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Have a great 2015 from all of us at RPGfan. :)
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16  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.
17  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: New 3DS Fire Emblem If on: January 14, 2015, 04:46:33 PM
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.

I think this is partially because of the FE series' legacy of being unforgiving if you mess up. I actually like perma-death for that reason, because it means that I can't just charge through everything, lose a few characters for the rest of the chapter, and still succeed. Instead, I pick my battles and movements carefully and cautiously to avoid (as much as possible) perma-death. One of those choices being what you described in your first paragraph. As Aeolus pointed out, it's often not a good idea to have a DPS unit defending a line. You can unequip them, or equip a weaker weapon to prevent them from killing or getting killed by eight consecutive enemies.

Don't get me wrong, I totally understand your rant. There are still instances where I find myself in trouble because one of my units is strong and fast enough to take out eight units, but doesn't have good enough defense or evade to keep from getting killed by said units.

I guess what I like about perma-death is that I have to be meticulous. Sure, it can be frustrating and time consuming, but I find it much more rewarding when I finish a challenging map without having any units die. Sometimes it can take a few tries, but in the end the satisfaction makes up for it. At least for me.
18  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: New 3DS Fire Emblem If on: January 14, 2015, 11:19:36 AM
http://gematsu.com/2015/01/new-fire-emblem-announced-3ds

So this month's Nintendo Direct has come and gone and all that was announced was a new one of these.

Nice that they managed to include feet this time, but with the naming scheme, I'm thinking Atlus might have had a hand in this one.

I love how the first thing everyone is noticing is that the character models have feet this time around, haha!

Looks pretty cool. I really do enjoy Awakening a lot, but I'm hoping that they can tighten up the main narrative in this entry. DLC and being able to level grind is fine and all, but I'd like to see more actual story.
19  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: January 13, 2015, 09:35:24 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!
20  Media / Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued on: January 13, 2015, 10:44:15 AM
Don't forget there are two more Mistborn novels coming within the next year set in the Alloy of Law time period. And, hard as it is to leave Vin, Elend, and Sazed behind, the new characters are pretty awesome too. And I really enjoy Alloy of Law's setting. It's still familiar enough that you don't feel completely lost, but new and interesting enough to keep you hooked. Basically it's kind of like the first Mistborn trilogy meets the Old West, and it is pretty excellent.
21  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: January 13, 2015, 10:35:27 AM
I finally saw Interstellar. I know it got some mixed reviews here and there, but I for one really loved it despite the first hour being pretty slow-paced.
22  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: January 13, 2015, 10:30:42 AM
I'm to the last chapter of FE7. It has been a good game. I was able to get all of the characters of my army that I actually use promoted thank goodness and most are in excellent shape. And I've managed to get A supports with nearly all said characters with the only exceptions being Matthew and Wil. Still a great game. I'll probably play through Hector's story after I finish up this playthrough.

Its hard to have to go back to that old style of support building since some people took like 100 turns just to raise their level and holy crap at having to do that with all of Karla/Renault's last minute/second supports.

Tell me about it. Trying to build supports always ruins my tactical rating. When I don't really focus on the supports, I typically get a 4 or 5 star tactics rating, but when you're trying to get supports for some of the characters that take a long time and you have to waste turn after turn after turn trying to get them, well, it kind of sucks. My goal has always been to one day get all of the supports. We'll see if that ever happens.
23  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: January 12, 2015, 02:45:33 AM
I'm to the last chapter of FE7. It has been a good game. I was able to get all of the characters of my army that I actually use promoted thank goodness and most are in excellent shape. And I've managed to get A supports with nearly all said characters with the only exceptions being Matthew and Wil. Still a great game. I'll probably play through Hector's story after I finish up this playthrough.
24  Media / Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued on: January 07, 2015, 03:13:49 PM
Just about at the end of the third Mistborn book, Hero of Ages. So much is coming to a head! Information overload. It's exciting, and a great read, yet I'm already starting to feel that sense of sadness that comes when finishing a great series. I don't want it all to end. I'm going to miss these characters.


