Month: September 2018

Marketing with Brand Recognition

Marketing with Brand Recognition

I tried Super Mario Cereal for the first time this morning.

Honestly? Was not a huge fan of it.

For those who don’t know, this stuff was a special tie-in breakfast item for the red plumber’s most recent adventure, Super Mario Odyssey. The box itself acts as an amiibo that gives Mario some bonus collectibles like coins or hearts in-game, though I haven’t used that particular functionality yet.

What I have done is eat the cereal — a combination of little grain stars and marshmallows shaped like Mario power-ups. It’s essentially rebranded Lucky Charms, which makes sense considering it’s a Kellogg’s cereal.

Even though Lucky Charms are a General Mills brand. So I guess it’s more like a competing Lucky Charms?

But I digress.

While I’ll mostly stay away from that cliché of the cereal not looking like it does on the box, the grain cereal bits actually stuck out in that regard for me. Instead of being fat little golden stars like you might see in Super Mario 64, the stars in this cereal are fine pointed like an asterisk.

It’s a bit un-Mario in appearance, but also I get the sense that the quality of the cereal itself would have been better if it were fatter. Because in it’s current state, this cereal is very granular and has some hard-to-chew shell bits in it.

The marshmallows are fine in their own right. It’s kind of hard to make a bad breakfast cereal marshmallow I suppose, though if I were to nitpick it did seem like each different kind of mallow tasted the same. Kind of like raspberry oddly enough, and I might have appreciated more of a variety there.

This little post has to be pretty weird for you all though, right? Because who am I to just be reviewing cereals out of the blue?

It’s not like I proclaim to have an expertise in cereology.

Which I thought was a term I made up until I saw it didn’t come back as misspelled and discovered cereology is the study of crop circles. Consider that my fun fact of the day for all of you linguists out there.

Frankly I wanted to talk about this cereal less for its merits as a cereal and more for its strange position as a marketing tool, because that’s something that I was thinking about while eating it.

I just figured it would make sense to start with a short discourse on my opinions of it as a tangible object before going into more strange psychological places.

See, in my house groceries are a pretty big topic of forethought. While there are impulse purchases on occasion upon seeing something interesting during a trip to the grocery store, more often than not we decide what we need before going.

Usually those purchases fill one of three goals:

  1. Replacing a commonly used item for the week, such as milk.
  2. Gathering more odd ingredients for a specific meal.
  3. Fulfilling some kind of craving.

Because of those general categories most food items fit into, a lot of the ideas behind shopping for specific items comes from top-down processing. Either we know which brand we want because we’ve used it before, or we’ve heard good things about that brand compared to others and decide to go down that route as a result.

When it came to the Super Mario Cereal, however, there wasn’t too much of that.

It’s very much an impulse buy despite the fact that (I at least) had heard of it before, because I never had the desire to buy it. So I never looked into it enough to garner an opinion on how it would be ahead of time.

Yet most items that we haven’t done at least some thinking about ahead of time wouldn’t usually get this kind of immediate pass. I’m willing to bet that 99 percent of the reason for the exception here is because of the Mario branding.

Let’s be honest, everyone knows who Mario is. People who don’t play video games know who Mario is. He’s that famous.

But I love video games. Mario makes up a pretty large percentage of the reason why.

So my family typically knows to buy video game-related things when we see it. If for no other reason than the novelty of the thing being attractive and fun.

I can’t imagine I’m the only video game lover that has instilled that kind of sentiment in his family. I’m willing to bet it’s exactly that kind of sentimentality which drives the (presumed) success of this kind of marketing project.

We buy Super Mario Cereal for the novelty. Because the cereal itself isn’t quite as super as it’s mascot would lead one to believe.

That, in its essence, is the brilliance of the marketing.

But that’s just my opinion on bizarre marketing pushes based on sentimentality and brand recognition. Let me know what you think about the topic below, and if you’ve encountered an item you’ve bought almost purely due to the brand recognition rather than any knowledge about it.

Also, if you really like the Super Mario Cereal, I suppose you can tear me down about that somewhere on the Internet as well. I won’t judge.

Hunting while Bedridden

I didn’t exactly have any grandiose plans for a blog post today in the first place, but I wouldn’t expect this one to be super long or involved anymore if I were you.

See, I spent most of the day at home today, but a lot of it was while indisposed. Cleaning the house and sleeping primarily.

Sleeping a lot. I mentioned starting to be sick during my Nintendo Direct post the other day, and since then it hasn’t exactly gone away. If anything it’s shifted from being more of a stomach bug to a head cold, and I’ve been laying around coughing with a sore throat for hours.

Fun stuff.

As a result, earlier I laid down to take a two, maybe two-and-a-half hour nap. Wound up sleeping closer to five hours.

Lost a hell of a lot of time to that, which is why I’m just kind of making it up as I go along now.

Figured if I was going to talk about anything, it would be the only not sick-related thing I did: Playing some Monster Hunter.

Because what else do you do when you’re laying down but not sleeping yet.

I’ve been having a blast with the game so far, and having to play it around school starting up actually made it more feasible to spread the content around. There’s a whole lot of it, and I’m maybe just finishing up the first third of the game — if you split it between low-rank, high-rank and G-rank hunting.

In celebration of finally breaking into high-rank, I figure why not share this cool new armor set I finished? In part because I honestly don’t use my Switch photo taking ability enough.

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This cool ninja outfit is the “Yukumo Sky” armor. Named after the Yukumo Region and made with hardwood from the nearby Misty Peak, this sweet gear has been outfitted with a number of decorations so that wearing it grants me ~40 percent higher critical hit chance and longer invulnerability periods when dodge rolling.

Paired with the Hidden Harmonic, a Hunting Horn made from the elusive Nargacuga, I have 70 percent higher critical hit rates and songs that provide Attack, Defense and Health buffs to my allies.

It’s one of my favorite combinations so far, a straight upgrade from the critical hit-boosting Shogun Ceanataur armor I used this horn with previously.

This kind of equipment set construction is arguably my favorite part of Monster Hunter, because it’s so much fun to beat down an increasingly large collection of complex monsters to see what sort of cool stuff can be done with their armor pieces.

However, another one of my favorite things in Generations Ultimate is just how darn pretty it looks, especially coming off of the 3DS generation.

I take some glamour shots once in a while, check some of them out:

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Here’s my Ceanataur armor, by the way. Crab boi.

There’s so many opportunities to do this and I love it.

Really I love this game a lot so far. After pouring so many hours into Generations on the 3DS, it’s cool seeing all of the new stuff that has been added into this version. I’m about three weeks in and still unlocking new locales.

It’s just sweet.

But that’s honestly about all I can think to write right now, because I’m still dying. Honestly I just wanted to get something out on my blog today.

So hopefully you enjoyed this goofy little thing. Maybe I’ll eventually come around to making more professional equipment set display posts one of these days.

If so, you can thank this post for being a trendsetter.

 

The Final Fate of Book II

The Final Fate of Book II

I’m kind of late in the day getting this post out, but this time it isn’t so much from lack of interest as it is from other life obligations.

Led my first Gladeo meeting this morning, so I had to go to bed a bit early to make sure I was prepared.

It went pretty well in my opinion, though I don’t know if it’s faux pas to talk about how good I did that way, so I’ll leave it at that.

