Tag: Fire Emblem Fates

Fire Emblem Heroes Version 2.6.0: Masks and Menu Mayhem

Fire Emblem Heroes Version 2.6.0: Masks and Menu Mayhem

There ain’t no weekend like a Fire Emblem Heroes update weekend!

This Thursday afternoon, Heroes received its 2.6.0 update, which was followed up with a brand new summoning focus based around Blazing Blade characters that night.

While I usually try to condense this stuff into a day after post, the band-related stuff I took part in yesterday kept me busy enough that I really wasn’t able to commit the time I wanted to this. So I figure I’ll split the version update and the new summoning banner into different posts today and tomorrow to fill my writing quota.

That said, if you’re seeing this well in the future when everything is already available, you can check out the post on the summoning focus here.

But for now, let’s jump into what’s new with version 2.6.0!


Home Page Changes

Alright so the most obvious and somewhat jarring change that came with this update is visible as soon as players open the game:

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That’s right, the hub area now has red ribbon labels over each function.

That’s pretty much literally all there is to say about that. Apparently the point was to make them more obvious but I wouldn’t say they were necessarily hard to discern in the first place.

Ah well, we’ll get used to the new look eventually and it probably won’t even matter.

Next!


Accessories

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Coming straight out of the world of Fire Emblem Fates, Heroes is adding a bit more customization by implementing an accessories system.

Again, there isn’t all that much to say about this feature. It’s rather self-explanatory.

Outfit pieces can be unlocked in various ways, and players can attach those pieces to their heroes to give them a bit more personality when facing off against opponents in the Arena.

Or just for the sake of making them look cool. That’s also an excellent reason to do it, let’s be honest.

A few accessories were given out when the game updated as the reward for a retweet event a couple of weeks back, so everyone who plays has started off with something to put on already.

 

Naturally I dressed up Eirika first, since she’s arguably my most used unit and the protagonist from my favorite Fire Emblem game.

Or at least the protagonist that I own in a game with two main protagonists.

Doesn’t she look frickin’ cute in that hairpin? I think so.

At the moment there are only five accessories to utilize, so not too many characters can take advantage of them. Most of those five are also locked behind missions to complete:

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Luckily they’re easy to complete. And we have 40 days to do so.

If nothing else I’m thankful that the Mysterious Mask Lucina wears when she cosplays as Marth is one of the first costume pieces available. I’ll be spending quite a bit of time trying to decide who’s the best person to wear that thing.

I hope they frequently add in more accessories, because one day I’d like to make my characters as baller as I made Beruka back in my Fates days.

Cool Beruka

Classic.


Ally Menu Adjustments

While the addition of more stand-out labels to the home page were the most immediately striking change visually, this one is arguably going to screw with players the most in my opinion.

Or, at least, it’s going to screw with me for a long time. That much I can guarantee.

Long-time players of Fire Emblem Heroes are likely to flip to the game’s misc. setting tab when they want to look at the Hero Merit their units have accumulated or to see the progress made on their Hero Catalog.

Like me, they probably had to do a double take when discovering those options are no longer under that tab.

That’s because the Ally tab has been completely reinvented to offer just about anything and everything related to working with units in one place.

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Contrary to what many of you may be thinking, the plus signs aren’t actually something players can interact with.

They do, in fact, indicate that there’s an extra menu under those options to expand out. However the actual icons don’t open up or have smaller icons pop up underneath. They just open up a separate page with a number of options to select in each.

For Ally Growth:

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For Change Equipment:

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For Interact with Allies:

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See, that’s where the Catalog and Hero Merit List are hiding now.

In the same change category, the game has also highlighted two other quality of life additions to the Ally menus.

First is the ability to automatically spend as much SP as a character has accumulated on their skill upgrades all at once, rather than having to do them one-at-a-time like a savage.

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Considering how many people inherit skills that wouldn’t want their SP spent on certain skills they aren’t looking to use, I can’t imagine this option will be widely used by competitive players.

But for people who are more casually picking up the game once in a while it’s probably a nice idea.

I sort of fall into the prior category though so… We’ll see.

Second is the addition of more favoring options in different colors, that way players can more aptly organize their heroes however they want.

I can see this one being much more useful for me… As soon as I figure out exactly what I need this many divisions for.

Perhaps I’ll try to separate out heroes that are good for skill inheriting, or better indicating who has better IVs.

I’ll experiment and get back to you on that.


New Weapon Refinements

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Four heroes have been given new life with new weapon refinements.

To be completely honest, the Tiki improvements are the only ones I really care about, and even there it’s just for young Tiki.

Linde’s refinement to Aura allows her to gain +5 Attack and Speed if she’s within two spaces of a magic unit or cleric. That is a great power boost, but Dark Aura is also a powerful upgrade that she’s had for some time now.

To be fair Merric’s refinement to Excalibur has the exact same effect. But he’s a unit that desperately needs a boost like that from what I understand, even though he also has access to Dark Excalibur. That one just happens to be less useful than Dark Aura.

Tiki’s stands out more to me, mostly, because she was one of the first units I ever summoned and has been a staple on my teams ever since.

Her personal base weapon is absolutely garbage, however. So terrible that everyone replaces it with Lightning Breath almost instinctual.

However, now she has access to Breath of Fog rather than just Flametongue. And Breath of Fog is way better!

Not only is it effective against all dragon units, the Breath restores 10 Health every other turn and ensures her damage goes by the foe’s lowest defensive stat if from a distance. Plus it does 16 base damage and that’s great for a dragon attack!

The only problem with this is the fact that you need to inherit Distant Counter to utilize the Breath fully, whereas Lightning Breath has a two space range built-in.

I don’t know, I suppose I’ll see if it’s worth getting rid of distance in place of power by messing with it. But just know I certainly feel like it could be worth it.


Smaller Changes

Many of the changes made through this update are relatively small things, so I figured I’d lump them all together here.

I’ll be honest, neither of these changes in particular mean much of anything to me.

They’re cool I guess, but they’re such minutia that I can’t be bothered to provide any sort of well thought out, philosophical commentary at like… 2 a.m.

In fact I’m just going to take the easy way out and show off the ‘other changes’ listing before wrapping this sucker up.

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If it wasn’t obvious, I basically wrote this post in two sittings. One during the day, in the middle of sitting around at the RUHS band banquet. The other was during the early, early hours of today where I was a bit too tired to really focus on anything.

Yet I decided to finish this anyway just for the sake of having it out at a proper time. Even though I easily could have waited and gotten this out later in the day.

My brain is stupid like that sometimes. I just love torturing myself.

That said, hopefully you got a good grasp of what this update entailed for the game going forward! If so, let me know what you think is the best part of the update.

In the meantime, I’m going to go pass out. Stay tuned for tomorrow (as of this posts publishing) for part two of this session regarding the new summoning banner!

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Lauding the Legendary Lobster

Lauding the Legendary Lobster

Normally I try to have this kind of Fire Emblem Heroes post out early in the morning, but after exploding all over Pokémon news yesterday I couldn’t bring myself to stay up late to write more.

So enjoy this later-than-average look at the Legendary Lobster himself: Supreme Samurai Ryoma.


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RyomaSupreme Samurai

Skill Set:

  • Raijinto (Might = 16 / Range = 1)
    • Unit can counterattack regardless of foe’s range.
  • Glimmer (Cooldown = 2)
    • Boosts damage dealt by 50 percent.
  • Kestrel Stance (A Skill)
    • If foe initiates combat, grants Attack and Speed +4 during combat.
  • Bushido (B Skill)
    • Deals +10 damage when Special triggers.
  • Guidance (C Skill)
    • Infantry and armored allies within two spaces can move to a space adjacent to unit.

Clearly not wanting to be upstaged by his younger sister, the crown prince of Hoshido is here with his first alternate form since the game was released. Instead of being a grounded samurai warrior, he has taken to the skies on a legendary Kinshi mount to bring swift destruction using his legendary electric blade.

As our seventh Legendary Hero, Ryoma brings all water-blessed allies +3 Health and +4 Defense when they enter battle during a water season. Something particularly interesting about the banner this time around is that it actually laid out exactly how legendary hero stat bonuses work:

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This, by extension, also just about confirms that there are only going to be 16 Legendary Heroes all together. Unless they do something like add more elements of course, but that’s a bridge we can cross when we get to it.

I quite like the chart. It’s succinct and shows pretty neatly how the developers have begun to plan things out.

Next presumably is a fire element Legendary Hero with a Resistance buff, and I’m interested to see who they choose to fit that role.

But we’re not here to discuss future content. Let’s discuss current content.

Many of you who know Fire Emblem fairly well like I do probably thought the same thing:

Why the hell is Ryoma a flying unit?

It’s rather bizarre seeing him take a Kinshi mount, because it seems like the only Legendary alt that’s somewhat out of character. Sure, Kinshi are great mythical beasts associated with the Hoshidan royal family, but Hinoka made far more sense riding one than her brother does here.

If anything, I would imagine Ryoma to fit the archetype of someone like the Black Knight better. A hulking armored unit with samurai gear turned up to 11, stomping around like an impenetrable tank that fires back from all distances with his Raijinto.

Would’ve been pretty dope if I say so myself.

Even though that isn’t what we got, what Legendary Ryoma is certainly isn’t anything to scoff at. Sword-wielding fliers are a rare unit type in Heroes, and even if I have a personal bias for the Elincia that has served me so well, the Hoshidan crown prince is imposing to say the least.

