My Thoughts on Cindered Shadows

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

While I really didn’t need an excuse to get back into playing Fire Emblem: Three Houses, the Cindered Shadows DLC was a great reason to turn the game on again. And, honestly, I wouldn’t mind more DLC like this for the game!

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The Cindered Shadows DLC came out for Fire Emblem: Three Houses about a week and a half ago. Being only 7 chapters long, it took me between 8 and 9 hours to complete, especially when one considers that Cindered Shadows is mostly battles with a touch of exploration here and there. In fact, Cindered Shadows reminded me much of the earlier Fire Emblem games, where it would mostly be battles with bits of story in between fights.

I enjoyed the battles in Cindered Shadows, each battle offering a new challenge and seeing me use the Divine Pulse to edit my moves more times than I have in the regular routes I’ve played. I did miss the more involved aspects of the exploration parts, though. No support conversations or skill increases were a bit odd, as the character growth is one of my favorite parts of Fire Emblem games.

I was also intrigued by some things in the Abyss that really didn’t play much of a part in Cindered Shadows. Who was that mysterious woman by the pagan altar? What was up with the empty wayseer’s room? Are they the same person? Once I spend enough renown in the Abyss during the main story, I presume these questions will be answered, and it gives me more incentive to continue the main story to try to figure out the answers.

The four Abyssian characters are lots of fun, although I was confused as to Constance’s split personality with the sun and Hapi’s random sighing ability. They were interesting, brought a little more flavor to the characters, but I did not find them necessary. I also did find Balthus to seem very similar to Raphael from the Golden Deer house, especially if one considers that Balthus was originally from the Alliance territory as well. Still, he was a great big brother figure to the other characters, and I loved his war monk class. A brawler and a healer? Yes, please!

I really liked all four of the character classes from Abyss, actually. Yuri, I think, was the character I utilized the least in battle despite his high avoidance rate, but his personality was delightful. His past was interesting, especially since I’ve heard he has a couple of connections with the characters from the main story and I’m looking forward to unlocking his support conversations with everyone.

Speaking of pasts, it was nice to also learn more about Byleth. Her mother finally has a name! She’s no longer just the catalyst for Byleth’s mysterious past! While the main bad guy of the Cindered Shadows DLC was fairly obvious from the beginning, as was the plot, it was still a fun a side story.

Originally, I was hoping Cindered Shadows would be more of a full-fledged route rather than just a side story when I first heard of it. I was selfishly hoping that Cindered Shadows would involve a Golden Ending, one where all of the characters no matter what house could stay alive, especially since the three house leaders were with Byleth as a team when exploring the Abyss. I liked the interactions between them all and wished there were supports between the house leaders for you to unlock during that time.

I just want all the characters to be happy at the end, dammit.

With that said, I did enjoy the DLC overall. The new mechanics and aspects it brought to the main game are fun to explore and discover, and it brought along just the right amount of new characters without it getting overwhelming.

What did you think of Cindered Shadows? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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More Smash Ultimate DLC Characters

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

I hope everyone had a good weekend! This is about some news that’s a couple of weeks old, but I cannot help but think about it. The Super Smash Bros. roster is so big already, I can’t imagine who else to put in!

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The latest Nintendo Direct mentioned that even more DLC characters are going to join the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate family. Considering all of the characters we have now, what other franchises and series do you want to see represented?

Granted, our favorite franchises are sufficiently represented, but it would be interesting to see more of a variety in them. We have plenty of Fire Emblem characters, but I’m curious if characters from Three Houses will show up. Having a Fire Emblem character that is not a sword-user would be amazing. Perhaps a Pokemon from the Galar region will show up for the latest generation. Maybe there will be an aspect of the second Breath of the Wild or the remake of Link’s Awakening in Ultimate.

I would totally be down for a joint Jigglypuff and Marion concert in Smash Ultimate.

With that said, I am presuming that the newest DLC characters will also be franchises that aren’t in Smash just yet. Rachel and I are first and foremost Nintendo fans, so characters from other series aren’t usually on our radars. Yet, I would love more female or unique animal characters on the roster. Shantae is fairly popular and it’d be fun to play as Spyro hovering around the stage.

Of course, I also can’t help but hope for Geno from Super Mario RPG!

What extra DLC characters are you hoping will show up in Smash? Any franchises you’re hoping will get some representation? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Complete Games with DLC & Loot Boxes

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

I may have gone off on a slight tangent by the end of this post, and I apologize for that. Still, the words are relevant in regards to some new DLC news I’ve heard of recently. I hope everyone had a great weekend!

