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Dinar87

Now that some time has passed, I'd like to give my thoughts on Three Houses again.

Your thoughts on Three Houses.  

124 members have voted

  1. 1. How does it compare to the rest of the games in the series?

    • The best
      19
    • It's pretty damn good
      90
    • It's ok I guess...
      10
    • Mediocre
      4
    • Worse than most
      1


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2 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

I'm asking for an auto-monastery option. Not for somebody to show me where the skip button is. I still want all this optimization and grinding done but I don't want to invest the dozens of hours each playthrough doing it. It's repetitive, not fun, has diminishing returns, and is not challenging. And the calendar system prompts me to do this stuff piecemeal in between story chapters. I could skip them, but I won't get those opportunities back without reverting to an older save file.

I could skip everything. Just as much as I could skip this game in favor of any other Fire Emblem that does let me progress the story at my own pace. That is what we lost.

I get that, but in your earlier post, you were talking about, and I quote, "uninteresting optimizations that don't ultimately matter", i.e. something that is completely skippable by your own admission. Why not just skip it then if it doesn't ultimately matter, isn't fun for you and the option to skip it is there?

I have no problem with it if you prefer the older gameplay style, but I don't see what the big deal about optional gameplay elements is. Don't want to do it? Then don't. I find Three Houses did a pretty good job keeping this stuff mostly optional in this game. Compare that to something like the film studio in Pokemon Black 2 / White 2, and you might see where I'm coming from - that's a side activity that's completely detached from the main game and storyline, and yet mandatory for every playthrough.

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5 minutes ago, Elephantus said:

I get that, but in your earlier post, you were talking about, and I quote, "uninteresting optimizations that don't ultimately matter",

That was more a jab at how in the latter half of the game they cease to matter. Diminishing returns when it comes to value. You only need your units to have some skills at A to get their final class. But there's always something you could feasibly work toward so the player is expected to get absorbed in a loop of progression that leads nowhere that matters. It's a skinner box. It's an MMO. You almost expect Three Houses to have a daily log in bonus. I know how pointless these activities can become, but I didn't understand how dumb until almost a hundred hours in, after beating the game and learning more mechanics. Pointless tasks for pointless rewards, let me play the game.

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The RPGs and Hybird games I played immediately before Three Houses - Grandia 1, Persona 5, Battle for Wesnoth, Into the Breach, Wargroove,)

More than anything else, I think about the enemy preview (which evokes Into the Breach heavily) This makes me feel like Three Houses presents itself more as a puzzle game than a as a (SRPG)whatever that is.   No Fire Emblem game other than Heroes really comes close to such a feeling. I feel like this is a real positive within Heroes, but a net negative within Three Houses, although perhaps nice on the first playthrough. 

Within a "main" FE title it kind of half-painful to have the (always present with the series) tag-based enemy priotization overtly visible to the player. Even in the few games (bonus difficulties) where enemies are on parity with player charathers, the fact that you can borderline mind control them plays too large a part on the strategy. Anyway, TH isn't strictly more guilty than the FE games before it, but the way it presents itself leaves the impression that it is. 

Maddening for me was the biggest disappointment because it's basically plays out with Player uses more turtly- playstle than usual Chapter 1-5 > Same as Hard mode 6-11 A brief one-off hard bit for Chapter 12 at beginning of time skip > Same as Hard mode 13-2nd last > one last stat inflation jump for the endgame map. --- 

I liked the game overall, but I didn't have as much tactical fun with it as the DS and 3DS games. It reinforces my opinion that FEH's (Infernals and Chain Challenge) are the actual peak of the series when it comes to giving the player the ability to express themselves with rag-tag combinations of very different unit/movement compositions. 

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Pretty damn good I'd say. :)

Right now I have the game at No.3 on my favorites list, only behind The Sacred Stones at No.1 and Path of Radiance at No.2. However, I wouldn't be surprised Three Houses surpassed Path of Radiance for me in time.

