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1  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: New 3DS Fire Emblem If on: May 28, 2015, 10:41:12 AM
Haven't played Shadow Dragon yet. Is it worth the arseload of cash ebay wants for it?

Not really. It lacks a lot of advancements from the later games.It is decent for a remake of the first game but I wouldn't spend a lot of money on it. If you saw it cheap and were in a FE mood then sure.

It did introduce the reclassing mechanic, though it wasn't handled nearly as well as Awakening did it since the only limitations were the separations of characters into one of four categories (Male 1, Male 2, Female or Misc.), no level reset (i.e. if a Lv 11 Knight reclassed into a Hunter, that Hunter would be Lv 11) and a hard limit on how many characters could occupy said class (it was always based upon your current number of characters that started in said class + 1).

That said, it was ultimately panned due to a combination of 1) No proper supports (since the base game didn't have them, which meant there were no discussions about pies, stage fright or how much that dude looked like a lady), 2) the lackluster graphics (battle sprites were prerendered and didn't look nearly as lively/pretty as the GBA era animations, it was also a DS game which automatically meant that it looked like ass) and 3) the Gaiden requirements (all of the Gaidens had entirely brand new characters for the game, but to get to most of the Gaiden stages themselves, your army had to be culled down to a headcount of 15 or less; at least the game tried to help out by handing out generics if your headcount got too low). The plot was pretty threadbare (in a 'somebody just got done watching Mobile Suit Gundam and only had a Famicom to work with' way) which didn't help matters, and personally, I didn't care for the rather lazy way that the (at the time) current class stat caps were implemented since the characters bases/growths did not account for them (aside from two characters which made them hilariously overpowered as a result). The game basically couldn't really decide on how closely it wanted to follow its source material (or which source it was pulling from; FE1 or FE3 Book 1) and the game suffered for it.

In other words, no, it isn't worth it. The gaiden chapters drove me nuts. I won't ever play through Shadow Dragon again because of the threadbare story (they could have expanded the story beyond those first few chapters), and the lack of support conversations (the characters may say a few things when you recruit them, but after that many of them won't have any dialogue for the rest of the game). If, by some odd chance, I did play it again, I would skip the gaiden chapters altogether. I literally had to unequip units and plop them down next to the boss to kill them off in order to access the gaiden chapters.
2  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: New 3DS Fire Emblem If on: May 27, 2015, 02:38:43 PM
Outside of specific unit weaknesses and/or special weapons (like pegasus and bows, dragons and wyrmslayers, horses and poleaxes, and etc.), the weapons triangle affected evade and hit more than it did attack and defense. I'm unsure if that will be the case with IF, but it is the case for most of the rest of the games in the series.
3  Media / Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued on: May 27, 2015, 01:46:24 PM
I finished up Wheel of Time #6 today. It was even slower than the last book (and I hear it just gets worse from here until the Brandon Sanderson novels). At least some important events occurred, and the last hundred pages or so were exciting even if the rest of the book was meh.

I'm waiting for Wheel of Time #7 to get into the library. It should be in tomorrow or the day after, so in the meantime I'm going to read the original The Jungle Book. I got it for free a few months ago, and it is pretty short, so I'll check it out now.
4  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: May 27, 2015, 12:45:48 PM
I saw Mad Max: Fury Road over the weekend. It was really, really good! The plot was simple, but what was there was well done, and I thought the characters were all great and developed nicely. I kind of like how the movie didn't dwell on the setting, the world, and the social dynamics. It just kind of plops it all in front of you and says, "Here it is." I'd been on the fence about it, but I am definitely glad I went to see it.
5  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: New 3DS Fire Emblem If on: May 26, 2015, 09:42:47 AM
I'm unsure what to think of the changes to the weapons triangle. I keep trying to wrap my head around it, but I think I'm just going to have to play it to formulate an opinion. It will kind of suck for a while, at least for me, since my brain is programmed to the old weapons triangle. I imagine I won't be mindful of the new triangle at times and will screw myself over.
6  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: May 25, 2015, 11:43:53 AM
A friend of mine came over yesterday and we played Adventure Mode in Hyrule Warriors. Even with two players, it was difficult to get A rankings on many of the maps we played. We still did get some stuff unlocked and even made it up to Spectacle Rock. We're going to see if we can team up again at some point in the next week or two and keep plugging away. The enemies on Death Mountain were dropping some REALLY strong weapons. At least much more powerful than anything else I had available. As such, Link, Zelda, and oddly Tingle have weapons with about 400 attack levels. I really can't believe how hard it still was with a second player, and the sheer amount of content there is. I've barely even touched the other Adventure Mode maps.
Having two players can actually make it harder to A rank maps as for many maps the hard part is avoiding damage and the damage taken by two players is added together to determine your rank. Then again it can be helpful if you have to take a bad moveset in to a map. Then again some maps are hard due to you having to be in five places at once...those certainly benefit from having an extra person.