Stat-wise he’s near perfect based on what we can see in his legendary battle. Attack and Speed stats that are both around 50 while still having a baffling high defense stat for a flying unit. Even his resistance isn’t so bad, so he’s well-rounded enough to take a hit and retaliate.

In fact, that’s essentially what his base skills are meant for. If he can tank that bow or that magic attack, not only can Ryoma counter attack from a distance, but his attack and speed are buffed by his A Skill and he deals an insane critical hit thanks to the signature Bushido B Skill.

With it, his distant counter Raijinto also acts like a Wo Dao weapon. It’s kinda nuts.

I’ve seen some buzz talking about how Ryoma may just be the strongest Legendary Hero we’ve ever gotten, and I can’t say I disagree. I had expected a complete glass cannon based on his flying attribute, but those defenses don’t lie.

However, he isn’t the only thing available on this summoning banner. Also in the eight percent pool are:

Being blunt about it, the red stones are the only ones I truly care about in this pool of focus units.

Ryoma is obviously the chief goal, but Sigurd and Tiki are both solid options to summon for me as well. Both units are perpetual projects of merging that I tend to be working on, and both are frequently in use in my army. Plus, Tiki is about to get a new legendary weapon, so she’ll be even more fun to see in action.

Beyond that, I already have both the Legendary Nifl sisters and Legendary Grima — though I do find it interesting that Legendary Lyn is not on this banner given the fact that she’s the last one we saw implemented.

The Christmas and New Years units that are returning aren’t exactly my favorite either. I already have Azura and probably wouldn’t bother with anyone from the Christmas side but Tharja.

Though if they brought Tharja back she would be in three different summoning banners at the same time right now… So I can understand the restraint.

The non-special units, Hardin and Innes, just seem kind of random honestly. They’re both good of course, but not necessarily good enough for me to bother pulling them.

So that means we’re just sniping the red orbs fellas, where are those-

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… Oh I see.

Yeah that has been a bit of a pattern for me on this banner so far, just pulling singular red stones. In the case above, Ares was a cool compensation unit since I didn’t have him before, but beyond that I haven’t had a whole lot of luck.

This time I swear I’m going to keep my orb counter above 50, I won’t break that promise. There are still brides waiting in the wings for me somewhere, I hope.

That said, orbs are available through Ryoma’s legendary battle.

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Except if you’re going to try that, you should know it’s a little…

Intense.

The dude basically surrounds himself with long-ranged units so he can wear you down before coming in for the kill. I’ll admit that the map does a great job showcasing why Ryoma is so powerful, but boy that Infernal difficulty hurts when you need to get through so many waves of reinforcements.

Oh well. Even with the Tempest Trial cleaned out for me, hopefully I’ll be able to stock up on some more orbs somewhere or another.

Beyond that I don’t have too much more to say about this Legendary Lobster. What do you think about him? Is he too overpowered? Or just overpowered enough?

Let me know in the comments below, and while you’re at it let me know who you think the next Legendary Hero is going to be! I’m down to start taking bets.

Fire Emblem Heroes Version 2.5.0: The Aesthetic Update

Fire Emblem Heroes Version 2.5.0: The Aesthetic Update

I’ve been a bit busy throughout this last week finishing the Spring 2018 semester, so I wanted to make sure I spent the weekend talking about recent updates to Fire Emblem Heroes.

Because really what else do I do with my free time?

There was a large-scale update and a brand new summoning banner put out over the last couple days, so in today’s post I’m going to focus on the 2.5.0 Update and tomorrow I’ll focus on the latest Genealogy characters.

With that said, there’s a lot to cover, so let’s get into it.



The 2.5.0 Update is here, and it brings along a number of changes to existing game modes and aesthetics throughout the game.

There is not exactly a lot that’s “substantive” to this new version of the game, unlike previous versions that did things like add entirely new ways to play. As a result this update update (totally not clunky at all) will probably be on the shorter side as I just go through my thoughts on what is new.


Arena Updates

 

Easily the largest changes of the bunch came to the OG Arena.

BECAUSE NOW IT’S IN A DIFFERENT COLOR!

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That sweet, sweet dark tone really makes a true mirror to reflect the darkness in my soul as my units smite all others in their path.

Okay fine, that’s not actually the blunt of the update to the game’s Arena mode, but I did want to point out the fact that the assets were altered because… I’m really not sure why they were altered.

Were the original colors not visually pleasing enough?

Is this darkness what the developers wanted to reflect with their competitive mode all along?

The world may never know.

The actual major update to this mode is the shift from seven battle chains to five, and the subsequent item system that accompanied it:

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I do like the idea of making overall season chain necessities shorter, as well as adding an item for each battle in the chain to entice people to get a ranking at least once.

However, it does bug me that they decided to go from seven battles to five.

Seriously whose bright idea was it to take a game mode where the swords used to take part come in intervals of three and not make the overall requirements come out to some interval of three? It’s honestly kind of asinine and bugs me from a part of myself that I can’t readily explain in such a short timeframe.

Luckily they decided not to make me chuck my phone at a wall by also implementing Bonus Ally benefits for a season’s token heroes.

The Bonus Ally system, in which the characters specifically named get additional stat buffs if you use them, has always made Tempest Trials a great deal more fun. I still can’t get over the time when Christmas Lissa tanked everything during her Tempest Trial, or when Reinhardt did just a few weeks ago when his retrain came out.

Now that Arena characters get this same kind of boost, it makes everything feel so much more copacetic when it comes to summoning new banner heroes.

Now, not only do we get new characters for the catalog, but those characters are more likely to help us get better benefits in the Arena seasons. All things considered it’s a genius addition, and just about makes up for the whole lack of even numbering.


New Weapons

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A couple of beloved characters are finally getting the special weapon treatment they deserve.

It’s one of the things I really appreciate about how Intelligent Systems has handled updating their game over time, actually. While most units inevitably get power crept, more stuff is added to benefit the older heroes to ensure they still maintain relevance — either in battle or through skill inheritance.

The latest update brought three heroes back into the limelight. Two by granting brand new weapons and one by adding a special upgrade.

  • Camilla — Bewitching Beauty
    • Everyone’s favorite over-sexualized older sister (something the universe will have to remind me never to write out again) has a brand new weapon, giving her further utility than she was able to achieve with a Brave Axe. Camilla’s Axe has twice the might as a Brave Axe+ and grants her +4 Attack and Speed if there is a cavalry or flying unit nearby. While this does make her a more effective member of a flier emblem team, it might arguably be worse than a Brave Axe depending on who you ask. It is a cute reference to the fact that all of her siblings are on horseback, though.
  • Corrin (male) — Fateful Prince
    • Corrin is a unit that literally everybody has wanted to see get a cool upgrade in the Weapon Refinery. Yato was such a neat weapon in Fates that it’s not hard to imagine why. Though I personally think it’s a missed opportunity not to offer him three upgrade paths for the Yato based on the three paths it can take in Fates, the upgrade we got is a neat reference too. With the upgraded Yato, allies who have a support with Corrin gain +4 to all stats when within two spaces of him. Somewhat situational, but like I said a cool little reference. The scary part of this comes when, as my friend told me, you can have three upgraded Corrins provide +4 to every stat of an ally three times over… THAT is dangerous.
  • Clair — Highborn Flier
    • Like Camilla, Clair’s Silver Lance can now be upgraded into the Rhomphaia. Coming from Shadows of Valentia, the weapon adds one more might point and grants her super effective damage against armored and cavalry opponents. It’s simple. It’s effective. It’s just a great upgrade that makes Clair that much more viable. Unfortunately, it cannot be passed onto another unit. That’s really the only downside as far as I can tell.

While all three of these characters have been improved by their upgrades (except debatably Camilla), I’m not sure I’m more enticed to use any of them.

Perhaps if we get Scarlet to appear one day I’ll make her a perfect husband Corrin to turn her into the relentless beast she always deserved to be. But that’s a long shot at this point, so I’ll continue to dream…


Tap Battle and Rival Domains

The two images above essentially sum up everything that has been changes with these game modes. So I won’t break down the information, but I will briefly react to it all.

Tap battles have never been a game mode that I enjoy. For the most part I don’t like them because they’re seriously underutilized. Seriously Intelligent Systems, awards only once per level when there are four different ways you can play that level? With no benefits for completing all four varieties?

Plus, don’t even get me started on the fact that music repeats between versions of the game mode despite putting gaps between them.

In a way, the addition of hero merit boosting for heroes who participate does help. It encourages playing through those four different varieties of the levels at least.

But my issues, for the most part, do still stand.

Rival Domains, however, have had an improvement that I can get behind more readily. Not only have the selection of characters been pre-determined rather than randomized, which makes it easier to go through and learn how to properly be a stage, but they also made it easier to beat by restricting the ability of enemies to attack after warping.

Simple changes, but effective in terms of making things more straight forward and easy to defeat. Unlike with the tap battles, this actually makes it way more enticing for me to play the game mode.

Thus, I deem this section a success and a failure. Hopefully tap battles will eventually get better enough that I feel they’re worth bothering with more often.


Tutorial Adjustments

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So this is another category where there was a significant change that I frankly don’t have too much to say about.

Essentially, there have been adjustments to the game’s tutorial mode to bring it more up-to-snuff with how much the game has developed in the time since it came out. For veteran players like me, that means next to nothing. I did the tutorial a long, long time ago.

