Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition: First Impressions

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I beat Xenoblade Chronicles on my 3DS recently and was really excited to get the Definitive Edition on the Switch so I could play the game the Future Connected story and also having the option to replay the game on a bigger screen with easier controls, an enhanced soundtrack that I could hear from my TV as opposed to the little speakers on my 3DS, and improvements to make the game easier to navigate and play.

Improvements to the Main Story

The quests are now much easier to navigate. You will see exclamation points on the map and when you choose a specific side quest, the exclamation points will turn blue and a helpful path will show you where to go. No more looking everywhere and googling to find a specific item or monster!

Meeting people and interacting with them is important in Xenoblade as bonds are important to this story. It’s much easier to find characters as they appear with green dots on the map. Also the auto run feature is so helpful because the maps in these game can be massive so having the game run for you makes navigation much easier!

The cosmetic option is fun because I can put outfits together instead of having odd mismatched gear. The game comes with some already available like swimsuits for everyone or alternate colors for the uniforms they wear when they first appear in the game.

Graphics wise the game is so beautiful now! It’s a major change from someone who was playing on the lowest graphics on the 3DS and still found the game spectacular. The monsters look more realistic, characters have more details. My favorite change so far has to be Reyn. Yes, he did lose his cartoonish look, but I do love his new character model!

The soundtrack is amazing! I love the orchestra and the electric guitar sounds awesome! I love what they did to the soundtrack! I stopped to listen to the opening song when the game loads up and it was just so beautiful!

I do love that there is a Casual mode as it’s so far making the game easier on me! But, if you want a challenge there is an Expert mode. I always play on easy so I’m not about to try that, but it does appear that you can easily make this game tougher if you want to.

Future Connected

Melia and Shulk travel to Alcamoth because Melia wants to restore her home. Alcamoth attacks them and they crash land on the Bionis shoulder. They meet High Entia survivors who tell them that they had to set up the defense system of Alcamoth because a fog monster has been attacking anyone who enters.

The battle system is similar so far. Luckily, I still remember Melia’s strong Topple combo so I have been doing well in fights! There is a Nopon battle attack that unlocks when you fill the talent gauge where they will aid you in battle, but I still need to advance more in the story so I can unlock it. I got sidetracked collecting the Nopon.

The Nopon Ponspectors are my favorite part so far! You aid them in quests and then they join your party. They follow you around in a little Nopon train. It’s so cute! That’s why I haven’t advanced much in the plot. Anytime I see the Nopon Ponspector icon, I find them and do their quests so they will follow me. I have 6 out of 12. You also help the High Entia with quests as well.

A Great Game For New Players and Old Ones Too

I think the upgrades will make this much easier for someone looking to try these games! I could have had a much easier time with this game if I played it on the Switch, but I have not seen the boss battles I got stuck on yet so it may still be challenging there. On the other hand it will be easier to grind and level up now that quests are easier to track!

As for Future Connected, I am really enjoying! The Bionis shoulder is really cool with it’s cliffs and hills. I am interested to see how the story will develop once I stop collecting all the Nopon and play the story more. I really want to know what happened after the game ended! For new players, please play the main game before starting this as it spoils major plots that ruin the first time playing through the game.

What do you think of Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition? Are you enjoying Future Connected?

 

Experiencing Games With Friends: Persona 5 Royal

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My best friend and I got Persona 5: Royal on the same day. It’s fun to experience this game again, but it’s even better to experience the changes with a friend! My friend managed to finish the game fairly quickly while I am still getting through it because I play games very slow plus busy with work and I don’t stay up late.

New Animations

The first thing I noticed was when the new song and opening video started which I was so excited about! I had gotten the game first so I was telling my friend how fun the new song was.

While we were playing together while talking on the phone, we noticed that the faces of the players in the text bar changed. The game would give the characters a couple of expressions, but now they seem to be more defined and we both noticed that it gave the characters a lot more emotion!

New Characters

The two major characters were Kasumi Yoshizawa and Takuto Maruki. I thought Kasumi kinda resembled me with long hair, but we both agreed that I’m way too clumsy as she was doing some complicated moves during the opening animation and prologue. I am hoping I can bond more with her character as I just unlocked her as a Confidant.

