While it was a great Metroidvania, it felt rather short and lacking in content. This feeling is strengthened further towards the end of the game, as the search for the Sunstone takes place in one area, and the journey to the Moutain is rather short, though that is partially my fault for exploring that place earlier in the game.
Secret Service: Ultimate Sacrifice is a 2008 FPS by the reliable jank masters at Cauldron and published by Activision's budget game label. You play as an US secret service agent who tries to protect the president from an South American militia and then is embroilled in a conspiracy threatening the government.
Secret Services makes an OK enough first impression. The production values aren't too bad for a 2008 budget release, the controls make sense (with analog leaning, a feature all too rare on console shooters) and the weapons actually have a nice kick to them, which is worth mentioning when most budget FPS of the time have super flat shooting mechanics. The writing isn't anything transcendent but the barbs from your overly flippant sidekick can be smirk-worthy.
Secret Service is fun enough when it sticks to being a dumb linear cinematic shooter, but it's bogged down in many frustrating mechanics. The worst of these are the "hacking minigame" you have to do pretty every time you have to interact with an object, which consist of tile puzzles (kinda like the pipe minigame in Bioshock, but even worse). They're blatant padding and you're given not enough time to do them properly (and they're randomly picked from a pool so just can't memorize them). Another dumb mechanic is when you have to fight other service agents and you're forbidden from killing them (even when they're shooting at the president), forcing you to use a cumberslow slow firing taser to knock them out.
It could've been a decent popcorn rental but there's a lot of frustration in there.
The third game in the Paper Mario series, Super Paper Mario differs very drastically from the first two. Despite being part of a mostly RPG-esque series, Super Paper Mario is more of a platformer with a few RPG elements mixed in. At first it seems to be loosely based off the classic 2D mainstream Mario platformers, but it proves more and more to just be its own thing, even lacking most established Mario characters aside from the playable four. It's unique, and although it could have been executed better, I still enjoy it for what it is.
The gameplay is somewhat reminiscent of the mainstream platformers, but many changes have been made to incorporate RPG elements. First of all, while turn-based battles have been thrown out the window, leveling up is still here, although in this game level is determined by your score. Just like in the mainstream platformers, you earn points by defeating enemies and collecting power-ups. However, when you collect enough points, your HP and/or attack power will increase. The game also prominently features a character-swap feature, where at any point in the game you can enter the pause menu to switch your character. The playable characters are Mario, Peach, Bowser, and Luigi, and each one has a different ability. Mario can temporarily flip into 3D, allowing him to see and access hidden areas. Peach can float long distances with her parasol, and can also use it to guard against enemy attacks. Bowser can breathe fire, and also has double attack power. Luigi can jump higher than the other characters, and can even perform a powerful Super Jump to go even higher. This game also features a partner system, where creatures known as Pixls can follow Mario around and give him their abilities, which include a hammer, a ground pound, and the ability to pick up and throw enemies. Just like the major characters, Pixls can be swapped at any time. One of them, Tippi, is Mario's primary partner throughout the adventure, and is out at all times regardless of the other Pixl you choose; her ability is to tattle enemies (much like Goombario and Goombella before her), and can also reveal invisible objects.
There are some pretty major flaws in some of these features, however. My biggest gripe is that, while Mario's Flip ability was a heavily advertised feature of the game, the highly restrictive ability timer prevents you from appreciating the novelty of seeing each area in 3D. It just feels like wasted potential. Mario is the only character who can use it as well, and as it's a pretty integral feature of the game...let's just say you'll be using Mario a lot. Perhaps it would be better if all characters could flip, but Mario could flip for longer. But as it is...it just could have been so much more. I feel that the Pixls could have been executed better as well, as many of them grant abilities that just feel like Mario should have had them from the start (looking at you, Cudge). But hey, at least I don't have to deal with constantly switching back to Tippi, as she's always in play regardless of the other Pixl you're using.
The story is possibly the most unique thing the Mario series has ever experienced, and I sure didn't expect anything to this scale. Like in the previous game, you're on a quest to save the world, although this game incorporates a good bit of romance and mystery as well. It has a pretty epic plot twist at the end as well, and I'd even say it's almost as epic as the ending plot twist of Partners in Time. I won't spoil much though, partly because I just don't feel like typing out the whole thing. But, while it's a pretty deep story by Mario standards, that's just the thing: it just doesn't feel like something that would come out of a Mario game. Previous Mario RPGs Thousand-Year Door and Partners in Time both had dark stories as well, but still kept the general Mario charm by keeping a good amount of established Mario characters and enemies, while not forgetting the humorous writing often found in Mario RPGs to keep the story from taking itself too seriously. Super Paper Mario, on the other hand, has almost none of that. I do not recall laughing once over the course of this game, with not a single good joke to be seen, and the characters are what is known as OC Overflow, with almost no established Mario characters apart from the four main playables. OCs are cool and all, but there's a point where it's time to stop, and SPM goes far beyond that. Tippi is a genuinely great character, though; I haven't seen nearly this much character development since Mallow from the first Mario RPG, and Tippi may have taken Mallow's place as my favorite Mario RPG partner to date. On the contrary, some other characters in the game really suck. Like Luvbi. She can die and rot in a fire, right alongside Jojora from Superstar Saga.
Overall, while a couple flaws somewhat mar an otherwise great game--including the poor implementation of the Flip ability, and the story, which, while genuinely good on its own, lacks the characters and charm that are generally expected from a game with Mario's name on the box--this game is still worth playing. Even if this is one of the weaker Mario RPGs, it still earns a recommendation from me, if only for the uniqueness and novelty of the gameplay. It still oozes with creativity at every corner...even if it feels like a little too much at times.
