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Hawkwing

How did Time/Budget Constraints Affect The Quality of This Game?

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So recently I've been replaying Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia after almost half a year of the last time I did so. It's still my favorite Fire Emblem game and I'm enjoying this playthrough, but I have been noticing a lot more of its flaws and rougher spots. Mostly with the story, but also in some cases the animation.

It started off rather nit-picky, with simple thoughts of how they could have altered a line of dialogue to make it better, or that the conversation should have been about something else entirely, but they were pretty minor and stuff one realized in hindsight, so it didn't bother all that much. As the game went on, however, these moments piled up, to the point were everytime the game entered the visual novel mode, I found something new that the could have changed with at least one NPC present. The thing was, though, that not all of these moments came off as amateur writing, but instead that they didn't have the time or the money to expand or flesh out everything that they could have.

For instance, the only quest giving NPCs I really remembered were the cheese lover, the woman who lost her son, and the pirate who tells you that his father had a tricorn hat. Yet when I played the game again, I thought that they should have been the most memorable NPCs in the game with their unique dialogue, interesting stories that occasionally added to the world, and their interactions with the player. However, this would have required either hiring a new voice actor or extending the paycheck of an already present one, having them record various lines for saying  "yes", "no", "are you done yet" and "the quest is done". The voice acting, as great as it was, did mean that editing already recorded lines became an impossibility unless they delayed the game or asked for more money, which isn't always a wise idea in game development. Heck, even something as simple as adding unique portraits for NPC would have cost resources and time, and then they'd have to decide who gets what portrait.

Even the animations, great as they are, do have sighs where they were limited in some areas. Every class only has one critical hit animation, there are no variations for critical magic spells (although that has been the case for every Fire Emblem game) the copious amounts of clipping show they didn't have the budget or time to make more animations or fix the clipping issue. Even with the fluid animations and smaller details such as characters having proper footing on uneven surfaces, these aspects are pretty noticeable.

This is far, far from saying that the game is unpolished, but I'm curious if anyone else has any thoughts or opinions to share on how the lower budget affected the quality of this game.

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I really wonder about the budget. One one hand Echoes used the same engine as Awakening and Fates which means a lot of assets could safely be reused and Fire Emblem Games in general don't strike me as the most expensive games to develop. But on the other hand the voice acting budget must have gone to the roof and its not like they had a cast of complete newbies either. Men like Jamieson or Richard Epcar are probably some fairly expensive Va's. Leigh is a pretty big name as well. 

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53 minutes ago, Etrurian emperor said:

I really wonder about the budget. One one hand Echoes used the same engine as Awakening and Fates which means a lot of assets could safely be reused and Fire Emblem Games in general don't strike me as the most expensive games to develop. But on the other hand the voice acting budget must have gone to the roof and its not like they had a cast of complete newbies either. Men like Jamieson or Richard Epcar are probably some fairly expensive Va's. Leigh is a pretty big name as well. 

From what I remember hearing, VAing costs a lot, but it's not astronomically high as a part of a game's budget. You're paying people for the work they provide, and unless it's a massive, massive project, you're not paying a full salary, or even close to that, for somebody's talent.

I'm sure it's by the line, and as far as that goes, you're really mostly paying the voices of Alm and Celica, with Tobin, Gray, Mae, Boey, Clive, Saber, Berkut and Jedeh having a fair chunk as well. Everyone else has probably a fraction of their lines.

I'd be surprised if the budget of SoV crossed 15mil, and VAing probably made up a small chunk of that.

Edited by Slumber

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56 minutes ago, Etrurian emperor said:

I really wonder about the budget. One one hand Echoes used the same engine as Awakening and Fates which means a lot of assets could safely be reused and Fire Emblem Games in general don't strike me as the most expensive games to develop. But on the other hand the voice acting budget must have gone to the roof and its not like they had a cast of complete newbies either. Men like Jamieson or Richard Epcar are probably some fairly expensive Va's. Leigh is a pretty big name as well. 

