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Alastor15243

Alastor plays and ranks the whole series! Now Enduring: Three Houses

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48 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Hearing this argument on racism in games reminds me I've been reading some reviews of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles. The game is made by Japanese developers, so it is modern Japanese willingly portraying fictional versions of themselves. And it is historically accurate that the Victorian era in Britain was very racist- they had to justify the colonial mission somehow.

Nonetheless, critics of the game have expressed a dislike for the amounts of racism in the game. Critics might have a point when they say "A bunch of aspects of this game are unrealistic and silly, so why keep to realism with the racism?" and "The Japanese characters don't fight back against the racism hurled their way enough". I wouldn't know, as I haven't played the game myself and have no interest in doing so. 

My point being, maybe portraying "hard" racism, is bound to turn some people off from a game, and hence developers would shy away from including it in playable/"hero" characters.

Perhaps, but maybe 3H shouldn't have tried to make "stopping racism" a part of Claude's arc if they were going to be wishy-washy about it. It's hard to be lenient towards IS when Tellius was much less of a train wreck about portraying racism in the world than pretty much every other game following it.

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59 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Discrimination against other species, with the indirect exception of environmentalism (or veganism) I suppose, which JRPGs also tend to feature in some magical fantasy form, is not relevant IRL. JRPGs and the ilk want for whatever reasons to speak of relevant issues. But, the writers, for a multitude of reasons I can speculate on, keep the treatment mild and not hit too close to reality. If you want slaves, make them shapeshifting beasts -without brown skin- because you'll land in a lot of hot water if you mess the portrayal of brown-skinned slavery up. If you want to portray anti-Semitism in Europe, as Valkyria Chronicles does, use dark blue hair instead of religion as the divider between Semite and gentile, because nobody IRL has dark blue hair, so nobody will criticize you.

I'm not saying that there are 0 examples of discrimination in the game, rather, I'm saying that its not really racism when the two groups are clearly different species with objectively different traits, in this case one of the groups can take the form of animals. Racism by defintion is these two things: "The belief that different races possess distinct characteristics, abilities, or qualities, especially so as to distinguish them as inferior or superior to one another." or "prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized." In the former's case, there's clearly distinct barrier between the two groups as established above, and the latter only applies to members of the same species. 

That's the issue  I have with Disney's Zootopia: Judy learns that she should have not have judged Nick Wilde, a fox for being a fox. The problem here, however, is that makes perfect sense from a biological standpoint for a bunny to be scared of a fox, especially since the history states that prey was once hunted by predators in the film, hence potentially providing a justification for prejudice against the predators in the film. In this case, its more like justified speciesism. 

The same issues I have with Zootopia also apply to POR/RD. There is a physical distinction between Laguz and Beorc, with one race being capable of transforming into another animal like a Dragon, Lion, Wolf, or a Bird, two of which can kill people in real life. Its probably common sense to say that these beings posess much greater physical strength compared to a non-transformer, at least when transformed. It would make sense to be afraid of people who could change into a giant animal and has the potential to kill you easily. If you had a brought a pet Lion and told me it was tame, I still would not go near it because its wild animal that has been not been sucessfully been domesticated by people and has attacked and eaten people in the past and still retains it wild traits. And we know for fact that Beorc and Laguz are not same species for the aforementioned above. I won’t go too much more into POR/RD because I never played the games. The issue feels more like speciesism, especially considering the different kind of Laguz. 

In the end, I find Three Houses handling of racism more relatable than Zootopia even if its not the main focus simply because it focuses on humans being discriminated, which makes it a lot easier to sympathize with members of the same species, who we know for the fact do not have drastic biological differences. 

In the case of Zootopia, I would make it instead of different mammals living in a society, I would make it a different breeds of animals, because breeds of animals are the same species, jsut different charcteristics. A pitbull would make a perfect "Aggressive" breed that is misunderstood, while a toy poodle would make a perfect " cute " breed due to its small size.

Edited by ZeManaphy

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4 minutes ago, ZeManaphy said:

I'm not saying that there are 0 examples of discrimination in the game, rather, I'm saying that its not really racism when the two groups are clearly different species with objectively different traits, in this case one of the groups can take the form of animals.

You see oaks, cedars, and willows, I see a forest. I think it's as simple as that, a difference in perspectives. And that's perfectly acceptable in something as unimportant as popular entertainment. 🙂

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13 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

You see oaks, cedars, and willows, I see a forest. I think it's as simple as that, a difference in perspectives. And that's perfectly acceptable in something as unimportant as popular entertainment. 🙂

Sorry if I sounded too passionate. This is something I picked from Pokémon forums and Youtubers like Tamashii Hiroka. When we criticize or praise a game, we give long paragraphs backed up by evidence. If your interested in seeing how detailed these posts are, I can post a link to one of my friend’s post on Smogon why he think HGSS are the worst game in the franchise. 

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2 hours ago, ZeManaphy said:

In previous games, the player could just bench a character if they did not want to use them. But that’s not the case in Three Houses the player is actively encouraged to use all their units by making their students in blank slates. You are given the free ability to tailor your students in any way you like, encouraging you to give each student a unique role in your army.

