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GlitchWarrior

BIRTHRIGHT REVIEW (aka Glitch Rants About Ryoma)

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So, I just got back from another  run of Birthright, and it amazes me how toxic the community is over Fates. I will acknowledge that the game CERTAINLY isn't perfect. And while I will say that Birthright is the best path in my opinion, due to balance and plot reasons, people are just destined to argue over the game for all eternity. But is it really that horrible? Well, Conquest and Revelations are pretty bad balance-wise, and Conquest is even worse in the plot department. But I digress, because Birthright is one of the best games I have played, personally. So, let me explain this to you guys.

First, I didn't try too hard to compare it to the rest of the series. And that seems to be what's earning this game, as well as Awakening, negativity in the community. Don't think of it as much as a Fire Emblem game, and especially don't try to compare it to Blazing Blade or Radiant Dawn; you'll almost certainly be disappointed. But think of it as a standalone experience.

Here's my analysis: I thought the game was BRILLIANT. The setup was amazing; the whole "pick a family" dynamic was just so cruel, it was good. As you know, this IS a Birthright analysis, so I would choose Hoshido. And this, dear readers, is where the fun begins.

For convenience, I've sorted my review into four main categories; characters, gameplay, story, and map design. For the purpose of this review, I'm playing Classic Normal, and I've also decided to use female Corrin, because personally, I generally prefer her to male Corrin.

Section 1: Characters

Spoiler

Characters are the foundation of a game, and in this game, there are twenty-four of them (not counting units obtained from side-quests or Paralogues). The problem is, most of them don't get much of a chance to shine. You have your main characters, Corrin and Azura, and there's the supporting cast, including Takumi and Ryoma, but that's just about it. None of the characters' retainers save Jakob or Kaze (both Corrin's, by the way) get much of a say in the plot at all.

Add this to the majority of these said characters being pretty bland, and we have a roster that's pretty darn lame. Take, for example, Subaki. He wants to be the single best, and believes his every action is perfect. What deep, character-building moments does he have? NONE, unless supports say so- and those are completely possible to miss. Added to him being a member of my personal least-favorite class (Pegasus Knight), I actually left him BENCHED due to generally not liking him.

Even someone who's supposed to be an important supporting cast member (Hinoka) gets almost NO important moments, save the scene where, should Corrin not obtain an A-rank support with Kaze, the ninja throws her up to her older sister, sacrificing himself so his liege can live. But even though normally I don't bother to use Kaze and let him die, it's still surprising that Hinoka is so easily forgotten in favor of this one guy who threw her sister towards her and let herself die. No, seriously. If I didn't have Heart Seals to re-class her into a Spear Fighter, I would probably have forgotten to include her in this review.

But thankfully, even side characters can have value. Kaden, for instance, is literally the embodiment of Plot Progression in Birthright; his sole purpose in the story is asking Azura a favor, which leads to the gang getting noticed by Garon. But somehow I found him charming, and he's still my personal favorite unit in the game. Kaden was kind, funny, and a VERY useful unit in-battle thanks to his Beastbane skill being favorable against enemy cavaliers. And yes, there were LOTS of Cavaliers.

Some of the characters come at a time that trivializes either their own, or everyone else's, usefulness. Exhibit A: Hayato, a young Mage- oh, I'm sorry, Diviner- who joins at the end of chapter 8 with the almighty level of- ONE. Dude. DUUUDE. I know that Birthright has limitless grinding, but hey, this is pretty stupid. Exhibit B: Ryoma, a Swordmaster who joins at the end of chapter 13 at promoted level 4 with a 1-2 range PRF weapon.  Keep in mind that this is the game that handles join balance the BEST out of the three.

But nonetheless, although the playable characters are somewhat questionable, the game keeps many of them fresh for quite a while after they join. And the enemies are even better. Personally, Leo was my favorite boss, and I will always remember Flora's suicide as a key reminder as to why she's a red unit in Heroes. Needless to say, the game  has some well-written villains, and I actually liked some of the characters that most people wouldn't think too much of; Zola still rings in my mind, for instance.

Section 2: Gameplay

Spoiler

This game took the entire gameplay structure from Awakening and adjusted it to the perfect level. Pair Up features were ironed out, with paired units providing the lead extra force, and units nearby doing the second strikes. The first thing about the gameplay I didn't like was the Weapon Triangle adjustments, but hey, Birthright only has two Axe-users not counting extra promotions or class change (Rinkah and Scarlet), so what else? And besides, they had to make Archers good somehow.

