Friday Favorites: Weapon Triangles

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

A couple of Mondays ago, I wrote about the Rule of Three, a trope that exists in many stories, movies and video games alike. Many video games have aspects that come in threes that convey special attributes about the game, especially when it comes to combat. So today I’ll be sharing my favorite weapon triangles from various game franchises.

Double Jump | Video Games | Nintendo | Triangles | Rule of Three | Triforce | Legend of Zelda | Pokemon | Fire Emblem

Grass-Water-Fire

One of my first “weapon triangles,” this elemental concept was introduced to me through Pokemon Red and Blue. Bulbasaur’s Grass-type moves were strong against the Water-type Squirtle, whose own abilities were strong against Charmander’s fire attacks, which were strong against Bulbasaur.

Sword-Axe-Lance

One of the first parts of the prologues or introductions in a Fire Emblem game tends to be the weapons triangle. Namely, how the three basic weapons stack against each other in strength. Swords are quicker than axes, which are too close-combat orientated to be hurt by lances, which are long enough to stab before a sword. Or something like that. A few Fire Emblem games have another weapons triangle with the tomes. Dark magic is weak to light magic, which is weak to anima — or elemental — magic, which is weak to dark magic.

Power-Wisdom-Courage

Not a traditional rock-paper-scissors scenario, the Triforce from the Legend of Zelda franchise is a favorite “rule of three” for me. Almost every game in the franchise swirls around the relationship between Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf who hold Courage, Wisdom, and Power respectively. The relationship between these three fighting to protect and dominate the world has never failed to create an enjoyable story for me in these games.

What are your favorite weapon triangles in video games?

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Of Art Books and Collections

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday!

Aside from collecting the actual games, Rachel and I enjoy collecting other aspects of our favorite games and franchises to celebrate them. Rachel, for instance, loves to collect Pokemon cards. For me, it’s all about the art books and posters of my favorite games.

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You know the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover?” No one listens to that when taken literally. Everyone judges books by their covers, as they are the first aspect of a book that will potentially snag a reader’s attention. It’s the same with video games.

Aside from box art — which, considering the digital age of gaming nowadays, may not exist — the art style and graphics of a game are one of the first impressions a game makes to a potential player. Screenshots and trailers are shared before the game is officially out to entice gamers, and I for one Google games before buying them to see if I can gauge how well I may like it, art style included.

Graphics are one of my favorite aspects to gush over when it comes to games and I am forever amazed at the designers and animators. So when Nintendo announces books dedicated to the art of some of their most popular games, I’m ready to say, “Take my money!”

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Take the Legend of Zelda series alone. We have the history collection — Hyrule Historia, Art & Artifacts, and Encyclopedia — along with the Creating a Champion coming out in November. There’s also The Art of Fire Emblem: Awakening, which looks gorgeous. Honestly, with the popularity of Octopath Traveler and its art style, I bet an art book for that game won’t be far behind. They have posters for all the main characters, which I would love to collect.

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I would love to collect these books and posters dedicated to the art of some of my favorite games and franchises. For now, though, Nintendo, space and money is a bit of an issue.

Do you enjoy collecting the art books or posters for video games? What are some of your favorites?

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Fire Emblem Warriors [Game Review]

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Title: Fire Emblem Warriors
Developer: Omega Force, Ninja Team
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform:
Nintendo Switch (also available for the 3DS)
Category:
Hack-and-Slash Action RPG
Release Date:
October 20, 2017 worldwide
How we got the game:
Pre-ordered a physical copy

krismii
Fire Emblem Warriors is a crossover game between Koei Tecmo’s Dynasty Warriors series and Intelligent Systems’ Fire Emblem series. It’s the second such crossover since Hyrule Warriors — using characters based on the Legend of Zelda franchise — for the Wii U back in 2014. I had enjoyed Hyrule Warriors and playing with some of my favorite characters in a new game style back then, and being a sucker for the Fire Emblem series, I was looking forward to Fire Emblem Warriors as well.

gameplay

Being a hack-and-slash game, the gameplay consists of the player taking control of up to four characters on a given map and demolishing the opposition. Each character attacks by the player more or less button mashing, but if you wanted to be more precise, there are combo attacks that you can trigger by pushing buttons in a certain order (generally the Y and X buttons). The more enemies one defeats, the quicker one can unleash a special attack that can be particularly devastating on hoards of enemies and even the sub-boss characters, such as Fort Captains. The controls themselves were fluid and responsive, which is excellent considering how quickly one is dropped into the fray of the battles, even if there were times when it seemed my character was running too quickly for me to make a turn!