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I have a hard time saying what what's my favourite game. Every single Fire Emblem has to do something that makes it feel imperfect.

In each individual aspect, Three Houses always falls short of something. Limited class options, greatly changing what weapon ranks are for (there are no S weapons, and you learn weapon types before changing class, not after), inheriting a significant portion of that good old Gaiden weirdness, and so on. I enjoy the worldbuilding, but I'm not a fan of that "you can't save everyone no matter how hard you try" helplessness (that's also in Fates), even though it's sensible given the background story.

But on the other hand, I do like how characters feel much less single-trait compared to Awakening and Fates and even the older games, how voice acting and (very limited) character model animations improve the support conversations (but seriously, what's with that outdated graphics?), and in terms of personal preference, I can make mages and archers completely dominate over everything again, and they're even more broken than in Echoes. Everything is also pretty well-put together, and it's relatively easy to "complete" (getting all parent-child combinations for support in Fates was a huge nightmare).

Overall, I'd say this is almost my favourite main series Fire Emblem. I still like Radiant Dawn and probably The Sacred Stones more, but it's very high in my books, even though it has all kinds of imperfections (but all FE games do).

17 hours ago, Fire Brand said:

Yes, that's exactly how it feels. Everyone else is enjoying the game, and I just feel like a killjoy over here, haha. I even got a switch to play 3H, as it got hyped so much as the lovechild of Tellius and FE4. 

I see very little Tellius in this one. Gameplay-wise, it resembles Echoes the most. Combat arts are back, promotion paths are unequal (Gaiden hates mages, while Three Houses has too few on-foot options), we get long-range bows and magic again, and magic even works like Gaiden, minus the HP consumption part (which makes everything more broken). Thematically, I see next to nothing in common between Fódlan and Tellius.

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8 hours ago, Glennstavos said:

That was more a jab at how in the latter half of the game they cease to matter. Diminishing returns when it comes to value. You only need your units to have some skills at A to get their final class. But there's always something you could feasibly work toward so the player is expected to get absorbed in a loop of progression that leads nowhere that matters. It's a skinner box. It's an MMO. You almost expect Three Houses to have a daily log in bonus. I know how pointless these activities can become, but I didn't understand how dumb until almost a hundred hours in, after beating the game and learning more mechanics. Pointless tasks for pointless rewards, let me play the game.

Ah okay, now I see your point. Doesn't bother me quite as much, but yeah, I agree that the monastery loses its flavour in the second half of the game.

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A month ago I'd have said it's easily the best Fire Emblem game. Today ...it still might be, but the picture is much less clear cut. Why? I'm still playing that same campaign as I was a month ago, and I'm frankly a bit burnt out. I've gone from thinking I'll play 2-3 routes at launch to struggling to find the motivation to finish just one. I'm still playing, but with no real enthusiasm.

It's not the core gameplay that's at fault for that. Yeah, I acknowledge that the map design is fairly middling at best, and there's a lot of lazy asset reuse. But none of that sinks the game. It's the window dressing - everything else you do outside the core gameplay - that disappoints. I was okay with it to start, at least before the timeskip, but continuing to use essentially the same mechanics after the timeskip was a huge mistake. I didn't look it up in advance was looking forward to a complete overhaul in how the game handled the week-to-week/month-to-month duties after the timeskip.

The moment the game threw me back to the same identical bedroom right then... it was by far the biggest letdown of the game. My heart sank when I started running around and saw that everything was essentially the same save for some added scaffolding around the buildings and some crumbling rocks here and there. I know it'd have been hugely expensive to do, but what I felt we needed as a completely different strategic layer after that point. A mobile war camp, a traversable world map, and perhaps even a non-linear approach to conquering/retaking Fodlan using dynamic world states. But nope, all it consists of is continuing to be spoon-fed the same mission structure, surrounded by an increasingly perfunctory calendar mechanic that no longer has any reason to exist.

