I just beat __

NocturnalDragoon

Dry Bowser
I've finished Pirate's Curse first (which I found to be very good), but if this is the peak of the series, it might have gone downhill for me since the other games didn't seem to match up with this one.

Thank you for reading.
Half-Genie Hero was alright but I felt it was kinda short, also I didn't even realize that Seven Sirens came out.
 

Kersti

YoshiFlutterJump
Awards Committee
Poll Committee
Super Mario Maker 2

Beat the story mode, really enjoyed it! This game is so much more than the Mario Maker DX I imagined it would be, and I'm looking forward to making some courses here!
 

Kersti

YoshiFlutterJump
Awards Committee
Poll Committee
Super Mario Bros. 3

Super Mario Bros. 3
is the much-hyped third installment in the Super Mario Bros. series, released in 1988 for NES (well, 1990 for us Westerners). Its predecessor, Super Mario Bros. 2: The Lost Levels, was for the most part a level expansion pack for the first game, and great as it was it didn't quite satisfy that thirst for something new back in 1986. As such, many consider Super Mario Bros. 3 the first true sequel to Super Mario Bros., and rightfully so, as it's a huge step up from the previous two games in nearly every way.

The thing that's most immediately apparent is the graphics. While SMB2 largely kept the same graphic style as SMB1 with only minor changes, SMB3 dramatically enhances them, to the point that you're surprised this is an NES game. The physics are also a lot smoother, making it easier to control Mario in midair. But the most major change is the new power-ups. In addition to the returning Super Mushroom, Fire Flower, and Super Star, SMB3 introduces the Super Leaf, Tanooki Suit, Frog Suit, Hammer Suit, and P-Wing, nearly tripling the number of power-ups from the first two games. The game also introduces a world map, allowing the player to choose their own path through the worlds. Compared to SMB1's 32 levels and SMB2's 52, SMB3 contains a grand total of 90--you don't have to do all of them, mind you, but I did anyway.

All in all, this game is a big step up from the previous two games in nearly every way. It's not perfect, mind you--many lategame levels are still cheaply designed and the lack of checkpoints can be infuriating--but had I played this back in 1988 this would probably look like absolute perfection.

Pros
-Five new power-ups
-90 levels total
-World map
-Graphics almost look like those of an SNES game
-Physics feel pretty smooth

Cons
-No checkpoints
-Cheaply designed lategame levels
-No saving would be a huge ouch back in 1988 for such a huge game, although now we have save states and remakes so this is practically nullified
 

Cackletta's Soul

"You're a persistent pair!"
Super Mario Bros. 3

Super Mario Bros. 3
is the much-hyped third installment in the Super Mario Bros. series, released in 1988 for NES (well, 1990 for us Westerners). Its predecessor, Super Mario Bros. 2: The Lost Levels, was for the most part a level expansion pack for the first game, and great as it was it didn't quite satisfy that thirst for something new back in 1986. As such, many consider Super Mario Bros. 3 the first true sequel to Super Mario Bros., and rightfully so, as it's a huge step up from the previous two games in nearly every way.

The thing that's most immediately apparent is the graphics. While SMB2 largely kept the same graphic style as SMB1 with only minor changes, SMB3 dramatically enhances them, to the point that you're surprised this is an NES game. The physics are also a lot smoother, making it easier to control Mario in midair. But the most major change is the new power-ups. In addition to the returning Super Mushroom, Fire Flower, and Super Star, SMB3 introduces the Super Leaf, Tanooki Suit, Frog Suit, Hammer Suit, and P-Wing, nearly tripling the number of power-ups from the first two games. The game also introduces a world map, allowing the player to choose their own path through the worlds. Compared to SMB1's 32 levels and SMB2's 52, SMB3 contains a grand total of 90--you don't have to do all of them, mind you, but I did anyway.

All in all, this game is a big step up from the previous two games in nearly every way. It's not perfect, mind you--many lategame levels are still cheaply designed and the lack of checkpoints can be infuriating--but had I played this back in 1988 this would probably look like absolute perfection.

Pros
-Five new power-ups
-90 levels total
-World map
-Graphics almost look like those of an SNES game
-Physics feel pretty smooth

Cons
-No checkpoints
-Cheaply designed lategame levels
-No saving would be a huge ouch back in 1988 for such a huge game, although now we have save states and remakes so this is practically nullified
just saying, i think for most people in english speaking contries "smb2" means the vegetable one and "smb:tll" means the kaizo one. since the latter wasnt officially released outside of japan until virtual console was a thing, i also dont think wed consider tll to be smb3's predecessor
 

Kersti

YoshiFlutterJump
Awards Committee
Poll Committee
just saying, i think for most people in english speaking contries "smb2" means the vegetable one and "smb:tll" means the kaizo one. since the latter wasnt officially released outside of japan until virtual console was a thing, i also dont think wed consider tll to be smb3's predecessor
As far as the Japanese devs are concerned, Mario USA didn't even exist until 1992. Aside from a few reused sprites SMB3 didn't take after that one at all, and Lost Levels was its predecessor. Hence why I refer to it as SMB2 in these reviews (I did make it very clear I was referring to the Japanese one).