Characters can be given orders on the battle map, such as directing one person to fight a certain enemy or to guard a teammate. While the player can switch between four characters, there is usually four additional teammates on the map to aid the playable characters. The AI of NPCs was well-done, in my experience, as the majority of them were eager to complete the goals and sub-quests that popped up with the map.

The majority of the characters in Fire Emblem Warriors are sword-users, but there are a few who use lances, axes, magic tomes, bows, and dragonstones, which are a special item to some unique Fire Emblem characters to transform into a dragon. Like the Fire Emblem games, characters are able to level up in their weapon rank, allowing them to use stronger weapons and attacks as the game progresses. In Warriors, this is achieved by crafted crests, which are used for attacks, defensive purposes, and enabling special skills. Crests are crafted with materials that enemies drop as well as collecting items from characters themselves when they increase their Support rank with one another. The more two characters fight together — by being on the same map, helping to guard one another, healing each other, or by literally pairing the two up as a support pair — the higher their Support will be. A Support Conversation between the two characters can be unlocked once they reach an A-Support rank.

The major flaw with the gameplay is how little diversity there is amid the weapons and characters themselves. Slashing away at enemies with swords is fun and all, but having more variety would have definitely helped me explore the maps of the game multiple times and giving it more replay value. Daggers and shuriken, lance-users on the ground instead of being regulated to Pegasus Knights, more axes and magic, beaststones for laguz from the Radiant series…

To go along with the lack of weapon diversity is the character roster. It mainly focused on the cast from Awakening and Fates, along with Marth as one of the Fire Emblem series’ first protagonists. Fire Emblem Warriors stars a pair of twins who both use the sword as their preferred weapon. The Heroes that we must track down as per the story mode all use swords as their preferred weapon. While I have nothing against any of the characters that are on the roster, I would have loved to see characters from more Fire Emblem games.

Let’s get Ephraim from Sacred Stones as a lance-user Hero. Hector from Blazing Blade can be the axe-wielding Hero. There are laguz characters from the Radiant series — Ranulf, Lethe, Tibarn, Naesala — who could be Heroes in their own right. Lilina from the Binding Blade as not only a mage Hero but also another female.

Perhaps it would have been a little too much to throw so many different timelines into Fire Emblem Warriors, but there was so much more weapon and character variety that could have been packed into the game!

graphics-music

One of my favorite things about the Nintendo Switch is the graphics. The graphics of every game we’ve played so far on this little console have been crisp, clear, and beautiful, and I loved seeing the dynamic Fire Emblem Warrior battles on the Switch. The animated movies were fairly well-done, being on par with most of the animated scenes in most of the more recent Fire emblem games.

I’ve always been a sucker for Fire Emblem music, and Fire Emblem Warriors would be no exception… except for most of the, erm, “suggestions” that continued to pop up in the first half of the game. Since everything on the battlefield happens quickly, so do character dialogue boxes popping up with someone talking about someone else being trouble or telling you of a new quest that has arisen. The cacophony of the battle was interrupted much of the time for the game to continue on, which threw me off a bit at times. It was tolerable especially when I reminded myself that it went hand-in-hand with the chaos that was supposed to be the battlefield. It was quick and exciting, even if the voice acting had me rolling my eyes once in a while.
storyLike most Fire Emblem games, the story was a bit cliche, with it being way too focused on bonds and support among one another, and you defeat a dragon at the end.