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IMO it's the best Fire Emblem. It blows away the rest of the series on writing: characters, plot, setting, voice acting/direction, you name it. And the gameplay is still pretty darn good. Maddening has proved a much more enjoyable and reasonably tightly-balanced experience than many other FE hard modes, though I wouldn't put it up with the best (Conquest, for me). The game just feels very well-rounded; it's a game I can far more easily recommend to friends than many previous FEs. The monastery can consume a lot of time, but there are also ways to eliminate it entirely, so I can't really hold a grudge there. And I really liked how the monastery added lots of little writing details.

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It's one of my favorites of the ones I've played, which admittedly isn't much of the series. While the graphics aren't great, I do like the interface a lot more - which I know is kind of a very small thing. 

Story-wise, I feel like it's one of the better entries in the series, at least as far as lore and worldbuilding go. I do wish we could access a fixed world map outside of the one for the battle screen, to see where everything is in relation to each other, but it actually does feel like the regions have a sense of history before the inevitable imperial invasion. 

The characters are also pretty strong, on the whole. There are some quibbles I have with some of them, but I feel like a lot of that is addressed in supports. I would have liked to see more instances of supports having an impact on how characters acted in the main story, though I do like how mealtime conversations do change based on who has supports with who (Shamir and Catherine's being a great example of this). It doesn't happen 'enough' but it does happen. 

I'm of two minds about the Monastery stuff. On the one hand, I'm waiting for the next wave of DLC to add a little more stuff to do, to maybe liven the place up a bit because by a certain point it just becomes "Greenhouse, Dining Hall, Choir Practice, Tourney, Gift Spam," but I do feel like it changes in a few ways post- time skip. Classes are war council meetings in the Cardinals' Room (And no one is idling in the classrooms anymore). The Greenhouse and Dining Hall make sense as facilities to use, since you need to cultivate medicinal plants, and also eat. It also kind of makes sense that the overall structure would be left intact. It's a valuable strategic location, so it was intended to be captured, not razed to the ground. 

The maps are a definite sore spot for me though. Reusing the same maps for Part I is bad enough, since you make your decision on which House to teach right away - Why not have the Faerghus kids deal with Lonato/Miklan, the Empire kids deal with issues there, and the Alliance kids deal with issues there? But then for the War phase, I'm pretty sure that the three routes I've already played make up most of the maps I'll run into playing Blue Lions. 

I'm hoping taking a break, and playing some other games, will help me to deal with a lot of the burnout I'm feeling right now. 

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Yeah, this is one of my favorites in the series too. Between the voice acting, world building, and constant character interactions throughout the story, this is easily my favorite narrative to experience, even if the story its telling  isn't particularly revolutionary. Something that I really like is the way paralogues were handled here. Paralogues help give every character time in the spotlight outside of supports, and reveal notable details about them that aren't extensively covered in the story (i.e. Felix's conflict with his father about the nobility). I enjoyed them a lot more here than in Fates or Awakening because of this.

Graphically, this game is pretty hit or miss for me. The texturing in this is game is fairly decent (I almost mistook the rocks on the monastery walls to be actually modeled on because of the texturing and the way the walls reflected light). What irks me is that the devs try using details like textures,, surface reflectiveness, and sound effects to mask the lack of modeling on a lot of objects, like baskets of fruit, and the aforementioned walls, which comes off as lazy. There's a fair amount of clipping during gameplay (i.e. post timeskip Lysithea's sleeves will clip through the table during tea-time) which gets annoying too. Despite these issues, the game has some pretty looking visuals, especially  in its maps. Some, like the coast map, look surprisingly detailed. I like the cell-shaded look of the 3D models too, but wish they had a greater set of animations during stuff like cutscenes and supports. In battle, the animations look great, each attack definitely has a nice sense of weight to it. I think they borrowed a fair number of animations from fire emblem warriors, but I'm not complaining given how good they look during gameplay. Overall, the graphics are dissappointing, but still a caliber above the rest of the series in my opinion.

