Category: Video Games

Halloween Horror Heroes

Halloween Horror Heroes

Obviously my blog posting schedule has been a little out of whack the last couple of days. Between exams and essays — one of which I was up from 7:00 p.m. to about 1:30 a.m. this morning finishing — I haven’t had too much time to write.

But considering I have now officially turned in that essay, bookending my week from hell, it’s time to relax a bit.

What better way to relax than talking about some spooky new Halloween units in Fire Emblem Heroes?

At least one in particular is especially beloved in my eyes. So I’m going to be trying something different with this new hero banner post by talking about the characters in order of how much I like them. That way I don’t have to waste a lot of time prattling on about “oh I want this guy over them because they’re great.”

That said, I’ve prattled on enough as is. Time for some spooks.


MyrrhSpooky Monster

Skill Set:

  • Spirit Breath (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • Grants Defense +3. If unit initiates combat and unit’s Defense ≥ foe’s Defense +5, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack. If foe’s range = 2, calculates damage using the lower of the foe’s Defense or Resistance.
  • Bonfire (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts damage by 50 percent of unit’s Defense.
  • Defense/Resistance 2 (A Skill)
    • Grants Defense and Resistance +2.
  • Vengeful Fighter (B Skill)
    • If unit’s Health ≥ 50 percent and foe initiates combat, grants Special Attack cooldown count +1 per unit’s attack, and unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack.
  • Armor March (C Skill)
    • At start of turn, if unit is adjacent to an armored ally, unit and adjacent armored allies can move one extra space.

Analysis:

Myrrh is my baby from Sacred Stones and I love her. That would have inherently put her at the top of this list today, but luckily she also happens to appear god damn broken.

An armored dragon completing our color trifecta alongside male Grima and Legendary Tiki (who unfortunately alluded me), Myrrh keeps the defensive breath of her original form, just presumably boosted by the fact that she’s a heavy armor unit. Vengeful Fighter and Armor March also speak for themselves in terms of giving her power as an armored unit… With Defense and Resistance +2 kind of standing out as being really terrible.

That’s the first thing I’ll replace in a heartbeat if I get a Distant Counter fodder like Hector. But otherwise it’s hard to find anything to complain about here.

Especially since she’s so gosh darn cute:

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MiaMoonlit Witch

Skill Set:

  • Witchy Wand (Might = 12, Range = 2)
    • After combat, if unit attacked, resets Special Attack cooldown of target and foes within two spaces of target, and inflicts the following status those units through their next actions: “Inflicts Special Attack cooldown charge -1 per attack during combat (only highest value applied, does not stack).” Skills that accelerate or slow Special Attack cooldown are still effective.
  • Recover (Range = 1)
    • Restores Health = 50 percent of Attack +10 (minimum of 15).
  • Heavenly Light (Cooldown = 2)
    • When healing an ally with a staff, restores 10 Health to all allies.
  • Speed/Resistance Bond (A Skill)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Speed and Resistance +5 during combat.
  • Hone Fliers (C Skill)
    • At the start of the turn, grants Attack and Speed +6 to adjacent flying allies for one turn.

Analysis:

Mia isn’t a character who I personally care for like I do Myrrh, but she is the first flying healer in FEH.

So… Yeah. She gets a nice distinction from that. Even if I do think Nowi pulled off the witch-and-broomstick flying unit thing better last year.

In fact, probably my biggest problem with Mia here is that her weapon is really the only thing that helps her stand out wildly from Nowi last year. Because by god does she have a long-winded, complicated weapon. Guess we should thank Flora and Brave Veronica for getting us here.

Essentially, that wand of hers completely nullifies the opposing team’s Special Attacks. If you’re about to proc a Moonbow, it’s gone when Mia hits you. As is the attacks of everyone around that Moonbow user. After that, if I’m reading it right, it becomes harder to build up that Special Attack charge post-nullification. That’s a really powerful supportive niche to fill.