You absolutely can bench any character you aren't using, though. In fact, generally, it's more efficient to do so. There's an upper limit on how many characters can ever be deployed at once (12 on the field plus 3 adjutants) and unless you're grinding, there's also an upper limit on how much experience you can get, so it generally makes sense to divide that experience only between the characters you're actually going to be deploying. In this sense, Three Houses isn't any different from other Fire Emblem games.

Yes, there is flexibility in how you train and class your units, meaning you never fall into situations of "welp, I like both Gatrie and Tauroneo but I only want one general so I guess one of them is getting benched" but that hasn't really been an issue in Fire Emblem since reclassing was introduced. I also think that you're overselling thigns a bit by referring to characters as blank slates. They all have distinct bases, growths, skill strengths and weaknesses, budding talents, learned spells, learned combat arts, personal ability, etc. which shapes who they are and makes everyone suited to some classes and not to others. Personally, I like this mainly because it keeps characters distinct but also because I am a masochist who enjoys making deliberately bad choices and running with them.

2 hours ago, ZeManaphy said:

The the big reason why I love Tea Parties. By paying close attention to supports, reactions to favorite gifts, and  the kind of items you return to students shows their personalities, and Tea Parties are the ultimate test. By executing a perfect tea party, you are rewarded charm for both you and the participant.

In theory, I see where you're coming from here, but in practice, I don't think they really work out like that. A lot of answers make sense, but there are also a good number that just seem entirely too arbitrary. Yes, of course Catherine is going to want to talk about "Someone you look up to" or "Mighty weapons", but why is she interested in "Gardening mishaps" or "Classes you might enjoy"? I have no idea. And if, at the end of the tea time, she says "We should train together" then the correct responses are either to laugh or sip tea? But if you nod or chat instead, then that's wrong? I have no earthly clue how that even begins to make sense.

2 hours ago, ZeManaphy said:

All this points to the main themes of this game, which is: How beautiful and cherished life is, only for those cherished moments to go away so quickly and romance, but not in good way. The poem's first part refers to how wonderful and tranquil the academy days were, only for war to come out of the blue and change everything. The first part of the game does not vary because it does not need to. Fodlan is land at peace with no war going on, only for war to be declared later on. To think that we were once all friends- now we are enemies, fighting for what we believe is right- this happened so fast- I miss the academy days so much.

This theme is definitely present, but I have to say it's not one that particularly worked for me. I think that this is because the main characters are also the main actors who are driving the war. If anyone has the ability to end the war peacefully, then it is our people. Edelgard especially is the single primary instigator of the war, so it is particularly jarring to have a song from her point of view about how terrible war is when it is literally all her fault.

2 hours ago, ZeManaphy said:

TLDR: If People are trying play Three Houses like previous titles where you just take a short break to repack on items or fix weapons and want to go from battle to battle with little breaks are not obviously not going to enjoy Three Houses because its a game that rewards you for putting time for knowing students, doing activities, and being invested and taking as much time as possible to learn about the world of Fodlan and its history and current political issues. 

I think that the real question here is to what extent monastery activities should be mechanically tied to battle performance. Personally, I enjoy (most of) the monastery as an end in itself. I like walking around, interacting with the characters and learning more about the world. For me, that is an end unto itself. I find it fun, so I don't need the extra little carrot of making my people fight a little bit better. What I want, ideally, is to be able to engage in as much monastery content as I want without having to worry that I'm going to trivialise the battle content, or as little monastery content as I want without having to worry that I'm setting myself up to fail.

With that said, though, I'm sure that for some people, the integration of the two systems is entirely the point. For some people, the monastery is all about the rewards that it grants and being able to see the fruits of one's labour, so to speak. And I'm not going to tell those people that they are wrong. And then there are still others who have no interest in the monastery at all and who would rather just skip the whole thing if they could, and I won't tell them that they're wrong either. And the challenge in the game's development was how to keep all these different types of people happy? How can you make it rewarding for people who want to be rewarded, skippable for those who want to skip, and a goal in and of itself for people who just want to take a break from their tactical combat game to play a walking sim for a while? It's a difficult challenge, but I think that IS mostly did a decent job of it, though with a few exceptions.

(As an aside: Can you please try to use more paragraph breaks? It's difficult to read single unbroken paragraphs like the one I'm quoting from. Thank you.)

2 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

A species is defined as a group of living organisms capable of producing fertile offspring together. Branded are not sterile, they can still have children of their own. Therefore beorc and laguz are both the same species, just as mutants are still human in X-Men.

That is a definition of "species", but not the only one. (For other definitions, see, for instance, the Wikipedia article for "species".) Even in the real world, the definition can break down in several cases, such as ring species or asexually reproducing species. As ever, nature remains more complicated than our ability to fit it to neat boxes and definitions, and we live in a world which isn't further complicated by Weird Magic Stuff. I don't think it's particularly meaningful to ask whether laguz and beorc are the same species and whether they suffer from racism or speciesism, when we can just say that they face bigotry and discrimination and leave it at that.

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