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Old 07-19-2011, 05:41 PM
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Default Level Up! Fire Emblem Thread of Strategy and Permadeath

I'm surprised a thread like this hasn't been made already. Fire Emblem seems like a hot topic here on TT, so I figure we could use one of these.

Anyway, it's been about two years since I picked up Radiant Dawn when I first bought my Wii (man, has it really been that long ago? It feels almost like yesterday), and though I lost interest in playing it the first time around, I figured I'd give it the old college try and see if I can brute force my way through the slow start.

So far, RD just isn't clicking as well as the GBA games did, and, in fact, I'm getting the same general feeling of boredom as I did with Path of Radiance - however, what's weird is that I'm having trouble articulating why. It's not like I hate the game or anything, I'm just getting a general feeling of apathy about Radiant Dawn and trying to pinpoint the source of it is proving more difficult than I expected.

I'm leaning towards it being a fault on unit overemphasis, since a large part of my problems with maps stems more with members of my team underperforming through no fault of their own (Edward suffering the most - he has decent stats across the board so far and keeps getting killed because there are fucking Soldiers everywhere). Terrain also seems to play less of a role in battles in the Tellius games as well, I'm feeling, as outside of raised floors and the occasional bush there doesn't seem to be much you can to to improve or mitigate your odds in battle outside of your character alone.

That said, it's been too long since I played PoR to judge its maps fairly (though the fact that the chapter battles failed to leave any impression on me at all seems like reason enough for me to believe so) and I'm only just getting into RD, but I've the distinct feeling that the GBA games used its battlefields to greater and more interesting effect than the console ones, even if through the means of chapter-exclusive gimmicks. Maybe it's just me?

Going back to the PCs themselves for a second, the balance is all sorts of messed up amongst the Dawn Brigade. For example, Sothe, Micaiah and Nolan are Gods on the battlefield because of their stats and having the right weapons to dismantle the Begnion forces with (though Micaiah is stubbornly refusing to gain speed - it's been five levels so far and she STILL hasn't gained a single point), whereas units like Leonardo and Meg are some of the worst characters I've ever had the misfortune of recruiting. Even characters like Edward and Aran who seem like they'd be good units (and, in fact, have been getting good level ups so far) are underperforming, and worse yet through no fault of their own - the abundance of Soldiers and Fighters makes it difficult to field them without risking them getting killed the turn after.

Even worse is that the game seems to be balanced around using prepromoted units to fight your way past tougher rounds as well, if Sothe's, Zihark's and Tauroneo's presences are any indication. While I've no problem with brute forcing maps with Sothe to get to the better parts, the fact that my other units desperately need the experience to stay relevant means that I'll just end up hurting myself further down the line, especially since I hear you can't really drop underperforming units the same way you could in previous games. Supposedly you have to play as each faction before they finally merge in the last arc of the game?

One thing I'm finding myself wishing is that I could get to play as some of the Crimean units again - Ike, Boyd, Mia, Nephenee, Rhys, Soren, Gatrie, Kieran, etc. were some of my favourite units in PoR and their presence is sorely missed, especially amongst the likes of schlubs such as Leonardo or Meg. The fact that they could all actually fight worth a damn helps as well, since I could pull off some incredibly ballsy strategies with them and reasonably expect them to survive the round. They were also more likeable characters, as they had silly sides to them and all played well off of and contrasted each other nicely.

To be fair though, the game does have a few nice pluses. For one thing, being able to save on maps is a Godsend as it means I don't have to start a chapter over again because some jerk got a lucky critical hit or I misplaced Laura and an Archer shot her to death. Occasionally, making a save backfires on me - for example, Chapter 3 where you have to protect Kurth and Aimee; I forgot to order them to follow me and a pair of Archer reinforcements showed up later and shot them all to hell - but having the option is nice. I think I prefer Shadow Dragon's approach since the save points there were deliberately designed to be a part of how you'd plan around a map, but that's a minor nitpick and RD's approach is just fine.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around Biorhythm and how to actually make good use of it. I know the idea is to move units in good condition to the frontlines and pull back ones that are doing poorly, but considering some of the time constraints on maps and how a lot of them force you to keep moving, I'm struggling to figure out how to manage this without resorting to suboptimal strategy. I've a feeling it'll go the same way the Zodiac system did in FFT - I'll end up ignoring it for the most part and only noticing it passively when deciding between two enemies to attack.