After all we got some more FE babies to chat about today, and this time they’re actually a bunch of characters I care about!

Let’s talk about them.


OpheliaDramatic Heroine

Skill set:

  • Missiletainn (Might = 14, Range = 2)
    • Accelerates Special Attack trigger (cooldown -1). At the start of turn 1, grants Special Attack cooldown -1 for each magic ally on your team, including unit.
  • Rally Up Attack (Range = 1)
    • Grants Attack +6 to target ally and allies within two spaces of target, excluding this unit, for one turn.
  • Blazing Light (Cooldown = 4)
    • Before combat this unit initiates, foes in an area near target take damage equal to 1.5 times (unit’s Attack minus foe’s Defense or Resistance).
  • Sturdy Blow (A Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Attack and Defense +4 during combat.
  • Chill Resistance (B Skill)
    • At start of turn, inflicts Resistance -7 on foe with the highest Resistance through its next action.

Analysis:

Ophelia stands out pretty well on her own for just being an amazing character. As Odom’s daughter, her in-game posture and overly fantastical dialogue are just great. As a unit in FEH, however, she suffers from having to fit into a blue tome pool that’s already fantastic. Thanks to her special Missiletainn spell and new Assist skill, she does actually present an interesting opportunity to create a mage-only team that’s glued together by her specialty. It’s something I’m actually interested in trying, so she’s pretty cool for that as well.


NinaEye Spy

Skill set:

  • Shining Bow (Might = 12, Range = 2)
    • Effective against flying foes. If foe’s Defense (greater than or equal to) foe’s Resistance +5, deals +7 damage.
  • Draw Back (Range = 1)
    • Unit moves one space away from target ally. Ally moves to unit’s previous space.
  • Moonbow (Cooldown = 2)
    • Treats foe’s Defense/Resistance as If reduced by 30 percent during combat.
  • Speed/Resistance Link (B Skill)
    • If a Movement Assist Skill is used by unit or targets unit, grants Speed and Resistance +6 to both units for one turn.
  • Bow Valor (C Skill)
    • While unit lives, all bow allies on team get 2x Skill Points (only highest value applies, does not stack).

Analysis:

Despite being one of my favorite child units from Fates, Nina’s base kit in FEH is a little underwhelming. Her bow is very situational, and even if Draw Back/Link is a great combination who knows how they’ll play well together with the base weapon.

Plus that C Skill is outright useless unless you’re doing very specific grinding.

So with some investment Nina could be a solid unit, but I’m more interested in her for her personality than her viability in all honesty.


SilasLoyal Knight

Skill set:

  • Slaying Spear (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • Effective against armored foes.
  • Reposition (Range = 1)
    • Target ally moves to opposite side of unit.
  • Steady Stance (A Skill)
    • If foe initiates combat, grants Defense +6 during combat.
  • Even Defense Wave (C Skill)
    • At start of even-numbered turns, grants Defense +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent).

Analysis:

Out of all the units on this banner, Silas is kind of the odd man out. Literally in that he’s the only man in the group, but also just in that the rest of the banner is child units and Flora, who’s kind of a weird special case.

But he’s a cool character as well, so I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

That said, I’m least interested in summoning Silas due to how generally uninteresting his basic skill set is. Like yeah he’s a good defensive lance cavalry, but that’s kind of it.

Ophelia certainly outclasses him in intrigue on the blue stones, and it’s a shame that they’re stuck in there together. Just begging to cuck some poor player out of their orbs.


FloraCold as Ice

Skill set:

  • Hoarfrost Knife (Might = 14, Range = 2)
    • Accelerates Special Attack cooldown (-1). If unit initiates combat and foe uses a sword, lance, axe or dragonstone, grants Defense +20 during combat, and if foe can counter, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack. After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Defense and Resistance -7 on target and foes within two spaces of target through their next actions.
  • Iceberg (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts damage dealt by 50 percent of unit’s Resistance.
  • Attack/Resistance Solo (A Skill)
    • If unit is not adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Resistance +6 during combat.
  • Quick Riposte (B Skill)
    • If unit’s Health (greater than or equal to) 70 percent and foe initiates combat, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack.
  • Defense Plot (C Skill)
    • At start of turn, inflicts Defense -5 on foes in cardinal directions with Resistance < unit’s Resistance through their next actions.

Analysis:

Now Flora. Is a very interesting unit, to say the least.

She has easily the longest weapon description in the game, which is hilarious by itself until you consider the fact that it’s kind of a broken weapon. +20 Defense on a unit that already has stellar Resistance is kind of crazy. Combined with her other skills, she becomes a walking wall who runs into enemy territory on her own, which is an intriguing play style.

Even though I feel like Close Counter would be good on her but that would conflict with the new Solo skill she boasts.

On top of that, she’s also the first colored dagger unit to be in our primary, not special event-specific summoning pool. So that’s kind of awesome.

Good on you for standing our Flora. As my secondary Fates waifu I’m proud of you.


I’ve come to find that it’s a bit silly to do the charade of “here’s what I want,” and “let’s see how lucky I am” leading into my summoning luck. Because let’s break the fourth wall here, I write all of these well after experiencing the story mode and doing my initial summons.

So I’m just going to cut to the chase. Got myself two of the three characters I actually care about already:

Ophelia here is totally neutral in terms of stats, and Flora has a Speed boon. Can’t really complain either way!

The only person of interest I’m currently missing is Nina, as Silas — for as good a character as he is — doesn’t seem super great. Plus, I’m of the camp currently assuming he’ll be demoted to four star status after this banner passes.

So there’ll be time for him.

But I would still like to have Nina. If for no other reason than the fact that I can make the perfect ship with Soleil that Fates never allowed.

Like come on IS, making Soleil only able to have a lesbian relationship with Corrin was pretty dumb. Soleil and Nina were meant to be together.

But I digress.

After all, cliché transition about getting orbs from the story mode to summon.

Except this time, the story of Book II is actually concluding with this installment. So we have an extra special layer of intrigue!


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It’s a bit odd how quickly IS decided to push through the end of this story. Typically we have to wait until the previous banner with a main story tie-in ends before getting the next one, but this time they decided to throw it in after the Brave Heroes banner cycled out — despite our last Genealogy banner still being available.

I suppose I can’t complain though. I’ve been looking forward to see how this wraps up after all.

Turns out they decided to take a much darker approach than I would have expected.

See it all begins with King Surtr torturing his daughter Laevatein because of how often she’s failed to stop the Order of Heroes now that they’re approaching his sacred ritual temple.

Her sister, Laegjarn, offers herself as a surrogate to take on the power of Múspell’s legendary dragon, a power they all know kills whoever takes it on.

As soon as the Order arrives thanks to the map Loki gave them at the end of the last chapter, they encounter Laegjarn for one final fight.

Once defeated, she dies. But not before begging the Order — and Fjorm in particular, who she’d bonded with earlier on — to protect her younger sister.

There’s also this kind of morbid part where she comments that her eyes have burned out her skull?

I’m not entirely sure whether that’s literal, but either way it’s pretty intense for a gotcha mobile game.

Oh, and let’s not forget, there’s also that cliché “could we have been friends in another circumstance” speech she gives before passing on.

It’s an emotional scene and everything… But that emotion is kind of undermined by the fact that some data miners found out the Múspell family members are going to be recruitable units eventually.