Supports were ironed out, as were battle preparations- the most notable adjustment to the Convoy system since the original games was items not dying with your units. That always bugged me about FE7 and FE8, as units carrying stat boosters or promotion items shouldn't have to take them to their grave. I forget what game it was introduced in (Awakening, right?), but this feature was one of the most memorable.

I actually DIDN'T like the unbreakable weapons. While most people would be glad to not see the words "A Javelin broke!" on their screen over and over, that meant they had to balance Silver/Ranged weapons here, and the way they did it annoys me so much- debuffs. Bleugh. Give me back my fragile Silver Swords, I just want to hit at full strength and speed more than once on Enemy Phase.

Those are basically the only changes from the GBA titles, which are the most memorable. But I still shouldn't be bringing them up; as I said, this should be treated as its own entity.

Section 3: Story

Spoiler

Compared to the games that came before it, Birthright has a relatively simple story; Your adoptive father is the world's biggest jerk and decided to try to kill you while waging war against your REAL home country, and your adoptive brother and his forces are blindly loyal to him. So you have to crush them both, which in Xander's case was incredibly sad. But hey, he's a Camus unit.

The cast travels the breadth of the land to save Hoshido from utter destruction, and ends up unlocking the sealed power of the legendary katana of Hoshido, Yato, along the way. The team must use their wits, their strategy, and Corrin's inherent ability to turn into a freaking dragon at will to overcome all obstacles.

The story of this game was rather light, but believe me, it was a perfect way to truly get into the series. I guess I don't have much to say. Sure, there are plot holes, but I don't want to go over them right now. Perhaps I'll address the problems later; but the biggest one mostly only comes up in the supports. Please, if you're trying this game for the first time, don't go trying to S-rank your support meter with any of your siblings, or you'll kill the charm of the story... Ugh, now that I'm talking about it, I'd like to address it, if you don't care about spoilers.

(OMG A SPOILER IN A SPOILER WAT)

Spoiler

Basically, Corrin's S-support  with Takumi has him longingly wishing that they weren't related so they could fall in love, but then he finds a letter from his mom, and- wait for it- it says that Corrin is NOT King Sumeragi's daughter! What? They're only half-related, but Takumi decides to pursue the relationship anyway- and Corrin feels the same way, leading them to get married and to Corrin having two sons with her brother. Dang, this game is crazy, and it goes the same way for Hinoka and Sakura if your Corrin is male.

But what about Ryoma? Well, here's the bottom line- HE ALREADY KNOWS that you're not fully related. Awakening got flack for being able to marry everyone, but it was okay, because nobody except for Robin's son was related to him. This game takes it to the NEXT LEVEL. And even worse, it becomes a main plot point in Revelations.

But here's the thing- if you're not related to the Hoshidans, then why should you even be fighting with them? They're just some random family whose dad married your mother, and you weren't even raised by them. Personally, I like to imagine that none of these S-supports actually hapen. In fact, I always marry Corrin to Kaden because they actually feel kind of cute together. You're free to whatever S-rank you want, but please- DON'T kill Birthright's story.

But other than that, the story's REALLY good!

Section 4: Map Design

Spoiler

This is actually the most important part of any Fire Emblem game, and sadly, it's here that Birthright fails to deliver. Chapter 6 gives you five new units, two at the start and three at the end. Chapter 8 is a very early step in the game, and what does it give you? A rout map in a DESERT. Then, Chapter 9 is a boss map, but the reinforcements and chests make it a total hassle. At least  you get Oboro here, and she's actually pretty good.

Chapter 10 is another rout map, and this time, there are SPIKE TRAPS. In a maze, filled with 1-2 range enemies. Dang it. Hey, Saizo gets his revenge agains Kotaro,  which is nice. Chapter 11 is easy thanks to Reina, and chapter 12 thanks to literally any flier (plus Kaden, if you want the chest), but then comes chapter 13, which is another Rout map with a powerful boss, an annoying miniboss and no recruitables. After this, you get Ryoma, and the rest of the game becomes trivial.

See what I mean? I would have waited until later to introduce Ryoma to the team, and I would have made the early-game maps more tolerable. The late-game maps actually become BORING to play, because Ryoma annihlates everything in his path. Even the two units you recruit after him- Felicia and Shura- have NOTHING on this man.

As for the maps that he CAN'T solo, by this point, you probably achieved S-rank support with someone, so now Corrin and this run's main love interest (usually Kaden) can basically team up to help HIM finish the game. I tried holding off with Ryoma once, and how many units were left at the end of the run? SEVEN, and he was STILL one of them. This includes two child units, too, so that means all but FIVE of the initial roster died, including him. The game is essentially forcing you to use him at this point. The maps aren't fun thanks to this lobster-armored menace.

