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31  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: January 19, 2015, 11:02:40 AM
I'm to the desert chapter in Hector mode of FE7 (I forget what chapter it is in Hector mode and I'm too lazy to look again). Anyway, so far everything is going just alright. While I haven't had any trouble, a bunch of characters seem to be getting RNG raped this playthrough. Eliwood, Wil, and Sain are the main offenders. On the flipside, I already have Oswin promoted, and numerous other characters are getting really close. I'm happy to say that I'll be doing Kenneth's map rather than Jerme's this time as I haven't been using Guy, Raven, and Dorcas at all, but have been using Erk, Lucius, and Canas. I don't typically use Erk in favor of Nino, so I went ahead and got his support conversations with Priscilla out of the way. I decided to pair up Hector with Lyn this time around. I'm not sure about which character should support Eliwood as I'm not really using most of the non-lord characters he can support. I'll also support Lucius and Canas with atypical characters this time around as well by supporting Karel (assuming I get him) with Lucius, and Canas with Renault (this one may be tough, but I'll get it).

Yeah. Wil is pretty terrible thanks to his subpar base stats and mediocre growths (par for the course as far as early game Archers are concerned, which is the primary reason why the early Archer almost always traditionally sucks; that said, I've had a good Wil once, which is how I managed to beat the boss of the Desert Chapter's Gaiden Chapter and Vadia in Chapter 25); Sain, like Kent,can fail to turn out if he gets Spd and Def screwed (at least neither are as bad as Lowen) and Eliwood is the definition of mediocre and his first couple of levels either make or break him. That said, Erk is mediocre, but Nino isn't much better, she just comes way way later. Honestly, Pent is by far the best non-Athos Sage in the game since he comes with a solid Staff rank, an auto A-ranked Support with Louise and serviceable base stats. Of course, he's directly competing with Priscilla, Canas, Lucius and Athos for endgame slots, but at least he actually has something going for him unlike Erk and Nino.
32  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: January 19, 2015, 01:47:06 AM
I just finished Chapter 15 in Fire Emblem: Awakening.  Using SpotPass to grind and **** around with leveling and pairing up my units.  So far Chrom's married to Sumia and Kellam's married to Sully, but I can't access the quest to meet Sumia's daughter and I want to have Kellam and Sully learn more skills before I do the paralogue for their daughter.  Heh, this game doesn't exactly nail the intense, strategic side of Fire Emblem, thanks to this wrecked level curve, but it does a fine job of team-building and I love the changes to the Support system, even if the writing doesn't seem quite as strong.

And now you know why its referred to as Waifu Emblem. Unfortunately, getting to Cynthia's Paralogue will take a while since her chapter won't appear until one of the ones surrounding hers is completed and none of them are a story chapter (clearing Owain's Paralogue is the easiest or Tiki's if you don't want to worry about forcing another child to join you before you've sorted their inheritance; although Tiki's doesn't open up until after Chapter 18 and is rather difficult).

And yeah, the writing took a back seat to the need to have everyone support whenever they get their levels up, and due to the utter lack of a plot structure, there's no way that the supports can even assume you've progressed the plot past the moment you unlocked Pair-Up in Normal Mode.
33  Media / Game Journals / Re: Dincrest plays Chrono Cross PlayLog on: January 19, 2015, 12:21:09 AM
My team was Lynx, Fargo, and Leah. 

I feel like I should've used Miki, because Leah went down leaving Lynx and Fargo to clean up.  And in prior dragon fights, Miki has been my MVP.  I'll admit, despite seeming like she'd be a lame throwaway character she's definitely grown on me. 

Yeah, Leah is not known for her Magical Defense and she's a Yellow Innate in a fight against a Green Innate. Miki probably would've tanked better which is important for a healer since Lynx is too busy smacking things and Fargo's not that great support-wise and at this point a solid healer is rather important. This kinda shows badly on Leah since she's such a bad choice for the boss of the region you recruit her in which doesn't leave a good impression on players, but really, this is more of a case of the game desperately needing parties of 4 since most of the game will saddle you with at least one mandated character and on top of Serge/Lynx always taking up a slot (until NG+ where he only kinda takes up a slot), you have almost no real opportunity to try out other, less relevant, characters.

Also, yeah. Carnivore is really nasty status effect-wise since it hits everybody with a high chance to inflict Poison and its a high end element to begin with.
34  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Xenoblade Chronicles X on: January 19, 2015, 12:06:21 AM
I feel really bad that I want to place this game without having played Chronicles because I never cared to buy a Wii for anything. I might play the New 3DS version when that comes out but I don't know if playing it on a handheld would be the best way of playing something as grand as Chronicles.

