Post by Nester the Lark on Sept 20, 2022 8:54:30 GMT -5
Gonna go ahead and create a thread.
So, I mentioned feeling a little lukewarm to the official announcement because the leaked screens looked underwhelming enough to make me think they were fake. (Plus, the main character's design looks like someone's OC.) I still feel like the graphics are a little plain, but I have to admit, it's refreshing to see a FE game that's brighter and more colorful compared to Three Houses' attempt at a darker, grittier atmosphere. It feels more like a traditional FE.
And same with the gameplay, with the return of a proper weapons triangle. The maps also look like something from the GBA era. There's a bit of cuteness to them.
I'm hoping the hub area isn't quite as involved as Garreg Mach. I found it kind of a slog to spend so much time running around it between proper battles. (I recall a Nintendo survey specifically asking about that, so maybe I'm not the only one who felt that way.)
I've seen speculation that the classic characters will be acquired via gacha system, taking its cues from FE Heroes, but I'm not convinced that will be the case. Though, the way they're portrayed like spirits, and you "engage" with them, has a bit of a Tokyo Mirage Sessions vibe to it.
As for the main character's design, I was never going to lose sleep over it, and I'm getting used to it. It just seems like they couldn't decide if they should be a traditional blue hair or red hair protagonist, so they went with both.
Overall, I have to say I'm looking forward to it more now than I was after the initial reveal.
Post by Nester the Lark on Dec 7, 2022 16:22:56 GMT -5
Been catching up on six weeks-worth of game news, but even before that, this had become my most anticipated game after Tears of the Kingdom. I've been in the mood for some Fire Emblem, and Engage looks like good old Fire Emblem without the stuff I didn't care for in Three Houses. I like that there's stuff to do on the field again, like visiting houses, having conversations, and (I think?) recruiting allies.
I've warmed up to the character designs a lot. (I still think some of the faces look a little strange, but no biggie.) Has it been confirmed whether or not Gust has had anything to do with the game?
I love the battle animations, too. Personally, I always keep them on in FE games, even if I've seen them a thousand times. I enjoy the presentation, and it's always exciting when there's an unexpected dodge or critical hit. I think these are the best battle animations I've seen in a 3D FE game so far (although, I've played less than half of those).
Post by nocturnal YL on Dec 8, 2022 13:27:18 GMT -5
From what I've seen on Twitter so far, it seems that they're going back to the old level 20 cap too. The primary stats are still quite a bit higher than the GBA games even without the Emblem Rings, with a level 20 General Louis shown to have 39 Def (and low numbers in other parts). A bit unfortunate that we're still getting extreme numbers; I'd say a lot of Fire Emblem's mechanics don't work well once the character stats go too high.
Also, it seems that those throwback maps aren't really those old locations, but rather locations in Elyos that just happen to have the same layout. Hortensia's intro takes place at the bridge similar to the one seen in the Tellius games, but is said to be connecting two countries in Elyos here.
Everything else seems good so far. Quite a few of the old mechanics return, and it feels like a mix of the old Fire Emblem games. The Emblem Rings are also showcases of their old games to some extent, like Sigurd obviously referencing his home game's large maps. The only thing I don't like is that it once again seems to throw balance out of the window. But then again, there's no such thing as a balanced Fire Emblem game.
Also I'm glad they're going back to giving weapons individual icons. The Japanese weapon names are also back to Path of Radiance's use of hiragana spelling for Iron/Steel/Silver.
There was no confirmation on whether Gust has anything to do with the game. Technically, we also don't know if INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS developed this game either. There's no interview at this point, and the game's not out yet so we can't read the staff credits.
I'm not sure if Gust really was involved. At the time I saw the initial leak, it seemed possible with the character 3D models' lighting and expression kind of matching their style, but after its official announcement and we got to see the game animated, I don't think it's something they'd do. The graphics quality is above their ability; I can see them pulling this off on PS4, but not on Switch, and the character motions are too action-heavy for their usual works. Maybe they did provide some assistance, but I don't think this is their rendering engine.