Yeah, I figured that's what it was. It was still helpful just for the fact that together we were able to mow through a lot of map squares as well as beat some of those "X number of enemies in ten minute" challenges. I struggle with those.

I unlocked the Great Fairy "weapon" for Link. I thought it was cool at first, but since she's so huge it throws of my perception. I was fighting Dodongo in an easy map just trying her out and a couple of times I threw bombs at his mouth I missed because I was too far away and couldn't tell. That and it seems like she moves like a glacier since she is so huge. You'd think that they could have let the Great Fairy and Epona have more speed than they actually do, since one is huge, and the other is, ya know, a horse.

I also unlocked the Summoning Gate for Lana. So I now have all the weapons unlocked though I don't have all the level 3 weapons.

I would probably be playing it for another year to unlock everything. I'll keep plugging away at it when I have the chance, but I'm satisfied with it for now.
7  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dragon Quest VIII on 3DS on: May 25, 2015, 02:10:53 AM
I have to agree with everyone who says that the 3DS version, from the screenshots, looks like a significant down grade from the PS2 version. One of the main draws of the game for me was the lushly detailed game world. Usually, in traditional JRPGs, I find the overworld to be a chore that you have to go through in order to get to the next area. Not so with DQVIII. Running around on the overworld was a blast because of the intricate visuals. It really brought the game world to life. The 3DS version seems to have replaced that detail in exchange for a more vivid color palette, and it looks uninteresting and bland in comparison to the PS2 original. Square Enix will have to do better to convince me to make the commitment to play an inferior version (at least from what we've seen so far) of a 70-80 hour game.
8  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: May 24, 2015, 03:23:30 AM
A friend of mine came over yesterday and we played Adventure Mode in Hyrule Warriors. Even with two players, it was difficult to get A rankings on many of the maps we played. We still did get some stuff unlocked and even made it up to Spectacle Rock. We're going to see if we can team up again at some point in the next week or two and keep plugging away. The enemies on Death Mountain were dropping some REALLY strong weapons. At least much more powerful than anything else I had available. As such, Link, Zelda, and oddly Tingle have weapons with about 400 attack levels. I really can't believe how hard it still was with a second player, and the sheer amount of content there is. I've barely even touched the other Adventure Mode maps.
9  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: May 18, 2015, 11:33:49 AM
I'm still plugging away at Hyrule Warriors. Mostly I've been going through Legend Mode getting the Skulltulas and Heart Containers/Pieces of Heart. I did do some Adventure Mode last night and was able to unlock the level 2 gauntlets and the Wind Waker for Zelda. I also purchased the DLC. I haven't really played the new Adventure Mode maps, but I have played around with the DLC characters. I especially like Twili Midna. She seems like she could be a force to be reckoned with once I get her levelled. I also really enjoy playing as Young Link with the Fierce Deity Mask. Once I get some more of his badges in and can actually sustain play as Fierce Deity then I'll be pretty happy.

