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About Glennstavos

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    That archer you benched

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  • Favorite Fire Emblem Game
    Sacred Stones

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  1. A lot of us were wondering why this was the year he finally put down the MAGA hat. "Born Again Yeezus" could potentially cut into the conservative christian bloc that Trump is relying on. I think you could argue either way which of the two campaigns would be helped by this addition. It'll be a landmark election if he did come away with an EC vote at all, but I wager faithless electors will play a larger role overall.
  2. So my currently most anticipated game right now is Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time. But the announcement trailer had something I didn't like. An affirmation that the post-trilogy games never happened. And that struck me as a bit mean. Crash's post-ps1 track record was never stellar, but there were good games. To prove it, I booted up Crash Bandicoot: Wrath of Cortex - the 'old Crash 4'. The developers for the game did what most companies do when handed a popular IP: don't rock the boat. Almost every level gimmick from Crash 2 and 3 is present in Wrath of Cortex, with only a few new ones. If you were hoping Crash games would get less gimmicky following the third one, this game will disappoint you. Although I will say that I like how levels usually weren't one playstyle for the whole run. In fact, levels tend to get pretty long by the end of this game. It's also a notably easier game than the trilogy, with more plentiful masks than in the previous games. Before I finished the game, I ended up with 99 extra lives without even trying, which is something I never experienced with the previous three games. Time Trials are easier too. It feels like they designed each one to be beatable without the sprint ability you earn at the end. And when you have Sprint, the only challenge is making it to the end without dying. Unlike Crash 3, you don't need gold or better relics for completion percentage, so it's a very completionist friendly game. There's some design aspects I don't like. For some reason, the ceiling climbing movement speed is far slower in this game than in Crash 2 and 3. The run-toward-the-screen chase segments are far too easy. I appreciate the camera being pulled back so that you can see more than a foot in front of Crash, but whatever is chasing you in this game actually matches your current speed. This keeps the difficulty of outrunning the thing consistent when you play these levels again with Sprint, but it won't ever catch up to you unless you stop. The music is good in this game, but there's some amateur moments where it stops completely before looping back to the start - especially common in bonus stages. The Coco levels are generally good, but I wish she had any unique ability from Crash, especially since she doesn't get certain upgrades like the double jump. I also feel like the game could have taken some extra steps to make the characters more expressive. It feels like there's too many blank stares, both in the cutscenes and idle animations. The intro cutscene is especially dull to watch. But overall this was a fine crash bandicoot game. I'd even dare to say it was the best one before the N Sane Trilogy came out.
  3. Lorenz is great. He was far from the worst member of the team on my Silver Snow maddening run - which is his worst route if you're going full mage. Thyrsus helped him be as bulky as my physical frontliners, and that's important when your C faith spell is recover instead of physic. Having that heavy duty healing on the frontline really speeds up your advance, and Thyrsus' increased range allowed him to constantly provide linked attack support to the other frontliners so that they would perform better. You can also keep going on the faith training for Ward, giving him some experience gain on any turn he can't be doing something more important. Ragnarok at B Reason is broken, straight up. Other mages would kill for that, and he was earning the one shot on pre-time skip maps despite his lower than average magic stat (due to being a recruited cavalier). If you are in a route where you must recruit him though, grab Frozen Lance if he doesn't have it already. That will push out about as much damage. He can't double on maddening, but then again, I dare you to show me any mage that doubles anything that's not an armor knight. And some mages (Hanneman, Lysithea) struggle to even secure those doubles consistently for a kill. The truth is that Lorenz's AS keeps up with the other mages because he has a strength stat. Any additional speed is just going to boost his avoid rate.
  4. I guess I tend to trust Easy Allies, if anybody. Among the 8 people currently working there, six I think have written reviews at all since the company's inception, and each review copy is typically handed to whomever has the most experience with the genre or franchise. On each review you'll know immediately who wrote the review, which I think a lot more outlets should do. Their reviews are completely up front about a game's potential flaws beyond just mentioning a frame drop here or there, and they don't hide the existence of microtransactions or how they impact the experience. If I want reviews on an older (mid 2000s to early 2010s) game, usually I'll click on the classic game room, or gametrailers videos. For indie games there usually isn't one outlet to look out for. A lot of the vidoes you find are smaller channels on one of their first projects, high off the experience of receiving a review copy of a game.