The story opens with the royal twins of Aytolis, Lianna and Rowan, sparring with their friend Prince Darios of Gristonne. Monsters appear from Outrealm portals, attacking the castle, separating the twins from their mother, and starting the twins on their journey to protect their homeland. They journey across the land to find Heroes that have been displaced in time, Heroes that have Gleamstones to power up the Shield of Flames to defeat the evil dragon Velezark.

The characters spend much of their time focusing on friendship and their bonds with one another, which is a bit corny but sweet message. The twins work and grow together with the help of the other heroes to ultimately succeed in the end. The story itself had a few plot holes or threads that could have used more closure — such as the Darios subplot — but it wasn’t too bad for game.

replay-value

Fire Emblem Warriors has the story mode and a history mode. The story mode has about 25 “chapters,” or battle campaigns, in it while the history mode allows players to battle in scenarios from past Fire Emblem games that were re-imagined for Fire Emblem Warriors. Each has different levels of difficulties and goals, giving one a few more challenges if one wishes to replay the game.

While I wish that the roster wasn’t so sword-user heavy — really, seeing a thief character or more axes and lances would have been wonderful — and had characters from more Fire Emblem games rather than focusing mainly on Awakening and Fates, I did have a lot of fun with Fire Emblem Warriors. There’s something so satisfying about the hack-and-slash aspect of the game, and I know I’ll pick it up again.

Fire Emblem Warriors gets…
4-lives
4 out of 5 lives.

Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments! 

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Currently Playing: Sonic Mania & Fire Emblem Warriors

Double Jump Kris MiiTwo “Currently Playing” posts in a row? How about that?

I splurged a little in getting a couple of new games for the rest of this month. A little Sonic the Hedgehog and Fire Emblem seemed to be just what was needed!

I’ll admit, I nearly forgot about Sonic Mania! The game came out last August, and I had been planning on buying it then. However, other games wiggled their way in and considering that Sonic the Hedgehog is a franchise that I haven’t dabbled in as often as I used to. The original Sonic 1, 2, 3, and Sonic and Knuckles games were not part of my collection while growing up. Rather, the 3D games that generally didn’t get great reviews (but had amazing music) were the Sonic games I played and, honestly, enjoyed.

I didn’t get a chance to actually try playing the original Sonic the Hedgehog games until we had gotten Sonic Mega Collection for the GameCube. Even then, however, the GameCube was mostly used for Super Smash Bros. Melee and the Legend of Zelda games. Seeing the few original levels from those games being put into Sonic Mania, however, has given me a load of nostalgia. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how well the rest of the game plays out!

Considering Fire Emblem Warriors just arrived, I’m not sure how long it’ll be until I get back to Sonic Mania, though… Fire Emblem is a franchise near and dear to my heart, and it is so deliciously fun to mow down enemies in the Warriors installment of the series! I’m not very far into the game just yet, but I don’t think it’ll be a game that will take me long to get through.

Have you played Sonic Mania or Fire Emblem Warriors? What do you think of them?

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Thoughts: Nintendo Direct

krismii
We were definitely excited that we were both home to watch the Nintendo Direct live this time! While the few games that we had wanted to see were not showcased in the announcement, I don’t think Nintendo did too bad during their latest direct. Over 40 games were shown for both the Nintendo Switch and the 3DS families, ensuring that Nintendo fans will be busy during the next few months!

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Yes, that’s right. No Smash Brothers, Animal Crossing, or Luigi’s Mansion. I’m going to pretend that those games are going to be awesome because they’re working so hard on them. Still, I’m excited for what’s to come soon. I was certainly impressed with their latest Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon games as well as Super Mario Odyssey. And yet, there were some surprises here and there as well.

krismii
Considering how much Nintendo boasts about the Switch’s portable and multiplayer capabilities, I’m especially surprised that Super Smash Brothers — even a deluxe version like Mario Kart 8 — isn’t on their radar just yet. I think the biggest surprise to me was the Mario Party game coming to the 3DS. For nostalgia reasons, seeing that the game is going to have the top 100 minigames from the entire series sounds great! Here’s hoping that it’ll be true to the original games regarding party boards instead of the last couple of installments!