As Neal said, it does come to a great ending. And even though you miss those characters you can read Alloy of Law, which has new great characters to know and love! And two new Mistborn books featuring the Alloy of Law characters will be coming this year (October and then December, or possibly next January).

I went to a signing for Sanderson's latest book last night - Firefight, the sequel to Steelheart - and he seemed like a cool guy.  Even if he does teach at BYU. ;)  The thing was supposed to end at 10, but he stayed until he got everyone's books signed.  Well, I assume he did.  He got to me at 11:30, and there were only about a dozen people after me in line.

Oi...BYU, haha! That's cool that you got to go to a signing, Took! Reading about his book tour starting in Utah made me bummed for the first time in a long time that I don't live there anymore, and his tour isn't coming to NYC! Well, at least I was able to snag a signed copy of Elantris when at SLC airport when I was home for Thanksgiving.

I finished up The Bellmaker. It came to an exciting conclusion, and I was actually surprised. Also:

Finished the Redwall series and was generally satisfied in spite of the author's specism. Next I'll reread the Landover books by Terry Brooks, which I enjoyed even in my time of speed-reading through books.

At least in Bellmaker Jacques broke from the specism, if only a little bit. I just finished reading it and was more satisfied than I thought I'd be at the end as I found it to be a bit of a slog for 200 pages or so.

Now I'll finish reading The Mabinogion, and after that I'll be reading The Prose Edda.
25  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: January 07, 2015, 03:01:36 PM
The first US Fire Emblem for GBA (aka FE:7, aka Rekka no Ken) is on Wii U Virtual Console. My life has come to a screeching halt as a result. It is still my favorite US Fire Emblem with Path of Radiance being a close second. I do really enjoy Awakening, but I felt that characters and story kind of suffered a bit due to all the side content and customization options.

Anyway, I've made it to Chapter 16x over the past couple of days. I remember that I had a strategy of getting through this level by actually going on the attack rather than running up the side, but it has been 5 or 6 years since my last play through so I'm kind of rusty on how I used to do that. Though I guess that the save state/restore point option will probably make figuring it out again a lot easier than it used to be (yay!). My army is getting to that point where the characters are just on the verge of becoming awesome. One of my favorite aspects of the FE games is watching the characters grow from pathetic weaklings into hardcore badasses. And the GBA games still have the best battle animations.

The graphics have aged a little roughly, but I think it is mostly because of HD screens. The art stills that used to look really cool look kind of muddled now. Oh well.

The only downside is that I found last night that I'm actually missing the portability of playing it on GBA. When I turned it off last night I was really bummed that I wouldn't be able to take it on the subway to work this morning. Even playing at home is somewhat hampered by the fact that the Wii U controller's charge doesn't last long (Okay, maybe it lasts 4 to 5 hours, and I shouldn't be playing that long anyway. I just can't help myself though!). It's not quite as easy to just plug it in like the good ol' GBA SP.

I'll get back to Majora's Mask eventually.

Ah yes, FE7. A game that still did things with sidequests and character recruitments, even if it took forever and a day for it to start letting you mess around with anything above Steel in quality and the Legendaries suck (excluding Luna which might as well be a Legendary given how ridiculous it is in this game).

Seriously. Luna makes the game kind of broken. I had one play through where Canas took out both Nergal and the last boss on his own because of Luna. I'm okay with the legendary weapons. I don't think they're awful, but they aren't great either. It is kind of irksome that you don't get most of them until THE LAST MAP though.

The only thing Sol Katti has going for it is invoking the Gainax Bounce in Lyn. Beyond that, its a glorified Steel Blade (+1 Mt, +5 Res, +30 Hit and +25% crit; which would be nice if Lyn had actually gotten the Swordmaster's Crit boost instead of Bows) but is otherwise the second heaviest sword in the game). And the one enemy its designed to wreck will be able to shrug off all but 4 points of unassisted (i.e. not including Str or Supports) damage due to the effective damage bonus being nerfed down to x2 instead of x3 like it normally is (and don't expect too many crits either since its Luck is enough to negate all but 1% of unassisted (i.e. not including Skl or Supports) Crit.