Okay, I'm ranting now. Point is, the early maps are too much of a chore to finish, and the late maps are too easy unless you fail to use Ryoma or too much grinding. Heck, THAT'D be a run I'd like to see- Balanced Raijinto, 0% growths or support! Wow, that'd be har- scratch that, it'd still be easy.

So with all of that in mind (and keep in mind, this IS my opinion), I give the game a 3/5 on my part. I'm planning on picking up Awakening next, and if it's anything like what I've heard (similar to Birthright, but better), I'll probably enjoy it.

But what are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

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Fates had potential. It really did. But it fell flat on its face.

Really can't say much else, I tried Conquest and Revelations and beat neither.

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Glad to see someone still liking the story and characters after multiple playthroughs. I grew ever more annoyed with them the more often I played through the game (especially three certain someones that shall remain unnamed). Needless to say, I consider Fates as the weakest Fire Emblem game to date, except in the gameplay department. The game is really fun to play, I will concede that. But as far as story and characters are concerned, I'd be hard pressed to find anything worse in the franchise than this one. It's a shame, really. I've been hyped for this game since its announcement and was still hyped after finishing my first playthrough... then I looked into this forum and my eyes were opened to the more glaring issues this game's plot has. And then I went and found some for myself after checking what everyone else said and the result was not pretty.

Moral of the story: If you want to unconditionally love something, DO NOT look into forums.This is a joke and should not be taken seriously.

@Dragoncat said it best: Fates had potential, but it fell flat on its face.

Edited by DragonFlames

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birthright annoys me in the plot department enough that i still have barely even bothered with it, though i think thats mostly because its the biggest example of how lacking in nuance and aggressively patronizing fates is, Conquest mishandled as it might have been does atleast sport the more interesting ideas and i personally found the main character more compelling on that route (especially since they were surprisingly less of a tool on the conquest route) and it atleast got me to feel an emotion now and then. Revelations is the worse route story wise in my opinion though, birthright might be bog fucking standard and severely lacking in creativity but atleast it isnt fucking stupid and boring.

gameplay wise though stupid and boring can apply to pretty much all of the games in some form or another.

if i had to say what i dislike about the game the most though, it would be its art style. its front loaded with stupid designs, and everything in the back is either uninteresting or aggravating. slightly better then awakenings art though.

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3 hours ago, DragonFlames said:

Needless to say, I consider Fates as the weakest Fire Emblem game to date, except in the gameplay department.

I would say Sacred Stones, Shadow Dragon and Binding Blade were all worse in one or both aspects.

5 hours ago, GlitchGabe said:

Some of the characters come at a time that trivializes either their own, or everyone else's, usefulness. Exhibit A: Hayato, a young Mage- oh, I'm sorry, Diviner- who joins at the end of chapter 8 with the almighty level of- ONE. Dude. DUUUDE. I know that Birthright has limitless grinding, but hey, this is pretty stupid. Exhibit B: Ryoma, a Swordmaster who joins at the end of chapter 13 at promoted level 4 with a 1-2 range PRF weapon.  Keep in mind that this is the game that handles join balance the BEST out of the three.

That's typical of FE, really. And I could think of worse - like the aforementioned Sacred Stones, where you get the game's best unit in the prologue. And the Hayato example is pretty tame compared to Marisa, who joins 5 to 7 chapters later than her competition depending on the route. And Hayato's competition for the mage slot in the army is... Orochi. Who is pretty lackluster.

EDIT: Marisa's even worse off than I initially stated because she comes in the same chapter as the best sword infantry unit... And care to guess who you need to get her (in one route)?

Edited by Shadow Mir

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Awakening's story is definitely better, imo.  Birthright is probably the path I enjoyed most (either that or Revelation simply because of its sandbox nature), but the story didn't leave too much of an impression on me.

But I do like a number of BR's cast; I think for all the mediocrity present it's kind of underrated.  Obviously I'd list my favorite, Oboro, as a better part of the cast, and other neat characters include Saizo, Takumi, Sakura, Kaden, Shiro, Selkie, and Mitama, among others.  Though this assumes you explore some of the supports...  But imo if you aren't exploring the supports, then you're missing a significant chunk of Fire Emblem, and it's incredibly unfair to take them at just the surface (plot-only) level because then all the characters will have the depth of a puddle.

Gameplay-wise, I only have fun if I do challenge runs.  Especially if I forgo the use of Raijinto or even Ryoma himself and don't grind at all.  There's some fun to be had there, at least.  And it's better balanced than Awakening.