So the whole exchange just wound up being kind of hilarious in meta hindsight. Everyone assumed we’d be getting her after this chapter… But then she died.

I think that’s funny, at least.

Anyway, as the Order moves on we get to watch a B plot unfold with Veronica and Ylgr stuck in a jail cell together.

It’s kind of fun seeing Ylgr’s more immature personality bounce off of Veronica’s cold, gruff isolationist sentimentality.

But that’s quickly broken off when Helbindi comes to save the two by getting them out. He plays it off as just doing it because, but those of us with context clues know he sees Ylgr as a surrogate for his own sister who was just recently slaughtered by Surtr.

Long story short, Surtr isn’t a great dude.

We get even more evidence of that in the very next scene when Surtr actually shows up after Helbindi sends the girls off on their own.

And then he dies. So that’s 2/3 down.

As Veronica and Ylgr keep running through the maze of a temple, they eventually run into Laevatein, who’s pretty upfront with the fact that she knows how shitty her father is but also doesn’t want him to kill her.

So.

Yeah. Shout out to daddy issues? I guess.

But then, completely out of the blue, Bruno finally makes an appearance around the same time that the Order converges:

It was pointed out to me that this is actually the first time Bruno has shown up on-screen this entire Book, so it’s a bit of a deus ex machina to save Veronica.

Especially considering he has maybe… Two lines? For the entire chapter.

But hey, he’s here. That’s just kinda cool by itself.

With all of her rivals gathered in one place, Laevatein fights and then prepares to do the same blood ritual her sister did upon losing as a last-ditch effort.

But Fjorm stops her, letting her know that Laegjarn’s last wish was that she be safe and protected.

It’s actually a scene that’s very reminiscent of the end of Fates in the Birthright and Conquest paths, ironically enough.

Laevatein decides to live on and escape, that way she can take over her father’s empire once he’s defeated so she can make a much more peaceful regime.

I like the idea of her becoming the ruler a lot, but I’m a bit disappointed that they don’t play with it too much here. This is actually about the last time we see Laevatein for now, so outside of a reference to her at the end it’s sort of the end of her arc.

But hey, at least she didn’t die.

Oh yeah, also. We get official confirmation that Xander is fine after Veronica was taken away.

It’s a bit silly that they break away for a moment to let us know about this, but I do really appreciate the closure it provides.

The scene makes for a good bit of lightheartedness before jumping straight into the final battle.

Fjorm has a great moment of calling him out on his shit:

Then the duel begins.

It’s actually a relatively hard fight even on the easy difficulty, so I’ll give IS some credit for making a nice final boss.

But once he’s defeated, he is officially killed by those he’s scorned.

From there we enter an epilogue that wraps everything up in a… Kind of sloppy bow.

As I mentioned, it’s implied that Laevatein takes over Múspell, but we never actually see her again.

Veronica and Bruno just disappear off on their own to do whatever it is they’re doing, probably setting up the story of Book III.

Hríd and Ylgr are set to go back to Nifl, rebuild and have the older brother take over as King in the memory of Gunnthrá and their mother.

However, Fjorm decides to stay with the Order. Apparently, it’s only just now revealed that taking part in the Rite of Frost will lead to her dying, so as she says:

She’ll be staying with you until her inevitable death, apparently.

Which again is somewhat morbid to think about… Until you conflate it with video game mechanics and realize the fact that she’s on your team at all means she’ll live forever.

So.

Yeah. Good emotional punch without too much follow-through.

And that’s all for Book II. After probably close to a year’s worth of development, this arc in Fire Emblem Heroes history is finally over.

As I stated a number of times during the early chapters, I really enjoyed watching a sort of small mobile game take on an overarching tale with interesting plotting and characters… Even when it got kind of goofy.

At the end I can pretty confidently say that it was worth following. So, I’m looking forward to seeing where the team goes with Book III!


That’s really about all I have to say about the end of the story and these new heroes.

I tried something a bit different with this post, trimming down on the wordiness in the character section and trying to be a little less picture-heavy in the story section. I think together those changes might make these posts a bit easier to put together and a little shorter, with more opportunities to use my own voice on them.

So let me know what you think about this style in the comments, when you’re also telling me about your thoughts on the new heroes and all those other calls to action I like throwing in.

I know nobody ever does them but hey. I like to leave open the opportunity.

My Thoughts on the September 13, 2018 Nintendo Direct

My Thoughts on the September 13, 2018 Nintendo Direct

I’m not feeling too great right now.

A bit of an unconventional way to start a post that’s just going to be talking Nintendo news for a little while, but I figured I would put it out there since it’s probably going to effect the way I’m doing this.

See I could go into all about how today was a bit of a wash when I drove out to Fullerton only for my one class to get cut short, making me spend more time in the car than at school… But none of that really matters right now. All that really matters is the fact that I felt like I had to puke all the way home, and am now spending my time running back-and-forth to the bathroom.

Yet I promised I would talk about the Nintendo Direct today. So I’m still going to do it.

I’m just going to structure it a little bit differently, because… Well… It’s a 40-minute long video. I’m going to watch it, and as I do talk about my thoughts on some of the big things that are announced.

To be honest I’m a bit surprised they had so much to talk about considering the last Direct was… What, last month maybe? But those good old boys in Nintendo are really cranking it out for the Switch it seems.

So without further adieu, let’s get into some highlights.


Luigi’s Mansion 3

Right off the bat Nintendo started with a bit of a surprise entry. It seems almost serendipitous that Luigi blew up on Twitter during the last Direct for dying in the Castlevania Smash trailer only to show up now with a brand new game in the — apparently long-standing — series of Luigi’s Mansion games.

There isn’t too much to say about the game itself considering we only got a 30-second trailer with a working title, but for all intents and purposes it seems like this new entry will be much closer to Dark Moon than the original GameCube version.

I did enjoy that game, but not quite as much as the original. It sort of swapped out the hyper-creepy atmosphere for a more video game-y approach of hunting monsters en-masse and solving puzzles.

So I might buy this one or I might not. Depends on what we get shown later on.

But I’m glad to see our green hat friend is alive and well!


3DS Remakes

In the near future, we’re getting Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story and Luigi’s Mansion remade on the 3DS.

From what I’m aware we’ve heard various and sundry bits about the three in the past, but having them all together with little trailers was nice.

  • Epic Yarn is a game I never played, and despite enjoying the Game Grump’s let’s play of it, I don’t necessarily have a huge desire to play it for myself. But adding new game modes is a nice touch.
  • I was hyped as hell when Superstar Saga was given a remake, but Bowser’s Inside Story never clicked quite as well with me. It’s a fun game, but I’ve found I haven’t been able to play through it subsequent times. Honestly, I’m not sure a graphical rehash (which frankly doesn’t look super different than the original game imo) or a return to the… Army command side-story (which I’ve expressed distain for as the worst part of SS in the past) are going to sell me on it again.
  • As I just mentioned, I like the OG Luigi’s Mansion better than the sequel, so I’m looking forward to seeing that one come back on the 3DS — with co-op and amiibo support to boot. Seriously, who can complain with download play features? Whether it’ll be worth the money with everything else coming out soon is a discussion I’ll have with myself later.

Couldn’t really bring myself to care about Yo-Kai Watch. Like it looks pretty and everything, but I haven’t gotten into that particular series just yet.

