Friday Favorites: Fire Emblem Warriors Wish List

Double Jump Kris MiiHow has everyone been this week?

With more and more information being shown for Fire Emblem Warriors lately, I’ve been thinking about what kind of characters I would like to see in the game. I’m aware that the game is focusing mostly on fan favorites from Fates and Awakening, it seems, but I can always hope, right?

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Shinon from Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn

I loved this grumpy, sarcastic sniper when I played through the game. His character development through Path of Radiance was also really interesting to me — not dealing well with his commander’s death, deflecting to the enemy, finding his way back to the right side while also trying to figure out himself — and his sniper skills weren’t bad at all.

Mae or Boey from Shadows of Valentia

Mae and Boey were both a couple of my favorites from Shadows of Valentia, and I think both of them would be interesting additions to Warriors. Their personalities and skills would fit right in, and I would love to see their reactions to some of the other characters in the Warriors world!

Tiki from Archanea/Awakening

I want to be able to stomp around as a dragon in Warriors! The Corrins may have that ability in the game, or perhaps gain it during the story mode, but I would still love the idea of being Tiki and changing into a dragon to destroy your enemies.

Matthew from The Blazing Blade

Rather, any thief/ninja character would be fine with me, but Matthew was always cool. In the Warriors game, I imagine thief characters would be some of the faster ones, with swift combos and, perhaps, one-hit kill special attacks. I would love to see thief mechanics in the Warriors game!

What are some of your Fire Emblem Warriors hopefuls?

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Friday Favorites: Rivals

Double Jump Kris MiiHello, everyone!

The Pokemon games boast adventure for your little character as you explore and grow with your team of Pokemon. Battling is a sure way for your Pokemon to grow, and what’s better than having someone — friend or not — always be lurking around the corner to compare your teams’ strength? This week, I’m detailing my favorite rival characters from the games!

Pokemon X/Y: Everyone

Alright, so technically Calem/Serena are supposed to be your main rivals, but I really enjoyed the group effort when it came to the Kalos games. Instead of just having that one rival that is always one step ahead (even if you always kick their ass in battle), you have this little group of friends who are all pursuing their Pokemon-related dreams. I just remember marveling at the Santalune Forest part at the beginning of the game, seeing everyone scatter about as they explore and engage in battles with you as you make your way through. That sense of community and friendship is something that the entire franchise is about.

Gary

The original rival in the games, this guy was an arrogant kid who always talked down to you even after you beat his team in a battle. He was rather clear-cut when it came to rivals with his simple motivation to just be better than you. While I did feel a little bad defeating him after he had been Champion for a mere two minutes, it was due to his pushes, to his name always being on the gym leaders’ pedestals before mine, that made my kid-self want to carefully grow and nurture my team.

Barry

This kid was ridiculous. His energetic mannerisms amused the hell out of me when I started playing the fourth generation of Pokemon games. Really, I think he just reminded me of Rachel, haha! Nevertheless, it was refreshing to have such a bouncy friend for your character considering many rivals tend to be a bit stoic when it comes to reaching their goals.

Silver

While Kanto was the first region my game-self had explored, it was Johto that really made me fall in love with the Pokemon franchise. Having Silver as a rival added to the depth of the story, especially when I got older and read the stories of him being Giovanni’s father. He was a rival whose main goal wasn’t just to beat you — he was trying to find his own place in the world himself. Even if he did steal his first Pokemon, he was really just looking for someone to be his friend for himself. I’m a sap for those kind of character development stories!

Who are some of your favorite Pokemon rivals?

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Friday Favorites: Starter Pokemon

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

One of the most important decisions you make as a character at the beginning of a main Pokemon game is your starter Pokemon. Your first partner helps to determine the rest of your team and how difficult the beginning of your journey will be. While I tend to always pick the Grass-type starters for at least one of the games in a generation, there are definitely a few exceptions I’ll make.

Pikachu

Pokemon Yellow was my first Pokemon game, and eight-year-old me was delighted to be able to have Pikachu as my first partner. Watching Pikachu slowly start to trust me more while also being able to collect the rest of the Kanto starters like Ash did in the anime was really special to me.

Cyndaquil

I’m in the minority in that I honestly don’t pick the Fire-type starters at all. However, I always found Johto’s Cyndaquil to be a fun partner. The evolution line’s designs were both simple and functional in showing the Pokemon’s powers, and I was able to get a taste as to why Fire-types are one of Rachel’s favorites.

Rowlett

The Alola starter Pokemon were all great designs, in my opinion, but the little owl was utterly adorable. Combining two of my favorites types into one — Grass and Flying — only to later gain the rarer pairing of Grass and Ghost, Rowlett’s line certainly did not disappoint on my journey through the newest region.

Froakie

I loved all three of the starter Pokemon in the Kalos region. Having the final three evolutions be based off traditional RPG classes — Chesnaught the Warrior, Delphox the Mage, and Greninja the Ninja — touched my inner nerd. Of course I naturally gravitated toward the ninja-like final evolution, and I wasn’t disappointed when choosing Froakie for my second Kalos run-through.