That's only the english side of things though. Do you know how expensive VA is in japan? Seiyuus are pretty much equivalent to big time hollywood actors over there and they aren't cheap by any means. I mean I'm not too big on the seiyuu scene but I do know there's a reason that japanese voice packs for localized games are $40 DLC.

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Dunno about the budget situation, but the development window seems tight. The original project plan was supposed to take no longer than a year, with a release by the end of 2016. The reality is that the game took at least three more months to make its Q2 2017 release. With how quickly the first waves of DLC arrived for this game, I'm willing to bet development wrapped up before March of that year. Even with the trailers provided since its January 2017 reveal I remember marveling at how polished the game appeared from trailer to trailer. Like some trailers were meant to be shown earlier the previous year. I'm more curious how they managed an (almost) simultaneous release with Echoes. Especially with the much larger array of recorded voice work. We were used to 9 month waiting cycles. Longer if you're in Europe.

But yeah, I think it's fair to say each of the 3DS Fire Emblem games start to crack on repeat playthroughs.

Edited by Glennstavos

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The game itself was planned to launch in September 2016 with only a bit over a year of dev time; it was always planned to be quick and dirty. 

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17 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

This is far, far from saying that the game is unpolished, but I'm curious if anyone else has any thoughts or opinions to share on how the lower budget affected the quality of this game.

it's a remake of a NES game. to be very honest, i have no idea what people expected from it.

i understand the fact that people should get a game worthy of its price, no doubt about it.

but being picky about a remake that is already more than fine as it is, no, i don't agree.

 

the original Gaiden had a way more barebone story with no expansion whatsoever on its secondary characters( let alone NPCs ), no voice acting, nothing like extra quests to add more content, and no post-game content either.

yet it is still a memorable NES game to this day due to its own gameplay mechanics and dark atmosphere obtained by mixing unique scenarios with proper music.

i haven't forgotten about being stuck for days at the desert stronghold before coming up with a good strategy to defeat Grieth, and the satisfaction i felt when i finally completed that chapter.

i still remember even small details like Celica changing avatar when she got her crown, or Alm dropping his shield like a badass in the battle against Duma.

 

to sum it up: people should just be glad that they even got the chance to play with a good remake.

it may not be perfect, but for that matter, nothing will ever be perfect.

Edited by Fenreir

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44 minutes ago, Fenreir said:

it's a remake of a NES game. to be very honest, i have no idea what people expected from it.

i understand the fact that people should get a game worthy of its price, no doubt about it.

but being picky about a remake that is already more than fine as it is, no, i don't agree.

 

the original Gaiden had a way more barebone story with no expansion whatsoever on its secondary characters( let alone NPCs ), no voice acting, nothing like extra quests to add more content, and no post-game content either.

yet it is still a memorable NES game to this day due to its own gameplay mechanics and dark atmosphere obtained by mixing unique scenarios with proper music.

i haven't forgotten about being stuck for days at the desert stronghold before coming up with a good strategy to defeat Grieth, and the satisfaction i felt when i finally completed that chapter.

i still remember even small details like Celica changing avatar when she got her crown, or Alm dropping his shield like a badass in the battle against Duma.

 

to sum it up: people should just be glad that they even got the chance to play with a good remake.

it may not be perfect, but for that matter, nothing will ever be perfect.

Are you insinuating that this game is above criticism just because it’s a decent remake of an NES game? I’m sorry to say but that’s not how this works. I mean that’s the same as saying awakening is above criticism because it “saved the franchise” and we all know how backwards that logic is. No game is above criticism. remake or no I will criticize this game for its shortcomings when I see them.

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17 hours ago, Slumber said:

From what I remember hearing, VAing costs a lot, but it's not astronomically high as a part of a game's budget. You're paying people for the work they provide, and unless it's a massive, massive project, you're not paying a full salary, or even close to that, for somebody's talent.

I'm sure it's by the line, and as far as that goes, you're really mostly paying the voices of Alm and Celica, with Tobin, Gray, Mae, Boey, Clive, Saber, Berkut and Jedeh having a fair chunk as well. Everyone else has probably a fraction of their lines.