So that’s about all for the 3DS here. A bunch of good games that I’m just not particularly interested in right now.


Mega Man 11

I skipped over Splatoon 2 Ver. 4 because, in spite of the weird anime intro they did and the fact that I’m glad the game is still getting content, I’m just not that into it right now.

Which is a pattern so far I know, but shush.

Instead I’ll talk about the triumphant return of Mega Man. While the character model for Mega Man himself does remind me a bit too much of a certain… Failed successor to the throne… I can’t say the game doesn’t look gorgeous. Because it does.

While I’ve watched just about all of the original games get played through online, I’ve never personally played a Mega Man game. I think this might be a good opportunity to, because the game looks super fun.

I’ve seen Arin play that demo. It looks super fun. That’s all I’m saying.

If it’s a $60 I don’t know if I’ll bite, but the game seems like it might just be enough of a callback experience game that it could be cheaper.

In that case I’ll definitely get my hands on it.


New Super Mario Bros. U & Katamari Damacy

I was going to skip over NSMBU getting ported onto the Switch because that seems like such a minor thing.

But then they announced that you can play as Toadette.

And apparently.

When you get a mushroom as Toadette.

She turns into Princess Peach.

I’m really not sure what kind of drugs these guys were on when that decision was made, but god bless you all. Because that’s just about the damn weirdest thing I’ve ever seen.

Arguably more important on the rerelease train was Katamary Damacy, which is being remastered for the Switch.

That’s another game I’ve had a passing interest in for some time, but might not get it due to the glut of games coming in the near future. So it’s cool, but a bit out of my realm at the moment.


Pokémon Let’s Go

It’s no secret that I’m hyped as hell for this game. However, I’ve been a little behind in terms of talking about all the little updates that get put online around here.

The trailer that was put into this Direct kind go succinctly summed it all up though, so that was cool!

First and foremost, the new Erika design looks cute. Just saying.

More importantly are the ‘Secret Techniques,’ or HM supplements in layman speak.

See Game Freak must have learned a lot from Sun and Moon about how much we all hate needing to have HM slaves in-game. So they’ve relegated all of those pesky environmental moves into techniques that Pikachu or Eevee can use independently.

They cut the trees.

They get a surfboard so you can swim.

They… Attach balloons to your bike so you can fly?

Alright some of them are a little weirder than others, but I appreciate the vague references to surfing and flying Pikachu.

Either way I’m still very much looking forward to consuming all of this game. All of it.


Diablo 3

I have no particular interest in Diablo 3 being ported to the Switch.

I just wanted to say I was shook when the narrator guy essentially told everyone they could go to hell. In a Nintendo promotional video.

Enough said.

Also I’m super excited for Super Mario Party because it looks great, but there wasn’t really enough to justify a full separate segment on it. So just know… I’m down to party, Nintendo.


Town

A non-Pokémon Game Freak-developed RPG?

On my Nintendo Switch?

Obviously Town appears to be relatively early into development due to it’s working title and unclear release date… But considering Pokémon is my favorite game series ever, I’m willing to give this a shot right off the bat.

The idea of an RPG all taking place in one village is interesting, and I’m curious to see how they’ll go about it.

So congrats Town, you just hit my radar.


Yoshi’s Crafted World

I didn’t play Yoshi’s Epic Yarn on the Wii U, but by god am I enticed by how cute this Yoshi game looks.

It’s just incredibly adorable with the painterly arts & crafts style, and features co-op. Perfect for me and Aly to play together.

Plus it has this flip-the-world mechanic that lets you explore all over the place which feels very reminiscent of Super Paper Mario and I am all about it.


Civilization VI

Civ is, again, a series I’ve always had a fleeting curiosity for… But never got around to playing.

However, the fact that it’s coming to Switch with a four player local co-op mode that seems to use that interconnected Switches idea is actually bananas and if all my friends get this, I probably will too.

You can never have enough Gandhi nuking the world, after all.


The World Ends With You

There wasn’t exactly a lot to the TWEWY segment of this Direct, I just wanted to put it up here as a reminder that I really want to play this game when it comes out in October.

In fact, just throw Warframe into this category too. It’s my friend Juan’s favorite game so I’m probably willing to try it as well now that I “have no excuse not to” as he says.

But we’ll see about that one.


All the Final Fantasies

I’m not a huge Final Fantasy fan myself. Sure I appreciate the games and everything they’ve done for the industry, but I haven’t exactly played a lot of them.

However, I might be willing to get into Crystal Chronicles – again, if all my friends do. I appreciate that Nintendo is putting so much stake into letting on a bunch of games that can be played with friends, because that’s a huge selling point for me personally.

Also, this portion introduced me to the fact that a Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon exists.

Which is essentially Pokémon Mystery Dungeon.

But all of the main characters are Chocobo. Really not sure how to feel about that honestly.

Oh yeah, and FF7 is getting put on the Switch. Which is kind of hilarious to me considering how long the remake has been in production.

At this point, I’m pretty convinced there just is no FF7 remake and it was all a scam to get Cloud into Smash Bros.

Speaking of:


Super Smash Brothers Ultimate

Can’t have a Nintendo Direct without talking about this sucker.

The main part of this announcement was just the special Switch and Joy Con designs that are Smash-specific, like how the Let’s Go Pokémon games are getting some repainted toys to play with.

That’s cool and all. But I’m not the kind of person that buys multiple copies of a console when I don’t need it.

But then, after the Direct supposedly ends.

We get the next big reveal:

Isabelle in Smash.

It’s actually, genuinely hard to watch the little reveal trailer for her and not smile. She’s such a pure, wholesome character and I love her.

It’s great to see her get some more representation for the Animal Crossing series in Smash. I look forward to trying her out!

Oh, but that’s not all Nintendo had up their sleeves here, folks.


Animal Crossing 2019

Great. Now everyone can finally stop complaining about this on every Nintendo-related video ever.

That’s something I can say too, because I was of the crowd complaining about how long it took Hoenn remakes to get confirmed.

Anyway, there’s a brilliant little set-up right in the lingering few seconds of the video where Tom Nook remarks that he needs to make everything tidy for everyone’s return.

Then. Cut to white.

Animal Crossing 2019 flashes onto the screen. Then the Nintendo Switch logo.

No voice lines, no nothing. Just that.

Video ends.

Good on you Nintendo, you did a great job with this teaser.

That’s a game I’ll be looking out for, especially if Isabelle is coming back as a recurring character like Tom Nook himself.


Well, that’s about all I have to say about the big Direct today.

Like I mentioned at the beginning, there were a huge amount of announcements considering how recently we got our last bout of news, and it proves the Switch is still going strong.

Hell, I didn’t even mention their little discussion on the Nintendo Switch Online system, which happened in a cute Mario-centric animation.

You should watch that too if you haven’t, because it does a way better job explaining things than I ever could.

To be honest this entire post has been a rollercoaster ride, and not just because of all the cool news.

While I’ve started to feel better over the course of this writing, my computer decided to shit out on me and stop doing WordPress well.

So you probably noticed a significant drop in length/quality as I had to move my operation onto mobile.

That said, I’m going to cut things off here due to my lack of further things to ramble about and kind of awkward working situation. So hopefully my long-winded discussion covered everything!

What games are you looking forward to out of Nintendo’s upcoming line-up?

Let me know! I’m excited to talk some games.

