Tag: Mobile Gaming

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.

Entertainment Beat Report – May 4, 2018

Entertainment Beat Report – May 4, 2018

My apologies for missing last week oh devoted(?) fanbase. Looking at terrible restaurants around CSUF took up a whole lot of my time.

But now that that’s out-of-the-way I have way more free time and a hell of a lot less stress. So let’s talk about some video game news, shall we?


Upcoming President of Nintendo wants to focus on Mobile

The eternal gaming juggernaut Nintendo recently announced that its current president, Tatsumi Kimishima, will be stepping down in June.

He will become an advisor to the company’s next president (assuming stockholders agree) Shuntaro Furukawa, according to Kotaku.

Since Kimishima took the helm of the video game world’s most recognizable company following the unfortunate death of Satoru Iwata, it was brought back into an upswing thanks to the transition from the unsuccessful Wii U into the quite well-received Nintendo Switch.

Interestingly enough, one thing I learned from Kotaku Features Editor Chris Kohler’s article here is the fact that the current executive is not only going to be the sixth president of Nintendo ever, but also the first to take over during a thriving period of the company’s history.

Furukawa is supposedly interested in not just keeping up the success of the mobile hybrid console currently printing money for Nintendo, but also looking to take more advantage of the iPhone and Android gaming market.

As someone who rather obsessively plays Fire Emblem Heroes, Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links and has had stints with both Pokémon GO and Super Mario Run, I’m pretty interested in that choice.

Though I do hope a large chunk of their focus remains on the classic gaming model more than the free-to-start ‘gotcha’ games.


Nintendo Labo kits face mediocre sales

Sticking with the Nintendo side of the world, let’s talk about Nintendo Labo again.

It’s a subject I’ve discussed before because it’s an interesting experiment all things being equal. For those of you who are unaware, Nintendo Labo is a series of arts-and-crafts kits in which Nintendo Switch owners can build objects out of cardboard that will allow them to play mini-games.

As the video above shows, there are objects like fishing poles, motorcycles and even a backpack that lets you imitate the giant robot you always wished you could pilot.

That’s Iron Giant for me, I’d say.

I’ve spent a good amount of time thinking and talking about Labo around here because I’m honestly interested in the idea behind it. As a current fan of things like Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project (a podcast featuring the ex-Mythbusters star), I appreciate the benefits to encouraging kids with a creative making project.

On top of that, the early reception to Labo seemed rather positive. This article by Eurogamer writer Robert Purchase really sums things up rather well in my opinion.

In essence, he argues that Labo is expensive and somewhat cumbersome to pull together on top of being something that isn’t incredibly fun alone… But for kids, it’s rather magical.

However, despite the positivity surrounding these cardboard variety kits, they don’t appear to be selling well in Japan since launching on April 20.

Kotaku reports that of the two variety kits currently available, the cheaper variety kit has sold 40 to 60 percent of its stock while the more flashy robot kit has only sold 20 to 40 percent of its stock.

In my opinion, it would be a shame if Labo disappeared into the same failing obscurity of experiments like the Virtual Boy… But at the same time I don’t exactly have the $60 to throw at things that might be just below my age demographic and overall interest level.

So I guess I don’t exactly have any ground to stand on in terms of saying we should support it. I think we should, but I probably won’t own any cardboard anytime soon.


New Overwatch Hero already receiving adjustments for being overpowered

Brigitte, the Swedish mechanical engineer who acts as a mix of a healer/tank unit, recently took Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch by storm.

She’s already getting nerved for taking it a little TOO much by storm.

Just about a day after she got released into the game, Blizzard is already working on balancing the character who seems to be ruffling many feathers among tank-hero players especially, according to PC Gamer… And just about anyone else reporting on the subject.

Now I’m not exactly a regular player of Overwatch, so I can’t necessarily explain the importance and impact of making Brigitte’s ultimate skill only buff character armor by 100 rather than 150, or increasing the cooldown on her stun attack from five to six seconds.

What I can tell you is that my friends who still play Overwatch regularly have noticed her impact and have complained about her.

So good on Blizzard for staying so on top of keeping their game fair.


Harry Potter’s mobile game bows to player criticism

“‘Yer a mobile game, Harry.”

As I mentioned up above, I’ve become more of a fan of mobile games as of late. However… I actually wasn’t aware there was a game based on the Harry Potter novels that dropped toward the end of April.

Apparently that’s not such a bad thing, because the game apparently succumbed to the dreaded microtransaction plague. That’s to bad because I enjoy Harry Potter a lot and it’s a shame that the game is being held back by lousy money practices.

Or is it?

The game has gotten so much negative press over its microtransaction system that it has apparently cut them out down, according to this article by IGN. Or technically Eurogamer since that’s who they source. But I already used Eurogamer so… Diversity.

But wait, there’s more. Supposedly that discounted price has only been seen by some users. Not everyone.

Talk about drama!

I can’t exactly speak to the game’s quality since I haven’t played it, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if this controversy buries it or not.


Steam implements more controller use variety

Valve’s gaming platform Steam has added compatibility with the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller.

That’s uhh… Really all there is to say on this subject, honestly.

It’s a cool idea, as Xbox controllers have become famous in part for being used on Steam, and this shows just another facet of the Nintendo Switch’s staying power overall.

But honestly what else can I add to that particular conversation? I don’t have a Pro Controller since I enjoy just using the Joy Cons. But if I did, I would appreciate being able to use it on my Steam games.

Probably.


That’s about all I have to say this week, and it may be almost everything I have to say altogether. If that makes sense?

I guess it wouldn’t unless you knew that next week is the last day of classes for the Spring 2018 semester. As a result, it will be the week that we get our beat reports examined by the professor.

I’m not sure if I’m going to keep up this experiment after the allotted time period. I do enjoy it, but I’m not sure it’s really my style right now.

If you’re interested in my keeping up this facet of my blog, feel free to let me know in the comments down below. I’d appreciate the input!

I would also appreciate knowing if there was any gaming news I missed, by the way. Because repeated ending phrase is repeated as always.

‘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
    img_8077

    • 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
    img_8078

    • 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
    img_8076

    • 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.

Jason’s Fire Emblem Heroes mid-April new events analysis

Jason’s Fire Emblem Heroes mid-April new events analysis

Could I throw any more pomp and circumstance into a single blog post title for something that probably doesn’t deserve it?

Welcome to my double new events analysis! I’ve been a bit distracted by the end of the semester so I didn’t have the chance to talk about the Grand Conquests event while it was happening over the last week or so. However, with a new version of the Tempest Trials here today, I figured I could lump them together and get my compulsive fill out-of-the-way in one fell swoop.

That said I’m going to start with the “brand new” Tempest Trials+, that way anyone interested in just the newest news can move on with their life soon after that if they desire.


Tempest Trials+

Now some of you may be wondering why I put “brand new” in quotes when referring to this new event in the paragraph just above this.

Well… To put it bluntly…

There’s really nothing that’s especially “new” about these updated Tempest Trials. There are certainly some quality improvements to the overall formula that I like, but I’m not sure it’s new enough to warrant very deep examination.

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Thracia 776 continues its current run of popularity in Heroes by taking our latest Tempest Trials slot. But what exactly is different about this updated formula compared to previous entries?

To put it simply, there are three big changes: The time frame of the event has shrunk, the reward tiers have changed and bonus allies have become more useful overall.

 

Honestly these two screenshots pretty much sum up everything rather succinctly, but I’ll spell it out a little just in case there are some people reading this who are new around here and haven’t seen a Tempest Trials post since I stopped writing them

  • Rather than lasting a full two weeks, the Tempest Trials+ sets only last 10 days.
  • Whereas main Tempest Trials installments had rewards up to 100,000 points, the Tempest Trials+ only have rewards up to 50,000 points like mini Trials.
  • Instead of there being two tiers of bonus allies, one offering an extra 40 percent to the player’s score at the end of a round and one only offering 20 percent, now all eight of the bonus allies offer 40 percent.

I personally have mixed feelings about these changes.

