Goodbye, 3DS — Now Playing: Monster Hunter Stories

Paper Jam backs off of the tutorials quite a bit. Dream Team and Bowser's Inside Story were crushing, though. I tried both, finished neither, and have no interest in revisiting them.

The combination of sprite characters and 3D environments is a little weird at first. The characters end up looking fuzzy to me.

Bubblefuzz wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:

I've seriously considered doing another one of these threads for my Wii U library. I still have a few major games I'd like to play there. But how many vanity threads can one clock have?

3.

Do it. :)

It's your fault. Et tu, Wii U?

Enabling successful.

Also, it's your fault I'm re-buying Wii games for the boy and I. So maybe call it even?

First up Donkey Kong Country Returns (£iver off of the eBay).

As for the 3DS still perusing the pile.

I don’t understand why people are saying the 3Ds is dead. The system is still great and there are tons of cheap software to get.

It occassionally gathers dust every now and again along with the Vita, but I'll continue to dig them out regularly, maybe pick up another game here and there.

Regular N3DS is super tactile and lush to hold, be a long while before give it up completely. Along with the old DS lite and Wii it'll also be a console I don't sell or trade in to help pay for the next generation. I only ever seen to keep hold of Nintendo like this. PS and Xbox, they get turfed out as soon as upgrade.

Also, I'll just be dropping this here...

JohnKillo wrote:

I don’t understand why people are saying the 3Ds is dead. The system is still great and there are tons of cheap software to get.

Who's saying that? It's not getting *many* new games, but I see myself playing the 3DS in 10 years unless Nintendo releases a console by then that plays older style games like Advance Wars.

Lord, but Fire Emblem Fates is a mess. You can tell this is the 14th entry in a franchise that had been running for twenty-five years by the time this one released. It's just layers and layers of mechanics that don't always overlap in a coherent way.

Take the weapon triangle, for example. It's maybe one of the most distinctive mechanics in the Fire Emblem series, and it's been at the heart of the game design since it was introduced back in 1996 (alongside the marriage mechanic, oddly enough, which I thought was a lot newer innovation). At its heart, the weapon triangle makes sense, but Fates has so many weapons that exist outside of that triangle that it's a challenge to keep track of them. There are swords, axes, and lances, yes, but also bows and magic and other kinds of magic and dragon stones and clubs and shuriken and frying pans(?) and bottles(?). I can't survey a field of enemies and know who has an advantage over whom, with the exception of bows and flying units still being fairly easy to comprehend.

Not only that, but the effect of the triangle seems fairly minimized. There are plenty of times when I've found that the difference between a mismatched weapon and a matched weapon was fairly minimal; it's less crucial to match weapon types than to have units positioned to support one another.

Then there's marriages; individual inventories and experience levels; weapon degradation; a byzantine number of classes; multiple level-up seals based on relationships, level, personality, and existing class; a castle to build with shops and defenses and a bath house (of course); a creepy first-person mode where you can invite characters to your room to stare at their boobs; paralogues and xenologues and invasions; and on and on and on. It's a lot to keep track of, but not a lot of it is interesting to keep track of. It's just a big Katamari mess of mechanics.

And on top of that, the story and characters are a mess. Conquest has maybe the most interesting storyline, at least at the pitch level: you join the "bad guys" to try to change the evil empire from the inside while your adoptive father schemes to bring you down. That's novel! But it's undermined by the Nohrians pretty much all being terrible people. You're asked to sympathize with the empire of Nohr and its people, but the soldiers in your army are a misfit bunch of sadists and creeps. Maybe Nohr's problems go a lot deeper than just the king?

Meanwhile, the people over in Hoshido aren't particularly interesting, either. Ryoma is especially boring, looking like Knuckles the Echidna in a samurai suit. I hate to say it, but I think Fire Emblem Warriors might have been a more interesting take on the stories of Nohr and Hoshido than Fire Emblem Fates has turned out to be.

If you don't mind I'm going to repost (from the Fire Emblem thread) from when I finished Fates.