Finally beat Metroid Prime 2 after getting stuck on the Boost Guardian for so long. Everything else afterward was significantly easier. Unfortunately, the GameCube crashed as I was enjoying the ending.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle: Donkey Kong Adventure (DLC)
I was waiting for the Donkey Kong Adventure DLC for Mario + Rabbids to go on discount, and the day has finally come: last month was the two year anniversary of this game, and to celebrate, two DLC were on discount for the first time: The entire DLC and the DK DLC. I opted for just the DK one because I don't feel like going through the Ultra Challenges since so long had passed when I last played it.
The game clearly mentioned that this DLC cannot be selected until the player has conquered the main game's World 1, as the events showed the literal downfall of Rabbid Kong, and what happened later on. Rabbid Kong was sent to handle the Time Washing Machine but some mishaps sent him and some other Rabbids into it. While the commotion was going on, Rabbid Peach was nonchalantly attempting to plug her smartphone in an outlet on the machine, only to be sent to the same world as the other Rabbids (and Beep-o because he had to tell Rabbid Peach it was a bad idea). After they were sent to the tropical area, they met Donkey Kong and Rabbid Cranky when they were in danger since Rabbid Peach's main weapon was used for cooking. This basically meant that Rabbid Peach's weapons are different from the main game.
Throughout the game, you are designated three characters without a chance of switching them, resulting in more focus on the game's challenge since some characters in the main campaign felt more useful than others, namely Luigi, Rabbid Mario and Rabbid Luigi. Donkey Kong: The star of the show, Donkey Kong has the best movement options out of any character due to his ability to use the Dandelion pads to move across the map more easily. Plus, he has the ability to move another block or a Rabbid (friend or foe) with him on his trip! He also possesses a banana weapon that can chain multiple enemies at once, with each link getting a weaker hit. If the weapon has a critical hit, it affects all enemies that it hits, which goes well with his overwatch since DK's weapons have status effects that move the enemies around. If the status doesn't kick in there's the Magnet Groove where DK uses his drums to make the enemies move closer to him, which can either trigger the overwatch or be comboed with his ground slap attack, which is multi-hit but also has a large area of effect. Basically Donkey Kong is a close range attacker similar to Rabbid Mario. Rabbid Cranky: The surprise addition to this roster is this guy, because I don't think anybody expected a Rabbid version of Cranky Kong (it's also more surprising that the original Cranky Kong doesn't appear at all). So, Rabbid Cranky is about making area-of-effect damage, since every one of his weapons does it: a thrown grenade and a catapult gun that has flexible damage output based on range. Unlike the other Rabbid allies in the main game, Rabbid Cranky doesn't have a shield but instead has overwatch like the Mario characters, and his Team Jump is the same as Yoshi except he guarantees a Freeze when at least one enemy is in range. He also has a very handy exclusive Technique that puts an entire area of enemy Rabbids to sleep, which is really game-changing. Rabbid Peach: The only returning character from the main game, Rabbid Peach uses the same abilities from the main game. In my opinion, Rabbid Peach is not exactly the best character to use when more characters are unlocked, so this game allowed Rabbid Peach to shine the best. For example, Rabbid Peach doesn't compete with Mario (a mandatory character) for the weapon he used, or with Luigi because he too has a Sentry among other benefits (like having a long-range weapon). In this game, Rabbid Peach's weapon has the longest range so that instantly made her stand out, among other things that other characters does better than her.
The game's enemies are all at the same level of strength throughout the game, but they also introduce stronger enemy types later on to make up for it. In this way, the game is paced properly since the heroes eventually gain more flexibility in their skill tree, and access to new weapons with increasing strength and probability of a critical hit + status effect. This applies to the challenges, where every challenge aren't necessarily super easy or super difficult (except Ultimate Challenge 2, the most difficult one), unlike the Mario side of things where some challenges became trivial as the characters became stronger.
As to my opinion for this game: more Mario + Rabbids is a great thing, and I am glad to finish everything the game has to offer. In fact, I have enough bananas to buy every weapon in the game since the challenges provided a huge surplus of them! It provided a different form of gameplay to wrap around on, but it's still rewarding to use the characters' abilities to their maximum potential. I would love more Mario + Rabbids to come in the future, although I am going to hold off for a Gold Edition since they are more likely to discount that compared to the DLC (who I remind you only happened last month for the first time).
took me a little under 9 and a half hours lol. game has held up well and deserves its common description as one of the best SNES games out there. don't really have much else to say except I really enjoyed it
Untitled Goose Game
really really short, but fun for what it is. would have liked a little more content but it's not like I expected a game about a goose bugging the hell out of people to be lengthy anyway
Buckle up, Buckos. It's time I gush about a Fire Emblem game again, and this... is pretty interesting actually. Of course, we will like tradition dictates, talk about every member of my main team!
Roy our boy is the main protagonist this time around, but sadly... hey, look, listen, he's one of my favorite characters to use in Smash... that really doesn't apply here...
Roy in this game suffers from many things... first of all... he is hard to use. Even harder than his dad, Eliwood, from Blazing Sword. Roy sucks at first, but it's so hard to feed him kills when the best weapon he has does so few damage and that he doesn't double consistently, meaning he will rarely get kills, especially when he's locked to only swords, so he can't snipe foes for a safe kill. And Binding Blade is a game where enemy stats do keep up with you, so that on its own is very bad. Add that to the fact that he promotes right before chapter 22, two chapters before the end of the game, and you got yourself a very bad Lord gameplay-wise. But how does he measure up as a character?
Roy has nothing special going for him. True, he is your typical nice guy good boy, which I usually tend to like a lot, but Roy... all he does is getting exposed to the plot without actually really having emotions while it happens. You have your occasional "we must avoid unnecessary bloodshed if possible" but you need more than that to distinguish yourself as a Lord in FE. Eliwood, he had the friendly dynamic going on between him, Lyn and Hector, and the romance side arc with Ninian. Those moments help endear him. But by making Roy the absolute center of action, he lost the charm he could've had. But Roy isn't exactly a bad character, and I don't dislike him at all. It's just that I can't find many arguments to defend him.
