Tag: Valentine’s Day

Arts & Crafts with Jason Rochlin

Arts & Crafts with Jason Rochlin

Before you say anything, I know “name tag” is spelled with two words and not one. I was just trying to better emulate a traditional forename/surname structure.

On Valentine’s Day last month I talked about my current stint as a University Honors Ambassador. Essentially putting together an event for Honors students to enjoy alongside a fellow member of the program and the Co-Curricular Coordinator.

Something, something insert another joke about adding ‘event planner’ to my résumé again.

Even though that’s not really a joke.

I’m 100 percent adding that onto my CV.

Since I last talked about the event, we’ve done a sizable amount of work putting it all together. After securing the Career Center representative that I talked about in the last post, we’ve also gotten a journalist, a visual arts teacher and the associate editor of a psychology journal confirmed to come to CSUF on March 20.

On top of that, we’re also going to have a representative of the Alumni Association come in to talk about opportunities that students can use after they graduate.

Which is something I should actually pay attention to at this point. Pretty scary.

We also have a plan in place for some food to have at the event and there’s possibly going to be a networking-theme game involved.

I’m not personally sure how that’s going to work out, but my partner has an idea in mind. So we’ll see.

The only thing that’s still mostly on the back burner right now is advertising the event. We already have a poster put together, but because Honors students are our only real audience so most of the messages are only going out to them through the program’s official channels.

As we’ve been meeting every Wednesday during the lead-up period, every week I’ve had a different task to accomplish.

For our meeting tomorrow, I was tasked with putting together name tags to place by each of the members of our panel. I decided to do a test name tag first, and I’ll bring that in to show everyone.

I wanted to talk about it here before I do.

In part because I had nothing else to write a blog post on today, and I’m really scrounging the bottom of the barrel trying (and failing) to write something every day while all of my school obligations kick my ass.

But also because the method I used to make these name tags are personal, in a way.

As my social media stinger said, don’t believe it when someone says you won’t use anything you learn in school.

In all three (four? I lost track frankly) of the classes I had with the now-retired Daily Titan advisor Bonnie Stewart, she made us create our own name tags. Even if she knew us for years.

They were simple. Just fold a basic 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper in half vertically, then fold the two ends into the center line.

Finally, fold the sides together for a quick, easy and cheap triangular name tag:

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Hope you enjoyed arts & crafts with Jason Rochlin. My brand new, impromptu category of posts that I’ll probably never repeat on purpose.

Figured it would be worth a post to thank Bonnie for everything she taught me — even if the useful stuff is as simple as name tag folding.

Man remains the most extraordinary machine

Man remains the most extraordinary machine

Valentine’s Day 2019 will officially go down as the Valentine’s Day where I truly learned the value of a human touch.

Because when automatic email reply systems fail, you really need to break through and get an actual person on the other side.

What did you think I was referring to?

Oh, well okay I guess I can see where you were coming from. But no, it’s definitely not that.

Guess I should provide you with a little more context just to make sure we don’t get confused from here on out.

Toward the end of last semester, I was contacted by the Co-Curricular Coordinator for the University Honors Program on campus. Because I had applied to join the Honors Student Advisory Council earlier (in one of my attempts to find something other than the Daily Titan to focus on), he wanted to offer me the chance to create an event alongside other prior applicants.

I believe the argument was that they didn’t want to let all of the extra talent and brain power disappear on the breeze. Couldn’t argue with that.

Especially since it would let me put ‘event planner’ on my resume.

So this semester I’ve been working with another Honors student to set up an event for late March. A lot of the details are still being designed, but essentially we’ve decided to host a panel about networking in various industries.

The Honors Program is interdisciplinary, so having tips from all across the career spectrum seemed like a nice idea.

I’ve mostly been working on finding panelists to bring in, but the first step in that process was getting someone from the CSUF Career Center to jump on board. They seemed like a much more natural choice for a panel moderator who could keep the conversation focused on what a broad range of different students might need.

Last week I went into the Career Center and spoke with one of the students at the desk, who left a written message for the Associate Director of the center.

I also sent along a follow-up email, just for the sake of making sure the message got across.

However, despite my best efforts, I didn’t hear back from anyone leading into this week. So before my group met up again, I stopped by the Career Center one more time. They suggested I submit a workshop request through their website forum, as that apparently gets checked more often.

Today I finally got my response from the Career Center. Which recommended I… Submit a workshop request.

Through the same link I had submitted the request that the Career Center was replying to.

Definitely something a bit screwy about that automatic response.

I sent another email back letting them know how weird the response was, seeing whether I had missed something or could talk to someone in a face-to-face meeting. With the Associate Director added .