I just finished Fates finally. I legitimately hate that game. I'll never play that again. It's even turned me off of starting Echoes.
I'm not a new player. The things I hated about Fates were more about changes away from core Fire Emblem. I just hated it so much that by the time I finished the game I felt annoyed at having spent any time on it. ClockworkHouse warned me to just walk away. I should have listened.

Things I hated about Fates:

- The plot is convoluted and boring. The dialogue in supports is worse. Somehow the children made more sense in Awakening, but they just felt jammed in in Fates. I still don't understand the plot behind the children in Fates. And I finished the game.

- The over reliance on the relationship mechanic, which I already disliked in Awakening. Support buffs got much more confusing. I rarely understood who to pair together and this mechanic felt more important than it was in Awakening.

- The UI is more confusing and less clear to me than it was in Awakening. Maybe that's the reason for the above.

- Removal of weapon degradation. I never managed my inventory. Maybe some people see this as a good thing, but it caused me to just hit "optimize all" and I never really thought much about weapons.

- I disliked the My Castle mechanic. I barely paid attention to it. It wasn't fun. I used it as you're forced to, but I didn't do much with it. Didn't do the arena. Didn't do castle battles. Didn't do much forging.

- The weapons got much more confusing with the addition of new weapon types into the triangle.

- Too many characters, but none of them were very interesting to me.

Things I like:

- The maps are better than Awakening
- The soundtrack was excellent

I've finished Awakening 3 times. It's not my favorite Fire Emblem, but I enjoyed it quit a bit. I opened it up right after finishing Fates and immediately felt more comfortable with the menus, the UI, the characters, weapons, etc. It just felt more like a Fire Emblem game. That's what I'm wondering about with Echoes, if it's closer to an old school Fire Emblem game or if it's too far back mechanically, being that it's a remake.

I'm inclined to drop the series for a while perhaps. Fates made me actively annoyed. It wasn't pleasant to play and I actively fought against a muddy, boring UI.

Yeah, I agree with pretty much all of that.

I am really happy with Echoes, though. I think I liked it a lot more than you did. The UI improvements were great. I loved having the two contrasting armies. And I liked the significant streamlining of the inventory and weapons systems.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Lord, but Fire Emblem Fates is a mess. You can tell this is the 14th entry in a franchise that had been running for twenty-five years by the time this one released. It's just layers and layers of mechanics that don't always overlap in a coherent way.

Yes. It's a complete mess. Hoping they strip it down some in the future. I eventually really liked Echoes because it felt much better than Fates. Probably because it had fewer mechanics.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Take the weapon triangle, for example. It's maybe one of the most distinctive mechanics in the Fire Emblem series, and it's been at the heart of the game design since it was introduced back in 1996 (alongside the marriage mechanic, oddly enough, which I thought was a lot newer innovation). At its heart, the weapon triangle makes sense, but Fates has so many weapons that exist outside of that triangle that it's a challenge to keep track of them. There are swords, axes, and lances, yes, but also bows and magic and other kinds of magic and dragon stones and clubs and shuriken and frying pans(?) and bottles(?). I can't survey a field of enemies and know who has an advantage over whom, with the exception of bows and flying units still being fairly easy to comprehend.

I said this in my rant/review last year, but that was a low point for me too. Part of why I eventually chose to play Conquest was because the Hoshido weapons were really confusing to me. And in combat against the Hoshido I would just "optimize all" and go by the UI in terms of which weapons were strong against which weapons. It was confusing until the very end.

Not only that, but the effect of the triangle seems fairly minimized. There are plenty of times when I've found that the difference between a mismatched weapon and a matched weapon was fairly minimal; it's less crucial to match weapon types than to have units positioned to support one another.