I will get around to Mario USA. I'm currently playing through World, and USA is next.
 

winstein

Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality

Super Mario Maker 2 (Story Mode)

It took a while, but I've finally completed all the courses in Story Mode, in which there are 120 of them in all. Some of these courses are only available after the castle is rebuilt, which the Toads had to do because Undodog pressed the Reset Rocket button that made the castle vanished into thin air. After all, the theme of the game is building, so I guess it's coherent to the plot, even if it's a bit silly.

Along the journey to rebuild the castle, Mario will not only meet more Toads, but also some unusual characters that are nonetheless Mario characters, like Undodog, the Soundfrog and Patrick (a block). Those characters might even have courses for Mario to conquer, but the main way to gain courses is to talk to Toadette (referred as "Chief") to start a renovation, in which case regular Toad (referred as "Taskmaster") will have new jobs for Mario to do. These jobs take on courses built in the Maker engine, assigned by aliases that even reference other characters, such as Name Withheld By Request being Bowser Jr., Father of Name Withheld being Bowser, and Celebrity DJ being Marina (Splatoon).

The variety of the levels made each level something to look forward to since the Maker toolset allows for such a huge variety. Some such levels are practically exclusive to Story Mode though, including the ones that require carrying the Stone to the exit and guiding Toads to the exit. Levels with restrictions are usually annoying because of how breaking the rule will make it impossible to clear, which especially includes the ones where Mario cannot drop from the high ground onto the floor. My preference is to clear the more difficult levels first (indicated by the number of stars) before getting to the easier ones. Unfortunately for me, the final level is a 4-star level (the maximum), so I can't tackle it earlier.


All things considered, the Story Mode is a very cool side mode from the main attraction of the Maker series: the user-generated levels. It does show what's possible with the tools that are available, even if I felt that not everything was covered, including the later-added elements like Link (a power-up with a complex moveset). In fact, I am in a mood for my first Mario Maker 2 level and see if it's going to be good.

Thank you for reading.
 

Koops

Koops, King of Cowards.
Paper Mario

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Here it is, bois and grirlz. The first installment in the infamous "Red Plumber made of folding material" series.

Everyone loves the Paper Mario series. I've seen a fair share of people like it because it has a quote on quote "deep" story, others because the battle system is great, and a minority also really likes Sticker Star and Color Splash, which is always a fresh sight to see.

But, this is where it started. The OG Peppah Mallio! Released on N64 near the end of its lifespan, Paper Mario served mainly as a second take on the RPG genre for the franchise, after Super Mario RPG, in fact this was originally a direct sequel! But I think it is safe to say that did not end up being the final direction for this game since the gameplay is immensely different, but anyway, I'll be talking about this so buckle up, because we all know I have a different criteria for liking it than most on this forum when it comes to this game and TTYD (which I plan to play later).

Let's start by talking about the story, since it is the least impactful part of my enjoyment for this game. Even then, for as much as I deem story as unnecessary and only there because and RPG needs it, Paper Mario's story is... well, not pretty good, but about what I would want from the series. All the game did was take the general plot of any other Mario game and just sprinkle details over it to make it suitable for an RPG, and... it works. It works so well, in fact. It's simple, it doesn't get it the way and it puts one thing in your mind: We gotta save Peach and get that cake. Contrary to what people may deduce from reading my recent posts on Paper Mario, I don't hate story in a Mario game, in fact it's something I don't mind to see but ultimately don't really look for it when I'm playing something like this. For the most part, I didn't take the story seriously, but it was still pretty ok. Outside of the actual story, the writing is actually pretty good and I did love interacting with some of the generic NPCs. Those two desert toads next to the red palm tree I really love. The individual story arcs of each chapter are decent in their own right, even though most are basically "here, go from A to B and talk to that person" but I guess that's something they do in RPGs all the time.

When it comes to characters, actually, well... I can't say that they're all that memorable aside from a select few. Kolorado shows up sometimes and he's got pretty quirky dialogue, but most other NPCs are one-off and only appear in the chapter you meet them... and unfortunately, the same can kinda be said about your partners... now don't get me wrong, it is not impossible and unexplainable to develop some attachment to the partners, because after all, that's what they are, your partners, but I feel that a lot of them are... unexplored. For one, even your active partner barely talks, like, there's not much times where a partner just utters a line, let alone a line that gives them character. Every time one of them talk it's just a variation of the same line for everyone where they're like "Look, Mario! Bad guys!" Or "Nice job Mario." Or "Hey you, don't mess with Mario!" It's a waste of potential, really, because I used these guys all the way through the game and some have even been more useful than some others, and I would have liked to get to know them better. But nope, they're just glorified abilities who happen to be sentient living beings. A shame, really. Once again, I believe there could have been a way, by having them, I repeat, interact with each other through some sort of Support System but, that's a topic for another day, probably. Overall the story is alright, definitely not amazing nor the primary reason you should play this game but it's there if you're into that, and it is a simple story that really just does what's essential, but the characters unfortunately somewhat feel lacking.