Anyway, I think that about covers everything. Is there something I'm missing? I really want to get into Radiant Dawn because the Tellius games have a really, really great story behind them, but I just can't seem to make it click.
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:33 PM
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My only experience with Fire Emblem is playing through most of Sacred Stones and then getting stuck on one of the final chapters. I know that SS is supposed to be one of the easier games in the series, but I suck at strategy games in general, so eh. I also watched a friend play through most of Path of Radiance. I remember really liking Soren for some reason (hell, he was my favorite character in the game and partially responsible for the first half of my screen-name), though it's been so long I can't really remember why.

Last edited by Soren Highwind; 01-01-2016 at 10:41 AM. Reason: Editing a four-year-old post? You betcha
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by PapillonReel View Post
Even worse is that the game seems to be balanced around using prepromoted units to fight your way past tougher rounds as well, if Sothe's, Zihark's and Tauroneo's presences are any indication. While I've no problem with brute forcing maps with Sothe to get to the better parts, the fact that my other units desperately need the experience to stay relevant means that I'll just end up hurting myself further down the line, especially since I hear you can't really drop underperforming units the same way you could in previous games. Supposedly you have to play as each faction before they finally merge in the last arc of the game?
Okay all this should be taken with a grain of salt since I haven't played the game in about 4 years, but I actually had the exact opposite problem with the game; There's enough tools to make your units stronger that they all feel pretty much interchangible. See, one thing that's not particularly obvious is that they totally revamped the Bonus EXP system. In Radiant Dawn, every time you level up a unit with Bonus EXP, they gain exactly 3 stats. So if you wait for Edward to cap out his Skill and Speed, as myrmidon's are wont to do, you can level him up to 20 with bonus EXP and get a lot more HP/STR/DEF/LUK than you should. Considering that there are now three tiers of classes in Radiant Dawn, it's pretty easy to cap or nearly cap everyone's important stats by the endgame.

Oh speaking of 3 tiers of classes, that's another thing that might be throwing you off. Really, it's not that Zihawk, Soothe, and Tauroneo are prepromotes, it's more like they're normal units and Edward/Nolan/Lawrence are super trainees a la the Sacred Stones. I think there are only 9 or so "unpromoted" units in the game and they're all in Micaiah's chapters. You probably still want to raise a couple Nolan of them because some of Micaiah's later chapters are kind of tough, but it's pretty hard to screw yourself over too bad in RD because there are a TON of characters by the end.

See I find this kind of interesting because I personally LOVED Path of Radiance (more than any of the GBA games), but didn't care much for Radiant Dawn. I thought Radiant Dawn's story was much weaker and more cliched, and disliked a lot of the gameplay mechanic changes (everyone feels too similiar thanks to bonus EXP, the second promotions feel unnecessary, having to look up all the random hidden items is obnoxious, and what they did to the support system should be illegal in 49 states, etc).

Oh one nice thing though, you will eventually get to use every single Path of Radiance character except Largo , so that's nice. Some of them are even vastly improved; Shinon and Haar in particular went from cool but somewhat marginal prepromotes into two of the best units in the game (although like I said before, they aren't as high above the rest of the competition as you might expect in another Fire Emblem game).
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:42 PM
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the Tellius games have a really, really great story behind them
Yup, that's why they're my favorites. In the gameplay department, though? Both titles are kind of messed up, but in different ways. Since I'm the kind of Fire Emblem player who very much plays for the story and the characters, sometimes I just see the gameplay as a means to an end. I mean, I use laguz characters just because I like them. *~*

I'm not sure what I can tell you to help you get into Radiant Dawn. From a story standpoint, switching among all the different armies is great and makes things much more interesting. It also pays off in a big way at the end of... chapter 3, is it? Anyway, it's arguably the best moment of "storytelling through gameplay" I've ever personally experienced. But from a gameplay standpoint, having to switch armies all the time is a pain, especially since so many recruits stink out loud. Also the Dawn Brigade stinks. They're not very interesting and I don't really care about any of them. I think that's because everyone else has the unfair advantage of starring in Path of Radiance and enjoying the benefits of REAL support conversations.