Ah! Yes, the actual main character of Binding Blade!
On a more serious note, it kinda sucks that this game only has a whopping total of two spirits in Smash Ultimate, but I'm happy that the other spirit besides Roy is this girl here. Her official art's eyelashes may look off, but that is besides the point here.
Lilina is quite possibly my favorite character from this game, in story and gameplay. When I finished Blazing Sword Hector mode, he told me that he would like to have me name his child. Hector kept his promise, I see.
I made a promise to Hector too... I'd protect his daughter with my life. And I did. Look at that... look at those stats!
Lilina is actually one of the worst units in Binding Blade, but if she gets lucky in one specific area, she can turn the tables very easily. Lilina joins in Chapter 8, at the start, with no weapons, and in a cell. If you can keep her out of range of the nearby archer, it's easy to keep her alive. When she joins, she barely has 4 speed and 6 magic, and she is very underleveled for this point in the game, starting at level 1. First of all, that base of 4 speed is horrendous. You can only double enemies with 0 speed with that, and good luck finding enemies with 0 speed! Her magic though, it is decent and it hits on resistance instead of defense, so it's stronger than it seems at first. Even better, she has a 75% chance of increase in magic every time she levels up! As you can see here, Lilina has quite easily capped her Magic stat at 30, and it huge damage. Evnough to one-shot many things. But her problem lies somewhere else. On top of her base speed being so bad, she only has a 35% growth in that area. It's unreliable, and you can very easily not get any speed at all. Lilina is very fragile, so more speed means more evasion, but not getting speed means you will get hit by many things and even get one-shot with the base 16 HP she has. Thankfully, I got way too lucky with her speed, and I was even doing fine without it. Lilina became one of my most powerful units, acting as an amazing glass canon.
Lilina is childhood friends with Roy, hinted at in the post-credit scene in Blazing Sword. She is also Hector's daughter. Hector is a man who can act brutishly at times, but he cares deeply for his friends, but never would I have imagined that Hector was capable of raising such a kind child. Lilina is such a sweetheart, and her supports reflect it nicely. But she is also very shy, but still knows how to steel herself for hard situations. Seeing her grow up in the few main story cutscenes she appears in is enough to make me well up tears. The Ostia Family is still going strong, and did I mention that in her ending she literally becomes the queen of Lycia? Main character, right there! I love Lilina. She's amazing in almost every way.
Speaking of the queen of Lycia, if this game had paired endings with characters other than Roy, this guy would be its king! And damn right he deserves it.
Ogier, pronounced "Oh Gear!", is quite possibly my actual best unit. Lotsa damage AND lotsa speed! Dealing a lot of damage, TWICE! It helps that the fact that I made him support Lilina made both of them way more powerful, and even gave them critrates above 15. Ogier joins in the same chapter as Lilina, as a Level 3 mercenary, albeit 6 turns into the map. He appears with the knights of Ostia, as their new recruit. They're trapped in a dead end, but thankfully there's cracks in the wall, so he can break out with the rest easily. It may seem hard to train him up, and it could be, in theory. He starts with only 4 defense, not at fragile as Lilina by a long shot, but you still gotta look out for him. Thankfully, he joins at a very convenient time for sword users: The next chapter has tons and tons of weak pirates that he can feast on, and he is pretty fast, so give him a few swords and his level-ups will flow. His damage output is just enough for him to kill them in two hits, and twice he will attack them. When Ogier promotes to a Hero, things start getting more interesting. He gains even more strength, and his speed at this point should be enough to double everything at this point. Ogier's great. The great evasion he has makes up greatly for his shaky defense.
Ogier is a Mercenary from Ilia who came to Ostia to earn money, because Ilia is a poor country and his family is no exception. They even had to abandon the little sister in order not to starve, because it's the men who earn the family money. Ogier holds nothing against his family, but he still regrets that they had to do this to survive. But outside of this, Ogier is also one of those characters who are awkward in conversations, a type of character I generally just adore. Ogier has many things going for him that I feel people overlook because Dieck is a superior Mercenary. And I know how good Dieck is, yet I made a choice to use Ogier instead.
No his name is not Oujay. I was just playing on the old translation.
I heard that this guy was the best unpromoted cavalier in the game, and guess what, he's the red cav, just like Forde in FE8! I'm always a fan of the Red Cavalier, so I decided to use him... Oh boy was he such a good unit though. Alan is actually pretty amazing. Starts off slow and unable to double, but he's got decent strength, which turns into freakishly high later on, as seen here. This is the kind of strength you expect on Axe Fighters! And I didn't even get that lucky with his speed, yet it was still pretty decent. He could have easily become my best unit, and he was tanky to boot. But again, didn't get as lucky as I should have with his speed. When he promoted he only had about 10. Even then, you could give a Slim lance to this guy and he'd still do just as good a job as anyone else. He's that good! Combine that with the fact that he is available for the entire game! Alan is one of the best units in the game, and for good reasons. Let's not forget that he's a Cavalier, which automatically makes him super useful.
As with every game, Binding Blade has a duo of Red-Green Armored cavs, one is calm and collected, the other is brash and hotheaded. Alan is the latter. Not too special of a character but not a bad kind of character either. He's also one of Roy's companions and his family served Pherae for a long time. And he has a good motive behind the way he fights, which I like, for once.
Now I used those characters knowing full well their strengths and weaknesses, but that wasn't the case with Saul at all. I started using him because he's the third healer in the game but he comes with better healing than the other two before him, making it better at base. And healers level up slowly, usually, so he was still better than them when I got him in Chapter 6. But Saul just had to go up and beyond my expectations of a GBA priest and became one of the pinnacles of my party.
