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Have a great 2015 from all of us at RPGfan. :)
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1  Media / Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued on: Today at 08:22:31 AM
I'm still reading the books I mentioned in my last post, but I've also been reading Tarzan of the Apes on the side. I'm about 3/4 of the way through it now, and I don't think it's very good. It relies heavily on stereotypes, and though there was some criticism of late 19th/early 20th century society earlier in the book it has dissipated since then. Really it has mostly been Tarzan running around the jungle saving all the stupid white people from the savage black people, and wooing Jane with his primal manliness, which has made her fall madly in love. The prose reminds me of a manlier Uncle Tom's Cabin, but with more action.

Worst of all though is the fact Jane has a mammy whose only purposes are to faint when something happens and provide comedic relief when she wakes up. Seriously.
2  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: January 28, 2015, 10:34:40 AM
Alright, I just finished Chapter 8. I'm pretty sure that was where I quit last time, and...it was tough. Really tough. I had to restart it twice, both times because I lost Kent, so on the third try I took him out of the party and left it all up to Sain, who didn't get hit the entire fight despite being the vanguard. Wow. Why is Kent always built up as the better of the two again?

I don't know that he is built up as the better of the two. I typically find Sain is more to my liking than Kent because of his high strength growth. I'd have to check to be sure, but I think that Kent may have higher speed growth, which means he'll typically be attacking twice before Sain is able to do so. Most of (if not all) of the FE games have a red/green knight combo where one has better speed and skill (Kent in this case), and the other has better strength (Sain). So really it comes down to your own personal play style, as well as the whims of the RNG when they level up. For example, of my most recent playthroughs, Sain had overall better stats on the first, and Kent on the second. I've even met people who prefer Lowen because of his high defense growth that can make him into a pretty decent tank.

Just don't use Marcus when you get to Eliwood's story. For the love of everything sacred don't use him. He'll only gain 5 EXP for killing enemy units that would typically yield a lot more experience for the other members of your army, and his stat growths are abysmal.
3  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: January 27, 2015, 10:28:54 PM
I'm on Chapter 7 of Fire Emblem now. Getting close to where I quit before, and so far I'm convinced that I just had terrible luck last time...this is rediculously easy. I can't understate how long it's been since I have given a Strategy RPG this much attention, and while I had a couple close calls in chapter 5, otherwise I've just been sailing through this. The tutorial is better at explaining things than I remember, too. I know everything it's telling me already, mind you, but if I didn't, it shouldn't have been that hard to understand. I think I just didn't actually the text after a while...

EDIT: Just completed the ex mission after chapter 7. Some more close calls, but overall, I really liked that mission. Kept me on my toes.

The tutorial is really useful especially when you haven't played the game for a while. And even if you've played other Fire Emblem games and are familiar with the series, it is still useful since some of the mechanics vary from game to game as well as some of the classes using different weapons. The only thing I really dislike about it is when you're forced to use Wallace's Knight Crest. Oswin is the better general, but if you want to use Wallace it's best not to promote him in Lyn's mode.

Though it is also nice when you can play Lyn's "Hard Mode" without the tutorials.
4  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: January 27, 2015, 09:41:38 AM
My girlfriend and I have been playing Super Mario 3D World on the Wii U. We didn't hang out last night because of the snowstorm, so I went back to worlds 1-3 and got all of the stars that we'd missed when we went through them initially. I think we now have just over 80 stars. I'm finding it really, really enjoyable! It is very reminiscent of Super Mario Bros. 3 to me, and not just because of the Tanooki suit. What I loved about Mario 3 is that it gave you enough time to explore the stage and find its secrets, and the stages themselves were typically short to accomodate exploration as well. It's why I didn't like Super Mario World as much because SMW stages all seemed to have gimmicks and required a lot of precise timing to get through the stage. I like the more relaxed stages, and Super Mario 3D World does a good job of capturing that in its stages. There are a few that aren't like that, but by and large they are, and it makes me happy.
5  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: January 26, 2015, 01:03:07 PM
Damnit Jimmy, now you got me playing FE7. =P Just finished Chapter 4. I'm impressed how I haven't had to restart a map yet, considering how terrible I usually am at these games...

