Tag: Nintendo

The Flame Kingdom’s Generals rise from the ashes

The Flame Kingdom’s Generals rise from the ashes

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

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

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

But I digress.

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

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

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


HelbindiSavage Scourge

Skill Set:

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

Analysis:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


LaevateinSearing Steel

Skill Set:

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

Analysis:

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

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

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

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

Which is pretty nuts?

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

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


LaegjarnSheathed Steel

Skill Set:

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

Analysis:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

But uhh…

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Marketing with Brand Recognition

Marketing with Brand Recognition

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

Honestly? Was not a huge fan of it.

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

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

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

But I digress.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Usually those purchases fill one of three goals:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hunting while Bedridden

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

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

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

Fun stuff.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s just sweet.

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

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

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

 

The Final Fate of Book II

The Final Fate of Book II

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

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

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

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

Let’s talk about them.


OpheliaDramatic Heroine

Skill set:

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

Analysis:

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


NinaEye Spy

Skill set:

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

Analysis:

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

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

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


SilasLoyal Knight

Skill set:

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

Analysis:

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

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

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

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


FloraCold as Ice

Skill set:

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

Analysis:

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

So there’ll be time for him.

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

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

But I digress.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I think that’s funny, at least.

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

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

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

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

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

And then he dies. So that’s 2/3 down.

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

So.

Yeah. Shout out to daddy issues? I guess.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But hey, at least she didn’t die.

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

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

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

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

Then the duel begins.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

My Thoughts on the September 13, 2018 Nintendo Direct

My Thoughts on the September 13, 2018 Nintendo Direct

I’m not feeling too great right now.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Luigi’s Mansion 3

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

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

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

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

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


3DS Remakes

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

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

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

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

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


Mega Man 11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


New Super Mario Bros. U & Katamari Damacy

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

But then they announced that you can play as Toadette.

And apparently.

When you get a mushroom as Toadette.

She turns into Princess Peach.

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

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

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


Pokémon Let’s Go

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

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

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

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

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

They cut the trees.

They get a surfboard so you can swim.

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

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

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


Diablo 3

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

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

Enough said.

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


Town

A non-Pokémon Game Freak-developed RPG?

On my Nintendo Switch?

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

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

So congrats Town, you just hit my radar.


Yoshi’s Crafted World

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

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

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


Civilization VI

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

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

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


The World Ends With You

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

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

But we’ll see about that one.


All the Final Fantasies

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

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

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

Which is essentially Pokémon Mystery Dungeon.

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

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

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

Speaking of:


Super Smash Brothers Ultimate

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

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

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

But then, after the Direct supposedly ends.

We get the next big reveal:

Isabelle in Smash.

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

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

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


Animal Crossing 2019

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

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

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

Then. Cut to white.

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

No voice lines, no nothing. Just that.

Video ends.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seeping with Content: New Genealogy Units and Version 2.9.0

Seeping with Content: New Genealogy Units and Version 2.9.0

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

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

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

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

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


QuanLuminous Lancer

Skill Set:

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

SilviaTraveling Dancer

Skill Set:

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

LewynGuiding Breeze

Skill Set:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So I utilized my free summon:

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Yes Anna, yes I do.

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

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

There are actually some cool things in this chapter.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s interesting, to say the least…

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

People like that trope, right?

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

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

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

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

But I digress.

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

Then the final fight begins.

It isn’t that hard, honestly.

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

Because you know. She has ulterior motives.

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

Next.

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

Odin

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

Cherche

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

Celica

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

How do you feel about the new Genealogy heroes?

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

Are you down with the additions from Version 2.9.0?

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

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

Temporal Contiguity

I’m trying something totally radical today. Instead of writing this post after my trip to the gym, I’m writing it while currently at the gym!

Using the treadmill, to be specific.

About 10 minutes into my run and I’m already beginning to suspect this whole split mindset is a mistake. But overall I’m very interested in killing two birds with one stone, because once I get home from the gym I’ll have to study for this quiz I’m dreading.

Somehow we’re only a week into the semester and have already covered two whole chapters in this class. No idea how the quiz is going to go because it’s uncharted territory and this is the class where I don’t feel totally confident in my notes, so…

Yeah.

Should be fun.

That’s another story, though.

This blog post isn’t necessarily meant to be about me writing it at the gym. That would probably be weird.

Instead I figured I would try to write something positive about school considering yesterday’s post was so negative.

During my Learning and Memory class this morning I learned about something really cool which put words to a thing I’ve always thought about:


Temporal Contiguity

Occurs when two stimuli are experienced close together in time and, as a result an association may be formed.


