An update since my last post about this game!
From where I left off…I got up to Chapter 16 (out of I think 25) in Fire Emblem: Awakening, and got stuck on Paralogue 16. This is where you can recruit Nowi’s child, and dammit, I wanted another dragon in my army!!! But weeks went by and I just couldn’t beat this Paralogue. I wracked my brain trying a million different strategies, I used Rescue on Nah to get her to me quick…but none of that mattered. And slowly, it dawned on me that yes…
Sometimes you do need brute strength to win.
I barely did the non-story related, random skirmishes that appear on the map. I was being too purist….because in the older Fire Emblems, you couldn’t grind and there wasn’t an easy way to get new or weak characters to play catch up. Anyway, enemies in Paralogue 16 were basically one-hit KO’ing me, and my units really should be able to withstand that. Otherwise that leaves me with zero safety net; zero room for error in the battle. Maybe there is a strategy that would keep everyone safe…but at the moment, everyone was just too weak.
My boyfriend just finished playing Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, which I got him for his birthday. He was done, I was depressed about playing Fire Emblem, and so we traded games for a bit.
The good news is, he LOVED Fire Emblem…and I can’t iterate how happy I am that he does. There aren’t many people nowadays who like strategy, and don’t mind the frustration of constantly dying and having to restart. He was, at first, a bit irritated that I had him play in Hard-Classic mode, but come on…that’s how Fire Emblem is supposed to be played :P He got the hang of it though, came up with some interesting formations I hadn’t thought of myself before. Till things got a bit tough and he had to start pairing people up. Nowadays, gamers like getting trophies and achievements just for touching the controller…they want their hand held throughout the game, game manuals are a joke nowadays, and they don’t want to think or read anything. Well…technically you still have almost nothing to read in Fire Emblem. But every move needs to have a goal, have deliberate thought behind it. “Or else!” Even in Starcraft 2, which is a “Real Time Strategy” game. What do most players do? They look up a build order online. They memorize it, practice it till their hands can execute a series of key commands in the right order, in a good amount of time. This is simply memorization and execution…it isn’t thinking. The thinking, the strategizing is done by a SMALL fraction of Starcraft players who dedicate hours to thinking up dynamic strategies. I know it’s hard with Starcraft. People would say this in defense:
- Starcraft is too fast paced to sit and think about things. This is a REAL TIME Strategy game. In Fire Emblem, it’s turn based….so you have unlimited time to decide on the next and best move. In Starcraft, the worst possible move you can make is to hesitate.
- The SC franchise is over a decade old, and you have players who have been at it for all 12+ years. They practice every day for hours and hours….totaling in tens of thousands of hours played….and there is no way a new player can catch up to their skill level, unless they start memorizing some build orders and maybe a little bit of cheese.
Et cetera, et cetera…I think you catch my drift. Now I’m not trying to start a war, I’m not trying to draw ire. I’m a SC fan myself, I have all the games since their respective release dates and I love the Zerg. It’s a great game, and it’s absolutely nerve wracking to think and move with the speed an RTS of this caliber requires. And of course there are exceptions, and people who do love to think and plan stuff out on their own…but play multiplayer and you come across just so many other people who use cheesey, all-or-nothing rushes to try and wipe out the opponent in the first 8 minutes of the game. They do not adapt their strategies, they never react. They just go full force, and hey, if they lose that game because you were smart and fast enough to defeat their cheese, then that’s no biggie to them. It’s a numbers game. They robotically keep executing the same cheese till they climb up to Diamond rank. It’s weird to see, since Silver and Diamond leagues have a good mix of people who are genuinely trying to play the game.
Oh man. How did this turn in to a Starcraft player rant!? Sorry.
Back to Fire Emblem!
I’m just really happy my boyfriend likes Fire Emblem. He loves it enough to constantly miss his stop on the subway ride home, because he’s so involved in a battle. He loves it enough that when we see each other at work in the morning, we spend at least 15 minutes gushing over the game and talking about each unit’s performance and pairings. He also loves so much that he kidnapped my game!!! Yeah….uh…he didn’t want to give it back when I started asking about it. I’m nearly done with Luigi’s Mansion, and while it IS a good game….it’s just not as mentally engaging as Fire Emblem. Luigi is just a really simple, easy game. That is not to say I haven’t died in it a couple of times, and anguished over a puzzle or two, but it requires no where near the same level of thinking that Fire Emblem requires. I severely missed it. I…I was bored.