When my friend got way further into the story than I did, he said he was similar to Maruki. At first, I was confused because Maruki is awkward. But, he does like to help people and my friend is really sweet and looks after people (I’m only saying nice things about you because I know you read these, joking you’re the best!). Maruki also appears to enjoying cooking and my friend really loves cooking and has taught me some things!

New Mechanics

The first thing we both loved was the grappling hook because it was fast and fun! He also loved the showdown, but I have unfortunately not been able to trigger one yet. I only just finished the second palace so I’m sure I’ve got time. I learned the hard way about ransom always being a technique because I thought it was new, but no just got very unlucky!

I also love the Thieves Den as it’s really cool! I got a statue of Carmen while I was calling my friend while playing and I was so excited that Morgana and Ann started talking about Carmen. I also love playing cards with them!

Jose is an interesting addition to Mementos. I think he looks like a robot, but my friend wasn’t sure. I like collecting flowers and stamps for him! We also have different ways of traversing through Mementos. He prefers collecting all requests before completing a section while I complete the section first and then take requests so I can easily get to the floors that they are on.

Plot Changes

I know that there is a third semester which I am told by my friend is amazing so I really want to play it. Besides that the cleanup section was really funny! I was laughing at Maruki attempting to sprinkle the salt in an artistic manner and teased my friend that yeah he would also be that extra when he cooks!

Confidant Changes

The first thing I noticed with Ryuiji was hanging out with him resulted in a phone call afterwards It now seems that every time I bond closer with a character, they call me which is super sweet! I love getting phone calls from friends so I really enjoy that addition!

Boss Changes

I noticed when fighting Kamoshida that he summoned slaves which made me angry. I was just enraged when he summoned Shido, who he sexually assaulted,  and put her in a playboy bunny costume demonstrating how he saw her. I was very disturbed and desperately wanted to defeat him.

Madarame got me with his mirror images. I was so annoyed that they kept respawning until the end of the fight, but it was funny that they eventually got weak because he is a terrible artists. The one dumb thing I did was use abilities that targeted multiple people as one or two Madarame clones would be weak to it, but the other ones would block it back at me.

New Experiences Every Time I Play

I do love that every time I play this game, I see something new! My favorite part is sharing what I’ve seen with my best friend. It allows us to bond during quarantine. That’s what I love about playing video games while corona is going around; they still allow me to bond with friends and become closer with my friends.

What games have helped you bond with your friends recently?

 

Xenoblade Chronicles and Changing Destiny

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Destiny is the second main theme of Xenoblade Chronicles 3D. It starts with the idea of using the Monado to change fate because it is the only weapon that can fight the Mechon to Shulk using the Monado to see the future. Eventually the idea of changing destiny goes to changing the fate of the world. This game is really ambitious when it comes to the story which is why I love it! For this please do not read if you have not played or finished the game as this will involve the crazy twists at the end that really shake up the story and universe! 

Shulk and the Monado

Shulk is the only character that can wield the Monado properly as most people end up getting hurt by the weapon. Shulk also gains special abilities from the Monado such as visions. At first it seems like they cannot do much as his vision that Fiona will be killed still ends up to her death.

But, once he starts talking to people and being open about his visions, he is really able to change the future. One moment I remember is when he sees a vision that Sharla will die trying to save her brother Juju from a Mechon. He is able to stop the future by warning Sharla and Juju is saved.

The gameplay also allows you to change the future. Shulk can see what will happen in battle and you can tell a character how to avoid the attack or stop it yourself with the Monado. For example, if you see that a character will take enough damage to kill them, either tell them to put a shield up or use a Monado art and they will survive the attack and take less damage.

World

The world was actually designed to fight each other due to Zanza, the creator of this world. It seems like the people of Bionis and Mechnois can never get along, but he wanted that. Zanza wanted power and to do that he decided to destroy Mechonis. He brought the Monado to earth so that someone would be foolish to pick it up. Zanza needs power because without destruction, he will cease to exist. The people of Bionis give him energy when they die.

