Dark Holy Elf

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About Dark Holy Elf

  • Birthday 01/22/82

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Interests
    Video games (Fire Emblem, JRPGs, and Nintendo games in particular), fantasy novels, ice hockey, and mathematics
  • Location
    Canada

Previous Fields

  • Favorite Fire Emblem Game
    Radiant Dawn

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  1. A problem most, if not, all JRPGs seem to have

    If I recall that boss fight in Legend of Dragoon right, she engaged that pissy limit mode once below half health too even if you don't use dragoon. They just decided to use the player entering dragoon mode as an excuse for the boss to get serious ASAP. I think boss "limit breaks" can be interesting as a way to heighten tension late in the fight, and can work well especially if the first stage of the fight is designed to teach you how the boss fight works, then it gets serious. In most RPGs your command of terrific healing means that once you have a boss figured out, you can cruise due to being able to outheal them. Adding moves to a boss' arsenal (or strengthening their existing ones) as a fight goes on can do a good job of keeping the player on their toes. It can also be extremely annoying, though, because sometimes it feels like the first stage of the fight is a big waste of time and the only threatening part comes right at the end. Bravely Default's final boss is a pretty good example of this; there's nothing it does that's remotely scary until the fifth stage out of five, but if that stage manages to kill you you have to hack through all the easy stages again.
  2. Unit Ideas for a Focus on Radiant Dawn (Fan-Made)

    Aether is only one hit in this game. The Flare you created outclasses it completely, and it should not do so. I can't imagine that Baselard being a thing. I feel like IntSys learned their lesson with powerful range 2 brave weapons. I hope they have at least. Brave Bow is already fine, and Dire Thunder is completely OP. The only way that Baselard would be workable if it were unique to Sothe (but it shouldn't be) AND you didn't give him a minmaxed offensive spread. I also don't feel the Baselard is a good choice for a brave dagger, since it... isn't one. The Soldier's Knife of Fates is what you're looking for; maybe Kaze can come with that when he finally gets in the game. Dark Breath already exists as a name (it's Corrin's weapon). Maybe Black Breath? Already mentioned, but I'll second it: Branded Sacrifice should not be able kill the user. Sacrifice can't kill Micaiah in RD, why should this? I'd also probably make it restore 20 HP instead of 10, too; full seems too outclass staff healing too much. And it should be unique to Micaiah, obviously; a rare case of an assist skill which has that justification based on its source game.
  3. A problem most, if not, all JRPGs seem to have

    I honestly don't have this problem with many JRPGs, though it was a problem with the original Xenoblade (especially due to its weird mechanic where bosses were arbitrarily inflated if the game considered you "underlevelled"). I actually tend to find the tedious parts of JRPGs tend to be early, when you have only limited access to the system and/or enemies are extremely easy because the game is still teaching you how it works. FF10 may have my favourite storytelling of any video game (it's in the running at least) and this is still very frustrating. I think a lot of RPG devs realised FFX's mistake because cutscene skip was very rare prior to FFX and quickly became very common afterwards. Now, why FFX's own remake team didn't realise this is beyond me. Mm, I don't think I agree with this one, unless you mean in storytelling? To pick a few random RPGs from the PS360 gen, like FF13 or The Last Story or Xenoblade, the gameplay is barely recognisable from your Dragon Quest or Chrono Trigger a decade or two earlier. Games which use a battle system which obviously stepped out of an older generation either put a huge new spin on it (e.g. Bravely Default) or are just deliberately channelling nostalgia (e.g. FF4 The After Years). Or are Pokemon which I'll concede is very conservative. By contrast... I mean, I also love platformers, but most modern platformers feel very similar mechanically to ones I've been playing my entire life. Some are very well-made, good games, but I'd certainly call them a more conservative genre. FPS is a bit of a low-hanging fruit, but they're pretty obviously conservative as well. If you mean in terms of storytelling, though, I definitely do agree. JRPGs really love going to similar storytelling wells over and over (someone already made a power of friendship quip I see) and it's been one of my biggest disappointments as an adult gamer. I grew up with the likes of Final Fantasy 7, Xenogears, Valkyrie Profile, and the Suikoden series pushing the envelope on the stories the genre could tell. I think it's fair to stay that that sort of innovation has seriously stalled (and at times even regressed). There's an exception every so often but they're vanishingly rare, and if anything some of the more daring stories I've seen in recent years have come from other genres (like the Nier games... though some consider those JRPGs I suppose).
  4. Soul Calibur VI!