Aesthetically, the game looks... not amazing, but it does well for an N64 game. The paper theme isn't all that present outside of the character sprites but that's ok, I won't hold that against it since that's just the game being held back by hardware limitations. The ost is nice to hear, although it is something that you could hear in an SNES game so I'm not too impressed by it personally but it still has some cool tracks.

Next up is the gameplay. And this is where the bulk of the game's quality lies. The level design, first of all, feels right. The game knew how to utilize the N64's 3D and make paper worlds seem somewhat wide. Exploring things that are off the beaten path is rewarding in this game and it never feels like you're wasting your time going somewhere that isn't required to progressing. That and this game has so little backtracking, and the backtracking that is present isn't even annoying at all, since it's so brief. When do you backtrack in this game? Shy Guy's Toy box, to get some things done in Toad Town during the chapter, but Shy Guy's Toy Box is a level that is designed around the idea that you'll be going back and forth and is easy to navigate thanks to its very simple layout, and it takes no time to zip across the rooms. Flower Fields is the other instance, but the whole chapter is centered around some sort of hub, so it's, again, easy to navigate. These chapters are made with backtracking in mind, and as such the backtracking isn't annoying in them at all, that and the fact the Spin Dash™️ exists just makes that potential design flaw almost a non-issue. With the help of the abilities you get throughout the game, there's quite some ways to make you progress too (although using the abilities is mostly a no-brainer, but that's not a thing I should complain about). The levels in this game are top-notch and very well-designed. Not to mention they're nice to look at too despite hardware limitation, but that's a bonus.

The battle system tho? Oh my god what a great battle system. Action commands help spice up an attack to make it more effective, and you have many tools at your disposal to fight things, and your partners are good at it too, although they're perfect and that helps balance them. Kooper has a gimmick where he can attack everything on the ground but he's stumped as soon as he comes across an enemy flier, Bow has pretty good attacks that deal a lot of damage but the moment enemies learn that defense is a stat she becomes practically useless unless you like to have her around to evade attacks, LakiLester... well... he... he can deal with low HP enemies when there's a lot of them and you need to kill them all? Idk that was about the extent of what he did for me. I liked Bow in battle the most because she has Smack immediately when she joins so she probably my best combat unit for a while until enemies with defense started showing up in numbers. Watt is really good in that she has an attack that negates defense and it doesn't cost FP, but sadly that's the only move she has that can deal damage, unless I was botching the action commands for the other ones this bad. Parakarry is actually the one I found to be the most versatile, since he can attack all kinds of enemies and does good damage, so he's probably the best one combat-wise. Maybe not for utility but as far as fighting goes he's definitely the best, although I always felt content with Kooper, especially in the final chapter, where Dry Bones who are weak to his Fire Shell are abundant (coincidentally, my username is Koops).

FP and BP are both amazing stats as well. FP is sorta something that keeps you from spamming op attacks all the time (kinda like how in FE the better the weapon is, the less times you can use it before it breaks), and BP. Oh god, BP. By far the best stat. BP gives you access to badges, by far the one most powerful type of item you'll ever find. They can tremendously help you in battle by increasing your efficiency better than any level up can, such as giving you new powerful attacks, upping your attack power, improving your defenses, or even helping you in the overworld, like the I Spy badge. You can even increase HP and FP through badges, so it's generally better to have as much BP as possible since equipping these HP and FP badges mean you get the stats but also get to trade them off for something else when you feel like it, but choosing HP or BP means that's the stat you're permanently getting (not saying you shouldn't upgrade those but I just found that always choosing BP at first was more beneficial in the long run since you usually have enough HP to survive many battles but I'd argue that you do need more FP at first).

Anyway, this has been my opinion. Paper Mario is a pretty great tame and its simplicity holds up very well today. It's got great level design and an amazing battle system and an ok enough story to seal the deal. Highly recommended you play this, as I believe it's one of the best Mario games I've ever played to this day.

I plan to play TTYD soon although I'd like to take a bit of a break before I tackle it, by finishing my playthrough of FE: Thracia 776, or even starting a playthrough of Zelda Ocarina of Time... yeah it'll have to wait. I'm not entirely sure if I'm gonna like it as much as this game from what I've seen though, to be honest.
 

winstein

Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality


Samorost 3 (PC)

As can be inferred by the title, this is the third game of the Samorost series, which stars a space gnome going on another space adventure. The first two Samorost games were released way earlier, at 2003 and 2005 respectively, but this one was released in 2016, which is a huge difference, and you can really see how detailed the designs are if you compared the three games. The first game used real-life photos and interspersed it with characters, the second game were drawn to simulate real-life in an alien way, but the third game took full advantage of high definition to create richer worlds.




The game starts off with a single horn, which fell from the sky and immediately, the main character learned its uses: he can hear things by using it as an ear trumpet to hear the hidden sounds, and play it like a clarinet on certain objects of interest, marked with circular waves if he is near it. If the horn glows, it may even release spirits that hint on how to progress: for example, hearing a plastic bottle will hint that it needed to be sliced, which is used as one of the parts for a spaceship.