Saul is very fast for a priest. Look. You normally never see Bishops with green glowing speed stats. Yet it's true, it's glowing. Saul also reached better magic than any other priest I've used before (Lucius doesn't count, he starts out as a monk). Not only was his healing good, but when I promoted him, he was fast enough but also just powerful enough to leave many enemies he fought in kill range of other people like Lilina who needed EXP back then. Saul is a great unit for training your weaker units, and the army owes him much. This guy saw deployment to the field ever since he joined. He was also my first and only character to reach Max level in my playthrough, with the stats you see above.
Saul is... Sain, before Sain became a thing, except more extreme. A huge womanizer, but a hopeless one at that. He takes any opportunity he gets to flirt with the nice-looking lady (which there is a bunch of, can't blame him). But he is not just that. He is actually a genuinely good priest, who knows how to spread the philosophy of his religion, and knows how to act in situations like a bandit attacking a woman, despite frailty. He is a pretty clever guy and he often gets his way in everything that doesn't involve getting a girl to like him. He is young, but he has the wisdom. Saul just has so many layers to him for someone who is obviously here to be a comic relief character. And he has a bit of story relevance too, which is also something I really like about him. You can see a very serious side of him at times. This man has my respect, and has surprised me in all the right ways.
I don't know why, but I always really liked Sue. Maybe it was her design, or something else, but I always knew I'd use her. Ok, yeah, she has shit strength, especially for a bow user, bows being a weak weapon type in general. But she was nonetheless my main archer. Because the actual archers in this game are just not worth all the Exp you gotta pour into them to become decent. She is however very fast, but suffers from a defense and resistance problem. But as an archer you're not even supposed to put her in front of the enemies. But one thing that undeniably makes Sue a better unit than the likes of Wolt or Dorothy is that Sue is a Nomad, a mounted archer! She has the usefulness of a cavalier as well as the abilitiy to use bows, so even if she doesn't fight, she still has things to do in case things go wrong. And you could just give her better bows for her strength problem, because when you're fast, being weighed down by a few doesn't matter anymore. I had to limit my use of her at some point though to be able to go to a set of chapters that I wanted to get instead of others, which was a little problem, but it actually was better for Sue for reasons that would take too much time to explain.
Sue is the granddaughter of Dayan, the Silver Wolf, leader of the Kutolah tribe of Sacae. As Bern was invading Sacae, she was tasked to lead the women and children to safety, but she was ambushed by traitors of another Sacae clan. Sue was, as far as we know, the only survivor of this. This memory always comes to haunt her and she beats herself up over the fact that she couldn't save her people, even though it's clearly not her fault. Sue is other than that, a calm person, always in meditation with nature. Might I just add that she was recently added to Fe Heroes, and while I don't play that game, her voice actress did such a great job. Sue sounds so... Sue-thing.
Another case of differing old translation. Her official name was confirmed Thea not long ago. Not Tate. Or Thite. Or Tita, or whatever she's already been called.
Thea is another character I always liked for whatever reason. She has a nice deisgn, but I'm sure there's something else at play. I have a friend called Thea irl, if that helps her case.
Gameplay-wise, Thea is a bad unit in normal mode. As a level 8 Pegasus Knight, you just don't show up with 6 strength and 11 speed. Yet here's Thea. But her bulk is respectable, having a base of 7 defense and 6 resistance. Not great but you can work around that. And her Strength and Speed growth are decent, so if you do train her, you may actually get good results. My Thea was particularly bulky, with 16 defense. Damn, that is pretty nice for the standards of Pegasus Knights in this game. Even for her own standards. Thea may have been lacking in some areas but she delivered in others, and that allowed her to progress and patch the problems she had initially.
Thea is one of the three Pegasus Sisters in this game. The little one almost always is an energetic one, and the big one is the overprotective. But Thea is the middle sister, which to me makes her more interesting. She first appears in either chapter 10 or 11, depending on what route you picked on the Western Isles. In either case, she appears with Klein, an etrurian noble who has hired her into his service. Klein is supposedly fighting the bandits terrorizing the place, so if Roy talks to him, he joins, but Klein has to talk to Thea for her to join as well. Only Klein can talk to her. Not even Shanna, who you already have on your side, her little sister, can change her mind. Thea is the perfect image of an Ilian Mercenary Knight: Never betrays her employer under any circumstances. She puts her reputation above everything else, knowing that this is for the good of her country. She incarnates what you are lead to believe about the Ilian mercenaries, and even then, she still values everything dear to her, but she knows what to prioritize. But even then, she can also go to great lengths to make her sisters happy, by single-handedly preparing her own elder sister's wedding. Thea is good. And she has the same color palette as Fiora, my favorite Pegasus Knight in the series so far, so I was gonna use her for that alone anyway.
Elphin's stats don't matter... he doesn't fight. But he is still such a boon to your army. Elphin refreshes units who have used up their turn and lets them move again. Enough said. This is his amazing purpose.
As a character, I really like how involved in the story Elphin is. Most characters in this game never appear after they join unless they support. Exceptions to this are Roy, Merlinus and... Elphin! Elphin is a bard who mysteriously appeared one day on the Western Isles... wouldn't you know it, around the time the prince of Etruria was supposedly murdered. Must be a coincidence. Elphin's personality is nothing really all that special but he is a nice guy and seems very knowledgeable about everything that happens in the story, and it's refreshing to see him instead of Merlinus, as much as I like Merlinus's appearance. You really can't go wrong with this guy. No reason not to use him or like him.
Oh boy oh boy. Saul actually wasn't the only one who legit surprised me. Raigh surprised me even more actually.
When you get him in Chapter 12, he doesn't seem all that special. He's like any other playable shaman in GBA, he does a lot of damage but is pretty slow.