  5. I can't speak for certain on Brawl, but it wasn't in 4. In 4's case it wouldn't have really come up, with the only ice attacks in the main game being the Freezie item, one of Game&Watch's nine possible judge outcomes, and a couple custom moves like Luigi's iceball and Mega Man's Ice Slasher. I can't think of any assist trophy interactions as poignant as freezing the metroid. I remember shouting with glee the first time I saw the Starman have the Smaaaaash text when you KO him . That's new in Ultimate. Gray Fox reflects projectiles with his sword - to reference his deflecting of bullets when you fight him in MGS1.
  6. I'm around a lot of 50-70 year olds, and all they can think to say as far as small talk with me is "so have you graduated yet?". At age 25, I am in year seven of being a part time student with only a 2 year degree to show for it with enough university to qualify for a bachelors (but still in need of like 20 more credits at that school before they'll hand me the degree), and I don't know how to communicate that my schooling is mostly hobby at this point and that my current, 42 hours a week of work is what I find most important. Years ago, I was definitely conflicted about where my life was going and how to take it to the next level, but the fact is that I'm doing a job that I am the most qualified to do and I don't need to impress anybody
  7. Gotta wonder if the rest of the world is fraught with "COVID Deniers" who lash out at government protections because they don't believe in the danger. Thank God for the US of A.
  8. I agree, what did you think of the solutions I proposed? Enemy scaling is the go to choice for most rpgs. If we looked at other genres, there's also adaptive difficulty like in action games, where the game difficulty slides between 10 or so "levels" depending on the player's performance. If the player is playing well, the next map will have higher enemy density and stats, maybe harsher objectives. Of course that begs the question what "good performance" is in Fire Emblem. If it's simply keeping your units alive, wouldn't that punish players resetting or using the turnwheel? If it's number of turnwheel uses, then players can expend uses to keep the game from getting its hardest. Maybe turncount is a good answer, but again, if there's no incentive to finish quickly, the player can just wait around before finishing a map. Then again, most adaptive difficulty settings are not made known at all to the player in-game, and it's the work of hackers to figure out how it works or if it can be abused. So maybe turn count and turnwheel uses are a valid metric for player performance. They may even consider making a full on ranking system like in the SNES/GBA games that they could base adaptive difficulty levels on.
  9. I feel like fire emblem games getting easier as they go on is just the nature of a game where your units are leveling up and earning new classes. And if your game has grinding to any degree, you kind of forfeit the ability to have curated difficulty. Especially in the eyes of players, who will say its "great for a while, but expects you to grind with enemy stat inflation" or "great for a while but becomes stagnant - especially if you decide to grind". Maybe Fire Emblem games should look into enemy scaling, but how should the scaling be determined? Should the enemies be as tough as your highest level unit, or the average levels of your units - and how do pre-promotes fit into that formula? Should enemy strength be determined only after the player starts a map with their selected roster - thus hiding the stats of enemies on the field while the player is on the preps screen? And does that cut into the player's ability to plan out their strategy on the prep screen? Maybe the answer is ultimately just having good map design, objectives, and enemy placements. That way the nature of the challenge is always tricky no matter what the discrepancy is between yours and the enemy's stats. But just like asking players what's the best hard mode of Fire Emblem, I've never heard any sort of consensus on which fire emblem has the best maps in general to prove the correlation. That all having been said, I like the puzzles presented in early maps of hard modes. Because even if the difficulty curve eventually resembles a playground slide, those maps can be satisfying to complete purely because of your limited resources. It's so rare for Fire Emblem to present itself like a strategy game first.