Barring any eleventh hour reveals that suddenly tie XBCX back into XBC, chances are this game will stand alone plotwise without the need to play through XBC to understand what's going on.

That said, XBC is still an excellent game and you should play through it anyways.

As for which version to play:
Wii = bigger screen real-estate and cheaper if you already own a Wii (or get a good price on the game as Wiis are dirt cheap right now).
N3DS = portability (makes it easier to do all those quests), less UI clutter (although it looks like the Arts Pallets got cut down by one) and will probably be easier to find.

Screen resolution doesn't matter at all (the Wii was a hilariously underpowered machine which makes XBC a technological marvel given how it managed to fit onto one disk but it paid for it in graphical quality; the N3DS should be able to handle it no problem) and there are so many goddamn quests that portability would be a godsend, but really, it all comes down to whether you want the N3DS or not.
35  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The Legend of Zelda Topic (Wii U Gameplay) on: January 18, 2015, 11:47:17 PM
I know I'm late in this topic, but this was quite possibly the worst way you could announce a new Zelda game. Whatever happening to kickass reveal trailers?

Which one? Zelda U got a hella kick ass trailer last E3 of a peaceful and calm field suddenly exploding into a boss fight with Tek Arrows and Lazor Beams, and Majora's Mask 3DS got two NDirects ago, which was mild but followed it up with an amusing bit afterwards where the moon was bearing down on Iwata. If you meant this Direct then yeah, Japan had a better trailer since it featured the Happy Mask Salesman.
36  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: New 3DS Fire Emblem If on: January 18, 2015, 11:37:42 PM
I just hope it actually changes in how terrain is being handled instead of all of the environments to be just a flat surface. Similar to how Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre does terrain.
Doesn't look like it, man.  There was plenty of gameplay in that initial trailer, and the environments looked quite nice, but also quite flat. 

And hey, I'm playing Awakening for the first time right now and enjoying it quite a bit.  Already pretty jazzed about a second Fire Emblem game similar to it. 

The only FE game that ever really dealt with elevation was Radiant Dawn (the Wii one). Incidentally, it had some of the best maps of the series. However, even in RD, elevation was handled quite differently than TO/FFT since the difference between the high and low grounds was represented with a substantial accuracy bonus/penalty respectfully.

Then again, the only times elevation actually matters in TO/FFT is in regards to Bows having extra range (and in FFT the fact that a number of abilities to allow players to just simply vault up sheer cliffs and walls like they were a ledge) which is why you never start on high ground in any story battle in FFT, except in rare instances where it either still doesn't matter or it's still at your disadvantage (none of this matters in TO anyways since just having Archers is more than enough, nevermind the fact that most story battles are just as flat as any FE map). Anyways, this is being made on Awakening's engine so I don't think it'll take elevation into consideration too much either way.

Really though, battles in FE games tend to operate on a wider scale than even the largest TO battle (FFT doesn't even come close to TO's scale due to console limitations and where FFT decided to focus its resources on), so elevation doesn't really factor nearly as prominently as TO/FFT. Then again, they've also played extremely fast and loose with scale in FE with stuff like interior battles taking place in buildings that are only a couple of tiles large in the previous map.
37  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: January 17, 2015, 11:30:52 PM
Maleficent -
1.5 out of 5 stars. Whatever Disney was going for here, they missed it by a long shot. They obviously spent all sorts of time and money on realizing the world of this movie. Too bad the most important part, the story, falls apart barely a half hour into the movie(and I missed the first 15 minutes!).
You barely even get to know any of the characters in this. Even Jolis Maleficent, which everyone expected to be amazing, just seems to wander around doing nothing all day, and smirking at the camera.
If they just would have portrayed her the way she was portrayed in Sleeping Beauty, this may have worked. Instead, we get this watered down pseudo 'nice" Maleficent that just looks and feels all sorts of wrong. Joli is great in the beginning. Then the script shifts to her being the misunderstood heroine, and you get the feeling Joli signed the contract without reading the entire script.
I didn't care one whit about anyone here.
Sharlto Copleys(who is generally awesome) king could have been interesting, but all we get is angst and anger. He's totally wasted.
The CG fairies are just plain weird. They look so...off. ugly even.
I figured this would end up being worth it simply for Joli, but that isn't the case at all. Don't even bother.