I'd be surprised if the budget of SoV crossed 15mil, and VAing probably made up a small chunk of that.

If VA costs aren't very high then its kind of petty for the game industry to try and cut costs when it comes to voice acting like blocking most union voice actors. 

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40 minutes ago, Otts486 said:

Are you insinuating that this game is above criticism just because it’s a decent remake of an NES game? I’m sorry to say but that’s not how this works. I mean that’s the same as saying awakening is above criticism because it “saved the franchise” and we all know how backwards that logic is. No game is above criticism. remake or no I will criticize this game for its shortcomings when I see them.

I personally love this game for what it is, but I can still see the flaws.

I love the fact the more memorable maps where retained (Ram Valley, Nuibaba's abode, Zofia castle, the gate, Mila's temple, the desert fortress), but at the same time wish some of the more generic maps (that first Fernand battle on the plains, the graveyards) got better maps.

I know not everyone has my attachment to the original game, but I'm personally glad they catered to me by bringing back the maps I actually liked. I just wish they were a little less loyal on the others.

I like the sidequests conceptually, but I do agree they weren't particularly special, and I do lament some aspects of the animations, though the errors bug me less than the feetless characters in Awakening (Vaike's animations really drew attention to that)

My other criticism is aspects of the story, and the balancing in the difficulty of the labryinth at Thabes.

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5 minutes ago, Mad-manakete said:

I personally love this game for what it is, but I can still see the flaws.

I love the fact the more memorable maps where retained (Ram Valley, Nuibaba's abode, Zofia castle, the gate, Mila's temple, the desert fortress), but at the same time wish some of the more generic maps (that first Fernand battle on the plains, the graveyards) got better maps.

I know not everyone has my attachment to the original game, but I'm personally glad they catered to me by bringing back the maps I actually liked. I just wish they were a little less loyal on the others.

I like the sidequests conceptually, but I do agree they weren't particularly special, and I do lament some aspects of the animations, though the errors bug me less than the feetless characters in Awakening (Vaike's animations really drew attention to that)

My other criticism is aspects of the story, and the balancing in the difficulty of the labryinth at Thabes.

And that’s totally fine to like the game, I’m sorry if my post came off as harsh in that regard. Hell I like the game. All I was saying is that you shouldn’t excuse a game’s shortcomings just because “it’s a remake of an NES game” or whatever.

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1 minute ago, Otts486 said:

And that’s totally fine to like the game, I’m sorry if my post came off as harsh in that regard. Hell I like the game. All I was saying is that you shouldn’t excuse a game’s shortcomings just because “it’s a remake of an NES game” or whatever.

I'd like to clarify my post was an attempt to expand on what I agreed with in your own post, as opposed to an argument.

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4 minutes ago, Mad-manakete said:

I'd like to clarify my post was an attempt to expand on what I agreed with in your own post, as opposed to an argument.

Oh alright then. I apologize then but yeah I mostly agree with what you were saying. Sorry I was just a little wound up there

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5 hours ago, Fenreir said:

to sum it up: people should just be glad that they even got the chance to play with a good remake.

it may not be perfect, but for that matter, nothing will ever be perfect.

Oh I'm not complaining about the game as a whole. SoV, even with it's flaws, is still my favorite game in the series. I love the games uniqueness, characters, gameplay, and even story.

While replaying the game, I started wondering if some aspects of it that people have problems with weren't always developer or writer incompetency, but the simple fact that they didn't have the time or the resources to expand upon certain aspects of the story and gameplay. I was curious if anyone else had thoughts or comments to add to this.

4 hours ago, Mad-manakete said:

I like the sidequests conceptually, but I do agree they weren't particularly special, and I do lament some aspects of the animations, though the errors bug me less than the feetless characters in Awakening (Vaike's animations really drew attention to that)

I'm surprised at how much I forgot about the sidequest characters, honestly. When I read their dialogue, it was a lot more interesting than the tidbits and gossip that other NPCs share, yet because most of them don't have a voice and share generic portraits, it was harder for them to leave an impact. The only ones I really remembered were the ones that had sad endings.