When someone did, Zanza took over their body and started fighting Mechonis. Egil, the leader of the Mechonis revolution, witnessed this destruction he vowed to destroy Bionis to kill Zanza. Egil at the end sacrified himself to protect Bionis from Zanza and the Mechon started helping Bionis defend against Zanza.

The fate of the High Entia were also changed. High Entia had this rule where they wanted a Homs and High Entia to produce children so they would be more like Homs. At first that seemed really weird, but they were trying to change their fate. Zanza created them so that they would turn into monsters called Telethia who would kill the people of Bionis for Zanza when he commanded them to. Melia and the other half High Entia were able to avoid becoming Telethia and were able to live a normal life though they mourned the loss of their families.

Creator and Destiny

Zanza and Meyneth, the creator of Mechonis, have two different visions of the world they created. Zanza wants the world to fuel him. He enjoys conflict and destruction because it gives him power. Meyneth only wants the people to have a happy future where they can decided their own destinies.

This world was created by Zanza (which is where the ending just really changes the story). So the world was created as a computer program to look at how universes are made and evolve. Zanza, or Klaus as he was known, decided to execute the world before it was fully tested. That led to the destruction of our world and the beginning of Bionis and Mechonis. The Monado has power in this world because it is the computer that build this world.

Ending and Lessons Learned

When Zanza destroys the universe, Shulk and his friends fight him. Shulk is able to create his own Monado and can still see the future. He is able to defeat Zanza by seeing the future. After that he gets to decide the fate of the universe. He decides to let the people decide their future and the people of Bionis and Mechonis live in harmony on Colony 6.

This game teaches us that destiny and fate can be changed. We are not stuck on one path if our future is not how we envisioned it to be. Instead we can create our own future with persistence. Shulk tried everything he could to change the future over an over 100 hour story and he was able to change it and create his own future. So whenever you feel stuck or like your future isn’t going the way you want it to, know that the future belongs to you.

What did you think of the ending of Xenoblade Chronicles? 

Xenoblade Chronicles and Perseverance: Tough Bosses

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Xenoblade Chronicles 3D has to be the hardest game I have ever played. I had to retry the entire game 3 times in order to get grinding and quests right. The first time I made way too many mistakes and ended up being very underleveled for all boss fights. I decided to retry again a couple years later, but loss\t interest. The third time I decided to try again, I had forgotten everything about the game so I decided to begin a fresh save. Now I am finally at the final boss. I actually managed to do pretty well with this game except for two bosses which taught me about patience and strategy.

Gadolt

This was the first boss that I ran into major problems with. Usually after doing most of the side quests, I could easily take a boss down, but not this one. He is also apparently one of the hardest bosses in the game which is how I got the achievement Phoenix for 50 game overs total (a good chunk was from him and also Metal Face).

The first thing I did was grind by doing all side quests to try to get closer to his level. That helped me a lot, but he still was hard. He’s a hard enough boss with his deadly attacks (I can still remember hearing “This shot will take you down” before he basically killed most of my party). So I looked on YouTube and also at posts by others who were stuck on the fight.

After trying to use different party members, I believe I won using either Shulk or Melia with Reyn and Sharla. Sharla healed everyone while I took out the guardians and eventually just kept knocking Gadolt out until the fight was over.

Disciple One

This one had me wanting to quit the game. She is known to be the hardest boss in this game. She summons enemies that grant her 100% defense against physical attack unless you take most of them down. On top of that she has powerful attacks and also she is a large boss in a small area surrounded by toxic ether. She can push your party members and you into the toxic ether just by moving around. I died here more than Gadolt and was very annoyed by hearing “You will pay for your insolence” several times during this fight.

Looking up help for this one was actually funny. It would go between helpful advice to hearing that people just quit the game at this point because of how tough she is. I just grinded until she was not in the yellow (yellow means that the boss is slightly harder because your party is too low).

Then, I just kept trying different party combinations. I eventually just used Melia, Riki, and Sharla because two of those mostly attacked using ether instead of physical attacks. It was basically luck that got me to win because I used chain attacks to take her down. If I wasn’t lucky she would take Melia out which would cause me to lose the battle fairly quickly.

