Tag: Nintendo

Adrift in the Rage

Adrift in the Rage

What better way is there to celebrate Veteran’s Day than to talk about a game in which fantasy characters have taken part in dozens of wars over a number of titles?

Okay no, I’m just kidding. It’s probably really weird and insensitive to joke about Veteran’s Day like that. I have nothing but respect.

I just needed some kind of segue into this Fire Emblem Heroes post that I’ve been putting off because… Boy am I not excited for it.

I know that’s a weird sentiment to walk into one of these with, because in that case why talk about it at all?

Well dear viewer.

The reason I hate this banner is because it is the next evolution in what has been a slow-growing problem.

Hope you’re ready for more of that than actually discussing the banner.


CamillaFlower of Fantasy

  • Book of Dreams (Might = 14, Range = 2)
    • Grants Attack +3. If unit is adjacent to an ally, inflicts Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance -4 on foe during combat.
  • Draw Back (Range = 1)
    • Unit moves one space away from target ally. Ally moves to unit’s previous space.
  • Attack/Resistance Bond (A Skill)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Resistance +5 during combat.
  • Attack/Resistance Link (B Skill)
    • If a Movement Assist skill is used by unit or targets unit, grants Attack and Resistance +6 to unit and target ally or vice versa for one turn.
  • Goad Fliers (C Skill)
    • Grants Attack and Speed +4 to flying allies within two spaces during combat.

CorrinDream Prince

  • Draconic Rage (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • Accelerates Special Attack trigger. If the number of allies within two spaces (excluding unit) > the number of foes within two spaces (excluding target), grants Attack and Speed +5 during combat. If foe’s Range = 2, calculates damage using the foe’s lower defensive stat.
  • Dragon Fang (Cooldown = 4)
    • Boosts damage by 50 percent of unit’s Attack.
  • Attack/Defense Bond (A Skill)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Defense +5 during combat.
  • Null Follow-Up (B Skill)
    • Disables foe’s skills that guarantee foe’s follow-up attack and foe’s skills that prevent unit’s follow-up attack.
  • Hone Dragons (C Skills)
    • At start of turn, grants Attack and Speed +6 to adjacent dragon allies for one turn.

CorrinDream Princess

  • Draconic Rage (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • Accelerates Special Attack trigger. If the number of allies within two spaces (excluding unit) > the number of foes within two spaces (excluding target), grants Attack and Speed +5 during combat. If foe’s Range = 2, calculates damage using the foe’s lower defensive stat.
  • Rally Attack/Speed (Range = 1)
    • Grants Attack and Speed +6 to target ally for one turn.
  • Draconic Aura (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts damage by 30 percent of unit’s Attack.
  • Attack/Speed Bond (A Skill)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Speed +5 during combat.
  • Fortify Dragons (C Skill)
    • At start of turn, grants Defense and Resistance +6 to adjacent dragon allies for one turn.

MikotoCaring Mother

  • Flash (Might = 11, Range = 2)
    • After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts status on target and foes within two spaces of target preventing counterattacks through their next actions.
  • Martyr (Range = 1)
    • Restores Health = damage dealt to unit +50 percent of Attack (minimum 7). Restores Health to unit = half of damage dealt to unit.
  • Miracle (Cooldown = 5)
    • If unit’s Health > 1 and foe would reduce unit’s Health to 0, unit survives with 1 Health.
  • Brazen Attack/Resistance (A Skill)
    • At start of combat, if unit’s Health ≤ 80 percent, grants Attack and Resistance +7 during combat.
  • Infantry Rush (C Skill)
    • Infantry allies within two spaces gain: “If unit’s Attack > foe’s Attack, grants Special Attack cooldown charge +1 per unit’s attack (only highest value applied, does not stack).”

Normally I would give my thoughts on each of these units individually. But frankly I think in this case it would be more constructive for me to go through these units in the way I naturally reacted a few days ago.

Starting with the first, most immediately striking question:

“WHY WOULD YOU MAKE A MAIN GAME BANNER WITH THREE DUPLICATE UNITS?!”

Words cannot express how baffling this is to me.

Duplicate units are fine in seasonal banners where they’re one-offs with unique qualities in some way. Something you can hold over people’s heads as a status symbol should you have played the game far longer than them and they missed the giveaway.

But if you’re going to add the units into the regular summoning pool, why not just add new units from the game you’re using? There are dozens of characters in Fates to pull from!

Like my waifu Scarlet. Just add her in. Please.

Instead we get our 17th version of Camilla and two new Corrin alts for basically no reason. Or lore reasons I suppose.

Once I got over that annoyance, I actually looked through the things these units bring to the table. Like sure, it bugged me when Eirika and Hinoka got alternate versions of themselves in the regular summoning pool, but at least they were neat.

These Adrift units don’t have that luxury. They’re so… Boring.

The Corrins didn’t really stand out to me at all outside of that new Null Follow-Up skill that the male one has. Mikoto is the only “new” unit here, but she’s just kind of average in a colorless healing pool that has blossomed recently with Veronica and Halloween Mia.

Camilla is honestly the only one of the four that seems particularly good thanks to the combination of her Attack/Resistance skills making her a decent mage counter as well as a flying support unit.