NilesForbidden Tease

Skill Set:

  • Devilish Bow (Might = 12, Range = 2)
    • Effective against flying foes. Inflicts Special Attack cooldown charge -1 on foe per attack during combat (only highest value applied, does not stack).
  • Smite (Range = 1)
    • Pushes target ally two spaces away.
  • Swift Sparrow (A Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Attack and Speed +4 during combat.
  • Attack/Speed Link (B Skill)
    • If a Movement Assist skill is used by unit or targets unit, grants Attack and Speed +6 to unit and target ally or vice versa for one turn.
  • Fortify Armor (C Skill)
    • At the start of the turn, grants Defense and Resistance +6 to adjacent armored allies for one turn.

Analysis:

Frankly, Niles makes sense as a unit to give a Halloween variant. More than Kagero, in my opinion — but we’ll get there.

I actually love the way Niles looks like he just haphazardly threw his outfit together with some plastic toys. It’s a great ensemble.

Beyond just his looks, Niles also stands out in that he’s an armored archer who builds up a significant amount of Attack and Speed to power up that bow, which is our second blue colored bow in the game. Interestingly enough, that bow also focuses on Special Attack cooldown. So I guess that’s our theme this year, like with panic-enducing weapons last year.


KageroBeverage Ninja

Skill Set:

  • Bottled Juice (Might = 12, Range = 2)
    • Inflicts Special Attack cooldown charge -1 on foe per attack during combat (only highest value applied, does not stack). After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Defense and Resistance -7 on target and foes within two spaces of target through their next actions.
  • Draconic Aura (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts damage by 30 percent of unit’s Attack.
  • Mirror Strike (A Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Attack and Resistance +4 during combat.
  • Bold Fighter (B Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Special Attack cooldown charge +1 per unit’s attack, and unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack.
  • Even Attack Wave (C Skill)
    • At start of even-numbered turns, grants Attack +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted even if no allies are adjacent).

Analysis:

Honestly… I have next to nothing to say about Kagero. Everything about her feels rather… Average.

Like it was jarring when Kagero showed up in a bunny outfit during the Spring banner. But the maid outfit is a bit low-key, and especially strange with her wielding “soda bottles.”

Which, by the way, I imagine must be beer in the Japanese version, right? Probably.

Past that lukewarm internal debate, she’s just rather average all-in-all. Sorry Kagero, but for now I’m going to pass.


For a banner labeled “The Land’s Bounty,” I have not exactly seen a lot of bountiful harvests thus far.

Ironically enough a lot of Niles, though. Not the Niles I’m looking for, but clearly he’s on my radar in some capacity.

To be fair I’m not exactly spending a lot of orbs on the banner yet. After being burned so bad by Legendary Tiki, I’ve spent a fair amount of time rebuilding my storehouse. So I’m trying to be a bit more frugal with my orb use for now — at least until the next Tempest Trials comes around.

But that said. Orbs. Paralogue story. Cliché transition.

Let’s do it!


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I do so love the aesthetic of the Harvest Festival maps. Especially this year where the generic unit design took inspiration from the recent Summer banners by having them hold weapons from last year’s celebration.

That’s just a nice touch no matter how you slice it.

Now unfortunately the actual story here is sparse and somewhat uninteresting, so I’m going to blow through it right quick.

We begin with Anna dropping this little piece of information on us:

I’m not entirely sure how this royal army is constantly running out of money… But I do appreciate the specific detail used here. Makes for some decent recurring comedy.

As does probably the only stand-out character detail in this Paralogue outside of Myrrh being the cutest thing on the planet. Dorcas, despite being the future Tempest Trials reward that we don’t have access to now, has a great bit with Niles.

After all we know Niles is a foul-mouthed scoundrel who wants nothing more than torment. Dorcas ain’t having none of it, and constantly walks away from the conversation.

It’s just funny, in my opinion.

In fact you can see a bit of the interaction during the character’s gathering together at the end:

After beating them all out and winning the Triwizard Tournament or whatever, the Order of Heroes gets a grand prize of candy and vegetables.

Hooray.

There’s a moment where Anna is so touched by the gesture that she sets out a plan to become self-sustaining and help the world.

Except that quickly devolves back into her wanting to sell that surplus for a profit.

Much laughs ensue. And no real progress was observed.

Amen.


In conclusion, Halloween is great and you all are great for reading this far.

How do you feel about the special holiday units this year? Which character truly is the spookiest?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments! Because frankly I just feel like wrapping this one up quick.

What does that song sound like?

What does that song sound like?