Right. The system of buffs and supports is so confusing. I didn't engage with it at all. I just kept everyone clustered or paired. I ignored it completely. Not sure if that was what they were going for.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

And on top of that, the story and characters are a mess. Conquest has maybe the most interesting storyline, at least at the pitch level: you join the "bad guys" to try to change the evil empire from the inside while your adoptive father schemes to bring you down. That's novel! But it's undermined by the Nohrians pretty much all being terrible people. You're asked to sympathize with the empire of Nohr and its people, but the soldiers in your army are a misfit bunch of sadists and creeps. Maybe Nohr's problems go a lot deeper than just the king?

Meanwhile, the people over in Hoshido aren't particularly interesting, either. Ryoma is especially boring, looking like Knuckles the Echidna in a samurai suit. I hate to say it, but I think Fire Emblem Warriors might have been a more interesting take on the stories of Nohr and Hoshido than Fire Emblem Fates has turned out to be.

Yeah. It's a complete mess except the soundtrack. I'm hoping "Three Houses" doesn't mean we're getting 33% more of this mess. If it does I might be out for good.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Yeah, I agree with pretty much all of that.

I am really happy with Echoes, though. I think I liked it a lot more than you did. The UI improvements were great. I loved having the two contrasting armies. And I liked the significant streamlining of the inventory and weapons systems.

Actually, in the end I really liked Echoes. I'll play it again someday. I might buy some DLC someday.

I've only played the handheld games, but right now my ranking from best to worst would be.

Fire Emblem 7
Sacred Stones
Echoes
Awakening
Shadow Dragon
Fates

So Echoes slots in solidly as my 3rd favorite. Largely on the strength of being closer mechanically to the GBA games than to the 3DS games. And I really liked the music, story, characters, and overall presentation.

EDIT: And I agree that the mechanic of two armies in Echoes was really cool as well. That's the right way to pack a game with tons of characters, IMO. Instead of the nonsense of time-accelerated children.

I have The Sacred Stones on 3DS thanks to the ambassador program. I should give that another spin when I get a chance.

Lucky. I wish I had the ambassador games.

It’s well worth playing.

I'm going with picking up Monster Hunter Stories from the pile for starters.

Also inspired by the CC, is Dragon Quest VIII a good place to start if new to the series? A chill and easy jrpg sounds pretty good to me. On handheld more likely to play than the shiny new DQXI PS4 entry.

This would be a new purchase, wondered if worth it. Cheers.

I really liked DQVIII after swearing the series off after VII. I need to get around to finishing it, I was pretty close to the end. The Switch came out and stole its shine.

Looking at the finished and recommended list, I should probably get back to Luigi's Mansion and NSMB. Both played but unfinished for me.

Dragon Quest VIII is definitely a good place to start with the franchise, especially the 3DS version. It has some nice quality of life changes that make it preferable to the PS2 release.

I actually just started DQ VIII, my first DQ game, a few days ago. My initial impressions are pretty strong based on the first 5 or so hours. I can see why people call the series very traditional and even simple, but I'm finding that to be a major positive in light of other JRPGs I've played lately.

The appeal of this series became apparent within the first 20 minutes or so. It's goofy, charming, endearing...almost innocent in its approach. The enemy names are awful, fantastic puns, and most of them are so cute, you almost feel bad attacking them. Even the voice acting is better than I imagined it would be.

I'm pretty excited that I'm enjoying it so far, because this has always been a series that I struggled to see the appeal of from the outside looking in.

Is 8 better than 7? I own 7, but was never able to get into it.

Cheers all, I think I will get it and give a spin. Nintendo sent me a bday voucher tother week, 30% discount on a very limited range on eshop. Just so happens one of them is DQVIII.

So that or physical at some point I reckon.

DSGamer wrote:

Is 8 better than 7? I own 7, but was never able to get into it.

7 is notoriously difficult to get into. It has an extremely long introduction (literal hours of just running around and talking to people) and a long playtime (100 hours is the norm, as I understand it). Whether 7 or 8 is better, I don't know, but 8 is absolutely easier to get into.

Dyni wrote:

The appeal of this series became apparent within the first 20 minutes or so. It's goofy, charming, endearing...almost innocent in its approach. The enemy names are awful, fantastic puns, and most of them are so cute, you almost feel bad attacking them. Even the voice acting is better than I imagined it would be.

