Ep. 313 - Nintendo Apocalypse Monster

@“footfoot”#p141476 @“antillese”#p141568


how have I never heard “chester cheevo” before, thank you for that

@“Mnemogenic”#p141364 that the developers made a very good effort to come up with a concept for a sequel to frog fractions, but at the end of the day it just wasn't possible to do it?

@“tokucowboy”#p141576 “It‘s not easy being ’cheevy.” Did @Jaffe say that? If not, I'm assigning him credit anyway.

Ah man the 15 seconds or so of the Heroic Trio that I half remember from flipping through channels at a friend's house waiting to get picked up still manage to surface every once in a while… something about a baby like flying through the air and landing on a nail

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@“esper”#p141307 At what point does a strategy game become too complicated? (08:58)

Kinda surprised there's no mention of _Final Fantasy Tactics_, which is one of the most overstuffed shite sundaes I've ever tried to play. As a huge _Fire Emblem_ fan - like, beaten them all on Maddening/Lunatic, have written guides on Serenes Forest-levels dedicated to that series - I was so looking forward to playing FFT since it got a lot of FE fans into strategy games and because I'm a huge fan of the mainline FF games. But wow I had a miserable time. _Xenoblade Chronicles_ is probably the closest comparison I can make, a game that has *a lot* of mechanics but does not have *good* mechanics. I don't want to get too bogged down in specifics but things like the "bravery" and "faith" mechanics are just sprinkled on without adding much of anything to the game and are weirdly tied to things they shouldn't be tied to (e.g. steal success rate?** leaving to join a convent???).

Also, FFT is hurt significantly by not having FE's player base. FE's player base (almost to a detrimental degree) is focused on efficiency. FE fans will typically advocate for low-investment, simple strategies and are usually good about helping newer players. On the other hand, you have FFT, where every single guide is like "Part 1, Chapter 3: By this point, Ramza should have mastered the Ninja class and should be dual-wielding" not taking into account that that is an endgame strategy that would take 5+ hours of grinding to have by that point of the game... And like, who are those guides even for? If you've already grinded for 5+ hours then why would you even need any more help with that game. Unfortunately, a lot of RPG strategy guides are like that...

**I misremembered - it's tied to an ability called treasure hunter, not stealing, but it also should not be tied to that

@“antillese”#p141588 I did say that. And then I said “It’s not eavy being cheevy”

@“Hunter”#p141641 bless you for mentioning this.

@“Hunter”#p141641 I‘ve played a lot of Fire Emblem* (*6-10) and have had a similar amount of difficulty adjusting to Tactics Ogre on PSP. I appreciate that for Fire Emblem (generally speaking) complexity more often manifests as large intricate levels, and that the combat and character building mechanics are comparatively simple (if not nonexistent). In TO (and I’m presuming FFT, but it sounds like it may have even more superfluous mechanics) everything is scaled down: maps are often flat plains with maybe a house thrown in there, which is OK because everyone in your army is so customizable—the game is more about slowly building up an army that can handle all kinds of enemy team compositions, while in Fire Emblem it‘s more like you’re reacting to the enemy as best as you can with what units the game gives you. I don't know about guides but GameFAQs forum posts about Tactics Ogre are much more reasonable than that FFT guide

(I'm aware the PSP version is [more complicated](https://forums.insertcredit.com/d/288-unsung-originals/8) than the original SNES/PSX version—and One Vision—and that Reborn streamlined many of the PSP version's mechanics, so I'm thinking about starting over with one of those.)

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@“Hunter”#p141641 I don’t want to get too bogged down in specifics but things like the “bravery” and “faith” mechanics are just sprinkled on without adding much of anything to the game

I don't really want to argue; you clearly feel very strongly about this, but I wanted to take a sec to explain why I think these two stats specifically are really interesting. Brave governs a lot of things (not stealing though, that's incorrect. Speed governs steal.), probably more than it should, but I enjoy there being a separate stat that modifies all these disparate actions by trying to mechanize the concept of "bravery". If you were really brave, you probably would be better at counter attacks! You probably would be more comfortable punching someone in the face! You'd probably be way better at catching arrows out of the air than me, a coward.

