requirements normally. I do agree that these could be a tad faster, though (could private quarters be skipped? I never tried it). Again, my issue is more how the line of dialogue in Fates rarely, if ever, added anything the characters. It usually just reinforced what was already established, instead of building upon that foundation. While I appreciate that Three Houses at least requires the player to pay attention to each characters personality to have a successful tea time, despite being told the conversation got lovely, we don't actually get an idea of their actual thoughts on the matter are. I can understand the costs of writing and recording the voice actors would prevent them from going in-depth here, but it still shares the same problem of not doing a whole lot for the characters. I'd say the dialogue was one of the main reasons (besides gameplay) I enjoyed going through Awakening and Echoes, despite their flawed stories. I liked the interactions between characters and not only what was said but how they said it. Shadow Dragon's writing manages to be eloquent without being pretentious, and while characterization is unfortunately limited, what we do get is surprisingly non-generic and I can see a difference between Astram and Midia and Roger and Julius and so on. It's my favorite in the series, in fact. I recently started playing FE7, and despite the painfully slow tutorial (or veterans, anyway), again, the dialogue between Lyn, Kent, and Sain (and occasionally other characters) kept an otherwise simple story engaging. And it wasn't just Fates lackluster story overall that was bad; the dialogue really didn't fit in with the "sword and sorcery" tone of the series, which didn't help disguise the lackluster execution of several ideas. For an important and surprisingly well done aspect of the series, I'm surprised it's not discussed more often
  10. An objective to blow up a bridge is one I've had for a while. The first objective would be to reach the middle of the map, defend the section for a few turns while engineers set up the explosives (barrels of gunpowder), and then it becomes an escape chapter, perhaps with an optional objective to kill the enemy commander if they have story relevance. A possible twist would be that the explosive fails to go off, resulting in the protagonists having to fight their way to grab an ancient/legendary fire spell to light the explosives that way. Bonus points if the action of using the epic spell is controllable and the player can have some fun blowing up some mooks before destroying the bridge. Another idea is that the two enemy forces are unknowingly fighting on the backs of two ancient giant beasts, and said beasts awaken during the battle and fight each other. Every turn, a different section of the map will have warning/caution signs over them, warning that an attack will occur there next turn. This would give repositioning skills some use, as the player can move the enemy around so that they will be in these caution areas and take severe damage on the next turn, perhaps with the caveat that the enemy will attempt to do the same to the player. Visually, it would be awesome to see two giant creatures fight up close, clawing and stabbing and crushing each other, especially if they get creative with the attacks. An alternative idea for the above is that instead of the battle taking place on the top of a giant beast, instead two or more superhumanly powerful characters duke it out on the battlefield, and both the player and enemy have to watch out to avoid being caught in the crossfire as their fight takes place all across the map. A third idea would be to have an escape/rout map, where in the mountains, the players army is flanked by an infamous group of bandits that prove to be scarily competent and not afraid to fight dirty as they intend to capture or kill your forces. You can choose to either fight back or make a run for it. Beforehand, I think this would work best if the rest of the game doesn't have the series standard "first few enemies are bandits" cliche, so that when they do show up, it's a twist that they're far from pushovers. Two ideas for a tutorial level: This one is better if the tutorial is optional, but people playing a DnD-esque game that uses similar mechanics to Fire Emblem and features the DM trying to explain the rules to his new players. It could be a humorous and informative way to teach new players about how Fire Emblem works, and they could have some fun with it, such as the units being questionably drawn like sketches, light jabs at the questionable usefulness of certain classes and weapons among other things, battles being cut out paper on Popsicle sticks (or whatever the medieval equivalent would be) "attacking" each other, and the "final" boss being represented as a plush dragon toy. It would be helpful to newcomers and hilarious to veterans. It could even take a lighter or darker turn in the main story, with the participants of the game being characters on either side of the conflict. The tutorial fight is a historical battle, with a small group of famous characters attacking an antagonist. It would be a nice way of setting up the tone, providing some lore that could have a twist later, establish certain characters and weapons that could reappear during the main story, and do this in a context that doesn't overwhelm a new player with gameplay information.