I love this game's gameplay too despite its flaws. Combat arts and universal weapon access give you a lot of options in how you want to approach a battle, even if swords, lances and axes feel a bit homogeneous (Gauntlets and Bows have clear differences that make them decent alternatives for a character's weapon of choice). A lot of the game's maps are solid, and feature a good number of side objectives like treasure, saving villagers, etc. A problem I had with the game's map design though is that chokepoints and formation based gameplay don't seem to  me as important here because of the enemy placement (on hard mode that is).

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I like 3H a good amount, but it's a game that's not growing in fondness like I have for other FE games. In fact I feel like I find myself questioning it more and more as time passes.

It's not like my least favorite or anything by any means I just feel like I find so much of it unsatisfactory at times after my first playthrough which was great. Ie Class progression is whack, recruiting from other houses creates more narrative problems than being interesting, reusuing maps goes to make Claude look less of a schemer overall making him fell more dull that he should despite my love for him, and ect. I am also very disappointed by Maddening as a difficulty.

This game deserves massive props for going for full length voice acted supports for the entire cast, and generally incorporating the cast into the story so well overall. I find this game's flaws to hold it back, it just doesn't come together as neatly as it could have with part 2 feeling a bit lower than part 1 in quality.

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Played for about 150 hours, two routes, still love it but the flaws are more apparent.

The story and cast is my favourite since Radiant Dawn. That's a long ass time where FE was largely underwhelming in those areas to me. The gameplay is still fun but I really wish Hard was harder than it is, because while I find it too easy I'm not a fan of lunatic tier difficulty so Maddening isn't really appealing either. The monastery could use an option to do everything from a menu. The reclassing is excellent though. Maps are generally good but it does suck how much repetition there is.

Still think at this point I'd rank it up there just beneath Tellius. 

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3 hours ago, SubwayBossEmmett said:

I like 3H a good amount, but it's a game that's not growing in fondness like I have for other FE games. In fact I feel like I find myself questioning it more and more as time passes.

It's not like my least favorite or anything by any means I just feel like I find so much of it unsatisfactory at times after my first playthrough which was great. Ie Class progression is whack, recruiting from other houses creates more narrative problems than being interesting, reusuing maps goes to make Claude look less of a schemer overall making him fell more dull that he should despite my love for him, and ect. I am also very disappointed by Maddening as a difficulty.

This game deserves massive props for going for full length voice acted supports for the entire cast, and generally incorporating the cast into the story so well overall. I find this game's flaws to hold it back, it just doesn't come together as neatly as it could have with part 2 feeling a bit lower than part 1 in quality.

Full agreement here.

It looks apparent to me though that less time was spent developing the post-timeskip of the game (I struggle to call it a full second half, because it feels like post time-skip is around 2/5 of the rest of the game for most of the routes, and just 1/4 left for Crimson Flower). Perhaps there was both a time and budget crunch (budget, as indicated by the drop in cutscenes and art quality in the post-timeskip section of the game).

At a certain point, of course, a game just has to be pushed out. I personally think FE:3H had a pretty fast turn-around after Echoes: SoV, and I actually would not have minded if 3H came out 6 months to a year later (I have so much in my gaming backlog, as is) to give the writers and programmers more time to flesh out the post-timeskip chunks. In every route I've played, I admit I had some sort of expectations for an epic jump in the timeskip, and by the time I got through the third route, I knew full well that no "epic shakeup!" feeling was going to be coming. Invariably, in all of the routes, I've felt some disappointment regarding the story (especially with how Dimitri gets treated in the non-BL routes). 