The developers knew this was the case for many of their players and offered up some extra awards.

As the picture above shows, most of the rewards were feathers and badges. A good amount of them too. But what really stood out was the character:

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When we played through the tutorial originally, the first hero everyone received after the original three members of the Order of Heroes was Virion from Fire Emblem Awakening.

Now players receive Takumi from Fates, who is not only a better character but a generally more relevant one. So veteran players got an extra Takumi too.

I appreciate the gesture, as well as the opportunity to give another unit close counter.


Additional Changes

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Alright, while this picture here sums up everything else that’s changed pretty succinctly, there were a few other things I noted that I wanted to point out.

First off, look back at the second bullet up on the list there. Apparently some options are available in the Sacred Seal Force that are new, but I have not been able to figure out what they are.

I sort of imagined that meant there were going to be new seals to forge but…

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Nope.

Oh well. Some should come eventually, right?

… Right?

Well, I digress for now. That’s a story for another day probably.

As I’ve mentioned here or there throughout this post, there are also a lot of aesthetic changes that came from this update.

For example, the main maps screen has a similar visual change to the arena screen.

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Then there are smaller visual tweaks, like the inclusion of an indication as to which units get bonus points in rival domains.

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But hey, none of these are as important as a single change that’s hidden away on the menu screen.

See this option?

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Well… Now we can do this.

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Isn’t it just beautiful?

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I could stare at it all day. *Insert crying tear here*


And that, ladies and mentlegen, is a not-so-short summary of everything new in Fire Emblem Heroes this week.

Er… MOSTLY everything.

As I mentioned at the beginning, there was also a new summoning banner dropped the other day. But this post is already getting a bit long in the tooth, so stay tuned for part 2 coming out tomorrow.

Or, if you’re reading this way in the future, just check it out through this link here.

In the meantime, let me know what you think about this update in the comments down below! What aspect of it do you think is the best? What part do you think is the most disappointing? I’d love to hear all about it.

‘Gushing about things I’ll never receive,’ a Fire Emblem Heroes memoir

‘Gushing about things I’ll never receive,’ a Fire Emblem Heroes memoir

Alternative title: The Wings of Fate are cruel.

Hello everyone, welcome back to another episode of “Fire Emblem Heroes updated and I feel obligated to stay up into the ridiculous hours of the morning to have a timely post about it for some reason.” This is your host, Jason Rochlin.

In today’s special episode of that thing I just wrote out, you’re going to observe the ramblings of a madman, driven to insanity by his own gluttonous desire and lack of self-control in the face of an entity that, pardon my french, does not give a fuck.

All observers of this program should be 18 years old or older, or at least mature enough to understand the truly empty sadness of a somewhat successful college-age boy who thinks and talks far too much about a collection of lines one person drew that is perceived by everyone’s abstract brain as representing a twenty-something year-old redhead in a mobile app game for iOS and Android devices.

Viewer discretion is advised. Not really. But you’ve been warned.


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Fire Emblem Fates is a game that hasn’t gotten any love in Heroes since the Children of Fates banner some time ago that brought in a number of characters. Included in that list of characters was Soleil, one of my favorite units from those titles.

At the time I spent all my orbs to get her, only for her to eventually become a four star unit that I now have 5 copies of.

How shall these new units I’m excited for screw me over, I wonder?

  • KanaDragon Princess
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    • Kana wins the award for the cutest artwork in this update hands down. However, skill-wise she’s… Okay. I already have two powerful green dragons in the forms of Myrrh and Grima so perhaps I’m somewhat disillusioned, but having another green dragon with a breath that calculates damage using the lower defensive stat without actually having a built-in way to hit from a distance is disappointing. It’s hard to argue with Draconic Aura and Fierce Stance however, so luckily her cute butt is on my radar this time around. Just don’t call the police on me for saying it like that.
  • ShigureUplifting Artist
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    • Okay… So… Shigure is here for his second time since the Performing Arts banner. He’s a lot more underwhelming this go around, sporting a weapon that powers up his special attack to ensure he restores a little more health… But beyond that doesn’t have too much going for him in my opinion. Perhaps if Mitama comes out soon and I can ship them together he’ll have a bit more utility, but until then he’s far outclassed by the other flying unit in this banner.
  • HinokaBlue Sky Warrior
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    • Okay, hold up.

I need a little more free space to discuss this one because I’ve quite literally been mulling over this Hinoka alt since she was announced Sunday night.

Who… Who exactly over at Intelligent Systems allowed this?

Let me break it down. Hinoka is a flying unit based on the Kinshi Knight model from Fire Emblem Fates. Already a good start because the Kinshi Knights were one of my favorite things about that set of games.

She’s a bow-wielding flying unit (which is unique up until now if I’m not mistaken) with a bow that actually, literally has four effects.

  1. Effective against flying units, as all bows are.
  2. Effective against armored units, which is unprecedented for bows and quite welcomed in the world of Black Knights and Hectors.
  3. Grants +3 Speed, which I’m assuming is on top of an already solid speed stat.
  4. Drive Attack. Just… Straight up built-in Drive Attack skill on a bow with three other skills already built-in.

Like how is that legal in the state of California?

Hinoka also comes out of the box with four other main slot skills attached. On top of having all of that utility in her special 14 might bow: She also has Luna as a special attack that reduces defense or resistance by 50 percent when triggered, Attack/Speed Bond to grant her +5 in both stats when next to an ally, as well as both Flier Formation and Flier Guidance to allow her to jump next to units two spaces away or vice versa.

Those last two skills basically guarantee she’ll have the bonded boost and will likely activate her Drive Attack bow for allies.

There’s so much synergy in this one unit that I just cannot understand how we’ve allowed this to happen. If she has fantastic base stats as well, Hinoka is going to be an absolute monster.

Oh and let’s not forget… She’s Hinoka. And the Hoshido sisters are leagues better than the Nohrian sisters.

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Here she is being the best auntie on the planet for proof.

Don’t @ me, Internet.

Okay but with all this gushing over Hinoka, I suppose I should also lay out my issues with her inclusion here.

For one, I would be remiss not to talk about my problem with Hinoka appearing as a “brand new” unit in a main story banner like I did when cavalier Eirika was introduced a while back. That slot could have very easily gone to someone else from Fates.

Reina seems to be a name that’s going around a lot as a Kinshi Knight, for example. Or maybe one of the other Hoshido children like Midori.

On top of that, my flier emblem team is already pretty stacked so I’m really not sure who to replace.

But those are small complaints all things being equal. I’ll still be spending all of my 140-ish orbs on this banner if I have to.

Just watch me get destroyed.

What’s that? I already did get destroyed?

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Oh. I see.

Well I suppose it’s time to store up orbs again so I can keep bashing my head against this brick wall. Thank god the Tempest Trials are still going so I can squeeze some more orbs out of those.

Also side note, I’m glad to see Nanna got demoted to four-star status so quickly after her token banner considering she’s the only one of those heroes I got.

But I digress. I’m sure you’re all tired of me complaining and want to get into the story. So let’s do that.


I will say, just to start off this portion of the episode, that I appreciate how frequently Intelligent Systems has been moving the main story forward. I’m a sucker for a developing story, after all.

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Thematically I think the developers killed it when putting together this portion of the story for a number of reasons. For one, the ice castle aesthetic is pretty great on its own. On top of that, it looks like the kind of environment I would expect to see coming out of the Fire Emblem Fates world, so everything feels copacetic.

But on top of both of those things, let’s also not forget that the music coming out of Fates is just mm-mmm good. Seriously I’ve had the map’s main theme stuck in my head since the banner trailer was first released.

Now if only I could remember the name of the track…

I’ll think about it. In the meantime, let’s talk about story.

We start this leg of the race suddenly much further ahead than we left off before. Essentially, we’ve completely skipped over any and all exposition between Gunnthrá’s death in the Thracia missions and the arrival at this castle for the Rite of Frost.

But wait, we aren’t getting out of this without a cinematic cutaway to a Kevin Smith-style conversation between characters who could otherwise be doing super action-y stuff based on what they’re saying.

Surtr continues to be as brutal as ever, which for some reason still surprises me. Also fire ritual foreshadowing that I bet won’t become relevant for the next twenty chapters or so.

HEY WAIT A SECOND, THERE’S A PERFECT DISTRACTION RIGHT HERE!

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XANDER IS STILL HERE GUYS!

Yeah I know that’s like a small detail, but I seriously always forget that Xander is for some reason still the top general in Veronica’s army. It’s such an obscure fact, but the more it becomes relevant the more I’m starting to think maybe Veronica is Xander’s perfect match instead of Hinoka.

… Except there’s probably some pedophilic implications in that statement all things being equal.

Also I just reminded myself that Hinoka is a thing in this banner and she’s alluding my wanton desire, so I’m just going to move on.

Battles happen as usual until the Order of Heroes makes it to the part of the castle where they can begin the ritual.

Figures we can’t go a single Fire Emblem game without a legendary dragon getting involved.

So you fight all of the Fates enemies (including the awfully handsome Kaze, because I mean…)

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(Damn dude.)

There really isn’t much of a challenge to it, so soon enough Fjorm is able to begin pre-preparation of rites.

All seems to have gone well. Until…

You know what this calls for?

Feh Plot Meme

Yeah that’s right, welcome back Feh plot thickening meme. How I’ve missed you.