  10. I want to game with Sakurai before I die. Especially if one of the games on tap is ARMY of TWO
  11. I was terrified of zombie games and movies as a kid. But then Resident Evil 4 came out and I was mentally caught between fears and this incredible game that was like nothing I had ever seen. A couple years later I mustered up the courage to play the game on my own, about 10-15 minutes at a time, and eventually love overcame. But if a horror game doesn't have good gameplay, It usually won't hold my interest, hence why I wouldn't count myself a fan of horror games. Fatal Frame, Silent Hill, Amnesia, Outlast. Most horror games are slow, repetitive, and don't encourage exploration.
  12. I kind of like the prologue chapter. It covers a lot of tutorial stuff in a way that's natural and unobtrusive, unlike Chapter 5 which pauses a boss fight to deliver five minutes of tutorial. I also like that the House Leaders can gain experience, even if you don't select their route. If this were Fates, only Byleth would be earning exp. Finally, this map is the most likely one to demonstrate to the player that green units can't kill bosses, which I love. It's all downhill after that though. Chapter 1 neglects to give you the option of fighting the right house first, instead assuming the player is taking on both at once. And you can cheese the map by leaving manuela alive after she runs out of nosferatu charges. Hanneman's house never aggroes toward you all at once. I'm grateful for making the map playable on Maddening, but it's dumb design. Chapter 2 encourages you to split up, but there's no reason to when both paths have the same distance to the boss and same amount of enemies to fight through. Chapter 3 is an auto scroller with Catherine hogging the glory and your own units getting sniped by enemies from the fog of war to the north. I could go on. I think the most impressively designed map may be Silver Snow's finale. The White Beasts are like nothing else in the game, having sky high AS and dealing magic damage. The player is unlikely to realize it without a guide, but they're presented with an interesting choice for progression. You can stop the reinforcements immediately, which powers up the boss and aggros the majority of the map to your position for massive onslaught of enemies, or you can allow the white beasts to keep spawning and chomping at your heels as you work your way to the boss. The siege weapons are also placed in convenient locations for the player to make their stand and maybe even cheese some kills with a lucky crit. The boss is also like nothing else in the game. Her armor recharges after every turn unless you manage the full break, which is unlikely given that she has higher charm than most of your units. And since every turn she uses an AoE, you want to spread out your units - very difficult considering she's walled in on all sides to the point that only fliers can spread around her. And if you chose to let the reinforcements spawn, they will heal her just by being nearby. The only issue I have with the map is the prevalence of miracle, forcing you to always have a backup plan for when the white beasts, cardinals, or the boss survive a fatal blow.
  13. So there's a big stink about Trump admitting that he slowed testing to keep his numbers low at his latest, dumbest rally. Not surprising when he admitted to the same thing in early march with his "I like my numbers where they are" comment when asked about why most Americans could not get tested if they wanted to. But with the way he talks about it: It's less "I'm cooking the books for my re-election campaign" and more "I cannot mentally see past the correlation between more testing and more positives. Testing must be creating COVID cases where none existed otherwise!". Seriously, if our president genuinely didn't care for human life, that's an easy thing to hide, right? You can pay people to assess the PR disasters before they happen. There has to be some kind of mental unwellness at play here.
  14. All ARMS are unique to just one character until you unlock them for other characters. And the process by which you unlocked them was totally randomized and on a character by character basis. Playing as Spring Man might unlock something like the Dragon for him, but not if you switched to Ribbon Girl. It was quite grindy as I recall, and possible to earn duplicates. Some ARMS technically were the same in terms of gameplay (for instance, Min Min's Ram Ram and Master Mummy's Phoenix are both curved projectiles that inflict fire damage when charged), but they still have a unique aesthetic to match their character. They're her weapons, even ignoring the fact that the Dragon is more powerful when she uses it. Max Brass is definitely not a clone of Spring Man. They don't play similarly at all. He is only the final boss of arcade mode on the easier difficulties. Ramp up the difficulty a bit and you get to fight the game's actual antagonist, Hedlok. And pointing out the differing agendas of each fighter in the tournament only proves Yabuki's point that nobody is the main character. Even saying that Ryu is the "main character of Street Fighter's story" would sound odd since only a small handful of other characters have backstories that even involve the guy.
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