I was gonna do a type up for this one, but didn't waste the energy.  Yeah, it was just purely shit.  Critics giving it B's were waaay too nice and I turned it off halfway through (which is/felt like a long time to sit through). 
The CG was more off-putting than anything, the roles sucked, they shat on the source material (turning Malificent from a great villain to giving her way more depth than needed).  Probably the biggest offence were the use of the fairies who were charming and sweet in the olde Disney classic to just plain fucking stupid here.  Waste of talent and a dumb way to bring back and 'reinvent' the story of Sleeping Beauty.  The plot had potential, they just screwed it up a lot.

Maleficent is to Sleeping Beauty as Sword of Mana is to Final Fantasy Adventure.

There, that's all that really needs to be said about this movie (well that and Maleficent and Princess Aurora should've made out on screen at least once; I mean, c'mon. It was right there!).
38  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: January 17, 2015, 11:20:28 PM
Meanwhile, I've been having a Smashing good time lately in Smash 4 (WiiU). As far as I can tell, I'm good and done with that obnoxious Cruel Smash mode for another console generation (did the one where Pit needs 4 KOs, Luigi needs one KO and someone (I chose Ike for strategic reasons) needs to KO 8 fuckers (he did 9 on the winning run)). I've done a few others like the Master Orders and Crazy Orders ones (only the 'Mario going 20 rounds' one left; I don't have the Custom Items for it yet), and some of the Target Blast ones (getting 450k points and Perfect on Stage 3; did it with Ganondorf and his amazing Warlock Punch), plus I've made it through Classic at 8.5 with Link (though getting this nerfed Marth through 9.0 in 12 minutes 0_o). And I've just been playing Smash in general (I've taken a tour of all of 8-man Smash's stages; most of them do indeed suck).
39  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: January 15, 2015, 05:58:15 PM
While I appreciate the advice, I have played the game before and I know all of this information.

Anyway started it up last night. I'm to chapter 6 of Lyn's story. Should be to the start of Hector's story tonight.

Oh right. Heck you were even posting about it. Really the only useful piece of advice I can offer is to go for Geitz instead of Wallace since the stage you would recruit Wallace on normally sucks ass in Hector's Mode, Hard or otherwise (to the point of it being virtually impossible to recruit Wallace if you didn't level and promote him on Lyn's Mode; I mean, c'mon, look at this shit, even Battle Before Dawn isn't this bad).
40  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: New 3DS Fire Emblem If on: January 15, 2015, 11:28:54 AM
True, but going too heavy into strategy can also lead the game becoming more of a puzzle game rather than a strategy game. Look at some of the Advance Wars Advanced Campaigns and how some of them basically require figuring out the one play that the devs intended players use to get through it. It's a danger that all SRPGs face.

Meanwhile, in other news: http://www.siliconera.com/2015/01/15/fire-emblem-also-gets-new-card-game-manga-japan/

So FE gets a manga and card game in Japan (again).
41  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Bravely Second on: January 15, 2015, 11:20:30 AM

More Fantasy Adventure games need roles like Pastry Chef. You're saving the world from both monsters and people who can see their toes. Let them eat cake indeed. No seriously, may this be the most gamebreakingly power Job in the game (or at least be the one with the highest potential damage output).

Mrgrgr Edit: http://www.siliconera.com/2015/01/20/edea-will-one-main-characters-bravely-second/

Edea's back and more Fashionabluh than before. And judging from the screenshots in that article, it does indeed look like we'll be losing two of the Three Musketeers.
42  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Misc. Gaming News Topic on: January 14, 2015, 10:42:25 PM
I'm perplexed. I'm not one to vent on this forum as I don't post often enough to weigh in on my opinions, but I've got to get this off my chest.

I'm trying to follow the amiibo mania availability/release news and my mind is exploding, lol! There was launch amiibos, second wave, third wave. Certain amiibos that only work for certain Wii U or 3DS games. Or data that gets erased if you apply an existing amiibo to a new game. Not sure... I liked today's Nintendo Direct, but I can't help but feel a little lost. Thankfully IGN's wiki guide has cleared the air a little at http://www.ign.com/wikis/nintendo-amiibo-figurines/Amiibo_Figurines.

Then there's exclusivity of certain amiibos based on which retail store you shop at (i.e. Shulk being a GameStop exclusive). I'm not trying to collect all of them, God no... because that would get crazy expensive. Specifically if you're going for a rare amiibo that quickly ran off the shelves like Marth (announced today that more will be coming in supply this year) or Wii Fit Trainer (seriously?! lol...).

Funny thing is that I haven't bought one yet.

