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The Pendulum Swings

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Feb 21 2015 · 106 views

The Time of the Mask Makers, The Fourth Swing, is now live!

This chapter serves mainly as transition from the backstory that was the first three chapters towards how things are in the 2015 animations. Also, after a few passing mentions in previous chapters, Makuta actually visits the Temple of Time in this chapter, and something peculiar happens...

Next week: the climax!


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So I Finished Fire Emblem Awakening

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Feb 20 2015 · 171 views

I’ve loved JRPGs for a while now, but Fire Emblem was something I never really considered playing. At first, I think it was because I didn’t hear about it all that often, but once I did hear about it, I quickly learned that one of its defining features is that if a character dies in battle, they do not come back. As someone who essentially takes a Leeroy Jenkins approach in most games, I knew that I would never be able to clear a game that featured permadeath. But, a week or two ago I was informed that Fire Emblem Awakening gives you an option of playing the game without permadeath. So I did a little research, then downloaded the demo, and then decided to cash in some of my GameStop points to pick up Awakening. This was a very good decision.

For starters, yes, I definitely needed Casual Mode—I lost my first unit in my third battle, I’m pretty sure every unit in my army has died at least once, and I know of a particular unit whose death count I lost track of around 5. (She did go on to become one of my best units, though.) I do want to follow the series as it goes forward, but if Casual Mode disappears then I know I’m not going to be able to. So I really, really hope it’s here to stay.

With each weapon having a limited number of uses…I am not a fan of this mechanic, but it is unique, and it isn’t that much of a pain. I guess I really only care because I’m a bit of a hoarder. I was initially disappointed that we couldn’t replay previous chapters, but then I realized there are equivalents to random battles, so it’s no great loss. The Pair Up feature is something I didn’t use a whole lot for a while. I now realize this was a bad idea and I need to use it a lot more, not just for the advantage, but because I really want to see more Support conversations. The few I have seen are delightful. I really like that units gain EXP for acting rather than just for defeating the enemy. It makes it a lot easier to power up units, especially weaker ones. The slow level progression confused me before I realized the full extent of how the Class system works. I have several upgraded classes and a few units who have maxed out an upgraded class, so now I need to get a feel for re-classing with the Second Seal, which is…something I’m wary about. I feel like what these units are doing now works so well that I don’t want to change it. Of course, I do realize their stats are frozen unless I do this, so I’m going to have to change my mind.

But what really draws me into something is simply how it feels, and while the super-over-worried part of me did rear its ugly head, I realize that those concerns are silly and, in and of itself, Fire Emblem is just plain fun. It’s a big fantastical world of swords and magic on par with Final Fantasy, with interesting mythology and abilities, plus a potentially enormous cast of characters who are all legitimately fascinating to get to know. The story is grand and epic, but there remains a vital stream of humor at the same time—not to the degree of Final Fantasy V (Awakening limiting its light tones to early chapters and the Support conversations rather than being full-on self-parody like FFV), but this is certainly not a bad thing. It strikes an excellent balance, in my opinion, and once you earn the humor it, along with the enduring hope throughout the story, keeps you and your characters strong in even the darkest moments of the plot. I had so much trouble putting this game down. I bought it on the 12th and beat it on the 19th.

One thing that kind of bothers me is that so many of the characters are only important during their introduction. I realize that this is most likely the case so that the story can continue on no matter who gets killed off, and it makes a lot of sense with the whole permadeath thing. For me, though, there were times when I felt like this giant herd was a little more faceless than I wanted it to be, and now I want to search all the Support conversations I haven’t gotten to so I can feel like they all matter. Also when you get to those few scenes where they get a statement from everyone in the army, it runs a little long. The final roster went by so slowly that the credits actually finished before it did. And I didn’t even recruit everyone. I also have a few unanswered questions/things I wanted to see in more detail, and I feel like the “find the Gemstones” part of the plot was sort of rushed. Every game has its flaws.