About five minutes after I sent that, she responded to me directly.

Then ten or so minutes after that, once I elaborated on what we were looking for, she sent off the message to Career Center specialists seeing who might be available.

All was good in the world, and I could finally move on to step two of my portion of the planning.

It just figures that only fifteen minutes were required to solve an issue I was waiting over a week for, simply because I finally got through to the right human being.

So this Valentine’s Day, if you’re sad and alone like I am, just remember that real human beings can make life better even if they aren’t doing it in that way.

Peace and love and all that good stuff.


Image Courtesy of Nevit Dilmen via Wikimedia Commons

My thoughts on the February 13, 2019 Nintendo Direct

My thoughts on the February 13, 2019 Nintendo Direct

How sweet of Nintendo to give us an early Valentine’s Day present this year!

We’ve got games, games and more games to discuss out of a brand new Nintendo Direct.

I’ll be talking about the larger, more exciting subjects (to me) in detail before lumping the rest together for a quick mop-up at the end. So if you want to follow along, feel free! I’ll try to include individual trailer links where possible.

That said, let’s a go!


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Image courtesy of Engadget

Super Mario Maker 2

Oh man, if there was any reason to own a Wii U, it was Super Mario Maker.

When I got mine, it was in a Mario Maker bundle that included this neat Mario Amiibo:

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Ain’t he the cutest?

I spent hours making levels on the game pad, and the sheer amount of creativity oozing out of all corners of the Nintendo universe during its time in the spotlight was something to behold!

Plus it made for excellent YouTube fodder. Watching the Game Grumps play Ross’s hard levels, the endless hours of Beard Bros. fan levels

Can’t wait to see that come back in vogue.

While I eventually moved on with Splatoon, Super Mario 3D World and Twilight Princess HD, my Wii U was undoubtedly a Super Mario Maker machine.

So seeing the Mario Maker 2 trailer featuring all kinds of new additions like sloped platforms, moving pathways and the Mario 3 angry sun was really hype to say the least. Especially for a portable system!

Given the first game’s pedigree and the sheer amount of improvements for an already creative powerhouse, I’ll be more than happy to drop some money on this come June.


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Image courtesy of Nintendo UK

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

There was a decent amount of RPG news for fans to soak up in this Direct.

Dragon Quest had Builders 2 — even though I forgot the first game was a thing — and 11S Definitive Edition. I haven’t personally played a DQ game, but 11 looks like a fun, polished game with a cute 16-bit mode.

If nothing else, I’ll be expecting the protagonist as a Smash Bros. DLC.

The original Final Fantasy 7 and 9 Switch ports got some recognition, as did Chocobo Mystery Dungeon. Plus Square Enix has Oninaki coming, which looks pretty.

Plus who can argue with a Symphony of the Night-inspired platforming RPG in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night?

However.

My heart belongs to Fire Emblem.

So Jason was a happy boy seeing more Fire Emblem: Three Houses in this Direct.

The segment kicked off with a lore-filled cinematic about the titular three houses in this new continent, the customizable player protagonist’s place in the story and more.

The leaders of the three houses — Edelgard of the Adrestian Empire, Dimitri of the Kingdom of Faerghus and Claude of the Leicester Alliance — all got some attention too. You only get to choose one, which will presumably branch into three campaigns.

Only this time we just have to buy one game!

The most interesting thing about Three Houses is that it looks like a high school anime, filled with vaguely Harry Potter-esque sensibilities and Fire Emblem mechanics.

Rather than a tactician, you are a teacher with students making up your ‘army.’

All of the battles (presumably before a real war breaks out) are considered training assignments, despite featuring such tasks as “quashing rebellions.”

In general the premise and scope of the game seems very interesting compared to most Fire Emblem titles. I’m excited to see where they go with it!

… I’m also excited to see Intelligent Systems announce a Heroes banner with the three leader characters sometime before the July 26 release date.

You know it’ll happen.


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Deltarune

Ostensibly, there’s nothing to say about this game that I haven’t already said. It doesn’t need a whole section here.

But I adore Deltarune, and it broke into my top games of 2018 list. So if you haven’t played it yet and own a Switch, just get the game on February 28.

Do it, nerds.


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Image courtesy of Engadget

Link’s Awakening

I heard vague rumors floating around that a top-down Zelda game would be announced at this Direct, but I wasn’t expecting this to come crashing into the spotlight.

Now that I know about it, I’m pretty damn excited!

There are nothing but good things said about Link’s Awakening, and as a fan of Link Between Worlds-style Zelda games it’ll be sweet to finally play it.