But she also comes into a summoning pool that has flourished lately. In just the last couple weeks we’ve all received a free flying red mage in Aversa, Summer Tana appeared again on the Legendary Eirika banner and Halloween Nowi came back in a banner retread.

I don’t know, guys. I was able to let this slide when it was just one duplicate unit on occasion despite my desire to see something totally new instead. But three on one banner?

It’s too much. If this is a trend that keeps up, I’ll have some far more choice words for Intelligent Systems. But for now, that’s mostly going to boil down to me boycotting this banner and saving my orbs for something down the line.

That said, was there anything good that came out of this banner?


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Other than the non-banner related stuff, this Paralogue is probably one the most interesting bits of story in this game in a while. Mostly because it’s a substantial interstitial explaining events between Books II and III (coming in December).

In it, we follow Loki talking to young girl Azura — the upcoming Tempest Trial reward unit who’s actually more relevant to everything than the main units here.

As we find out, the Adrift Paralogue is happening in Azura’s dream? I think? They don’t explain that part well. But the four main units in this banner are manifestations of Azura’s family and friends that helped her out of the dark past that was the driving plot of Revelations.

Except we only know that because while this strange philosophical discussion is happening between Loki and young Azura:

The Order of Heroes wakes up confused and is led on by adult Azura to find them. It’s a very short and succinct ‘find out what happened and stop the bad guy’ plot over three battles.

But what makes them so compelling is the extended look at the conversations between Loki and Azura, as they reveal more about what Loki is planning now that Muspell’s king has fallen.

If you map this onto the plot development from the Hoshidan festival banner a few months back, it becomes obvious that Loki is looking to use the power of Anankos for… Something nondescript. She’ll get to that power however she can — Even if it means abusing a tormented young child.

By the end of the Paralogue, she talks to Prince Alfonse and tells him that the Askrans clearly don’t know what potential their family’s ability to close gateways into other worlds has.

Which is a pretty good little cliffhanger considering the brief glance at Book III we’ve gotten so far is just Sharena covered in blood or dirt, reaching toward the camera and crying out.

Obviously some stuff is going to go down soon and this Paralogue is a neat little bridge to get there.

Now if only it didn’t make itself that by using a bunch of throw-away, underwhelming “dream” characters that we’re now stuck with.


I know extended rants probably aren’t the most enticing thing to read, so if you’ve gotten this far I appreciate it. I really just needed a space to complain and vent about this stupid thing in a game I love.

Let’s be honest, I’ve been putting this off for so long that framing it around complaints was the only way I was going to talk about the banner.

Originally I was also going to discuss the new Aether battles feature, because that’s actually something in this update that I like a lot… But I’m already getting pretty wordy here. So if I get around to doing it in the near future, I’ll include a link to my discussion on that at the bottom of this piece.

As usual, let me know how you feel about this new banner. Or let me know if you think I’m just crazy and stupid and wrong.

I’d also gladly accept that kind of criticism.

Some blockchain with your breakfast

One of these days, Alice. Bang Zoom. Straight to the Fire Emblem post.

But not today.

Because I’ll be honest, I’ve never come across a summoning banner that I’ve felt more apathetic for. The surrounding update is pretty cool, but I care so little for the new heroes that it’s actually difficult to find the motivation to write about them. Even if I keep referencing it.

Maybe I’ll have something tomorrow? Or Sunday, since tomorrow I have a band competition to go to and I might talk about that instead.

We’ll see.

In the meantime, I have a very different blog post to fill the space based on my adventures shopping with Mom today.

At one point we hit up Target to pick up a few things. Some shaving cream for me (because yes I decided not to ‘no shave’ this November despite my struggles with it previously), index cards for Alyson, and some medication from the pharmacy.

It was a bit more difficult than usual because of some four cop car operation taking place in front of the store we go to, but I wasn’t able to glean what was happening there from a quick passing glance or two. So sorry, this isn’t a caught policing post like that one that I did a while back.

Man I sure am pulling a lot of older posts for this one today, aren’t I? That sure suspiciously seems like a space-filling tactic.

Good thing I’m writing it and can assure you that it definitely is not.

Onto the point.

While looking around the grocery store portion of the Target, we spent a lot of time examining the cereal aisle in particular. We Rochlin’s love ourselves some cereal, so it’s never a bad thing to have in the house.

What stood out to me more than ever today was just how blatant the store stocking staff was in terms of putting the “generic name brand” cereal next to the copyrighted cereal we all know and love.

I mean look at these:

You’d think they would maybe want to have these things on different aisles, or at least put them on opposite sides of the cereal department. Because I know WE all understand that there are cheaper versions of popular cereals available, it just seems like something that shouldn’t be thrown around this casually.

But wait, there’s more.

If you thought those rip-offs were bad, check this one out:

IMG_1427

Yeah man, good job. We definitely got a name that’s distant enough to avoid any kind of copyright concerns.

The crazy thing is, this off-brand Frosted Flakes isn’t even the most egregious version of this problem. That award goes to none other than:

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Is Raisin Bran not a copyrighted name? Because if it isn’t, good on the generic cereal brander for deciding to just jump on the train and sell the same cereal with the same name.

I’m sure they make good money off of that.

“But Jason, what does any of this have to do with blockchain,” I hear the astute audience members who read headlines asking through their computer screens.