As for the animations, I love them, and I hope that Three Houses greatly expands upon them (and also takes inspiration from HEMA and other real-life martial arts, but that's a discussion for elsewhere). With that said, the fact that each class only has one critical attack animation, even if not unique for this game, was definitely for budget reasons, and I'd like to talk to developers about why the game has such a common issue with clipping for the capes.

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8 hours ago, Otts486 said:

Are you insinuating that this game is above criticism just because it’s a decent remake of an NES game? I’m sorry to say but that’s not how this works. I mean that’s the same as saying awakening is above criticism because it “saved the franchise” and we all know how backwards that logic is. No game is above criticism. remake or no I will criticize this game for its shortcomings when I see them.

i surely am not. hence why i clearly wrote "it may not be perfect, but for that matter, nothing will ever be perfect."

there's no such thing as a game above criticism, simply because there will always be flaws anywhere, in a way or another.

what i meant to say is that people shouldn't just focus on the negative sides, but look at the whole thing as it is.

then, you can either like it, or not. that's always subjective anyway.

3 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

Oh I'm not complaining about the game as a whole. SoV, even with it's flaws, is still my favorite game in the series. I love the games uniqueness, characters, gameplay, and even story.

While replaying the game, I started wondering if some aspects of it that people have problems with weren't always developer or writer incompetency, but the simple fact that they didn't have the time or the resources to expand upon certain aspects of the story and gameplay. I was curious if anyone else had thoughts or comments to add to this.

then perhaps i misunderstood. it's just that i've seen enough topics about negative aspects popping up lately, so probably that didn't help.

 

as for the gameplay, the technical aspects of the game that may have some issues usually are on the developer's side.

for example: the original Gaiden had plenty of re-used avatars, for both playable characters and enemies. sometimes, they didn't even receive a palette swap with some extra details, so that was just being lazy to me, rather than having real technical difficulties.

another example could be how healing tiles were placed in specific maps( especially the desert ones ). some of them were obviously not planned very well, and ended up being just bad map design that has been partially retained in Echoes.

 

i think the time/budget constraints influenced mostly the development of the story itself, rather than the gameplay.

the writing is kind of an odd ball in this case, because while Gaiden had some dialogue from early game up to Zofia and Rigel chapters respectively, secondary characters never really developed their own stories.

there wasn't much to be seen in the other towns either, because all you could do back then was to talk with NPCs to find new allies, or get vague informations about enemies and the area you were about to pass throu.

Echoes did overall a good job at expanding the story of each character, along with improving NPCs dialogues.

giving quests to the towns helped too, althou i felt that those were mainly added to keep players busy in-between campaign chapters, rather than developing more background to the story itself( while some were quite memorable, others were easily forgotten ). that's just how i see it thou.

 

[ edit ] in the end, i guess they simply had to choose between adding more content to the game, or adding more background to the story.

they could have improved the story even further eventually, if they used their resources more wisely.

personally, i would have traded all the quests for a deeper game's lore instead.

especially when those could have been added easily as DLCs, since they had no issues with adding extra background stories, new characters and new overclasses later on.

Edited by Fenreir

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Many of my biggest complaints in the game are concerned with the story, which is a total mess IMO, but I don't see much evidence that it's because of time or budget constraints. Like many video games (and certainly many Fire Emblems), this one just didn't have good writers. I could speculate on why that is but that's probably outside the scope of this thread.

Gameplay I can see some stuff? Some things are underdocumented in this game compared to the norm, such as the fact that are some stats you can't see on the status screen any more, or that you can't see the results of a forge before doing it. A little more time with QA might have fixed these.

Another possibility is that Mila's Turnwheel might also be a bit of an indication of a rushjob on map design. Like, there are sometimes some questionable things that can happen (witches coming in a critblicking someone) but hey the player can just turnwheel those fluky uncontrollable outcomes away, so they're not as big a problem as they could have been.