 

I just feel like some people were expecting something on the level of Genealogy or Thracia in terms of story, and wound up with a basic story in one path, a massive disappointment in another, and one path to ruin them all.  Still, I think there's actually a lot of people that really enjoyed it; if there wasn't, Fates wouldn't have been a commercial success.  It's just one of those things where some negatively-inclined people speak their mind and most other people just remain silent or retaliate in a nasty way.

3 hours ago, DragonFlames said:

Moral of the story: If you want to unconditionally love something, DO NOT look into forums.This is a joke and should not be taken seriously.

Ain't that the goddamn truth, though.

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Ryoma isn't THAT necessary. Not to mention on higher difficulties of BR and Rev, I've found he suffers against mixed enemy groups. Ryoma can dodgetank Axes and Bows, or Lances and Shuriken, but not both. Swords are also continually a bit dangerous for him, although Tomes are continually safe due to low Tome and Tome user accuracy. Xander, to mention Ryoma's parallel, can consistently tank mixed groups, except for ones with magic users, which is something Ryoma can handle. I won't deny Ryoma can be good, I've had him solo select portions of maps, but I don't think he can do them in their entirety).

I've done Classic Lunatic (no Ironman though) no-grind on BR without Ryoma. Spear Master Hinoka with a proper DS pal and the Guard Naginata was able to survive pretty much everything but Berserkers. She tanked the whole of the west side of C25 (which became easier as time passed as the enemies lost so much Str from trying to pelt her with their Silver Bows for turns upon turns), this and C23 were the worst of my females-only run (that was trio'ed by Dstone+ Corrin, Hinoka, their DS pals, and Sakura to heal them, all in an alleyway), and maybe C22. C24 fortunately can be flier-skipped. 

 

I felt BR was okay in the map design department initially, only the Izumo fight was particularly problematic early on (you need one durable unit with a DS pal able to Javelin to secure your way out of the starting room). I'd say it's after the first Iago chapter where things started going south. The funky stats Sevenfold Sanctuary battle was okay, but the two endless Faceless fights were too easy and the lava fight a bit tedious, besides being a difficulty downturn. By the end, whereas CQ might have had one too many debuffs, BR has too much a battle royale mentality, with just too many enemies.

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40 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Ryoma isn't THAT necessary.

It isn't so much a problem with him being "necessary" so much as him making things stupidly easy because of how broken he is as a unit.  He's practically impossible to kill because he'll almost always kill his enemy with just the first flurry of attacks/a crit, even if they're an archer attacking on enemy phase.  And to that end, he's also really good at killing anything he attacks.

You can well enough go through all of Birthright or Revelation without even deploying him once, it's just that he can trivialize Birthright if you do use him to his full extent.  Many problems can be solved simply by just shoving Ryoma out there and letting everything try to attack him.

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23 minutes ago, Ertrick36 said:

It isn't so much a problem with him being "necessary" so much as him making things stupidly easy because of how broken he is as a unit.  He's practically impossible to kill because he'll almost always kill his enemy with just the first flurry of attacks/a crit, even if they're an archer attacking on enemy phase.  And to that end, he's also really good at killing anything he attacks.

You can well enough go through all of Birthright or Revelation without even deploying him once, it's just that he can trivialize Birthright if you do use him to his full extent.  Many problems can be solved simply by just shoving Ryoma out there and letting everything try to attack him.

The thing is, though, that is something you could easily get away with... in the GBA games. Not so much here, where evade is way down in terms of reliability and as a result, Swordmasters are not that good a class.

Edited by Shadow Mir

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22 minutes ago, SoulWeaver said:

I'd like to point out that I think Yato's not actually a katana, just Raijinto.

And I believe you're correct. Not all Japanese swords are katana, earlier Japanese swords weren't curved, and without a curve, it can't be a katana or related type of sword like a tachi.

Yato in Shadow Yato form looks like a European blade, while Blazing Yato has a curve to its tip, as if it was trying to become a katana, but couldn't.

Ginchiyo Tachibana in Samurai Warriors seems to use a similar blade to the Omega Yato, although no Japanese name is given for it on Koei Wiki, which just calls it a "Serrated Sword". Using Wikipedia, it seems the proper term for the Omega Yato would be some form of "tsurugi/ken". A tsurugi being a straight, double-edged sword. 

Apparently, the Kusanagi, one of the three Japanese Imperial Regalia, was a tsurugi. The sword was given by the god Susano-o to his sister Amaterasu to apologize after being exiled from heaven for slaying a goddess. Kusanagi was found in the body of the evil multi-headed serpent Yamata-no-Orochi. I think "Yato" means snake in Japanese, and the symbol representing the Yato in Fates is support to be a serpent. So Yato being a tsurugi would make sense. It'd be Japanese, but pre-katana, and hence not-so Hoshidan.