There is one argument in favour, though. Gust is usually under the radar when it comes to your usual English-language news reporting, so if their name suddenly pops up, it's unlikely the news is made up.
At any rate, after the 3DS games and Three Houses being a bit farther away from the older games, I'm glad we're getting a more traditional game (in gameplay terms) on a modern system. The weapon system isn't traditional and it's closest to Fates, but I like that too.
Post by nocturnal YL on Dec 9, 2022 8:39:21 GMT -5
Well, now we know what activities can be done at the base. It's powered up from Fates and Three Houses.
And just like some people expected, they really are going to sell additional Emblem Rings for real money. Well, more like Emblem Bracelets, likely done to work around the narrative that there are only 12 rings.
On one hand, I'm slightly disappointed that this brings the game closer to the newer entries again, but on the other, I get to see Eirika and Ephraim in 3D, and there's this ring enhancement feature featuring FE12 characters like Kris and Legion. I like what I'm seeing, even though the game balance is even more broken at this point.
The official site's character page is now updated with the retainers and the rest of the Emblems. We have 8 royals with 2 retainers following each, making this very similar to the structure of Fates.
Post by Nester the Lark on Dec 9, 2022 10:12:39 GMT -5
Now I'm a little concerned about the amount of activities there are outside of battles. That's something that I felt bogged down Three Houses too much.
I'm not surprised about the DLC expansion pass. That's common enough at this point. I never got the DLC for Three Houses, and I'm not sure if I'll get it for Engage, but I think I feel a little more inclined to. I'll probably wait and try out the game, first.
Also, it's interesting that there can be multiple characters in one ring/bracelet. Are they activated at random, or are they context-dependent?
I was a little concerned about the stat boosts being game-breaking, also, but since the Emblems can only be activated for three turns at a time, it might not be as big of an advantage as it sounds. (Although, pay-to-win mechanics are still kind of sketchy.)
I wonder if there will be a way to acquire the amiibo rewards without the amiibo. There wasn't in previous Fire Emblem games, but in Xenoblade Chronicles 3, it was still possible to get the Monado without the Shulk amiibo (simply finish the game), so hopefully Nintendo is realizing that most people won't have access to the amiibo.
Post by nocturnal YL on Dec 9, 2022 10:56:58 GMT -5
The DLC video says Edelgard/Dimitri/Claude is random. The wording on Nintendo's blog post is less clear about Eirika/Ephraim, but I think it's determined by odd and even turns.
Emblems are on standby for the whole battle, it's the Engage mechanic that's limited to 3 turns, and the powerful Engage skills can only be used once within those 3 turns. If the battles are short as the auxiliary battles in Three Houses, that'd be disastrous, but for longer battles this should be fine.
I only have amiibo figures for Lucina and Tiki and I don't plan to get more, and I really hope they aren't required.
Also I saw a level 17 armour knight with defence at the mid-20s range. It's most definitely not sticking to low numbers this time.
Post by Nester the Lark on Dec 14, 2022 10:42:07 GMT -5
IGN and Gamespot posted hands-on video previews on YouTube, based on time they were able to spend playing chapter five. Both are very positive, saying that Engage is the best looking and playing Fire Emblem game in recent years. They also say it has more of an emphasis on the tactical aspects, and less emphasis on the social aspects compared to other recent entries. One claimed that there were far fewer extra things to do in the hub area than Three Houses had.
One detail that caught my attention is that weapon durability has been done away with entirely, so you can use any weapon indefinitely. Personally, I don't mind this one bit.
Also, I just want to say I like Clanne's engaged form. It reminds me a lot of Adol's Silver Armor in the older Ys games.
Post by Nester the Lark on Jan 5, 2023 11:54:50 GMT -5
I guess an embargo lifted today, because there's a ton of new previews covering the early part of the game up to chapter 8.