Dragon Quest games remind me a lot of Nintendo's games. They're cheerful, colorful, accessible, sometimes melancholy, and stubbornly resistant to modern fads in game design. Consequently, they always feel a little bit out of step with gaming as a whole, but they also age more gracefully and retain much of the same charm, regardless of when you play them.

I played Dragon Quest VIII earlier this year. The 3DS version adds some minor conveniences, but it's fairly similar to the original PS2 release, which came out 14 years ago. In spite of that, it felt like a new Dragon Quest game would in 2017, not a remaster of a game from 2004. There aren't many of 2004's releases that I could say that about. Hell, most games from 2014 feel so rooted in their time and place that they can already feel dated.

It took me awhile to get into the groove with Dragon Quest. It's not a franchise I've been a lifelong fan of. But it's different and unique in gaming, and I was admittedly pretty happy when reviews for XI almost universally complained that, hey, it's not that different from the last one. Good.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

Is 8 better than 7? I own 7, but was never able to get into it.

7 is notoriously difficult to get into. It has an extremely long introduction (literal hours of just running around and talking to people) and a long playtime (100 hours is the norm, as I understand it). Whether 7 or 8 is better, I don't know, but 8 is absolutely easier to get into.

I think 8 is better than 7, for those exact reasons. 7 is a slog, and it's also made to be episodic, so the overarching story takes a long time to develop and for a while it seems like a series of unconnected adventures.

Also, Maribel is my least favorite character in any Dragon Quest game. Would you like a spoiled brat as one of your main party members, who constantly insults and belittles you throughout the bulk of the game? And the only reason she's spoiled is that daddy was the mayor of a small fishing village?

Don't believe the thread title. There is no Fire Emblem. There is only Picross 3D 2.

I finished Picross 3D Round 2 yesterday. I didn't play the original 3D Picross, so this was my first experience with that particular style of puzzle. It ended up reminding me a lot of Hexcells, weirdly enough.

If there's one thing I don't like about the game, it's that the way they've designed the two color system leads to a lot of naturally repeated structures, so you can often end up "drawing" the correct shapes without actually having the information in the numbers to produce those shapes. It comes down to this: the game uses two colors of block to show two different structural types: blue blocks are solid cubes, and orange blocks are some shape that fits inside a cube but isn't one. In terms of real world uses, think of an arm: the forearm and bicep would be blue cubes, and the hand, elbow, and shoulder would be orange ones. But because of that, if you can see that a puzzle is working out to have an arm in it, you can fairly quickly figure out how to build the arm rather than solving the puzzle's clue to make them.

It's still logical deduction, but it has a much stronger element of pattern recognition than I like.


Okay, back to Fire Emblem Fates. I don't think I'm going to play Birthright and Revelations based on my experience so far with Conquest.

Scratch that. I think I might throw in the towel on Fire Emblem Fates altogether. Echoes was great. Awakening was good. Fates is kinda poop.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Scratch that. I think I might throw in the towel on Fire Emblem Fates altogether. Echoes was great. Awakening was good. Fates is kinda poop.

It really is terrible.

The music is really good. That’s the only redeeming thing I can say about it. There wasn’t a single character I liked. The combat was okay, but the UI, weapons triangle(s) and middling store negated that.

I would give up on it. You’re not alone and there’s no revelation at the end, story wise. At the end you’re technically supposed to play the other two entire campaigns to get the whole story. It’s trash.

It’s literally a game that turned me off on the entire series. I changed my icon, dropped the games for a good year. It left a terrible taste in my mouth.

Back to Strange Journey I go! I'm cheating here a little bit because I played the DS version of the game, but it's one of my favorite games ever, so I would be remiss to not give the 3DS version a proper playthrough.

I just passed the 40 hour mark and am happily plugging right along. It's definitely an improvement over the DS version, although I'm not a fan of all the choices they made in the redux version.

Clocky, where does your new avatar come from? I feel like I should recognize it, but I just can't put my finger on it.