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15 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Another possibility is that Mila's Turnwheel might also be a bit of an indication of a rushjob on map design. Like, there are sometimes some questionable things that can happen (witches coming in a critblicking someone) but hey the player can just turnwheel those fluky uncontrollable outcomes away, so they're not as big a problem as they could have been.

when i've seen it the first time, that honestly made me think.

maybe, just maybe, someone from IS looked back at their early titles, then looked at some emulators, and then said "hey guys, let's introduce a new mechanic, something similar to save states, so that people won't ever have to reset a whole chapter due to wrong strategy or RNG going bad".

and thus, Mila's Turnwheel was created.

 

 

if something similar will return in Three Houses, i'm gonna laugh.

Edited by Fenreir

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4 hours ago, Fenreir said:

then perhaps i misunderstood. it's just that i've seen enough topics about negative aspects popping up lately, so probably that didn't help.

Don't blame you. Negative topics tended to be pretty common back when the SoV threads were pretty active.

4 hours ago, Fenreir said:

as for the gameplay, the technical aspects of the game that may have some issues usually are on the developer's side.

for example: the original Gaiden had plenty of re-used avatars, for both playable characters and enemies. sometimes, they didn't even receive a palette swap with some extra details, so that was just being lazy to me, rather than having real technical difficulties.

another example could be how healing tiles were placed in specific maps( especially the desert ones ). some of them were obviously not planned very well, and ended up being just bad map design that has been partially retained in Echoes.

To be fair to the original Gaiden, hardware and space limitations were legitimate issues developers had to plan around. It's a large reason why many early videogames focused almost entirely on gameplay; Something as simple as text took up space. Space that they didn't have a lot of and couldn't waste. It certainly explains why they reused portrays and maps so often, and why the story was bare-bones (if impressive by NES standards). Heck, hardware limitations even nowadays are a concern game developers often face when creating a game.

4 hours ago, Fenreir said:

personally, i would have traded all the quests for a deeper game's lore instead.

The Valentian Accordian is a thing, if you're interested in the games lore. It can be hard to tell what was written before and what was made after the game was completed, though. I do wonder at times if they wanted to add some of this information into the game itself, but couldn't find a way without it coming off as forced or unnecessary exposition.

4 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Gameplay I can see some stuff? Some things are underdocumented in this game compared to the norm, such as the fact that are some stats you can't see on the status screen any more, or that you can't see the results of a forge before doing it. A little more time with QA might have fixed these.

What do you mean by stats you can't see on the status screen? Also, the bottom screen does show you what the results of forging will do to the weapons before you actually do anything. If you're talking about hiding what transforming a weapon will do, that was likely intentional (although why they kept that hidden is anyone's guess).

4 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Another possibility is that Mila's Turnwheel might also be a bit of an indication of a rushjob on map design. Like, there are sometimes some questionable things that can happen (witches coming in a critblicking someone) but hey the player can just turnwheel those fluky uncontrollable outcomes away, so they're not as big a problem as they could have been.

The games questionable hit rates may also have been a factor. As well as how dungeons can be hour long affairs, and loosing a unit at the very end definitely would have put some people off from trying the game. Thus, Milas Turnwheel was created as a way to mitigate those concerns without being too abusable (it eventually can be at the end of the game, thought that was probably them getting a little too generous for the longer dungeons. It's something they can easily fix for future titles).

Given that you can't reroll stat gains, it has some fancy animations on the bottom screen, and you can legitimately go to any point of the battle without problem, some thought was definitely put into it. I also want to see the mechanic return with some balancing, but I do see what you mean by it being a crutch for the map design at times.

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4 hours ago, Fenreir said:

i surely am not. hence why i clearly wrote "it may not be perfect, but for that matter, nothing will ever be perfect."

there's no such thing as a game above criticism, simply because there will always be flaws anywhere, in a way or another.

what i meant to say is that people shouldn't just focus on the negative sides, but look at the whole thing as it is.

then, you can either like it, or not. that's always subjective anyway.

I can agree with this and I apologize if my initial post came off as rather harsh.