What you can't see right away is that Raigh actually has a 40% speed growth, which is really all he needs to destroy. Shamans usually fail to double, but if they double, they most certainly kill any physical target. And Raigh gets very, very fast later on. He's actually a way better unit than Lilina, except I just like Lilina more obviously. But good god... he ended up with 28 magic with 22 speed... I severely underestimated this guy, but now I'm certain, he is by far the best Shaman in all of GBA FE. And the S Rank Dark Tome is no powerful in his hands...
Raigh is a tsundere. If he likes you, it's very obvious he likes you, but he never admits it. He does take after his mother, but he's also nothing like her if not for looks. But Raigh has a warm side that he often tries to manifest in a kind gesture disguised as rude actions. And he does do his best to help anyone in need. Raigh is a pretty generic character, but a likeable one even then. Raigh, you rock.
The cute little Dragon. I actually only used her in the last few chapters but she doesn't need training to do her part. A bundle of energy and also a rebellious girl.
First Wyvern Rider you get. Pretty well-rounded and also regarded by the community to be the best unit in the entire game, what with her good defense and resistance, strength and above average speed, added on top of being in an amazing class. Super loyal to the princess of Bern, to whom she is the top bodyguard. So much so in fact that she betrays the whole country when the princess tells her that she is allied with Roy, leaving her family and loved ones behind.
A prepromoted Paladin, and the Knight General of Etruria. His growths kinda suck, but what makes him so good is that his base stats are enough to carry him through the whole game from the moment you get him. If he only joined sooner, he'd be the best unit without question. His loyalty wavers. He wants to do what's right but at the same time doesn't know what is right. Always conflicted, but has the heart of a knight, and a very honest man.
The best thief in the game, which sadly isn't saying much since theives can't promote in this game so their stats other than HP all cap at 20. Still useful for opening chests doors and stealing items. Also has a nice backstory, and is a sarcastic fuck.
The second Myrmidon you get, in chapter 9, but she is level 1. Can be trained with the abundance of Pirates on the western isles. She reminded me of Marisa with how her stats were distributed so I decided I'd use her, but then I dropped her temporarily and used her again. She was still decent even after that. A determined girl who uses the sword as a way to cope for a loss. Also I actually really love Bartre as a character here compared to Blazing Sword but since I didn't actually use him I'm gonna use his daughter's block of text to talk about him.
A decent healer, and because she's mounted, she can easily reach people who need healing. Didn't use her all the way but I did promote her. She helped quite a bit but also proved to be a liability sometimes. As a character, she's a mixed bag. She's annoying, but you see the good intentions behind her words.
You can never have too many cavaliers. Noah actually was a bit better than Alan when he joined, so he acted as that guy who could fill in until Alan got better. He was eventually heavily outclassed but I still think he's cool. He has an interesting case of a love interest in Fir, by the way. Makes me wish this game had paired endings.
But... before we move on... I wanna apologize for letting something terrible slip by. This is the first time I ever do this... but...
I let someone die and didn't reset upon it... I was too far into the main villain's chapter... and I couldn't go through what I have gone through again because of how amazing it was.
Rest in Peace, Rutger... I'll crit every last one of them...
Binding Blade was honestly a very fun game to play through, although I was reluctant about playing it at first. I had seen footage, and hitrates were way lower than my comfort zone. And the enemies looked super tough, and it just looked like it would be more frustrating than fun.
But I was wrong. The game is actually hard, but just hard enough to make it challenging in a fun way. Yes, mercenaries are even more annoying with 14 speed on average. But getting to double them is all the more satisfying you know. And then, the S rank weapons! Using them through the final chapter was so much fun, decimating everything. And training units is rewarding too, because never have I seen any of my units reach such high numbers! So many people have reached glowy green stats now. But because the difficulty is harder, it is genuinely more exciting to watch. This is something Binding Blade has over the other two games, who are admittedly way easier. And beating a boss here feels like a big feat. Binding Blade really makes you feel like a great player when you play it. If you're a fan of Fire Emblem, I highly recommend this game.
But no game is without flaws. Binding Blade actually has some drawbacks.
For one, yes, some bosses are nice to fight. Murdock was a very respectable opponent, in personality and stats, and then there is that one Wyvern Lord boss who got two-shotted by Sue of all people. But a lot of the earlier bosses are so annoying to fight. They're all on defensive terrain, and have stupid evasion. You're lucky to land a hit on them! And some even can crit you out of nowhere which definitely isn't fair. And a lot of prepromotes seem pretty bad... they have bases that don't complement each other most of the time, although other prepromotes like Percival are godlike so I guess not everyone has access to that power. And seriously... fuck status staves. This game, better than all other games, has taught me how annoying a Druid with a Berserk staff can be. Just wait until I play Thracia 776. Apparently, staves are more evil there.
But all in all, the good outweighs the bad significantly. Binding Blade is the best at what it does best imo, and I can give it credit for that. Wether it measures up to Blazing Sword or Sacred Stones, I'm not sure, but on its own merits, it's an amazing game.
I like the story. Compared to Blazing Sword's focus on Eliwood's and Hector's journey, Binding Blade focuses more on the world. Politics, revolutions, war! It feels very real in some areas, excluding the dragons that are the main intrigue. It's a simple story, but I enjoy it nonetheless.
Of course, this type of story comes with a detriment of characterization. I already said that this made Roy a bland character, but for some reason, supports also don't feel as good as they do later. Although to be fair, this was the first game to introduce support conversations, so I can forgive it, and I don't need a deep character to like someone. Overall, the story is nice, but the characters aren't as fleshed out as the later games, but just enough for me to enjoy it.
Special thanks for Marcus, for still sticking around House Pherae even at retirement age. Stay cool, Marcus.