“Well, I’m glad you asked,” replies the narrator of this fine tale before he steps aside to reveal a true masterpiece.

IMG_1429

IMG_1430

We got buzzcoin ladies and germs.

You look at that name, and the symbol they created on the back, and tell me that someone in the Cheerios branding team isn’t trying to cash in on the blockchain craze by getting kids addicted to internet monetary scams at the same time as they’re getting addicted to those sweet honey-dipped oats.

Granted, I say that with very minuscule knowledge of how blockchain currencies work outside of a brief foray into the subject thanks to Vox’s Explained series (another thing I’ve talked about on the blog before — how about that?).

It just looks to me, even if the actual advertised interactive element is a more simple “vote for your favorite online” gimmick, that someone is using some internet lingo to their advantage.

Internet lingo that honestly made me laugh out loud in the supermarket.

Because come on, buzzcoin. If you’re going to do your own thing, at least try not to remind me of the Buzz Cola currency from the Simpson’s Hit and Run game.

Death by 1,000 Cuts

Death by 1,000 Cuts

I’ve come to really appreciate the gym as a solid source of stress relief on days like today.

Life can’t all be fun and polling places after all. I may have gotten an initial high by doing my civic duty and voting, but that was a very small fraction of the day right when the polls opened at 7:00 a.m.

Yeah, I finally got to pull out this joke I’ve been sitting on for a few months. Yeah, I’m proud of myself for deciding to actually do it. And yeah, I’m glad the Tweet and my identical post on Facebook got a good number of likes more than usual.

Not that it matters how much my things are liked, I just appreciate knowing that a number of my followers here and there have solid meme sensibilities.

I’m getting sidetracked.

Voting was cool, acknowledged. But after I did that I still had to go to school.

Which leads me to my next point: School kind of sucked today.

I went in for what amounted to a 20-minute long Sensation and Perception class where we reviewed for our upcoming test, but because my late class and study date were cancelled I had no reason to stick around.

Always a pleasure to drive around for a couple of hours so I can be in class for 20 minutes.

See we’re smack in the middle of midterm season 2 in Cal State Fullerton’s Psychology department. Tomorrow I have an exam in Learning and Memory, then on Thursday I have an exam in Sensation and Perception.

Plus, on the back-burner is the early deadline for my Learning and Memory research paper: Friday.

That theoretically matters less than the rest, but if I get the paper in before Friday I’ll have 4 points extra credit applied. Considering those points are the difference between a ‘C,’ where my rough draft stood, and an ‘A,’ I’m pretty eager to get it in.

It just so happens that I have no idea whether or not the professor is going to be on-campus Thursday or Friday. Which is why I’m pushing myself to finish the paper by tomorrow.

While also hoping to study for the exam in that same class tomorrow.

See why I’m getting on-edge?

Well hold your horses folks, because it gets more frustrating somehow.

My professor left tons of notes on the rough draft I turned in because he’s anal as hell and basically wanted us to write his essay, not our essay — even if something made more sense to us the way we wrote it.

… So I’ve heard from a friend.

When I sat down with the guy during his office hours to get clarification on the chicken scratch notes, the general take-away was that he wanted the early portion of the paper to have clear definitions, examples and statements on how those examples prove the definitions. It wasn’t good enough to have a definition followed by a “, for example xxx.”

That’s all fine and well… Until you remember that the paper as a whole has a page limit.

So the man basically strong-armed me into adding dozens of paragraphs and extended examples throughout the paper, and now expects me to cut down all of the extra space that came into the piece as a result.

It’s a Tantalus-level torture straight out of Hades if I’ve ever seen one.

That’s about where my headline today comes from, my resignation to the fact that I’ll be sitting here with my mom snipping off words and sentences from this paper where applicable to hit a page limit, despite the fact that I’m already sick of looking at it after nearly five hours of editing his comments yesterday.

Not the emotional place I want to be in while knowing I have to move into exam studying after for the same man that’s currently ruining my life.

But like I started this post off with, at least I had the gym to blow off some steam.

Even if not I feel like I’m passing out on the couch while working on my paper.

Because everything needs a trade-off, doesn’t it life?

My Thoughts on the 11/1/18 Smash Ultimate Direct

My Thoughts on the 11/1/18 Smash Ultimate Direct

Been a little while since I jumped into one of these ‘my thoughts’ posts, but I got pretty into the Twitter hype after the Smash Ultimate Direct this morning and it felt like a good topic to kill some time talking about!

Certainly a better topic than school stuff right now.

BUT that’s why we have distractions like video games to keep us sane as we stare into the void. Between this and that little Delta Rune thing Toby Fox put out yesterday I’ll likely have a couple video game-related posts this weekend just to keep my stress levels down.

So let’s jump into Smash Bros., shall we?

The Direct this morning (which you can watch here if you haven’t yet) was about 40 minutes long.

In the interest of time I don’t think I’m going to go into each and every detail of every minute part-by-part like I would if this was a general Nintendo Direct. I’m going to pick out the most interesting/relevant bits and have a basic discussion on each of them.

Let’s a go.