So yeah. The Tellius duology is my favorite entirely because I like the stories. Similarly, I hate Shadow Dragon because the art is ugly and there's barely any story at all; it's all about the gameplay. That's why I'm not too choked up about the second DS Fire Emblem game never getting translated for a North American release: it looked like Shadow Dragon (except with a customizable avatar and, apparently, the option to turn off permadeath. But where's the fun in that?).

I'd pretty much kill for another Fire Emblem game with the story and presentation of the Tellius games. It'd be nice if they abandoned the switching perspectives and gave us back REAL support conversations, too. I like my characters with personalities, thanks!
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:43 PM
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Yeah, Radiant Dawn is pretty fucked up. There are three parts, and each one has their own quirk.

Part 1, the Dawn Brigade, has units with excellent growths... in the wrong stats. The sole exception, Fiona, is so amazingly pathetic that actually raising her is a struggle in and of itself. It's incredibly tempting to just give in and use your "Jeigans", Sothe, Volug, Tormod, Muarim, Vika, and Nailah, but don't do it.

Part 2, Elincia's struggles, has some excellent units, but they all almost never show up. So while you get to use some truly great characters, you won't see them again until like the end of Part 3.

Part 3's gimmick is much less harmful: everyone and everything is ridiculously broken. So broken, in fact, that maps become a chore.

As for Biorythmn? Honestly, ignore it. Trying to manage it is just too much of a pain, and it'll never really make a big difference unless you're deciding between two units to attack an enemy or something like that.

EDIT: I think I might know what the problem is. The american version of Radiant Dawn renamed all of the difficulty levels: American Normal is Japanese Hard. By the way, I wouldn't recommend playing Hard; IIRC, they remove the Weapon Triangle, Battle Saves, and the abilty to see total enemy movement because... eh... who knows.
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:10 PM
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I loved Fire Emblem. I actually DMed a Fire Emblem style game on multiple forums with custom sprites, portraits, and everything. However, they never went until completion. In addition, even though I have Radiant Dawn, I still haven't played it yet.
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:20 PM
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I actually DMed a Fire Emblem style game on multiple forums with custom sprites, portraits, and everything. However, they never went until completion.
This sounds fucking amazing.
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:49 PM
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See, one thing that's not particularly obvious is that they totally revamped the Bonus EXP system. In Radiant Dawn, every time you level up a unit with Bonus EXP, they gain exactly 3 stats. So if you wait for Edward to cap out his Skill and Speed, as myrmidon's are wont to do, you can level him up to 20 with bonus EXP and get a lot more HP/STR/DEF/LUK than you should. Considering that there are now three tiers of classes in Radiant Dawn, it's pretty easy to cap or nearly cap everyone's important stats by the endgame.
WHOA, WHAT

That... that exploit sounds pretty awesome. It'll certainly help in the event that my characters get stat-screwed out of something important (DAMN IT, MICAIAH); even if it's unintentional, it's kind of awesome that they programmed something like that into the game to make up for having to use near everyone that joins each faction.

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Oh speaking of 3 tiers of classes, that's another thing that might be throwing you off. Really, it's not that Zihawk, Soothe, and Tauroneo are prepromotes, it's more like they're normal units and Edward/Nolan/Lawrence are super trainees a la the Sacred Stones. I think there are only 9 or so "unpromoted" units in the game and they're all in Micaiah's chapters. You probably still want to raise a couple Nolan of them because some of Micaiah's later chapters are kind of tough, but it's pretty hard to screw yourself over too bad in RD because there are a TON of characters by the end.
Yeah, the different promotion levels is REALLY throwing me for a loop with Radiant Dawn. A big part of it is that I've always opted to use unpromoted units because of the feeling of achievement when it comes time to promote them into their final class, and FE10's decision to split things into threes instead of twos is making it difficult to judge how far along a character is in terms of growth. It certainly doesn't help that the other games felt the need to make promoted units terrible!

Especially FE6. That game was a jerk when it came to prepromotes.