What’s that? Should I actually say something about the moment? Well… Fjorm is probably going to die. Join her sister in the afterlife or whatever. Unless of course this is all just a ploy to make her sick at the last-minute so we need a Deus Ex Machina to save the day and defeat Surtr once and for all.

I guess only time will tell.

Speaking of Surtr, as he so eloquently established by threatening to break someone’s legs, the next step of the journey for our rag-tag bunch of orb-hording freaks is the fire kingdom itself so they can take on the hulking brute.

Will the Order succeed in taking on Surtr? Will hilarious or emotional hijinks ensue? Who will be the units that preside over the final fight with the King of Fire?

Find out on the next episode of-

Oh wait, there’s more. What is this a Marvel movie post-credit scene?

Gasp! Time for a Feh meme x2 combo.

Feh Plot Meme

Okay so real talk, as much as I appreciate the double-cross twist of the big bad guys actually just wanting to use the little bad guy as a sacrifice for bad things, I do think this development was a bit rushed.

When I made the cut-away joke about Xander suddenly appearing again, I really was serious when I meant there was an interesting amount of foreshadowing happening. But no, that foreshadowing was just alluding to a portion of the story coming up at the end of the same mission.

Hopefully there’s a little more filler between this point and fighting the final battle, because otherwise rushed may unfortunately be the only way to describe the ending to this really cool long-term plot experiment.


Alright, with all that said, we’ve once again reached the end of another exhaustive night (morning?) of writing about dumb mobile game shenanigans.

How do you feel about the new heroes that have been brought into the game? Or, more specifically, how much do you agree with me about Hinoka being broken as hell?

Let me know in the comments down be-

THAT’S IT, THAT’S THE SONG THAT PLAYS UNDER THESE NEW MAPS!

Shout out to my boy Jonathan for helping me find the tune, because I was honestly going to go crazy if I couldn’t remember the name sometime soon to listen to it on repeat for the next couple of weeks.

Hope you all enjoy the kick-ass track. Because I’m going to sleep now so I can take on another day of visiting the tailor and going to work.

The circle of life.

Special Heroes spring into action

Special Heroes spring into action

Let’s address the elephant in the room up top here. I totally missed out on the last Fire Emblem Heroes update.

I know that objectively isn’t a huge deal, especially considering how often I have the chance to talk about this game. But the update I missed was a particularly big one, so I feel bad about it from the perspective of my keeping a running log of how the game has evolved since it launched last February.

What can I say. Sometimes breaking news takes precedence over personal pleasures.

To lightning round my thoughts… The Chrom/Morgans banner didn’t treat me too well, even if I did eventually get a male Morgan.

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Not the one I wanted necessarily, but he’ll do.

The story added behind the banner was intriguing, and it did tease Gerome being added as a Tempest Trial unit, which means a lot to me personally since I can now ship Fire Emblem’s Batman with Lucina disguised in the mask he gave her before they travelled back in time.

Awakening was a wild game in hindsight.

But anyway, that pairing has basically been my creepy shipper’s dream since forever, so I’m ready to run with it.

The blessed garden and rival domains maps that were added are fun additions to the game, and I really don’t have anything too negative to say about them.

Plus, Eirika got a dope weapon upgrade that helps her get more buff.

So all in all, I don’t have much to complain about regarding the last big update. It gave me something fun to keep up with while I was stressed out over my work.

But with all of that said, let’s not forget that we’re here to talk about the spring 2018 banner with all of its new bunny-themed glory. Since I’m 300 words in already, time to jump on it.


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Outfits like these also invite other things if I know the internet well enough…

Last spring we were blessed with the familial partners of Xander and Camilla, as well as Lucina and Chrom, all in silly suits wielding weapons like eggs and carrots.

This spring, we are once more blessed with the familial partners of Sharena and Alfonse, who are joined by Catria from the original Fire Emblem games and Kagero from Fates. All still in silly outfits. All still using eggs and carrots as weapons.

Glad to know some things never change.

But are the new fearsome foursome as desirable as the last springtime heroes? Let’s find out.

  • CatriaSpring Whitewing
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    • Of all the Whitewing sisters who appear in… I believe three of the 14 or so Fire Emblem games made up to this point, Catria has always been my favorite. She always fit that unrequited love trope with an affection for Marth that I appreciate. Out of all the dumb writing tropes, it’s probably my favorite. But even past that, she’s just a cutie – and as her voice chat suggests in the trailer for this banner, a cutie with a passive aggressive attitude that’s amazing. Combine that with her new status as a cavalier that massively debuffs enemy units with high resistance, and she’ll be a unit to look out for.
    • Added note: She kind of does the Squid Sister hand pose during her attack animation, and it’s great and I love it.
  • SharenaSpring Princess
    img_7760

    • The sister half of the Askran royalty has moved from a lance to a green mage egg in her celebration of the spring. On top of a cute outfit and a golden goblet,  she carries an eclectic set of skills that seems to make her somewhat of a fast mage counter. I don’t have too much more to say about Sharena unfortunately, since she’s kind of the least stand-out of these special heroes in my opinion… But I suppose it’s hard to go wrong with firing off a tornado of carrots.
  • AlfonseSpring Prince
    img_7759

    • Alongside his sister, Alfonse has moved from a sword to an axe and rides on horseback into battle carrying… A giant spoon. It’s actually incredible to me that players could feasibly start making teams based around units that use giant spoons. But that said, at least the skill set surrounding his spoon makes more sense than Sharena’s skill set does. He has his typical healing special attack that gains boosted damage thanks to the spoon, and his other skills increase his combat strength while subsequently lowering the opponent’s defense. Pretty choice, even if he has to beat a few bunnies into submission in the process.
  • KageroSpring Ninja
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    • “No matter how I dress, I carry the honor of my clan with me,” Kagero says while running into battle wearing a Playboy bunny outfit. It’s pretty ridiculous honestly, but that’s made up for given that Kagero is arguably the most interesting unit in this bunch. As a flying dagger (carrot?)-wielder, she presents a totally novel combination that may breath some life into the dagger-throwing lifestyle as a whole. Especially since her weapon weakens the opponent and boosts her built-in Glimmer special attack. It’ll definitely be something to look out for.

To be honest, this banner has a bizarre bunch of units gathered together. The Askran nobles make sense together, but Catria and Kagero are a little out of left field. Fortunately they look fun to use, so at least they make worthwhile additions.

I blew a lot of my orbs on the recent Awakening-themed banner, but I’ve been able to recover a good amount with the ongoing Tempest Trials, so if I’m frugal I should have chances to hit the spring banner for some time since it lasts a month.

My only real hesitation, frankly, is something a bit more… Silly and lore-based.

I’ve been playing Heroes under the assumption that it creates a certain canonical order to the Fire Emblem universe. Essentially, I imagine Heroes is the “real world” that has access to a variety of pocket worlds to summon units out of.

In that regard, it only made sense that the Order of Heroes units would be singular entities for forever. In the logic of the universe, it makes sense to be able to summon clones of Chrom from the Awakening pocket world, but there would only be one Sharena and Alfonse.

Because of that assumption, this banner unintentional demolishes all of my thoughts about the world of Heroes.

If you can summon clones of the real world figures, does that mean that Askr and its nearby nations are a pocket world of their own? And if so, is the reality of Heroes just clones summoning other clones to use with some bizarre imaginary sense of superiority in the one group we perceive as the main group?

Perhaps…

But perhaps I’m over thinking the logic of a Nintendo mobile game that’s clearly designed to absorb all the money out of its players’ wallets.

Especially considering your player character, the summoner, technically is a representation of real world you that has been sucked into the game world.

So just consider all of this rambling a dumb aside that I just felt the need to lay out in text.

Given that I manage to keep this up for a while, I’m just going to skip ahead to the story section and not go over my experiences summoning on the banner. But that isn’t because I haven’t gotten anything out of it yet.

It’s because I already have all four of the heroes and don’t want to make you all jealous.

Yeah, that’s it.


As a paralogue, this series of missions doesn’t impose as much of a commitment as some of the last few hefty, dialogue-filled main story chapters have.

Though compared to other paralogues it does have quite a bit of dialogue considering what’s happening and who the Order of Heroes meet in this side-tracking adventure.

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You tired of rabbit puns just reading the level names on this one? Well good, because I’m not planning on making any more.

A year has passed since the last Spring Festival hit Askr and its related realms. It’s a rare experience in my book, seeing how it has been a year in-game as well as an actually real life year. Not often do those kinds of things line up in the world of video gaming.

I suppose that’s the magic of mobile games.

Seriously though, the first spring banner coincided with the fourth paralogue mission set in the game. This second spring banner is the 19th paralogue mission set. I still remember going to visit the L.A. Weekly the same day the first spring heroes hit… Just where does the time go?

Ahem. Anyway.

Without too much build-up, the Order of Heroes arrives at the festival and quickly runs into their opponents this time around:

Undoubtedly the best thing about this entire experience is just watching Alfonse get more and more cringey as he watches himself deal with all of this bunny stuff.

This would basically be 100 percent me if I were in his shoes.

Arguably the only thing that gets anywhere close to as entertaining as Alfonse being upset by his current situation… Is seeing both Catria and Kagero being equally upset about their current situations.

I’m pretty sure the only reason these two characters in particular were chosen was that we can make jokes about them being so loyal to their causes that they’re happy to look like absolute morons and throw both carrots and eggs around.

I honestly cannot complain about that.

Frankly there isn’t much of a story to talk about in this paralogue leading up to the last fight. My interaction as a player has mostly focused on just appreciating how passive aggressive Catria is here.