  11. I believe part of the issue is that her support partners are oddly limited, and all of them can be married off to other characters. This means that A. She has less supports overall, limiting her development and B. She can miss out on the exclusive S support bonus if the player marries all her suitors to someone else. I'm honestly surprised that she can't support with Stahl or Kellam, as their personalities could lead to some interesting conversations, and I find that those two have great synergy with Cordelia, another Pegasus knight. It depends on the playstyle, of course, but I only get a use out of her current pairings every now and then.
  12. Charge: Activatable. Doubles damage delivered and received. Intended for mounted units. Jousting: Activatable. Adds +1 Mt for every space moved. Can only attack once. Intended for mounted units. Steadfast: Activatable. Unit sacrifices speed and attacks last if enemy doubles in exchange for a defense boost. Intended for armor units. Bardic Boast: Personal. After defeating an enemy, all rally skills activate. (This one either only activates on the player phase, or can only activate once on the enemy phase). Unfazed/Jaded/Stoic/Stable: Personal. Unit is not affected by debuffs or temporary bonuses. Scout: Provides a visual warning of when and where reinforcements will appear. Can stack with other units that have Scout (For instance, one unit with Scout would show where reinforcements will appear next turn. Two units with Scout would show what classes would appear. Three would show the enemy stats, and so on). Duelist: Enemy does not receive bonuses from battalions when fighting this unit. Unit cannot be attacked by gambits. Last Stand/Second Wind/Comeback: If units HP reaches zero, they are still usable for one turn with a Crit +20-50 bonus. If not healed, unit will die once the turn is over. Only activates once per map.
  13. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle: Got this around 2-3 weeks ago. Been alternating between several videogames at the moment, so I haven't gotten that far into the game (beat the first world, and unlocked the option to redo fights to get a better ranking), but I can say that it's a very fun and zany strategy game. It's pretty simple, but that works to its benefit. There are no complex equations to keep track of or long term planning needed; 0%, 50%, and 100% are the only chances to hit depending on the cover, skill points are shared for each character and can be reset allowing for experimentation, and permadeath isn't a thing. The ability to dash into enemies, jump to higher ground, and use pipes to get to other parts of the level fits right in with the Mario series while adding some unique and engaging elements to a strategy title. The game is very beginner friendly as a result of this, while still having enough depth and uniqueness to draw in more experienced strategy game fans. It's also filled with slapstick, jokes, and other cartoony hijinks, making it fun for all ages. Ultimate Chicken Horse: Was looking around the E-shop when several things were on sale, saw this game, and my younger brother was interested in getting it. I've seen him watch some youtubers play it every now and again, and the gameplay looked interesting, so I bought it, and we've been having quite a bit of fun with it. Ultimate Chicken Horse is a multiplayer platforming game where the players build the level, and add things like blocks, moving platforms, coins, and loads of traps in order to reach the end of the level and earn points. Every turn, something new is added, and then the players have to run through it. No one gets points if everyone succeeds, and nor does anyone gain anything if everyone fails the level, so it's up to the players to create challenging yet possible obstacles to go through. It's interesting to see how much the layout changes from turn to turn, as well as how hilarious it can be when someone trap placing backfires or works too well. It also has a level editor, which my brother loves to use to make deathtraps and messing around with the jetpacks, teleporters, and black holes. Resident Evil 4: Been watching SomecallmeJohnny's marathon of Resident Evil, was curious if Capcom's habit of releasing past games on every console held true for the Switch, saw Resident Evil 4 on sale, remembered it heralded as one of the best action games ever made, and decided "why not?". And boy, do I not regret this purchase. The tank controls took a little getting used to, but I caught on pretty quickly. I actually don't mind that you can't shoot and move at the same time; it adds more importance to positioning and being in a good spot to take out