I can't make up my mind on which one to buy that will have a general appeal to the games I own on Wii U and 3DS now and going forward. I've casually looked at different stores and from my own experience, the stores can't keep any amiibo's stocked. Who would have thought that amiibos would be such a hit? At first I was confused too because the figures look similar to Disney's Infinity and Skylanders. Sigh. I'm going to take a deep breath and make up my mind later.

Thanks for letting me vent guys! Your bud, Orson.

Let me make this easier on you: You're screwed!

If you didn't already have a Shulk preorder, then you're screwed. If you want to get that Rosalina and Luma Amiibo for Mario Party 10, show up at Target's door at 0'dark:30 (or whenever they open) and hope to god almighty that some skcuzzy E-Bay scalper didn't already clean the store out. Same with Meta Knight. If you haven't realized that there will probably be some Fox and Falco functionality for that upcoming Star Fox game, you're screwed (as Fox is already hard to come by). And if you actually wanted to collect them all? AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.....you're out of your fucking mind.

But yeah, the tl;dr regarding Amiibos is that, unless you're already neck deep in them, you're shit out of luck.
43  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: January 14, 2015, 10:18:09 PM
I finished up that play through of FE7. Canas, as always, came in handy in the last battle. Luna critical hit the last boss and did 66 damage :-)

I'm going to go ahead and play through again with Hector's story. I like both it, and Hector better than Eliwood, so I'll be glad to keep going for at least one more go around.

At least there are a few tricks to speed up the filling of the Supports Viewer. One is to set up a support triangle between three different characters and only raise their relations to B-rank. Once you unlock an A-rank support, view it but don't save. The viewer will consider it achieved and will unlock it for later viewing. Then just do it again with the other B-ranked support as well as the other members. Suddenly, in one playthrough, three characters will have fully supported two other characters. The other is of course, to get somebody with a huge list of people to support then have them A-rank each one in line, followed by killing off the recipient (provided that you can). Alternatively, set up a fairly solid save on the stage where you recruit Renault and try to blow through the last three stages while raising as many A-level supports as you can (thankfully, they fixed FE6's biggest support limitation, which limited the amount of support points generated per stage, which meant that after a certain cutoff point you were basically wasting your time as you were no longer working towards raising anybody's support level).

That is a great strategy, but it would require way too much planning on my part and, much as I love this game, I've played through it so many times that I'm kind of lazy. Were I playing it for the first time like I was ten years ago though I'd go for it!

My biggest issue with Hector Mode is that Hector takes forever to promote which makes Dart even less optional than he was before because otherwise you're going to be without a solid Axe user for half of the game instead of merely a part of it. My second biggest issue is that it forces you to use up almost all of Hector's initial Wolf Beil on his first two chapters instead of letting you stretch it out until either the Hammerne Staff or the second Wolf Beil shows up (which it does on the chapter that Hector promotes on). Also, make sure you don't go on any spending sprees until you recruit Farina, she's actually worth the gold more often than not. Also also, if you want to visit "every" chapter in the game, you have to grind Nils up to Level 7 during Lyn's mode. Also also also, despite his suckitude, you should raise Barte up to a level 5 Warrior (or not since the character you get for doing so sucks).
44  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Xenoblade Chronicles X on: January 14, 2015, 10:06:42 PM
I think he means Winter 2015-16 (though Winter 2014-15 would be fucking amazing and I wish it were true and goddammit; why can't it be Reyn Time again?).

On a less positive note, while Xenoblade X looks great, what I've seen of Xenoblade 3DS makes me wonder why they bothered. This is the power of the New 3DS? Just... ugh. Between this, the name, and the lack of a packed-in charger the whole thing seems really ill-conceived.

To be fair, having a behemoth of a game like XBC on the go is a hell of a thing in its own right, especially since the Wii's release in the US got horribly shafted to the point of almost not even making it at all, which made getting it for a reasonable price really hard to do for a while.

I might honestly consider getting it if it weren't for the fact that I've already played through and beat it on the Wii and I'd have to drop another $250 this year for the DSi equivalent of the 3DS just for it and a less load heavy version of SSB4(3DS) (that'd I have to re-100% all over again).



Some introductions of the characters. Nothing new or surprising yet.
45  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: New 3DS Fire Emblem If on: January 14, 2015, 03:31:59 PM
After taking a closer look at some of the screen shots, it occurs to me that the main Lord dude I was talking about in my earlier post is customizable like Kris and Robin were: Case and point (the person you're looking for is the one with the cape, white hair in the first screen shot and black hair in the second).