    Cool news. Soul Calibur has always been one of my favourite fighting games; its "vertical attack beats horizontal attack beats sidestep beats vertical attack" is a simple, elegant, intuitive triangle, and beyond that the game just appeals to me aesthetically: I prefer weapon combat to kicks and punches and I like my playable characters, men or women, to be pretty (both things Soul Calibur shares with Fire Emblem, amusingly). I'm pretty excited for a new game. I skipped over 5 since it got meh reviews and cut many of my favourite characters, so I'm happy to see that my fave, badass mom Sophitia, is making her return. Not super-eager about the idea of a reboot but it's not like I play these games for story, and it's probably the safest way to retcon away SC5 killing some characters off. I do hope that it's not just the SC1 roster, though. Don't care too much about 1P modes in fighters but I agree that SC4 (the last one I played) wasn't super-impressive about that. Definitely hope character creation returns with more options than ever, that's an underrated aspect of the games. I've lost track of how many Fire Emblem characters myself and my friends have built for SC3 and SC4, among others.
  5. My thoughts on Master Seal Priority.

    Elise doesn't need a promotion, but neither does anyone else. If you're only going to promote one mage, Elise makes the most sense, since she provides an extra staff user and horse user. You can only deploy four controllable units per map, and since mages can't hit WTA it's only rarely useful to deploy more than one. MAG+10 only closes the gap between Leo and the other mages anyway so really isn't worth much hype (I was wrong, Robin has more MAG than I remembered; slightly more than Elise even. Elise should still have the highest damage output once you get Luna, though). Ryoma's real capabilities are excellent. The only way Ryoma fails to be standout is once everyone else gets Astra, which with your earlygame focus on master seal promotion isn't relevant to the conversation. Until then, he has Astra and most of your units do not, so he's going to be one of your best units overall. Re Camilla, similar to Elise, you have limited deployment slots. For a tough mission, you want all four of them filled with promoted units. Camilla's crowd control serves an extremely valuable niche and thus makes a good case to be one of those four (since she also handles mobility and the axe side of the triangle she's not even a one-trick pony). I'm aware that archers and mages can expose a stun gauge (although exposing a white stun gauge isn't much of an accomplishment). That's not the same as WTA, which is a 25% damage boost AND even better/faster stun-breaking (since they get a yellow gauge almost for free). Being able to hit WTA is extremely valuable (WTD isn't nearly as big a downside since you just pair-swap to someone with a different weapon), archers not being able to do it is a notable minus point for them. Again, I'm not seeing why promoting an archer is particularly essential, especially compared to your first sword-, lance-, and axe-user.
  6. My thoughts on Master Seal Priority.