Everyone’s had those moments where they hear a song — be it in the background of a T.V. show, on the radio or a restaurant backing track, or whatever it may be — and can’t quite put their finger on what that song is.

If you haven’t had that moment because you have a photographic memory or something… Well the I’m sorry to be leaving you behind with this topic.

I have those kinds of moments fairly often, as I am a fan of a range of music but am not necessarily an audiophile like my Dad and sister.

But I’m not here to talk about remembering specific songs.

Rather, I’d like to talk briefly about what I would consider a much less discussed but equally prominent concern: Identifying exactly what category it sounds like that song should belong in.

I don’t mean something like “pop song” versus “rock song” versus”country song,” or whatever the overall genre might be. This is specifically about those times where a song sounds like other songs you’ve heard before, but you can’t quite put your finger on exactly what that similar sound is.

Now. This is an odd conversation topic on my blog I’m sure, considering I don’t talk too often about the particulars of music. I tend to just stick to the generals of “my sister played a thing” if I do bring it up.

But in this case the context suggests that it’s not a thing my sister played, because she doesn’t play video games anymore.

Yeah I’m still on that bit, Aly

See recently Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links got a major update. A much-needed one for me, as I was starting to drift away from the game.

Until they added on the next generation, 5D’s, and a novel (for me) summoning style called Synchro summoning.

Learning a brand new way to duel has gotten me right back into the swing of things. Synchros offer up an interesting level of field management that Ritual monsters attempted to hit but couldn’t, as you need to have a specific “tuner” monster on the field alongside a specific number of stars to summon a Synchro monster.

So many of the cards being added as a result are interested in flooding the field with monsters and augmenting the number of stars on a monster, that way you can summon things with specific requirements. It’s just the kind of micromanaging that makes me love to do things like deck build.

Which… Who knows, I just might do again soon.

Look out for some Synchro deck profiles, possibly.

But for right now that’s off-topic. The only reason I gave all that context is to get to the point that a new season of the anime being added into the game also means new characters to play.

New characters means new battle tracks. One in particular has caught my ear so far:

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Meet Akiza Izinski. I know literally nothing about her because I never watched 5D’s.

But I do know that in Duel Links she has absolutely amazing battle music.

I have to say, as much as I like a wide range of music, video game soundtracks are definitely at the top of my list. I could go on-and-on about different songs I adore from various games.

In fact, I’ve been considering doing video game music posts around here. Just haven’t really had the time to hash out a specific style for it.

But Akiza’s theme here is a real prime example of the kind of tune I can just melt into.

The opening ten seconds or so has a plain single instrument rift that brings to mind N’s theme from Pokémon, or Moonstruck Blossom from Kirby Triple Deluxe.

Then the song continues to build until about 30 seconds in, when the real magic begins.

At that point, the piano is co-opted by some kind of Theremin-sounding track that gives everything a techno/haunted house feel.

Even when the Theremin bits disappear, the song keeps its haunting undertone despite somehow also bringing a lot of battle-ready energy to the table.

The song overall is just really well-done, and makes grinding for cards against Akiza a real pleasure.

My problem is, as much as I can (somewhat haphazardly) explain the emotions that this song elicits, it’s hard for me to place exactly what the song reminds me of. Because it definitely reminds me of SOMETHING.

There’s an air of the haunting melody underlying Lusamine’s battle theme from Pokémon, as one of the comments on that YouTube video I used mentions.

Haunting yet beautiful. Her chief gimmick appears to be monsters based on roses, so it’s an encapsulation that makes sense.

I also get some heavy Binding of Isaac vibes. Not sure why for that one. It just does.

Unfortunately though, part of the reason I wanted to write this is because I’m hard-pressed imagining what kind of other songs this song reminds me of.

So I wanted to throw it out to all of you.

Does this song bring any others to mind? What kind of comparisons would you make for it?

Let me know down in the comments, and while you’re at it let me know if you’re interested in seeing me write about video game music more!

I get very passionate about that particular breed, so I’m sure I could do it in a heartbeat.

Don’t Sleep on this Legendary Dragon

Don’t Sleep on this Legendary Dragon

Remember that last Fire Emblem post I wrote where I said it seemed like Intelligent Systems was releasing banners at a mile a minute?