They're all extremely positive, and say that the game has much more of an emphasis on the combat than the social aspects. At the same time, they also say that there are even more side activities to do in the Somniel than there were in the monastery in Three Houses, which seems a little contradictory. Either way, the consensus is that Engage is more like an evolution of Awakening and Fates than Three Houses.
Come to think of it, wasn't Three Houses like an evolution of Shadows of Valentia? It was very ambitious, but also very experimental. Perhaps it was just an odd tangent, though.
Post by nocturnal YL on Jan 8, 2023 6:16:24 GMT -5
So far, the game feels more like Fates than anything. The main character is a dragon with one old and two young personal servants, surrounded by 8 royalties each with 2 retainers, and there's a mysterious girl. They copied the whole character structure from Fates with very few modifications. There's also the infinite-durability weapons that come with additional restrictions, and a class change system that allows units to reset their levels.
The story doesn't feel like Fates-level of messed up from what I can see. Not expecting Blazing Blade or Three Houses-level of depth here (given the above character structure), but I also hope it won't feel forced with situations that are just way too convenient.
So far, all Fire Emblem games I've played have flaws I dislike, but I've yet to see anything that's too off-putting to me. The worst offenders so far are Ike's depiction (He's not a tank, IS. Have you played too much Smash and forget that he's a good fighter not because he's tanky but because he dodges everything thrown at him?) and the usual stat inflation (do not reintroduce the Limit Breaker skill from Awakening), but it still looks like it has potential to be one of my top favourite games.
Post by nocturnal YL on Jan 17, 2023 9:39:35 GMT -5
A large-scale leak has just come out. We know just about everything about the game now.
26 chapters, 15 paralogues, 36 playable units. Only Alear has S support, and they're not necessarily romantic. Unity game. Made by INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS with a bunch of support studios. Lots of info being dumped.
The game is described by some as being predictable in terms of story. Some complain that the English version is having censored text with romantic undertones in some S supports toned down.
This is quite some shocking news to me. Personally, I'm just glad to see some aspects of the old games come back. Welcome back, Halberdier class.
The bond rings and DLC Emblems look like they just took popularity data from Fire Emblem Heroes. And seeing the leak and the recent promotions just reinforces the idea that it's mostly a continuation of Fates in gameplay terms. It's like the Fire Emblem series itself has done adventuring with KOEI TECMO GAMES and just returned home to INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS, if that makes any sense.
Being a Unity game is… both surprising and not. Surprising because of its apparent quality, and not so because it's already happened to a bunch of Nintendo-published games — mostly the non-Kirby HAL games and (I think) all Nintendo-published mobile games including FEH, and Nintendo themselves use it for internal prototyping. Will probably still get it, since my initial reason of disliking them* is pretty much moot now.
I like there's an ending sequence picture showing Anna returning home to her family of other Annas.
I guess this is what's happened to IS all these years. I think they'll treat the new backbone for this game as the base of the series going forward. Smart move, I'd say, as long-running modern series really need something like this to keep on a 2-4 year release cycle.
* Warning, long rant below.
It's mostly their apparent competition with Adobe Flash. Unity actually got me interested at first, though Unity 4 adding support for Flash Player output, and subsequently Unity 5 dropping support with the team making a blog post saying that they're disappointed at Adobe's lack of commitment by not going forward with ActionScript 4.0 left a sour taste in me. It'd have been fine if they said they were looking forward to future web technology like WebGL and WebAssembly instead, but they just have to talk about their (even shorter-lived) Unity Web Player gaining traction. I do agree with Unity on Adobe's lack of commitment; I just thought it looked like backstabbing at a time Flash Player was about to be phased out. In retrospect, I'd have done the same (minus the blog post) if I were Unity. Adobe clearly didn't have any interest in supporting software platforms; they only cared about graphics tools.
By the way, Unreal Engine has also undergone something similar, with an earlier version adding Flash Player 11 support and dropping it in Unreal Engine 5. I don't dislike them in particular since they didn't make a fuss over it. (Also helps that I used to tinker with Epic MegaGames' ZZT.)