Edited by Interdimensional Observer

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5 minutes ago, SoulWeaver said:

I'd like to point out that I think Yato's not actually a katana, just Raijinto.

It's kind of a katana when it takes the form of the Blazing Yato.

Apart from the Omega Yato, every other Yato just looks like a broadsword of some kind.  And the Omega Yato just looks like a chainsaw; nothing like any conventional (or practical) bladed weapon that's ever existed.  It's one of those cases where it's just overdesigned without any thought to how it'd actually be practical; like a lot of royal and ceremonial blades that are just for decoration or rituals.

 

In any case, yeah, a katana is very different.  The defining features of a katana are the single edge and the curve, which only one form of the Yato has (and even then, it looks more like a lengthier cutlass with that hilt).  So statistically speaking, it should be more like the Nohrian blades.  Even the dual katana - a garbage sword that doesn't even have a crossguard - is more of a katana than most of Yato's forms.

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2 hours ago, Ertrick36 said:

It isn't so much a problem with him being "necessary" so much as him making things stupidly easy because of how broken he is as a unit.  He's practically impossible to kill because he'll almost always kill his enemy with just the first flurry of attacks/a crit, even if they're an archer attacking on enemy phase.  And to that end, he's also really good at killing anything he attacks.

You can well enough go through all of Birthright or Revelation without even deploying him once, it's just that he can trivialize Birthright if you do use him to his full extent.  Many problems can be solved simply by just shoving Ryoma out there and letting everything try to attack him.

This is exactly my main issue with Birthright. Ryoma just trivializes most of the game--using any other non-Corrin sword unit feels like a waste of time. And I hate that! I want to use Hinata and his pickle son without feeling like I'm wasting my time. That's the definition of bad unit balance imo, and it's the main reason why Fates Birthright disappointed me. I had similar issues with FE6, where units like Lot and that other axe guy were just trash, but at least FE6 was pretty challenging.

I enjoyed playing Birthright for the most part (I'm a sucker for 3DSFE graphics), but I want the series to move away from this weird, lopsided unit balance.

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8 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

I would say Sacred Stones, Shadow Dragon and Binding Blade were all worse in one or both aspects.

None of these three made me angry like Fates did, except Binding Blade with its ambush spawns. But I agree with Sacred Stones and Binding Blade not being that amazing, either.

5 hours ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

And I believe you're correct. Not all Japanese swords are katana, earlier Japanese swords weren't curved, and without a curve, it can't be a katana or related type of sword like a tachi.

Yato in Shadow Yato form looks like a European blade, while Blazing Yato has a curve to its tip, as if it was trying to become a katana, but couldn't.

Ginchiyo Tachibana in Samurai Warriors seems to use a similar blade to the Omega Yato, although no Japanese name is given for it on Koei Wiki, which just calls it a "Serrated Sword". Using Wikipedia, it seems the proper term for the Omega Yato would be some form of "tsurugi/ken". A tsurugi being a straight, double-edged sword. 

Apparently, the Kusanagi, one of the three Japanese Imperial Regalia, was a tsurugi. The sword was given by the god Susano-o to his sister Amaterasu to apologize after being exiled from heaven for slaying a goddess. Kusanagi was found in the body of the evil multi-headed serpent Yamata-no-Orochi. I think "Yato" means snake in Japanese, and the symbol representing the Yato in Fates is support to be a serpent. So Yato being a tsurugi would make sense. It'd be Japanese, but pre-katana, and hence not-so Hoshidan.

I thought Ginchyo's sword looked more similar to a Levin Sword, myself. At least in Warriors Orochi 3. I think it's actually Muneshige who uses a sword in a similar style to the Yato and Nobunaga Oda uses a more western-style sword as well (his rare weapon in Samurai Warriors Chronicles 3 looks like the Shadow Yato, sort of).
As an off-topic note: I find it kind of interesting how few sword users there are in SW. Off the top of my head there's Ginchyo and Muneshige Tachibana, Sasaki Kojiro (not to be confused with the one from Fate), Miyamoto Musashi, Ina (sort of), Nobuyuki Sanada (also sort of) and Nobunaga Oda.

As for the Kusanagi, I think the the Ama-No-Habakiri (or Ame-No-Murakumo) was found in the tail of Orochi, and the Kusanagi was used to kill it.
EDIT: Nope, I double-checked. It's actually the same sword and Susano'o used a different sword to kill it. My bad!