I'm realizing there is probably enough content in this game to keep me occupied for years. So I'm just going to try and unlock all the characters and weapons. Those alone are going to take me forever, but hunting Skulltulas and Heart Containers/Pieces of Heart will just add to that. If I get them along the way in unlocking the characters and weapons then great, but if not I'm not going to fret over them.
10  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: New 3DS Fire Emblem If on: May 15, 2015, 10:15:34 AM
I'm unsure what to think of all the recent news. More and more it sounds like the new game(s) will be a hot, jumbled mess. I'm unsure of removing the usage number on weapons. I assume it makes sense because, like a lot of other people, I just stick with the cheaper weapons as much as possible and try to hoard the stronger, more expensive, or rare weapons for when I actually need them. With the removal of the usage limits, then you could just bump up a unit's weapon when they're ready rather than wait, which would be nice, but I think an important part of Fire Emblem is actually managing your inventory closely. You're in command of an army, after all, and armies need to have supplies managed carefully. It would also take some of the difficulty out of the gameplay, unless IS bumps adjust gameplay and difficulty to accommodate the change.

I too would just like some good, ol' fashioned FE at the end of the day. So long as the gameplay and inventory management stuff allows me to continue to enjoy it as much as I have older games in the series, then I'm good with the changes.
11  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dragon Quest VIII on 3DS on: May 15, 2015, 10:06:26 AM
I'd have to check the old game journals, but I think that I clocked right around 80 hours into it. I didn't really do a lot of the optional stuff, just enough to get the slightly different ending. It was rare then, and much more rare now that I spend longer than 40 hours with a game, but I didn't really get tired of playing DQVIII until I was grinding for the last few bosses.

I wonder if Square Enix will try to find ways to cut down on some of that play time since it's moving to a handheld. I seem to remember that I spent a lot of time managing my inventory and playing with the alchemy pot.
12  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dragon Quest VIII on 3DS on: May 14, 2015, 11:25:48 AM
Oh man! I love DQVIII! I was unsure I'd ever play it again because it was such a long commitment, but now I might have to do it. New characters and new content on top sounds great.

Damn you, Square Enix!
13  Media / Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued on: May 14, 2015, 10:17:34 AM
I finished Saga of Hrafnkel Frey's Godi. It was short, and kind of messed up. Essentially, the bad guy won, which was kind of alarming. The moral of the story seemed to be that you shouldn't strive to be more than you're not or you'll get burned and humiliated by those with better social standings. Well, okay.

The library got in a copy of Wheel of Time #6, so I'm reading that now.
14  Media / Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued on: May 12, 2015, 08:05:38 AM
Well, I finished reading Dune. I thought it was just okay. I can see why it is an important step forward for sci-fi as a genre, but it hasn't aged well. The narrative is disjointed and the dialogue is stiff and awkward. I thought most of the characters were interesting at the very least with Jessica being my favorite. Try as I might though I couldn't find myself caring about Paul. His character is just all over the place. I loved the ecological science aspect of it, the relationship between the humans on Arrakis and the sandworms, and even some of the Bene Gesserit stuff. I just found that a lot of Herbert's cool ideas were never expounded on, and instead were merely alluded to in the vaguest terms (and yes, I did read the appendices). Given two hundred more pages for Herbert to actually explain some of his ideas and tighten up the narrative, I think it could have been a really magnificent book.

I won't be reading the rest, sorry DR.

I'm moving onto the Saga of Hrafnkel Frey's Godi. It's a short saga so it should only take me a day or two. After that, assuming it's available at the library, I'll be reading Wheel of Time #6.
15  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: May 06, 2015, 10:47:11 AM
I saw Avengers last night. I enjoyed it quite a bit, though I think I prefer the first Avengers. I thought the action was better, the story was less convoluted and had fewer plot holes, and the characters still had their own development. I feel like this one was a logical progression of the characters and the storyline Marvel built up in the Phase 2 movies. However, I think it suffered somewhat as a result of the larger story that is still building.

I still did really enjoy the Hulk vs Iron Man fight that the trailer teased. That was my favorite part of the movie.
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