More bonus allies being useful is a great thing for everyone, as it can be hard to pull the brand new units that originally served as the 40 percent vanguard, but now older units and the Tempest reward unit are applicable.

However, making the time frame of the event shorter and shrinking the rewards to gain is potentially detrimental. The way I personally approach Tempest Trials is grinding them out idly with auto play during my drives to-and-from Cal State Fullerton. That system has allowed me to easily work out 100,000 points within two weeks and thus I’ve been able to enjoy the rewards they offer.

I understand that not everybody can commit to working out that much time the same way I do, but I think the loss of extra rewards is a bummer. Though the fact that the higher level runs only cost 15 stamina now is pretty great.

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Hopefully shorter Trials means more frequent Trials to make up for the exchange of rewards. That’s all I’m going to say on the matter.

With that said, I mentioned up above that I haven’t posted a Tempest Trials blog post in some time. The reason for that change was because Trials showed up relatively frequently without any serious changes between each. Granted, there was “development” in the overall story of Masked Lucina going around helping everyone, but not enough development to warrant talking about it.

For the most part everything boiled down to “show up at a new place, ask the new characters for help, go through trials and win.” Rinse and repeat.

Unfortunately, the Thracia 776 Trials here are no different. But because I happen to be talking about it, I figured why not go over the small stuff I always used to dive into. Just like old times

In terms of plot… Well, this is about it.

 

 

Game-referential exposition building up Reinhardt as the big bad this time around.

I won’t say I’m complaining as I haven’t personally played Thracia 776, so the little history lesson does what it needs to by setting up the conflict between Leif and Reinhardt.

Plus it offers Lucina the opportunity to be a history geek, which is my absolute favorite headcanon for her.

But there isn’t much to say beyond that.

That extends to the end-game battle against Reinhardt as well. While Leif sets up the fact that their ultimate battle in the original title took place on the river that has been recreated, I don’t have any sort of connection with it beyond that.

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It’s a nice map though. I’ll give the developers that much, they always do a great job recreating iconic scenes on these small-scale builds.

Now rewards are a somewhat more interesting discussion for me this time around. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve taken the time to invest into all of my five-star units. After all, one can only rely on the slowly power creep susceptible horse emblem gods for so long.

I’ve had a ton of the powerful units just sitting in storage for some time now, so I made it my mission to give them inherited skills and sacred seals that way I can throw my weight around more with blessings and rival domain maps.

As a result, sacred seals have become way more important for me. That coincides perfectly with a Tempest Trials that offers really great seals!

Tempest Trials+: Thunder’s Fist Sacred Seals

  1. Seal Speed — Inflicts a speed debuff on foes after battling with them
    1. For a unit that wants to strike twice in a turn, lowering the opponent’s speed is fairly invaluable. Seal skills build up a good chunk of stat debuffs, so this should be useful.
  2. Fortress Defense — Grants up to +5 defense in exchange for -3 attack
    1. I didn’t enjoy the fortress skills too much until I began experimenting with units and found out how great a huge defensive buff can be on a unit with already sky-high attack. Thanks to Brave Lucina and Innes for teaching me such a valuable lesson.
  3. Drive Attack — All allies within two spaces of the unit receive up to +3 attack during combat
    1. Drive skills are another thing I’ve discovered the great power of during my time experimenting. Many of my dancing units now feature two versions of drive where they can to ensure a unit that’s nearby has an extra boost after being brought back to attention for another move. Looking forward to getting this one especially.

Luckily I’m excited for these seals, because I’m not super invigorated when I think about the unit that was added as a Trial reward:

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Based on conversations I’ve read in-game, it seems like Finn fits the archetype of ‘early game broken great knight’ that Fire Emblem games are famous for. However, just on quick research he seems much more interesting as a character who bridges the 15 year time gap between the beginning and end campaigns of Geneaology of the Holy War.

Also he’s Nanna’s father. Which I wouldn’t have expected in a million years.

Despite having an interesting character back story, I’m not sure I’m that excited for another lance-wielding cavalier as a reward. God knows Clive just disappeared into the aether after the Tempest Trials he came out in.

With that, however, everything I have to say about Tempest Trials+ is said and done. I’m not sure I would consider it too much of a plus just yet, but I suppose we’ll see if it becomes a better deal in the long run.


Grand Conquests

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Obviously I missed the boat on talking about this new game mode. I mentioned it when the event was teased back during the last major game update, but then life got busy.

Fun fact, I actually took most of the pictures you’ll be seeing on this post when I was at Universal Studios with my family last week. I meant to write this closer to then… But what can I say.

But enough excuses, what exactly are Grand Conquests?

Well to put it simply, “Three armies vie for territory.” It’s hard to dumb it down more than that.

I’m not one to dumb things down however, so what are Grand Conquests in-depth?

If you’ve ever played the strategy board game Risk or the Galactic Conquest mode of Star Wars Battlefront II (the original, not the well hated new version) then you already have a head start on understanding Grand Conquests.

When the event was first kicking off, players were able to register for entry into the game two or three days in advance. Everyone who registered got randomly put into one of three teams controlled by each of the main members of the Order of Heroes: Alfonse, Sharena and Anna.

Each army was initially allocated 10 of the 30 plots of land on the map. The first ‘game’ had 22 rounds as you can see above, and though I don’t believe I paid much attention to how much time each round lasted, once it ended the amount of land an army controlled shifted.

That shifting was based on the amount of points and control a team put into each area, as you can see on the chart in the above right-hand photo. Once the first ‘game’ ended, two more followed that lasted just as long, and much like the Voting Gauntlet there were additional rewards players could earn in each cycle.

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I think the change that came between each game was my least favorite part of the event. Players did not always stick with the same team during the transition. For example, I played for team Alfonse during the first two games only to suddenly find myself on team Anna for game three.

While I understand that idea probably came out of necessity to ensure there was balance in the player base — can’t have one team dominate every single game after all — I feel the idea took something away from the connection we could have had to the teams.

It would have been much more fun if I got to choose the team I wanted to be on at the beginning and fought for their honor, like with Voting Gauntlets.

But I digress.

How was the actual gameplay that came with this new game mode?

Once players selected a region they wanted to march on (limited to areas in their army’s control or those just on the outskirts for invasions), they were given the opportunity to select a difficulty level and allocate up to eight stamina spears.

The difficulty level is fairly self-explanatory, but the stamina spears were a new take on a classic mechanic. In the Arena, players are given three chances to battle a day (via “dueling swords”) unless they use extra resources to restore those battle chances.

The stamina spears worked similarly to dueling swords in that you needed at least one to battle in Grand Conquests. However, the spears slowly regenerated throughout the day like regular battling stamina. On top of that, there was an extra risk/reward aspect in that extra spears could be allocated for each battle to boost the amount of points you earned.

Every battle in the Grand Conquests were rival domain-scale fights. Very large maps with 20-unit platoons on each side that duke it out to earn points by killing off opponents and stealing camps/forts.

While I enjoy the style of gameplay that comes with this, I do wish there was more of a direct player versus player interaction.

One day we’ll reach a place where opponents won’t just be computer-controlled versions of player-built teams. One day…

After the battle ended, points were calculated in a similar way to how rival domains do it:

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Your score served two purposes. First and foremost, that area on the map had a higher chance of coming into your team’s control if you and other players all poured their resources into it and dominated the space.

More spaces, of course, led to more benefits after each game.

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However, score also accumulated in a player’s Grand Conquest Tier.

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There were 20 tiers in all. The higher tier the player, the more bonuses they offered to an area in terms of keeping it under that team’s control. Rising in tier also offered a number of rewards: Namely some orbs and full restores for stamina spears.

Sweet, sweet orbs man. They really are like crack.

And that in a not-so-small nutshell is the Grand Conquests mode. As another rotating event in the same vein as Voting Gauntlets and Tempest Trials, I quite like it overall!

Granted, there are issues in the execution like I mentioned (not choosing the army I wanted to support really does bug me), but overall this was an interesting twist on mechanics we’ve seen in play for some time now.

I’ll look forward to seeing Grand Conquests return sometime soon. Who knows, if enough is different next time around, I might just have to do a small series with these things like I did for Tempest Trials.