New Fighters

As our boy Masahiro Sakurai said, all 74 characters in the game have now been confirmed. Up until now we only had 72, with this Direct revealing the final few:

Ken (Street Fighter): I didn’t play a whole lot of Ryu in Smash 4. He was a DLC character and I never went through with buying any of that game’s DLC. So having an echo fighter of Ryu in his eternal rival Ken, while pretty sweet from a content/lore standpoint, doesn’t necessarily mean a whole lot to me.

It’ll be cool to watch people have Street Fighter fights in the middle of a Smash Bros. game, though.

Incineroar: Now, personal bias coming into play, I would have preferred to see Decidueye get into Smash over Incineroar. Because Rowlet is mah BOI.

But I can’t deny that Incineroar looks pretty incredible and makes a lot of sense from a fighting-game perspective. He’s all about grapples and throws as a professional wrestler in Pokémon, so why wouldn’t he fit into a fighting game like this?

I also love how hard this guy goes. I tweeted this morning in the midst of my hype after seeing a picture on Serebii because, well…

Just. So hardcore.

Plus his signature Z-Move, Malicious Moonsault, is also his final smash. Such attention to detail brings a tear to my little nerdy eye.

While those two are the last fighters being implemented into the official game, there are also DLC characters coming some time in the near future. The first one announced as a bonus for pre-ordering the game is…

Piranha Plant.

It’s about as weird a choice as it sounds. Especially since it’s still planted in a pipe and just… Has feet underneath that pipe?

I might have preferred if they went down the Petey Piranha route, but Petey is his final smash so I guess I can’t complain.

I’ll probably be more willing to buy the DLC on this ultimate version for the Switch anyway.

Gotta love how Nintendo does season pass content, but unlike every other company on the planet does so in a way we know we can trust it because this is Sakurai’s baby.

Oh, also I would be remiss not to mention that there’s assist trophies coming in from Fire Emblem, Golden Sun, ARMS, Mega Man, Fatal Frame, the Art Academy series and more. A whole bunch of good additions in my opinion!


Spirits

Now here’s an interesting idea. Instead of having collectible trophies like in most other Smash games, this time around we have subsidiary characters available as Spirits.

The lore behind them seems like over-complicated junk — and part of the next thing I’ll discuss.

So the important thing is that in certain modes, you can choose Spirits to give your fighter power-ups. They’re like the collectible trophies from before, but actually provide a useful service in-game.

That’s super neat!

The Spirits come in four levels that offer differing levels of support:

  • Novice (lowest)
  • Advanced
  • Ace
  • Legend (highest)

And can only be assigned one at a time. There’s a weapon triangle system to the abilities of each Spirit, similar to Fire Emblem. However, much like gear in Monster Hunter, you can also attach other Spirits onto your primary one to provide additional skills.

To unlock the Spirits you have to go through challenge battles against a fighter themed after the character, which is another really cool way to incorporate things from earlier Smash games.

Also, there’s this individual training system and trade-in mechanic that’s similar to Fire Emblem Heroes where you can get Spirits, send them away to get cores that can be exchanged for new Spirits.

Plus there’s a casual time-based system where they can go out and find items like it’s a mobile game.

And Doc Louis from Punch-Out runs the training gym.

I swear, these guys put so much effort into optimizing, polishing and streamlining that we should give them all of the awards right now.

Long story short, I’m very ready to get lost in Spirits.


World of Light

After years of asking, it seems like Smash Ultimate is going to have a story mode! Though it’s a little different than Brawl’s Subspace Emissary.

Instead of going through character-driven missions across full-fledged platforming worlds, it seems like World of Light is more akin to a Kirby Star Allies-esque overworld that has challenge battles at each stop.

There is an overarching story of sorts where Kirby is the sole survivor of an apocalyptic flash of light and has to save each of the other fighters from having copies that are taken over by Spirits.

Which sounds way weirder than it is considering that was essentially the threat in Subspace Emissary as well — just with Spirits, clearly a tie-in to the new mechanic in Smash Ultimate.

Looks like it’s going to be fun, and I’m glad to get a story mode again. I just don’t have very much to say about it right now.

My only semi-serious complaint is that I prefer the orchestral version of the Smash Ultimate theme to the Square Enix style anime vocal version of it used in the trailer for the story mode.

But that’s probably just me.


Now I didn’t talk about everything here today. Plenty of the Direct was spent talking about things like online mode changes and optimization.

Or the 11 languages supported in-game.

Or the fact that you can make and post videos off of saved battle Replays.

But like I said, I just wanted to discuss the things that stood out to me right now.

So, that said, tell me what you thought about the Smash Direct! Are you even more excited about the game now? Because I know I am.

This truly is the ultimate version of Sakurai’s baby, and I’m more than willing to go on the journey that he and his team have created.

Luckily the holidays are coming up, so I have something to ask for this year!

Fire Emblem Heroes’ treat: Legendary Eirika

Fire Emblem Heroes’ treat: Legendary Eirika

Looks like Intelligent Systems decided to give us a treat this Halloween with a brand new Legendary Hero from my favorite game in the entire Fire Emblem franchise.

While the Brave Redux banner with Loki, Kliff and Owain has been around for a few days now, I haven’t gotten anything particularly special out of it. In fact the only five-star hero it gave me was a Gray — and while I can appreciate the thematic consistency, he’s no Kliff.

After summoning him, something deep down inside me said, “Jason. Save your orbs. It feels like we might be gearing up for a Sacred Stones banner sometime soon.”