Bringing things up-to-date

I’ve been a little bit sparse on content the last couple days, but I’m just chalking that up to the nature of the beast now that school is in full swing.

Just walked out of my three-hour class that actually took three hours this week, and I still have another quiz tomorrow. So I’m not exactly all that free even as I write this short bit up.

But I figured I should put something out there. That something just so happens to be a really, really short little life/work update. Because outside of just doing school things, I’ve also managed to update some of my social medias.

That’s always a fun topic to talk about, right?

Well no matter how you answered that question you’re in luck. If you enjoy talking about social media updates, here we are talking about t! But if you don’t, I’m basically at the end of this post anyway.

The biggest thing I’ve done over the last few days was bring this here blog up-to-date. Finally went through the Daily Titan page to reflect the fact that I’m not on staff this semester, the Gladeo Page to reflect my new position as Managing Editor and the Boom page to add a quick reflection of the fact that part of my work with them is live-tweeting events.

You know. Now that I did that for the Obama thing.

(You can see all of this through the links over on the right, by the way)

I also went onto my LinkedIn and added a portion about my Obama event coverage there. Which was actually kind of cool because I found out you can attach a specific Tweet into your work experience section.

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When you click on the link it opens up as the full Tweet and kinda looks fancy. I promise.

And I like it.

That’s really about all I have to say today, however. Just consider it a short little reminder to myself that yeah, I’m still hoping to do something on here (mostly) every day, and that it doesn’t necessarily have to be the Citizen Kane of blog posts to qualify.

Though tomorrow I may or may not post about my thoughts on the Nintendo Direct I heard is happening, so that should be more exciting.

Look forward to that, if so.

The Shoulders of Giants

The Shoulders of Giants

Don’t have anything too crazy for y’all today. Mostly because I procrastinated doing this for a while.

Classes, the gym and a homework assignment I’ve been putting off that’s due tomorrow took priority, I’m afraid.

Sorry about that, blog.

But I can do something about procrastinating another day. Today I wanted to talk really quickly about something that came to my attention the other day while doing a different assignment.

Lately I’ve been reading chunks of Charles Darwin’s “The Origin of Species” for my Evolution and Creation class. I actually mentioned it right at the beginning of my Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom pseudo-review yesterday, but we’ve been talking about natural selection and all of the details surrounding it for about two weeks now.

While reading the introduction to his arguably seminal work (which he calls an incomplete abstract in hilarious contrast to the fact that it’s nearly 500 pages), something very poignant struck me.

At one point, Darwin mentions a specific tenant of his theory: That creatures who have specific adaptations more beneficial than others will be more likely to live on and spread their genes, hence propagating that new adaptation.

Admittedly a bit distracted while reading through that part of the piece, I rolled my eyes and muttered, “well duh.”

Then I had to stop myself and reconsider my entire life.

Because I had just ‘well duh’d’ the man who literally invented the concept I was brushing off as obvious.

A concept which he only brought into popular consciousness less than 200 years ago.

Just starting to imagine that such a ubiquitous idea in modern science is so relatively recent is kind of mind-blowing. Schools teach Darwin’s ideas of natural selection and evolution as the first two paragraphs introducing a chapter in Biology 101.

The casual air with which we treat these, frankly, revolutionary and recent ideas is kind of stunning. It’s amazing how much one can take for granted that old tenant that we stand on the shoulders of giants with regards to the sciences…

But also with practically anything else on Earth today. Seriously, even things that we consider wholly modern like social media or 3D printing can see roots traced back to town criers in a pre-mass literate era and rudimentary use of electricity brought about by pioneers like Benjamin Franklin.

Honestly I think that’s the kind of mindset I’d like to hopefully instill in all of you with this quick post.

Even if you don’t agree that Darwin was a revolutionary figure (as I recognize that much of my reverence comes from a liberal-leaning Western education and an understanding of how hilarious the man was from reading his works directly), there are tons of things you use every day that you could think about in terms of which developments have become ubiquitous in making them a now casual idea.

So go on and think about all of the cool things you use that would be unthinkable just decades ago, and let me know what sort of interesting things come to your attention.


P.S. — When I say Darwin was hilarious, just know that in the portion of Darwin’s “The Voyage of the Beagle” that covers his trip to the Galápagos, he spends a page-and-a-half describing how he repeatedly threw the same iguana into the ocean to see how it would return.

That’s the kind of man I would party with.

‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ fails to live up to its ancestors

‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ fails to live up to its ancestors

While taking a break from doing my homework, reading chapters from Charles Darwin’s “The Origin of Species” ironically enough, my family finally watched Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

Honestly? I wasn’t very impressed.

As the middle in the trilogy rebooting Spielberg’s classic Jurassic Park movies, Fallen Kingdom kicks off three years after the first Jurassic World. The park that was established in that film has been abandoned, and all of the freed dinosaurs are at risk when the island is set to explode in a cataclysmic volcanic event.

When Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) are brought back to help rescue a number of species for a philanthropic conservationist, they discover more sinister motivations under the surface and must take on both greedy human beings and powerful, ancient beasts.

While there’s a decent set-up here, it isn’t executed very well. At all.

I’ll be spoiling bits and pieces of this movie here, though not in too much detail (in my opinion). If that’s a concern of yours, here’s your warning.

Fallen Kingdom falls apart almost immediately with the introduction of some weak tertiary characters. In the time since Howard’s character left the theme park she once led, she became a dinosaur rights activist.

Which yes, is about as overt a metaphor as it sounds.

Two of her assistants, Franklin (Justice Smith) and Zia (Daniella Pineda), come along on the rescue mission. Their status as bigger players in the film are indicated with as cliché an introduction as it gets. They’re the only members of what looks to be a semi-large staff who have speaking roles, and those roles are mostly playing off of each other as bickering friends.

Then as they start to fly to the old park, their archetypes are immediately stated. Smith is a scaredy-cat technical nerd and Pineda is a dinosaur veterinarian (yeah) who takes no nonsense from anyone.

Neither changes over the course of the movie and only appear enough to help move the plot along, so they feel like one-note comic relief.

Perhaps that’s harsh, as they play their roles well. But they get a lot more screen time during the early part of the movie — which is kind of the worst part. So that might have colored my perception.

Pratt does a good job as a leading man, though his performance isn’t exactly inspired. Meanwhile, Howard’s character seems to take a complete 180 from her original role and seemed like a totally different character.

Granted, it has been a whole since I saw the first Jurassic World, so maybe I’m just not remembering her quite that well. But with that in mind, her performance seemed a bit jarringly out-of-character.

However the biggest problem with the film is the fact it’s hard to even begin suspending one’s disbelief while watching it.

For instance, at one point Pratt’s character is partially paralyzed and literally rolling out-of-the-way of a pool of magma slowly encroaching him.

The movie has next to no tension up until the finale because of things like this.

Things like this make other silly bits stand out in a bad way. At one point a character was watching footage of Pratt’s character training the main raptor from Jurassic World, Blue, while it was young.

The scene itself was obviously meant to help emphasize the larger moment, his character completing an arc from being willing to abandon the dinosaur at the start of the film to remembering how much he loves it, I was so generally disinterested that I couldn’t help but think about other strange details.

Like the fact that the footage was expertly edited together as of from a reality TV show with a confessional booth.