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See I find this kind of interesting because I personally LOVED Path of Radiance (more than any of the GBA games)
I actually feel the opposite, weirdly enough; I loved the GBA games (well, FE6 and 7) and wasn't grabbed at all by FE9. In retrospect, it might've been because I was too hard on the game when I first played it; I got myself psyched up for the BEST GAMES IN THE SERIES YEAH and whenever any flaws in the formula popped up, it knocked me for a loop more than it really should have. Plus a lot of my distaste stems less from the actual game itself and more from its Final Chapter (which was boring and terrible, but not at all exemplary of the entire game), and FE7 had the unfair advantage of having a Let's Play guide me through the rougher parts of the game. I really should give FE9 another chance one of these days before writing it off for good.

All the same, I think I prefer the cheerful palette to the Elibean games to the darker, more serious tone of Tellius, but that's not so much a case of one being better than the other than it is a matter of taste.
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:52 PM
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If there's one thing the GBA Fire Emblems had better than any of the other games, it's flashier criticals.
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:52 PM
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Man, I need to finish Path of Radiance before I even think about getting Radiant Dawn. Personally, it never really hooked me like the GBA games, possibly because battles seem to go so much slower. I could turn off the animations, but that just takes too much tension out of the battles, in my opinion.

I did just jump back into a long-forgotten FE7 save, though, most likely motivated by BlitzBlast's current LP. I left off at Cog of Destiny, so there's not much further to go. I finally managed to stop worrying so much about level ups and it's making the game a lot more enjoyable. There are enough brokenly powerful characters in this one that it's not that big a deal!

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I remember really liking Soren for some reason (hell, he's my favorite character in the game and responsible for the first half of my screen-name), though it's been so long I can't really remember why.
Being one of the best magic users in the game doesn't hurt, but I like him because of the way his personality goes against type. Normally, petite pretty boys like him are innocent, naive, and good-natured, but Soren is very cold and honestly kind of a jerk. It's fun to watch him get all bitchy at everyone(well, except when he's being racist to cat-people. Bad Soren!). Also, he wants to hump Ike's leg pretty bad, and it's adorable.
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:53 PM
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I liked both of the Tellius games more than the GBA games, to be honest. The battles felt more distinct strategically and a liked that even bottom of the barrel characters were pretty useable.
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:11 PM
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Also the Dawn Brigade stinks. They're not very interesting and I don't really care about any of them. I think that's because everyone else has the unfair advantage of starring in Path of Radiance and enjoying the benefits of REAL support conversations.
I think you hit the nail on the head, right there - the Dawn Brigade is just so uninteresting because of how undeveloped their personalities are. I would probably love the heck out of Nolan if I found out he was a celebrity chef before joining the revolution, or if Leonardo was a starving artist outside of his archery or if Aran told corny jokes. As it stands, they're really faceless compared to the rest of the cast, and it really hurts the game in its early goings.

I'll probably start liking the game once I hit part 2 or 3 and the totally awesome characters from Path of Radiance start showing up. Especially Nephenee, who is the best.

Before I do that, however:

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Originally Posted by BlitzBlast View Post
EDIT: I think I might know what the problem is. The american version of Radiant Dawn renamed all of the difficulty levels: American Normal is Japanese Hard. By the way, I wouldn't recommend playing Hard; IIRC, they remove the Weapon Triangle, Battle Saves, and the abilty to see total enemy movement because... eh... who knows.
...I'll probably start over on Easy/Normal instead of suffering through Normal/Hard. Man, thanks for reminding me about that Blitz - I almost forgot about the stupid, stupid difficulty inconsistency.

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So yeah. The Tellius duology is my favorite entirely because I like the stories. Similarly, I hate Shadow Dragon because the art is ugly and there's barely any story at all; it's all about the gameplay.
I, ah, actually liked Shadow Dragon a lot. The loss of supports was a shame, but I appreciate that it was a gamier experience compared to the other titles.

All the same, I appreciate that a divide like this exists between entries in the series since it means each game has something different to offer instead of being an army of retreads. Even with all the griping I've done about FE9 and 10, I can appreciate the steps they took to take the series in a more cinematic direction, and there are a lot of innovations they brought to the table that really help the games as a whole. Now if I could just make the game click already argh.
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:23 PM
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WHOA, WHAT

That... that exploit sounds pretty awesome. It'll certainly help in the event that my characters get stat-screwed out of something important (DAMN IT, MICAIAH); even if it's unintentional, it's kind of awesome that they programmed something like that into the game to make up for having to use near everyone that joins each faction.
I think it was made so that you can't really save-scum Bonus EXP level ups like you could in PoR, but I'm not sure if they intended for it to be so abusable in another way. It is really great for characters like Micaiah though, at least if you want her to gain stats that aren't MAG/RES.