So I did start to save my orbs.

We didn’t get a full Sacred Stones banner, but the game’s chief heroine has now arrived in a brand new light to justify my frugality.

But was she worth saving myself for? Well, only one way to find out.

Even though obviously the answer is yes.



Editor’s Note: On the last banner I tried to use shrunken photos to improve my media space consumption, but they were a little too small and came out blurry.

So I’m trying a medium size this time and hopefully it will look better. Again, sorry for the growing pains!



EirikaGraceful Resolve

  • Storm Sieglinde (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • Grants Attack +3. If the numbers of foes within two spaces (excluding target) ≥ the number of allies within two spaces (excluding unit), grants Defense and Resistance +3 and Special Attack cooldown charge +1 per unit’s attack during combat (only highest value applied, does not stack).
  • Moonbow (Cooldown = 2)
    • Treats foe’s Defense and Resistance as if reduced by 30 percent during combat.
  • Attack/Speed Solo (A Skill)
    • If unit is not adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Speed +6 during combat.
  • Lunar Brace (B Skill)
    • Slows Special Attack trigger (cooldown count +1). Deals damage = 50 percent of foe’s Defense when Special Attack triggers.
  • Odd Defense Wave (C Skill)
    • At start of odd-numbered turns, grants Defense +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent).

Legendary Eirika has an interesting synergy with her brother’s Legendary Hero variant. A synergy in that, while both are cavalry units (as per their ultimate forms in Sacred Stones), both also thrive when staying way the hell away from each other.

That Solo skill and her weapon’s effect makes her a unit whose primary purpose is to charge into battle on her own, slaying enemies with an accelerated Moonbow trigger that has extra boosted damage on account of the Lunar Brace.

Send her in on turns where she gets a defensive boost thanks to her C skill and Eirika reads like a force to be reckoned with on paper. Personally I even kind of prefer her Brace’s focus on improving damage output over Legendary Ephraim’s Solar Brace improving his vampirism.

Arguably the only real problem harming Eirika’s viability is the fact that sword-wielding cavalier is a field that’s very saturated all things being equal. Eldigan, Sigurd, variant Reinhardt, Brave Roy, Exalt Chrom…

And those are just the ones I own.

Personally I think Legendary Eirika would have been more impactful if they utilized the mage cavalier variant here instead of in her Anamnesis alt from the start of this year. Or honestly anything that could have helped her stand out a bit better.

Though that said, I fricken love Eirika and will sink all my orbs into summoning her no matter what. Hell her OG form is still my token unit and I’ve invested a lot into her, so Legendary girl will fit right in.

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I’ll probably regret this decision when Neimi drops in the Sacred Stones exclusive banner next week… But that’s a bridge I’ll cross when I get there.

Also available on Legendary Eirika’s banner are:

  • Tana — Noble and Nimble
  • Olivia — Sky-High Dancer
  • Ephraim — Legendary Lord
  • Ninian — Bright-Eyed Bride
  • Sumia — Maid of Flowers
  • Lyn — Lady of the Wind
  • Sanaki — Apostle in White
  • Robin — Fell Reincarnation
  • Robin — Fell Vessel
  • Innes — Regal Strategician
  • Genny — Endearing Ally

My preferences for the supplemental summoning units this time around are rather simple.

In red, Olivia. In blue, Ninian. In green, Sanaki. In colorless, Genny.

Those are the four units I have not summoned before, with all the rest having joined my army already. In that respect the banner overall is a bit disappointing, as red is my major focus — with Tana being a sticking point. As much as I love her.

However, if nothing else I do appreciate the themeing. Having both Tana and Ephraim on Eirika’s banner was a smart choice, and both Grima variants being summonable is cool… Even if female Grima is very overplayed.

Now there is one more problem with this banner thus far…

The fact that I’ve blown through the 60 orbs I had already and pretty much summoned nothing.

Hell probably the only ‘useful’ unit I’ve gotten for myself is an extra Soleil, bringing me up to my 8th merge for her.

Should I do a post on my +10 merge project units at some point? I feel like that could be fun.

But that is also a discussion for another day. Because right now I need some extra orbs for my fix… And I think Eirika might have just what I need.


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I usually don’t have too much to say about these Legendary Battle maps, and this time is no exception. The reinforcements arriving thing is never a fun mechanic, but otherwise this one seems better than some of the others we’ve seen before.

Plus, Lyn and Grima’s Legendary Battle maps return as well and I haven’t beaten the Infernal difficulty on either. So yay, orbs.

Please game just give me some orbs for Halloween.


So I know this probably isn’t the Halloween post you all would have expected out of me. But don’t fret, as I may just have Halloween things to talk about later today?

Who knows.

I certainly don’t because it’s 12:30 a.m. when I’m writing this. I just think it could be fun to do a ‘costumes I see around campus’ kind of post at the end of the day, as I’ll actually have a Halloween to enjoy this year sans Milo Yiannopoulos.

Which, by the way, it’s crazy that it has been a year since that whole debacle. That’s just also a story for another non-FEH post.

Thus I’ll leave you all with this: Why is Sacred Stones the best Fire Emblem game?

Kidding, you can disagree with that if you want. Just go ahead and think about the usual ‘who do you want to summon?’ and ‘who do you want to see next?’ kind of questions and get back to me if you want.