(Curiously, this is not the Switch's icon, despite this looking very much like one)
Also available on: PC, Mobile
This is a point-and-click game similar to Monument Valley, in which there is pretty much no danger to the player as they solve puzzles. The game's control scheme is curious, mainly because it is not completely touch-based (except on mobile) since there are times where you have to use buttons to control. At first glance, one could surmise that this game is without colour except for a few things, and you would be right. The game is in fact greyscale throughout the game, and the goal is to find some buttons that will unleash some specks of light that will be burned in a fire to produce blue butterflies.
The game is purportedly developed by a pair of architect brothers, and due to how geometrical and intricate the levels look, I would say that the results show for themselves. Every level has a very breathtaking look in a different location, and even in one level, the multiple areas do not look similar to one another, giving a variety of scenes even if the game itself is not that long.
After completing the nine levels, there is a new area that is more open-ended than the previous nine levels. It looks very much like a vacation spot, and in fact, it felt the most relaxing of them all. While there are puzzles in that level where you can obtain seeds to plant trees, there is no completion for it except planting more trees, which is to say that it's basically all there is to do there.
It's a very beautiful game and I am glad to give this one a shot.
amazing game 10/10, i dont think i got frustrated finding things in this game like some other zelda games thanks to the seashell dowsing machine and most heart pieces werent so bad to find but im pretty sure i 100% it if you subtract the amiibo chamber things. i had a lot of fun finding secrets and interacting with everyone and honestly this is one of the more replayable zeldas so i might do that sometime in the future, but for now its going on the shelf. highly recommend picking this up if you're looking for a switch game to play
fuck eagle tower and the ganon form of the final boss
Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair (All T.W.I.T Coins collected and all Beetalion members recused, got around two thirds of the tonics)
Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is fantastic. The levels are fun, the overworld is engaging, and the Impossible Lair is difficult enough to encourage rescuing the Beetalion members while still being fair so with enough determination and skill you can still beat it with few or no Beetalion members save. I did personally require every single one though, and I even lost Laylee at the end of the lair. I don't think the game is as good as Tropical Freeze, but thankfully the game is different enough for that to not be an issue.
Ike, the newbie mercenary trained by his father who, right as he got a job in the company, had to become its commander prematurely, help a princess take back her kingdom and save the world. Character arc! Ike is the one and only lord so far in Fire Emblem to not be of noble birth. Sure, his dad used to be the most revered and feared swordsman in the world and was the Daein King's finest, probably, but we don't talk about that here. Ike is the spitten image of a non-naive good boy. Guy's strong, determined, but also a pretty nice guy, actively opposes racism, and must be fun at parties, although a bit too overconfident. As the princess's escort, you don't yell on the Empress of the largest nation on her behalf. But Ike values a lot of important things. Ike sees past differences and straight. Ike is a bro. Definitely best lord character-wise (although overall I still like Ephraim more).
Gameplay-wise... he's interesting, to say the least. Ike starts off with stats that remind me of Eliwood. So technically kinda bad. But he has decent growth rates in the right areas: Strength and Speed, the most important stats in the game. Buuuuut RNG! If you read my 'Shroom sections now you know what I mean. Ike is prone to RNG screwage. In fact he stayed with his base 5 strength for most of the early game in my playthrough! Thankfully, the tables should turn later on, but just don't expect him to take off too fast. It's only near the end of the game that Ike starts to get godly. But for what it's worth, Ike is one of very few who can actually damage the final boss and you're be really screwed if you couldn't use him for that fight. Ike is definitely a good unit, just not as OP as you'd expect.
Here's Elincia! Despite being around for like, practically the entire game, she only jlins as a playable character for the last four chapters, one of which she isn't available for. Elincia may not look like it judging from her official artwork, but she's like a Pegasus Healer. She heals, but she has the mobility of a Pegasus Knight. Which makes her amazingly useful. She sucks at attacking but who cares?
Elincia is quite simply one of the most lovable characters I have encountered in the series. She's a princess, noble birth and all, but most of the time she feels like just a normal person. That, and she has the kindness that princesses automatically come with! Not only that, but one reason why I loved Ninian from Blazing Sword was because of how soothing her theme was. Well Elincia's theme is even better music to my ears! I love everything about this woman, all but the fact that she comes so late into the game. Seeing the determination of a girl like her to take back what was stolen from her, and watching her give a speech before the final battle... she's grown, man. She's grown.
Oh Boy, Boyd!
Fighters have not been an ideal class, but they have their uses. They do massive damage, but they can't take much in return and are very slow. But what if we made a fast fighter? Well, here's Boyd. He has the strength of your typical GBA era fighter, but combined with decent speed. Defense is still pretty shit but I was able to turn that into an advantage (Wrath + Resolve Calm down Boyd stop OHKOing Paladins!). Boyd's damage outpit is so monstruous that you actually might be reluctant about putting him on the frontlines because he'll keep killing the enemies blocking the other enemies! But thanks to his great HP, having him go below half health isn't as big as deal as it sounds and you can let the wonderful combination of two skills destroy. Just be sure you don't let too many enemies near. And you can only achieve that very late into the game anyway but it still easily was Boyd's peak performance.
Boyd is a brash guy and a friendly rival to Ike, with hints to having some feelings to the latter's younger sister. Boyd is confident in his abilities but isn't exactly the kinda guy who knows how to express himself clearly. But he's kind and he never shows a mean side to him, a pretty cool guy to hang out with. He doesn't like to admit it, but he's rather close with his two brothers.
Rolf. Is this earlygame archer who sucks but could have some pretty good payoff. Holy shit though Rolf exceeded my expectations, even surpassed Boyd's strength at some point. Although Wil will forever be my favorite Gordin archetype, Rolf comes in a game and environment where it's easier for him to shine. Path of Radiance gives you the ability to give some bonus Exp to your units between chapters, forge stronger versions of weak weapons, and really, the enemies suck in general. So if you wanna use Rolf, well it ain't gonna be as hard as training someone Wolt or something. And Rolf CAN destroy if the RNG works normally. Rolf did not disappoint me.
