Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I Think I'm A Flaming Emblem

Oh thats right. It is time at last for more discussion  of my favorite portable franchise ever.

No not Pokemon. I mean Pokemon is fun and all, (The legit games at least) but rather of Fire Emblem.
It is certainly an interesting scenario, Fire Emblem is a great SRPG. But this is not the next generation of Fire Emblem. It is a remake of the first, and boy does it show. Keep reading and I shall enlighten you as to this.

The graphics represent the problem that is inherent in this remake. One the one hand alot of the graphics are beautiful, the map screens, and menus, the unit model also look very nice. 

Once the animations start running though. In a word, ugly. But to be honest it is really more lazy than anything else. Criticals usually have no extra flair at all added, and most animations are stiff. Some of the upgraded units have animations that look nice, but that is the exception rather than the norm. Spell effects do look much nicer with the new engine. Of particular dissappointment is the lack of weapon models available to units. It is not a huge deal, but even the Royal Weapons lack special models, Which greatly lessens the thrill of using them in combat. The white flash across the screen is nice, but thats all you get.

Sounds are fine, the music is moving enough to grant some emotion to the drama that exists.

The story is garbage, the plot itself is servicable, but it shows that it was a NES game with the razor thin dialogue, and complete lack of support conversations there is no emotion as to why you give a fuck that Marth deserves his Kingdom back. Characters have next to no emotion, and there are more characters than you can count. You easily collect dozens upon dozens within the first few moments. This is the first Fire Emblem game where losing a few units didnt affect me at all.  

The actual combat though is the real meat of the game, and it is also a mixed bag. On the one hand it is classic Fire Emblem, but on the other hand, it is the easiest I've played. The game simply throws huge numbers of units at you. You sit back let your knights tank them, while the others move in to finish them. Class switching is interesting but only makes me think that the units in the game are even more disposable and that the developers were too lazy to tailor each unit as a specific class as such. 

I suppose the thing with Fire Emblem is that it really shows it age. Things that were neat in the first game, are no more. I suppose I should add that I did enjoy the game, and I have not tried the online stuff yet, which could greatly enhance the replayability. I recommend the game to fans of Fire Emblem who are bored of the other English ports and are looking for something new. If you havent played the other ones yet though, try to cut your teeth on those first, they are far more enjoyable in almost every way. Hopefully this was just a quick job for the developer as they work on the next legitimate sequel Fire Emblem/Advance Wars. 

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Time Apart Really Makes Me Miss You

Why?  Most likely because you leave all these unresolved feelings that demand to get out but you have no way of releasing them.

Of course I refer to my PC which died a few weeks back. Which sucks, but I have classes to worry about (something about a Term paper for a seminar course) and also I have plenty of other games to get into. 

But then I remembered that my Space Marines had not yet saved the day, and that Empire: Total War came out last week, and the tears, well they did not flow, but inside they did. And the TF2 Scout update (which isnt that big a deal because my old PC can play TF2 just fine). And there was my Farcry 2 game which remained unresolved. 
Man, I really want my PC back.
It really reminds me that the good games call you back after time spent playing something else. Sure I'll always dive into the new games, but the truly great ones bring you back. I'm not sure that any of the ones mentioned above will do that in the future but maybe they will.
So my point?

That great games are defined by how long you can keep coming back to the well over and over again. And right now I think I'll list some games that have already accomplished this feat for me.

Warcraft 3: Oh the mods, the gameplay, it is to die for.

Zelda OoT: I mean come on.  Its the Zelda game you have to play.

Diablo 2: Because they mastered the flow of killing demons and evil things perfectly, hopefully the sequel finally wrests it away.
Chrono Trigger:  Man, this game is probably the best RPG you can play. It is purely exquisite, even after playing through it half a dozen times I still love playing through it.
Duke Nukem 3D: He's the king of innovative level design. Along with hilarious enemies I usually get pulled back in every coupla years.

Well that'll have to do for now. And I'll end this post with a quote that has shown up far, far, far too often in the past few days for me.

You Are Likely To Be Eaten By A Grue.