The only Legendary in the series crappier than the Sol Katti is FE9's Double Bow (while being able to target 4 tiles away is a neat novelty, its shit Mt (even with its Str +3 bonus) and the fact that it can only ever strike at 4 range makes it a complete joke). Even the Mani Katti is better than it purely for its availability (the fact that does effective damage against more than one enemy in the game, let alone having comparable Mt and Crit% or the simple fact that it doesn't drop Lyn's Spd at all, never mind the 8 point Spd loss that the Sol Katti inflicts (that's over a quarter of Lyn's total Spd from her cap)). Hell, even Durandal, which suffers from a number of similar issues, is better than the Sol Katti since Eliwood only takes a whopping 7 point loss to Spd (despite being the heaviest sword in the game and 2 points heavier than the Sol Katti) for a far more suitably powerful weapon (17 Mt before the +5 Str boost which puts it above even the Regal Blade as the game's most powerful sword, even if its almost twice as heavy).

Also, despite the plot saying that you have the main lord's legendary from the stage they promote on, you don't actually get to use it until the Final Chapter when Athos hands them out along with packing his own Forblaze and Aureola for somebody to use on Nergal. The Mani Katti is otherwise the closest thing to a Legendary prior to then as its technically a legendary sword. Although, I guess it doesn't help that technically you only really get 4 Legendaries in Durandal, Armadas, Forblaze and Aureola since the other FE6 legendaries are not appearing in this game. The rest are a bunch of random S-tier weapons that don't even provide any sort of stat boost.

It was also disappointing that Durandal and Armads are supposed to be "The Burning Blade" and "The Thunder Axe," yet neither of them display any elemental properties like The Sword of Seals does in FE6. I mean, I guess since they don't have any elemental properties in FE6 they could have just kept them that way in FE7 for consistency, but why call a game "The Burning Blade" if the blade doesn't burn?

Oh well. Still my favorite domestic Fire Emblem game despite some of the flaws.

Anyway, I'm to chapter 20. Lyn and Oswin are both nearly ready to promote while most of the rest of my army is in the level 13 range. Sadly I may have to drop Kent out of the army as he has been RNG raped the whole game. It's not the first time I've played through the game and he's been shafted by the RNG, so I wasn't all that surprised or annoyed. Just a little bummed that I've invested so much experience into him only for him to have less skill than Sain, which is pretty nuts.
26  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: January 06, 2015, 10:55:13 AM
The first US Fire Emblem for GBA (aka FE:7, aka Rekka no Ken) is on Wii U Virtual Console. My life has come to a screeching halt as a result. It is still my favorite US Fire Emblem with Path of Radiance being a close second. I do really enjoy Awakening, but I felt that characters and story kind of suffered a bit due to all the side content and customization options.

Anyway, I've made it to Chapter 16x over the past couple of days. I remember that I had a strategy of getting through this level by actually going on the attack rather than running up the side, but it has been 5 or 6 years since my last play through so I'm kind of rusty on how I used to do that. Though I guess that the save state/restore point option will probably make figuring it out again a lot easier than it used to be (yay!). My army is getting to that point where the characters are just on the verge of becoming awesome. One of my favorite aspects of the FE games is watching the characters grow from pathetic weaklings into hardcore badasses. And the GBA games still have the best battle animations.

The graphics have aged a little roughly, but I think it is mostly because of HD screens. The art stills that used to look really cool look kind of muddled now. Oh well.

The only downside is that I found last night that I'm actually missing the portability of playing it on GBA. When I turned it off last night I was really bummed that I wouldn't be able to take it on the subway to work this morning. Even playing at home is somewhat hampered by the fact that the Wii U controller's charge doesn't last long (Okay, maybe it lasts 4 to 5 hours, and I shouldn't be playing that long anyway. I just can't help myself though!). It's not quite as easy to just plug it in like the good ol' GBA SP.

I'll get back to Majora's Mask eventually.