Hoo boy, amazing how I always wind up talking so god damn much so early into the morning. I swear I never intend these things to get long but they always do.

If you managed to make it this far, let’s try our hands at some fruitless audience interaction again.

What do you think about the new adjustments to the Tempest Trials formula? Do you think it’s going to be a healthy way to improve the game?

How about the Grand Conquests, do you enjoy those as a brand new way to play? What would you do to improve them going forward?

Let me know in the comments below!

Intelligent Systems won’t “Leif” us alone

Intelligent Systems won’t “Leif” us alone

So remember in my Daily Titan article archiving post from yesterday when I said I haven’t posted on this blog recently and kind of jokingly passed it off as not having enough time?

Well allow me to completely destroy all credibility in that regard by immediately jumping into another post all about Fire Emblem Heroes. Everyone’s favorite, I’m sure.

What can I say, it’s hard for me to stay away when this game updates itself and gives us some new people to play around with, especially now that I’ve personally gotten more into creating powerful units to fool around with. That or it’s just hard for me to get away from this writing crutch that I’ve rested on one too many times as an excuse to write more fun things that I’m interested in.

Either or works as an explanation honestly.

But that said, let’s quit all the meta talk and move into some Fire Emblem talk.


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Welcome to the World of Thracia 776 ©, the Fire Emblem game that literally nobody would have remembered existed if Reinhardt wasn’t added into Heroes with one of its first updates and became an overpowered meme machine.

Mm-mmm, That’s the kind of meme quality I’m after.

Though with that said, I think the elephant in this particular room should be addressed before I get too deep into things.

No, I will not apologize for using such a perfect pun in my post title.

Don’t bother asking.

But in all seriousness, my actual gripe comes from the fact that half of this new hero summoning banner is literally a re-tread of the only heroes from this game that we actually already have from that early update.

Like what’s the deal Intelligent Systems? I know that Reinhardt is a popular meme — as I’ve so graciously pointed out before — but are there really no more than three new heroes we can include from this generally unacknowledged title before resigning ourselves to new versions of ones that are already here?

They aren’t even special holiday variants guys. Seriously guys, come on.

But I digress. Even if they are partially re-releases, these heroes must have something to offer in their own rights, right?

… Right?

  • LeifPrince of Leonster
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    • Where to begin with these new heroes… I don’t have that much of a connection to any of them, so I suppose I’ll have to stick with their possible competitive viability. Lief arguably has the best chance to fit in somewhere in my opinion. His weapon has a cool effect that boosts his own defense and subsequently boosts his attack based on his defense. Add that to the Spd and Def boost and he’s got a nice core if you disregard the just ‘ok’ special attack. Plus I’ve been getting more into Drive skills lately so I dig that. However… He comes with an energy drink. For some reason. If it’s a reference I don’t get it, but what I do know is that drink is literally useless outside of Chain Challenges and Tempest Trial runs. So clearly this boy isn’t meant to be used in too many other places.
  • NannaNordion Princess
    img_7883

    • Nanna is painfully forgettable. There aren’t too many cavalier healers in the game so she has a slight boost in intrigue there, but it clearly falls off a cliff from there. Her staff absorbs health, which is really only useful if you buff the staff to equal the damage of regular weapons. Restore is interesting but highly situational if the opponent doesn’t have stat negating abilities. Healing everyone with the special attack is also situational. A +2 buff to two stats isn’t anything to write home about. It’s just a mess. Granted, not pictured is a Drive Def skill, but even then it’s mostly good for passing off onto others. 0/10, would not want to summon.
  • OlwenRighteous Knight
    img_7884

    • Here we go, into the strange clones. It’s like when Eirika showed up in the last Sacred Stones banner as a totally new unit all over again. Except this time she isn’t even radically different since our previous Olwen was also a mage cavalier. Blue last time to be fair, but in this iteration she simply gains a slightly bugged version of the Gronnblade tome. I already have a +10 merged Gronnblade Cecilia, game. I don’t need a new one. Even if she does come with Swift Sparrow, which is a decent ability to pass along. Next…
  • ReinhardtThunder’s Swordimg_7885
    • Despite being another clone, this Reinhardt offers something interesting for himself at the very least. Rather than being a buffed up brave blue tome using cavalier, now he’s a buffed up brave sword using cavalier. Because that makes sense in the lore I suppose? I like his weapon a lot, since it’s along the lines of Elincia’s Amiti sword but works offensively and defensively. Plus adding onto that with Death Blow and Vantage is fantastic. Just switch out Pavise for something, get a new C skill other than the Spur x2 and he’d be pretty useful. It’s just a shame that weapon of his can’t be passed on… Especially because of it’s fantastic name. Meisterschwert. That’s on par with Mystletainn honestly.

Oh yeah by the way, there’s also a lance cavalier named Finn lingering around in the story mode who seems like the great knight early game protector-archetype character. But he’s a Tempest Trial reward character for the future, so we don’t need to worry about him yet.

All-and-all I’m not super excited about any of these guys. Leif and Reinhardt take two are probably the best looking units in the bunch, but I won’t be clawing at the seams trying to summon them desperately with the last of my orb reserves.

I’m back up to 70 at this point following my female Grima debacle, so I’d like to keep storing up for a rainy day at this point.

It doesn’t help that Mia from the Radiant games decided to show up unannounced as a red five-star unit instead of the two aforementioned characters I wanted.

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Even though there’s currently a banner running that features her as a focus unit.

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But that’s a gripe for another day. Because new character update also means new story missions! So let’s jump into that.


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So one thing I have to give props to for the team that designs Fire Emblem Heroes is the map design. Even though we’ve mostly moved away from maps that reference the original titles directly (outside of Paralogues of course), Nifl is still an interesting winter wonderland to see develop over time.

Plus the transition into the last map where most of the snow is melted away thanks to the flames of the enemy is particularly beautiful.

Unfortunately, losing out on referential maps also coincides with losing out on a lot of the referential character-driven dialogue. As much as I enjoy the overall story arc being woven, it would be nice to see the characters being added into the fray getting a little more time to shine.

But hey I haven’t even gotten into the overarching story, so why don’t we discuss that first.

Once again this chapter begins with a dream sequence.

That’s right, Gunnthrá is back again and ready to drop some exposition all up on us.

You just know that if a fairly plot important character shows up with secret knowledge about how to win a war and the intent to meet with your party soon following a multi-chapter build-up, everything is going to work out.

But hey, dream sequences are so overrated. We’ve gotta get back to where the actual real plot left off.

Feel caught up? Good, because that’s about all they give us to jump back into things. I suppose it does the job, and gives us more time to get into who these strange Thracia people are.

Except just kidding. They all get one or two lines and that’s it. Most of the missions have no plot, hurray!

Though to be fair, in this case I’m led to believe it’s 100 percent intentionally cast aside just to show how in-tuned they are with the Reinhardt memes.

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Clearly magic isn’t everything.

Also for real support these Fire Emblem meme generators, they’re awesome.

But back on track, after dealing with a couple of mindless battles the Order of Heroes finally arrives at the temple they’re supposed to meet Gunnthrá in. Except- Oh no! Plot development!

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Darn right it is, owl.

The story actually gets surprisingly dark and serious at this point kind of out of nowhere.

Yeah it looks like Surtr straight up set a trap by capturing Gunnthrá and tortured her (not that her in-game art changed to reflect that) trying to find out what the Order of Heroes is planning to do in order to stop him.

Except obviously nobody tells him what we’re planning, so he does the next best thing.

She’s dead, yo.

Yeah in a dark twist, someone actually dies in this mobile Fire Emblem game. A pseudo-main character no less.

I was totally caught off guard by this development honestly, how could they have done something of this caliber without totally telegraphing their plot thread ahead of-

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Oh wait they totally did.

Yeah, the whole death scene as a whole was hinted at a bit too strongly for my tastes. Kind of too obvious to really be a good twist.

Though to be fair, the fact that they killed a main character is still rather impressive. Especially considering they let us summon her… Months ago. In a Legendary Hero banner. Because she’s a Legendary Hero.

