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Zapp Branniglenn

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About Zapp Branniglenn

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    That archer you benched

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  • Pronouns
    He/Him
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    SoCal

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  • Favorite Fire Emblem Game
    Sacred Stones

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  1. I haven't payed attention to anything story related since 2019 but wasn't Rhea's berserker episode caused by the Empire? Some line about how they've been experimenting on her for the last five years in the scene where you rescue her. And the only experiments we're aware of them doing to people are the kind they did on the Remire village. Did that subplot of turning people berserk ever come up again elsewhere? I figured that was the setup for SS's finale, they just needed to kidnap Flayn and Rhea to test against their unique physiology. They were unsuccessful with Flayn (maybe because she can't transform at all?), but after five years they got something with Rhea. Putting her in a situation where she must transform might have also been the catalyst to activate the drug. That would answer the question of "If Rhea can turn into a dragon, why didn't she break herself out?" She must have known what would happen if she transformed, and the nuke scene was a genuine attempt at self-sacrifice. Not sure I like using the Dragon disease lore of Archanea to explain the actions of dragons of other worlds. Seen people use that to excuse the motivations with Fates, but if the game doesn't say it, then there's no need to be presumptuous. The only degeneration we see in Fodlan is Seteth and Flayn losing their transformed forms, while the still-living giant crest creatures presumably can't morph back to a human. But in all these cases, these people still retain their mental faculties. It's purely a physical deficiency that might just be explained by them getting old, not sick.
  2. Mortal Kombat Advance. It was included in the ziploc bag of game cartridges my big bro randomly came home with. Hope he didn't steal them, because the majority weren't worth stealing. GBA had a lot of bad ports of 90s games that gave me a skewed perception of them. I didn't understand why people like Earthworm Jim for instance until I happened upon streams of the Genesis and SNES versions by chance. The GBA port looks and sounds like garbage by comparison, and is buggy to boot. It was the same for mortal kombat - I didn't have the opportunity to go to local arcades, and game magazines which were generally built around promoting and marketing console games had nothing nice to say about Mortal Kombat ever until the 3D era. Thankfully the modern era of Youtube has resurfaced my pain, assuring me that my memories aren't just false. That video actually arrives at the conclusion that the presenation is the high point for MKA. That is just sad.
  3. Despite being a Metroid fan for more than half my life, I wasn't terribly enthused by the announcement of Prime 4. I was already habitually making fun of Logo Reveal trailers by that point, and I think Prime 3 was a great game that warranted no followup - certainly not one over a decade later with none of the original talent. The titular Metroid Prime itself is also gone, for good this time. All the people that made these games were long gone and the sub series had really overshadowed the originals in terms of marketing. Even games made in house at nintendo had Metroid Prime in the name. I was much more interested in Fusion's sequel, or even a followup to Other M's gameplay, but nobody online seemed to share my frustrations. Now that we've got Metroid 5 I guess they have license to do whatever the heck they want. Really happy that we've got a team of talented, passionate developers working under the series creator again. That's what I'd want for Prime 4, but we don't even know the original situation that game started development, or if it factually ever started development. It could have been a Final Fantasy 7 Remake situation where the trailer was built before a single person was hired to the project. Who worked on the original Prime 4? Was it internally developed? They never told us, and never implied that series creator Sakamoto would be involved. What unique, interesting ideas were axed by the Big N in 2019? My biggest hope was that Prime 4 isn't a retread of Prime 1. Don't take us back to Tallon IV, don't have us scanning things constantly for progression, and build a combat system that stands out. Let us do things we can't do in 2D Metroid, or other FPS games for that matter. What state is Retro Studios even in now? And what were they working on in the four years between Tropical Freeze and 2019? Now that they had announced the restart, it has me worried that they're making this game out of obligation rather than out of any cohesive artistic vision. Especially when every Retro Studios hire we hear about are the biggest positions within the project. They're hiring people to come up with the ideas in the first place, and expecting everybody to get on the same page. As for BotW2, I'm significantly less interested. The first game's minimalist approach made for a hollow gameplay experience past the first few hours. Things I liked about Zelda were restripped and painted in the style of a dozen ubisoft games. Like a Ubisoft game, it wasn't actually bad, just unremarkable. A sequel's got a lot to correct and a lot to add before I'm willing to care. And if the goal was to reuse assets and the world from the first game, how is the game still in such a pre-alpha state? The fact that we don't even know its name is especially concerning. Elden Ring and Horizon Forbidden West are both games that began development the same year or sooner than BotW2 did. By now they're both out, so what's Nintendo's excuse? Can they hope to match the quality of those two games? Breath of the Wild is a Wii U game, ported to the switch, taking full advantage of neither system's hardware. Will its sequel be a Switch game ported to the Super Switch? And I can't believe I'm saying this, but is there hope for the old formulaic Zeldas? I wouldn't mind if we went back to that.