The dating sim element is also fun. Since I was focused mainly on the story and didn’t utilize Pair Up as much as I should’ve, there are only two couples in my army right now: Chrom and Sumia (she was clearly in love with him so I wanted it to work out), and the Avatar (Zadakh) and Anna. (At first I was just going to fight on and see if Zadakh ended up with anyone. Then I recruited Anna, and, well…she’s cute…and since then I’ve learned she’s the FE equivalent of Cid so that’s cool.) As for the children, I’ve been keeping Lucina around (though I haven’t used her quite as much as I’d like to), I recruited Cynthia but haven’t really used her at all, and I also recruited Morgan, but she’s been having trouble even after Class Changing to an Assassin. I have a lot more to explore in this area…

So basically, Fire Emblem is very engrossing, I really like it and will continue to follow it as long as they keep Casual Mode so I can actually play it. You done good, Nintendo.

Now to play Earthbound.


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They Really Are Ending The World With You

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Feb 19 2015 · 169 views

Okay, so some of you probably know that I love The World Ends With You, I've mentioned it a few times before. It was an amazing DS game, and in August 2012 they released a remake for iOS devices (TWEWY Solo Remix) that carried with it a new piece of artwork heavily implying a sequel. Since then, while nothing really came of that implication, Square Enix was still doing a decent amount of stuff to keep TWEWY in our minds, so I remained hopeful.

Well, Solo Remix has now been removed from the App Store.

This saga has been playing out for a while, actually--apparently iOS 8 wouldn't run Solo Remix, someone emailed SE and they said they weren't gonna fix it, then someone said they would fix it, and, well...I guess the first person was right. If you have the game, you can still play it, but you can't download it anymore, and presumably the DLC function doesn't work anymore.

Now, Solo Remix was also released on Android last year, and it seems you can still download it on your Android devices, but I would recommend doing that fast because this does not bode well. I guess the most hopeful way to spin this is that maybe they're taking it down to release an iOS 8 compatible version, but I don't know if that's actually a thing people do and just doesn't seem that likely to me at the moment.

This is super disappointing. And things were looking so bright when they put TWEWY songs in Theatrhythm...


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Asterisk Guide: Merchant

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Feb 19 2015 · 77 views

Asterisk Holder: Chairman Profiteur

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Origin: Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light

Was It In Bravely Default?: Yes

Overview: It’s all about the money. And you’d better have plenty of it if you’re planning on using a Merchant! They have some very useful abilities, but they all take up money rather than MP—and some of them have some hefty charges. Still, just being a Merchant means you get more money at the end of battle, so that might help keep you out of poverty. For buying BP, it just might be worth it.

Personal Thoughts: I’m gonna be honest, I didn’t use Merchant. While the whole throwing money thing is wonderfully nostalgic for someone who associates Zeninage with Samurai, I wanted to use my money on things that would affect more than one turn, so Merchant just wasn’t going to happen. I’m sure there are plenty of ways to manipulate its abilities, I just don’t know what they are. Although when you master it, you get the ability to literally buy victory, so I really want to use that just to spite those darn Chompers…other than that, eh. Although, Magnolia’s costume is interesting. So who knows.


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Asterisk Guide: Thief

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Feb 18 2015 · 102 views

Asterisk Holder: The Jackal

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Origin: Final Fantasy

Was It In Bravely Default?: Yes

Overview: An agile melee fighter, the Thief is best known for, well…stealing stuff. They’re not particularly strong and not particularly sturdy, but if your Thief stays light on their feet, they can slip around enemy attacks and relieve them of precious items. This is a must for any hoarder!

Personal Thoughts: Eh, I’m about 50/50 on Thief. Stealing is nice, but even if you’re doing it as a Thief, I feel like the chance of success isn’t super high, and if it’s regular Steal then you might end up completely wasting a turn. Mug makes them a lot more usable. There’s also the extremely interesting Godspeed Strike command, which calculates damage using speed rather than attack—it’s quite useful, as I recall. Oh, and Raid is an excellent support ability, so I would recommend getting that at the very least.