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Plus a lot of my distaste stems less from the actual game itself and more from its Final Chapter (which was boring and terrible, but not at all exemplary of the entire game)
I liked the last chapter in PoR

Well, okay, aside from the part where the final boss can only be damaged by like, three of your characters. That part was pretty dumb.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:13 PM
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Man, I need to finish Path of Radiance before I even think about getting Radiant Dawn. Personally, it never really hooked me like the GBA games, possibly because battles seem to go so much slower. I could turn off the animations, but that just takes too much tension out of the battles, in my opinion.
I eventually turned off the animations on the console games. Because they were so ugly, as well as slow. When I'd only played the GBA games I wondered why anyone would turn the animations off, now I can't imagine playing Radiant Dawn or Path of Radiance with them.

If I didn't already have prior Fire Emblem commitments I'd try to replay those two.
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:33 PM
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I eventually turned off the animations on the console games. Because they were so ugly, as well as slow. When I'd only played the GBA games I wondered why anyone would turn the animations off, now I can't imagine playing Radiant Dawn or Path of Radiance with them.
I have a feeling I'll get over it and end up doing the same when I finally get back to PoR. Normally I'm a person who never turns off battle animations in TRPGs; it's just so much more satisfying to actually watch that lucky game-saving dodge or critical instead of simply seeing the results on the map screen. But the battles being so plodding and ugly will probably outweigh that in the end.
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:34 PM
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Eh, after Ike got his uber sword and his final smash, I beat all of the superceding chapters with just him. The final chapter was just more of the same for me.

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I'll probably start liking the game once I hit part 2 or 3 and the totally awesome characters from Path of Radiance start showing up. Especially Nephenee, who is the best.
It's also kind of ironic, because what the fuck, soldiers are supposed to suck.
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:38 PM
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I thought the animations were at least novel in that they weren't the same thing over and over again. They weren't great, but the battles would play out somewhat differently depending on the situation, with different animations (including criticals) depending on the sequence and proximity.

Still, I played mostly with the animations off in the console games if only because it actually had okay animation on the map screen and it was a lot faster. I generally only turned it on for special battles or because I wanted to see Astra or something.

The SNES games have the best battle animation.
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:04 PM
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This sounds fucking amazing.
Essentially it was a lot like DnD just using Fire Emblem rules. Each person interested would create and control a character in the party, allowing for a little RPing during combat for strategy's sake, but also for a bit of banter outside of the combat. The main story, however, was dictated by me between chapters. The game went through three permutations. The first was easily the most successful and made it all the way to chapter 8, and was still running popular when the forum it was on vanished, only to return months later completely rebooted, meaning that the entire old game was lost. My character, Xylon, was the main character and Lord in the first iteration because I was young and still full of myself. The second iteration of the game, I had some help making the game and even hosted two sets of missions at once, the other missions having my co-map-creator Mike as the second Lord (Technically a Sword Mage or something like that.) Eventually, however, people stopped actively playing the game, and I felt like I was putting more work into it than what it was worth. I decided one last time to give the game life by moving it to another forum, TheGameHeroes.com, in order to continue the project. This time I meant for Xylon not to be the main Lord, but only to serve as a tutor for the first few missions to ease people into the game, then set him to the side as the rest of the members played together. The main lord this time was Miku, controlled by one of the moderators over there. That time, my co-map-creator and Miku's player both lost interest around the same time, and so the game ended prematurely yet again. It really is a shame, because I mapped out the whole story, plot-twists and everything, and even had plans on how to create a sequel if we ever got to that point.