Treecko

The Treecko line was always one of my favorites. There’s no real rhyme or reason — I believe I just preferred the design of the Pokemon in the line, as well as finding Ash’s Treecko’s “tough guy” persona in the few episodes of the Hoenn anime I watched. The Treecko I’ve raised always had great Speed stats, something that was doubled with its Hidden Ability.

What are some of your favorite Starter Pokemon?

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Friday Favorites: Fire Emblem Echoes Characters

Double Jump Kris MiiYa gotta love Fridays!

One of the games that I’ve been playing through recently is the newest Fire Emblem game to hit the Nintendo 3DS is Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. I’m really enjoying it, finding it rather refreshing after having the trio games of Fates. Today I’m sharing some of my favorite characters that I’ve encountered in the game.

mathilda_echoes_portrait5. Mathilda

Most Fire Emblem games tend to have female characters that are devoted to their loves or badass warriors on the battlefield. Mathilda is the best combination of both. She’s not shy about how strong she is as a knight, and her supports with her fiance are both adorable and amusing.

4. Graygray_echoes_portrait

From the first time this kid opened his mouth, I knew he was going to be a favorite. He seems totally laid-back, but his devotion to his friends on the battlefield and during the war itself won me over. That and he can be deliciously sarcastic.

mae_portrait3. Mae

Mae is a practical, always ready to fight for her side kind of character, and I love it. She’s unapologetic with her words and actions, and I love her interactions with the other characters. I really enjoy her voice acting as well, finding that her performance is one of my favorites.

2. Leonleon_echoes_portrait

Archers and Snipers are one of my favorite classes in Fire Emblem games, so I tend to have a soft spot for characters that favor bows and arrows as weapons. Leon’s skills and personality definitely made him a favorite early on, as well as the fact that he gives the game a little more diversity in terms of sexuality. It’s obvious his preference is for men, and it wasn’t played off as a joke in the game. It’s serious and taken in stride by the other characters, including the man who is the object of Leon’s affections. I think it’s a nice touch to have more canon sexual diversity in the games.

saber_portrait_echoes1. Saber

Here’s this random guy who takes payment in the form of a dagger from a young woman to escort herself and her friends across the sea to a temple. Instead of ducking out of the adventure as soon as Celica and friends reach Mila’s Temple, Saber sticks around for the rest of the war. He’s a little bit of the “mercenary with a heart of gold” cliche, in that he probably figured out that these kids would end up getting themselves killed if he didn’t continue to give them a helping hand. I find it amusing and endearing that there wasn’t too much talk of him staying past his original contract. That, and he’s fantastic on the battlefield, especially when you promote him to Dread Fighter!

What are some of your favorite characters from Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia?

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Pick Your Racer

Pick Your Racer | Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

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How’s everyone enjoying Mario Kart 8 Deluxe? Have you picked your favorite racer yet? Rachel and I have been spending tons of time on that game, having forgotten how much fun Mario Kart has been since we last dabbled with the Wii U version. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has all the DLC and unlocked characters that we had never gotten in the Wii U version, so it’s been fun testing out all the racers. We did, however, notice that since there are so many characters, we’re finding that we miss the simpler list of characters.

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In Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 8, I had a personal vendetta against Baby Peach. I don’t know why, but every time she was in a race with me she would always be tailgating me throwing the worst items she could. In Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, there’s not much of that. The character roster is so big that we’ve noticed that most of the computer players aren’t even from the Mario universe. Or, they’re Metal Mario, Gold Peach, or Cat Peach… Still, we miss seeing the original Mario, Peach, Luigi, and Bowser running around.

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Yes, we’ve noticed that there’s more “copycat” characters, if you will, in Mario Kart 8. Characters like Legend of Zelda’s Link or Animal Crossing’s Isabelle are unique additions, but having three different Marios or all seven Koopalings is a bit excessive in our opinions. They’re interesting aesthetics-wise, but Rachel and I miss seeing the original characters racing around with our characters. Out of the plethora of Grand Prix we’ve done, we’ve seen the original Mario in one, maybe two, of those Grand Prix.

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It’s definitely cool that they’ve added characters from other games, very similar to Smash Brothers. But it’s still Mario Kart and I personally think it would have been cool if they added a Goomba. I mean, if King Boo can drive without legs I think a Goomba could make it work without arms. Kamek also would have been a cool addition as well.

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The additional characters from games other than Super Mario have made many people wonder if this will be the last Mario Kart… A better name for future installments may be Nintendo Kart or something along those lines. If we do want to stick to Super Mario characters, why not re-add Birdo to the roster? Or perhaps Diddy Kong to replace one of the half a dozen baby characters for more variety? Professor E. Gadd, known mostly from Luigi’s Mansion but mentioned in many others, would have been a unique addition.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Oh, I would love to have Professor E. Gadd there! I’m sticking with my “villains” though. I wouldn’t mind having Thwomp or King Bomb-omb or Wiggler. These are pretty far-fetched, I know, but I think they’d be cool either way. Or Nabbit. He’s a bit weird, but he’d be someone different.