several enemies. While ammo is plentiful, it's not unlimited, so making every shot count is essential. It's not a "run-and-gun", but RE4 is still action-packed, addictive, and just plain fun. It also has one of the better escort missions I've seen (Crimson Skies holds the reward for the best), as Ashley tends to stay out of your way while aiming, and you can tell her to wait in a safe location while you deal with a larger threat. The plot is silly and evokes several B movie cliches, and in several ways it works to the games advantage. It's not taking things very seriously, so neither should you, and going in with that mindset helps makes the cheesier aspects laughably fun instead of groan-worthy. I haven't found the game to be that scary yet (I was slightly startled when a snake was in one of the breakable boxes since I was used to goodies appearing instead, and the fish boss was enjoyably tense, but that was it), but then again I haven't gotten to the infamous regenerators yet, so that sentiment may or may not change later on. Does Not Commute: A mobile game that I got two days ago, and it's pretty fun. The trailer does a good job at showing what the gameplay is about, but to summarize; It's a driving game about getting from point A to point B in a certain amount of time, except that YOU control every car. What starts as one car casually strolling to get to the end of the map soon turns into a frantic frenzy as you try to maneuver between 15 or more vehicles each going their own way, and knowing the craziness is entirely YOUR doing. You also get a description of what each driver is doing in each level, giving the game a quirky sense of humor that fits right in with the 1970's vibe it gives off, and there is some fun continuity if you pay attention. It's also hilarious reading the description and comparing to what you do in-game, such as a father with sick kids jumping over a ramp or ice cream trucks driving through the grass just to save time.It is annoying that without paying for the premium version you have to start all the way back from the beginning whenever you turn on the game, regardless of where you were when you stopped, but it's not the worse case of withholding features behind a paywall I've seen, and the game is perfectly playable and beatable without spending a cent.
  14. I think they choose whether to celebrate on February 28 or March 1. Preferably the latter to avoid legal issues regarding buying drinks at 20 years and 364 days old. Are there any works that keep track of the teeth a fictional character has lost in various fights?
  15. Da dun dun dun dun da da da da da da daaaaa dun dun dun dun da da da da daaaa dun dada da da da da da dada...
  16. I... wish I knew what the joke was. Is this referring to a switch in the background music or that you used the divine sword to kill the boss? Also, was that your voice at the end, or something in the game, or neither? My laptops sound is damaged so I can't make it out clearly.
  17. I second the Star Wars idea. It would definitely be interesting to see how the Force would be handled, as well as the differences between Jedi/Sith and the various troopers throughout the universe. It helps that there also aren't that many turn based strategy games in Star Wars, much less turn based tactics, so it fulfill a unique niche. The Legend of Zelda would also be interesting to see. There are a multitude of various races, characters, settings, and items in the Zelda series, but outside of Hyrule warriors and Spirit Tracks (and the CDI-games) we only ever actually get to play as Link. It would be cool to see what the rank and file military of the Zelda series would look like in action, and the equipment link utilizes in each game could bring some unique elements into a strategy context. My main concern would be the story, since even in a spin-off where it wouldn't matter all that much, I'm not certain how well Zelda's method of storytelling and Fire Emblem's would mesh. I've mentioned Blustone before, and while it's been a long time since I've last played it darn you, limited phone space, I still stand by how it would be an easy game to make. Bluestone in a sense has a "weapon triangle" (fire>ice>electricity>fire), four class types (offensive, defensive, bomber, and support (healers)) with unique abilities between characters so they serve their roles differently, and even a conversation system similar to Fire Emblem's supports where two characters talk to each other and gain bonuses, albeit they are unlocked differently. The cast is pretty quirky and has some hidden depths, and it wouldn't be too difficult to make a Fire Emblem-esque story out of the setting.