Instead of being engrossed in a story about dinosaurs walking the Earth again and nearly going extinct, I was too busy wondering who decided to edit together Pratt’s training footage so that someone could one day watch it as an exposition dump.

There are lots of little moments like this throughout the movie, where I was left wondering why certain things were happening.

Another issue with Fallen Kingdom is that it had a bit of a tone problem.

At one point, there are action-adventure scenes with characters escaping from an exploding volcano. Then there are times where the film seems almost unreasonably dark, with one character getting pretty graphically ripped apart on-screen. Then there were also moments of loss and other sad parts that seemed in-place only to push an environmental message.

Then there are scenes with characters evading one another that feel eerily like Looney Toons. Notably one with one character following closely behind another without noticing them.

It’s almost too silly for a movie that’s trying as hard as it is to be darker and edgier than the first. Because I’ll be blunt, the villain in Fallen Kingdom is kind of an unforgivable monster of a human being, almost cartoonishly so.

His plan is equally as cartoonishly evil, playing with themes of illegal animal trapping, trafficking and using genetics for unethical purposes.

Yet the filmmakers don’t seem to fully commit to the dark tone that otherwise could have made for a stellar overall package — even if it could scare away a certain sect of audience members.

While this review is mostly negative thus far, I will say the end of the movie is actually far better than the first two-thirds. Most of the darker stuff comes in here, and discounting a ridiculous twist in the last few minutes, everything is more engaging and tense.

On top of that, I would argue that the movie’s CGI and a lot of its cinematography is actually really well done.

There were no moments I can recall where seeing a dinosaur on-screen took me out of a moment because it looked fake. In fact, the Indoraptor creates to serve as a more environmental antagonist, is used really well in a number of scenes with lighting contrast.

Yet for as pretty and clearly well-made as the movie is, the tonal issues and a general inability to suspend my disbelief unfortunately took me out of most scenes.

Fallen Kingdom is a hard movie to place.

I wouldn’t say it’s a kid’s film because a lot of it is dark and violent.

Yet it doesn’t fully commit to that dark tone until the very end, which makes it hard to recommend as a serious take on the Jurassic Park formula — probably the darkest since the original.

It’s a confused film that seems to be trying harder to push some kind of deeper message about either scientific caution or the importance of family than it is being a fun dinosaur flick. A lot of it is actually kind of unpleasant.

But it is a pretty film, and fits into an overall story we’ve been following for a long time now. So I suppose if those kinds of things catch your interest, you can watch it on those merits.

Otherwise, it might not be worth the time. I certainly don’t think I’d go back and rewatch it anytime soon.

Also, don’t be fooled by its advertising. Jeff Goldblum barely has a role in the movie.

And that just might be its most vital flaw.

Covering Barack Obama

Covering Barack Obama

 

Anyone else ever go to an event and then come home and pass out for four hours?

No? Just me?

Alright.

Well, that being said, I’m sure anyone who follows me on social media knows where I’m going with this blog post. I spent the day out covering former President Barack Obama’s visit to Anaheim, so I’m going to run through my experience real quick and log a couple of my more favorite live tweets from the Boom California Twitter account.

Consider this me attempting to just preserve that this happened today, since I’m still kind of in shock about it. But at he same time I feel like a pile of goo right now, so it’ll probably be a little sparse.

Just two days ago, I followed-up on a last-minute email that my professor and friend Dr. Sexton received about RSVPing to go to Obama’s event today. It was essentially a rally for a number of Democratic Congressional candidates in California.

Frankly it was a bit of a moonshot to apply for press credentials. Boom California is an online-only publication now that focuses on issues and life in California specifically, so it doesn’t necessarily fit the bill of who might be going to the event. You know, the LA Times and CNN-type publications.

But then we got the credentials.

So I was up at 4:30 a.m. or so this morning, showering and preparing to head off to the Anaheim Convention Center. Doors opened for press to get their stuff checked at 7 a.m. after all.

Luckily I found that the drive was infinitely quicker than it usually is when I’m heading to Orange County for school. So I managed to make it over before they had even finished setting up a table to check press in. Left me with some time to kill.

Then once it was all together, I got this:

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Talk about a souvenir, am I right?

After everyone got their badges, they were ushered up to the third floor (where Obama and the others would later speak). We were supposed to leave our stuff up there to be checked out by the Secret Service.

At this point I met Joshua Nehmeh, who I spent a bunch of time talking with as all the major news outlets set up their stuff. He’s the host of a political talk radio show who I bonded with pretty quick because we were both caught off-guard by how easily we managed to get into such a high-end event.

Plus his show’s tagline is ‘A shot of truth with your coffee’ and it’s great. So check him out.

Around that time I also ran into Briggetta and Caitlin from the Daily Titan, who also got credentialed in for the local Orange County event, and my original news desk mentor Spencer Custodio coming in for the Voice of OC.

Got to hang out with him for a while after we all got kicked out, and that was cool.

When we were heading back to the Convention Center from Starbucks, there were two protestors standing out in front heckling a bunch of Congressional candidate volunteers who were waiting in line.

Spent a decent amount of time standing outside watching the back-and-forth, because it was so over-the-top that it was just kind of ridiculous and fun.

While I tweeted about these guys a bunch during the waiting period from my personal account, some of my favorite parts had to be these two sound clips I managed to snag:

Particularly the second one where he offered to be an executioner? Like. Holy shit dude. It was 9:30 a.m. and he was going so hard.

Most of what I had gathered from other reporters at this point suggested that Obama’s visit to Anaheim was very last minute. Almost nobody was prepared for it and even the staff at the event seemed disheveled and caught off-guard. Hell, one guy basically told me it was going to be a shitshow when I asked how the whole thing was going to go down.

I’m theorizing that perhaps one of the reasons for that unexpected nature in this event was to try and mitigate protests. Like yeah two guys managed to show up to yell at everyone about every cliché in the book, but there was clearly no big organized response to Obama’s visit.

That’s all speculation, however.

Eventually I had to leave that fun time so I could go back to the ballroom to get my stuff before the doors opened at 10 a.m.

Now, I’ll admit, I kind of underwent a covert operation at this point. We were told ahead of time that most of the press corp. would be put into overflow rooms across from the main room. In fact, when I had shown up early that morning, I was told I’d be in the overflow as well.

But when I went in to pick up my stuff… I just kind of didn’t leave. All I needed was my cell phone, since I was just live tweeting the event for Boom, so I was able to stand off to the side of the press box with my head down. Nobody ever came and told me to leave.

So I think I wound up sneaking my way into seeing Obama’s speech live.

Take that people who sneak into concerts.

Once everything began I shifted over to Boom’s Twitter account full-time. However, I didn’t have too much to do for a while.

Other than Eric Bauman, the chair of the California Democratic Party, I wasn’t really able to get a good grasp on the individuals who opened the event. Most of them didn’t introduce themselves in any specific detail because it seemed like they were just figures who Democrats would know well walking in. It was clear we were leaning toward a specific kind of audience at this rally.

To be fair, my friends at the Daily Titan had just as much trouble with this part, though they did a better job retroactively figuring out who the speakers were.

Mostly with the help of an email that came out like 10 minutes after everyone was finished telling us who they were.

Have I mentioned that the event seemed put together last-minute?

Anyway, after four-or-five speeches from people pushing for veterans and keeping the Affordable Care Act alive, there was a really long intermission.