Then, last week, my boyfriend showed up at work with a surprise for me. He handed me a shrink wrapped, factory sealed copy of Fire Emblem: Awakening…and a cardboard CD-envelope. Stunned, I didn’t say a word. I didn’t have any expression. I just stared at these two things.
“It wasn’t that much money, so it’s okay if you don’t like it,” He said, nervously.
Still silent, I opened the envelope. Inside was a large piece of tape, stuck on wax paper, with two dragons and Falchion between them, cut from white sticker-paper. I told him I love it. The directions were followed to the T, and it stuck to my 3DS perfectly! I’m beyond happy with it. I was so nervous about messing up the application, I had a ruler and outlines out and everything to guide my hand. Those two camera lenses on the 3DS cover really helped. After sticking it on and really rubbing it to make sure it stuck forever, I opened it and….it was upside down!!! I got pretty upset and thought, I KNEW this would happen!!!! The sticker should have been placed in reverse, like how the Apple logo is on Mac laptops, so that whoever is looking at it sees it right-side up when it’s in use. It cheered me up a little that the official Fire Emblem LE 3DS is applied with the exact orientation I used. But still. I coulda made it better. Then all those people in the subway would see how cool I am! Hahahha. I kid, no one freaking cares. Everyone on the train is too self-involved to look at me. So I see it when it’s closed, and it makes me extremely happy.
Oh! And for anyone who is interested, this is the Etsy store that my boyfriend got the decals from – GameThemedThings.com . I’m so happy with it, they deserve the free advertising :D Not that anyone reads this blog! Beware, however…you MAY want to buy absolutely everything you see there.
I’ve been playing it during my commute and before bed since the weekend, and already I’ve basically caught up. Everything is easy, since I already figured out each level the first time around and I know the enemy units’ movement patterns. Getting up to Chapter 11 was a breeze, but I’ve been taking it easy the past few days….grinding! For the first time ever. Now that I know there’s a time jump, and that only my married couples will give me children (obviously, really!)….I’m trying to marry everyone that I can. It’s definitely difficult, because a lot of characters only join your army once you get to Chapter 8….and if you only stick to story and paralogue missions, there’s just no way you can get all the marriages to happen.
One issue I had when I restarted was figuring out who to pair people up with. The first time around, I didn’t care and just went with who seemed “right”, according to the story. Chrom and my Avatar, PANCETTA. Sully and Virion, who showed up together. Etc. Etc. There were other relationships I had that, while they didn’t get married before the time jump, were relationships I still wanted to see to fruition, for the little dialogues between them. Most of the ones I’ve gotten so far are pretty cute, and unexpectedly so – like Nowi and Libra, and how she melted his icy heart. But since I didn’t get to actually FINISH my game….and I had to restart prematurely…there was no “closure” to a lot of these relationships. So I wasn’t sure if I should pair people up the same way the second time around, or if I should try to pair them up strategically…in order to get the strongest possible children.
In the end, I decided to just go with what felt right again, and to hell with strategy….haha. Some relationships did change, simply because I wanted to have everyone married before Chapter 11. Nowi stayed with Gregor, since I didn’t know who else to put her with. Libra went with Tharja, since I paired them up in the battle that they joined my army in. I have Frederick with Sumia, Cordelia with Vaike (another random pairing), Virion & Sully again. Sorry, Cherche…you show up WAY too late in the game! My Avatar is with Chrom again, though I’ve been holding back on pulling the trigger, haha. I don’t know why. Somehow it feels like such a commitment. But that’s insane, I did it before! And it’s just a game!! HOWEVER…whether I have the patience to level up Sumia and Cordelia until they get Galeforce before Chapter 11 concludes is another thing entirely. I may not make that…but I’m very relieved to have gotten most of my units married off by now.
I’m looking forward to when this grinding is over, and I can blow past Chapter 16 to get on with the story. It’s a bit of a limbo-like feeling, to be restarting midway through the game instead of after finishing it. But it wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be….and I’m kinda thinking that maybe I should have restarted under Lunatic :P
Finally….it’s quite clear that Fire Emblem has taken over my life. I only had one picture on my computer at work, and thought why not put it as the desktop wallpaper…