  18. I do recommend getting Conquest eventually, though don't go out of your way to play it. I'm glad I tried it, but I also don't regret putting it off for so long. I believe it'll scratch the gameplay itch you have, and story is easier to digest if you know ahead of time it's not that good and that most of the entertainment you'll get from the characters is not from depth, but by watching the fireworks. I'm also curious on seeing what your thoughts on Awakening would be, since I can see you really loving and really hating certain elements of the game, and I'm curious on what your final opinion on the game would be. And how that would change if you decide to do a challenge run. Also, nice profile pic. Berkick Saga LP soon? Awakening and Fates found a solid middle ground character-wise with how reclassing was handled. A lot of the options made since for the character in question, such as Kellam being able to become a thief because of his infamous lack of presence, or Cordelia being the only first gen character besides Robin who can wield every weapon in the game as she's considered an ace. Ricken looks up to Chrom, so they share the same reclass options, and all characters that can become dark mages have a darker aspect to their personality. Even ones that don't have an immediate explanations aren't far-fetched that a character would fit that class. A downside of this system is that how useful the classes could be for the unit in question tended to be hit or miss, although most of them were hits. *** Other Unpopular Opinions: - Awakening is at its most fun when you ignore all the game-breaking aspects, and it's one of the easiest and most diverse games to do a challenge run for. - While mechanically sound for gaining support points, the Private Quarters in Fates and Tea Time in Three Houses share the same problem of not really adding all that much to the characters themselves. - While Fire Emblems stories range from bad to okay to good, the dialogue is an underappreciated aspect of the writing that's often glossed over. In several ways, it's just as important as the plot itself.
  19. Ricken: He's not an amazing character, but people write off his entire personality as "don't treat me as a kid!", when in truth that aspect only pops up every now and again, and even then, sometimes that reaction isn't unwarranted or it kicks off a far more interesting discussion. If anything, Ricken talks more about how his family has fallen on hard times, and he has some underappreciated "war is hell" supports that are pretty subtle about him trying to become a war hero to save his families honor. Kellam: Another character that's often called one-note, although it's pretty easy to tell whether or not someone bothered to read Kellam's supports. Despite his introduction, description, and ending, not once does a character ever forget he exists. Instead, the joke is about his ridiculous lack of presence, and even then it's rarely the focus of his supports. Often times, they just say the joke to get it over with, and then move on to the meat of the conversation. Admittedly, It doesn't appear as often as I'd like, but he does have a clever and thoughtful side, and is surprisingly stubborn and helps others in his own way. Most Awakening characters in general get a bad rep for being one-dimensional, but I find that their supposed "gimmicks" aren't as frequent as people make them out to be, and even then they are often used pretty well to start or continue a conversation instead of being the focus. They do have the issue of having very questionable first impressions and requiring the player to read through their supports to see their depth, which was a double-edged sword. While the characters of Three Houses can still be kinda tropey, I am glad that IS listened to this feedback as any "trope" a character might have isn't at the forefront and there are ways to learn about them outside of supports. Celica: Way too often is her stupid decision near the end of the game treated as the entirety of her character, with the rest of her personality and actions up to that point being largely, in not entirely, ignored. Shura: A character who is involved in the games backstory, shows the grayer parts of the Nohr-Hoshidan conflict, has the guts to go up against the royal families of either nation, has an awesome boss conversation when fighting Kotaro, and goes from a common thief to rebuilding a ransacked nation and becoming its elected governor, is all shoved aside because he has some nice shoes. Jokes aside, Shura had the potential to be a very interesting character, yet suffers from only being able to support Corrin and having his story relevance be pushed aside so the player can decide between getting another character or an item.
  20. @Ice Dragon I was arguing against the point that exposed thighs would not matter if someone was using a shield, as historically, attacking the legs was a common way to get around a shield-wielding opponent. Similarly, exposing ones legs while on horseback is asking for any successful attack to do some damage. Instead of armchair armoring and having this debate last longer than it needs too, we may as well end it now.
  21. Khidor from Rogue Legacy: I don't mind that he's a wake-up call boss that shows that you have to learn how to dodge in a platformer or else you won't last that long. My issue is that he's a bullet hell boss. While every other boss requires dodging to survive, at least they don't feel out of place with the gameplay you've been used to for the last few hours. Khidor, on the other hand, requires strategies that you'll really only use there (although those tricks can still be useful elsewhere, thankfully), you don't have a lot of space to dodge due to the small arena, and the margin of error is tiny. To be fair, it is neither an impossible or unfair fight, and it does do a good job at showing that the bosses in the game won't be pushovers, yet I still find Khidor to be the hardest boss in the game. I always find myself resorting to abusing the Paladins shield ability and the magic spells just to save time with this fight, because otherwise it's more trouble than it's worth.
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