Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Fire Emblem Fates: Hidden Truths and Heirs of Fate

I thought i was done writing about this particular games but apparently no.... i'm not.

first off i'll try not to spoil anything more then just the general concept of the story DLC.

Hidden Truths 1&2:
These chapters show how three characters made their way from a similar but different game... and the mission that only they know they are on.

It's good, it fills in some story bits which is kinda nice but of the two Story DLC packs it's very short.

Heirs of Fate:
So when i said I was just going to beat the story DLC and move onto the next game i thought i was only talking about Hidden Truths
Apparently for about 12 bucks i could get an additional 6 maps focusing on all the kids from this game.
and you know what? i'm kinda pissed that this isn't it's own game.... i would happily play another 18-27 chapters of these characters (because out of the entire cast the kids were always my favs)
HOWEVER.... i am a rational person and i can understand how releasing 4 games for a niche series could be more then a little daunting.
doesn't change the fact that i want it.
I want it soo badly.
granted if the next FE has a cast based on all the kids.... i'd be okay with that (unlikely since... well this dlc pack kinda fits that role already)

Anyways of the 4 storylines (yeah i'm just gunna count it as it's own game) this has got to be my favorite.
It connects all the continuities perfectly.
it has so much character and growth.
it's a perfect mix of challenge and length.
and even if you have perma-death off (like i do cause man that is stressful) it rewards to heavily for beating the chapters without losing anyone.
in fact the first time i beat the final chapter i lost a few and that ending was so like "well it's done goodbye"
so replaying it and desperately keeping everyone alive brought me back to the perma-death thrill... and the ending was 100% worth it (i cried... not that it's hard to get me to cry.)

the only thing is this DLC pretty much spoils everything (though it's ending for revelations is different so i guess it doesn't spoil that?) so you kinda sorta have to play it after everything... including hidden truths.
unless you don't mind spoilers and like being thrown into the fray then ignore me and play away.

but yeah thanks to this DLC.... this may be my fav fire emblem... granted it's something i hadn't really thought of before (cause i liked all of them pretty much equally) but there was just so much content and story and music (also the music at the end of this DLC story.... makes me want to buy the entire soundtrack even though it's like... 8 disks and 80 bucks) and i really did connect with a lot of these characters.

Thank you nintendo for bringing over such a nice version of this game... and a nice new 3ds that i didn't need but bought anyways cause i am made of weakness.

Now i am actualyl done with this... time to take it out of the 3ds and play the next thing... which is going to be a little sad... but hey hopefully with how successful this one was we'll get another FE soon! i can hope right?

Monday, 15 August 2016

Fire Emblem Revelations

*big sigh* i have been putting this off for a while... i love fire emblem so much that i never realyl wanted it to end.

and it's not completely over for me, i still have some of the DLC story missions to play.... and truth be told... i haven't beaten Radiant Dawn for the wii (cause it's really hard)

but still... i really enjoyed this game.

Much like the other two campaigns instead of choosing a side you decide to try and unite everyone. At first results are mixed but over time you get everyone to see things your way and work towards a brighter future.

Where birthright has very straightforward maps and Conquest has a lot of gimmicks Revelations is a bit of a mix.
Almost every (if not every) map has some kind of gimmick. a Wind that'll push you to a new platform, moving platforms, melting snow, moving characters to get a better sight line. nothing that makes the game harder... you just have to be a little more willing to explore everywhere.

Out of the three, without question this has the best story. Conquest still has the more interesting plot (since it's neat playing the game from the perspective of the potential bad guy) but revelations has the most in the way of character arcs and making everything feel satisfactory.

I will say this... considering pretty much every character from both games is recruitable... the cast is a little too big. like... i would have been happier if the entire cast (for all three games) was just completely cut in half... so that Revelations wouldn't be such a monster.
I did get all the kids and in fact by the end that's who i ended up using the most... but getting all the kids was part of the reason i put down the game for so long... i had already done those missions the first time i played and after a while i do just wanna get on with the plot.

that being said, despite the long break between beating Conquest and beating this i don't think i ever burned out... other games came out and i used them as an excuse to make this one last longer.
However i can tell i'm in the minority.... you really have to love fire emblem to be able to happily put in then 115ish hours i put in... if that sounds like too much then i say get conquest, then get birthright and then when you are up to it get revelations... i do think it's important to play all three but maybe not right after each other.