I know the original 1993 GameBoy version has been available on multiple platforms for years, but I’ve never gotten around to it.

Now I can justify putting it off by saying I waited for this brand new experience in an absolutely adorable Pikmin-esque art style!

The ‘2019’ release date is vague, but Marin humming the game’s theme over the end card sent a shiver down my spine. So I’m ready to wait for you, Wind Fish.


Those were my high points in today’s Direct, but there were plenty of other games spotlighted!

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate got a lame teaser for it’s upcoming 3.0.0 update where we found out nothing, other than Amiibo coming for the Belmonts and Pokémon Trainer.

Updates were announced for Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and Starlink, the latter featuring more Star Fox characters. I don’t own either, but still neat.

Demos were announced for Yoshi’s Crafted World, Daemon X Machina and Tetris 99.

… The last of which being a battle royale-styled Tetris game? I’m definitely going to have to try that and see if it’s as weird as it sounds.

Hellblade, Dead by Daylight and Rune Factory 4 are all getting ports for the Switch (plus Rune Factory 5 was announced). I’m not sure I’ll have the time to get to those over everything else, but I’ve heard great things about them all.

Mortal Kombat 11 and a remasted Assassin’s Creed 3 (from what I understand the best of the series) are coming to Switch.

Yet there were games I didn’t particularly care for, like Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, Box Box + Box Girl (basically my TI-83 calculator game), Disney Tsum Tsum Festival and GRID Autosport car racing among them.

But that said, it’s hard to say there’s not something here for everyone, even if they aren’t for me!

… Unless you’re a fan of Bayonetta. Because Bayonetta 3 only got a brief ‘in progress’ mention after PlatinumGames‘ Astral Chains was announced.

Still, the future of the Nintendo Switch continues to be promising!

Which games stood out most to you in today’s Direct? Let me know, I’d love to start up some conversations!

Unorthodox historical documents

Before you get too far into this, I’m not actually talking about serious historical documents. I didn’t go digging into libraries or brush up on family photos or anything nearly as reputable as that.

I guess we did talk about a lot of interesting Supreme Court precedents in my Comm Law class tonight, so I could talk about some of those. Like Virginia v. Black or RAV v. City of St. Paul — both dealing with burning crosses, funny enough.

Or… Not really funny, I guess. Since we were covering dangerous forms of speech like incitement to violence tonight.

But you know what, that’s all boring legal junk. I have a much more exciting topic than First Amendment protections.

See after Comm Law tonight, I made a stop in the latrine on my way out of the education building’s basement. Normally I’m not one to talk about what happens in the bathroom, but I think I need to make an exception just this once.

Written on the stall wall next to a urinal, I found this actual for real historical document:

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“Pornhub is free – 2/14/18”

I probably would have totally overlooked this if not for the fact that it’s a year old in literally two days. Looks like smut makes for a happy Valentine’s Day!

The fact that I just so happened to find it so close to the one-year anniversary of what is being advertised was so funny to me that I felt a mighty need to share.

Plus, I guess I may as well be a shill for Pornhub at this point considering I wrote an entire post about their site analytics last semester. Something about that website in particular can’t escape my orbit.

I would consider this chance encounter something serendipitous after not too much exciting stuff happened throughout the day.

… Though right next to it was another quote saying that, “bitches ain’t shit,” attributed to the great foul-mouthed wordsmith Robert Frost. So I suppose you can take the cosmic underlying interest in my finding the timely vandalism with a grain of salt.

It was just bathroom wall carvings, after all.

Frankly I was just happy to find something more fun, entertaining even in a stall in the Education building — even if it’s only entertaining to me from some purely meta-textual sense. Last time I was in that building looking at wall carvings, it was some kind of vaguely threatening “don’t come to school on X day” message a couple of years ago.

Can’t seem to find my photos or any sort of Daily Titan story on that, despite the fact that I’m pretty sure we wrote a thing about it. So you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Either way, you’re definitely getting the much more fun story.

Family Fire Emblem-y love is in the air

Family Fire Emblem-y love is in the air

Ah Valentine’s Day. What a lovely day of loving loveable people.

Except for those of us who don’t have a significant other to spoil in that romantic kind of way.

Like me!

For us, there’s only one way to celebrate this most commercial day of love:

Playing Fire Emblem Heroes. Naturally.