Who is now suddenly dead in the canonical story without having done anything.

But we can still use her if we summoned her…

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So how much bearing does the canonical story bear on the in-game mechanics then? Because I’ve always been under the impression that they’re fairly tightly linked due to the fact that heroes in Paralogue missions always mention they can join you in your main army.

Though more than just raising a strange existential in-game question, the fact that Gunnthrá was summonable months ago also brings up the question of why Fjorm needed to have a moment of emotional turmoil?

Like I get it your sister died, but did she really? I could go S-rank your relationship right now if I wanted. And if that wouldn’t be a total waste of stat buffs.

Also, evil laugh is evil. Just saying.

Except wait, plot twist take two. As suddenly as before, turns out she’s not really dead?

 

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Darn right again, owl friend.

Except just kidding again, she totally is dead. We just needed hers back for two seconds to Deus Ex Machina a solution for killing the ultimate invincible bad guy.

Just like she also telegraphed in her dream sequence.

So you go to follow the light because the invincible evil general who planned the ultimate evil ruse in this chapter and killed a main character… Kind of just lets you escape.

All is good in the world and now your party has a new mission to complete this ancient ritual and gain the power to defeat Surtr and get revenge. Even though your mission was already about revenge because Nifl was being destroyed as is.

So same mission, different route to get there?

The end.

Or is it?!

Dun dun duuuuuuunnnn!

But for real, that’s about it for the plot.

I know I made fun of it a lot in this post, but let’s be honest it is a bit too obvious and contrived as a way to move the story along this time around. It’s serviceable, but just a bit disappointing for my tastes.

Also I’m expecting a revival Jesus-style in the near future. But if they keep Gunnthrá dead, I suppose I’ll be impressed by the balls it took to kill off someone integral in this kind of silly mobile game.

Despite the fact that I already ripped that decision apart for being a little nonsensical from a gameplay perspective.


Fire Emblem Heroes also had a new big update just the other day. Version 2.4.0 baby!

I feel kind of bad about skipping over it before thanks to my class/work schedule, so I wanted to just run down exactly what was added into the game in my continued effort to keep a running log of the Heroes evolution over time.

But I’m already at 2,100 words, so I’m going to summarize it all with screenshots.

Totally not because I’m just lazy.

There are a few cool things that were added into the game this time around.

  • More Grand Hero Battles being available on a regular basis is pretty dope, especially for someone like Berkut who sucks but I love as a character.
  • I don’t use any of the heroes that are getting weapon upgrades in this cycle, though I have a Roy who might get some use now that he has a better Binding Blade. Plus it’s cool that OG Ephraim and Hector can use the weapons their variants own.
  • I’ll probably delve more into Tempest Trial changes when the next Tempest Trial run arrives, since I haven’t done a post on the special game mode in a while.
  • Aesthetic changes like a scrolling banner are neat, though somewhat negligible.
  • SPECIAL ORB PROMO MORE LIKE SPECIAL GIVE US YOUR MONEY!
    • Let’s see how many times these deals force me to spend money on the game for good deals…
  • New game mode: Grand Conquests?

Whoa, mysterious new game mode time. I’m going to love talking about tha-

Oh. It’s just a tease at this point. So I literally don’t have a lot to say yet.

Alright, guess that will be a post for another day.


With that, we come to the end of the line once again.

Obviously there was a lot to tackle here between the new characters and the overall Version 2.4.0 update. I didn’t even get into the recent Feh Channel that I still haven’t watched… But considering what they talked about there is likely coming out with all of these updates, I’ll just let it slide.

However, speaking personally, I think there’s one major takeaway from everything that happened here today:

Feh Plot Meme

I’m going to abuse the hell out of this. Get ready, world.

How do you all feel about the new Thracia heroes? Or the fact that half of them are just rehashed versions of heroes we already have?

Let me know in the comments down below!

Though if you’re more interested in other Heroes topics… Well… Just wait a few days. Seems like there’s some stuff coming down the pipeline.

The rise of a new Legendary… Hero?

The rise of a new Legendary… Hero?

This update came a little out of left field, but it’s exciting as a small new addition to the game.

Between Fjorm, Gunnthrá, Ike and Ephraim, we’ve gotten Legendary Heroes matching all four seasons that Fire Emblem Heroes cycles through (Water, Wind, Earth and Fire respectively). While it seems as though that would be the end of these characters being released, apparently there are going to be multiple heroes for each season.

Which in hindsight makes perfect sense from a ‘releasing hyped up units to get players to spend money’ standpoint.

But I digress.

Today we’re starting that second round with:

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… Grima.

I’m just going to call her Grima instead of Robin because we already have other Robins and in my head it just makes more sense this way.

I know I’m not the first to make this connection, but Grima isn’t exactly a hero. In fact, the male version of Robin overcome by the spirit of Grima was a part of the villainous banner not too long ago.

But I guess now we’re just going to bring along the literal Fell Dragon, destroyer of worlds and civilizations, as a hero meant to lead our armada in the Order of Heroes.

I wonder how Lucina feels knowing that the force she’s spent her whole life hoping to stop can now be in charge of her and give her massive blessings?

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… Yeah I’m not going to get a response anytime soon am I?

That said, I do actually want to say that Grima looks pretty beastly and powerful for a number of reasons.

  • RobinFell Vessel
    • On top of being a hero(?) who can confer the benefits of the earth blessing on her allies, Grima comes with a bunch of great skills. Her weapon is the same as male Grima. Expiration lets her hit regardless of distance and hit her opponents on their weakest defensive stat. She comes with the special attack Bonfire, which boosts her damage based on her defense, and three passive skills: Dragonskin, which grants her a defensive boost when attacked while also neutralizing her flying weakness, Cancel Affinity, which negates the effect of the weapon triangle, and Resistance Smoke, which lowers the resistance of everyone around an attack target by seven.
    • These skills, combined with the fact that this Grima is our first ever colorless manakete unit who also happens to be a flying unit (ala Myrhh) but with the natural ability to cancel out bow effectiveness AND weapon triangle effectiveness… Well, she just sounds incredible. Hopefully her stat spread matches and makes her a new meta staple, because that would be awesome.

The crazy thing is, this banner has even more great stuff beyond just the colorless flying dragon that negates half of her own weaknesses.

Considering it’s coming out just straight up in the middle of the spring heroes banner, you know Intelligent Systems is looking to siphon up all of our money at this rate.

On top of the Fell Dragon, this eight percent five-star banner also offers up:

I usually pick my character colors to fit who the character in particular is, but in this case I’m going to have the colors correspond with what weapon-type on the triangle they are. It’ll be easier with 12 units available.

When the Halloween banner first came along, Nowi and Sakura were the units I wanted to summon. At the time, all I got at the time was Jakob twice over.

Granted, Jakob has become one of my favorite units on my armored team, but still. I want my cute costumed girls, man.

Just don’t call the police on me… I know how creepy that sounds.

Because at least those three units are high up on my desire sensor, I’ve already spent a good few orbs on summoning from this banner.

My free summon has so far been the most lucrative pull, funnily enough:

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Lyn may not be the colorless unit I wanted to pull considering I already have her, but she’s got some great skills to pass along if nothing else.

Nothing else has come of my efforts so far (though I’ve summoned normal cleric Sakura a number of times and that has given me multiple heart attacks). However, part of that is probably because I am trying to show some restraint.

I want to keep my orb count above 50, so I’m only summoning when I get to about 70 on the off chance that all five of the pulls in a session are worth going after.

Luckily, Grima also came with a few extra additions that have offered players orbs considering the Tempest Trials have now passed.

The first thing is a special map connecting to this Legendary Hero specifically.

A Legendary Hero-specific map for some extra orbs is a new thing entirely, and honestly I hope it’s a feature that returns. I quite like having the chance at some extra orbs and a special map – even if this one is the same special map from the aforementioned Tempest Trial.

Coincidentally, this banner also corresponds with the start of a series of special maps related to a DLC update for Fire Emblem Warriors.

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Man… Fire Emblem Warriors… Talk about another game I wanted to play that I never got around to.