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Asterisk Guide: White Mage

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Feb 17 2015 · 95 views

Asterisk Holder: Holly White

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Origin: Final Fantasy

Was It In Bravely Default?: Yes

Overview: The oldest, most sacred, and most essential of all Jobs, the White Mage bears the responsibility of keeping the party alive. They possess a wide range of healing and usually buff magic, and will occasionally learn a handful of damaging spells, including the Aero series. However, White Mages are not an offensive class, and often enough their healing duties will require their full attention anyway.

Personal Thoughts: You need a White Mage. You cannot go into a game and not have a White Mage and expect to survive. Healing is essential, folks, and the White Mage is the best at it. We were pretty sure this was coming back, but it’s nice to have a look at Magnolia’s costume. I like that Bravely Default gives White Mages plenty of support abilities to increase their survivability, because if your White Mage goes down, your entire party is pretty much doomed. It also helps to have them store up some extra BP when possible, because sometimes even Curaga might need to be cast more than once in a turn. There are plenty of ways to make great use of your White Mage, but one thing is for sure: you need to have at least one on your team.


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Asterisk Guide: Guardian

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Feb 16 2015 · 150 views

Asterisk Holder: Unknown

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Origin: Bravely Second

Was It In Bravely Default?: No

Overview: We have been told that the Guardian is a heavy damage dealing Job that uses spiritual energy, and will supposedly use the powers of others. It has been seen using a “Soul Smash” attack.

Personal Thoughts: This looks like an interesting Job—bashing things in with glowing fists has a certain appeal to it! I’m curious about this “using the power of others” thing, though. Will this be something similar to Mimic? Or maybe this will replace Vampire as our Blue Mage equivalent? (Since DeRosso is gone, that might not be unlikely. I enjoyed Vampire, but they do have a good reason to replace it.)


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Happy Valentine's Day

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Feb 14 2015 · 153 views

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...Also: The Time of the Mask Makers, The Third Swing, is live. It involves brotherly love, so it's...sort of relevant?

Completely irrelevant: I picked up Fire Emblem Awakening and my gosh it sucked me in way faster than I was expecting.


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An Upcoming Comedy!

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Feb 09 2015 · 343 views

G1 is dead. It’s deader than dead, deader than a doornail, super duper mega ultra permanently dead.

Yet there remain a few who disagree.

Tahu has been given great news: Lego wants to reboot Bionicle in 2015! However, there’s a problem. A few characters have been trapped in the dead G1 Universe, possessed and corrupted by the negativity of fans refusing to let go of the story they used to know. As long as they remain there, Lego is unable to reincarnate anybody into the G2 Universe, so Tahu is tasked with returning to the lost world of G1, saving the afflicted characters, and securing Bionicle’s chance at a new life.

Will he be able to save those stuck in G1? What will he learn in his journey through the past and into the future? And these magic boots might protect him and all, but don’t they at least come in a different color than silver?

Seriously, anything but silver would be nice.

Find out the answers to all these questions and more in The Comedy of Our Generation, a seven-part look back at G1 coming soon to the Comedies forum!

Spoiler alert: No, the boots only come in silver. We’re not off to a great start.


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Regarding the Mask Makers, and Something Else...

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Feb 07 2015 · 139 views

The Time of the Mask Makers, The Second Swing, is live in the Epics forum!

This part shows the reason why two very important masks were created, though one of them might come as a surprise! I’m also pleased to say that I’ve managed to get ahead of schedule and type up a rough draft for nearly the entire epic, so expect to see a new chapter every Saturday in February!

I’m also preparing yet another story, one that I should be able to start posting late February or early March. I can’t say too much yet, but I will say that it is going to be a comedy! My first attempt at one in a while, actually. Still, considering the subject matter, it shouldn’t be too hard to find some stuff to make everyone laugh and/or groan. I have a more official looking announcement scheduled for Monday, so keep your eyes peeled!