But then when the final battle does start…

SEE, I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE!!

Somehow my inane rambling from the beginning of this post that I wrote a couple of days ago managed to predict the exact conversation everyone was going to have throughout the course of this miniature story.

Unfortunately, Alfonse only has a brief amount of time to describe a really lame excuse about multiple realms before being cut off to battle. The battle itself isn’t all that hard, and everyone winds up friends afterward.

No sign of a time or space paradox to be had.

Everything is cute, sure… But boy you can’t imagine how much I would pay to see some sort of messed up paradox from main characters meeting their main character counterparts.

Oh well, maybe I’ll just play through the story again with Marth to see if I can break programming and embarrass the hell out of Catria.

She has an unrequited crush on him, if any of you don’t know the context there. Still a sucker for unrequited love.


Boy, it’s amazing how I managed to bookend a post that I’ve written over the course of a couple of days with equally creepy shipper’s lust, isn’t it?

Speaking of, despite writing most of this post early on to make sure I wouldn’t be up too late writing during the update itself, it’s somehow 2 a.m. already. I’m pretty exhausted from running around campus the last few days (which I talk about in the post with my article archives put out earlier this morning), so I think I’m going to wrap this up quick and head to bed.

If I manage to get any of these spring units, I’ll try to put out the information somewhere.

But in the meantime, what do you think about these new heroes? Or about my paradoxical confusion?

Let me know in the comments down below if you’ve got any opinions!

New Year, New Heroes

New Year, New Heroes

Okay so in my end-of-year post earlier today I mentioned that I would be doing something “when New Year heroes dropped tomorrow.”

I apparently don’t know how to read dates because as it turns out they’re here for New Year’s Eve, not New Year’s Day.

Then I went to bed early last night before checking the game, so I never found out until this morning.

Oops.

That said, looks like you’re all getting two posts today, even though I was planning to try and use this as a kicking-off point to do a post every day for the first week of the new year. I’ll see if I can still get that to work out.

But enough pussyfooting around, let’s get into these Heroes, shall we?


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Okay before I do get into these new heroes, I am actually still a little annoyed about this timing. Why aren’t the New Year heroes out on the first day of 2018? I feel like that would make so much more sense. Especially since there’s still one more day for the Winter/Christmas units. Why not just hold off one more day?

I suppose there’s no use complaining about it, it just does bug me a bit.

That said, I’m not necessarily mad that these new summonable heroes are here, because I do like them quite a bit.

I mentioned briefly in my Top 10 Games of 2017 list that I was going to try and figure out a way to either cut down on my Fire Emblem Heroes posts, or at least shorten them somehow so they aren’t quite as much work for me to produce so often.

I’m going to be trying a couple things in the next few posts, this time by distilling down the skills list for each new character through using the official descriptions. After all, for something like this there’s no better way to summarize information than to just have it in the original form, right?

  • TakumiPrince of Soup
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    • Takumi is frankly the most ‘eh’ hero on this list for me. I really like his weapon (even though I’m disappointed that he doesn’t throw soup at people), especially in combination with a natural Moonbow, since together they give him repeated high special attack potential. However, the Attack and Resistance boost is a little situational because he needs to be next to someone, and Bowbreaker is contradictory if you want him to have boosted resistance. Plus, let’s be honest with ourselves, not many dagger-based units are viable. So all-and-all, I might skip out on Takumi for now, but we’ll see how good my luck is elsewhere.
  • CamillaHoliday Traveler
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  • Camilla is clearly the odd one out when it comes to these New Years heroes. While I acknowledge that it’s part of her character in the Birthright game’s conclusion that she travels Hoshido, I still can’t see a reason why they wouldn’t include a Hoshidan sibling that hasn’t gotten any love yet – Hinoka and Ryoma, namely. Well… Okay, I know why they would choose Camilla, because everyone loves her and probably spends a lot of money to get her… But still. She is special as our first sword-wielding Wyvern unit, which opens up the possibility of a fully balanced wyvern-based team, but otherwise she’s somewhat unremarkable too. Okay weapon effect that stacks with her ward skill alongside a strong special attack, but also a strangely combined boost to her Defense and Speed. Maybe it makes sense for her stat spread, but personally I’m not sure I understand it.
  • AzuraCelebratory Spirit
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    • While Camilla is an odd flying unit in this banner, Azura is a freaking incredible flying unit in this banner. I’m not going to bury the lede here, she’s the unit I’m after right now. As far as I can recall, she’s also unique as an axe-wielding pegasus knight, but she’s also a flying unit with Azura’s signature Sing ability. That. Is. Awesome. Even if she doesn’t have the same beneficial weapon buff that the Performing Arts Azura has (in fact her weapon is basically a clone of Camilla’s, so it’s just ok), she does grant a large defense boost with her Earth Dance skill. Plus, she comes with Hone Fliers, arguably one of the best skills you’ll need on a flying unit focused team. Give this girl the Iote’s Shield Sacred Seal that was added during this last Tempest Trial, and I get the feeling she’s going to be an unstoppable force.

Honestly I’m really glad Azura’s skills look as good as they do. Even when I originally talked about these guys a few days ago I was convinced I would love Azura just because of her nice artwork, so it all just seemed to work out perfectly.

My only question is… What happened to Corrin, exactly?

Back in those leaks I talked about before, a bow-wielding Corrin was one of the featured heroes:

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And he does, in fact, appear through the Paralogue missions that accompanied these heroes. Yet, he’s not in the main summoning focus banner, and the upcoming Winter’s Envoy vs. New Years Voting Gauntlet is not going to feature him as a hero to support. So what happened to him?

Is he going to be in a separate banner that drops on New Year’s Day? Is he going to be a future reward unit, perhaps in some sort of Grand Hero Battle or? Who knows.

I get the feeling Azura would have been my focus whether or not Corrin was here too, so I suppose his absence is alright for now. It’s given me more of a chance to blow all my orbs on green, after all.

Except for the one time I pulled a series of summons that didn’t include a green unit.

Which was the one time I naturally got a five star unit.

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Love you Tharja, really I do… But you didn’t have to show up now you know.

Also why couldn’t you have shown up during my attempts at the Winter/Christmas banner?

Ah well, guess I can’t really complain about a new five star. Especially since this banner is going to be around for the entire month of January, so there’s going to be more than enough opportunities to get my Azura.

In the meantime, I’m getting a bunch of Cecilia clones all of a sudden, which means I’ll be able to keep improving mine in place of getting a Gunnthrá. Gotta love consolation prizes.


This story portion of the main event is probably going to be a short one, or at least a photo-heavy one. There really isn’t a hell of a lot to say about the Paralogue this time around besides the fact that Corrin shows up in it despite being absent elsewhere.

Even the maps you battle on aren’t super exciting for me this time around.

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I suppose there’s some traditional Japanese elements to them considering how Hoshido is heavily inspired by feudal Japan, but most of those references go right over my head if they’re there. As a result, all I really see is a couple of maps that are less visually enticing than the last few special holiday maps we’ve gotten for Halloween and Christmas.

But I digress. What exactly is the story here?

Well… You and the Order of Heroes start off by going to Hoshido to celebrate the New Year.

When you get there, the special heroes have already made their contracts with Princess Veronica, so as usual it’s right to battling – though you do get some interaction between the characters beforehand.

For example, leading into the first map, Corrin and Takumi talk about getting fortunes:

Spoiler alert, Takumi’s fortune says the exact same thing as Corrin’s fortune does. They’re just playing up the ‘Takumi doesn’t like Corrin’ thing I’m pretty sure.

The interactions between Azura and Camilla are a bit more interesting to me, admittedly.

Not going to lie, pretty sure they’re referring to the fact that her bust is way more restricted in this outfit than in… Just about any other outfit she gets in this game.

But that’s not the part that’s interesting to me. Rather, it’s the aspect of them interacting as sisters, playing on their relationship in Conquest version where Azura turns out to be the sibling from Nohr that was stolen away to Hoshido at a young age – opposite Corrin, as the plot goes.

It’s nice to see them have a moment to be sweet with one another from that perspective.

Even if it does get kind of weird.

Camilla is just a wonderfully awkward character in almost every respect. Honestly that’s one thing Heroes has done well, made me care more about her than I ever really did in the original games.

The final map is just about as generic as it gets. Everything leads in with the four heroes preparing to fight their last stand:

I’m definitely Takumi in this scenario.

Then you win the battle, and the Order of Heroes decide to stay back a bit and make wishes for the New Year.

As is characteristic, Alfonse wishes for world peace, Sharena wishes to be friends with everyone forever and Anna wishes to fill the coffers of the Order with lots and lots of money.

And that’s it. No more pomp and circumstance, no tie-in to a more overarching plot. Just a simple filler arc to celebrate the New Year, exactly what you might expect to see.

I suppose I can’t complain, after all we got an easy 12 orbs out of it. Plus, it houses my new dream hero Azura.

I will get to you eventually, Azura. No matter what it takes. As long as what it takes doesn’t include spending money because I’ve already done that too recently and I’m not starting bad habits for the New Year.


With that said, here’s all there is to say about this Heroes update. Like I said above, I’m going to keep experimenting with these to try and cut them down, so let me know what you think about trying to summarize the skill list using the list given in-game.

Also, let me know what you think of the New Year-themed heroes! And what you think about the absence of Corrin, for that matter. Will he appear soon? How will he appear? I’d love to know what you think.