Ah yes, FE7. A game that still did things with sidequests and character recruitments, even if it took forever and a day for it to start letting you mess around with anything above Steel in quality and the Legendaries suck (excluding Luna which might as well be a Legendary given how ridiculous it is in this game).

Seriously. Luna makes the game kind of broken. I had one play through where Canas took out both Nergal and the last boss on his own because of Luna. I'm okay with the legendary weapons. I don't think they're awful, but they aren't great either. It is kind of irksome that you don't get most of them until THE LAST MAP though.
27  Media / Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued on: January 05, 2015, 01:46:09 PM
I retrieved The Bellmaker from church yesterday and so I'll finish that and put The Mabinogion on hold until I get it finished.

My girlfriend wanted to read Life of Pi, so we started reading it today. I've been meaning to get to this book for years so I'm glad to finally be reading it.
28  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal on: January 05, 2015, 01:42:09 PM
Okay finished Slam Dunk manga. Those last game feels, man. I'll never forget the genius basketman, Sakuragi. One of my favorite male characters for sure. I really feel I can relive and maybe in someways expand my appreciation towards these titles I watched as anime now in manga form. Next one up is Kenshin manga. It's already giving me some good vibes. I recall I was a bit iffy when I watched the anime back in the day, expecting slaughter, but now that I see it as the "Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story" instead of DEATH FRENZY, it's making me feel... happy. Kind of like this piece of music from the ost: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Jl4dQ6qRAE

I'm having an awfully good compatibility with jump manga these days.

I absolutely love both Slam Dunk and Kenshin. I think you'll really like the Kenshin manga. I think Kenshin is one of the most complex characters I've come across in anime/manga because of his contradictory character traits. You really see him grow as a character as he comes to terms with his past, and the ending is extremely satisfying. Where it seems a lot of series have rushed endings crammed into about 20 pages, Kenshin ends with a strong sense of closure and cohesion.

Only the second season of the Kenshin anime series and the Trust and Betrayal OVAs are worth watching if you're inclined to watch the anime. Just be sure you finish reading the series before watching Trust and Betrayal because it could spoil everything if you watch it too soon.

Ah! Now I want to read Slam Dunk and Kenshin again!
29  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: January 05, 2015, 01:30:07 PM
The first US Fire Emblem for GBA (aka FE:7, aka Rekka no Ken) is on Wii U Virtual Console. My life has come to a screeching halt as a result. It is still my favorite US Fire Emblem with Path of Radiance being a close second. I do really enjoy Awakening, but I felt that characters and story kind of suffered a bit due to all the side content and customization options.

Anyway, I've made it to Chapter 16x over the past couple of days. I remember that I had a strategy of getting through this level by actually going on the attack rather than running up the side, but it has been 5 or 6 years since my last play through so I'm kind of rusty on how I used to do that. Though I guess that the save state/restore point option will probably make figuring it out again a lot easier than it used to be (yay!). My army is getting to that point where the characters are just on the verge of becoming awesome. One of my favorite aspects of the FE games is watching the characters grow from pathetic weaklings into hardcore badasses. And the GBA games still have the best battle animations.

The graphics have aged a little roughly, but I think it is mostly because of HD screens. The art stills that used to look really cool look kind of muddled now. Oh well.

The only downside is that I found last night that I'm actually missing the portability of playing it on GBA. When I turned it off last night I was really bummed that I wouldn't be able to take it on the subway to work this morning. Even playing at home is somewhat hampered by the fact that the Wii U controller's charge doesn't last long (Okay, maybe it lasts 4 to 5 hours, and I shouldn't be playing that long anyway. I just can't help myself though!). It's not quite as easy to just plug it in like the good ol' GBA SP.

I'll get back to Majora's Mask eventually.
30  Media / Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued on: December 22, 2014, 12:55:05 PM
I too finished up my reread of The Hobbit today. And I pretty much agree with everything Der Jermeister said in the post above. Will probably see the third movie over the holidays.

I left The Bellmaker at my church yesterday, and I'm too lazy to go pick it up. I'll get it when I'm back from the holidays. In the meantime, I decided to read The Mabinogion, a bunch of old Welsh stories, myths, folktales, and etc.
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