  4. With all the nuance in how media is written, a lot of the parallels we tend to see with real world politics generally correlates to what we want to see rather than what the writers were actually going for. But for god's sake, why do people arrive at the idea that JAPANESE RPGs are somehow informed by the US political climate? It's Persona 5 all over again. Do people think Japan doesn't have its own politicians, scandals, or ideological struggles as a modern democracy? And yes of course Edelgard is Trump in this cursed analogy. She was born into her power and influence. She runs a campaign of misinformation and conspiracy theory - exploiting modern skepticisms surrounding the rule of law and the way leaders are chosen. Justifies the tearing down of government institutions and entire livelihoods of the ruling classes with an "I know best" attitude like any political strongman. Is working for a foreign, underground, nuclear-equipped power with vague goals including the continuation of an ancient genocide. And says to your face that anybody who's not with her is against her.
  5. Okay So the games that resonated with both of us the most would have to be Elec Head and Another Crab's treasure. My friend claims this crab game will be his first soulslike. 'Shellslike', I corrected him. We really want to see all the goofy objects you can pick up to use as your shell. And they make a good point about how the targeted circle strafing of your average souls game is just...not how humans move and attack. Recasting characters as crabs hangs a brilliant lampshade on the fact that this prestige genre of video games are still very video game-y. No matter how good they look or how seriously they present themselves. That's fine, by the way. I think when a game adheres too far toward realism, and is so meticulous about its simulated world and character animations, you get an experience that will eventually tire you out, like Red Dead Redemption 2. As for Elec Head, that's just a fun premise for a puzzle platformer. The developer mentions the idea was born from some of his favorite classic games. I'm pretty confident in guessing his inspirations include Treasure's Dynamite Headdy for the Sega Genesis. Elec Head is a game that's been out for half a year now on Steam, but I have not heard of it. That's why I like these indie showcase events. There's so much cool stuff out there being made and quietly released, that I appreciate the reminder. I'm similarly looking forward to Summer Games Fest, and all the showcase events surrounding that in June.
  6. I also have not seen it live. Inviting a friend over today for a watch party. But I will update this post with my thoughts tonight!
  7. The only thing waiting for any of us is eternal damnation. Happy? Bucket List pls.
  8. Was having a chat with a streamer the other night, and he mentioned having a "bucket list" of games he hopes to play one day. This was mostly built with the intent of categorizing games that he most wants to fit in between larger streaming projects. But I think this concept can apply to a lot of us, for a lot of reasons. Games you haven't played because you just haven't found the time, or it's not available on a system you own, or maybe you're just one of those completionist types who has to play every gosh darned entry of franchise leading up to the one you know you'll love. Whatever the case may be, what would your Bucket List look like? There are dozens, perhaps hundreds of games out there that I fully intend to play some day. But at this moment, I think these are the ones I'd be the most upset about not experiencing if I found myself in hell tomorrow morning. Metal Wolf Chaos: Probably the entry with the least good reasons to be here. I was first exposed to this game on a protonjon stream, possibly a decade ago. He turned me on to a lot of bizarre adventures like Deadly Premonition, which I finally got to last year. I now possess a copy of Metal Wolf Chaos XD, just waiting on my shelf. Why haven't I dived in yet? I truly don't know. Maybe I just want everything to be perfect. I need my heart to be ready. Maybe I want to reward myself with this FromSoftware goodness when I've advanced somewhere in my life or career. But I promise I WILL play this game. Silent Hill 2: I grew up with a fascination of the Resident Evil series. After so many years on the internet, I am of course well aware of Silent Hill 2 and its reputation as one of the best survival horror games of all time. But that reputation always tasted of snobbiness. It was never "this is why Silent Hill 2 is great" but rather "this is why Silent Hill 2 is so much BETTER than other horror games". Why can't we all like what we like? And anyway I didn't much care for silent hill 1 growing up. I revisited it last year, as an adult, and I'm willing to give its sequel a shot. Fire Emblem: Thracia 776: I've