GreilHeroic Exemplar

  • Faithful Axe (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +3 during combat.
  • Aether (Cooldown = 5)
    • Treats foe’s Defense and Resistance as if reduced by 50 percent during combat. Restores Health = half the damage dealt.
  • Fury 4 (A Skill)
    • Grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +4. After combat, deals 8 damage to unit.
  • Wary Fighter (B Skill)
    • If unit’s Health ≥ 50 percent, unit and foe cannot make a follow-up attack.
  • Armor March (C Skill)
    • At start of the turn, if unit is adjacent to an armored ally, both units can move one extra space (that turn only, does not stack).

SorenAddled Strategist

  • Blárblooms (Might = 12, Range = 2)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +3 during combat.
  • Rally Attack/Speed (Range = 1)
    • Grants Attack and Speed +6 to target ally for one turn.
  • Attack/Resistance Bond (A Skill)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Resistance +5 during combat.
  • Speed Feint (B Skill)
    • If a Rally Assist skill is used by unit or targets unit, inflicts Speed -7 on foes in cardinal directions of unit through their next actions.
  • Resistance Opening (C Skill)
    • At start of the turn, grants Resistance +6 to ally with the highest Resistance for one turn (excluding unit).

MistPurest Spirit

  • Gronnblooms (Might = 12, Range = 2)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +3 during combat.
  • Rally Defense/Resistance (Range = 1)
    • Grants Defense and Resistance +6 to target ally for one turn.
  • Swift Sparrow (A Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Attack and Speed +4 during combat.
  • Resistance Feint (B Skill)
    • If a Rally Assist skill is used by unit or targets unit, inflicts Resistance -7 on foes in cardinal directions of unit through their next actions.
  • Green Tome Valor (C Skill)
    • While unit lives, all green tome allies on team net 2x Skill Points (only highest value applied, does not stack).

IkeStalwart Heart

  • Heart’s Blade (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +3 during combat.
  • Radiant Aether (Cooldown = 4)
    • During combat, treats foe’s Defense and Resistance as if reduced by 50 percent. Restores Health = 50 percent of damage dealt.
  • Distant Counter (A Skill)
    • Unit can counterattack regardless of foe’s range.
  • Special Fighter (B Skill)
    • At the start of combat, if unit’s Health ≥ 50 percent, grants Special Attack cooldown charge +1 to unit and inflicts -1 on foe per attack (only highest value applied, does not stack).
  • Even Speed Wave (C Skill)
    • At the start of even-numbered turns, grants Speed +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent).

Right off the bat, I think it’s worth noting that I vastly preferred the approach taken by last year’s Valentine’s Day banner.

There we had Roy and Lilina as a romantic pairing, with their fathers cutely handling the potential relationship in different ways.

With this banner, Ike and his sister reunite with their father. As sweet as it is, I can’t speak to the impact of the character relationships having never played the Radiant games.

Plus Valentine’s Day is usually about romantic love more than family love, so the choice to add Greil here seems a bit bizarre. Why not for Father’s Day?

That being said, Greil — namesake of The Greil Mercenaries, is an interesting character pull.

He’s also easily the best unit on this banner, despite being yet another armored axe-wielder. That power-crept Fury and weapon provide +7 to each stat when next to an ally, and if that ally is armored he also gets to move an extra space.

The other three don’t work quite as well with the same weapon gimmick in my opinion, as Mist and Soren are both different flavors of the new Feint/Rally skill combo and Ike is another long-range red armor.

He’s the second best thing on the banner because Black Knight is a broken unit archetype, but that’s almost a given when Ike is involved.

I kind of feel like I should have used my orbs to invest more into the Duma banner, considering I got neither Duma nor Tiki.

But I can’t be mad because Intelligent Systems gave me a very nice Valentine’s Day present:

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Both at 3 percent? Sure I might be a little salty that Mist and Greil are in the same color pool, but this kind of luck is unheard of for me.

If there’s anything I can complain about, it’s the genetic likelihood that Ike and his sister each have unique hair colors from their brown-haired father…

It’s almost like the game developers wanted cool hair colors and didn’t focus too much on continuity.

Or the Ike family has some weird recessive genes. I suppose.

The two-year anniversary events have given me the chance to save up a bunch of orbs, so with my luck I’ll save up to see who else comes around next.

Speaking of saving orbs, how about that new Paralogue chapter?

Segue: Nailed.


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While the aesthetic of the Valentine’s Day maps aren’t my favorite, the actual Paralogue story offers something refreshingly new.

Instead of leading off with the “Order of Heroes goes to get money or food” cliché, this Paralogue doesn’t mention you at all.

It starts with the Greil Mercenaries lamenting Ike’s complaints over his outfit as he slows them down.

Even though it’s kind of what he always wears.