Still i had fun, and now i have some Story DLC to beat~

Monday, 8 August 2016

Legend of Heroes: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch

Lets just get a few things out of the way.

This game is the 3rd legend of heroes game
It is part of a trilogy known as the "Ghargav Trilogy", there three games are "Prophecy of the moonlight witch", "Tear of Vermillion", "Song of the ocean". (in that order)
For some reason when Namco Bandai localized the games they put it out in the order "Tear of Vermillion, Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch and then Song of the ocean"
I don't know why they did this other then because they could? my best guess is that maybe someone thought they should be chronological as tear takes place before Prophecy? i honestly don't know cause other then taking place on the three continents separated by the storm wall on garghav.... they don't seem to have too much in common... maybe song of the ocean will change that... i don't know yet.

Now... i have already finished Tear of Vermillion, i beat it in 2011 and only found out during the end credits how chronologically confused this whole mess was. So technically speaking i have been playing the game in North american order.
Does it change anything? not really... maybe there are some references in Tear that would have been more meaningful had i played it second... but past that they really aren't very connected.
well other then you can have a cat companion follow you around in both...

I will say that between these two games the translation is a million times better in Prophecy... even if the story isn't quite as heart wrenching as Tear.

The story is fairly simple.
Jurio and Christina (shortened to Chris) are two kids from a small town called Ragpick and they have just come of age to start the pilgrimage that everyone in town goes on. It's a tradition that not many do anymore but it is still strong in this tiny village.
However what is supposed to be just a simple journey around the continent ends up being the key to thwarting a plot to destroy the world. (because this is a JRPG and it has to be something like that)

Along the way they meet many people (from low life bumbling theifs to kinds and great sorcerers)  and learn more about the Moonlight witch and why she had a similar pilgrimage to the one these children are on.

There are a few loose ends that i think may have just been lost in translation.  mostly the fact that Chris is a year older then intended for the pilgrimage (she was too sick to do it the previous year)... i thought that may come into play but i never really seemed to? it's just an odd detail to have but to not follow up on... i guess they just didn't want you playing as one character the bulk of the game.
Because oh yeah did i mention... for most of this game you have a two person party... and when you do get other members you never get to pick them... not even for the final fight (which sucked cause two characters could barely do any damage so they were just on healing duty while the other two murdered stuff)

The game itself though.... it's okay...
for a falcom games the music is very.... blah... the songs work as song for a game but i expect a bit more from the music this company produces.
Gameplay is where this falls on it's face.
wanna know what attacks will be effective? too bad.
wanna attack something with magic but it's too far? too bad.

The combat is 'fine'... but considering every fight is actually pretty dangerous (in the fact that even weak enemies can really take a bite out of your health) and repetative (almost every encounter is the same set up of monsters) i found myself just avoiding battles near the end... which you think would have been bad but the final boss was pretty easy... i almost one shot the penultimate boss...

However the story is cute, i liked seeing Jurio and Chris deal with the fact that they are in so far over their head yet they continue to push on.
I really enjoyed how the moonlight Witch fit into everything and was this invisible connection to everyone involved.
and yeah... all the characters were fun and pretty memorable.

I first started playing this in 2012 however when i picked it up again in 2016 i remembered very little (which kinda sucks.... i was really close to the end) so i ended up replaying the whole game... it wasn't very long i can't give an exact number because it doesn't let me save at the end (I HATE when games do that) but i would say between 20-25 hours.

And now all i have left is Song of the Ocean. Maybe because it's the actual third game in both japan and north america some of the games oddities will be ironed out.... or at least maybe a better translation? either way i am a little excited to beat yet another Legend of heroes game as i wait for Cold Steel 2 and Trails in the Sky The 3rd... wont be long now~

On final Note.... a little annoying that Namco Bandai desperately tried to make this seem like their game... falcom is barely mentioned at all and that is kinda lame.

Curious about what i thought when i beat Tear of Vermillion over 5 years ago? you can read it here

Friday, 5 August 2016

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE

Time to start off with all of my biases.

1. I adore Fire Emblem, i remember seeing an ad for the first one that came out on TV and i knew instantly i was going to love every second of it. I remember resetting endlessly to make sure everyone lives just have have my favorite character die the turn before i could beat the whole game.... and not restarting cause i really just wanted to see the end. I bought the special edition of the latest game AND upgraded my 3ds to the fire emblem special edition.
If i had to pick my all time fav game series Fired emblem would be right up near the top... right up there with Falcom.