The remnants of the third and second iterations can be found here:

http://www.hmotaku.net/forums/showthread.php?t=985
http://www.hmotaku.net/forums/showthread.php?t=1094
http://www.thegameheroes.com/phpBB3/...hp?f=35&t=6506
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:13 PM
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Don't get me wrong, I love the battle animations on the GBA games, but after a while I turned them off because of how long it took to have all of them play. Especially since there are so many times where I'd be very close to finishing a map only for a dumb mistake or swift stroke of bad luck to destroy everything. Having all the animations turned on just makes things take soooo much longer, and it's not really something I want to put up when I'm playing a map for the nth time.

Agreed on the 3D games' battle animations being fugly. And I mean, look at this:

Oh my god what is wrong with that horse's leg

Luckily the map animations are just fine. The characters dodge, have special animations, and everything. Besides, the pretty cg movies make up for the terrible battle animations, if you ask me.
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:14 PM
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I think I almost made it to the end of the Sacred Stones. Then my green haired princess died and the game wouldn't let me use her anymore EVEN THOUGH SHE WAS STILL IN CUTSCENES and I didn't want to redo the last mission and I quit.

I think I only had two missions to go too. Really I just got tired by how much of a crapshoot the game could be at times.
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:17 AM
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It's also kind of ironic, because what the fuck, soldiers are supposed to suck.
I think that's a big part of why I like Nephenee so much; I always hated not being able to use the enemy-only classes like Bandit and Soldier in previous games, and then you get one that's actually really good. Even if "Soldier" isn't what her class is actually called

When I first played Sacred Stones I was probably crossing my fingers that Amelia would be able to promote into a Soldier, to no avail. Eventually having her stomp around in a massive suit of armor made up for it, though.
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:19 AM
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I think that's a big part of why I like Nephenee so much; I always hated not being able to use the enemy-only classes like Bandit and Soldier in previous games, and then you get one that's actually really good.
See also: Gonzales, who eats Wyvern Riders alive in FE6.

EDIT: Case in point:


Last edited by PapillonReel; 07-20-2011 at 01:29 AM.
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  #23  
Old 07-20-2011, 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by BlitzBlast View Post
If there's one thing the GBA Fire Emblems had better than any of the other games, it's flashier criticals.
The console ones are constrained by shooting for a semi-realistic style while still keeping the animations relatively concise. FE10 at least does it better, with some more variety in the dodges (FE9 just has the standard backstep for every miss, while FE10 has rolls, backflips, flourishes, etc) and more little touches in general.

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Originally Posted by PapillonReel View Post
I think you hit the nail on the head, right there - the Dawn Brigade is just so uninteresting because of how undeveloped their personalities are. I would probably love the heck out of Nolan if I found out he was a celebrity chef before joining the revolution, or if Leonardo was a starving artist outside of his archery or if Aran told corny jokes. As it stands, they're really faceless compared to the rest of the cast, and it really hurts the game in its early goings.
Irritatingly, the Dawn Brigade actually does have backstory... it's just not in the game. (It's all in ancillary material.) Nolan was a merchant who was betrayed by his shady business partners and ruined by the Begnion occupation, so he founded the Brigade. War hero Sothe and miraculous magical girl Micaiah eventually took it over for all intents and purposes, though.

It's bizarre to me that FE10 has the most characters and the most viewpoints of all the FE games, but its story is among the most centralized. For all its gyrations this game is about Micaiah, Ike, and the bad guy. Everyone else is a supporting player. Only FE8 (Eirika, Ephraim, and Lyon) really comes close.

I liked FE10, despite its many, many flaws, mostly because of how ambitious it was. It was obvious that the designers were shooting for a big, epic conclusion to the Tellius cycle, and despite discarding some staple FE elements I think they mostly succeeded. (The last chapter of Part 3 is, I think, the single best battle in the series, even though it's mostly just a big setpiece.) FE11, by contrast, felt really unambitious... it might have been more playable, but it lacked that sense of vision.

I think FE10 with supports and a single army is my ideal FE game.