I think this just about explains itself honestly.

I’ve talked about this same subject probably countless times before, particularly concerning my nostalgia for certain games being intrinsically linked to different locations.

Playing Pokémon Sapphire and the first run of Shovel Knight on 3DS while in Florida with my grandparents.

Playing through Pokémon Firered while in New York many, many years ago for my cousin’s Bat Mitzvah.

Playing Fire Emblem Fates (Birthright specifically) while in New York for a journalism conference.

Playing Pokémon White 2 in a Target near the Del Amo Mall by my house.

I could go on and on with this list frankly, and at least 80 percent of the examples are clearly Pokémon inspired — in case you ever needed a good reason why the series is my favorite of all time.

But I think you get the point.

Before you think I’m a total loser though, just know it isn’t all video game examples running through my head. Even if those are the most prevalent.

For instance, I remember finishing Wilson Rawls’ “Where the Red Fern Grows” while riding our family exercise bike when it was still in my parent’s room.

Followed soon after by bawling uncontrollably all over our family exercise bike when I finished the book.

Screw you Rawls. I’m still not over that.

This writing on the treadmill thing actually kind of sucks so I think I’m going to cut things off here. Try not to kill myself on exercise machines and give myself some closure to focus wholeheartedly on stressing myself out over a quiz later.

Just figured it would be worth sharing this cool new term I learned today that gave me the words to describe a phenomenon I’ve noticed quite often.

Have you found any sort of terms or words like that recently?

Or, if not, what sort of temporal contiguities have you experienced that really stuck with you?

Let me know down in the comments!

Preparation is Half the Battle

Preparation is Half the Battle

I have to say, I didn’t quite expect a real job to require sending out so many emails. But so far that seems to be 90 percent of what I’ve done as the Gladeo League Managing Editor.

However that’s neither here nor there. We may have had a meeting today, but I’m not looking to talk about that in this blog post.

I also don’t really want to talk about my physical before that, since the only significant take-away is how much my arm hurts because of the two shots I got.

Also the fact that I haven’t lost any weight since last year, I suppose. But I prefer to look at it as I haven’t gained any weight either.

So yay for starting exercising regularly!

No, today I’m just going to talk real quick about one of those staple first week of school traditions:

Marking down dates and creating binders.

Typically I’ll go to school for the first week with a smaller messenger bag rather than my big backpack. Every class usually just spends the time going over syllabi and starting the first basic lectures, after all. So I usually only need my laptop and a notebook.

I’ll usually use the notebook that later becomes my homework agenda for the semester.

Once the first week is through and I have all of my syllabi compiled, I spend a day going through them all and jotting down the major dates (exams, research papers, etc.) on my wall calendar.

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Naturally all of the big things wind up mostly lining up in December, but this semester I do have a few papers scheduled to be due in November and my exams are scattered throughout the few final months.

By this point I usually have all of my textbooks ordered and delivered considering Cal State Fullerton lists all of the required texts online.

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Chegg is pretty cheap and quick when it comes to rentals, in my experience.

With the important dates established and my books ready and waiting, next comes my personal favorite step in the process: Setting up the binders.

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Kirby and Rowlet chillin’ in the back.

My philosophy on how to create each binder for my classes varies from semester-to-semester. Sometimes my professors will require a single binder to be devoted to their coursework, sometimes they’ll even have specific divisions in mind within said binder.

Those are the fun professors. Especially when they require binder checks throughout the semester.

Thought you got away from that requirement in middle school?

Think again.

Luckily, none of my classes have those stipulations this semester. So I’m free to build everything the way I want.

Thus I’ve decided to create two primary binders for this semester.

One will be my psychology binder. I’m taking two psych classes and both seem like they’ll have a significant amount of notes and assignments to keep track of. So I’m going to keep them together, which should hopefully be extra helpful considering how much overlap Sensation/Perception and Learning/Memory will have.

My second binder with be focused on Comm courses and include a section for my one honors class. Both of my Comm classes are one-day-a-week and probably won’t have as much overall bulk as the rest despite being three-hour classes each. Figure I can throw in my also not very hefty honors workload and it shouldn’t be too much trouble.

Sometimes I’ll set up my binders to correspond with days of the week, that way I only have to bring one a day and keep the weight off my back. But this semester everything is a little jumbled, so it’ll make more sense to go by connected classes.

With that said, everything comes together and all I’ll have left to worry about is translating my first day notes from my notebook onto lined paper so it can fit into my lecture note tabs. Wherever those wind up.

Because even if I’ve already done the work once, continuity means enough to me that I’ll copy it all over again.

But perhaps not right now. There are monsters to hunt, after all.

