Because watching others celebrate the festive season while you’re stuck writing 6 + 1 exams and seeing your roommates slowly go home one by one as they finish theirs and you still have half of yours left is exactly the situation that prompts irresponsible money spending, I bought a Japanese-region New 3DS LL to play import games. I’ll probably regret it when I check my credit card bill later as I also bought a bunch of games this month (not to mention, lol, more games to play on my New 3DS), but for now let’s embrace the spirit of the 性なる夜 (<— most definitely the correct セイ).
A second playthrough that lasted more than double the time of my first later, my opinion hasn’t changed much. This game is great. Although really, the fact that I bothered to play a a game without New Game+ a second time and made it last twice as long should be a pretty good indicator of my feelings towaards this game. I could play even more and was planning to do a third playthrough (finally gonna try out Hard/Classic) as a twintail loli, but I realized that I got sidetracked enough and spent none of the past month clearing my backlog or playing the stuff I’m supposed to be playing. 100 hours of Fire Emblem with my 2nd playthrough MU reaching all his stat caps and getting all the skills I want on him and several children close to reaching the same status, I think now’s a good time for me to take a break.
Since my galge habits die hard (or rather, I have no intention of letting them die), I went and got the S-rank with every non-children girl with the exception of Sully, who I married off too early. My true wife was Lucina though, because hooray for screwing with timelines! Chrom must be mad, since I married his little sister in one playthrough, and his daughter in the next. Ahahaha, so much for obeying real-life morals and such. I really liked the support system, since most of the characters grow extremely out-of-focus in the main plot, which is understandable since it was written so that anyone but Chrom and the MU could die. I think more SRPGs should have support chats and such, because most of them end up with a bunch of characters that don’t get enough screentime in the main story to be truly interesting. Pairing characters up was fun as well, and not just with the MU either. As for the support chats themselves, some of them are really adorable and expand on certain characters’ pasts and/or quirks, but some just feel rushed. It would have been perfectly appropriate development for becoming friends from ranks C-A, and then marriage suddenly pops up in the S rank. They should have been longer. It was fun overall though, watching my units interact with each other on a more personal level. I don’t mean that from just a galge perspective either, I like spending time with my bros as well.
Gameplay is fun, very fun. I love tactical RPGs, especially on handhelds, and triple that if it has optional maps/recruitable characters and grinding is fun. I get so much more playtime on my handheld SRPGs compared to their console counterparts. The fact that the skills your units learn will stay with them even when they reclass gives many options for customizing and strengthening up units. Strategy is actually required, provided that you don’t go out of your way to purposely grind like hell. I still call bullshit on Lunatic, but since a considerable amount of people managed to go through Lunatic/Classic or even Lunatic+/Classic, I’ll just settle for the fact that my skill in strategizing is inadequate. The game seems to reward defensive tactics, which I am weak with. Or maybe I haven’t been praying to the Random Number Gods enough. Some people criticize the game for being partially luck-based, but honestly, so are most things. Luck is an element that can never be completely removed. A TRUE HERO needs luck (quote from some TRUE HEROES or their mentors). But you can’t make up for your bad strategy with luck either, so the game still requires skill. With that said, yes it is annoying when I miss despite having a 90% hit rate and the enemy criticals on me with their 50% hit rate and 5% critical rate. Also when I level up and see the lonely stat-up screen where only my HP went up a single point.
I guess the aspect I’d put the majority of my criticism in is the plot. It felt like they tried to do too many things in too little allotted time, producing three arcs that don’t feel very satisfying and don’t tie together that well. For a multiple-arc story like what most RPGs try to do, enough time should be given for each arc to develop properly. It seemed like they had some intricate multi-arc story planned, but tried to compress it into a game whose story could be beaten in 20 hours or so. But I’ll forgive its shortcomings in plot, because the gameplay was very fun and so were the support chats. I place an importance on characters over story when it comes to video games, so all is good. I sure am easy to please.
With all that said, it was a great game. I’ll come back for the beach and festival DLCs. And maybe a third playthrough as a loli one day when I clear some more of my backlog and want to satisfy my young maiden’s heart.
First actual Fire emblem game for me (by that I mean I don’t count the time when I was middle school-aged and tried to play one and get pissed off at the fact that units die permanently, and then quit). I’m on casual because I can’t handle permadeath/resetting every time someone dies. I finished my first playthrough on Normal/Casual, which was pretty easy. Then I decided to play on Lunatic/Casual and table flipped on the prologue battle, then the chapter 1 battle, and then the chapter 2 battle which I’m still table flipping at because I can’t strategy. Thus, I went for Hard/Casual for a happy medium. So far so good, I just have to play a lot more defensively than my normal playthrough. I am in awe of those who play on Lunatic/Classic, or better yet, Lunatic+/Classic.