While it’s too bad I never did get to play the game (outside of one session thanks to my friend Kaleb), I suppose I can’t complain about having some free orbs.

Plus the song that plays is a top-notch Awakening remix.


That’s about the extent of what I’ve got for Fire Emblem Heroes today. Like I said, this addition was small but cool. I’m definitely excited to try to summon this new version of Grima.

Actually, that gets me thinking… What if I paired the two Grima together and created the ultimate destructive selfcestuous power couple?

Sheesh, that just made me more excited to summon her. Here’s hoping it works out I guess!

Also, here’s hoping I can balance doing that with work/school stuff. And with playing more Duel Links, since a new character just dropped over there.

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You know you’re at an overpowered place in a game when you unlock a brand new character about an hour after the special event starts.

But now I’m rambling about a totally unrelated subject, so I’ll leave it here.

What do you think of the new Grima? How game changing is she going to be? Feel free to discuss it in the comments down below!

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
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    • 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!

Ephraim: Our Sacred Legendary Hero

Ephraim: Our Sacred Legendary Hero

Man, Intelligent Systems has been relentless with their updates for Fire Emblem Heroes lately.

Not that I can necessarily complain about new content coming so frequently, but a lot of it has been serious enough for me to bring onto the blog. Which is something I told myself I would be doing less of to preserve a little more of my precious sleep.

Plus, I suppose having to focus so much on Heroes did make me miss the full February reward window for ranked duels in Duel Links… But it could be argued that school contributed to that too, so I won’t blame anything too heavily for that.

It doesn’t seem like things are going to slow down anytime soon in this mobile masterpiece, as we’ve been made aware of a big gameplay update coming in early March. An update which will finally include a legendary weapon upgrade for Eirika, my current main-stay Summoner bonded unit.

Speaking of Eirika, she makes a perfect segue into our topic of the day:


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A new Legendary Hero has arrived, this time steeped in the almighty power of the Lords of Cinder.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t played a lot with the elemental blessings system that was introduced alongside Fjorm and Book II, but with a new game mode coming soon and missions focused around the mechanic happening now I’ll have to do some more dabbling.

Luckily, our newest legendary hero is Eirika’s brother Ephraim. And I love him. And I want to use him. So I’m going to talk about him.

  • EphraimLegendary Lord
    • This legendary hero comes with an alteration of his main weapon called the Flame Siegmund. It offers Ephraim a +3 attack boost and ensures that he gets guaranteed follow-up attacks if there are more enemies within range than allies. He also has Sol as a special attack, which allows him to absorb 50 percent of the damage he does. That Sol attack stacks with his special Solar Brace skill that allows him to absorb an extra 30 percent. His Sturdy Stance grants him a +4 attack and defense boost if attacked, and he fortifies his adjacent allies with +4 defense at the beginning of each turn.

Let me level with you for a minute, Ephraim’s skills are a mixed bag. His weapon, the healing potential and the extra stat points he gains when attacked sound awesome. Especially considering the Solar Brace can be used with any other special attack. You could give him an attack that Buffs his attack to sky-high levels, and he’ll heal off a bunch of that damage.

However, he is missing a good C skill and movement skill. Also, I feel like his weapon’s special attributes are screaming for a Distant Counter to hit enemies from up close and afar with guaranteed follow-up strikes.

At the same time he does make up for that with the mobility and lore tie-in of his cavalier status, as well as the HP/DEF boost he can give to an ally who has been blessed.

Thinking I might give Eirika a fire blessing once we can upgrade her weapon. That way the siblings can sweep aside all enemies in their path together.

Just like every other Legendary Hero banner, Ephraim’s comes alongside a number of additional five star special heroes to summon with an eight percent chance.

These heroes are:

I have a bit of a hero summoning adventure to go over, but before I do I think I’ll take the time to discuss the other part of today’s small update.


For a time, there was a special anniversary event where players all across the world could vote for one hero that everyone would receive for free.

To make that long story short, the hero chosen by the Fire Emblem fanbase wound up being a fairly obvious choice:

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That’s right, if Super Smash Bros. has taught me anything, we all like Ike. If that wasn’t obvious enough by the fact that three versions of Ike have been introduced into the game, it should be more than obvious now that everyone asked for a free Legendary Ike.

You won’t find me complaining since the last Legendary summoning banner kind of screwed me out of getting him.

As an added bonus, our free hero came with a special unlock mission that breaks the mold of what we’ve seen in the past.

That much is clear as soon as players boot up the game and see a message brought up right away, something that has never happened before.

Alfonse’s invitation brings players straight to an option to play out the brand new Xenologue mission:

All things being equal this is a small quality of life change, but I really enjoyed the convenience of it. Whether the developers use this kind of an introduction for every new banner and mission set or save it for special occasions, I’d look forward to seeing it more from here on out.

The actual mission itself isn’t anything particularly special however, outside of the rewards it offers.

The fact that the hard and lunatic difficulties together give players six orbs on top of the Ike and his accompanying blessing is a nice touch Intelligent Systems, I can appreciate that.

Battling to earn your Ike isn’t too much of a hassle. A couple of brave heroes from seasons past stand in your way, ready to protect the wishes of the people… Or whatever.

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Everything about this Brave Hero business kind of makes more sense from a meta gameplay perspective than it does from a lore perspective, let’s be honest.

There’s only one map, so when you beat these four up, that’s it. You get your prize.

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Damn right you’ll help me out, Ike. I hear you’re pretty good against evil Takumi, so I’m sure you’ll pull your weight around here.


After I finished the Ike portion of the parade, I was ready to get my summoning on. As soon as I’d heard Legendary Ephraim was coming soon I stopped trying to summon evil Celica (sorry sweetie) and saved up a little more than I had been.

I wound up with 165 orbs.

Not too shabby considering how many times in recent months I’ve lamented the lack of orbs in my coffers.

But then the game took an unexpected turn. I actually didn’t have to use ANY orbs to get a 5 star hero. I pulled one on my first free summon!

Unfortunately…

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Somehow I wound up summoning the exact same hero we had just gotten for free. Yeah… That’s awesome. Thanks game.

Luckily he has some good skills or could make my first Ike that much more powerful, so I’m sure he’ll find somewhere useful to be.

Ike’s double trouble wasn’t enough to stop me, however. I had a goal you see. A certain Ephraim in my sight, considering I don’t even have his original form from so long ago.

So I started to blow through some orbs, telling myself not to go TOO crazy. After all, these legendary banners have not been the kindest things to me in the past.

Then this happened:

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I was unbelievably happy to get my hands on a Performing Arts Olivia. Back when that banner was going on I wanted her so bad because of her cool look and colorless dancing niche.

Only got axe-weilding Azura (or Axura as I’ve heard) and an Inigo at the time, which was pretty disappointing.

But now I have the girl I always wanted, and my collection of dancers grows ever larger by the day.

For some real life context, this was about the point where I had decided to stop at first. I was sitting in the newsroom, got a little too excited over a cute anime girl and decided to tone things down before I got caught like the weirdo I am.

Then my friend Jonathan started to get three or four really cool heroes in a row, and I figured I would give it another shot considering I still had a ton of orbs left over.

Turns out that was the right decision in the long run:

Here hE IS FOLKS.

MY BOY EPHRAIM!!

I just… Look. I’ve discussed my love of Sacred Stones in the past. It’s a real, honest love for my first game in the series. So I’m predisposed to like this guy.

The fact that he’s so humble and has both an appearance and dialogue that relates back to the lore of the original game only makes that love explode more so. He’s a really well done Legendary Hero, even if the one I summoned has a lowered speed stat.

Ephraim was also one of the top winners in the Choose Your Legends round 2 event, so yet another special version of him should be coming soon too. I look forward to once again throwing my orbs at that.

For now, I retained about 105 after my orb binge and don’t expect to spend too many more anytime soon. Maybe if I build it up enough I’ll try for evil Celica again, but we’ll have to see.



Editor’s Note:

So personal confession time. I don’t exactly feel great about this post right now. It’s not necessarily the content itself, since the content is just about what it usually is: Long winded and hopefully informative.