    Elise has a horse over Robin and staves over both Leo and Robin, as well as IIRC the highest Mag of the three; there's no way she should be the lowest-priority tome-user. If it weren't for Solidarity I'd go so far as to say she's the only tome-user you ever need (and that pains me because Leo is one of my faves). MAG+10 isn't very good; it's outclassed by Astra/Luna/Trample for general damage-boosting purposes. Astra isn't "pretty good", it's the best skill in the game. It both allows combos to tie up enemies that don't work otherwise, and it doubles all your damage output except that produced by special moves/critical hits... and you build to those twice as fast. While it's true you don't need to promote Ryoma to gain his essences, it's much easier to do so. Ryoma should be extremely high priority for promotion if you give any credit for their skills at all, which you seem to be. Camilla has the best crowd control (that I've found) as well as tied-for-highest mobility so she should be a very high priority as well. The fact that Trample's a pretty good skill is just icing. Not really sure why any archer is particularly high priority, as they can never gain WTA (outside Awakening of course). They're fine, but nothing special unless fighting fliers, and you can hand Wingslayer to other units, too. I don't really understand why Cordelia is so much lower than the other lance-users. I understand that Hinoka has a personal weapon but those aren't that important IMO. Functionally all three pegasus knights are very similar; I'd probably group them together and give an extremely high priority for your first (both since they gain staves, and since they're the only characters in their weapon triangle niche... and of course they're mobile), descending for the other two. I suppose Caeda is at a slight disadvantage because you get her a bit later, though how much this matters depends how much history mode content one does before finishing the game, or at least completing chapter 14.
  7. How many of you have the willpower to hold feathers?

    I generally have around 100k-150k. I have people I'd like to promote and train, but for me at least, feathers aren't the limiter on such projects, but time spent levelling and gaining SP for the characters.
  8. Which DS game do you like better?

    New Mystery doesn't have that thing where you have to kill off your own characters to get the extra side chapters, so it wins. They're pretty similar games overall to me, and definitely the two weakest FE games I've actually played to completion. I can't speak to what they might be like as a starting point in the series, but for me, going into them after Tellius was so jarring. They had less writing, characterisation, setting-building, supports (in FE11's case); and there was the lack of shove/rescue, lack of skills, evade not a functional strategy, uneven map design, ambush reinforcements. It definitely felt like a step back in time, and I don't mean that in a good way. Reclassing and how it interacts with weapon ranks is interesting, though, and they did have some nice polish improvements like enemy phase skip and dead characters dropping their items into inventory.
  9. That depends. Do you like Warriors games? Does the idea of seeing the cast of Fire Emblem spout cheesy one-liners while using over-the-top stylish attacks appeal to you? If you answered yes to one of these, consider getting the game; if you answered yes to both, pick it up for sure. I personally find the game pretty good, though I did personally prefer Hyrule Warriors (and I say that as a big fan of FE and a non-fan of Zelda).
  10. Did you enjoy Awakening?

    Yes, I definitely enjoyed it. It combined some of the polish improvements/minor things I'd liked about the DS games and mixed them in with a game and cast that was actually fun. Especially the cast; I know there are some gimmicky folks in there but overall it was by far the best playable cast FE had seen up to that point (villains... we won't talk about). It had some flaws, for sure, which by and large have already been mentioned in this thread. But it got me excited about Fire Emblem again.
  11. I'm really not sure how Camilla or Niles is somehow more offensive for children to see than the general gameplay of a game where you violently strike down humans by the dozen...
  12. Best Final Chapter in the series