I've actually been thinking about not avoiding games based on development tool choice anyway. There are a few Unity/Unreal games I'm interested in too. I just have too many other games queued up.
Post by Nester the Lark on Jan 18, 2023 10:46:49 GMT -5
Here is part two. This one focuses entirely on character design, and Mika Pikazo's involvement.
I looked at some of Pikazo's other artwork, and a lot of it has very high color contrast. I like vivid colors, but I think I prefer when they have more of a softer look. Still, I've come to appreciate her designs for the game.
She's been posting original artwork of the characters on her Twitter account each day until the game's release.
Post by Nester the Lark on Mar 16, 2023 9:17:29 GMT -5
I've been playing Engage for the past week. I just finished chapter 9, and I've spend over 17 hours on the game so far. I'm playing on normal/casual difficulty. I have not bought the DLC, and currently don't plan to.
So far, I'm definitely enjoying the game more than Three Houses. While I appreciate Three Houses' ambition and experimentation, at the end of the day, it just didn't feel as much like Fire Emblem to me. Engage brings back the "Fire Emblem feeling," and in particular, it feels like an evolution of the GBA games with its colorful character designs and incredibly satisfying combat sequences.
The story also feels more traditional (travel the world and collect all the McGuffins needed to defeat the final bad guy, with some political drama thrown in for good measure). I can understand why some people might be disappointed in it after what Three Houses did, but for me, I don't mind it. In fact, I even appreciate it. Overall, it's much more lighthearted in tone (and even, for lack of a better word, cartoonish), but still has its dark moments. In that respect, it reminds me of Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
As with Three Houses, there's a lot of busywork to do between battles, but for some reason, I don't mind it as much in Engage. Outside of support conversations, the dialog is really brief (usually only one or two text boxes). A lot of the extra activities are non-essential, but can still be beneficial. Plus, the Somniel is smaller than the monastery. Overall, it just doesn't feel like as much of a slog as Three Houses did.
I have not tried any of the online modes yet. I have a feeling any opponents would just mop the floor with me.
Post by nocturnal YL on Mar 17, 2023 9:18:56 GMT -5
I think the online feature is more akin to the My Castle battles in Fates? Actually, a lot of what this game offers remind me more of Fates than anything.
I don't have the game yet. I think I will eventually, but I don't know when. And I'll want to group it with other games for delivery cost reasons. I've watched some online guides and I feel mixed thus far. It's not the "play linearly, pick a few elites and raise them to level 20/20" kind of simple. If anything, at Maddening one would be better off ditching early units or do very careful planning of EXP distribution, just like in Radiant Dawn.
And speaking of Maddening, it's locked to fixed growth if the player picks that mode in the first playthrough. I guess they don't want players to abuse level ups to make this difficulty easy, but at the same time, they have characters with growth rates completely at odds with their classes, making the situation even harder. (Good news that this game isn't based on the old games' system then, because otherwise Clanne would be RD Vika-level of useless.)
I take back what I said about wanting to play it at the highest difficulty.
The interaction between the Emblems and the heroes is done pretty well. Ike not feeling Ike-like ability-wise, but in terms of personality, they handled these past heroes pretty well. They're referencing more obscure parts of their original games too.
Haven't read what the main story is, so I don't even know what is the nature of the Emblems.
nocturnal YL: …Drat, I lost a few days of captured game footage thanks to my HDMI recorder corrupting the microSD card's filesystem.
Nov 16, 2023 13:41:01 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: I just realised that I haven't made a proper post for more than a month. I was either busy at work and thus didn't want to make long posts, or I was busy playing… well, you know. Time spent on playing games is time not spent on talking about games.
Nov 19, 2023 12:14:24 GMT -5
Nester the Lark: I was thinking how I considered the original Donkey Kong Country to be a generic Super Mario Bros clone with fancy graphics, but SMB Wonder only just caught up to the level of quality that DKC Tropical Freeze gave us almost a decade ago.