seen a lot of streams of thracia in my day. Mostly of the super long back half maps where the player resets after a bullshit death. But even though I've seen only the worst in this game, it still looks kind of interesting to me? I'm in the middle of a playthrough of FE4 at the moment, so that I can get the full juxtaposition of moving on to Thracia once I'm ready to play it. They are such incredibly different games. Fire Emblem: Super Thracia: I don't especially care for Kaizo ROM hacks. I do like challenging games, but at some point you got to wonder if the meticulous effort that goes into crafting frame tight platforming challenges can't also be spent on genuinely fun levels? I think I'd have a different reaction to a Kaizo Fire Emblem hack though. When Fire Emblem is difficult, it often becomes much more hilarious and interesting. I've heard complaints that the hack isn't really playtested well, but if it was playtested for difficulty, would it even deserve the coveted title of "Thracia"? As for why I haven't played it yet, see the above entry. I think fully appreciating Super Thracia's weirdness requires a thorough lived experience of the original. I promise I'll finish Thracia, but I don't think I can realistically promise I'd beat Super Thracia. That's a huge question mark with the things I've seen. Nier Automata: You ever have that game that all of your friends have recommended you play - to the point where it feels like you're being condescended to? How do YOU know what trash I would love? Well I've heard enough about this one to admit that it probably deserves a spot on this list. I probably haven't played it because those same people stress that I'll have to play it many times to get the most out of it. And I'm very picky about when I should start large gaming projects like that. I rented the first Nier when it came out and didn't like it. Hearing that it has become an Avant Garde franchise in the years since is one of the more bizarre aspects of gaming media I wouldn't have expected from 2010. It's up there with things like : A) Legend of Zelda...Warriors game?, B) Final Fantasy 7 remake...that isn't trash?, C) Bioshock hasn't been relevant in almost TEN years? Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 2 I played the first one on a whim a couple years back and had a blast. Among older western RPGs it's got easy to grasp mechanics, satisfying role playing moments, and it was the rare moment of my adult life where I was genuinely invested in a Star Wars anything. The sequel has an even grander reputation among enthusiasts, so I owe it to myself to try it some time.
  9. Or have consumable potions you can buy that grant massive resistance against a single element - more than a pure water raises your res stat. Or heck, instead of buying them, bring back the obscure alchemist class from Fates who can spend his turn dispensing that sort of potion - and it replaces the concept of rallying an adjacent ally's stats.
  10. The Brawler classline, because if my 2008 self saw future me answer that he'd be so amped right now.
  11. The Prime Trilogy and the Wii U zelda remasters have probably been rumored for the switch every year since Mario Kart 8 Deluxe released in 2017. If it hasn't happened yet, one wonders if it ever will. I think I distinctly remember Prime Trilogy HD being thrown in with the (correct) leak of Mario + Rabbids before E3 2017, so that's why everybody has been so sure of it coming. A lot of nintendo rumors bank on the low stakes game of "if we keep predicting it, it will eventually be right", and this has worked out with how often Wii U games got ported. But let's say they're all announced tomorrow and releasing this year. You're still down a bunch of money rebuying games you already own. What's wrong with the versions you've got? Come to think of it, I was waist deep into a replay of Twilight Princess when its HD remaster was announced. I didn't care because my gamecube copy was still great, and unlike Windwaker I didn't see any changes they could potentially make to improve it. The prime games probably won't run any better on Switch. I've heard nothing but bad things regarding the Switch's attempts at pointer controls, it just doesn't match the Wii's sensor bar in terms of accuracy, and that's a big deal for a shooter. You didn't mention which versions of the prime games you own, but if it's already the Wii trilogy, or the Wii U VC version of the trilogy with better load times, then you've got the good version. As for the Zelda games, you're looking at an HD game being brought to another HD system. That is zero potential for an upgrade in visual fidelity, unless they accidentally fix Wind Waker's color pallet to look like the original. All that's left is the portability of the system, but if you happen to be contending with Joycon Drift at that moment then portability becomes moot.