But honestly you should all just go enjoy Halloween. Do it for all the reporters covering nasty things who can’t this year. Because I certainly will.



P.S. — After I finished writing this and set it to publish, I got her with 15 orbs to spare.

Boy am I going to sleep happy tonight! And build a great Sacred Stones-themed team in the near future to boot~

‘The Jonathan Banner’: Shapeshifters and Aching Blood

‘The Jonathan Banner’: Shapeshifters and Aching Blood

Nothing like the smell of a fresh Fire Emblem Heroes banner in the morning.

This Brave Redux banner, essentially a rehash of the Farfetched Units idea from last year, immediately holds a very special place in my heart. Because it is quite literally the definition of a ‘cuck my friend Jonathan’ banner.

For years he has been asking Intelligent Systems to add Kliff into the game. Plus, he and my friend Mitchell always joke about Loki being great for her…

Two large personalities. If you catch my drift.

So between those two being together and Owain, one of the best units from Awakening, joining in… Well let’s just say we had a great time laughing about how many orbs we were going to waste on this one when the trailer dropped.

But of course the trailer is only half the story. Are these three new Brave units worth summoning?


Loki — The Trickster

Skill Set:

  • Thökk (Might = 14, Range = 2)
    • Calculates damage from staff like other weapons. At start of the turn, if foe’s Health ≤ unit’s Health +3 and foe is in cardinal directions and uses a bow, dagger, magic or staff, foe cannot move more than one space through its action.
  • Restore (Range = 1)
    • Restores Health = 50 percent of Attack (minimum 8 Health). Neutralizes ally’s penalties and negative status effects that last through ally’s next action.
  • Earthwater Balm (Cooldown = 1)
    • When healing an ally with a staff, grants Defense and Resistance +6 to all allies for one turn.
  • C Duel Infantry (A Skill)
    • Grants Health +5. If unit is five-star rarity and level 40 and unit’s stats total is less than 170, treats unit’s stats as 170 in modes like Arena (Higher-scoring opponents will appear. Stat total calculation excludes any values added by merges and skills).
  • Odd Attack Wave (C Skill)
    • At start of odd-numbered turns, grants Attack +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent).

Analysis:

While it’s fun seeing Intelligent Systems add another original-to-Heroes character into our summoning pool, I’d be lying if I said Loki was anything but the least valuable unit on this banner for me personally.

Her special weapon and signature ‘Restore’ Movement Assist are great selling points in conjunction with Odd Attack Wave, as they encourage Loki to stay near her allies to cure their status ailments and boost their power.

However, beyond that she also has that A skill I don’t really understand and… Well… The other two units on this banner are special.

So let me jump into them.


Kliff — Curious Spirit

Skill Set:

  • Sagittae (Might = 14, Range = 2)
    • Grants Defense +3. At start of combat, if foe’s Attack ≥ unit’s Attack +5, grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +5 during combat.
  • Growing Light (Cooldown = 4)
    • Before combat this unit initiates, foes in a wide area around target take damage equal to (unit’s Attack minus foe’s Defense or Resistance).
  • Fortress Def/Res (A Skill)
    • Grants Defense and Resistance +6. Inflicts Attack -2.
  • Chill Speed (B Skill)
    • At start of turn, inflicts Speed -7 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Speed through its next action.
  • Fortify Resistance (C Skill)
    • At start of turn, grants Resistance +4 to adjacent allies for one turn.

Analysis:

It’s been 83 years, but we finally have a brand new Fire Emblem Echoes unit in Heroes. Not on its own banner with, say, Silque… But pickers can’t be choosers.

We can finally finish a full collection of the Ram villagers, and that’s worth Kliff being here.

Even if I’m personally uncomfortable not seeing him as an archer when that was his amazing niche in my playthrough of the game.

At least in Heroes Kliff’s unique weapon gives him a different interesting niche to fill. When coming into battle with a lower attack stat, he gets buffed in all of his stats. Throw on a different Special Attack and one of the extra Fortress Sacred Seals and he might honestly be a force to be reckoned with. Plus his design is sweet and that always helps.

But also replace that C skill. As you’ll see with Owain coming up next, only Loki got a good deal in the C department.


Owain — Chosen One

Skill Set:

  • Missiletainn (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • Accelerates Special Attack trigger (cooldown -1). Grants Special Attack cooldown charge +1 per foe’s attack during combat (only highest value applied, does not stack, charge granted even if foe’s attack deals 0 damage).
  • Blue Flame (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts damage by 10. If unit is adjacent to an ally, boosts damage by 25 instead.
  • Attack/Defense Bond (A Skill)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Defense +5 during combat.
  • Wrath (B Skill)
    • At start of turn, if unit’s Health ≤ 75 percent and unit’s attack triggers Special Attack, grants Special Attack cooldown count -1. Deals +10 damage when Special triggers.
  • Spur Speed/Defense (C Skill)
    • Grants Speed and Defense +3 to adjacent allies during combat.

Analysis:

Even if Kliff is a rare Echoes unit that I’m intrigued in summoning, Owain probably takes the cake as the most interesting build on this banner for me.

Except for the fact that he’s yet another strong sword infantry unit. There are so many of them.