Nov 20, 2023 14:57:21 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: This is surprising. I see DKC as the least Mario-like platformer to feature a Mario character. The Wario Land games still feature Mario-style blocks and pipes, for example, while DKC lacks many Mario elements.
Nov 21, 2023 8:16:55 GMT -5
Nester the Lark: True that DKC lacks a lot of specific Mario-like details, but it has the basic gameplay in that you run, jump, and defeat enemies by landing on them. I didn't see it as having much more than this, thus why I considered it generic.
Nov 21, 2023 9:27:07 GMT -5
Evie ❤✿: Yeah, psychologically there is a 'first example' thing. When something new is released and is thought to be innovative, and becomes popular it can lead to comparing newer games to be like it (so we have newer genres like "Metroidvania").
Nov 24, 2023 18:28:16 GMT -5
Evie ❤✿: I find it interesting with platformers, it's less often that we regard platform games after Mario as "Mario-like". On this note, I also find it interesting how certain genres are treated differently.
Nov 24, 2023 18:29:32 GMT -5
Evie ❤✿: In addition to the "platform" (rather than Mario-like) and Metroidvania examples (incidentally there were games like Metroid and Castlevania before their release), some games are seen as "rip-offs" if people think they're too similar.
Nov 24, 2023 18:31:26 GMT -5
Evie ❤✿: An example is how some people treat Fossil Fighters, Robopon, Yo-Kai Watch as Pokémon 'rip-offs' or clones, and the 'monster-battling' genre is often seen as less 'mainstream' than something like 'platformer'.
Nov 24, 2023 18:32:39 GMT -5
Evie ❤✿: Also on that note, often people on databases, wikis, etc. stick to only a few genre labels like "platform", "arcade", "fighting", "racing" etc. but there are many more ways to describe a game.
Nov 24, 2023 18:35:03 GMT -5
Evie ❤✿: The developers may choose to advertise their game using their own genre, so for instance Starfy was given the label "marine action" in Japan rather than "platformer". I think in essence these don't exist in isolation though.
Nov 24, 2023 18:36:28 GMT -5
Evie ❤✿: It also reminds me of how there was apparently a debate on whether NES The Legend of Zelda is an adventure game or RPG (or something like that).
Nov 24, 2023 18:37:27 GMT -5
Nester the Lark: Happy 6th anniversary to my favorite RPG, Xenoblade Chronicles 2!
Nov 30, 2023 20:54:33 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: The Super Mario Bros. Wonder speedruns don't feel much like Mario speedruns. Any% takes more than 80 minutes, and features slow Wonder Seed segments and a lot of loading time. They're rather boring to watch compared to even the New SMB games.
Dec 2, 2023 6:08:10 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: I've got a lot of Nintendo Switch demos that I haven't got to play. At this rate I'll never clear my backlog even if I don't buy anything.
Dec 2, 2023 10:36:45 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: I've finally finished Ciel nosurge DX. Its end is directly connected to the beginning of Ion's part in Ar nosurge DX, which means I'll have to play through that to experience the whole story.
Dec 2, 2023 12:45:14 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: Going through everything takes more time than finishing an entire quadrilogy in the Atelier series. I think it'll be another few months before I even touch another game.
Dec 2, 2023 12:46:32 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: Also, this is of no use to most people reading this, but Surge Concerto confusingly has save data bonus that goes both ways. To experience the story in chronological order, do Sekai Link in Ar nosurge DX as soon as possible, then play Ciel nosurge DX.
Dec 2, 2023 13:05:55 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: Any advice you find online about needing to advance Ar nosurge's story to a certain point does not apply to the DX version. Just make the save data and leave it behind to avoid Ciel nosurge spoilers and not understanding Ar nosurge's story.
Dec 2, 2023 13:07:17 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: (By the way, the PS3 and PS Vita versions of Ar nosurge is available in English, but not Ciel nosurge. The DX version is entirely Japan-only. I have much to complain when it comes to localisation for both Gust and the whole of KOEI TECMO GAMES.)
Dec 2, 2023 13:12:43 GMT -5