    Only played the remakes of FE1-3 to completion, didn't finish FE4, didn't even start FE5. Chosen by Fate: It's okay? Splitting up your army often feels like a rather artifical challenge. Medeus himself is too easy on lower difficulties and... just kinda weird on higher ones. I just sacrificed a manakete which is inelegant but they do almost all of his health in damage so it works well. Fitting that Shadow Dragon ends with a sacrifice. Together to the End: Pretty fun since it mixes in a lot of the things you've already seen in the game like Upheavel, Jeddah, mogalls, witchception, Medusa, into one fight. Don't like how the battle ended with crit-fishing with Alm but eh. Light and Shadow: Oh look, four damsels in distress, barf. I have nothing to say about the gameplay of this chapter. Truth of the Legend: Awful map, you spend all your time walking and defeating extremely easy enemies, the only tiny threat comes from losing someone to a ninja reinforcement. Jahn may be the worst boss in the series, and Idoun is only barely better. Light: The miniboss squad is great. Surprise Berserk staff is a dick move. Nergal is amazingly underwhelming, he should have at least moved or had a throne or something. (Also lol 13 AS.) Dragon's a "do you know how to deal with a 2HKOing durable solo in FE" which hey worked well enough for me as a first-time FE player for all that he's obviously easy now. Overall this is a good chapter despite Nergal. Sacred Stone: Felt like an easier version of Darkling Woods for the most part, the there's a few moments like the dracozombies and approaching the Shadowshot barrage. Lyon is... well, better than Nergal anyway but still has the same core problems. Demon King is way too easy to one-round, the twins come close to doing it by themselves so just dance up your best unit otherwise and you win. Repatriation: I liked how the generics were reasonably tough and had skills (that might have just been HM?). Ashnard himself is absoltely awful design on NM, he's a complete joke Nergal-style but you only have limited people who can damage him for no damn reason at all. On HM he's more of a threat but once you know how it works the mechanics are still obnxious; you either surround or isolate him and again, slowly chip him down. Then you get the "true" form which is in practice worse than the original because you gain a laguz royal. Rebirth V: Great. Ashera having full MT attacks makes you pay much more attention to terrain and healing (especially if you don't have Fortify), optimally taking down the auras makes for some interesting SRPG stuff. It's still not the best but it actually feels like a final boss instead of some loser who sits there and waits for you to kill him/her with your PCs optimised for the job. Grima: I'm surprised at the hate this map gets, I always thought this was fun, and I say this as someone who likes Awakening less than the previous four FEs. It's short and brutal (the one time the same-turn reinforcements feel like part of the design of a map instead of being cheap), you really really want to kill the boss as fast as you can once you get in range lest a new pile of reinforcements murder you. Dawn Breaks Through: It's interesting to plan out a reliable one-round of this guy. I've never fought the boss fairly (i.e. seen an enemy phase) and it looks kinda ugly if you do, but hey, I enjoy said planning. Night Breaks Through: It's not one of Conquest's best maps but the bar is high, and it's still a lot of fun; I love how the reinforcements, hexing rod, and wave attack put pressure on you to move fast so you can take out the boss. The boss himself would be nothing much but the map makes it all about the journey there, which is fun. The bad part is definitely that you can't save; it makes the sum total of this map and the previous very long (though it's only because the map has teeth that we care; I'm pretty sure Chapter 24-25 of FE6 is longer for instance). Anankos: I remember enjoying this well enough but I've only done it once, the reinforcements come in at a pace to keep some pressure on as you deal with the (sadly relatively boring) boss parts itself. tl;dr version: FE10 > CQ > FE7 > SoV > FEA > BR > Rev > FE9 > FE1 > FE8 > FE3 > FE6
  13. I haven't decided if I'm going to draw from this banner at all; gotta save for Micaiah and all that. If I do I'll probably target green because (a) I've never drawn a Hector and DC would be nice; (b) Deirdre looks cool and you can never have too many green mages for AA; (c) Spring Camilla is one of my best units so it'd be nice to merge her. If I draw and no green orbs show up I suppose I'll go for red.
  14. Final Fantasies worth playing?

    I basically have your exact opinions so far. (X amazing, VII and XIII good.) FF5 and FF6 are the other two in my top five for the main numbered series, though Tactics (the original one) is great too. FF5 crafted a great job system which is a model for all sorts of other more recent RPGs (the Bravely games for two prominent recent examples), FF6 is just overall solid. Also, not a Final Fantasy, but very much plays like one: definitely check out Chrono Trigger. I'd say all the mainline games are at least decent except FF2 so you can't go too wrong with trying some out and see which ones stick for you. Obviously some of the older ones are a bit rough around the edges if you're playing them for the first time now, but if you go in expecting that I imagine they'll be fine.
  15. General US Politics

    from the linked article: Well, here's a good chance for folks who rail about states' rights to do so for a useful cause instead of as a dog-whistle for racism and homophobia. I have some hope that some of the big web-based companies (Google etc.) may raise enough of a fuss about this to prevent the worst damage but I don't know enough about the details about how possible this is so maybe I'm just being an optimist.