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Harvest Moon: Light of Hope Special Edition Complete will be coming out on July 30 for the Nintendo Switch. I challenge you to come up with a game that has a longer title.

I have the special edition of this game. I got it because it was a Harvest Moon title and it seemed fairly simple compared to other titles in the franchise that had annoying touch screen controls or complicated farming mechanics or any nonsense like that. It was an okay game. Honestly, though, give me a Harvest Moon game with a pretty village, some cool NPCs, and a plot of land that I can do whatever I want to, be it grow crops or have thirteen chickens and two cows running the place, and I’ll be happy.

(I am still excited for the Friends of Mineral Town remake, but I digress.)

Anyway, I saw the headline for the Light of Hope Completionist’s Version and momentarily got confused. This Complete game has all the DLC and, if you get it instead of buying the game and all of the DLC separately, you’ll save almost twenty bucks.

At first, I was wondering, “Light of Hope has DLC?” which then turned into, “Wait, isn’t that what the Special Edition was for?” and then, “Wtf, why is this Complete game ten bucks less than what I spent for the Special Edition?”

(Seriously, ten bucks is ten bucks, I would like it back, please.)

The DLC, once I looked it all up, seemed vaguely familiar. I had some of it, apparently, and then I read that if you had the updated version of Special Edition — which I may have, but I honestly haven’t turned the game on in months — then you would have gotten all of the DLC as they dropped. It’s not a big deal if I don’t have all the DLC for Light of Hope, but there was still something that bothered me about the news anyway, despite the annoyance feeling a bit ridiculous.

I think it’s because the game is just now being called “complete.”

I’m not a fan of DLC in the first place. Shelling out more money for some extras in video games always left a bitter taste in my mouth, especially if the DLC is more cosmetic than anything. Sure, some DLC is fun, but if it doesn’t benefit the core aspect of the game, I generally ignore it.

Breath of the Wild’s expansion packs, for example, gave some more insight to the overall story of the game and a reason to go back and play. Smash Bros. Ultimate is similar with the Fighter’s Pack, although I would have rather the game have all of the fighters in it from the get-go instead of them being dropped one by one for extra money. But, I have a choice to get the Fighter’s Pack or not. If I don’t download the extra characters, the value of the game and the amount of fun I have while playing does not diminish.

When I buy a game, I want the entire game. I don’t want to buy a game that’s 95% done and then later on buy and download the remaining 5%. Hearing the new version of Light of Hope being called “complete” seems to reinforce that mindset. I know developers and publishers don’t have that in mind when they create DLC (at least, I hope not), but sometimes it sounds very similar to the loot box system, where players spend real money for special items that, usually, give them a leg up in the game.

The world of gaming is different nowadays than when I was a kid enjoying the simplicity of Super Mario RPG where if you wanted the best weapons, you had to find and work for them rather than spend another few dollars on DLC or loot boxes. And if you didn’t find the best weapons? That’s okay, you can still beat the game and save the Mushroom Kingdom. It may be a little more challenging, but isn’t the challenge one of the reasons that we play video games?

What do you think of DLC or loot boxes? Do you have a favorite piece of DLC? What do you think of this remake news? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Breath of the Wild Expansion Pass DLC

Double Jump Kris MiiThe Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is still a fantastic game and, with the end of last month, the game’s first expansion pass DLC was released. It brought plenty of fresh content to a game that already has so much to do and explore!

 

bfsexyjThe Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been out for only four months and it continues to make headlines as one of the best games in the Legend of Zelda franchise. Much of that credit is due to the enormous open world that players can explore, allowing them to play out the story in any order they wish (should they even want to play out the story because that’s an option too).

Rachel and I have yet to actually beat the story, but we’re getting there! When we had pre-ordered our Switch bundle a few months ago, not only was the Breath of the Wild included but so was the first DLC pass ready to be downloaded when June 30th rolled around. The Expansion Pass DLC includes the Trial of the Sword, Hero’s Path Mode, and Master Mode, along with the Travel Medallion, more armor, and the Korok Mask hidden throughout the world.

While we haven’t downloaded the DLC just yet, I think I’m looking forward to the Trial of the Sword challenge the most. It seems like an awesome challenge and to strengthen the Master Sword even further is just sweet. The Hero’s Path Mode will also be helpful to us. Rachel and I tend to just make a beeline to whatever Tower or Shrine we see in our line of sight, so exploration can be a second thought. Using the Hero’s Path Mode to see where we’ve been and, more importantly, where we haven’t been sounds so useful.

For those of you who do have the DLC on their Breath of the Wild games, I hope you’re enjoying it!

What do you think of the expansion pass DLC? What’s your favorite part of the pass?

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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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