But Owain stands out in that his preferred play style seems to be working alongside other characters. He gains an Attack and Defense boost thanks to that bond, as well as a stronger Special Attack trigger (up to 35 damage thanks to Wrath). I love the idea of playing him closely linked to a supported ally, perhaps with a different C skill. One of the Attack waves perhaps?

Also. Just. He’s Owain.

He’s a goofball and his aching blood shuttering hand over face pose is god damn iconic. He’s pretty much the sole reason I love the very similar Gladeon in Pokémon Sun and Moon.

By all intents and purposes he’s also far better than Odin. So bring me my Owain, Intelligent Systems.


Normally this is the segment where I would post something about my summoning luck.

I would if my luck on this banner thus-far wasn’t nonexistent.

So far I’ve gotten an extra Eirika to merge, then a five-star Gray showed up to ruin a 3.75 percent summoning streak.

I’m a bit peeved at that, almost entirely because Gray is not the Ram villager we’re looking for.

I also wasted a good 60 orbs getting there, so I’m hovering at about 20 or so right now. Probably not going to spend any more for a while, but we’ll see.

Certainly the paralogue story orbs should be encouraging, right?

Perfect segue as always.



Editor’s Note: I’m trying my new smaller photo upload system on this post, so if the images are hard to see just consider this an experiment that I’ll rectify next time Heroes releases a banner.

Like… Next week at this rate.



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Alright I’ll level with you. This is probably the most underwhelming Paralogue we’ve had in a while. Especially considering we just finished doing Halloween business.

It starts with the Order once again remarking that Brave Heroes have arrived.

 

Along with Alfonse, again, making a comment about how strange it is that the people of our world for some reason decided to ask for one of the game’s major villains as a Brave Hero.

Which also is somewhat confusing in that Veronica was a totally novel unit in her Brave banner but Loki isn’t?

Then again the Farfetched Units were not unique either. They were just characters from their games.

So I’m really not sure what the formula is here, Intelligent Systems.

All I know is that Loki’s first arrival is alongside future Grand Hero Battle fodder Aversa from Awakening. And they’re basically the exact same character:

 

Except that Aversa is like Loki blended together with Tharja, and Loki herself has no soul according to Aversa. She says the healer gives off the same aura as Grima which…

Yeah is pretty damning.

Yet, as much as I do like seeing these two play off of each other, they pale in comparison when you throw Owain and Kliff in the same room. I’m just going to show you the main chunk of their exchange, it’s that good.

 

 

Is it weird if I ship these two about an hour after they were introduced into the same universe?

Because I’m definitely up for doing that.

However once the Order of Heroes arrives at the final battle, it’s just kind of standard fair. They all riff on the ideas presented previously, you fight and afterwards they all say they’d be happy to join your team.

Even if apparently they aren’t because all I got was a lousy, stinkin’ Gray.

C’mon Gray, why’d you have to play me like that.


If this post overall sounds a little low-energy, I’d blame the fact that I decided to finish writing it at 2:00 a.m. instead of just waiting for the normal morning hours like I had intended to.

What can I say, the muse came to me.

Speaking of that muse, I know this post goes a good 300 words or so over the self-imposed limit that I mentioned talking to my friend Spencer about… But honestly I feel like these Fire Emblem posts are sort of the exception to that rule.

First, because I’m the only one who reads them.

But also because easily a good 400 or so words are spend just copying the skill descriptions? And those are a necessary evil, less so me giving my thoughts and opinions.

So… Loophole. Yeah.

But anyway, I’m really tired and want to wrap this up. Let me know what you think of the new Brave Heroes in the comments, or somewhere else on the internet!

Personally still hoping that Sacred Stones units are next on the docket… Though less so now that I’ve spent too many orbs just to get Gray.

Screw you, Gray. Never even liked using you in Echoes.

Like a chicken with its head cut off

Some of you may have noticed I missed a blog post yesterday, which probably seems hypocritical and dumb just a day after I literally wrote a blog post while sitting in the corner of a party where I was the only completely sober person.

But I swear I have a good reason for it.

And that reason is… I’m just really god damn busy this week.

It isn’t quite the same kind of busy as I was during midterms a few weeks back, this time my responsibilities are a bit more external.

On Friday I have to register for spring 2019 classes. However, in order to be prepared for that, I have to meet with half a dozen people.

I sat down with the Communications internship coordinator this afternoon when I was done with class.

Tomorrow I’m going to Professor Rizzo’s office hours so I can show her all of the material for my honors project (and hopefully get a proposal signed off on so I can sign up for different classes I need).

Wednesday I have to head into campus by 8:00 a.m. to see guidance counselors during walk-in hours (which is a subject I complained about previously). Big fun for a commuting student.

At least then I’ll be able to try and meet my Learning and Memory professor during his office hours to get some more clear feedback on my essay.

I potentially don’t have anything extraneous on Thursday, but that might be the day I meet with my Mass Media Ethics partner for a presentation we have to give next week.

Finally, Friday is a Gladeo meeting day and, as I mentioned, the day I’m officially signing up for next semester’s classes.

It’s all a bit of a time crunch with a ton of moving parts and I’m a bit on-edge.

Then let’s not forget about the other balls I’m juggling. For instance, homework.

The bane of students everywhere.