What I don’t like is the fact that this is coming out a day AFTER the update itself. For anyone looking back at this in some far-flung future time, just getting a look at the larger transformations of this mobile game over time, that probably doesn’t matter.

But for some reason, the fact that I decided to sleep instead of write this the night it appeared — only to have no time to write the entire following day thanks to heavy schoolwork — really got to me.

I’ve had a bit of an existential period of thoughtfulness trying to figure out exactly why there’s a pit in my stomach over this dumb thing out of EVERYTHING going on in my life right now.

This is my blog after all, so it’s not like I’m going to be fired for missing a post. I set my own deadlines on this stuff.

Plus… To be blunt about it, I’m probably the only one who enjoys these. I’m not sure anybody reads them (except for the occasional retweet from Takumi himself on Twitter. Shout out to him). I’m not sure anybody enjoys them.

But I enjoy them.

I really like doing these posts since it’s all about me just talking and speculating about something I care about, as well as watching a game transform over time. I don’t often get in on the ground floor of an experience with constantly changing dynamics, after all.

Maybe something about my strangely unqualified love of these posts and my hard-wired need to hit fast deadlines have contributed to making me feel strangely awful about choosing sleep over lack of sleep with productivity. Maybe I should just take that as a sign that this is something I’m genuinely passionate about, and I shouldn’t necessarily cut down on talking about it like I have been.

I still don’t really know how to take it all things being equal, it’s a strange core feeling I’ve never quite experienced that I’m trying to work through.

If you made it through this winded, self-centered diatribe, go ahead and let me know if you’ve experienced anything similar to this in your own life and career. I’m highly curious to know if anybody has for something of this caliber and has a way to reconcile  with it.

Though for something less heavy I suppose, let me know what you think of Legendary Ephraim! Or, how you feel about the free hero pay-off. I’d love to know your thoughts on those events too.

That’s all I’ve got for now, so I’ll see you all next time a big update rolls around.

Or sooner, if you’re interested in the journalism side of my life. There’s a conference I’m attending this weekend where I may or may not be speaking on a panel, so stay tuned for that!

Darkness is on the rise in Fire Emblem Heroes

Darkness is on the rise in Fire Emblem Heroes

Never before has my disinterest in a previous summoning banner turned out to be such a prescient blessing.

Today we have been given a brand new set of focus heroes in Fire Emblem Heroes and a new chapter in Book II’s story to go along with them. However, rather than showcasing some characters from one game, we’ve gotten a very special grouping.


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That’s right, this special summoning focus is based on heroes who have dark, demented forms for one reason or another. It’s a brilliant idea for a collection to put forward… Though I do sort of wish they were saved for some kind of special holiday or event in which it would make a little more sense for them to appear.

But I can’t exactly call that a serious complaint by any means. After all I really DO love who we got here.

  • RobinFell Incarnate
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    • Just to kick things off I have a question. Why didn’t they just call this character Grima? I get that he’s supposed to be a corrupted Robin basically, but it would’ve made so much more sense to just change his nametag to ‘Grima.’ But I digress, as that petty consideration shines a light nowhere near as intense as the character himself. He has interesting skills and is our first armored dragon unit — with a broken ass weapon at that. Seriously it’s mad powerful and looks insane too. On top of being a good looking unit that’ll fit on my dragon team, I just generally love the twist in Awakening. Robin here will be my main hunt as a result!
  • CelicaImprisoned Soul
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    • Despite a few logical flaws, Celica is a great character in Fire Emblem Echoes. She’s so great in fact that the community voted for her in its second ‘Choose Your Legends’ event. That means a third Celica will be coming in the near future, which in hind sight is not a great thing. After all, Beloved Zofia went to this version, so what is the new Celica going to use? Seraphim magic perhaps? Not completely sure. Though what I am completely sure about is that I will be going after Celica too. Not only is she great-looking skill wise, but she’s just an overall amazing character like I said. Who wouldn’t love her, even with her soul stolen so she becomes a witch?
  • HardinDark Emperor
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    • I’ll be honest, I have the least amount of connections to Hardin given that I didn’t even know who he was before this, so if there’s anyone on this list I’m not going to try summoning… It’s him. Robin and Celica are way more important, plus I already have a powerful Effie as my blue lance armored unit. Though I will say, I like how he fits into this theme as an ally of Marth who lets absolute power corrupt absolutely once he becomes Emperor of Archanea. That’s the kind of example of character information I’m glad I learned more about so I can feel better when I do encounter the guy.

I just… I’m not sure what else I have to say on this matter.

Seriously, I love these heroes. Besides perhaps Hardin’s picks, I have a strong desire to summon all of them.

Plus, Intelligent Systems surprised me by actually reading my mind. When I first saw the trailer show up for this banner online, I was very concerned seeing that Takumi corrupted at the end of Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest version did not show up. He’s basically a meme in his own right, and I figured it was a missed opportunity.

Then I found out Takumi corrupted is specifically going to show up later in a Grand Hero Battle. Like… That’s amazing! I suppose it was just an obvious choice, but knowing my thought process was validated is an incredibly satisfying feeling.

He’s not going to show up until later though. So for now, let’s look back at the heroes we have.

I’ll level with you, audience — when I started on this banner tonight, I had a mountain of orbs. 200.

Yeah, 200. You read that right.

That’s the blessing of my general disinterest in the Valentine’s Day banner that I mentioned before. Between all of the special anniversary events and the current Tempest Trial run I’ve been able to really bolster my reserves for an event just like this where I really, REALLY want the heroes.

Luckily I didn’t have to make too huge of a dent to get there:

It’s my boi Grima, yo! So excited to see him!

He’s going to make an amazing addition to the manakete team I’ve been building up since summoning Myrhh in the latest Sacred Stones banner.

It helps that he has a deep, kinda sexy voice too. You go evil Robin.

I spent about 35 orbs to get to him, and even though I’m showing some restraint for now I’ll definitely still go after Celica soon enough.

Also, it’s worth noting that somehow I got another five-star on the way to Grima:

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Yeah… Not totally sure where Lucina came from, but I suppose I can’t complain. I’ve never gotten her before, so I finally have a new cinematic summoning animation to enjoy.

Even if Masked Lucina is still the better bae. Just saying.


Now earlier I mentioned that I wished these heroes got a bit more of a situational treatment elevating them specifically. That was referring primarily to the new story missions we got alongside our three new evil children.

See, as much as I appreciate the fact that we’re moving the game’s main plot along, the fact that we’re doing so leaves the new heroes as more of a footnote.

It’s a bit of a double-edged sword, honestly.

But… I do really like the development in this chapter, so I’ll let it slide. For now.

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The new chapter picks up where the last one left off (obviously enough). The Order of Heroes have moved into Fjorm’s home nation having protected the village just outside the boundary, and now have to make their way to Gunnthrá who is hiding away.

However, their progress is quickly impeded by the arrival of Surtr’s army.

After defeating Laevatein, she retreats and the Order starts to make their way through the snow once more.

However, they’re troubled by the thought that thick tracks left in the heavy snow is going to lead the fiery army toward them wherever they go.

So Anna comes up with the brilliant idea of leaving one pathway in the snow as a diversion while masking their actual direction.

It seems to be working well enough with Laevatein… But not for our newly introduced villain: Her older sister.

I suppose this is as good a place as any to address my thoughts on Laegjarn…

I love her.

Seriously, she very quickly jumped up to being my favorite member of the opposing army. Not only is she intelligent, she’s cool and collected in a way that makes her seem like a methodical and more dastardly villain with undertones. Plus she totally sits around and gets out of jams with her little sister and it’s dope!

At one point, Fjorm even says she’s an amicable woman that’s willing to use diplomacy and build happiness among the oppressed.

My only real point of contention with her right now, as I think about it in my witching hour daze, is her overall relationship with her younger sister.

That relationship has me awfully conflicted. On the one hand, it’s freaking adorable. Laevatein clearly loves and adores her older sister, wanting to be just like her. Laegjarn appreciates the love and wants her younger sister to be happy.

It’s great because it reminds me of my relationship with my own younger sister in a way! That makes them awfully endearing characters to think that they care for each other in place of their awful father.