The timely journalist in me couldn’t resist getting this post out the day the update happened, so now that this post is the last one I’m publishing for the year I’d like to wish everyone a happy and healthy 2018! May it be full of good times… And good luck when pulling heroes.

My (obligatory) Top 10 Games of 2017 List

My (obligatory) Top 10 Games of 2017 List

A merry Christmas to all of you out there that are taking a break from your families on this most Yule of evenings and have decided, for one reason or another, to spend some time reading this silly, clichéd offering of mine.

That’s right, as the title above suggests, I’ve decided to throw my hat in the ring with a top 10 list of my favorite games that I played this year. It’s been done to death by anyone with an interest in anything… But what can I say. I’ve always enjoyed the idea and wanted to try it myself.

As I don’t celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah ended a couple days ago, I’m just going to be hanging around all day today more or less. I figured doing a list like this could also double as my ‘here are some good gifts for the holiday season’ suggestions. A little late? Perhaps. But I like to think it’s just well-timed enough.

As a couple of forewarnings before we get into things. Just remember that this is my own personal list of favorites. In other words, it’s an opinionated list, so if you don’t agree with me… Well, that’s your opinion. I respect that you have your opinions so long as you respect that I have mine.

On top of that, while it has been an objectively great year for games in general, it has unfortunately not been a wonderful year of gaming for me. Because of the work constraints I’ve had as a college newspaper editor, a full-time student and an intern, there hasn’t been nearly as much time to play games as I would have liked.

So, if anything, these 10 games I’m listing off are arguably the only 10 games I’ve spent any considerable time actually playing this year.

If you don’t see a game you really liked this year, that’s probably why. As a matter of fact, unless you’re a Nintendo junkie like me, you probably won’t see a lot of games you’re familiar with on this list. A Switch and 3DS are my main gaming systems right now, so there aren’t a lot (if any) PS4 or Xbox games in my playing field.

With all that out of the way, let’s jump into the reason we’re all really here than, shall we? After all, what would a games list be without the games?



Editor’s Note: For anyone reading this on my blog proper, I’m going to stick the content under a read more tag. I pretty much let it all out with this one, so it’s long and I don’t want to completely bog everything else down.

Even so, I hope everyone enjoys the show! #UnintendedRhyme



Continue reading “My (obligatory) Top 10 Games of 2017 List”

The Most Anticlimactic Banner

The Most Anticlimactic Banner

It seems like I’ve really taken that “not planning on posting anything on this blog until after finals” thing to heart, haven’t I? Guess I really can’t bring myself to avoid a couple good Fire Emblem updates.

Though to be fair, two things are different this time around.

Firstly, I’ve actually finished a lot of my work for the final projects and exams I have. The only thing I’ve still got to finish is some work for my internship class, which shouldn’t be that much trouble.

There’s also work for the paper I suppose… But that’s always kind of a different story.

Secondly, this post should be really short. I know I say that a lot, but I’m serious this time around. Just watch, let’s see how quick I can get it out of the way:


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Today is the day that the Children of Fate summoning focus banner has arrived. These heroes have been built up for quite some time now, appearing as a point of attention in the calendar update a few weeks ago and showing up in the Book II story update just a couple days ago.

I enjoyed Fates a lot (besides one majorly terrible thing that kind of ruined the whole experience for me, but that’s a story for another day). One of the things that made Fates as enjoyable experience as it was boiled down to the child characters. The same thing could be said for Awakening too, but in Fates I distinctly remember a bunch of the kids being more memorable.

In fact, my friend and I spent a good amount of time leading up to this update discussing who we believed would be appearing in this banner. I actually wound up calling two out of the four new heroes: Soleil and Shiro.

So, what do these new heroes have to offer?

  • ShiroRaw Talent
    • Ryoma’s son Shiro was a character I imagined would arrive based on the general lack of lance-wielding units amongst Fate’s children cast, and I’m interested seeing that I was right. Even if Shiro wasn’t necessarily my favorite character overall. In Heroes, he comes with a Bright Naginata that grants him +4 attack and defense if the opponent initiates combat, the Swap movement skill, Steady Stance to gain +6 defense when he’s attacked and Defense Tactic, a new skill that grants allies +6 defense if they can only move two or less spaces at a time. There’s something a little off in my head when thinking that they made the character named for his ‘Raw Talent’ focused almost solely on defending rather than attacking. I don’t know, maybe I’m just biased because I don’t really like Shiro all that much, but I just think that Siegbert handles it better. Speaking of…
  • SiegbertFuture King
    • Okay, before I really get into things, I just wanted to say that ‘Future King’ is kind of a lame moniker. There’s seriously half a billion characters in the Fire Emblem universe that this could fit. Hell, related to this banner alone, Shiro could also use the title ‘Future King.’ In fact, Siegbert’s father Xander could technically be called ‘Future King’ as well. He really never becomes the king of Nohr until post-game. It might have fit Siegbert better if it commented on his nerves or fear of the responsibility he’s to inherit. But I digress, onto the character details:
    • Xander’s son Siegbert comes equipped with a Dark Greatsword that grants him +4 attack and speed if he initiates combat. He also has the powerful special attack Dragon Fang, Death Blow and Attack Tactic, which gives his allies +6 attack if they aren’t cavalier units (only 2 or less movement spaces). Frankly, I really like his skill set. Not only is he built like a long-range heavy hitter, but his new passive skill Attack Tactic really fits his character from an inherent, descriptive sense. Much more than I feel like the opposite ability does with Shiro, honestly. I like it, and I wouldn’t be too upset receiving a Siegbert. Even though I’d much rather get…
  • SoleilAdorable Adorer
    • Laslow’s daughter Soleil is probably one of if not my favorite character in Fire Emblem Fates. Or, at least, my favorite child character from Fates. She’s incredible, taking all of the flirtatious, happy-go-lucky attitude of her father (who we’ve gotten to know over two games) and putting it in a much more adorable form that manages to do everything better than he ever could. It’s a beautiful dynamic, and it’s gotten me very excited to pick up a Soleil of my own. But is she worth summoning? Well, she comes with a Firesweep Sword, preventing counterattacks on both sides, the special attack Blazing Wind to cause damage to foes all around whoever Soleil attacks and the passive skills Darting Blow, which grants her +6 speed if she attacks, and Drive Resistance, which grants allies +3 resistance during combat. The Drive Resistance skill is a little out of left field, but everything else makes her sound like a great fast attacker, which is always a good niche to fill.

I would also be remiss to not talk about the other Fates child introduced, even if she showed up the other day. But I didn’t talk about her then, so let’s give Rhajat some time to shine now.

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  • RhajatBlack Magician
    • Hayato’s daughter Rhajat is a character that I honestly didn’t want to see show up in this banner. Or… This split banner, as it were. She, alongside Caeldori and Asugi, were children of Fates characters who were actually retreads of parent characters from Awakening. That whole idea never really sat well with me in the original game, since it just felt like a strange way to shoehorn in old characters compared to just having them be travelers from a different land like Laslow, Odin and Selena. Though I suppose her appearance was predictable considering how much people love Tharja. I know I do, but Rhajat not quite as much. Either way, that shouldn’t take away from her potential usefulness here in-game. She comes with a Keen Gronnwolf green tome, which is effective against calvary, a Rally Attack/Defense movement skill, Distant Defense to grant her +6 defense and resistance when attacked from a distant weapon, and Savage Blow to cause damage to surrounding opponents after she attacks one of them.

I’ll be honest, Rhajat is the least appealing of the four heroes here, in my opinion. Ironic I know, considering she’s the most dramatically sexualized one of the lot (seriously, I joked with my friends that she’s like a pornstar in this version for some reason), but her skill set just doesn’t do it for me. I suppose in a sense that makes it better that she’s separated from the rest in a different banner.

However, that does annoy me quite a bit, as an aside.

Any sensible person seeing the collection of heroes in both of these banners with new characters must have thought the same thing as I did. Why is there one banner with two red units (Soleil and Siegbert) while there could have easily been a swap with Rhajat, making the Fates children banner contain a red, blue and green unit?

Well, the obvious answer to explain this is forcing the pay-to-play model. With two reds on one banner, there’s an increased chance of pulling the unit you don’t want. In my case, for example, I could wind up pulling a Siegbert when I want a Soleil. Though I’d be find with a Siegbert, I would still wholly prefer a Soleil, and might be more tempted to spend money to get more orbs if I lost out on the unit I wanted.

That’s a pretty shitty way to approach things, and you can tell it’s supposed to be the intent when there could have very easily been a split of the red units. Hell, Soleil would have arguably fit just as well in a love-themed Voting Gauntlet slot as Rhajat does, especially since Tharja is there filling the exact same role as is.

I don’t know, it just bugs me to see that greed factor rear its ugly head and remind me that I’m playing a generally unfair RNG-based character draw game.

That said… I have succumb to the enduring challenges of fighting against RNG this time around. Like I’ve said, Soleil is my goal, and I’ve already sunk about 50 stored up orbs into it.

Without much luck.

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Seriously, three Corrins? Come on game. I think I deserve a little better than that.

Oh well, I’ve got about two weeks to get it right, and as far as I can tell there isn’t anything else coming up that’s going to get in the way.


Alright, clocking in this post at… Close to 1,500 words. Still arguably more chatty than I expected to get with it, but much better than usual, I’d say. In fact, 1,500 words is the cap for the reflection I have to write for my internship class. So, if nothing else, this is a good comparison to use for how easy that assignment should hopefully be.