I also have to try and work out future internship hiring stuff for Gladeo with Michelle at some point in the near future per suggestions made by the internship coordinator. Both so I can have my work apply toward required internship credits and so we can encourage more reporter interns to come work with us.

On top of that I’ve also been working on different summer 2019 internship applications given the deadline for many of them is November 1.

Put together the extensive application for the Boston Globe yesterday. Now that’s floating around in the aether alongside the Washington Post.

I’m not expecting anything of course, but I am anxiously holding my breath.

Plus let’s not forget my other personal pursuits that I’d like to slip in somewhere within that timeframe.

Like finishing my newest armor set in Monster Hunter.

Or possibly buying Shantae Half-Genie Hero, which I saw is on sale right now thanks to the WayForward twitter.

There are just a lot of balls in the air right now. Being able to list them all out here on the blog does help me relax a little, both because it’s keeping track of my responsibilities and because it’s just fun, stress-free writing practice.

But you can essentially take this post as my fair warning that I might be a little more quiet the next couple days, as I’m literally running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

Except for maybe tomorrow when a new Fire Emblem Heroes banner drops. I’ll probably have a post about that.

Because I can’t resist.

Reusing and Recycling

Reusing and Recycling

Last year I didn’t really have a proper Halloween. All of the oxygen was sucked out of that particular room by Milo Yiannopolous visiting Cal State Fullerton, which wound up being a massive, exhausting reporting project that I was the lead on.

Nobody around campus got to have a real Halloween that year. As great as it was getting lost in that world, it was a shame that I didn’t get to dress up or do any of that fun, traditional spooky stuff.

As a result I’m a bit out-of-practice when it comes to doing things like pulling together costumes.

So when my friend Mimi invited me to come to a Halloween party tonight, I panicked over how to dress.

And by panicked I mean I got really busy with school and didn’t bother pulling anything new together. Instead I just reused my costume from two years ago and came as the esteemed Willy Wonka.

Here I am with Mimi, also apparently reusing an old costume. Also, please note the god of partying noshing on some meatballs in the background. Because he was awesome.

Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka of course. I put this thing together two years ago after he passed away, and I’m impressed I still somewhat fit into the women’s size pimp-purple coat that I dug out of a thrift store.

Guess there’s something to this whole exercising regularly thing after all.

I’m kind of writing this in the corner of the party while waiting for my turn at Mario Kart, so I won’t be too verbose. But I figure I should highlight some of the fun things here because it’s a cool little shindig.

For instance, the aforementioned drunk Mario Kart.

I’m not personally drunk because I have a long drive home after this, but basically everyone else is fucked up on every kind of alcohol under the sun.

And we’re playing Mario Kart.

For some reason a decision was made to start the game at the hardest difficulty while playing a Rainbow Road race.

First off, I have to say, it’s incredible that that’s the decision everyone collectively came to. But also it was just plain hilarious watching everyone struggle through it while inebriated.

(I personally got fourth place as my girl Rosalina while everyone else was 10-12, so I got to flex my sober video game muscles a little)

Jackbox came in later, but for me Mario Kart at a massive party full of people who aren’t purely nerds was way more surprising.

Also on the list of party attractions was the food, of course. Mimi put together a lovely spread of chips, candy and cheeses for people to soak up that alcohol with.

Plus there were these lovely cupcakes:

Note the meatballs in the background, also prepared by Mimi and made famous by our God friend.

Very Halloween-y.

Naturally the costumes are also very important to discuss. Someone is wearing a dragon made out of a cardboard box, and her boyfriend is dressed as Daenerys from Game of Thrones.

There are at least two one-pieces in the room, a cheetah and a Stormtrooper.

Two girls came dressed as an angel and a devil.

We’ve got Miguel from Coco, Lucas from Earthbound, a Slytherin student with the dark mark tattooed on…

It’s a very interesting, eclectic mix that I don’t exactly feel comfortable taking a larger photo of. So maybe check my social media stuff in case I like some pictures Mimi puts out or whatever.

Oh yeah, also there’s a cat. A very sweet cat with big ol’ eyes. Animals are always welcome at a party.

Even though I’m basically meeting everyone at this place tonight, I’d say it’s been a great time! Certainly a wonderful distraction from my Mass Media Ethics assignment and preparing for class registration.

But that said, I’m going to get back to the festivities. I’d wish everyone a happy Halloween, but we’re still a bit early for that.

So happy pre-Halloween?

Happy Saturday night?

I don’t know, I’ll figure it out later. It’s party time right now.

Halloween Horror Heroes

Halloween Horror Heroes

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

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

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

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

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


MyrrhSpooky Monster

Skill Set:

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

Analysis:

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

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

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

Especially since she’s so gosh darn cute:

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MiaMoonlit Witch

Skill Set:

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

Analysis:

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

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

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

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


NilesForbidden Tease

Skill Set:

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

Analysis:

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

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

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


KageroBeverage Ninja

Skill Set:

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

Analysis:

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Let’s do it!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s just funny, in my opinion.

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

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

Hooray.

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

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

Much laughs ensue. And no real progress was observed.

Amen.


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

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

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

What does that song sound like?

What does that song sound like?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah I’m still on that bit, Aly

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

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

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

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

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

Look out for some Synchro deck profiles, possibly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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