You see, the main character decided he knew what to do because he has a book that told of its history: four monks played those horns that were used to give an orb some mystical power, that is in turn used to power up a robot to fight an dangerous entity: in which case it's a giant octopus in space. When the danger was sliced into parts, the orb was put on another planet to be guarded. The main character knew he had to go to space to find the one who dropped the horn, and on his way he will need to make use of the instrument to guide the way.

Much like Amanita Design's other games, Samorost is a game that does not rely on the spoken word or text to convey the actions of the characters, although they do spout gibberish if they talked, making the game less of an issue when it comes to translations. Even the menus used symbols (even the hint system!), with the main exception of the credits. It's very joyful to see them do anything even if they don't say anything intelligible, because their body language and speech tone made it just as easy to interpret.

The game is on the short side, but the journey is pretty sweet, and it's also one of those games where the main character can explore anywhere even if the quest is over, which is nice but ultimately inconsequential (unless looking for missed achievements).

Thank you for reading.
 

Cackletta's Soul

"You're a persistent pair!"
this isn't a game so i'm not sure it counts but i did just beat mario vs mecha bowzilla... i knew i only had half an hour, and i spent all that time trying: that would've been longer than it would have taken me to beat the perfect run, had i not messed around in that level trying to kill the last boomerang bro with a double kick. it's a near perfect level; music and all was fittingly set, the boss itself was extremely creative, and you went into the different body parts to destroy it piece by piece before finally winning (it didn't make much sense how entering a pipe on the outside took you inside the robot but i guess there wasn't an alternative.) the first part was sooo hard as there's fireballs and cannonballs and the winged chain chomps flying everywhere and you practically have to stand still forever waiting for the p switch to time out. and one hit is all it takes to make you start again with the autoscrolling doing nothing boringness. i lost once due to not realising the feet were falling into lava. the second part was also pretty tricky to dodge everything. the head boss fight was so hard - three nearly perfectly timed hits, whilst taking damage at most once, and if the shell falls to the bottom i'm nearly done for as i have just as much chance of getting hit by the shell as i do actually being able to retrieve it. and every time i fail that fight, i have to do the vine thing again. but eventually, and with only about a minute left on the clock, i won, and that was so relieving
 

Knyght

Your soul is Mine!

Super Mario Maker 2 (Story Mode)

It took a while, but I've finally completed all the courses in Story Mode, in which there are 120 of them in all. Some of these courses are only available after the castle is rebuilt, which the Toads had to do because Undodog pressed the Reset Rocket button that made the castle vanished into thin air. After all, the theme of the game is building, so I guess it's coherent to the plot, even if it's a bit silly.

Along the journey to rebuild the castle, Mario will not only meet more Toads, but also some unusual characters that are nonetheless Mario characters, like Undodog, the Soundfrog and Patrick (a block). Those characters might even have courses for Mario to conquer, but the main way to gain courses is to talk to Toadette (referred as "Chief") to start a renovation, in which case regular Toad (referred as "Taskmaster") will have new jobs for Mario to do. These jobs take on courses built in the Maker engine, assigned by aliases that even reference other characters, such as Name Withheld By Request being Bowser Jr., Father of Name Withheld being Bowser, and Celebrity DJ being Marina (Splatoon).

The variety of the levels made each level something to look forward to since the Maker toolset allows for such a huge variety. Some such levels are practically exclusive to Story Mode though, including the ones that require carrying the Stone to the exit and guiding Toads to the exit. Levels with restrictions are usually annoying because of how breaking the rule will make it impossible to clear, which especially includes the ones where Mario cannot drop from the high ground onto the floor. My preference is to clear the more difficult levels first (indicated by the number of stars) before getting to the easier ones. Unfortunately for me, the final level is a 4-star level (the maximum), so I can't tackle it earlier.


All things considered, the Story Mode is a very cool side mode from the main attraction of the Maker series: the user-generated levels. It does show what's possible with the tools that are available, even if I felt that not everything was covered, including the later-added elements like Link (a power-up with a complex moveset). In fact, I am in a mood for my first Mario Maker 2 level and see if it's going to be good.

Thank you for reading.

Started playing this to, I just reached 50% of the castle.
 

supermariofan

Dry Bowser
Final Fantasy VII Remake

Nomura, as much as I like to poke fun at you, you took everything that was great about the original Final Fantasy VII and expanded upon it!
 

Koops

Koops, King of Cowards.
Fire Emblem: Thracia 776

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Yo! That... that...

Oh boy, that certainly was a ride. I almost underestimated this game, but people claim this is one of the hardest titles for a fucking reason! Although I don't think it's as hard as people say, I just think you have to pull off big brains starts sometimes, but the enemies themselves actually kinda suck. Anyway, let's talk about all of my team like I usually do when I finish an FE game for the first time!

Leif

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Oh Leif... Leif is actually a playable character in Genealogy, the game before this one, and there he was just Seliph's cousin who was desperately trying to fight off the Empire before we could reach him. Well... this game shows us exactly what he was going through at that time! In fact, one of the chapters in Thracia 776 happens right when Seliph joins up with Leif.