I am now determined to get all support conversations, and attempt some stat-maxing because this game is fun. The support conversations are hilarious. Come to think of it, Kid Icarus had awesome banter too. Nintendo’s localization teams seems to know what they’re doing. The gameplay is really fun, since I’ve always found SRPGs to be fun. Still, Fire Emblem is rather different from most tactical RPGs I’ve played. I like how the combat forecast tells you exactly how much damage your unit will deal to the enemy, and how much your enemy will deal to you, along with the hit rate and amount of hits it will take. An interesting thing is that when engaging the enemy during your turn, the enemy will attack you back if they survive your initial hit. Of course you can do the same, so I’ve had situations where enemies ganged up on the MC (who uses magic), miss with their attacks, and get murdered by MCs counter attack. Each unit can also carry multiple weapons and choose which one to use when attacking.
Music and visuals are great, and the character designs look very good. The plot is what you’d probably expect, but I won’t bother nitpicking because this game should be played for the gameplay and characters anyway. I married Lissa on the first playthrough because twintail imouto is wonderful. This is certainly the best SRPG I’ve played in a while.
This review (as well as the previous one) was supposed to be out much earlier this month, but hey, I’ve been engrossed by Pokemon Black 2 since it came out, and Tales of Destiny before that. I quit this game back in the summer, after playing for around 14 hours. Unlike some games that haunt me with the possibility of being good after I quit, Glory of Heracles was something I almost completely forgot about after dropping. If I bought the game at launch for $35, I would probably have forced myself to finish it and then rant about it online. I did get it for $5 new, so instead of feeling ripped-off, I simply got bored and forgot about it.
I’ve been checking some sites, and it seems like NISA is bringing over the PSP version of Phantom Brave eeveryone’s been wanting, along with Neptune (named Hyperdimension Neptunia for NA release). There’s actually a lot of stuff I didn’t know about, so I’m compiling a list for upcoming RPG both NA and JPN release.
Japanese releases are in italics
Pokemon Black & White (Spring 2011, DS)
Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation (Feb 14 2011, DS) – This should probably go under another company, but it’s listed on Nintendo’s website and counts for Club Nintendo points so I put it here.
Valkyria Chronicles 3 (January 27 2011, PSP)
Radiant Historia (Feb 2011, DS)
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 2 Tsumi (March 3 2011, PSP)
The Little Battlers (March 17 2011, PSP)
Hyperdimension Neptunia (Feb 2011, PS3)
Phantom Brave: The Hermuda Triangle (March 2011, PSP)
Ys I & II Chronicles (Feb 2011, PSP)
Rune Factory Oceans (2011, PS3 + Wii)
Tale of the Last Promise (TBA, PSP)
Black Rock Shooter: The Game (Summer 2011, PSP)
Final Fantasy IV: Complete Collection (Spring 2011, PSP)
Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together (February 15 2011, PSP)
Atelier Violet: Alchemist of Gramnad 2 (February 3 2011, PSP)
Tales of Xillia (2011, PS3)
Venus & Braves (TBA, PSP)
Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology 3 (Feb 2011, PSP)
…actually, I don’t wanna see any more news of Namco Bandai stuff so I’ll stop here unless they’re releasing something in English.
I probably missed some stuff here and there, but I’m pretty sure that’s it so far for English releases and noteworth Japanese games. I’m interested in the Atelier games by Gust, and anything NISA decides to bring over is at least worth a look for me. I’ve already got Radiant Historia pre-ordered and I’ve got my fingers crossed for P2. I do like FFIV and Tactics Ogre seems to have a lot of praise so I’ll check out SqEnix this time. Level 5’s The Little Battlers seems interesting, but I’ll wait to see how it does first. Imageepoch’s game has permadeath so I’ll have to wait and see instead of rushing into things head first. Now that they’re partnering with NISA, I’m more relieved for the company’s games being localized.
On a side note, on the PSP dating sim scene, we’ve got Photo Kano (links to Siliconera article), where the PSP is like an in-game camera and you take pictures of the girls. The 3D seems to be very well done here, especially the girls’ expressions. I’m not too fond of such realistic hair tones though. I prefer crazy anime hair colors to just browns and blacks. One of the reasons why I’m interested in Dream Club more than other recent-ish dating sims is because they’ve got a variety of hair colors.