Rolf is a bit like his older brother. He's also confident in his abilities to fight, although in an adorable way. Rolf's reason though isn't because he wants to be a mercenary. It's because he wants to protect the people he loves, and seeing that Daein wants them dead, well guess what he's out for blood. And Rolf just never gives up in that regard. He will exhaust himself. He will engage the enemy full-on if it means he gets to fight for what he believes in. Calm down, Rolf, you only have like, 13 defense in the end. He is pretty dodgy to his credit though.
Oscar is the oldest of the three brothers, and he made the right choice by becoming a cavalier (you know, the best class?). He is available since Chapter 1, so for the entire game (minus 2 chapters). Cavaliers can move again after attacking in this game. Yes you heard that right. Chrage from the back to the frontlines, kill an enemy, and retreat. A very easy class to use, and you got yourself an amazing unit. Oscar's solid growth will ensure he will always be relevant, and he also is one of those people who double early on, and is pretty tanky to boot. Oscar definitely got outclassed later on, but he deserves every bit of respect you can give him. He's done everything.
Oscar's personality is a bit bland sadly, cause I can't think of anything standout about him, but he cooks, does laundry... he's the Greil mercenaries culinary dude! He also took care of his brothers growing up, and used to be a Crimean royal knight. Oscar is one of those people who have already developed prior to the game, and sometimes, that's a sign that they're deeper than they seem. Good on you Oscar. You deserve an Oscar for this performance!
BUT WE CAN'T HAVE A GREEN CAVALIER WITHOUT THE RED ONE! I always make it a habit to use the red cavalier of any FE game. And this one sure lived up to the legacy!
As another cavalier, Kieran has the same amazing abilities as Oscar, only with axes, which are better in Path of Radiance! He joins 10 chapters later than his green counterpart, but he has decent bases and pretty nice growths, so he turned out great!
Kieran is a Crimean royal knight, and knew Oscar. As his self-proclaimed archrival, Kieran is hell-bent on bettering himself as a fighter and be of use to his liege. The pride that runs through the guy's blood is unshakable. It's almost horrifying how much this guy can go without fearing for himself. Even getting an axe stuck in his skull is nothing for him! But you gotta like that about him. He's so full of energy and cheers and enthusiasm, it's endearing in a way. While not my favorite red cavalier, Kieran certainly impressed.
But who can claim to beat a Fire Emblem game without a healer? Rhys has been, like all healers, an essential elemant to the team. Now Saul in Binding Blade surprised me because of how fast he could be. Rhys though, he's got way better magic. The dude starts with 10 magic, he can already heal 20 HP right off the bat! Isn't that a good healer? And his magic can reach high boundaries too! Aside from that though, he was way more fragile than any other healer I've used. Slow, and not very dodgy. At least his HP is decent for a Bishop. Without him, though, what would I do during the final boss?
Rhys is very frail. The dude's always sick, and blood sickens him even more, which makes you wonder why he decided to work for a mercenary company in the first place. Regardless, he is selfless and never even brings up his illness to anyone. He grows agitated when someone's hurt and can easily faint over it. That's really him in a nutshell. That' how FE priests are, but exaggerated.
Soren doesn't get speed on multiple level-ups, screw it, I was planning to use Ilyana anyway.
Ilyana reminds me of Lilina. She's a slow mage with an excellent magic growth. Lilina's was overkill, but Ilyana's is reasonable, at 55%. But I don't know what's up with this girl, she feels way slower than Lilina, despite having a better base at 9 instead of Lilina's 4. But I still used her, and in the end, even if she didn't fight all that much, she still had access to healing upon promotion, so she was still useful in that regard. Very fragile, keep her away from physical harm.
You know those people who eat a lot but never seem to gain weight? Ilyana's one of them. Ilyana eats like a bull. She eats more than the laguz in the army and that is saying something. She claims to have a condition of some sort, but eh. She is quite manipulative, being able to make people feed her. She often goofs up, and is dismissive of things around her, but it's not her intent. Even then, she's a pretty sweet young girl. Can't go wrong with Ilyana. Just make sure she's not using you or anything.
I love the Pegasus Knight class. They may be weak starting off, but they're usually tanky enough to take a few hits, and using them later on is so satisfying, when they turn into killing machines. Marcia is no different. You do need to invest some Bonus EXP into her to be able to properly start training her, but the payoff is unmatched. You will get a good unit with high mobility, the ability to overlook most terrain, retreat after an attack, and carry people across places. And Marcia's stats do also go pretty high because she'll constantly be flying off to fight enemies no one else can reach. Marcia capped out on her level and even ranked as my best unit. That's how amazing she is. There will never be a game where I don't love at least one Pegasus Knight.
Marcia, for being the youngest of this game's Pegasus trio, is pretty headstrong, with an amazing vocabulary that exceeds the dictionary. You always let out a little smile when Marcia talks, or when she yells at her older brother, when she breaths... you know you're happy to see her on screen. Marcia can simply charm you with her words. I also really, really like her Radiant Dawn look, I think she looks stunning there.
Here's Lethe! A character who makes me embrace my inner furry.
Lethe has her uses as a unit. She is a Cat laguz. She can transform into an actual cat to be able to fight, using a weapon that has infinite durability and good accuracy. The problem with Lethe is she can't fight forever, because she will untransform at some point, and her exp gain is so low you're not getting anything significant out of it. But Lethe can still easily contribute to the battle. Lethe is actually way heavier than she looks. You can have her shove almost any unit one space further, even two spaces, depending on if you gave her the Smite skill or not, which I did. That alone made Lethe worth deploying.