As a unit, Leif is... interesting... his bases are trash. Most of them aren't even above 5. That and his team consists of a bunch of dudes who KNOW how to survive one round of battle. But is he a bad unit? Far from it! First of all, there is a point in the game where you lose all your units but Leif, and since he'll be the only guy who transfers, he'll prove very useful, and with this knowledge, you'll be pouring a lot of stat boosters into him. That and he has a 1-2 range sword that he can use to fully heal himself anytime. That's amazing! But wait, it doesn't stop there. Leif also provides support bonuses for a ton of units in the army and can singlehandedly make the difference between hitting or not hitting, in a game where hitrates are calculated with 1-rn. You can also give him the King Sword to increase this ability, making Leif one of the most useful units in the game. That and after a while, his combat won't be too shabby thanks to the fact that enemies in this game suck, and are also easy to double (a ton of enemies have 0 speed, if Lilina was in this game she'd easily prey on everything). My Leif was particularly amazing, he got most stats capped by the end of the game, althougb I was just lucky. Oh yeah, he also had 11 move. 11 move. Let that sink in.

I also like Leif as a character. Although he had an established personality in Genealogy of the Holy War already, this game expands Leif beyond that. To contrast Roy, the idealistic pup who's kinda boring, Leif is an impulsive and often immature brat who cares too much about people to make rational choices. This actually gives him a lot of room to grow and develop some character, something Roy dearly lacked. The reason I am comparing him to Roy specifically is because like Roy, Leif also has an advisor who always comments on the unfolding events and provides him with helpful counsel. Unlike Roy, however, Leif needs the help of this advisor, Augustus. Augustus is actually a voice of reason in Leif's conscience and knows that Leif's behavior can lead to tragedy, and knows that he has to stand up to his decisions to save him from himself. Whereas Roy is always right and it makes Merlinus, his own advisor, look like an idiot and an asshole. Funny. Leif improves the performance of his allies both in gameplay and story. Anyway, Leif is just a top-tier lord. Now my fourth favorite.

Finn

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Finn! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's Finn! Again! He appears in the first generation of Genealogy, the second Gen (and is the only character to do so) and if that wasn't enough, also THIS game. Quite literally a life-long sworn knight of the realm.

Finn is godly in this game. He comes with the Brave Lance. IN CHAPTER 1. The brave lance is perhaps one of the most powerful weapons in the series, especially the Thracia 776 incarnation, and only HE can use this one! That and his bases are amazing for the beginning of the game despite not being promoted, and to top it all off, he's a cavalier, meaning he has Canto! Oh yeah, may I mention that he can also one-shot armies of horses with the horseslayer if you give him that? Yeah.

I may have talked about Finn as a character already, but I'll do it again anyway. Finn is a devoted knight to his liege, like many in the series. But the reason why he stands out so much among them is because of what lengths he is willing to go through, and the fact that he actually goes through them. Finn first appears in the Prologue of Genealogy, as a knight accompanying Cuan, the prince of Leonster. He takes Sigurd's campaign as an opportunity to train and become an asset to his liege. After Gen 1, almost everyone dies, including Cuan, but Finn is one of the survivors (since he wasn't even at the scene) and is seen alive and well in Gen 2, where now he is helping Cuan's son, Leif, fight off the Empire. The fact that he appears there at all is cool in on itself, but then Thracia 776 comes in and actually tells you all Finn has done. After Cuan's death, Leonster was burned to the ground. Finn had to carry an infant Leif out of there and seek refuge in a nearby village, all the while fending off any assailant trying to catch up. When he arrives at Tahra, he has to keep Leif in hiding, and starve himself for Leif to grow up. Oh and did I mention Finn also has a daughter that he must also raise alongside him? Yes. He does. Years go by and it seems like everything is ok, but nope, this is right in Wyvern territory, so he hightails all the way back to a remote village to the coast, Fiana, where the locals greet him, broken, and half-dead. After that, it was finally peace for some time... Leif and Nanna were being taken care of, and Finn could finally rest. AFTER THAT he participates in Leif's war against the Empire and joins with Sigurd's son once and for all to end all chaos on Jugdral. This has got to be one of the best character arcs in the entire series. Finn deserves every single bit of respect that is being attributed to Leif and I am proud of this man. FE4 also has a manga btw, which explores the depths of many characters, like Finn, and it actually details his relationship with Lachesis, and pretty much how he came to be a dad.

Nanna

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Speaking of which, here is Nanna, Finn's little girl! She was actually also playable in Genealogy, in Gen 2, and the daughter of Lachesis (and as established as canon thanks to this game, Finn's as well). She was actually one of my best units there, and here is no different. Nanna comes with her Earth Sword, which she also has in Genealogy (provided her mom got it in Gen 1). It's a powerful 1-2 range sword that drains the HP of the target, meaning that Nanna can effectively tank against anytime that doesn't one-shot her. That and she has a horse and can also heal people, being a Troubadour.