  12. Yeah, I can never seem to get a good Lowen either. I remember in my last FE7 run, Kent had single digit strength for the longest time. Could double anything, but would never kill, so we'd have to clean up that mess he left behind from that enemy phase. I harped on this a lot back when it happened, but I had an abysmal Ferdinand in my first Maddening run of Three Houses. He starts with 8 speed at level 1, and had 12 speed when he reached level 21. He went UP to 14 as a result of his paladin promotion, and only two of those twenty level ups were as a cavalier, so that's 18 level ups with 50% speed growth, and two levels with 40%. His strength was also similarly poor, I think ending at around 25 - not high enough to kill most targets with Swift Strikes. In that same run, my Petra ended at level 40-ish having just 17 Dex, giving her a lot of trouble hitting stuff with axes. My jaw hit the floor when I finally looked up her Dex growth which is 50%. So that's just ten out of forty level ups where she got Dex. These Three Houses examples really floor me because, unless you're one of the Faculty units, there's a failsafe in place to ensure you get minimum two stat ups on level up. Statistically, you are far more likely to have higher stats than the mathematical average. Having below average stats on a unit is exceedingly rare the longer you're leveling them up. GBA Fire Emblem has a similar failsafe, though it activates less frequently. If I remember the mechanics correctly, whenever you get an empty level up (no stat increases), the game will reroll to ensure you get at least 1 stat point. And if the reroll produces another empty level up, it'll do it again three times total before giving up and just giving you the empty level. Footage of an empty level up in these games is exceedingly rare because of this. As for an example of a stat blessed unit, I remember ending up with a L'arachel who capped every stat naturally except HP and Defense. That was pretty neat.
  13. Oof, 3DS collecting in 2022? Even before the eshop shutdown was announced, prices for systems and game carts had skyrocketed thanks to scalpers. Kirby Planet Robobot and Zelda: Link Between Worlds Are S tier of their respective franchises in my book, and I'd be willing to say they're the two best 3DS games period - not accounting for taste since we, y'know, we can't account for taste. Can't think of a single thing wrong or disappointing about them. If I were making a top 5 3DS games list, I imagine it would also include Kid Icarus Uprising, Metroid Samus Returns, and Radiant Historia Perfect Chronology. Kid Icarus asks a lot from the player with its control scheme, but the game is a blast. It's got incredibly charming writing, phenomenonal music, highly replayable levels, I think they knocked it out of the park. Metroid may feel like just a prototype of Dread at this point, but I'm a fan of Metroid 2 and think it's approach as a remake is pretty unique and special. I have the same opinion of Fire Emblem Echoes come to think of it. Radiant Historia's 3DS remake I actually haven't played, but I think the DS original is a contender for best RPG of the 21st century. The 3DS remake adds some bonus story content and full voice acting, so I don't see how they could go wrong there. You actually just missed it but there was a huge eshop sale of Atlus published games a couple weeks back. That would have been the ideal time to jump on Radiant Historia. Even so, it feels morally incorrect to simply ignore somebody's interest in that game. It's not even "the worst in the series", it's the worst Nintendo game released in the years I've been alive. Its npcs are lifeless pun dispensers, its battle system is mechanically pointless, the puzzle solutions are so obtuse and poorly thought out that I'm convinced nobody has ever finished the game without a guide. I don't even think it looks or sounds nice for 3DS standards. I don't care what price you find this one in, it's never worth your time to check it out. I've done 10$ bargain bin dives on Hey Pikmin and Chibi Robo Ziplash, those are at functional.
  14. My blue haired sword lord can beat up your blue haired sword lord. Among 'Best Lord?' discussions, this one's pretty roundabout. Being real for a second, aren't we all just a worse Sigurd?
  15. By "best" do we mean most accurate or most funny? Most sanctified or most irreverent? The responses thus far have run the entire gamut. Possibly in the OP as well, but I have no idea what this anime is to comment on it. Earthbound is reaching for the same 1950s Americana aesthetic as the Fallout series, but from the very first cutscene of Fallout 1, you can see the difference in viewpoints regarding each game's take on American exceptionalism. Oddly enough, despite the cries amongst the internet about media becoming too "woke", I think the Fallout games have become less critical as the series went on. Meanwhile, Mother 3 has a lot to say about the evils of humanity and rampant capitalism, but makes no effort to tie these concepts to the setting of Earthbound, or America specifically because all the bad things are done by a single person that seems to lack autonomy himself. If you want to see Porky Minch done right, look no further than Fallout's Mr. House. Regardless of what is Best, I think my favorite has got to be Dead Rising 2 - made by a Canadian studio to follow up the original produced at Capcom Japan. Not only does the sequel move out from the singular reference of George Romero's Dawn of the Dead, it's caricatures of American society are way more on point. It's also a game that realizes the very premise of Dead Rising is kind of funny, so let's lean into that. Dead Rising 1 has no moments of intended levity and is always deathly serious as a horror game in its cutscenes. But the gameplay was nothing like that. Dead Rising 2's Joe Everyman protagonist with 80s action hero quips fits in much better as the gameplay gets that much more ludicrous.
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