I also quite like Lethe as a character. Yes, all she is is a tsundere cat lady who seems to hate us humans. But she really is aggressive about it for very understandable reasons. You gotta respect that when you see it. And I dunno. I mean look at her. The role of tsundere cat lady fits her like a meal in a plate. Her design conveys her personality pretty well, and even then, she has her light-hearted moments, being a tsundere and all. Lethe is a character you can grow to like if you know enough about her.
Zihark... what a hero.
I could be saying Zihark is now my favorite Myrmidon/SwordMaster in the series but I remember that Marisa exists too. Oh well.
Zihark joins in chapter 11 (which happens to be my favorite chapter), with decent stats all around. 15 speed, 10 strength... although 7 defense is... well... must be fixed. But what he has that can justify using him is the skill he comes with... Adept. Adept is a skill that activates based on your skill stat. When it does proc, you initiate a follow-up attack. That means you can attack up to 8 times in one battle if you're doubling with a brave weapon, and that is fantastic. Worried about not killing an enemy? Well this skill exists to give you a chance! Combined with the high critrate of SwordMasters, that means you have one extra chance to crit! Amazing, right? And Zihark's strength is good enough not to waste this. Now equip him with Vantage... and you may have a chance to kill the enemy before he gets to attack you on his own phase! I had so much fun doing that!
Zihark was always a character who stood out to me. He's a man of Daein, this game's villain country. Daein is mostly populated with people who are racist against the laguz. Zihark isn't. The dude knows how they truly are, just like them. Zihark wanted to help bridge the gap between the two human races, because he doesn't want anyone to experience the pain of losing a loved one just because they're from the other race. Zihark is also super friendly and is that guy who keeps inviting you to things. I love him.
Also I ship him with Lethe. She can recruit him and they do interact occasionally, I'm just upset that they can't support, let alone that Zihark doesn't have a paired ending in Radiant Dawn. Oh well.
We. Need. More. Black. People. In. Fire. Emblem.
Yes, I used Devdan. Not Nephenee! Devdan. I always see Nephenee get used by people, so I thought I'd instead try out this guy. He looked like a subpar prepromote at first. But, he surprised me. Weird to think that my ultimate decision to train him was based on him tanking mages in a swamp. While not very amazing, Devdan's bad speed can be salvaged with the Knight Ward, for which I had no better candidates aside Kieran, who had already benefited by now. He turned out pretty decent, and fun to use. His stats became very balanced.
Devdan is a deeper character than he seems at first glance. He introduces himself as a laid-back guy who enjoys nice things and likes children. But Devdan is actually pretty wise, and knows how to teach those young ones some valuable life lessons. Not only that, but he's an accomplished comedian, who loves to make people smile. Devdan is so very wholesome and I appreciate him for that a whole bunch. I have utmost respect for this guy.
Last but not least, Reyson! Our unit refresher! She is rather squishy for my taste, but I mean, being a dancer/bard is good enough, this guy shows up with flight, and the ability to refresh 4 units at a time while transformed, with good movement? Best dancer in the series right there! He can also heal adjacent units at the start of every turn? Who is this guy?
Reyson is a member of the heron bird laguz tribe. A royal member, in fact. His homeland, Serenes Forest was ravaged in a massacre twenty years ago, but even in his hatred for the humans, Ike still manages to move him to forgive the human race. Resyon is calm, but despite his looks, obstinate. Almost aggressively so, in fact. He REFUSES for anyone to give him any special treatment and prefer to handle himself. Cares deeply for his family and friends.
Path of Radiance is truly a masterpiece of a game. It has the best mechanics out of any game I've played yet, your army feels genuinely fun to train up and decimate enemies with, and the story, while not special, is actually pretty good and engaging. Forges is one of the best things to happen to the series and I am so glad it exists. Skills are great, but I hate how you can't remove someone's skill and just put it in the convoy, having to throw it away instead. The soundtrack is amazing, and this game has some of the best songs I've ever heard in a video game, and the maps were all fun to play on (Aside chapter 25, fuck boulders). This game also definitely has one of the best casts of characters out of any game, and we're talking Sacred Stones levels of character quality! This really means something coming from me.
One of the gripes I have with the game is the fact that support conversations are very limited, the fact that there are stats that you desperately need to gain because Ike has two important tough battles to fight, and I feel like the game throws way too many high-investment high-payoff units near the midgame. This is a point where I want to take off, not take my time to build people. This kind of thing is why I didn't train people like Nephenee, or Jill. I will one day, though.
All in all, though... I can't believe I'm actually saying this but... I think Mario Galaxy was finally dethroned. Yes, ladies and gentlemen. I have a new favorite game now. What ground-breaking news! Although with me playing a lot of Fire Emblem lately, I saw that coming.
great game, very unique and humourous. there was a lot of effort put into this game, you can tell its been created with love and care from the devs. this also has one of the best cameras in any platformer i played, and the controls are bang on. super cute game but also has some dark parts in there too but i wont go into detail about those. i really didnt like the 4th area and wish they kept sails n skies instead. theres a lot of things in here that comes from many games as well, such as ttyd and twilight princess. theres also mods where you can play other peoples levels as well (even stuff like bob omb battlefield and actually collect time pieces (stars) and red coins). the music was fantastic, shout out to the director in that department, he knows how to compose good songs. here's some samples
anytime a videogame has a great soundtrack im more inclined to play it (see: sonic mania). highly recommend you pick this up. ill prob be getting the dlc soon
on Steam. missing five achievements that would require extra playthroughs but otherwise 100%. very strong Metroidvania. wouldn't have minded a little more content but it still managed to take me 10 hours lol. music, visuals, story, and gameplay are all great, if you're already into Metroidvanias or are interested in the genre I highly recommend looking into this