Nanna doesn't have a super interesting character arc, she's just this kind girl who hangs out with the main character and has known him for a long time. She does however possess a regal air about her and as the princess of Nordion, she also has connections with some pretty prominent powers in the continent. She's just pretty sweet all around, though, so you can't go wrong with her in your company.

Osian

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The first in this list of the people who weren't in FE4. Osian is one of two fighters you get in Chapter 1. He has the Wrath skill. That doesn't like too noteworthy but guess what? In this game, Wrath lets you automatically get a crit when an enemy attacks you on enemy phase. For that reason, he is incredibly easy to train, although you don't wanna expose him too much. He also gets his own personal axe in Chapter 1, The Pugi (sadly I learned of that fact AFTER I was well into the game already), which is an amazing 1-2 axe that even has crit normally. Other than that, he's just a really decent combat unit.

Osian is this kind of guy who is, like Leif, pretty damn impulsive, but in a violent way. Getting on his nerves is a terrible idea, but he's also got a gentle heart. You want him to help you do something? You'll find no better guy. His relationship with Tanya (a character I didn't really train) is also pretty funny, and also kinda cute. (They do hit it off in the epilogue, so all's well that ends well)

Dagdar

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This man is a legend, a beast. A prepromoted Warrior that joins in chapter 1, Dagdar is tremendously powerful and even has the accost skill, which lets him easily capture any unit (although the skill becomes a liability anywhere else). For that reason, Dagdar is a valuable asset to your team, as he can easily provide you with the enemy's weapons and inventories, and he has a lot of Con to do it reliably. His growth rates suck, but his bases last him for essentially the entire game, although later on Dark Mages will be his mortal enemies, since because of accost, they tend to attack him twice regardless of if he can retaliate or not, and they can often kill him in two hits because of his low magic, so be very, very careful with him. Unfortunately, I lost him at the final chapter, because he was berserked and he went for one of my own units, who was able to survive the attack, but ended up accidentally killing him instead, and I was too far into the chapter to start over. Sorry bro.

Dagdar is Tanya's daddy, and you can see that she respects him. The guy also has a piece of land for himself up in the mountain, in fact he's the leader of the bandits there, but he keeps them in check! Everything goes to shit when he leaves, but the dude really knows how to manage things in life and seems to have a lot of experience. I like him. He's also got the manly beard. Although he died in my playthrough, we can count of MARTY PARTY to carry on his legacy. I'll make sure he gets out alive next time, tho.

Ronan

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I actually used him mainly because a well-known FE Youtuber likes him and made him a meme, but I actually found that I enjoyed using Ronan. He's not a great unit, or anything, but he's got adept, which lets him attack twice in a row occasionally, he has decent movement, and a bunch of action stars, so you'll find that he can casually have another turn more often than anyone else early on. He also has an abnormally high movement growth (yes that's a thing in this game, although 5% isn't all that amazing either way) and he has high magic, so tanking mage is a niche he could potentially work with. Ronan is just a really unique character in a game where personal skills are all over the place as is, and that imo makes him real fun to play.

Ronan is a normal hunter who lives in Ys village (that's what it's called), and just wants to join the army out of sheer will. He is pretty much the incarnation of rebellious youth in this game, pretty much. A decently likable guy all around.

Macha

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A myrmidon who joins as soon as the chapter 4 transition begins, and one of those who help Leif break out of his cell to continue his adventure. She has Vantage, which lets her attack before the enemy at all times when she can. She has good speed and not so great strength, but if you do put your mind to training her, she can become a decent unit. She isn't usually all that great but she got really good in my run. She was especially useful to lure enemies and dodge-tank them while everyone else got somewhere safe. She can use axes after promoting so that's cool.

Not too noteworthy of a character, per say, but she isn't a bad one either. She shows appreciation to her comrades in the war and always acknowledges the fact that these people contribute alongside her in the success of the army. She's alright.

I actually think she kinda looks like Trinity from the Matrix, but maybe that's just me.

Lara

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Lara is a special case. She starts off as a thief, a class in which she is frankly alright in but she has ZERO strength, quite literally. You'll have to weapon mages to feed her any kills, although she can still steal things and pick locks, so she isn't a total waste. Where Lara truly shines though is in Chapter 12X onward, because recruiting a certain character with her promotes her into a dancer of all things. And you know how good dances are if you've seen me gush about them long enough.

She is a vivid and youthful girl who is always set on her goals and knows what she wants in life. It also seems like she never forgets what good is done to her so she allows wants to repay the debts she owes, and she's a pretty energetic person.

Fergus

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Fergus is arguably one of the best units in the game. A mounted unit who has decent stats all around, but that best thing about him is his FCC of 5. That means that when he doubles, his crit rate is quintupled. If you have 20 crit or more on something, then the second attack is guaranteed to crit. That's pretty amazing.

Fergus is a well-meaning guy, but he's also something of a goof. He's absent-minded and doesn't always think straight before throwing himself into the fray. It also seems like there's more to him than meets the eye, since he can use the Beo Sword, which apparently belongs to Beowulf, one of your units in FE4 Gen 1. I like his air, idk, he gives off chill vibes, but he also seems kinda drunk in his portrait.