Lessons Learned

I learned that with patience, strategy, and trying multiple times, I can do anything! I really learned about patience when I needed to wait a while to do quests and grind before I could fight a boss. I also learned strategy with choosing the right party that went could help each other out, making sure they had the right equipment with gems to increase certain stats, and making sure they had the right Arts selected. After I tried multiple strategies I would eventually defeat any boss.

I am currently stuck on the final boss who has three phases, but I managed to get through the first phase. I am using what I have learned to defeat the final boss!

What lessons have tough bosses in video games taught you?

Importance of Bonds in Xenoblade Chronicles

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I am currently working through Xenoblade Chronicles 3D on my Nintendo 3DS. I have now played 99 and a half hours and I still need to complete the main story. This game is long! While playing I have come across two main theme I wanted to write about. The first being about love and relationships and the second one I will write later once I have finished the game. The second theme requires more story in order to discuss it properly. Warning: Full spoilers up until the Gadolt boss battle where I stopped.

Party Relationship

The standard for any RPG is usually some form of party. This game has a special mechanic were the more you sync up with your party with attacks, the more a link for fills up. Once this link fills up, you can do chain attacks. You also need to encourage your teammates in battle when they get discouraged. During battle, team mates will cheer each other on like “We can definitely do this”. Battle also encourages skill links which create special effects during battle such as an Agility buff when the battle begins with higher level enemies.

There’s also Heart-to-Hearts which unlock special cut scenes from a character’s affinity link. Affinity links are basically how much they get along which increases as they battle together.

In terms, of story the party generally bonds as the story progresses. You see Reyn and Shulk, the first main party, deepen their friendship as they work to save Bionis. Sharla, a woman who joins when you meet Colony 6, and Reyn get closer along the story as well. Reyn clearly likes Sharla and tries to bond with her which she does find adorable.

Family Bonds

Family is also an important part of Xenoblade. Dunban and Fiora are brother and sister who look after each other. Fiora nurses Dunban back to health after he injures himself wielding the Monado and he looks after her when she gets a Mechonis body and needs to stay hydrated.

Melia has a brother named Kallian and a father named Emperor Sorean. Melia is very close with her family. She loves her father and her brother looks after her. When Sorean dies, Melia is devastated. She is made the new leader of the High Entia, but asks her brother to stand in for her while she accompanies Shulk to fight the Mechon.

A bond that has become tense over time is Miqol and Egil. Miqol is the father of Egil. Egil is, at the moment, responsible for the tension between the Homs and Machina. He has led the Mechonis to fight and kill the Homs. Miqol does not want the Homs to die over past history and is currently tell Shulk to kill Egil. We’ll see if this changes over time.

Community Bonds

During any time in the game, you can look at the Affinity Chart which shows your relationship to the different communities in Xenoblade Chronicles. My highest community is Central Bionis which is at 3 stars. This is where the Nopon live.

During Xenoblade you come across different communities. These can be other Homs communities like Colony 6 or other races such as Nopon (basically sentient fluffy creatures), High Entia (similar to elves in intelligence and life span), and Machina (the machine people). Some of these are even added to your party.

Nopon can seem annoying at first, but Riki is kind and determined to help his friends. His moves can even help friends like healing. Melia is a High Entia. At first, they seem like they only care about themselves, but they do decided to help the Homs. Melia uses magic to either hurt enemies or give her allies buffs. The Machina really want to stop Egil and are willing to help the Homs. All they want is peace.

Romantic Bonds

The first romantic bond is Shulk and Fiora. They are friends that are clearly interested in each other. Before they can form a romantic bond, Fiora is killed by a Mechon. This drives Shulk to want to destroy all Mechon. He doesn’t change his mind until he sees Fiora in a Mechon’s body. This Mechon behaves strangely because the Mechon clearly knows how Fiora feels about Shulk and decides to protect them. In fact, the Mechon destroys itself protecting Shulk.

After Fiora has been released from the Mechon, her and Shulk kiss beginning the romance they were too nervous to start at first. Fiora is actually nervous about the possibility of becoming fully human again because she desperately wants to help Shulk when he is fighting. She also is originally afraid that Shulk wouldn’t want a relationship with her now that she is part Mechon, but he just loves having her in his life again.