2. While i am more well versed in the Persona line of SMT games I have really enjoyed every SMT game i have played (even if i'll never beat some of them.... looking at you Devil Survivor) Again Persona would be up there as one of my fav series.

3. if you've stopped by one of my art live streams you know that most of my music is either Video game/anime soundtracks, classical or Jpop... it's what i've always listened to and enjoyed.

so suffice to say... this game, from it's very inception was hand crafted specifically to my personal tastes... the only way this could have been better is if there was some Ys stuff... otherwise this game was pretty much perfection in my eyes.

However before i get into plot and characters a quick story.

I have a friend, the second i started playing this i knew she would like it so i recommended it to her. eventually she went to the store to buy it and the cashier said something along the lines of. "ugh you want that game? it's terrible... you sure you don't want something else?"
my immediate impression of this cashier is that she must hate fun.... but whatever i wasn't there and people are entitled to their opinion... this is a niche game to say the least.
My friend replied simply "yes i'm sure, a friend of mine recommended it"
To which she replied "wow your friend must have shit taste"

Can i just say.... maybe don't be that person? there are so many kinds of games out there... if someone is playing a game you don't care for that really doesn't effect you at all.
Also literally your job is to sell games... actively encouraging someone to not buy a game is odd.

Anyways that was just a funny story my friend told me when she bought the game, since then she has played it and, Surprise surprise, enjoyed it.
it's almost like certain people like certain aspects of games that other people may not like... but no we are of one hive mind and all have to equally agree on which games are good and which are terrible. 

OK... now we can talk about the game.

We play as Aoi Itsuki, a highschooler who goes to support his friend Oribe Tsubasa in a singing competition when suddenly people start dropping and all the singers are kidnapped to the alternate dimension (Idolasphere).
trying to save his friend he goes after her and quickly pairs up with something known as a Mirage.
His Mirage is Chrom, he is a lord but past that he knows nothing about his past. Together he helps Itsuki save his friend.... only to realize that these Mirages may be the key to saving the world.

The two of them are scouted by Fortuna Entertainment, an agency specifically employing Mirage masters in order to try and stop these attacks. Can these kids take on such a huge responsibility AND also work on their craft (which is part of what makes them more powerful)

Each mirage is a different Fire Emblem character. most of them fairly well known but i did have to look up one or two. this also is true for boss characters who are all fairly recognizable.

The battle system however is pure SMT goodness. you have all the spells from that game as well as the rock paper scissors system for weapons and magic found in fire emblem. Battles are turn based, if certain characters can connect attacks you can have a long chain of attacks called a sessions (my longest one was 21)
you can spend SP to do these special attacks that tend to be way more powerful then any of your normal attacks or have bonuses like "heals your party and allows you to act again" or "puts you in counter state after attacking"
Eventually you get Adlib attacks which can happen at random and are more powerful then the base attack you chose.
After that you start getting Duo attacks which happen randomly during sessions and are awesome because most of them heal your party and i love not having to waste a turn healing.  (it also has the chance of extending the session so thats cool too)

It's over the top and colourful and it barely takes it's own concept seriously and honestly it's just a pile of smiles and fun.

This game made me laugh constantly.... i could barely listen to Barry Goodmans broken exaggerated japanese without doubling over. all the characters have personality and struggles and the game made me care for each of them equally.
even the characters who you think will just be the one note "i work better alone" jerks are full of personality (they also drop the lone wolf thing pretty damn quick so thats good... cause they ended up being my fav character)
Because all the characters have strengths and weaknesses you end up using everyone and the added ability to switch any party member out at any time is just.... why don't all games have this... it makes it so much fun. plus eventually they can all participate in sessions.
The Side stories are great.
The music is fantastic, i wish the CD that came with the special edition had all the songs cause now i need to buy the soundtrack.
The game is full of colour and fun.
The dungeon designs are some of the most fun i've seen in a game like this.
it's one of the better looking Wii U games (not that it's hard considering there isn't much on the system) The graphics aren't perfect but it's great for what this game is.

and other then the stupid game pads battery constantly dying on me i never wanted to put this game down.
I loved pretty much every second of it.

my final play time was 55:17... and i'm thinking of possibly playing again on Lunatic mode (just to see how much of a challenge it is) until Trails of Cold Steel 2 comes out. (which i believe is at the end of the month... yay)

Will this be my game of the year?
I honestly don't know, there have been so many amazing games this year,,, but it definitely will be up there.