Asbel

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Asbel is probably the best combat unit you get in this game. He joins with a great tome, Grafcalibur, that has 30 crit on it and 13 might, and he himself has an FCC of 3, so he'll crit very often if he doubles (which he will, he is very fast). After promotion, he can use staves, which is nice, although he won't get much past Heal or Torch staves unless you heavily grind it, but you'd more want him actually fighting.

Asbel has known Leif since childhood. He's in league with Prince Ced of Silesse and has been looking for Leif for three, stopping at nothing to find his friend with whom he always dreamed of liberating Thracia. He also holds great admiration to Ced, who taught him a lot about magic and is fighting despite his own problems. He's a really enthusiastic guy when it comes to his friends, and very loyal.

Pirn

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It's creepy that this guy's name is one letter away from Porn Pirn is a good replacement for a thief if they're not that great. Pirn can actually hold his own better than it looks in combat and also do everything a thief can. That and he comes with a high sword rank so even with mediocre strength he can still do good damage if you give him good swords, and can even kill a mage or two in the endgame.

Pirn is an interesting character. He's sort of a Robin Hood character, except he's not really a good person either. He steals honorably and never means any harm, but he also isn't above capturing little girls and making them his slaves (his mansion is full of strippers and female enemies too). He does seem to have friends who trust him and fight alongside him, though, and he is well-respected by those people who willingly work with him. He is a Robin Hood character I actually like, for one.

Linoan

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Linoan holds the distinction of being the only character besides Leif to not promote with an item and instead through a specific event, that being visiting a church in chapter 21. She is a cleric who can wield magic and staves, and she is easy to get to A rank staves, so that makes her a really good unit, that and she can pack quite a punch offensively too.

Although Linoan has this spiritual noble bearing to her, she still is "Le Headstrong Woman" and has a way of convincing people to do what she wants them to do, and isn't above gossip either (even being subjected to it in the epilogue). He however deeply values those around her and wishes for everyone's well-being before her own.

Dean

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I god damn love this guy. He is a prepromoted Wyvern Lord, and he does what they do best: Destroy and Carry. He's almost invincible and is as tanky as a General. He's also got 3 FCC and access to every Lance and Sword in the game at base. He's probably one of the best units in all this game, and if we take away my personal bias, probably THE best. I mean, he flies, he can capture reliably too, and he's got amazing stats. What else do you want out of a unit?

He's a calm and collected guy, most of the time. Dean, despite his chill facade, actually knows how to behave around people, since he is shown to have comforted Linoan for a long time and made her feel better about herself. His little sister also looks upon him as a role model, and idk, I think I see why people in-universe like this guy. He is fiercely loyal to his home-country but even then, he doesn't fight alongside it in order not to fight against his own friends. Dean is just a really cool guy, my second favorite Thracia 776 exclusive character. He only loses to one specific character to me.

Sara

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Ah, here she is! Sara is another cleric just like Linoan who joins under leveled with amazing growths. Kinda sounds like an Est archetype, right? Those late-joining units who have bad bases but their growths are great? Well, the difference here is that Sara... actually has really good bases that are even good at the point where she joins, and her growths are mostly at 80%, and she has Wrath, and PARAGON, a skill that doubles Exp gains. She very quickly snowballs into a monster, and easily becomes one of the best combat units on your team. But that's not all. She can use staves. She has a B rank at base, meaning that when she promotes, she's able to immediately use Warp Staves, and all kinds of good staves. She was the unit I had the most fun with period.

She's also a really cute character in general. Sara appears pretty shy, and even says weird things from time to time. She's so aloof and detached, but when she actually speaks full sentences her dialogue is just so quirky and funny at times, even. But there's also a hint of tragedy since she's the freaking granddaughter of MANFROY of all people and I still can't believe that such an adorable thing can be related to that horrible sin of a man. She's nothing at all like him. Poor girl. I love her tho. She just needs a good and warm hug.

Ced

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Ced returns from FE4, and he's as strong as ever! He comes with the almighty FORSETTI! That alone makes him amazing but he also comes with A rank staves, so you know he'll help you cheese the few annoying maps to come. Not much else to say, he's just awesome.

He's pretty much the same guy as in FE4, although here you see a supportive side of him, and how uplifting he is. He also has the makings of a great king, just like his father, and has a rallying spirit. A great guy, basically.
FE: Thracia 776 is a side story of FE: Genealogy of the Holy War, and in its writing it already does a good job of not contradicting it in any way, and the story is pretty good, as with Genealogy. This game, however, is way different than its predecessor in terms of the actual gameplay.

For starters, FE5 is way more like a traditional FE than FE4 is, in fact I'd say it is very, very close to the gameplay of the GBA games. You have the Con stat that determines how weapons weigh a certain unit down, you can rescue-drop, and you have a convoy that you access in the battle preps, all features that really made their actual debut here, this and fog of war too.