Well…

Here’s Legendary Tiki’s banner. Insert confetti hurray noise from Halo’s Grunt Birthday Party here.


TikiLegendary Dragon

Skill Set:

  • Divine Mist (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • Effective against dragon foes. Unit can counterattack regardless of foe’s range. If foe’s range = 2, calculates damage using the lower of foe’s Defense or Resistance.
  • Moonbow (Cooldown = 2)
    • Treats foe’s Defense/Resistance as if reduced by 30 percent during combat.
  • Fierce Breath (A Skill)
    • If foe initiates combat, grants Attack +4 during combat and Special Attack cooldown charge +1 per attack (only highest value applied, does not stack).
  • Bold Fighter (B Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Special Attack cooldown charge +1 per unit’s attack, and unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack.
  • With Everyone! (C Skill)
    • At start of turn, if unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Defense/Resistance +5 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn.

I’ll admit, some mix of trying to keep things short after my conversation with Spencer and general exhaustion from these showing up so often will probably result in this post feeling a bit bare-bones compared to most of my FEH posts.

But don’t let that fool you into thinking I’m not interested in Legendary Tiki. By all accounts she’s one of the strongest units released into the game, and she’s a character that I personally love having played both Shadow Dragon and Awakening.

Like. An armored dragon, colored differently than Grima, who hits the foe’s weakest defense stat at any distance with an affinity against dragons… There’s almost no downside. Even if I do think adult Tiki might have made more sense as a Legend to spotlight.

Either way she’s incredible. And I love her.

In terms of other things to say, I noticed that we’re running out of room on the Legendary Hero graphic now that Tiki has been added on:

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There’s a few different ways to take that information.

Perhaps we’re going to not get any more Legendary Heroes once it fills up.

More believably, perhaps after it fills up we’ll get a new graphic that’s just a repeat of this one. Personally, I believe we might see a new graphic emerge as soon as Book III of the story starts, bookmarking these 16 heroes as ‘Book II’ Legends.

Or who knows, maybe once the Legendary Hero listing is full we’ll get a brand new kind of special hero as a ploy to take all our orbs. The sky truly is the limit.

As usual, Tiki isn’t the only thing we have to focus on here today. There are also a number of other heroes stuffed into this Legendary Banner:

Right off the bat, colorless heroes are out of the running for me. The only one on that list I’m missing is Maribelle, and I unfortunately don’t care for her enough to risk getting another female Grima or Jaffar.

The other three colors have two heroes I don’t own that I am interested in summoning, though.

Bride Tharja and Karla for red, Legendary Tiki and Spring Catria for blue, as well as Legendary Hector and Sharena for green.

Though the green heroes much less so, to be fair. So namely red and blue stones are my interests this time around.

With 150 or so orbs to start off, I figured I would be wasting a lot in my search for Tiki. At this point I’ve spent ~50 of them, and even if I haven’t found Tiki the fruits of my labor have been sweet.

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I forgot to screenshot Micaiah’s appearance, so my apologies.

To be completely honest, Micaiah and Ike are a little underwhelming. As nice as it is to have them both as five stars from this banner, they’re my third and fifth duplicate of those units specifically.

Either of the other units on those colors would have been better in terms of getting something new. So let’s just say I’m not mad, but I’m fairly disappointed.

Karla, however, was a very welcome surprise. Even though her boon and buff aren’t great for me, she’s generally considered to be one of the strongest units in the game. Can’t argue with that!

Even if I am more personally interested in Bride Tharja. Don’t know if it’ll be worth risking the other two reds to get her now though, which is a shame.

But hey, Tiki and Catria are still on the table! I’ll just be slowing down on my summoning fervor from here.

Though the orbs that are coming out of Legendary Tiki’s battle map might help with that!


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Solid segue, Jason. Nailed it.

Out of the Legendary Battle maps we’ve gotten so far, this one is probably the map I would describe as being the most “eye-roll” worthy.

Even from the lowest difficulty, so many reinforcements arrive that I immediately knew I would not enjoy taking on the higher levels. The idea brought about more of a resigned sigh if anything.

Especially considering we’re continuing the trend of adding ‘Abyssal’ difficulty maps to these things.

Alongside Tiki we’ve gotten an Abyssal difficulty Legendary Hector map, as well as the return of the Legendary Robin/Grima map once more.