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11 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

To be fair to the original Gaiden, hardware and space limitations were legitimate issues developers had to plan around. It's a large reason why many early videogames focused almost entirely on gameplay; Something as simple as text took up space. Space that they didn't have a lot of and couldn't waste. It certainly explains why they reused portrays and maps so often, and why the story was bare-bones (if impressive by NES standards). Heck, hardware limitations even nowadays are a concern game developers often face when creating a game.

well, it was always a matter of comparing actual content with available space. the quality of the game was based on how well they could balance those two.

besides, instructions manuals back then not only had the role to explain the gameplay basics, but also had the important role of telling the background of the main story.

that allowed developers to save some more space for their games, but it also made their in-game stories less rich eventually. things started to change with the SNES, even thou the manuals were still kept and used for the basics.

in terms of retro gaming, manuals not only provided informations, but were also part of the game itself.

as for games related to the fantasy genre, it was almost like owning a unique book.

 

that's also why game boxes nowdays may feel "empty" compared to older games, because they lack that kind of vibe.

you could eventually manage to get a special/limited edition with artbooks and other stuff, but even then it wouldn't be the same thing as it was back in the 90s.

from what i've seen so far, the manuals trend was retained up until the PlayStation 2 era along with other consoles, but after the launch of the PlayStation 3 in late 2006, every game from every console in the following years slowly dropped the manuals entirely because they were being assimilated directly by the new disks/cartridges.

11 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

The Valentian Accordian is a thing, if you're interested in the games lore. It can be hard to tell what was written before and what was made after the game was completed, though. I do wonder at times if they wanted to add some of this information into the game itself, but couldn't find a way without it coming off as forced or unnecessary exposition.

i believe they could have managed their resources/time a bit better.

as i said before, they had no issues with adding more content via DLCs.

they could have easily swapped that with other in-game content like quests, since even the original Gaiden didn't have them( nor any other recent title that i'm aware of ). that way it could have been a game with a larger, deeper story eventually.

it's also the main reason that makes me hate the concept of DLCs, because they have the bad habit of getting abused in order to get more money out of people.

if we look back at PlayStation 2 and previous eras, that crap didn't exist because we already had all we needed in the game's box, with the only exception made for official strategy guides.

then, if you eventually wanted more stuff, there was always other kinds of merchandise.

Edited by Fenreir

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1 hour ago, Fenreir said:

well, it was always a matter of comparing actual content with available space. the quality of the game was based on how well they could balance those two.

besides, instructions manuals back then not only had the role to explain the gameplay basics, but also had the important role of telling the background of the main story.

that allowed developers to save some more space for their games, but it also made their in-game stories less rich eventually. things started to change with the SNES, even thou the manuals were still kept and used for the basics.

in terms of retro gaming, manuals not only provided informations, but were also part of the game itself.

as for games related to the fantasy genre, it was almost like owning a unique book.

 

that's also why game boxes nowdays may feel "empty" compared to older games, because they lack that kind of vibe.

you could eventually manage to get a special/limited edition with artbooks and other stuff, but even then it wouldn't be the same thing as it was back in the 90s.

from what i've seen so far, the manuals trend was retained up until the PlayStation 2 era along with other consoles, but after the launch of the PlayStation 3 in late 2006, every game from every console in the following years slowly dropped the manuals entirely because they were being assimilated directly by the new disks/cartridges.

You're talking to the guy that still reads old-time game manuals for fun, although being fair you had no way of knowing that. It was cool seeing a time when game developers showed their research about wars, weapons, vehicles, history, etc. Or when they used manuals to add backstory and lore to the story when they may not have been able find the space to do so within the game itself.

Nowadays, video games developers rarely do that anymore. Probably to save on paper and because they can have that information available within the game itself.

1 hour ago, Fenreir said:

as i said before, they had no issues with adding more content via DLCs.

Awakening was the game that showed Nintendo that DLC could be profitable and well-received, which prompted them to put it in other games. To their credit, Nintendo tends to avoid the usual tricks that companies pull with DLC, and instead opt for the content to allows be optional.