From a bird's eye view, this game is actually pretty messy, and I still enjoy the game more than the some of its parts because the character dialog ends up holding everything together. This is still in my top 30 of games I've enjoyed. I'll still cherish the really special feeling I got going through the pre-timeskip portion of the game for the first time playing Crimson Flower. Massive admiration for the team behind 3H no matter what, and this was a wonderful effort. Some things just don't work out perfectly because of the number of variables at play, which is fine. I realize that I myself just allowed my mind to run too wild with hyperbole my first playthrough before getting to the post time-skip, which also set myself up for disappointment.

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On 9/28/2019 at 10:07 AM, Dark Holy Elf said:

IMO it's the best Fire Emblem. It blows away the rest of the series on writing: characters, plot, setting, voice acting/direction, you name it. And the gameplay is still pretty darn good. Maddening has proved a much more enjoyable and reasonably tightly-balanced experience than many other FE hard modes, though I wouldn't put it up with the best (Conquest, for me). The game just feels very well-rounded; it's a game I can far more easily recommend to friends than many previous FEs. The monastery can consume a lot of time, but there are also ways to eliminate it entirely, so I can't really hold a grudge there. And I really liked how the monastery added lots of little writing details.

I wouldn't say Three Houses blows the rest of the series on writing in every category. Do you really think this game's villains are the best in the series? I don't think they are that bad but they are certainly not the best. I find Sacred Stones and Radiant Dawn to have far better villains. Izuka and Black Knight are much better than Solon and Death Knight, for example. 

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30 minutes ago, Icelerate said:

I wouldn't say Three Houses blows the rest of the series on writing in every category. Do you really think this game's villains are the best in the series? I don't think they are that bad but they are certainly not the best. I find Sacred Stones and Radiant Dawn to have far better villains. Izuka and Black Knight are much better than Solon and Death Knight, for example. 

The only way I can see someone arguing that this game has better villains is if they consider Rhea or Edelgard villains (I don't) and even taken into account some of the subtle storytelling in regards to TWSITD they're disappointing villains and could've been so much more.

Between BK and DK I'd say it still depends, the Death Knight might get redeemed with the DLC while the BK loses some points with how the developers tried to portray him with his RD characterization.

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@Hekselka Yeah I really find it hard to view Rhea and Edelgard as true villains because we see their point of view and the Edelgard route is the only route with Rhea acting evil. I actually really like the Death Knight but he appears too infrequently but the DLC might improve that. I actually think Fire Emblem has quite a few great villains of the games i've played e.g. Berkut, Randolph, Arvis, BK, Walhart, Medeus. Not played FE 5-8, 12 or Fates yet though.

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1 hour ago, Icelerate said:

I wouldn't say Three Houses blows the rest of the series on writing in every category. Do you really think this game's villains are the best in the series? I don't think they are that bad but they are certainly not the best. I find Sacred Stones and Radiant Dawn to have far better villains. Izuka and Black Knight are much better than Solon and Death Knight, for example. 

A lot of the game's minor villains, like Randolph, Lonato, and Miklan, were better written than those present in Sacred Stones imo. I consider Edelgard a villain for the Blue Lions / Golden Deer Routes, and I thought they were more interesting than Lyon personally. Edelgard has her own motivations rather than being controlled by some dark stone and has some nice banter with both Claude and Dimitri, which makes her friendship with them seem more genuine than the simple flashbacks used in Sacred Stones. One moment I particularly liked was when Edelgard questioned Claudes lineage in the Golden Deer Route and seemingly put him down for it, which foreshadowed their eventual dispute. Death Knight is mainly carried by his power level relative to the students (a trained masked knight with high stats and a scary appearance conveyed that he was on an entirely different power level than the generic rogues and bandits you face throughout the game) but I do agree that Black Knight was a better handled villain (in Path of Radiance specifically, haven't played Radiant Dawn).

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7 hours ago, Icelerate said:

I wouldn't say Three Houses blows the rest of the series on writing in every category. Do you really think this game's villains are the best in the series? I don't think they are that bad but they are certainly not the best. I find Sacred Stones and Radiant Dawn to have far better villains. Izuka and Black Knight are much better than Solon and Death Knight, for example. 