Probably an hour’s worth of an intermission. I don’t know if we were just waiting for Obama to actually arrive, or if he was upstairs somewhere letting us marinate, but boy was it a long wait.

I was pretty much standing around the whole time, not really wanting to leave to go to the bathroom or anything because… Well… I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get back in.

But then. Like an angel. Obama descended upon our humble congregation.

Which I only say because the tweet I put out about Obama’s arrival was the biggest ‘lightning in a bottle’ from this whole event.

As of my writing this blog post, the tweet has been seen over 7,000 times, has 400+ likes and nearly 200 retweets.

That’s actually insane to me. Watching all of this attention roll in throughout and after the event made me sit there and realize that I did that.

Truly the power of social media can be insanely captivating, for as much as I tend to avoid it.

Everything else I tweeted out got very minor attention comparatively, but there were still some great things I feel I captured at the event.

I also got this great three-part Tweet chain describing Obama’s Disneyland story that he opened with. Basically, he told the audience that the first time he went to Disneyland was his first time in the mainland United States, while the second time he was kicked out for smoking with his friends.

But still told to “come back anytime” by the officers. Because Disney.

His whole speech only went on about 15 minutes after that multi-hour build-up. When it was over, everyone started to trickle out and I split. After all, my whole job was to live-tweet Obama.

Dr. Sexton seemed really pleased with what I did, and honestly so am I.

It’s a little awkward live-tweeting events because you wind up having to focus more on the tweeting than the event itself. But even with that, I have to say… Obama is just a fantastic speaker.

Like all politics aside, it’s hard not to see why (most of) America fell in love with the guy and kept him in office for two terms. He’s just a charismatic guy.

That’s kind of the tone I think I want to leave this off with, because the rest of my story would just be going home and passing out for four hours.

I’m super grateful that I got to do this. Like yeah on a basic level it’s a great resumé builder to say I covered Barack Obama live. I’ll even be updating my blog here to reflect that I did this, archiving a couple of the best-attended tweets.

But even deeper than that, it led to me having a bit of an existentially reflective moment.

When I got home it really hit me that I got to be in the same room as a President of the United States. With press credentials.

That’s just crazy to me.

I’ve had some moments of doubt over the last couple months about my place in the world and the work that I’m doing, to be completely honest. But my promotion at Gladeo and the opportunity to attend this event really turned that around.

I’m excited to see what the next big thing I’ll be doing is!

 

Jason’s got a Brand New Toy

Jason’s got a Brand New Toy

When I first sat down with Gladeo’s founder Michelle to talk about my responsibilities as the managing editor for the Gladeo League, one of the things we discussed was some of the problems I’ve had during our biweekly Google Hangout meetings.

See my laptop is super old and doesn’t hold itself together very well when I attempt to video conference with people. My cell phone is a good alternative, but it can be awkward to keep it in place and deal with the slightly more wonky frame of view.

So I’ve had a bit of a long history of making it three-quarters of the way through a meeting before everything drops out and I lose it.

Obviously we don’t want that happening if I’m leading the meetings myself, so Michelle very generously offered that I take a computer that had been bought for Gladeo to help with things like video editing.

If it weren’t clear enough by the fact that I’m writing this post right now, I picked up that computer today.

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I’m not a huge computer technical nerd or anything so I can’t say whether or not I’ve got something phenomenal in terms of hardware on my hands, but that’s really not what I’m focused on anyway.

I’m just really grateful to have the opportunity to hold on to this in the first place. It feels like the kind of job perk for my new position which shows some trust.

Plus, it comes with certain other perks:

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Hell yeah bubble wrap.

Who needs fancy schmancy technical doodads when you can poppity pop some bubs?

It occurs to me how silly it is that I’m even vaguely excited enough about the bubble wrap to mention it here when I have an actual for real new computer on my hands… But I guess I just have silly priorities.

Because currently I have no idea what I’m going to do with this computer.

Not only is it my first desktop PC, but it’s also kind of gigantic for my room. So I might have to move some stuff around to give it the proper space it’ll need.

Thus, while I spend the next few days probably figuring out what to do with the computer, I have bubble wrap!

All’s well that ends well.



P.S. — I know I mentioned it over the last few days so I wanted to give y’all some closure. I got 100 percent on that Psychology quiz today that I was worried about.

Just goes to show you that I’m literally my own worst enemy when it comes to stressing about things.

Seeping with Content: New Genealogy Units and Version 2.9.0

Seeping with Content: New Genealogy Units and Version 2.9.0

Once in a while, Intelligent Systems likes to coincide a new character banner with an update to the game.

This week was one of those weeks where that happened. So I figured instead of stretching this out over a two-day period, I would just put it all together and make one more substantial Friday post.

Normally I like to get this thing out early in the morning by writing something up late the night before… But I’ll blame my friends for keeping me up playing Monster Hunter instead.

Plus I don’t exactly have a huge connection to the new heroes, so I don’t have too much of an interest in any of them. Didn’t help inspire me to write anything in preparation.

That said, even if I’m not super inspired by them, let’s talk a little bit about who these characters are!


QuanLuminous Lancer

Skill Set:

  • Gáe Bolg (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • In combat against an infantry, armored or cavalry foe, grants Attack and Defense +5 during combat.
  • Rally Speed/Defense (Range = 1)
    • Grants Speed and Defense +6 to target ally for one turn.
  • Draconic Aura (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts Attack by 30 percent.
  • Steady Posture (A Skill)
    • If foe initiates combat, grants Speed/Defense +4 during combat.
  • Drive Attack (C Skill)
    • Grants Attack +3 to allies within two spaces during combat.

SilviaTraveling Dancer

Skill Set:

  • Barrier Blade (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • If foe initiates combat, grants Resistance +7 during combat.
  • Dance (Range = 1)
    • Grants another action to target ally (unless they have Sing or Dance).
  • Mirror Stance (A Skill)
    • If foe initiates combat, grants Attack and Resistance +4 during combat.
  • Deluge Dance (B Skill)
    • If Sing or Dance is used, grants Speed +3 and Resistance +4 to target.

LewynGuiding Breeze

Skill Set:

  • Forseti (Might = 14, Range =2)
    • Grants Speed +3. If unit’s Health ≥ 50 percent and unit initiates combat, unit can make a follow-up attack before foe can counterattack.
  • Glitter (Cooldown = 2)
    • Boosts damage dealt by 50 percent.
  • Swift Sparrow (A Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Attack and Speed +4 during combat.
  • Special Spiral (B Skill)
    • If Special Attack triggers before or during combat, grants Special Attack cooldown count -2 after combat.
  • Odd Attack Wave (C Skill)
    • At start of odd-numbered turns, grants Attack +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent).

Normally I would do an analysis of each new character after their skill breakdown, but I’m going to skip out on that for a number of reasons. Mostly the fact that I’m already pretty late on this and have a lot more to write, but also because I don’t have too much of a personal connection to Genealogy of the Holy War.

So like. None of these characters mean much to me at a deeper level.

However, there are some benefits to each that I can acknowledge.