I'm no expert on Japanese, but wasn't the Yato in the original called Yato-No-Kami, which means something like Night God Sword or something? According to the dictionary, a snake is either "Ja" or "Hebi".
I apologize if this sounds patronizing or something along those lines and if this is wrong, you can choose to ignore it.

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18 hours ago, GlitchGabe said:

(OMG A SPOILER IN A SPOILER WAT)

  Reveal hidden contents

Basically, Corrin's S-support  with Takumi has him longingly wishing that they weren't related so they could fall in love, but then he finds a letter from his mom, and- wait for it- it says that Corrin is NOT King Sumeragi's daughter! What? They're only half-related, but Takumi decides to pursue the relationship anyway- and Corrin feels the same way, leading them to get married and to Corrin having two sons with her brother. Dang, this game is crazy, and it goes the same way for Hinoka and Sakura if your Corrin is male.

But what about Ryoma? Well, here's the bottom line- HE ALREADY KNOWS that you're not fully related. Awakening got flack for being able to marry everyone, but it was okay, because nobody except for Robin's son was related to him. This game takes it to the NEXT LEVEL. And even worse, it becomes a main plot point in Revelations.

But here's the thing- if you're not related to the Hoshidans, then why should you even be fighting with them? They're just some random family whose dad married your mother, and you weren't even raised by them. Personally, I like to imagine that none of these S-supports actually hapen. In fact, I always marry Corrin to Kaden because they actually feel kind of cute together. You're free to whatever S-rank you want, but please- DON'T kill Birthright's story.

Spoiler

Just a clarification: Mikoto's not the mother of any of the Hoshidan siblings.

They have a separate mother, which honestly leads to other issues that I can't believe never came to mind before. On top of all that Sumeragi married Mikoto after his other wife dies, which we don't get much clarification about and it also leaves the question of why she's the queen regent when it's not her heir who'll be sitting in Shirasagi (Sadly enough, I actually remembered that name.)

So, I was kind of surprised reading it as you seemed to give quite a few negative points in this topic, despite your overall like for the game. Then again, I came to this pretty late after launch (6 months after it was out here for Birthright and 6 months again for the other routes).

Fair warning, Awakening will likely feel less refined from Birthright, simply because it is. Then again, I got it in 2013 and it was the.... 4th title I played? I was all over it at the time.

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2 hours ago, Dayni said:

So, I was kind of surprised reading it as you seemed to give quite a few negative points in this topic, despite your overall like for the game. Then again, I came to this pretty late after launch (6 months after it was out here for Birthright and 6 months again for the other routes).

Sometimes you love something a lot even if you have a lot of problems/criticisms with it.

Taste is neither logical nor something that can be quantified.  That's why some games like Big Rigs get some love despite being horribly designed PoS's.

12 hours ago, AppleJuice said:

This is exactly my main issue with Birthright. Ryoma just trivializes most of the game--using any other non-Corrin sword unit feels like a waste of time.

I would say that I'm inclined to disagree about not being able to use any sword units, but so far in my non-grinding runs the only sword unit I've used at all is Corrin!Sophie, as I've been doing a females-only run where every unit has to heart seal to a different class and only the children have access to that in their secondary and tertiary classes (well, and Felicia and Scarlet, but the former is useless as dicks as a merc and Scarlet will be bumped down to E-rank weaponry way too late in the game).  At least I'm more of a fan of bows and polearms, so at least I'm not too discontented with losing most of my swordfighters.

On a related note, Kagero is, without a doubt, the absolute worst mage in the game.  As of right now, her and Orochi are destined for the bench in my current reclassed females-only run.  But Hana, though, is a true MVP healbot.  And soon, Falcon Knight!Mitama, Sakura, and Azura will also be MVP healbots.

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2 minutes ago, Ertrick36 said:

Sometimes you love something a lot even if you have a lot of problems/criticisms with it.

Taste is neither logical nor something that can be quantified.  That's why some games like Big Rigs get some love despite being horribly designed PoS's.

I said it like that because I didn't expect the TC to bring up as many points against it as they did, considering how much they like it.

I mean, I don't think I'm immune to this, I'm still asking myself if I'd pick Thracia as my favourite title in the series and the amount of issues with the gameplay alone..... But that'd be off topic.

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On 10/6/2018 at 3:34 PM, GlitchGabe said:

So, I just got back from another  run of Birthright, and it amazes me how toxic the community is over Fates. I will acknowledge that the game CERTAINLY isn't perfect. And while I will say that Birthright is the best path in my opinion, due to balance and plot reasons, people are just destined to argue over the game for all eternity. But is it really that horrible? Well, Conquest and Revelations are pretty bad balance-wise, and Conquest is even worse in the plot department. But I digress, because Birthright is one of the best games I have played, personally. So, let me explain this to you guys.