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I’m super excited for the Mario Party, however, I am worried that that’s all it’s going to be… mini-games. Like you said, for nostalgic reasons, it’s great, but I don’t know if there will be any other form of “gameplay.” They didn’t show anything else for it. Maybe Nintendo is finally hearing us all say we want the original games back. Maybe, after seeing what a success this will be, they’ll make Mario Party 11 just like Mario Party 2.

krismii
I did read somewhere, perhaps My Nintendo News, that there was to be a board game play, but I may be making that up with wishful thinking. Other 3DS games I’m excited about are Lady Layton — I’d much rather have it for the 3DS rather than mobile — and the Alliance Alive and Radiant Historia, both from ATLUS. I’m itching for a new, good RPG to sink into.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Oh, yes. I forgot about Lady Layton. I was super excited when I saw Apollo Justice, but then I realized that was just the first game… I thought it was going to be a new one. The other 3DS games look good as well. Now that we have the New 2DS XL, I’m excited to play some new games on it.
The Switch seems like it’s going to get some great games as well. I was happy to see that they’re adding more to Snipperclips. While that wasn’t our favorite game, it was still cute and enjoyable. I had wished for more levels and they’re giving it to us. I also think it’s cool that you can start in random shapes as well. That may make it easier or harder.

krismii
It is nice that they’re creating some more levels for Snipperclips. The random shapes sounds entertaining, too! I’m definitely looking forward to Fire Emblem Warriors and was thrilled when they showed Lyn as playable (along with a couple of other characters that may have been shown in international versions of the trailer that us North Americans may not suppose to know about yet, shhh!). Having another female and another character from a game other than Fates and Awakening is great to me! Skyrim is another that I want to try, although I’d rather tame the dragons than kill them (someone who’s played Skyrim, let me know if that’s an option), and we’re definitely going to download the Octopath Traveler demo to check that out.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Octopath looks great! I can’t wait to give that one a try. It will certainly be something different. Overall, I think Nintendo has a great lineup ahead and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

What did you think about the Direct? Which games are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll chat!

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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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Video Game Bundles

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy September!

As kids, Rachel and I tended to wait until Christmas or our birthdays for new video games and consoles but, as adults, we squirrel away some money for these kind of occasions. Getting a new game here or there isn’t bad, but when they’re hard to find consoles or such, bundles look more appealing…

Usually when a shiny new game or console comes out, plenty of stores offer some sort of bundle to include the game or console with other trinkets. Generally speaking, these trinkets usually aren’t anything that we’d be interested in — such as little posters or figurines that, while look cool, would do nothing more than collect dust.

Case in point were the bundles that ThinkGeek were offering with the SNES Classic console. The SNES Classic itself is only about $80… I’m not convinced that the extra toys that come with the console even out the high price of the bundles. Is it really another eighty bucks for a mushroom plush, a mug, and a calendar? Most of the bundles looked nice, especially the Zelda-themed chess set, but I’m more interested in the console itself rather than the add-ons.

Of course, there are bundles that I wouldn’t mind getting. I’m honestly considering the Fire Emblem Warriors bundle that Nintendo is offering. Along with the Switch version of the game, you get a duel-sided poster, art cards, and 3 CDs of the game music. The art cards and poster look nice, but what I’m really interested in is the music. Video game soundtracks are my favorite kind of music, enough so that I don’t know anything on the radio nowadays.

The Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon bundle doesn’t seem too bad either. It comes with art cards and a code to get 200 pokeballs along with a version of each game. Rachel and I were considering it so each of us would get a game out of the deal and she could keep the art cards.

Price-wise, both bundles are about eighty dollars (which seems to be the magic number of this post). It’s about twenty bucks more than what the game would be by itself, but music comes along with it! It’s also the price of both Pokemon games put together, so that doesn’t seem too bad either.

It’s a shame gaming is such an expensive hobby, isn’t it?

Do you take advantage of video game bundles? What do you think of them?

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