However… Even if I love the relationship, something about the way Laevatein has been portrayed now that her sister is around bugs me.

On the one hand it’s sweet seeing her have an endearing bond with her older sister. But on the other hand, as soon as the sister showed up Laevatein’s dialogue suddenly began to sound… Infantilized.

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I get wanting to be respectful of your older sibling, but it seems like the girl has been neutered or something, and that seems like a shame considering she was previously my favorite.

Though maybe I’m over thinking it. If anything that same concern might just be a sign of her complex double facing nature. Who knows, only time will tell.

Anyway though I got WAY off track. But to be fair, once you beat the first mission not a lot happens until you arrive at the last mission when you’re backed into a wall.

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After your group beats them, Laegjarn realizes they might be outclassed in terms of skill and orders a retreat.

While the Order goes off and does… Whatever they do… The focus stays on our fiery sisters.

As Laegjarn reflects on the fact that they’ll need new strategies if they want to win, Laevatein suggests a plan that receives quite a bit of flak.

I don’t know what this special skill is, but it sounds dope and I want to see it.

Unless it kills her. In which case, don’t put it in the game Intelligent Systems. I’d rather not have to deal with any painful self-sacrifices.

Luckily, in place of the hellfire skill a different idea is suggested:

Then things cut off. That’s all you get. Thanks for the money folks, come back another day.

A bit of an abrupt stop this time around, but I suppose I can’t complain. You’ve now seen how much of an emotional journey I felt watching these new characters interact, after all.

Though once again I really would have liked to see what a story focused around Grima and zombie Celica would look like. Talk about a missed opportunity.


That’s about that for my Fire Emblem Heroes blog post for the day. Obviously, I liked these new updates to the roster!

The new heroes are cool, the new villain is cool… I just really appreciate everything this time around. Plus I’ve been able to keep a lot of my orbs in storage, so I feel great about that going forward.

I could end this by asking about everything I talked about, but let’s keep things more simple this time around.

How do you feel about the relationship between Laevatein and Laegjarn? Am I overreacting to Laevatein’s silent obedience around her sister?

Let me know in the comments below!

Falling in love with the Fire Emblem Heroes 2.2.0 Update

Falling in love with the Fire Emblem Heroes 2.2.0 Update

Good god there’s a lot to cover here today. Guess that’s what happens when I’m so busy that I don’t have the time to address these updates as they come out.

Though… I suppose it is nice to be able to get it all out of the way at once rather than having three separate, incomplete posts.

Probably the only problem is the fact that this post is going to be a billion words long if I get to rambling on too much. Since I’m already basically doing that, I’ll zip it and jump into all the Fire Emblem goodness.

I’ll try to keep it brief. Promise.

It’s not going to be brief, is it?



The Version 2.2.0 Update

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Starting off our little marathon of coverage is this big puppy: one new Fire Emblem Heroes update fresh off the presses.

Battle Screen Layout

Probably the most obvious change right off the bat is a brand new battle mode select screen:

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Okay well it isn’t COMPLETELY new or anything. But it’s new enough.

Instead of there being two separate icons for the Tempest Trials and Voting Gauntlets, the two categories have been combined and now appear together in an “events” vortex. This change has cleared room for… Something.

I honestly have no idea what the new upper-left icon is. It looks like the Garden of Eden, or some kind of fountain of power. The name is obscured and we can’t select it yet, but supposedly it’s going to be maps specifically used for Legendary Heroes and their blessed allies.

Which will finally give me a reason to use my blessings.

Also included in the new events vortex is a brand new game mode, which is arguably the most significant addition to this update.

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Tap Battle Game Mode

 

Tap Battling is… Interesting.

Interesting is about the only really good thing I can think to say about them upon first impressions, however.

Let’s break things down.

Opening up the Tap Battle menu, as you can see above, makes everything seem very similar to a Tempest Trial, with the two-week timer ticking down.

However, the similarities stop there. An early noticeable aspect of the game mode is that it fills the same niche as Arena Assault by requiring no stamina, dueling swords or anything to play. You can literally tackle the labyrinth endlessly if you want.

If you do decide to tackle it, there are two game modes to work with:

 

 

As you can see, Casual mode has you tapping the Summoner at the bottom of your phone screen to defeat an enemy when they reach the red square in front of your units, whereas Expert mode requires you to tap the row of the unit that’s under attack.

I enjoy the aesthetic presentation of this mode, if nothing else. Being able to select whatever units you want to bring is an interesting idea as far as letting you choose a team you want to tap with, and it’s cool to see their sprites so close up against a wide-open background for once.

On top of that, even if the enemy placement is rather spaced out and boring on easy difficulty, there is also a hard difficulty that makes tapping along to the rhythm of the song a little more exciting:

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Multiple kinds of units appear in hard difficulty too, as opposed to just sword-wielders on easy.

There are also special boss stages every 20 floors, where you encounter a notable character that attacks each of your unit’s lanes in a set order until you can wipe out their health bar.

 

Each time you beat a level, you’re scored based on how much of a combo streak you keep throughout.

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The Summoner be looking cute in this graphic here. Just sayin.

However, as cute as the Summoner is, he can’t stop the ever creeping mediocrity of the event as a whole. While it all sounds interesting in concept… It frankly becomes dreadfully dull and underutilized in execution.

For one, as you might have noticed before, I said hard mode makes it more enticing to tap along to the song. THE song.

There’s only one song.

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Granted, we only have 40 floors currently, and there are 100 floors all together promised…

But seriously Intelligent Systems? ONE song? In a music-based rhythm game?

I’ll give them props for making each stage have a unique pattern despite going against the same base song… But it’s so painfully boring to just hear the same song over and over again.

Plus, each stage goes through five floors at a time in this game’s logic. With only 40 floors available so far, that means there are eight stages (with more being promised to appear every day). These stages are quick to run through on easier difficulties and feel less like accomplishments than they would have if each stage was a distinct floor to work through by itself.

With that said, I only mentioned them being quick on easier difficulties, right? Hard mode is definitely the way to go then, isn’t it?

Well, hold your hypothetical horses my dear reader.

Hard mode is more engaging, yes. In fact, I quite like the idea of there being options to change game style and difficulty to create a more customizable experience for players… But the game is set up in a way that makes it a superfluous addition.

Clearing each series of floors earns you a reward. However, each stage literally only has one reward.

If you beat a stage on easy, you can’t get a reward for hard. If you beat it in casual mode, you can’t get a reward for expert mode.

Despite this, the four permutations of play style are all given desperate rankings. So for example, if you get an S-rank on Easy/Casual, you don’t get the S-ranking on Hard/Casual. But you get no extra reward for taking the same stages on again other than bragging rights.

Seriously, as far as the informational post put out by Intelligent Systems says, there isn’t any sort of extra reward planned for getting full S-rankings on each permutation. The game simply claims it’s an “easy-to-play battle mode.”

Honestly if I wasn’t such a completionist with my games, I probably wouldn’t bother playing this mode after the first run of it. But I am, so I’m going to hate myself and continue playing it just in case something happens later.

Something just really bugs me about Tap Battles. I feel like there’s an interesting concept under the surface of a boring, empty-feeling game mode.

For example, I like the idea of bringing the units you want, but the choices you make have no impact on your time in-game. I understand why considering each map is specifically timed to go with the song, but there was so much more that could have been done.

Why not make it so a sword unit you bring is super effective against an axe-wielding boss? Have their attacks take away more of the bosses health bar, or something along those lines.

I don’t know… Maybe this will grow on me, but for right now I’d honestly say it’s bland and forgettable. Luckily it will keep updating and provide more rewards to retain interest, but what a missed opportunity.

Speaking of forgotten, however…

Weapon Refinery Update

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A slightly more anticipated part of this update, for me at least, was the addition of new weapons to refine.

Basically, every unit who uses Falchion can now upgrade the legendary sword with various effects. Lucina’s upgraded Falchion grants her buffs to all of her stats when she’s standing next to allies while Marth’s upgraded Falchion buffs his allies when he’s next to them, for example.