Wait, what’s that? You’re wondering where the story-based portion of this post is?

Well, there is no paralogue for these heroes. Why would there be, they’ve already gotten a chance to appear in the second chapter of Book II.

Sure, they didn’t get a single line of dialogue, and only seemed to be there to serve as a tool for Princess Veronica to throw at you, and they don’t get a paralogue mission to offer players an extra chance to get some orbs so the split banners annoyance can be offset… But it’s fine. These guys didn’t get shafted at all.

Again, I digress. We’d be here all day if I just griped about everything for the rest of eternity. It’s all just a little… Underwhelming. Anticlimactic even, considering how much buid-up there was. Which is how I described this one in my post title.

How do you feel about the new heroes? Were they who you hoped to see? I know theres a few I might have preferred, like Nina or Mitama for example. Though, do you also think the ones we got were shafted too? Let me know in the comments below.

Fire Emblem Heroes Book II update – Part 2

Fire Emblem Heroes Book II update – Part 2

I’ve begun to think of Fire Emblem Heroes like an interesting sort of social experiment, for a variety of reasons.

From what my friends who live on Reddit tell me, there’s quite a strong creative fanbase built up for the game there. People gather en masse to build character sets up in weird, interesting ways that most might not think of outside the game’s meta.

There are discussions about who’s going to be added whenever new summoning focuses approach, and reactions to those characters when they show up and inevitably get placed on tier lists.

Artwork abounds of characters who not only just appear in skimpy or cute outfits (because let’s be honest it’s a game with an anime aesthetic, so there’s plenty of it), but of characters who have gained relevance solely because they matter in Heroes. Like Reinhardt, who appeared in a currently Japanese-only Fire Emblem game but is now unforgettable as a destroyer of everything in the mobile title.

Probably the most interesting thing about the fanbase for heroes is seeing them deal with the interactions between characters from different games coming together. Never is this more apparent than during Voting Gauntlets, when artwork starts popping up of front-running units beating the crap out of each other. People pick sides and root vehemently for their favorites, only to cry out in disappointment as Intelligent System’s ‘inability to math’ screws them over.



Editor’s Note: For those who don’t know, there’s a meme among members of the Fire Emblem Heroes community making fun of the fact that the point calculations in Voting Gauntlets are screwy, making it so the two sides can be labeled as having the “same score” when the numbers above clearly show that one side is a few million points ahead.

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It’s never not hilarious.



I don’t think of Fire Emblem Heroes as a social experiment because of the community, however. I think of it as one because I’ve never seen a game that’s taken such an interesting shift in story development over such a long period of time.


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When this game came out in February, it started with a rather simple story through ten sets of missions. You, as a summoner of characters from all over the spectrum of Fire Emblem games, traveled with the Order of Heroes to stop an opposing summoner from destroying the homeland of your friends. That was about it, a fairly thin layer of skin over a random number generating summon mechanic clearly designed to make you want to spend money.

But now, about 11 months later, we’ve arrived at the release of Book II, and things are dramatically different.

Most of the extra story chapters and paralogue missions in Book I expanded upon the original premise of the game by taking you to different Fire Emblem worlds to find more heroes that you can throw your orbs against the wall to summon. However, under the surface, there was more being developed, slowly but surely.

Princess Veronica, the leader of the opposing nation, developed a partnership with a mysterious character named Loki who disguised their appearance but hoped to bring their king to Askr to fight the good fight. Prince Bruno, Veronica’s brother, is revealed to be the old ally of the Order of Heroes that provides much of the motivation for Prince Alfonse and Princess Sharena. But these developments with the villains are slow to arrive, and give the game a chance to develop its characters over a long period as players become accustomed to them.

Then, Book II takes the story through a rapid paradigm shift.

The new part of the story begins with a cinematic that introduces the overall theme of this leg. New characters, allied with Veronica and clearly fire-themed, take on the Order of Heroes allied with a new character who controls ice. There’s some impressive displays of power, but otherwise it doesn’t tell you a lot.

It also turns out to just be a teaser of sorts, looking at future events as Fire Emblem likes to do. The actual story of Book II begins well before what they show you.

When you arrive at… I’m not even sure I can write the name of this land, so I’ll just say the ice kingdom… When you arrive at the ice kingdom, Alfonse and Sharena remark on the cooling magma that covers the once beautiful farmland they used to visit as children.

The first chapter of Book II pretty much goes on without any other story until the fifth map, when you first run into Princess Fjorm and King Surtr.

The two are dueling, though the fight is clearly lopsided in favor of the king. He leaves after defeating Fjorm, but leaves his assistant Loki in charge of taking care of your team.

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Defeating Loki leads to her retreat, and allows you to bring Fjorm to safety, where she joins your team to help fight against the evil monarch.

Once she’s on your side, you take on chapter 2, where you and your allies chase after Surtr.

It’s mostly a story-less approach (though it introduces a few interesting things that I’ll go into in a bit), besides the beginning and the ending maps.

The first brings you face-to-face with Veronica, now open about her allegiance with the fire kingdom.

She sends new Heroes at you over the next few battles to slow your progress, but eventually you reach the fifth map and encounter the king himself.

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His fight is a timed survival, as special magic makes the armored king invincible. You have to survive six turns against Surtr and his main allies, who all get a proper first introduction here.

If anything, this fight is arguably the representation of the opening cinematic in-game… Though it’s much less exciting than the specially created video, of course.

When you survive long enough, the Order determines that they cannot win and retreat.

Oh also, there’s a prophesy. Because of course there’s a prophesy. Can’t have a big dramatic story without it, apparently.

Minor clichéd gripes aside, that wraps up where Book II ends… For now.

To be completely honest, like I’d mentioned toward the beginning of this, I’m very impressed at how things have developed, and glad I’ve stuck around long enough to see it happen.

Over 11 months, the entirety of the game we’ve seen up to the release of Book II felt like the end-all-be-all of Fire Emblem Heroes. It was a simple game with a simple premise that delighted players by finding a basic way to throw a ton of Fire Emblem characters together.

But now, that entire 11 month developing story just feels like it was a prologue. Expositional, introducing us to the main characters and what they can do and how they interact with one another to build up to the actual chief conflict of the game: This war of fire and ice that everyone gets dragged into.

It’s kind of incredible really, thinking that all of this was likely planned in some capacity from the beginning. Granted, thinking back to a game like Fire Emblem Awakening where halfway through the story you jump ahead a few years and suddenly have a whole new story that’s the true meat of the game, it’s the kind of developmental ‘pulling the wool over one’s eyes’ that the series does frequently.

But Fire Emblem Awakening was one contained product, a single game cartridge with just about all of its main content available at launch.

For Fire Emblem Heroes, developers had to make sure players stuck with their game for almost a year to get the big reveal and find out that everything they’ve seen is just build-up. That’s a crazy feat, but one that really seems to have paid off in the long run.


Though this post was mostly intended to elaborate on why I felt the Book II story is more impressive than others might give it credit for, I did also want to touch on some of the new, interesting thing they added throughout the maps as well.

In chapter 1, there are a two new generic units that fill different archetypes from Fire Emblem games which haven’t gotten any villainous love up to this point.

Manaketes and Wyvern riders are staples of the series all the way back to the original Fire Emblem game with characters like Tiki and Minerva. The fact that they didn’t show up in the enemy armies up to this point was a little odd, though I suppose it becomes a nice and convenient excuse to say that they were added in as units from the fire kingdom who didn’t exist in Emblia.

I can respect that. Waiting long enough that you get a convenient out. Much better than just adding them in randomly a few months later like they were forgotten originally.

However, the generic units really aren’t the highlight of the new units added in. Rather, it’s the heroes that Veronica brings along, teasing the next summoning focus:

Children of characters from Fire Emblem Fates are next on the docket, which is something we knew about from previous calendar updates, but never knew exactly who would be showing up until now.

I’ll keep my thoughts abridged for now, since I’ll probably be more over-the-top and wordy later once the main banner is released… But let’s just say there’s a certain Nohrian girl I’ve got my eyes on.

Even if the way they split the heroes into two banners bugs me.

But again, I’ll save that discussion for next time.


For me, this was part two of my discussion of the Version 2.0.0 update. However, I tried to set it up so you could read them in any order you want, so if you haven’t seen the first part going over mechanical and aesthetic changes, you can look here.

Hopefully you all enjoyed me blathering on for almost 3,000 words on a mobile game once again. There’s going to be more later this week, like I said, but for now I’m going to be taking another break to work on all of my final projects and exam study guides. Gotta love this time of year.

What do you think of the Book II story? Are you as enamored with the idea of the long-term story telling as I am? Or is it just basic enough to keep you invested in the game a bit longer? Let me know in the comments below!

A song of Awakening and Fates

A song of Awakening and Fates

My last post about Fire Emblem Heroes was pretty negative honestly. I talked all about how tired I felt I was getting seeing things like Tempest Trials show up over and over, burning me out more each time without a substantial break in between.

However… This new banner of special heroes brought me right back from the brink of despair.

I’m not even overemphasizing things that much. Two nights ago when the trailer dropped showing off these four new units, I watched the video at least five times while sitting in the newsroom, waiting for corrections to come back on front page. I was excited to see who was added, I liked the look they were going for and I REALLY liked the music that went with the trailer – though I’ll get more into that later.