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It’s strange that some of your favorites in this racing game seems to be the villains, like King Boo. I miss seeing you being Yoshi all the time, haha! I don’t know what it means when you’ve gone to being the cute, innocent character to one that’s always seen as a villain. As for me, I’m all for having Link in the game. He’s my main when I used to be little Koopa or Rosalina. They’re all different characters, and I wish the entire roster was just as unique.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I’ve always liked Boo in general. I always got excited at the boo mansions in the games. Luigi is another favorite of mine and I think that’s why I love Luigi’s Mansion so much. I still, of course, have a soft spot for Yoshi, and he is one of my favorites. I decided to Switch (this joke will get old, but I don’t care) it up a bit. I was Luigi for one or two races, but I was drawn to King Boo. I love his laugh and the way his “tail” wags. Which, is similar to Yoshi, if you think about it.

What other characters do you think they should add? Who’s your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

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First Impressions of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Double Jump Kris MiiAnother week, another Monday. Rachel and I got our copy of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Switch, and we spent a good chunk of Sunday night just playing it.

We really enjoyed it, even though the courses that we played were just the same as Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U.

 

Everyone seems to be playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe this past weekend, unless you were one of those folks who already has Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U with all the DLC. Considering Rachel and I only have the bare bones of the Wii U version of the game, we didn’t mind splurging for the Switch version. We pre-ordered it on Amazon, it didn’t come on Friday, Amazon apologized for the delay and credited our account about ten bucks, and it got delivered Sunday.

We both played a few of the Grand Prix mode, just on 50cc to get warmed up (and, of course, to collect the trophies and everything) and to test the few different modes of controllers. We first each used one half of the Joy-Con, finding it to be not too bad of a way to drive the karts, before both of us used a pair of the Joy-Con.

Rachel seems to prefer the one half of the Joy-Con method while I didn’t mind the paired Joy-Con. We do plan on getting the wheel attachment to see how well they work as well, but for now, we’re okay with each having the Joy-Con.

We did seem to have a bit of an odd time with the motion control and the manual steering at first, but we eventually got the hang of it. We both had a great time picking out different characters and karts to race with, especially the ones that had been DLC like Link (who looks like he’s having the best time of his life during the races and jumps) and Isabelle (who is just downright adorable).

We’re eager to explore all of the DLC courses — hopefully we’ll be able to play again tonight!

Do you have Mario Kart 8 Deluxe? What do you think of it?

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Gender Tropes

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone! I hope everyone had a lovely holiday weekend. Going off of last week’s post about Healer Tropes, I thought I would share my thoughts on Gender Tropes. Remember, kids, sexism shouldn’t have a place in the real world or video game worlds!

When I was writing up my Fire Emblem Fates review, one of the biggest issue I had with the newest trio of Fire Emblem games was the treatment of the sister characters from the two quartets of the avatar’s siblings.

From Nohr was Camilla and Elise, while Hinoka and Sakura were from Hoshido. I felt that they got a bit pushed to the side after being created to be the cute healers and tough female warriors. It was the brothers that got more development, that were the wielders of the other divine weapons, that had stronger ties to the avatar character. While I enjoyed all the characters for the most part, I still maintain that it may have worked better if the royal siblings were cut in half, with one side having an older sister and younger brother while the other side had the older brother and younger sister.

Thinking back on my Healer Tropes post where I mentioned both Elise and Sakura, I also realized that the brothers also followed stereotypical male tropes as well. The strong older brothers are the leaders, Leo is the cool, calculating, aloof character, and Takumi is the brooding, hotheaded one. Many of the other Fire Emblem games have the older brother characters as the leaders, as the strong ones, while the women tend to favor gentler routes.

Case in point is the cover of Shadows of Valentia. Alm is with his sword, a fighter, while Celica is praying, looking much more passive. I wonder what would have happened had the game switched it up, with the woman being the more aggressive while the man is gentler.

With the brief introduction of the Champion characters in Breath of the Wild, I’m finding that they also follow typical gender tropes. While I personally haven’t met all of them in-game yet, plenty of Internet sources have given me a glimpse of the Champions’ personalities. Mipha and Urbosa are common female tropes, being the gentle, soft-spoken healer and tough, action woman. Daruk appears to be the jolly, father figure and Revali is the arrogant bad boy.

Mr. Panda actually made a comment on the Healer Tropes regarding how White Mages in Final Fantasy games are always female, and how he’s waiting for the day that they can be male as well. Something that I believe Fates did right was take off the gender-restricted classes, such as having a male Pegasus Knight and a female Fighter. It’s a step in the right direction to help combat the more common gender tropes found in video games.

There are always exceptions, of course, and I understand that gifting every video game character a full-fledged developmental arc within the game would be a bit time-consuming. However, as a gamer whose favorite element of a game is the story and the characters, I would like to see more characters having their personalities be based on their thoughts rather than their genders.

What kind of common gender tropes are in your favorite games? Any examples of games that break the normal tropes?

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