The other five units shown in the image above can also now upgrade their basic weapons into character-specific legendary weapons. For units like Raven, Felicia and Caeda, these buffs were hugely needed and welcomed.

Hell, I’ve had a Raven since probably my fifth 5 star summon, and only now am I considering using him.

I’m just hoping Eirika gets an upgrade to her sword soon so I can keep my child growing.

New Special Battle Map Rotations

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This is probably the most interesting update in the bunch, if you ask me.

Two different daily rotations have been added into the Special Maps menu.

The first offers players the chance to fight Grand Hero Battles of the past. Seven of the heroes have apparently been retired to this fate, which will give us the opportunity to take them on whenever we want – if it’s the right date.

I love that idea, since it shows they’re planning on making room for new Grand Hero Battles to be implemented in the near future without having to worry about bringing these back in rarified time slots.

Plus, there are quests available for a full year to get extra things like orbs.

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Who can complain with that?

The second rotation comes in the form of Special Training Maps.

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There are five of these maps with five difficulty settings each that give you rewards when you beat them the first time.

Of course, that means that there will be no rewards remaining after the first week, but they’re apparently built to help train the units that are described in the title. It’s a nice idea, though slightly less so than the Grand Hero Battle rotation if you ask me.

Extra Patch Notes

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The last part of the 2.2.0 update is outlined in full right here. For the most part I don’t have anything to add.

Except… Thank god manaketes don’t have to transform each and every time a fight starts.

I really appreciate that kind of quality of life change.



Love Abounds Summoning Focus

That’s leg one of this marathon done. You all still with me?

Good.

Well then, let’s talk about Valentine’s Day.

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While I’ve been waiting for this holiday-centric summoning banner to arrive for some time now, I’m admittedly not super excited seeing that it centers around the Binding and Blazing Blade heroes.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad it’s not Fates- or Awakening-centric again, but these games have easily the third most granted alternate skins.

Maybe if I get the chance to play these original games at some point in the near future, I’ll be a little more caring for the heroes. But until then, let’s see what these new holiday heroes are packing, shall we?

  • LynWind’s Embrace
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    • The interesting thing about this Lyn is the fact that with her addition you can now have a team full of four different Lyns to take down your foes. Okay… Well that’s not the only interesting thing I suppose. I do actually like Lyn’s build. She’s a blue armored mage who can buff the movement of her fellow armored units, gains stats when she’s next to them and make the opponent use their special attacks less. Sounds pretty sweet, especially considering I don’t have any non-footsoldier magic units. Plus, I’ll have two of the game’s four Lyndis clones if I get her.
  • HectorJust Here to Fight
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    • Alright, Hector is… I guess the opposite of interesting, in a sense. His skills are essentially the same as his regular counterpart, just with a buffed up weapon, a new special attack and different armor-benefitting skill. While it isn’t exciting, his original form is still known for being a beast, so I’m pretty interested in going after him as well. Especially since he looks pretty legit in that black outfit of his.
  • LilinaBlush of Youth
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    • Lilina is arguably the unit I would want least on this banner… Even if I just cursed myself into getting her instead of Hector, since they’re the same color. She’s a green mage cavalier, which I already have in my own amazing form. Her skills are sub-par in my opinion despite making her a team leader, so I’m not going to lose any sleep over her. Sorry Lilina.
  • RoyYouthful Gifts
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    • Roy is our second bow knight, behind Lyn funnily enough (it’s a position which I still think should have gone to Neimi, Intelligent Systems. One day soon, I swear). However, he seems to pale in comparison to his friend, with just Death Blow going for him honestly. At least, in my opinion that is all he has going for him. He shares the same weapon skill with Valentine’s Day Lyn and Lilina, but I’m just not super impressed by them I guess.

Eliwood is also here as a special hero, but he’s going to show up in a Tempest Trial later this month.

While I’m not necessarily in love with these heroes as a group, I do actually quite like their overall Shakespearean theme. It’s a neat aesthetic to take on for a Romeo and Juliet callback of sorts.

If I had to pick, I’d say I’m looking out for either Hector or Lyn. Green and Blue orbs abound.

However, because I’m unfortunately not super in love with these lovey dovey heroes, I’m not going to spend a ton of orbs this time around. I had about 100 at the time the banner dropped, so I’m going to be disciplined and only use orbs when I get back up to 100.

If I don’t get anything, I’ll just spend some time building up again using the many, many events all happening at once. That way I’ll also have a ton of orbs around just in case I like whatever is coming in the future.

Now that I’ve discussed my thoughts on the heroes, you know what’s up next.

Story time, lovelies.

Luckily, this time we only have a Paralogue to sort through, not a full chapter. That makes things much easier on my for now.

Plus it opens up the opportunity for more creative level design, in this case fitting in with that Romeo and Juliet style I mentioned before.

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See what I mean? It’s a very medieval-styled festival in my opinion. War of the Roses era stuff.

But how does that cute aesthetic tie a story together?

Well it starts with the Order of Heroes preparing to head out to a festival for Devotion Day. Because the holidays in Fire Emblem can never just be in their natural forms.

Sharena has a very romanticized view of the holiday:

However, her allies have a… Much less romantic view of things.

Classic Anna.

When you arrive in the world, you start to come across the done up heroes, starting with Roy and Lilina.

They’re pretty much just being cute and flirting with each other.

Even if I haven’t played the games they’re in, I can appreciate a cute ship when I see it.

Once you defeat them you come across their parents preparing to take part in the festival.

Frankly, the exchange between them all is hilarious. I really enjoyed this part, so I’ll lay it out in pictures.

I just really like the idea of Hector going up against these people having fun by slaying them with his legendary axe. It’s super great.

Beat the three of them and you arrive next on a battlefield with everyone… Except Roy for some reason. Guess he just gets the shaft here.

Or technically, I suppose it makes sense due to the exchange between Hector and Eliwood.

See, Hector sees his daughter Lilina going around with a gift while spending time with Roy and believes the two are off to get hitched.

He’s not so happy about that…

But Lyn quickly derails the argument.

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And fight you do.

When you defeat all of the holiday heroes, they lament their loss as usual. However, things take a different route when Lilina comes out and gives the gift she’s been carrying around to her father.

Obviously he feels bad knowing that the symbol of what he thought was his daughter growing up and moving away from him was actually her way of getting closer with him.

He also mentions the wonky continuity of Fire Emblem Heroes by talking about how he’s dead in her canon universe and they shouldn’t be together…

But hey.

Video game logic.

Once the heroes move on, Sharena decides to hand out presents to everyone, with her speech to the Summoner calling back to her idea of wanting to reveal her true feelings by suggesting once more that she had a romantic interest in him.

It’s a sweet ending to a sweet diversion in what has become a rather dark story progression.

Even if I don’t have a huge attraction to the holiday heroes, at least I feel nice having gone through the story these developers plotted out.

Now if only I could summon one of these fools so I would feel better about them.


Upcoming Events

You’ve all made it quite far into my little gauntlet of over-embellished written nightmares here, so for this portion I’m going to take it easy on you.

Because I appreciate and love you.img_7248

So many events, so little time.

Most notably, we’ve got another Tempest Trial on the way (with Valentine’s Day Eliwood as the reward, like I said before) and six summoning banners coming out in the next month.

It’ll be a grind to keep up with it all, but I’m as ready for the challenge as ever.


Golly gosh am I tired after all this writing. Wasn’t expecting to stay up so late to do it, but I guess the writing bug really hit me tonight.

I know I basically just said it in the short section above, but I wanted to thank anyone who came this far again for being so willing to put up with my late night rambling text bullshit.

Seriously, this was a massive undertaking that probably had no right to be such a massive undertaking. Could’ve just split it into multiple posts. If I was smart, I probably would have.

But that said, there’s a ton of things to reflect on that I talked about leading up to this. So let me know, what do you think of the 2.2.0 update? Or the new Valentine’s Day summoning focus? Or all the upcoming events?

Let’s talk about it in the comments below!

But even if not, I hope you all enjoy your weekends. I’ve got a bunch of work to do throughout, but it’s going to be great to rest a little too after this long, arduous week.