Maybe you’re interested in tackling those higher tier challenges, but I’m probably going to pass. Leave it to the experts like Pheonixmaster1, who has much more time to pour into these things.


Alright, that’s about all I have to say about Legendary Tiki. She’s a great unit that I want to summon, and even if I haven’t summoned her yet I did get a couple other fun five stars to mess around with.

Sorry that this post is coming later in the day once again. I had a Gladeo meeting to run this morning, so I wasn’t able to stay up late and have it out early.

Either way I hope you enjoyed my brief look at the new Legend!

Let me know in the comments, or somewhere on the Internet, who you want to see given Legendary Hero status next.

Also, let me know what your thoughts are on the next “era” of Legendary Heroes, whether we’re just going to recycle the idea for Book III or try something new. I’m pretty interested in thinking that over right now!

The Flame Kingdom’s Generals rise from the ashes

The Flame Kingdom’s Generals rise from the ashes

Boy Intelligent Systems sure has been relentless with all these new character banners lately.

Within the span of two-or-three weeks, we’ve gotten Genealogy units, Fates units and these Múspell units all in a row. Plus the return of the original Performing Arts banner for… Some reason.

Seriously IS I don’t understand why we brought that one back out of nowhere. Would’ve made much more sense alongside the festival units who essentially served the same purpose for this year.

But I digress.

On the bright side, these new units kind of stand on their own. They’re basically in the game because their story arc just ended, so there isn’t any sort of pomp and circumstance adding them in. We just saw the story they go along with, so no paralogues or anything to help flesh them out.

Sucks for anyone looking to nab some extra orbs, but it makes my job here today much easier.

So let’s see what these three generals bring to the table.


HelbindiSavage Scourge

Skill Set:

  • BÝleistr (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • At the start of odd-numbered turns, grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +4 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted even if no allies are adjacent).
  • Vengeance (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts damage dealt to foe by 50 percent of damage dealt to unit.
  • G Duel Infantry (A Skill)
    • Grants Health +5. If unit is five star and level 40 and unit’s stats total less than 170, treats unit’s stats as 170 in modes like Arena (higher-scoring opponents will appear, stat total calculation excludes any values added by merges and skills).
  • Guard (B Skill)
    • At start of combat, if unit’s Health ≥ 80 percent, inflicts Special Attack cooldown charge -1 on foe per attack (only highest value applied, does not stack).
  • Infantry Pulse (C Skill)
    • At start of turn one, grants Special Attack cooldown count -1 to all infantry allies on team with Health < unit’s Health (stacks with similar skills).

Analysis:

To get to the elephant in the room right away, Helbindi and Laegjarn share the same A Skill, just for different contexts. I’m not huge into the competitive Arena scene, so I can’t tell you what it means for a unit’s stats to be treated as 170 outside of what the skills mention — the fact that higher-scoring opponents appear.

What that means I couldn’t necessarily tell you. You’d have to ask my friend Jonathan about that, because he’s very into the competitive Arena scene. I just love the characters.

That said, a Health buff is a nice compensation for people like me so it doesn’t seem like that A slot is wasted.

As far as Helbindi specifically goes, his weapon is kind of phenomenal, and his other skills that essentially vampire Special Attack cooldown for your team from the enemy team work well together.

But that weapon is what really stands out. We’ve had Odd or Even Wave attacks on a number of units (including Laevatein in this banner), but none of them have buffed every single stat. That’s kind of crazy.

Essentially, Helbindi is a unit that goes berserk every other turn. His stats get cranked up and he’s probably built up enough charge to release his Special Attack by then. I personally would replace Vengeance, but it’s the thought that counts.

He’s a solid green axe infantry unit in a pool that doesn’t have too many standout options.


LaevateinSearing Steel

Skill Set:

  • Laevatein (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • Grants Attack +3. Adds total bonuses on units to damage dealt.
  • Swap (Range = 1)
    • Unit and target ally swap spaces.
  • Fury (A Skill)
    • Grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +3. After combat, deals 6 damage to unit.
  • Attack/Defense Link (B Skill)
    • If a Movement Assist skill is used by unit or targets unit, grants Attack and Defense +6 to unit and target ally or unit and targeting ally for one turn.
  • Odd Speed Wave (C Skill)
    • At start of odd-numbered turns, grants Speed +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent.