With that said, Fire Emblem Echoes DLC wasn't as well-received as in Awakening, for a combination of reasons. A season pass for only one wave of DLC, grinding maps in a game that already had grinding, extra classes that would really only see use with over-grinding or in the postgame that removed personal animations to boot, and while the story of the Rise of Deliverance DLC was good, it didn't hide the fact that they reused maps for it.

In other words, it seems like the DLC in this game was added simply because it's a series tradition at this point. Whether it was a simple cash grab, them not having the post-game time to develop the DLC like they could in Awakening and Fates, or both, we don't know.

2 hours ago, Fenreir said:

they could have easily swapped that with other in-game content like quests, since even the original Gaiden didn't have them( nor any other recent title that i'm aware of ). that way it could have been a game with a larger, deeper story eventually.

I'm curious as to how you believe that removing quests would have given them more time to develop the story. Most NPCs simply share gossip or tidbits about the world in question,  and while the relevance of quests ranges (sometimes they expand upon parts of the world, sometimes they're just there for entertaining dialogue) they do provide helpful rewards to the player in the form of currency, food, and even items like rings and shields.

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8 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

You're talking to the guy that still reads old-time game manuals for fun, although being fair you had no way of knowing that. It was cool seeing a time when game developers showed their research about wars, weapons, vehicles, history, etc.

looks like i'm not the only one that still does that out of curiosity or nostalgia, good to know.

8 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

Nowadays, video games developers rarely do that anymore. Probably to save on paper and because they can have that information available within the game itself.

since they do look at profits, the less production costs, the better.

especially because with new technologies, there's no need for physical copies of instructions manuals when you can have tutorials directly in game.

the only kind of paper we're going to see in the coming years will probably be the one from artbooks and strategy guides eventually.

8 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

Awakening was the game that showed Nintendo that DLC could be profitable and well-received, which prompted them to put it in other games. To their credit, Nintendo tends to avoid the usual tricks that companies pull with DLC, and instead opt for the content to allows be optional.

that's the point: when it's about optional content only, usually it doesn't backfire in the long run and nobody gets hurt.

but when there's more background/post-game story involved, that's when things start getting worse eventually.

Asura's Wrath from Capcom is also another good example of that, since they made a cash-grab move by putting the game's true ending as paid DLC only. i'll let you guess how the fans reacted to that.

8 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

With that said, Fire Emblem Echoes DLC wasn't as well-received as in Awakening, for a combination of reasons. A season pass for only one wave of DLC, grinding maps in a game that already had grinding, extra classes that would really only see use with over-grinding or in the postgame that removed personal animations to boot, and while the story of the Rise of Deliverance DLC was good, it didn't hide the fact that they reused maps for it.

In other words, it seems like the DLC in this game was added simply because it's a series tradition at this point. Whether it was a simple cash grab, them not having the post-game time to develop the DLC like they could in Awakening and Fates, or both, we don't know.

the issue relies on the DLC content itself: they managed to do things right with Awakening by keeping things optional, but they totally screwed up with Fates by having to purchase the other routes if you only had one of the 2 standard versions of the game. basicly, everyone except limited edition owners got the middle finger back then.

after that, they did a similar thing with Echoes, but at least that time it was only related to some more backstory for the actual game, so overall it wasn't seen as entirely bad.

as long as they don't mess up again like they did with Fates, there's still hope for a good game version of Three Houses.

8 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

I'm curious as to how you believe that removing quests would have given them more time to develop the story. Most NPCs simply share gossip or tidbits about the world in question,  and while the relevance of quests ranges (sometimes they expand upon parts of the world, sometimes they're just there for entertaining dialogue) they do provide helpful rewards to the player in the form of currency, food, and even items like rings and shields.

thing is: since they had already planned to release the Rise of the Deliverance DLC as part of the season pass, i do believe that they could have used the time to create/code the quests to add that background story instead.

or at least that's how i see it, because it looked like they already had that story done, but didn't had the time to put it in game before release.

as for quests rewards: maybe it's just me, but those can become quite pointless when you already have Amiibo dungeons and planned DLC maps to satisfy your needs.

Edited by Fenreir

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