Mwahaha! My plan succeeded. Soon everyone will be playing FE7!
6  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: January 26, 2015, 11:09:49 AM
I finished up Hector mode in FE7. The final chapter was ridiculously easy this time around since almost all of my team was at least promoted level 12. Bartre actually reached level 20! He was a beast, especially with his support with Karla. Speaking of which, because I had to get Bartre and Karla's A support on the last map, I decided to try out using Eclipse on the last boss. So while Bartre and Karla were working on the support I was taking pot shots at the boss with Canas, and one of those pot shots hit for 60 damage! Oh, and Athos hit Nergal with a critical Aureola. So with all that, the final chapter was a piece of cake.

I think I'm done for now. Or if I start another game I won't play it as much as I have the past few weeks. I'll try to get back to Majora's Mask now.
7  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Movies that make you cry on: January 23, 2015, 11:40:52 AM
The only movie that made me cry the first time I watched it is Grave of the Fireflies.

Unfortunately, since my mom passed away a few years ago, I now can't watch movies where moms die without crying. Now I have to avoid even childhood classics that I love like Bambi and The Land Before Time. Finding Neverland is also one I can't watch any longer (not that I seek it out).

I actually cried during the opening scene of Guardians of the Galaxy. My mom passed away as a result of cancer, so that was way too close to home. I was sobbing in the theater. Luckily I was laughing and enjoying myself like everyone else not long afterward.
8  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: January 23, 2015, 10:28:48 AM
Made it to chapter 31 last night and stopped a few turns into the chapter. I forgot how much more experience there is in Hector's Mode. Most of my units are nearing promoted level 10 (so level 30 total), and a few are already past that. Namely Heath and Farina. Those two are unstoppable this game! I sent Heath solo with an iron sword to the fortress on the southeast side of chapter 31's map, and he decimated all of the enemy units single-handedly; he even took out the enemy's promoted units without a scratch. I guess that's to be expected somewhat since they're all axe users, but, my experience is when that many enemy's attack, at least a few of them are bound to score a hit. Farina's defense and strength isn't quite as high as Heath's, but she makes up for it in speed and resistance. I think the two of them could probably wipe out the whole map if I let them.

On top of that almost all of my units have A rank supports. I'm working on Bartre and Karla, and Lucius and Karel still, but that's it. The only unit I didn't raise to an A rank support was Eliwood as I only used a few of the characters he can support, and I chose to support them with others. Should be able to finish this play through this weekend.
9  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: January 22, 2015, 01:19:36 PM
I'm to chapter 29 of Hector Mode in FE7. Pretty much everyone is promoted now. The non-promoted units I'm using are Matthew (because I still need his steal ability) and Nino. I wasn't going to use Nino since I'd already levelled up Erk, but I decided to support her with Canas this time around so I'll get her up to speed on this chapter. I usually do this by plugging the mountain pass in the middle of the screen with Oswin and Bartre and stick Nino behind them. All the reinforcements get plugged up trying to get to Oswin and Bartre and then Nino pick them off safely from behind. Luckily there is a sniper in this level with a magic ring that I can steal, otherwise I'd be SOL in promoting her. This tactic is pretty time consuming, but I usually have her promoted, and with a few extra levels to boot by the end of the chapter.

I also dumped a few units that I had been using up until now. I already mentioned Erk, but I also dropped Sain because his stats were raped by the RNG (even his strength, which typically gets pretty high, is actually lower than Kent's), and Fiora. Fiora's stats are okay though not as good as the other pegasus knights, and I had supported her with Sain, so...
10  Media / Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued on: January 20, 2015, 01:33:25 PM
2015 is the year I re-read the entire Wheel of Time series.  Since it's finally ended, I feel like I need to revisit the whole thing to cap off that 20-year journey.

I'm currently twenty pages into "The Eye of the World".  This project is gonna extend into 2016 at this pace.

Haha! Yeah, good luck. Though I need a lot of luck too since I'm only to book five and I wanted to try and finish reading the series this year.