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Focused on the hunt.

If you’re still going to school, how do you like to prepare your supplies? Or I suppose for work if that question also applies there.

Let me know in the comments, I’d be interested to hear about it!

The Hero-King Reigns

The Hero-King Reigns

The original Hero-King, legend of Archanea, first champion of the Falchion.

There are many ways to describe Marth. He’s a vastly popular character, essentially the face of the entire Fire Emblem series.

Hell, Marth being included in Smash Bros. Melee (alongside Roy of course) is a major reason why the Fire Emblem series started to see releases in the United States. Without Marth, none of my love for this series — which has filled countless blog posts — could have existed.

I mained this man during the Smash Bros. Brawl days. He was only replaced in Sm4sh by Lucina, who is his echo fighter with slightly faster movements.

Sacred Stones may be my favorite Fire Emblem game, with Ephraim and Eirika taking high billing as lords in my head. But Marth.

He’s truly a legend.

So thank goodness Intelligent Systems finally got their heads out of their asses and made a really good Marth alt. Let’s check him out!


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Skill Set:

  • Exalted Falchion (Might = 16 / Range = 1)
    • Effective against dragon foes. Grants Speed +3. Grants bonus to Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance during combat = current bonus on each of unit’s stats. Calculates each stat bonus independently.
  • Fire Emblem (Cooldown = 2)
    • Boosts damage dealt by 30 percent of unit’s Speed. Grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +4 to unit and all allies for one turn after combat (bonus granted to allies even if unit’s Health reaches 0).
  • Attack/Speed Bond (A Skill)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Speed +5 during combat.
  • Binding Shield (B Skill)
    • In combat against a dragon foe, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack and foe cannot counterattack or make a follow-up attack.
  • Infantry Flash (C Skill)
    • Infantry allies within two spaces gain: If unit’s Speed > foe’s Speed, grants Special Attack cooldown charge +1 per unit’s attack (only highest value applied, does not stack).

Based on his skills, Marth is clearly meant to be a dragon slayer that grows stronger when supported by his allies.

Danny Sexbang would be proud.

Not only is his weapon effective against the Manakete menace, but no counter or follow-up attacks are possible thanks to that Binding Shield. It essentially gives his weapon the extra utility of being a firesweep sword when fighting dragons.

His Special Attack also has some great utility, between a large and frequent attack buff based on his Speed stat (which presumably should be high based on the +3 his weapon grants and the C Skill) and a buff to himself and his allies.

Honestly the only thing I don’t totally understand about Marth here is his weapon’s main, new effect. The wording seems confusing to me, so from my best guess it seems like all of his stat buffs are doubled during combat. Could be totally wrong about that though, so don’t hold me to it until I actually see the skill in action.

Besides that bit of confusion, however, I like Marth here. It’s certainly a better alternate form than his groom outfit. Even if it’s just another sword infantry unit to clog up the pipes.

Also he is literally carrying THE Fire Emblem into battle. That’s just dope as shit.

I’m not totally sure if he’s worth summoning compared to all of the new Brave units that are still cycling through the game (of which I still only have 2/4). Though I suppose part of that intrigue also depends on what other characters are part of the event!

This special Legendary Hero banner also includes the chance to summon:

Honestly, Green and Blue are immediately negligible for me in this Legendary Hero Banner. I have all six of those heroes, and while getting another Valentines Hector would be good to pass Distant Counter off with, otherwise none of the others excite me too much.

The Red and Colorless pools, however, are pretty fire.

I already have Female Grima, but outside of her I’m missing the other five.

Obviously Marth is Marth, I already discussed why I’d like him. Reinhardt is one of the best units in the game as a sword-wielding cavalier. Lene would help me fill my catalog. Spring Kagero is just a great unit who’s hilariously out-of-place in a playboy outfit. Finally, Faye is one of my favorite Echoes units, and I haven’t had her since she dropped near the beginning of the game.

So frankly any of those five are in my wheelhouse, and I’m starting with about 100 orbs to burn (though I don’t want to burn all of it considering my investment into the Brave banner).

Luckily I don’t have to burn a lot of orbs thanks to my free summon.

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Yeah Kagero. That spring breeze is what makes you difficult to be concealed.

I loved how hilarious this Kagero was when she first came out, and I’m glad to have her finally since I only got Spring Alfonse when that banner was around.

Plus she’s +Attack, -Health. Which may as well be the perfect stat spread.

Who can complain?

Now normally I would count my blessings and move on to bigger and better things… But I let my greed get the best of me a little.