Hell, I was so excited about these heroes that even in the midst of a super exciting update to Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links with a billion giveaways to celebrate the launch of a GX-themed world, I still found myself thinking about Fire Emblem. Waiting impatiently for the update.

Now that it’s here, was it worth the wait?

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Though everyone was expecting some sort of a Halloween-themed update to coincide with the beginning of October, instead we got a summoning banner themed around dancing and singing, featuring characters who do those things from Fire Emblem Awakening and Fire Emblem Fates. Namely:

  • AzuraLady of Ballads
    • Dressed like she is during her special musical number in the Conquest route of Fates, Azura’s performer ensemble is an interesting departure from the norm in that she comes as an axe-wielder rather than a lance-wielder… Though she generally serves the same niche as her original counterpart. Her special axe Udor (with some weird accent over the ‘o’ that I can’t even start to imagine how to recreate) makes it so anyone she sings for also gains +3 to every stat. Frankly, that’s a crazy buff. She also comes with Triangle Adept to help take out other lances and a passive buff to ally resistance stats during combat, but I would argue the special axe overshadows everything else.
  • InigoIndigo Dancer
    • Clearly somewhat over his stage fright, Inigo is here in his pre-Laslow standing. Rather than coming in as a mercenary like we might expect, however, he’s fully embraced his dancing spirit and… Is a green mage. I’ll be honest, the green mage thing threw me off when I first saw it, but his Dancer’s Ring has the Breath of Life skill built in, so it’s pretty cool. I can’t complain about it, at least. He can also dance for allies and provide them +4 speed if he does, with a turn start buff to attack for adjacent allies as well.
  • OliviaFestival Dancer
    • Inigo’s mother Olivia is also making an appearance, wearing an outfit that’s as revealing as ever but comes with a super nice dark color scheme – I think it’s really nice, at least. Instead of bringing a sword for protection, she carries a weapon called the Dancer’s Fan: A colorless dagger that has a Breath of Life skill built in similar to Inigo’s weapon while also causing a -7 defense and resistance affliction to opponents. Seriously, if you like Inigo’s weapon, this one is above and beyond that, even if it trades off some power and has a physical rather than a magical attribute. She also grants +4 attack with her dance and has Distant Defense, a skill which adds defense and resistance during combat if she’s attacked from afar – something you’ll likely see often with a dagger weapon.
  • ShigureDark Sky Singer
    • Azura’s son Shigure makes his first appearance in Fire Emblem Heroes, but comes in as a blue tome mage rather than a lance-wielding pegasus knight as he is in Fates. Though Shigure was admittedly never really my favorite child unit, it’s nice to see him appear, and the outfit he has to match Azura’s is quite pretty in its own right. His weapon, the Dancer’s Score, is essentially a blue version of Inigo’s Dancer’s Ring. On top of that, he grants +4 to a unit’s defense and resistance stats when he sings for them… Though his final skill only provides SP buffs to other blue tome users on your team. Probably useful for training, but not at all for combat.

From a purely mechanical standing, I love how each of these units come with skills that give their singing or dancing extra utility. I haven’t used a unit with an ability that lets units take a second turn, so the idea of finally getting the chance to do so with whatever extra benefits are brought about is exciting.

Though I also have to say that I think my favorite thing about the specific selection of characters for this banner is the fact that they went with a sweet Mother/Son dynamic with the singing and dancing duets. They do address it somewhat in the story for the paralogue, but just as an idea I think it’s a great little connection that I wouldn’t have thought to pull together until I saw it.

Plus, Inigo and Shigure are both technically brand new characters if you don’t count Laslow. They’re child characters too, which gives me some more hope of seeing some of my other favorite child characters from Awakening and Fates in the future.

Given my excitement for these heroes appearing, I prepared myself for the inevitable orb binge. Things have been storing up for a while, since I got everyone I wanted out of the Crimean Heroes banner a few weeks ago in fact, so that extra buffer finally had its chance to be useful.

It became a little event for me in fact, and as you can see from all of these summon pictures:

 

It was a big bust in the end. Up around 80 orbs more or less down the drain without anything to show for it. I didn’t quite blow everything as you can obviously see from the last image in the set above, but I’m generally not a fan of summoning when I have less than 20 orbs on-hand at least. That way I’m not screwed over if I happen to get five colored summoning choices I want to take on at once.

So, in the unfortunate melancholy of my failure to summon any of the performance heroes, I decided to jump over and see the paralogue for this special banner.

Even from the very beginning, this particular bit of story doesn’t go out of it’s way to distinguish itself as anything beyond filler for the sake of introducing cool alternate costumed characters.

There’s a bit of a joking air at the start as Anna sings Azura’s song, Lost in Thoughts All Alone (more or less the theme song of Fire Emblem Fates as a whole, for that matter). However, not much time is devoted to that before things go right down to business:

Get going you do, and as a result you find yourself in the grand canal-flooded opera house in Cyrkensia from Fire Emblem Fates, arguably one of the game’s most significant and popular locations.

Each of the three maps has you fighting at a different location within the Opera House, which frankly does make sense considering the sheer size of the place in the original game:

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Image courtesy of gamerguides.com

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The actual fights on the maps aren’t particularly challenging in my opinion, though having to deal with 2 to 4 units that can all sing or dance to allow their partner a second opportunity to act is a bit of a pain for sure.

Arguably the biggest boon to these maps are how they look. Not only are things inherently interesting considering the special character outfits, but the setting makes for an aesthetically beautiful set piece both in and out of the battle screen.

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Little in-game Azura singing her heart out. Gotta love it.

However, no matter how nice these maps look and how much I enjoy the characters talking within them, in my opinion there is at least one majorly glaring issue with the new content.

Why is there no special music for the special banner about the performing arts?

That whole thing seems counterintuitive to me, honestly. As a matter of fact, I might even go so far as to say the lack of special music is a rather huge detriment to the update as a whole. It took away quite a bit of my initial hype to hear old music show up again for the three battles in the Opera House.

The idea is especially poignant because a really dope song was already used in the announcement trailer that doesn’t get any play here in Heroes proper. It’s honestly perfect, and I was listening to this video over-and-over for parts of the day leading in just so I could keep hearing the remix.

Don’t want to dwell too much on that however, as music issues aside there isn’t a lot of substance to go over in the story itself either. Each of the three maps starts with a small introduction to the characters that are going to be the focus in that fight, as you’d probably expect.

The first map has Inigo and Azura running into one another, with Inigo having to break away from his desire to hit on such a beautiful lady so they can stop you.

Why are they stopping you? Well… They think you’re intruding on the sanctity of the stage they’re performing on? I guess?

The motivations are a little weirdly specific this time around, I’ll be honest. Though props to the reference of Azura knowing Laslow, who is Inigo taking on a different name at some point the future.

The second map features Olivia and Shigure in a different part of the Opera House, more or less encountering your team under the same mysterious pretense that Azura and Inigo did.

Then finally, the third map features the two groups coming together to fight, dividing into Mother/Son combos of dancers and singers.

Interestingly enough, this part of the paralogue was the most interesting to me because it takes a small detour to delve into lore and character building for this dark-cloaked Azura.

It’s just interesting to me that they decide to talk about the implications of the story in Fates, messing with time by having Shigure appear to be from some canonical timeline that Azura has disappeared in while this special Azura is apparently from some other continuity. I suppose if it’s a subject they can mess with anywhere, Heroes is a good place to do so considering it’s predicated on the idea of drawing characters out from various timelines and dimensions or what have you, but it still seems to be a complicated thing to add just in the middle of another thing going on.

It’s also a little unbalanced in my head to see Inigo and Olivia have a happy little reunion while Shigure and Azura’s interactions are more seeped in sadness and angst… But at the same time that probably fits the characters we’re looking at pretty well. So who am I to complain?

Beyond that side note about Azura, however, there isn’t much else to talk about in regards to story. After you beat the four performers, they acknowledge they were wrong and offer to help you if you summon them later… But it just ends there. No extra banter from the Order of Heroes characters or anything. Just a one-and-done sort of deal.

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Whether it was “kind” to come in and beat everyone up until they came to their senses is an argument we’ve yet to have extensively, but it’s a nice sentiment to end on either way.

The romp through Cyrkensia may have been overall uneventful, more of a filler ark like I said before, and the lack of special music continues to baffle me… But in the end it serves it’s overall purpose well.

That purpose being offering opportunity to earn extra orbs.

I decided to use those extra orbs I earned from the story missions for one last attempt at summoning. An attempt that had…

Very unexpected results. But certainly not results I’m interested in complaining about.

Got me a special Azura, baby!

With this special Azura comes a special personal distinction in that I’ve never had a good dancing/singing unit before to support my team with double action turns. Now I do, and although I’ve been finding that Azura might be a little too much of a glass cannon for my tastes, I’m still excited to make good use of her.

… Though I also won’t stop trying to get some of the others over the next month. Grinding the Tempest Trials out to the end will net me some extra chances to summon, and in particular I’m looking out for Olivia at this point. A good colorless is something that’s far more widely applicable.

But I digress, since beggars can’t be choosers and all that.

After all, it’s time for me to go get some more orbs and get my GX on. Don’t know whether I want to write a post about the GX world coming since I’ve already basically blown through all the first-time impressions… But I suppose if you’re interested in seeing that, let me know in the comments below.

In fact, if you have any opinions on the performing arts heroes, let me know that in the comments too!