 

I will never defend the plot of any branch of Fates. It's all atrocious, but if you have to rank the quality of story then BR>CQ>Rev. 

I fucking hate Revelations. It should not exist.

But Conquest's balance being bad, how do you figure? I've found it to be, from a pure gameplay standpoint, one of the best designed games in the franchise. Even CQ!Lunatic felt more than fair until roughly chapter 26 or 27 (Staff Savant is BS). On Hard, it's fantastic. What makes it poorly balanced in your opinion? Without mentioning the royals. They break all three routes so mentioning them is a waste of time. 

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17 hours ago, AppleJuice said:

This is exactly my main issue with Birthright. Ryoma just trivializes most of the game--using any other non-Corrin sword unit feels like a waste of time. And I hate that! I want to use Hinata and his pickle son without feeling like I'm wasting my time. That's the definition of bad unit balance imo, and it's the main reason why Fates Birthright disappointed me. I had similar issues with FE6, where units like Lot and that other axe guy were just trash, but at least FE6 was pretty challenging.

I enjoyed playing Birthright for the most part (I'm a sucker for 3DSFE graphics), but I want the series to move away from this weird, lopsided unit balance.

I honestly would rather say that is an issue with Fire Emblem at large. Take Sacred Stones for example. One of the main criticisms it gets is for being easy, and part of that has to do with the fact that you get the game's best unit in the prologue. Ryoma, in comparison, misses half the game and is in a game where Swordmasters aren't exactly amazing, to say nothing of Fates being a game where good defense is more important than ever.

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12 hours ago, DragonFlames said:

Off the top of my head there's Ginchyo and Muneshige Tachibana, Sasaki Kojiro (not to be confused with the one from Fate), Miyamoto Musashi, Ina (sort of), Nobuyuki Sanada (also sort of) and Nobunaga Oda.

Musashi is also a sword user, katana + washizaki I believe. His IRL sword school was called the "School of Two Swords", the two swords he meant were likely so large that it'd be impossible to dual-wield them. Either Musashi was lying, or he was super strong.

And as of Samurai Warriors 4-2:

We also have:

Spoiler
  1. Kenshin 
  2. Kanetsugu
  3. Mitsuhide
  4. Ranmaru, 
  5. Sakon
  6. Masamune
  7. Munenori
  8. Kai
  9. Yoshimoto
  10. Takatora
  11. Kojuro
  12. Kagekatsu

If we add Musashi, Sasaki, Nobunaga, Ginchiyo, Muneshige, and Nobuyuki, we get 18. Of out a total 56 characters. This means 32%, about a third of the characters, use a sword in some capacity.

However, even considering this, they all feel fairly different. Masamune adds a gun, Kanetsugu his talismans, Ginchiyo her electricity, etc.

...And Toshiie and Ujiyasu count partly/slightly respectively.

 

Also, you're right on the Yato thing, my complete and utter mistake there.

 

3 hours ago, Ertrick36 said:

As of right now, her and Orochi are destined for the bench in my current reclassed females-only run.  But Hana, though, is a true MVP healbot.  And soon, Falcon Knight!Mitama, Sakura, and Azura will also be MVP healbots.

Not hard to be a good healbot when Magic plays next to no role in healing. Mag/3 + base means the difference between a 0 Mag unit, and one at endgame with 30, is only 10 points. 10 for all the leveling it took to get there. Add fixed Staff/Festal ranges, and the only time Mag matters to one is when trying to inflict a status condition, which is rather rare.

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2 hours ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Not hard to be a good healbot when Magic plays next to no role in healing. Mag/3 + base means the difference between a 0 Mag unit, and one at endgame with 30, is only 10 points. 10 for all the leveling it took to get there. Add fixed Staff/Festal ranges, and the only time Mag matters to one is when trying to inflict a status condition, which is rather rare.

I know, it's almost as if any awful unit can make a good healbot.  Add that she gets access to bows on promotion, and she winds up being a decent utility unit with the strength and speed to actually help mop up 1-range enemies and mages.

It's why I have confidence in Azura's healbot ability despite having kind of lackluster magic growth.  I'd be so much more thrilled if Kagero could also be a healer instead of a stinkin' mage with a base magic growth of nil.

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2 hours ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Musashi is also a sword user, katana + washizaki I believe. His IRL sword school was called the "School of Two Swords", the two swords he meant were likely so large that it'd be impossible to dual-wield them. Either Musashi was lying, or he was super strong.