Anyway, I just finished reading The Mabinogion. It was kind of difficult because I've never read any Welsh myth/folklore before. Usually when I read something along these lines I'm at least somewhat familiar with it from other sources. I found the stories interesting, but not as compelling as similar stories from other cultures, though it is possible that is because of the translation. I did really love the story "Geraint Son of Erbin" though. That was the highlight, and seemed the most sophisticated of all the stories. "How Culhwch Won Olwen" was also pretty good, and reminded me of other classical, mythological tales. The rest, while still interesting, didn't quite compare to these two. Also, there is a point when the explanatory notes become more burdensome than they should be, and the edition I read was guilty of such burdens.

Next up is The Prose Edda.
11  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: January 20, 2015, 12:34:54 PM
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.

Wil actually works out pretty well for me most of the time. He isn't a great unit, and I don't think I've ever, ever used him in the last battle, but he's usually pretty solid. I prefer Rebecca as she seems to have better stats and growths overall (only kind of lacking in strength), but will use Wil until I have his supports all finished. I only used Erk this playthrough to help get to Kenneth's map of Pale Flower of Darkness. I guess I didn't need to use him since I didn't end up using Raven, but oh well. I at least got his support out of the way. I actually prefer Nino to Pent stat-wise. If you give her the Afa's Drop and get her promoted she can be quite powerful though you're right that there isn't much you can do with her staff rank.  I don't typically have much trouble with Sain, and I remember one game in particular where he maxed out his strength and had great defense and speed. Usually if I have trouble with the cavalier/paladin characters it is Kent (and I don't use Lowen or Marcus for obvious reasons).

Anyway, I'm to chapter 28 of Hector mode. I remembered that there are a lot of reaver/slayer weapons in this chapter and decided to wait a few days before I tackle it. Almost all of the characters that I'm using this playthrough are promoted. The only units not promoted are Rath, Farina, Priscilla, and Eliwood (obviously). I just need another Elysian Whip for Farina, and a Guiding Ring or Earth Seal for Priscilla. I don't have as much time to play this week, so it may take me a while before I get this playthrough finished. Not sure if I'll play through it one more time or not afterward. Maybe.
12  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: January 19, 2015, 03:12:57 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).
13  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: January 15, 2015, 08:20:34 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).

Good lord, yes. I hate Wallace's map. Thankfully, my lords usually have combined levels over 50 by that time so it's rare that I have to deal with it. Lloyd is just a dick. Heaven forbid a boss actually move in this game! Though I am going to try and go to Kenneth's map for the Pale Flower of Darkness chapter. I know that the magic snipers kind of suck, but I actually enjoy the challenge of it, and I find it less annoying than Jerme's map. But since I use the physical characters more often than the magic users, I usually end up with Jerme's chapter. So this time I'm only going to use Bartre and Raven as my physical units, and actually use Erk. I prefer Nino as my mage unit (who wouldn't?), but not using Erk makes it difficult for me to get to Kenneth's chapter.

Anyway, haven't played yet. Have to shave first. Sigh.
14  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: January 15, 2015, 12:16:38 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).

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.
15  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal on: January 15, 2015, 12:14:22 PM
I watched the two new-ish live action Rurouni Kenshin movies the past couple of days, Kyoto Inferno and The Legend Ends. I enjoyed the first one well enough, and so I had hopes that these two would be even better. It's obvious that they had a bigger budget to work with this time around because it shows, and both movies look great visually even if you don't get much sense of how big the cities are and I found I was mostly okay with the changes, particularly Kaoru's not acting like a slug when Kenshin leaves for Kyoto. Other changes were kind of odd, and a few of the plot occurrences seemed a little contrived. I found I didn't really care for Kyoto Inferno that much. Mostly because the action wasn't as fast, furious and fun as the first movie. I did really enjoy The Legend Ends, though that may be because a couple of the fights mirrored that of the first movie (particulary the fight between Sano and Anji).

I hope that they could potentially get the actor's together for a live action version of the Jinchu arc, but for now it seems that what we have might be all we can expect.
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