To be fair, I said "characters" rather than villains specifically. I agree with you, the pure villains of this game are not good (although this is not an uncommon problem in the series; will concede that Sacred Stones and Radiant Dawn are actually decent at it). Although if you path-by-path then I think both Crimson Flower and Azure Moon have excellent antagonists, but those two are both odd cases so I understand why they might not count.

Though I will say that PoR Black Knight is no better than no-DLC Death Knight, they're both just powerful masked warriors who really just want to fight someone. (I do hope the DLC redeems the latter, as RD did Blackie.)

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On 9/29/2019 at 4:41 PM, Hekselka said:

The only way I can see someone arguing that this game has better villains is if they consider Rhea or Edelgard villains (I don't) and even taken into account some of the subtle storytelling in regards to TWSITD they're disappointing villains and could've been so much more.

 Between BK and DK I'd say it still depends, the Death Knight might get redeemed with the DLC while the BK loses some points with how the developers tried to portray him with his RD characterization.

In BE Empire route Rhea is a villain while Edelgard is a villain on the other routes. 

BK's role in part 3 alone is far better than whatever the fuck Death Knight was supposed to do. 

On 9/29/2019 at 5:49 PM, FoxyGrandpa said:

A lot of the game's minor villains, like Randolph, Lonato, and Miklan, were better written than those present in Sacred Stones imo. I consider Edelgard a villain for the Blue Lions / Golden Deer Routes, and I thought they were more interesting than Lyon personally. Edelgard has her own motivations rather than being controlled by some dark stone and has some nice banter with both Claude and Dimitri, which makes her friendship with them seem more genuine than the simple flashbacks used in Sacred Stones. One moment I particularly liked was when Edelgard questioned Claudes lineage in the Golden Deer Route and seemingly put him down for it, which foreshadowed their eventual dispute. Death Knight is mainly carried by his power level relative to the students (a trained masked knight with high stats and a scary appearance conveyed that he was on an entirely different power level than the generic rogues and bandits you face throughout the game) but I do agree that Black Knight was a better handled villain (in Path of Radiance specifically, haven't played Radiant Dawn).

I fail to see how Lyon is a worse villain than Lonato and Miklan. Lonato and Miklan are among the best one chapter villains in the series, I'll give them that. But Sacred Stones has a decent roster of one chapter villains too such as Orson and Carlyle. 

On 9/29/2019 at 11:44 PM, Dark Holy Elf said:

To be fair, I said "characters" rather than villains specifically. I agree with you, the pure villains of this game are not good (although this is not an uncommon problem in the series; will concede that Sacred Stones and Radiant Dawn are actually decent at it). Although if you path-by-path then I think both Crimson Flower and Azure Moon have excellent antagonists, but those two are both odd cases so I understand why they might not count.

Though I will say that PoR Black Knight is no better than no-DLC Death Knight, they're both just powerful masked warriors who really just want to fight someone. (I do hope the DLC redeems the latter, as RD did Blackie.)

Yes but I felt you were overrating the writing in this game to be leagues above any other game. There are aspects of RD, PoR and FE4 that can be considered better IMO even if overall I agree that Three Houses is indeed better. 

Black Knight in PoR was a legit badass in how he carried himself in his talks with Ashnard. Him beating Greil while Death Knight not beating anyone of significance makes BK more impactful. BK also had a rivalry with Ike that was a major driving factor of PoR's plot. DK doesn't ever come close to driving the plot. 

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I love this game a lot and it's actually becoming one of my most favorites in the series. I've even spent more hours than I did in Awakening. I love the writing of the game, mature themes, moral ambiguity, paralogues/spotlight on side characters, and the gameplay. However it's quite lacking in certain areas which are my main complaints:

  • Crimson Flower being incomplete and much more shorter than the other routes makes me really frustrated. I don't understand the reason. Edelgard is the most important Lord since she basically starts the events of the game and has 2 obvious goals, yet we get a shortened route where she finishes one goal only.
  • Underwhelming classes/class system.
  • Lack of map variety. I understand this is because the battles take place in the same areas, but it still felt lacking nonetheless.
  • I disliked TWSITD involvement to the story. I wish they gave them more light and made them as intimidating as El is in the other routes.