Analysis:

Laevatein is probably my personal favorite of the three units here. From the very first opening trailer for Book II, when she and Alfonse duked it out in front of Surtr’s castle, I already loved her design. Then (Spoiler Alert) the fact that she was the only surviver by the end of Book II, left to be the next queen of Múspell, almost felt like a justification for that love.

In practice as a unit, she actually strikes me as being very similar to infantry Eirika — which again helps her stand out because Eirika has been my flagship unit in this game since forever.

If you count her weapon and the Link skill buff (though I’m not a huge fan of it generally), Laevatein can boast a 28+ Attack to her base stat every turn. Which is kind of wild, especially since she also gets a bit of a Speed and Defense buff in that perfect circumstance. Also Resistance thanks to Fury, but that’s a smaller deal.

Yet, on top of all that, she also has cumulative damage based on the bonuses she has applied. Her sword is literally a close-combat blade tome.

Which is pretty nuts?

Like I’m sure she’s a glass cannon to compensate that kind of power, and infantry units aren’t as great at abusing this kind of ability as the other three movement types, but it’s still just such a sweet base skill set.

I really like Laevatein, okay? I know everyone’s all over Veronica and all… So let me have this one.


LaegjarnSheathed Steel

Skill Set:

  • Níu (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • Grants Speed +3. Adds 50 percent of total bonuses on foe to unit’s Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance during combat.
  • Bonfire (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts damage dealt by 50 percent of unit’s Defense.
  • R Duel Flying (A Skill)
    • Grants Health +5. If unit is five star and level 40 and unit’s stats total less than 170, treats unit’s stats as 170 in modes like Arena (higher-scoring opponents will appear, stat total calculation excludes any values added by merges and skills).
  • Chill Attack (B Skill)
    • At start of turn, inflicts Attack -7 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Attack through its next action.
  • Distant Guard (C Skill)
    • Allies within two spaces gain: “If foe uses bow, dagger, magic or staff, grants Defense and Resistance +4 during combat.”

Analysis:

Laevatein’s older, deader sister feels a bit like diet Laevatein when just looking at her weapon specifically, but she adds a bunch of utility as a dedicated flying team unit.

Adding on stat buffs based on an opponent’s buffs is much more situational than a blade tome effect that you yourself control, even if it makes her more effective at tackling powerful enemies. Chill Attack and Bonfire are clearly meant to help with this as well, so it’s clear Laegjarn wants you to use her to kill off whatever Ayra or Zelgius the opponent is packing.

Her Duel Flying skill does the same thing as Helbindi’s skill, so I can’t speak to that much more beyond it being specifically for flying units.

Distant Guard is a nice skill for her as that dedicated flying unit, as it gives her flying allies a defensive buff when encountering bow-wielding units. The only problem is that +4 Defense probably won’t do much against the super effective bow damage, so it’ll wind up being more useful in making magic resistant fliers more resistant to it.

So… Yeah. I like Laegjarn as a character, but in terms of skills I’d almost consider her the most hit-and-miss of the three generals.

Plus I wouldn’t replace my Elincia even if I did get her. So sorry about that.


As I mentioned up top, there is no story section for this post. No extra orbs or anything.

Luckily I still had about 150 orbs stored up because of how easily I got the three girls of the Fates banner (who I’m still training up thanks to the recent event modes taking up my stamina, but that’s another story).

Thus I was able to dedicate everything I had toward summoning these Generals. It’s actually kind of a special banner considering they are original characters to Heroes, so they’re a bit more special than the units from other games — even if they’re fan or personal favorites.

But uhh…

I didn’t have to dedicate a lot of orbs to the task.

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I actually somehow managed to get the unit I really wanted on my first batch of orbs. I could probably stop now if I wanted and be happy about it, in all honesty.

But I won’t. Because I have a problem.

I’ll just be sure to space out my orb use a bit, just in case Intelligent Systems decides to curveball and throw us a Sacred Stones banner next. Or an Echoes banner.

Seriously it’s been forever since we’ve seen those games IS. Just give us something.

Except don’t give them toes when I have no resources to allocate. Thanks!