Will people who have never played a Shin Megami Tensei game or Fire emblem like it.
Actually i would argue yes... if the fact that it's in japanese only or that it's primarily about idols turns you off then maybe this wont be for you. but if you like turn based JRPGs then this is one of the good ones.

I know it will never happen but if this got a sequel... i would buy the console it's on even if it's the only game i ever play on it.
I am so glad i played this game and i'm a little sad it's over.

"But Kat" i hear you muttering "what about the censorship?"
this is where i take a deep breath in.
Personally other then the change to the wedding dress costume i am okay will all the censorship.... it changes nothing in the story... that includes all the changes to chapter 2... i think it makes for a better character arc in the long run.
besides it's not like she's never seen in a swimsuit... it's just not the focus.
though i would have enjoying putting the male characters in their swimsuits...
i would have also enjoyed putting them in glasses but you can't always get what you want.
but yeah the change the wedding dress was dumb and turned a pretty costume into a monotone mess. it could have at least been sheer and sparkly but NOOOOO.

But yeah, great game... if it sounds even remotely interesting to you then please pick it up. I want atlus and nintendo to see that games like that can come to english speaking countries and still do well.

now i think it's time ot draw a little fanart (or a lot.... we will see)

Wednesday, 3 August 2016


my... everything hurts..

It's so nice to see Key/Visual arts back in top heart breaking form.
I was worried...
I felt they peaked with Clannad... a show that i am so glad i got to watch both as a teenager and an adult.
Angel beats was not terribly good.
Little busters was pretty bland...
and charlotte made me so mad i nearly dropped the show near the end....
hell i can't even watch rewrite cause it just seems so stupid.

But this was good.
Really good.
Right up there with Clannad
i just wish it was longer.
I want more of this.

So... Planetarian is about a Robot in a post apocalyptic world who runs a planetarium, and the man who stumbles upon her while trying to restock on supplies.
Despite the 29 year delay between customers she still refuses to believe that the world has ended and continues to do her job.

if you hear this concept and worry it goes in a chobits-y direction, it doesn't.... but it will break your heart.

I just want to stress that in the first 18 min episode (the 5 episodes are all different lengths) we get more character and world building then all 44 mins of rewrite. there is only a smidgen of exposition and it works perfectly in the world.

you can (and should) watch all 5 episodes over on funimation http://www.funimation.com/shows/planetarian/videos
i think it's supposed to be like a movie... because the episodes seamlessly fit together, and i do hope one day to own it no matter what forms it is in.

The animation is stunning, the music with really good and the story may end up being one of my favs this season...

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

House of Five Leaves

so about a year ago i was working on a film and during my lunch i tried to de-stress by watching anime i had never seen. there was a site, i don't even remember the name of unfortunately that has House of Five leaves Legally. i had seen commercials through NISA boxsets so i was curious... but i also knew i didn't necessarily want to buy it.
Anyways i got through 8 episodes and the show ended and i kinda forgot about it... until Crunchyroll announced they were losing their license on the 5th for this series.

I didn't know it was on crunchy but i knew i could marathon the last 4 episodes pretty quickly.

after finishing it i didn't know exactly what to write.... and now that 24 hours have passed i'm still not entirely sure.
The show has a killer soundtrack that perfectly fits the mood and animation like nothing i've ever seen before and nothing about the show is bad....
but at the same time nothing about the show is amazing either.
I'm glad i saw it, i enjoyed watching it... but i have a feeling years down the road i don't think there will be any part of this show that sticks with me.

I'm sad that crunchyroll is losing the license (but that does happen) because i would love to tell others to experience this kind of show, so all i will say is if you get the chance to watch it legally then you should... it may not be your cup of tea but it may resonate with you more then you expect... it's just one of those inexplicable shows.

the Basic plot is simple though, a Ronin comes to Edo and after a chance encounter he meets up with Yaichi and gets roped into a gang known as the five leaves... think a robin hood type gang... just with a lot more kidnapping.

It's a good show... not great... but not bad... see it if you can.