Overall, I enjoyed the game a lot. It has its flaws, but it's definitely one of the better games in the series.

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It‘s pretty good, but not even close to the fun and fair difficulty of Conquest. It had a nice plot and characters and gameplay is good enough to enjoy.

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On 9/27/2019 at 4:56 PM, Glennstavos said:

I'm asking for an auto-monastery option. Not for somebody to show me where the skip button is. I still want all this optimization and grinding done but I don't want to invest the dozens of hours each playthrough doing it. It's repetitive, not fun, has diminishing returns, and is not challenging. And the calendar system prompts me to do this stuff piecemeal in between story chapters. I could skip them, but I won't get those opportunities back without reverting to an older save file.

I could skip everything. Just as much as I could skip this game in favor of any other Fire Emblem that does let me progress the story at my own pace. That is what we lost.

"I want the optimization done but I don't want to do it" reads as "I want the game to have a 'play yourself' button."

Not liking the mechanics is fine, and I get that, but asking the game to optimize itself for you is ridiculous.

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1 hour ago, De Geso said:

"I want the optimization done but I don't want to do it" reads as "I want the game to have a 'play yourself' button."

Not liking the mechanics is fine, and I get that, but asking the game to optimize itself for you is ridiculous.

Is it ridiculous that you can set goals and then ask the game to auto instruct? Is it ridiculous I can auto battle my way through any battle? I don't want play yourself buttons, I already have them and am asking for one more for what I consider the most boring part of the game.

That's just my tastes though. I think battles are the best part of fire emblem, but you can auto battle your way through the game on Normal/Casual. I've done it, actually. The developers also probably figured that auto battle setting would help players out with some grinding related tasks. As for Auto Instruct, it's just a tiny time saver that I'm pretty sure doesn't award Great or Perfect bonuses, nor awarding you support bonuses for getting those lucky draws. Even despite those drawbacks and the miniscule time it saves, I'll still reach a point in the game where I always select it. I want that but for all the monastery activities. Setting goals for Byleth when it comes to advanced/faculty training. Do as much monastery-exclusive stuff as you want like buying from the four merchants, gardening, talking to NPCs. Then when you're ready, pause the game and hit the auto monastery button where it spends your activity points on eating with students and training. It probably won't make the same decisions the player was going to make, but the player chose the "surprise me" option out of a want to just get on with the game.

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The good: Characters are far and away the best in the series. Monastery conversations went a very long way in fleshing them out. The story had a lot of  neat ideas, although some of the execution fell flat.  The class system is a cool start; with a second crack at it after seeing how it played out I think it could be really good. Love that there is no canon or golden route. War sucks,  it shouldn't end perfectly. The battle themes are some of my favorite.

The okay: I hate the map reuse as much as anytime, but I firmly believe it's the trade-off for getting everything in one package and not separate games. Locked spell lists are simultaneously good and bad.

The bad: Maddening is pretty wack. It's really upsetting to see them make a well designed difficulty in conquest just to fall back to the awakening lazy turd difficulty of pumping stats and same turn reinforcements in the middle of the map. It also stems from the main issue that there's far too much to account for to ever balance this game successfully.  Stat caps are non existent, classes are terribly balanced, and players are given incredibly unfair tools like Thyrsus and support gambits such as blessing and stride.  The main 3 weapon classes lack identity and all feel the same. The monastery gets so tedious, but skipping isn't a realistic option on maddening.

Oh, almost forgot, white clouds is way too long and extremely tedious on replays, a branch of fate would go a long way.

Edited by Boomhauer007

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