FE10 is a hard, hard game on American Normal, but I managed it with only a few controller-throwing fits. I tried a replay on American Easy, but it was so piss-easy that I lost interest. Beware: Easy not only lowers the number and strength of enemies, it also changes mission objectives frequently. (Every mission I played on Easy, which admittedly only went a few chapters into Part 1, had either Seize or Rout as its victory condition, regardless of what it was originally.)
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:03 AM
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Oh, and one more piece of advice: Whenever you see someone speaking in the ancient language, go find a translation. Most of it is very, very funny. Leanne only looks saintly and innocent. Once you've translated her side of conversations, though, you'll find she's basically Serra with wings. Even Volug gets a few good lines, though.
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Old 07-20-2011, 07:55 AM
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Radiant Dawn takes many risks. Some of them pay off. Being able to reuse skill scrolls after you remove them gives you great character customization without slowing it down; giving Mia Gamble is just too unfair for me to resist doing it. Allowing any unit to support with any other one is mechanically pretty amazing, and is the best way to reconcile the support system with the way part 4 works, even if it does have the side effect of eliminating all the character development. Its plot isn't especially interesting on its own, but the way it ties up its predecessor's loose ends retroactively makes Path of Radiance even better.

Splitting it up into three armies means they could have each section balanced in three different ways, an idea that's better in theory than in this particular practice. Part 1 gives you weaklings supported by overwhelmingly overpowered prepromotes, which gives first-timers a very generous safety net but also lets veterans start planning ahead; unfortunately, those characters basically don't ever get a chance to catch up. Part 2 experiments with very big battles and lots of NPCs; the relatively low amounts of EXP available in it make it almost more like a conventional strategy game than a TRPG, and approaching it from that perspective made me appreciate it a lot more. Part 3, meanwhile, is business as usual, jumping straight to the later part of an ordinary Fire Emblem game where you've got powerful units already. All this variety makes it seem kind of schizoid at times, but I do appreciate the attempt.

For what it's worth, I'm currently near the end of my third playthrough. I was originally planning to only do two but I kind of screwed up unlocking the second-playthrough bonus material. But then, I've beaten every (localized) Fire Emblem multiple times. Even Shadow Dragon.
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by PapillonReel View Post
Pictured: Gonzales throwing away his axe in order to eat the wyvern raw.
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by PapillonReel View Post
See also: Gonzales, who eats Wyvern Riders alive in FE6.

EDIT: Case in point:

Yeah, Gonzales is a real character alright. On hard mode on the right path, he joins with 16 STR. At level five. (On normal mode on the wrong path he's actually kind of terrible, but c'est la vie).

Also, I actually think the new supports are worse for gameplay too. Before you had to think "hey, I like character X, do I recruit this other awesome character Y or should I recruit slightly worse character Z to support with them?" In FE10 it's just kind of herp derp support everyone. It's particularly annoying because FE9 already fixed the one problem with the support system in the GBA games; before it was optimal to just sit your units next to each other and end your turn 200 times. It meant that slow growing supports weren't actually any different than fast growing ones from a gameplay stance, just waaay more annoying. FE9's support system was perfect.

Also I didn't like RD's story but I admit it's been a while so I don't want to talk too much about it, except that I winced everytime the words blood contract were tossed around. In particular I felt like it really neutered Naesala's character, who was one of my favorite characters in PoR because of what an unrepentant bastard he was.
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Old 07-25-2011, 05:14 AM
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Chapter 8 in Path Of Radiance is such a crapshoot. I've beaten this game 5 times, and it's still a fucking nightmare to come up with a concrete foolproof plan. And this is on Normal Mode! This is truly the Dorter Slums of Fire Emblem...except harder.

I mean, this is still one of my favorite FE games, but this chapter (and later, chapter 10). They really make it hard for me to want to replay this game.
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Old 07-25-2011, 05:48 AM
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Great, a Fire Emblem thread!

......................

Crap, everybody's talking about the Gamecube games that I haven't played, and probably never will (due to the lack of Gamecube and all). The fact that they seem to be considered as among the best in the series made it even more painful. I guess I need to watch a Let's Play of PoR and RD in the near future...
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Old 07-25-2011, 06:02 AM
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The fact that they seem to be considered as among the best in the series made it even more painful. I guess I need to watch a Let's Play of PoR and RD in the near future...
Then you'll be even more dissapointed that FE4/5 are generally (to my knowledge anyways) considered the best FE games, and they're Japanese only (then again, you could actually emulate those).

If you ever see a cheap copy of PoR in a GameStop or something, it's worth paying an extra $50 for a GC, controller, and mem card to play the game.
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