Everyone is shocked to see Greil alive, when he shows up, and It’s really quite nice seeing Ike and Mist so happy to see their father.

Then a few battles pass and we get this scene where Soren is being hella gay for Ike.

So I guess there is romance on this banner?

Everything goes rather smooth until the final battle, which ends with a slightly awkward transition of Greil suggesting that the Order of Heroes surrendered after you defeat them.

I can let it slide, as that moves into another nice scene of the children trying to get their father back.

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D’aww! It nearly crosses the line into being sickly sweet, but I love the character moment and references to Ike’s maturity over two games.

By trimming the usual fat of Anna being vaguely reprehensible as a leader, Intelligent Systems made for a really nice alternate universe story that I quite enjoyed more than most Paralogues.

… Granted, it did make me wonder why Ike and his family got this special treatment when, for example, we had the Hoshidan mother Mikoto brought back to life in Heroes not too long ago with no fan fare.

But hey. All I continue to look for is a return to some new Sacred Stones characters considering we haven’t seen any since before last Valentine’s Day. I’m a simple man.


There we have it, Valentine’s Day 2019 in Fire Emblem Heroes.

The banner units might just be okay, but that’s made up for by a very nice underlying premise.

Those of you who play the game might be wondering why I didn’t do some kind of joint ‘update banner’ post to talk about the Bane/Boon system, new weapon refines, Aether Raids changes and Dragon flowers.

Well… Mostly because I’m kind of burnt out on the mechanical stuff in Heroes. At the moment I’m playing the game for new characters, even if I appreciate things that have been added.

So I think I’ll skip out on some of the update info for a bit and keep my writing focused on banners, just to keep the game more fun for me.

That said, let me know what you think about these holiday units, and tell me who you want to see in the game next!

Falling in love with the Fire Emblem Heroes 2.2.0 Update

Falling in love with the Fire Emblem Heroes 2.2.0 Update

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

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

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

I’ll try to keep it brief. Promise.

It’s not going to be brief, is it?



The Version 2.2.0 Update

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

Battle Screen Layout

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tap Battle Game Mode

 

Tap Battling is… Interesting.

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

Let’s break things down.

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

There’s only one song.

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

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

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

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

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

Well, hold your hypothetical horses my dear reader.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Speaking of forgotten, however…

Weapon Refinery Update

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

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

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

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

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

New Special Battle Map Rotations

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

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

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

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

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

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Who can complain with that?

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

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

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

Extra Patch Notes

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

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

I really appreciate that kind of quality of life change.



Love Abounds Summoning Focus

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

Good.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Story time, lovelies.

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

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

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

But how does that cute aesthetic tie a story together?

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

Sharena has a very romanticized view of the holiday:

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

Classic Anna.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He’s not so happy about that…

But Lyn quickly derails the argument.

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And fight you do.

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

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

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

But hey.

Video game logic.

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

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

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

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


Upcoming Events

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

Because I appreciate and love you.img_7248

So many events, so little time.

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

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


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

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

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

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

Let’s talk about it in the comments below!

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

Valentine’s Day 2017

Valentine’s Day 2017

For a soon to be 20-year-old bachelor on Valentine’s Day, it helps to remember the small things that make what would otherwise be something similar to every other day into something more special thanks to that spirit of love in the air.

Like staying up into the early hours of the morning reading a book about one of the worst workplace disasters in American history.

Or taking a quiz about said awful tragedy.


Or eating pizza while doing homework, studying Bonobos for my primate class.


(I bet those Bonobos are jealous they don’t have pizza like this, I tell you what)

Playing Fire Emblem Heroes even seems to be just a touch more romantic, I’d say.


… Yeah.

Oh, here’s something more in line with the holiday.  Earlier today at a guest speaker I went to for my Investigative Reporting class, I found out that Burger King is doing a sex toy giveaway at certain stores.  Which is…

Well, kind of incredible to see actually being a thing that’s happening, to be completely honest.

I also got to spend a few hours with a couple of my buddies from the newsroom at a Super Smash Bros. tournament in the Titan Student Union, which was a lot of fun!

My buddy Kyle playing. Don’t think he knows I got this picture, but I’m sure he won’t mind.

I even made it to the third round of the main tournament.

Granted, I made it because of two other players disqualifying, and then lost bad because I didn’t get to practice those first two rounds, but still.

Did alright in the loser’s bracket at least.  I actually got in some decent games there.

… Okay, so for me, it really was just a day like any other.  But hey, hopefully your Valentine’s Day was great, since I’m always a bit of a sucker for a good romance deep down.

Though if you’re just planning on having a good Singles Awareness Day like I will, that’s awesome too.