  • Thanks to his signature weapon and Steady Posture skill, Quan looks like he’s a pretty great offensive unit against physical attackers. He does a bunch of damage while gaining a big defense buff. Not quite as cool a cavalry unit as Sigurd, but still useful.
  • There’s never anything wrong with more dancers, and Silvia certainly is one of those. She may be a sword-weilding infantry unit like many others are, but her Barrier Blade at least seems like a great weapon to pass around to other units.
  • Lewyn is probably the most interesting and unique unit on the banner thanks to his brand new B skill Special Spiral. Utilizing it essentially means that he’ll be able to activate Glimmer every turn after activating it once, and that’s super cool. Arguably my favorite on the banner, a higher priority if I didn’t have +10 Nino in my army.

Unfortunately, these positives don’t outweigh my overall ambivalence toward this banner. After spending a whole heck of a lot of orbs on the Legendary Marth banner (which didn’t get me Marth) and on the 2018 Brave Heroes banner (which has gotten me all of the Brave Heroes except for Hector), I was in pretty dire straits regarding my stash.

Since then, thanks in part to the September quests and these new story quests, I’m back up around 100 orbs. But I’m planning on going back into storage mode, collecting as many as I can for a rainy day.

I’d hate for them to drop Neimi when I had zero orbs on hand, after all.

So I utilized my free summon:

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Didn’t get a whole hell of a lot, and moved on.

Sorry guys, but you’re just not on my radar at the moment. Hopefully I can summon you all in the regular unit pool one day.

Luckily, I’m much more interested in the story that came with this new banner.


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Chapter 12 begins with the aftermath of the “bombshell” that there might be a traitor hiding amongst the Order of Heroes.

I call it a bombshell only in quotes because I already had a huge rant about what a dumb, lazy storytelling tool it is to try a whodunit-type mystery when there is a canonical character in the main story who shapeshifts to cause mischief.

Like. We all know it’s going to be the shapeshifter. Don’t even try to hide it.

Spoiler alert, they don’t really try to hide it. I actually respect the way they do handle the big reveal, but I’ll get to that. Let’s start at the beginning.

Yes Anna, yes I do.

Of course Fjorm, oblivious to the fact that shapeshifting is a concern when it comes to her family members who both miraculously escaped from being held captive, defends her older brother and younger sister.

If I sound more than a little unimpressed with how things progress here, don’t worry about it. I’m just cynical and jaded.

There are actually some cool things in this chapter.

For example, this confirmation by Prince Hríd that Surtr’s ritual needs two sacrifices.

After you receive that warning, the missions are uneventful for a bit. Up until Helbindi shows up to stand in your way once again… Only to receive some news.

This is actually pretty sad. The only reason he continued to fight was because Surtr’s daughters told him they would convince the king to spare Helbindi’s family.

He can’t say anything after hearing the news. It’s the last time we hear from him for the rest of this chapter. Especially for this game, that’s pretty heavy.

Unfortunately that heartfelt moment is soon followed by a completely stupid, pointless thing.

At the beginning of the fifth battle, Fjorm is woken up by her sister — who everyone essentially predicted was just Loki in disguise since she joined your forces.

She reveals the fact that she was the traitor all along and poisons Fjorm, supposedly showing the source of her harsh cough.

It’s interesting, to say the least…

Except then Fjorm wakes up. Because it was all just a dream.

People like that trope, right?

Frankly it doesn’t upset me that they used the false dream trope so much as it upsets me that the very next cutscene makes the entire dream sequence pointless.

Because after Fjorm wakes up from her nightmare, Alfonse calls her into a war council to tell her about his suspicions that Ylgr is the spy.

Now don’t get me wrong, I respect the fact that Intelligent Systems acknowledged the plot points that led to players theorizing about who the traitor. That’s a much better way to handle this than trying to convince us all the characters had no idea something like this could be possible.

I just still don’t understand why we needed the fake moment with a  dream sequence if there was a much better reveal in real life literally seconds later.

But I digress.

Alfonse also calls out the Ice Prince as being equally guilty of having been shape shifted, and Loki reveals that all his suspicions were correct.

Then the final fight begins.

It isn’t that hard, honestly.

So afterwards Loki decides to hand you a map for a secret entrance to Surtr’s ritual chamber that way you can go infiltrate it and battle him.

Because you know. She has ulterior motives.

We found out that much when she was searching for the legendary dragons of Nohr and Hoshido during the special Festival banner.

So yeah, that’s the story. I pretty much wore my heart on my sleeve while writing this portion, meaning I don’t think I have to say too much more. It had some good stuff, but for the most part the bad stuff was pretty frustrating.

But hey, now that the dumb traitor B story is out-of-the-way, we can finally move on and save a bunch of little girls from being thrown into a fire. Which is arguably the more fun thing happening here.

Until we get that next chapter, however, how about we take a look at the other major FEH update that came out this week.



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Oh Version 2.9.0. Like with the new Genealogy heroes, nothing about you really excited me enough to jump on it right away. It’s a bit of a basic update compared to most of the others, so I felt justified tacking it onto the end of this post.

For instance, one of the biggest parts of the update isn’t actually a thing in the game yet.

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Rally Defense is a new game mode that is essentially the same thing as Rival Domains, except focused solely on defending the territory you own for eight turns rather than trying to take over the opponent’s territory.

I’m not a huge fan of ‘survive’ missions like this, but if there are orbs involved I won’t be too upset.

Next.

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Arguably the most exciting thing about any new update is older heroes gaining weapon refineries. This time around is no exception, in my opinion.

Odin

  • Odin has been at the bottom of the game’s tier list pretty much since his inclusion at Version 1.0.0. He’s a really bad unit. But now his blade tome has an upgrade which grants him +6 Attack and Speed whenever he uses an assist skill like Reposition. I’m… Not sure that makes him too much better, but at least it has some good synergy with itself.

Cherche

  • Cherche probably gets the biggest buff of the three. Her axe is now a Brave Axe, meaning it hits twice, and it comes equipped with Panic Smoke. I don’t know if she has great Resistance to make use of this as a whole, but being able to turn all of an opponent’s buffs into debuffs is great no matter the circumstance.

Celica

  • I’m not completely sure why Celica got a buff here, as it seems like she was already a pretty decent unit in her own right. However, legendary weapons getting legendary refines is kind of the norm, and Ragnarok’s new addition is Brazen Attack/Speed, giving her huge buffs when she dips below a certain range of Health.  I don’t own an OG Celica so I can’t say much about how useful it is, but it’s cool to see her get a great addition.

New refines aren’t the only skill-based change in this update. We also got something brand new known as the Combat Manuals system.

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I feel like the game puts this into somewhat confusing terms, so essentially what you need to know is that excess units in your barracks can be converted into manuals.

By doing so, that unit no longer takes up space that you could use to summon another unit and their skills can be retained for inherited use on a different unit. It’s kind of just a perfect middle ground between overstuffing your box and sending home all the units with good skills without using them.

I haven’t personally gone through and converted all my units yet, but someday soon I will. As soon as I have more time to do so.

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Most of these additional updates don’t mean too much for me either, so I hope you’re fine just seeing the whole laundry list.

I’ve probably kept you all hostage in this post long enough, so I’m just going to wrap things here.


With this veritable marathon of a Fire Emblem Heroes update post finally complete, let me know what you think of everything in the comments!

How do you feel about the new Genealogy heroes?

Do you think the traitor storyline is as stupid as I do?

Are you down with the additions from Version 2.9.0?

God willing this is the last update we see in a while. Because doing this long post while running around doing everything else has been pretty exhausting.

That said, I hope you at least enjoyed it if you made it this far.