FE5 I feel helped shape the series into what it is nowadays, but it also has many unique mechanics and aspects to itself. For one, Capturing enemies is a thing. It's like rescuing, but you force an enemy to get on you so you can take their stuff. Skills also come back from Genealogy to spice battles up. All stats cap at 20, unless it's HP. You have FCC, a stat that multiplies your crit rate if you attack multiple times per round. Fog of War actually hides the layout of the map, not just the enemies. Thieves can steal weapons easily and even disarm a currently equipped weapon as long as their con is high enough. You have Action stars that randomly let you take another turn that can help you in some situations. You have scrolls, items that boost your growths and prevents the enemy from landing a crit on you. Staves have infinite range like in Marth's games.

There are so many things that make up this game's identity and to me, that's something that makes it stand out. Not all are great and I'm glad that I can actually see where I'm going in fog of war maps now, but things like capturing really feel like they should have returned in some way.

The character cast is a very strong one imo, although characterization is somewhat lacking, you can tell what some people are about just by looking at how they fight. Skills give each character some individuality and an identity. Osian is impulsive and if you attack him he'll crit you, or Pirn is sneaky so he'll always sneak in an attack before you land a hit on him, stuff like that. This is something that Genealogy also does really well, I feel. And the dialogue that the characters do get do a fine job of getting the point across. Some also have special "Talk" events where they may flesh out just a bit more. Many characters also have special weapons that only they can use. Only Finn can use the Brave Lance. Only Nanna can use the Earth Sword. Only Leif can use the Light Brand. Only Asvel can use Graphcalibur. Only Mareeta can use the sword that is named after herself. Only Ced can use Forsetti. If there is one thing that this game and its predecessor absolutely nail, it's telling a story through the gameplay itself. No words, no nothing. You just pick the character and get acquainted.

The map design was... something else entirely though. For the most part, I think the game had pretty cool maps, but other times... it was just full bs. You expect me to go through a map where there are three bosses and one of them has... *shrug*... fucking 10 authority stars? Yeah, Imma use my warp staff. Even then, most of the time, the game was genuinely challenging, which is impressive considering the enemies suck even more than those in Blazing Sword, and that's saying something.

All in all, I really enjoyed this game. Now the only games in the series I haven't played yet are FEs 1 to 3 (although I played remakes of 1 and 3), Radiant Dawn, the 3DS games, and Three Houses (which I own so I'll get to it when I can get back my Switch).

Although Thracia 776 was not as memorable an experience as Genealogy was, it has the upper hand in level design and gameplay mechanics, and as such I enjoyed it more overall. Idk where it fits in the whole series ranking, but it's not far from the top 5, definitely.
 

Cackletta's Soul

"You're a persistent pair!"
Mario Party 9

finally, finally, i beat this game. i've owned it for over 7 years and yeah i'd do free play with daisy birdo koopa and yoshi but i would rarely do solo, and when i did i didn't get any further than bloo bay beach since neither luck nor skill tended to be on my side. i did get to bowser station before on dolphin but only once, and i lost the game

now the argument can be made i technically didn't win this game. my brother and i did it together. we'd take it in turns to roll dice and when a minigame came up we'd say "hmm which one of us is better" and do it. but, i've beaten every stage in solo before and even on our winning run, i'd say i was the main reason for us winning as i rolled the jackpot and i won a minigame which gave us 40+ mini stars (bowser space, "battle for half your mini stars"), and i'd almost definitely have won eventually. so yeah, i'm taking the win.

personally, i love this game, as i say in my top 15 games thread (it's #13)

nonpersonally, hmm i've never done a party game before but here goes

in terms of like board mechanics, i think the car thing is overhated as like you can use your dice strategically to say whether you go for something or use it to make another person lose. but still, i concede it also very much had its downsides, as a lot of the things could allow luck to make huge changes. especially with like the bob omb for instance, because the player in last place can use the slow dice to basically avoid it and in the case of a 1v1, as is in solo mode, you basically win from that. so imma give a 5 out of 10.

minigames i think were overall really good, the wiimote lets them be, there's plenty of them, and in four different varieties. that being said, they weren't all good as some were based on luck (e.g. mecha choice, bowser jr. breakdown) and others were just spamming (e.g. tuber tug, launch break). they get an 8 out of 10.

in terms of modes and everything i'd argue the game is pretty solid. there's the casual multiplayer one, the solo adventure one, free play, 5 or so different minigame small challenges, some extra stuff, and the museum. they're all well done, other than the issues in the board mechanics which i discussed earlier. this gets an 8 out of 10.

presentation wise was a bit of a mixed package. story was fairly minimal and unique characters were essentially none - all bosses really are bowser himself, bowser jr., or large versions of generic enemies. graphics were pretty good for a wii game, but by modern standards could be improved. the music i'd say was amazing, my personal favourite is "a starlit sky" but plenty of others: chain chomp, free play, captain event, magma mine, were awesome too. the presentation gets a 7 out of 10.

conclusion: the game does a fair number of things well and i don't think i can call it a terrible game. but, i have to admit the board mechanics are a letdown. it's a game with good spirit that can feel fun, but also feel unfair and frustrating. i think that i'm still going to recommend it though: it does more good than bad. verdict: 6.5/10.
 
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