I really REALLY wanted to love Awakening, and it grabbed me for about five hours.  Unfortunately, the game feels so focused on the dual strike stuff that it begins to feel like the only real "tactical" part of the game.  Controlling choke points is fine, but when my protagonist in Awakening died because he fought eight dudes in a row who kept running up to the same spot and dying over and over again, well, that just doesn't seem right to me.  I wanted my protagonist to stop attacking, because I could see the death coming if he continued to clear out a space in front of him for attackers.  It's that weird meta game stuff that really bothers me in games.  It's like basketball where you want to commit a penalty because, in the end, it helps you.

Also, I still think there's something wrong when people play these games with permadeath and then restart if they lose a character.  Why?  Wouldn't it be more in the spirit of the game if you continued on because you lost a character and that's the end of the story?  Aren't you putting an artificial constraint on yourself if you choose to restart because you lost the kid with a bucket on this head?  Why not just play the game with permadeath off if you're just going to restart and play again and again until you get it right.  I think Tactics Ogre and FFT got this kind of thing right by giving you a chance to recover fallen allies.  It drove me nuts in Awakening to have reinforcements come out of the woodwork and kill a character that I had no chance of defending, forcing a restart. 

Sorry, rant over! 

That's actually a thing to watch out for across the entire FE series and not just Awakening. Its extremely rare to have a character so massively overpowered that they become totally invincible and can safely ignore whatever the game can possibly throw at them (and when it happens, its usually on the villains team). The issue is the fact that certain characters fulfill certain roles based upon their class, stats, abilities and whatever tools they're outfitted with, and its important to be mindful of both your own guys' roles as well as the enemies' roles. Having a DPS (damage per strike) try to choke a point isn't that good of an idea for the very reason you mentioned, but neither is a Tank that's unsupported and is facing down a hoard of DPS killdozers. Sometimes, it's better to bring a weaker weapon or no weapon at all when the situation calls for it. Even if your guy isn't doing any damage, stopping 8 enemies from also attacking that turn is a hell of a trade off in terms of opportunity costs.

Awakening's problems lie more specifically with Dual Strike and Dual Guard being so effective and the fact that only the player ever benefits from it. Chapter 4's boss on Normal mode has a skill called Dual Strike+. He (she) only has this skill because of his (/her) Lord class but is utterly useless to him (/her) since there's never an opportunity for it to ever be used (until he/she joins your team). And when you pair the effects of a high level of Support, your chances to score a free attack on any enemy skyrockets up by a solid 40%, as well as your chances of straight up negating any attack no matter how potent by a less impressive (but still not insignificant) 12%. If both the effects were toned down and if enemies had access to the Pair Up and Support systems themselves, it wouldn't be nearly as gamebreakingly powerful. It'd also help if fewer maps weren't so open plains/largely open buildings-ey (I'm looking at you Chapters 22 and 23).

I will admit that the reinforcements arriving at the start of the enemy's turn instead of the end was obnoxious, especially when all you know is that they're coming and not what or where specifically. Hopefully, this time they'll make the differences between the game's difficulty levels less extreme.

- And finally, there was absolutely nothing in here about SMT x FE goddammit (seriously Nintendo, you announced this two years ago, and I already know more about a game that was just literally announced two hours ago than I do about this; no seriously, god fucking dammit).

I thought that was weird too. I think last year's E3 update was that they shelved work on SMT x FE (Wii U) in favor of Code Name S.T.E.A.M (3DS). I honestly didn't know they were working on another FE title for the 3DS until I saw today's Nintendo Direct. I did like the opening cinematics though, very cool. Judging from sales posted at http://natmonitor.com/2015/01/05/microsoft-and-nintendo-report-strong-sales-for-2014-holiday-season-to-sonys-dismay/ from last month, I kinda assumed work would speed up on SMT x FE. I guess we'll see as this year progresses. I'm now curious as to whether this new FE 3DS title will take advantages of the New 3DS XL button/features coming out a month from now.

They didn't shelve SMT x FE though. Last E3 they said that they were working on it and it was coming along on schedule and literally nothing else before or since then (outside of the initial announcement and that it'd be more of a conventional RPG immediately thereafter). I think it mostly has to do with Atlus being the actual studio developing SMT x FE since Int Syst now have this game along with Code Name STEAM on their plate. Admittedly, I'm not terribly worried either way though since this game is literally built on Awakening's engine so its not nearly the same amount of work needed to make a brand new game with, and the E3 update came after the messy Index bankruptcy. Plus Atlus isn't exactly known for giving updates on their in development projects, just look at SMT Devil Survivor 2: Break Record. Years of silence then 'bam', suddenly an announcement of its release date, box art and a very brief mention of the fact that there will be a new scenario included in the game.
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