Hoping to get one of the three units I don’t have in the red pool, I kept summoning. Now I’m down to 40 orbs at 9 percent. So I basically can’t stop summoning now even if I wanted to, meaning all the orbs I get from here on out are funneling into getting SOMETHING.

Twas hubris killed the beast.

Luckily there are a lot of orbs offered by the battle map.


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There’s a few interesting things about the Legendary Hero Battle Map this time around. First, obviously, is the fact that Marth isn’t the only one in the spotlight.

Female Grima has also reappeared to challenge players.

If I’m not mistaken, her Legendary Hero Battle was the first, which means we should presumably see more coming back soon.

Though the completed difficulty levels stay cleared, Intelligent Systems appears to have added a brand new surprise for all of us:

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Abyssal difficulty is a new challenge above even Infernal difficulty. Which, to me, is kind of hilarious. Because I cannot even beat Infernal half the time.

Perhaps some YouTuber out there will figure out the solution and I can copy that.

Given that I have not unlocked Abyssal difficulty for Marth (or Robin for that matter), all I have is the Infernal map to show off.

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I like that Marth approaches his battle as more of a training exercise than a serious skirmish. Most of the Legendary Heroes take that perspective, and it makes a lot of sense considering their status as main characters and actual heroes of legend.

Except. You know. Grima.

Who is undoubtedly a villain.

But that’s another story I’ve already discussed.

I actually find Marth’s fight rather difficult, so I don’t have much to say as far as tips, tricks or cool details go. So I’m just going to cut myself off now before I get to rambling for forever.


So I was originally just going to end this off with the usual bs fanfare.

Then I let myself be consumed by addiction once more and tried summoning on Marth’s banner again.

The gods of gotcha were unusually kind and gave me this boy on my first summon back:

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He’s no Marth, but he is my excuse to separate from the banner before I literally bleed myself dry. For that I am grateful.

Even if I now have to restock my orb pile once again.

I thought about changing this whole post to reflect summoning two five stars, but it was all set up before I got this guy so I think it’ll add to the story if I “post-writing” this part.

That said, back to the usual bs fanfare.

What do you think of the Hero-King himself, finally gracing out world of Heroes? Are there any heroes on his Legendary banner you’d like to summon?

Let me know in the comments down below!

The End of the Initiative

The End of the Initiative

When this summer kicked off, I started it with a promise wrapped in a not-so-vague reference to Samuel Jackson’s Nick Fury.

That promise entailed me writing a post on my blog every day about whatever the muse might bring to my fingertips. Be it something random, like my mindset when thinking about my pen or my pencil; something video game-related, like a half a billion Fire Emblem Heroes posts; or something work-related, like my recent ascension in the ranks of Gladeo.

A lot of those posts also wound up being just dumb space fillers where I rambled about nothing or just set up a number of posts coming later on that week.

But hey! Those were still blog posts.

Which means they still served the overall purpose of my initiative, to ensure I didn’t just sit around and play video games or sleep all day. To make sure I kept my mind active and writing on something. Anything really.

I did miss two-or-three days to the allure of just sitting around playing video games, particularly when my friends were involved. So I guess from that perspective, I technically failed at my overall goal.

But you know what? I don’t even care. Those two-or-three posts were just drops in the hat of the overall body of writing I was able to put out over the summer.

I’m honestly proud that I was able to keep the overall conviction, if I might humble brag about things for a moment. Because that conviction also extended to other things I started over the summer, like going to the gym. Things that, in my opinion, are just healthier for me overall.

Thus, I would like to announce that the summer-driven initiative is expanding into… Just a continual, general good practice.

I like pushing myself to write something every day, so I’m going to keep doing it. Basically.

Plus, doing a daily post seems to have dredged up more interest in this dumb little passion project of mine. My follower count has grown exponentially and I’m on the cusp of hitting 40 directly on the blog here.

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I also have more views and engagement and such at the mid-to-late portion of the year than I’ve had in both my previous years of operating this place.

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What do you know? Doing something and sticking to it feels good and has some overall positive effects on one’s life. Who would’ve guessed?

The only serious caveat moving out of the summer and into the general all-time daily postings is that I’ll probably be less critical on myself for missing days on occasion. Between school and work going full-steam, I’m sure I’ll need days to focus more fully on those commitments.

But that being said, here’s looking forward to keeping up the pace and seeing more positive growth from here on out!

For this week, that pace keeping up should include… Probably first impressions about my classes once I’ve finished the first week. Fire Emblem Heroes tomorrow when the Hero-King drops. Probably something on Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, which is coming out this week. Maybe that thinking on possible social media expansion I briefly mentioned that one time.

Who knows.

(You will, if you keep reading on!)