Well, that’s about all I’ve got for this FEH post. It’s a shorty boy because all we got was the new units, and honestly I can’t really complain about that.

It’s refreshing to have one of these posts where all I need to do is the fun part. Copying out skills and stuff in my little special pattern.

But of course we still need to get to the Call to Action formality.

What do you think of the Múspell Generals? Do you have a favorite, either by skills or by characterization?

Let me know, and let me know who you want to see next as well! Obviously IS is on a roll with giving us these guys, so I’m sure we won’t have to wait to long.

Blizzard at the Fullerton Public Library

Blizzard at the Fullerton Public Library

I wound up staying out much later than I expected with this one, so I’m going to go quick-and-dirty with this post to get it out before midnight.

I’ve been slipping a lot lately and want to hopefully rectify that.

That said, enough pussyfooting around. Let’s get into it.

Tonight I went to a really cool event with my friend Mimi. We got to see a few employees from Blizzard Entertainment speak at the Fullerton Public Library.

Apparently the library had reached out to Blizzard because one of the librarians was a huge fan, and I’m glad they did because it was a super fun event.

Three representatives from various parts of the company came to speak. There was Adam Gershowitz, the lead producer for Overwatch; Monte Krol, a software engineer for World of Warcraft; and Skye Chandler, a game designer who primarily also works on World of Warcraft.

One of the reasons I’d wanted to go was because I’m interested in the games industry. Obviously.

In that regard, it was a really informative little event. Adam explained the overall creation process using a very helpful analogy to making Spaghetti, Monte went through the various kinds of programmers who create the baseline for each department and Skye talked about designing characters, environments, items, quests and more.

They were all really personable, funny and had some great pieces of advice.

A few of my favorites from Adam specifically (as I really only took notes with him because I got so interested that I stopped) were:

  • When creating a game from the ground-up, find the nugget of what you want to do. The rest may be hard, but you’ll get there.

And:

  • If you can’t sit down and play your game every single night, you don’t have a good game yet.

On top of the advice, they also brought some really sick pre-Alpha development footage, primarily from Overwatch.

I tried to snag some screenshots, so they aren’t quite as cool as the videos we saw but they’ll have to do.

Having played a fair amount of Overwatch with my friends and half-following the Overwatch League last semester for my Entertainment Reporting class, some of this stuff was awesome.

Another great thing about the event was how open the Blizzard people were. One of the reasons I’m writing this so late is because, to put it bluntly, nobody knew how to shut up. In the best possible way.

Once the Q&A portion of the event started, a billion people had questions to ask, and many of them asked two-or-three questions. Some of them about hiring preferences, about skills they should develop… The kind of stuff you’d expect.

But each of the three presenters gave every single question an equal amount of love and focus. Most got at least five minute responses that were thorough.

It was really nice to see how much they cared about interacting with the fans and, often, aspiring students. Even if it got pretty hilarious when the Library around us closed for the night.

The Q&A as a whole wound up lasting until 9:45 p.m. or so. It was supposed to go until 8:45 p.m. because of closing time at 9.

So also shout out to the Public Library folks for recognizing the passion and letting it fester for as long as it did.

As a final note, I suppose it would be remiss of me not to mention my secondary, covert adult intentions for going to the event.

I’m sure you all know by now that I’m the managing editor for the Gladeo League, and I’ve been working on finding people for our reporters to interview.

What kind of a shrewd businessman would I be if I didn’t take a fun opportunity like this and use it for networking as well?

That said, another shout out to Adam Gershowitz specifically. It was very late and he was talking to a billion people at once, but he still took the chance to hear my quick pitch (because I didn’t want to steal too much of his time) and hold onto my business card so he could pass it along to their HR folks.

He was just a nice guy all around.

So, if you see me start to roll out some Blizzard employee interviews at some point in the near future, now you know the genesis of that.

To end this off with some kind of haphazard bow, third shout out of the night goes to Mimi for agreeing to come with me pretty much last second. Also for dealing with me holding her back to try and talk to the Blizzard people.

It was great, and I’m glad I was able to go and make it a friend chill time as well.

She’ll probably read this, so I’ll end it off with something for her: ❤️s around the Orc.

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.

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.

img_0886

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.

img_0890

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.