Mushashi did form the "School of Two Swords" or "Two Heavens as One", probably because he didn't like wielding a katana with two hands. However, a wakizashi isn't a huge sword, as it was meant for indoor fighting, close quarters combat, or as a back-up weapon. It's very similar to wielding a sword and dagger, which is the "proper" way to dual wield weapons (although a sword and buckler were more practical for this purpose, as the buckler could both act a shield and as a punching weapon).

I'll put an interesting video on the topic of dual weilding here:

Spoiler

 

 

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11 hours ago, Ertrick36 said:

I would say that I'm inclined to disagree about not being able to use any sword units, -snip-

I don't mean to say that you can't use other sword units, just that Ryoma is a cut above the other sword users in Birthright (aside from Corrin, who's also a top-notch unit). In a non-challenge run, I just don't enjoy using other sword units. It feels like I'm imposing artificial difficulty on myself.

7 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

I honestly would rather say that is an issue with Fire Emblem at large. Take Sacred Stones for example. One of the main criticisms it gets is for being easy, and part of that has to do with the fact that you get the game's best unit in the prologue. Ryoma, in comparison, misses half the game and is in a game where Swordmasters aren't exactly amazing, to say nothing of Fates being a game where good defense is more important than ever.

That's fair. As a series, Fire Emblem has always had good and bad units, Seth being a particularly extreme example.

In my opinion, Ryoma is his own kind of poor balance. It's not necessarily that Ryoma breaks the entirety of the game like Seth does, but that his recruitment changes the game in a less-satisfying way. For me, getting Ryoma changes the feel of Birthright from an FE7 (some great units, some bad units, but overall a fun balance) to an FE8 where he can dominate large parts of the game with his crazy Prf. I had been enjoying Birthright up to that point on my first playthrough, but the difficulty drop killed the mood for me.

Edited by AppleJuice

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11 hours ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Musashi is also a sword user, katana + washizaki I believe. His IRL sword school was called the "School of Two Swords", the two swords he meant were likely so large that it'd be impossible to dual-wield them. Either Musashi was lying, or he was super strong.

And as of Samurai Warriors 4-2:

We also have:

  Reveal hidden contents
  1. Kenshin 
  2. Kanetsugu
  3. Mitsuhide
  4. Ranmaru, 
  5. Sakon
  6. Masamune
  7. Munenori
  8. Kai
  9. Yoshimoto
  10. Takatora
  11. Kojuro
  12. Kagekatsu

If we add Musashi, Sasaki, Nobunaga, Ginchiyo, Muneshige, and Nobuyuki, we get 18. Of out a total 56 characters. This means 32%, about a third of the characters, use a sword in some capacity.

However, even considering this, they all feel fairly different. Masamune adds a gun, Kanetsugu his talismans, Ginchiyo her electricity, etc.

...And Toshiie and Ujiyasu count partly/slightly respectively.

 

Also, you're right on the Yato thing, my complete and utter mistake there.

 

Not hard to be a good healbot when Magic plays next to no role in healing. Mag/3 + base means the difference between a 0 Mag unit, and one at endgame with 30, is only 10 points. 10 for all the leveling it took to get there. Add fixed Staff/Festal ranges, and the only time Mag matters to one is when trying to inflict a status condition, which is rather rare.

That's a lotta swords. My mistake!

I didn't know that tidbit about healing, though. I did not know that.
I'm certainly not sad that I tend to give Mitama a physical mother to make her bows more effective anymore.

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8 hours ago, AppleJuice said:

I don't mean to say that you can't use other sword units, just that Ryoma is a cut above the other sword users in Birthright (aside from Corrin, who's also a top-notch unit). In a non-challenge run, I just don't enjoy using other sword units. It feels like I'm imposing artificial difficulty on myself.

That's fair. As a series, Fire Emblem has always had good and bad units, Seth being a particularly extreme example.

In my opinion, Ryoma is his own kind of poor balance. It's not necessarily that Ryoma breaks the entirety of the game like Seth does, but that his recruitment changes the game in a less-satisfying way. For me, getting Ryoma changes the feel of Birthright from an FE7 (some great units, some bad units, but overall a fun balance) to an FE8 where he can dominate large parts of the game with his crazy Prf. I had been enjoying Birthright up to that point on my first playthrough, but the difficulty drop killed the mood for me.

Well, whilst that might be true, I generally see little incentive to use Ryoma since frankly, Birthright already has too many fragile speedster and glass cannon type units, which is bad when evade took a nosedive in terms of reliability. I see Ryoma as just another such unit.

Exactly.

See my first point. I would rather have a more defensive unit (e.g. Scarlet) instead of Ryoma.

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