Faith is even more interesting. Maybe the most interesting stat in an rpg for my money. So, faith governs magic damage, but it also governs magic hit rate/dodge rate. The higher your faith, the more likely you are to hit with _and_ to be hit with magic. This makes sense to me from the starting point that they're trying to mechanize "faith". This idea that, if you become too fervent with your faith, that you become both a destructive monster and also incredibly vulnerable to that very faith, is, I think, pretty cool.

Party members will leave if their faith gets too high, that's true. At a certain point, the devout no longer want to be part of war. Makes sense to me. Party members will also leave if their brave gets too low, out of cowardice.

Finally, I like that they're both stats that you can manipulate by raising or lowering them in battle. I believe it's every four points of temporary brave leads to one point of permanent increase. Something the same or similar with faith. I dunno I think it's neat.

I don't necessarily think FFT is the best strategy game ever made, but I spent a chunk of my youth playing it and (mostly) hacking around in it, and that gave me an appreciation for (and just plain knowledge of) some of the under the hood stuff. There's some interesting math in there. Often very simple math, but very diverse!

In addition to what @Mnemogenic wrote, bravery/faith also feel like a callback to Tactics Ogre and Ogre Battle, that feature semi-hidden loyalty and “chaos frame” stats, more or less representing if your main character is seen a cool liberator or a ruthless conqueror.

(I think unusual stats like those are pretty neat, and they do add flavor even if they aren't mathematically that significant)

What tipped me off that nishiki was >!bad!< was when I played >!Yakuza!< in >!2006!< like a respectable sega gamer

@"antillese"#p141568

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@“captain”#p141666 the game is more about slowly building up an army that can handle all kinds of enemy team compositions, while in Fire Emblem it’s more like you’re reacting to the enemy as best as you can with what the units the game gives you

Well said. That line is a great breakdown of what's different about these two.

(Fwiw, I adore FFT but I respect those who like their strategy games a little cleaner, a la FE, Shining Force,or Advance Wars).

when exactly was the last Fire Emblem game that could not be described as “overstuffed”?

You already know what I'd say

@“yeso”#p141837 speaking with full recency bias, it‘s Echoes! It feels so streamlined compared to the others surrounding it. But I wonder if they would have made such a stripped back fire emblem from scratch at the time if they hadn’t done a remake. And did Fire Emblem Gaiden feel overstuffed compared to the previous FE in its day? I'm actually curious, I know nothing about early fire emblems.

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@“kyleprocrastinations”#p141840 And did Fire Emblem Gaiden feel overstuffed compared to the previous FE in its day? I’m actually curious, I know nothing about early fire emblems.

I could see FE1 feeling more overstuffed because it had tiny little unit inventories with lots of items that were very hard to trade (you can only trade one item at a time with someone who has an inventory spot available, it takes up an entire turn, and you have to go to a specific spot to get to a convoy). FE2 fixed that by just giving each character 1 item. FE2 also has no deployment limits so every character is meaningful, while in FE1 there's a whole 'backup' cast of characters without personalities who you probably won't use unless the main character you were using died. FE2 would still probably feel overstuffed because it is a big long experience with 50-odd maps and the possibility of getting stuck having to fight respawning enemies.

FE3 is probably feels less overstuffed than FE1 because of some quality of life improvements, but then again it has an entire second game inside the box which probably counts for stuffing.

The thing about Fire Emblem's stuffing is that it's up to you how much you want to engage. None of it really matters if you're playing casually on normal, some of it matters if you're playing on hard mode, and almost all of it matters on maddening. But there's still stuff like Biorhythm from FE9+10 that doesn't do anything in the practical sense but you wouldn't know that unless you tried to seriously engage with it. I like that it's overstuffed, but then again I also play grand strategy games.

Maybe FE6 isn't overstuffed... but that's just because Kaga took all of his ideas with him to make Emblem Saga on the Playstation behind Nintendo's back.

On that note, i‘d like to see Tim make one of his videos on Berwick Saga at the very least to bring some attention and appreciation to Shouzou Kaga while he’s still alive and making SRPG Maker games at the age of 73. That man was born to make strategy games and fight Nintendo. An absolute legend.

I can’t believe there’s no official Poddington Peas game.

I wonder if that show was birthed in the wake of the great Garden Gang vs Munch Bunch drama of the 1980s.
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