The other major romantic bond is between Sharla and Gadolt. Sharla and Gadolt were in love and had a close bond together. She tried to console Gadolt during the war against the Mechon. Gadolt went missing during battle and was perceived to be dead. Turns out he is alive, but one major problem. He is a Mechon and this time he has no memories of his past. After Fiora turned rogue from her memories and Mumkhar’s obsession with Dunban led to his demise, Egil decided that completely erasing memories, thus erasing bonds, would ensure that his next legion of Homs-Mechons would be even better warriors. Sharla is devastated that Gadolt no longer remembers her and that their bond has dissolved. But, it seems he may remember her because he purposefully misses her when he attacks the party.

Future Bonds

I am hoping that Sharla and Gadolt will have a mended bond. I am hoping that there is some way to regain his memories. I am also interested to see how Shulk and Fiora’s relationship will deepen now that they are together again. I also am hoping that there might be some way to stop Egil without killing him. Maybe if they get through to him that destroying another race will not help him with the pain of his past, he’ll stop this violence. That one unfortunately I think is the least likely outcome.

What are your thoughts on the bonds in this game? Maybe there is another game you can think of that focuses heavily on bonds.

 

 

Why I Love The Witcher Series: The Witcher

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I finished The Witcher: Enhanced Edition this week. I really enjoyed seeing how the games first started and loved the story!

Plot

This picks up from where the books ended. Geralt was killed by a human, but then comes back to life. The catch is he has completely lost his memory. He spends time at Kaer Morhen trying to regain his memory when it is attacked by the Professor, Jevad, and the Salamandra. They steal the Witcher mutagens and disappear. Geralt must find out why they took the mutagens and stop their plans. This plot has many twists including my favorite which is what the mutagens are for, but I really do not want to spoil the extended plot.

Combat

This combat does get negative reception and was why I was initially hesitant to play this game. On Easy, it is not too difficult. Basically the sword combat is like a rhythm game. Clicking on the enemy with a sword icon will trigger combat. You select your sword and fighting style (Strong, Fast, or Group) and begin fighting. Geralt will automatically start to swing, and you ONLY click the mouse when the sword icon turns into a fiery sword. Too early or too late and Geralt will not chain combos and cannot attack.

On top of that, this game is really picky about you using potions. The other games I would forget and be fine, but not this one. Even on easy, you need to use potions on boss fights and certain quests or you can die pretty quickly.

World

The world is set up into chapters. Each chapter will bring you to a level with maps. These maps will have quests. The maps were a good size. They were not too big or too small. Despite it’s age, the world was still really pretty. I generally liked the worlds that I explored except the swamp because the map was really confusing and the enemies were tough in that map.

Quests

The quests are similar to the other games. I did not find contracts as fun as in this game contracts are mainly kill x amount of creatures, get some material off creatures, get reward. The interesting part about contracts was that you needed to read books to get Bestiary entries to fight monsters.

This games does have some really great side quests though. I enjoyed “Beauty and the Beast” where I helped a woman cure her lover. She wanted him to no longer be a werewolf and you try magic, potions, but true love is what breaks the curse. That was an adorable ending!

“Blue Eyes” involves The Witcher choosing between The Order and the vampires. A knight is looking for his lost sister. I find her at The House of The Queen of the Night and she seems content and happy. I tell the knight what is going on and he insists she’s under a spell. I meet The Queen of the Night and she is a vampire. She tells me that the girl is happy and loved there; she was rescued by The Queen of the Night. The knight was mistreating her and just wanted to set her up with some guy she didn’t love. The Queen of the Night has given her luxury and peace. The knight appears and I am forced to choose sides. I chose The Queen of the Night’s side and Blue Eyes thanked me because she felt safer there than with her brother.

Themes

Identity

Geralt has lost his memory so a major theme of the game is his identity. What’s interesting is you get to choose his identity and there’s actually a quest called “Identity.”  Certain dialogue choices you make will influence the quest. My Geralt went after the Salamandra for personal reasons, chose the Scoia’tael because he believed in their cause for equal rights, and loved Triss. Geralt’s identity is shaped by the choices you make.

Morality

In this game, the major moral choice, is Scoia’tael, the Order, or neutral. Yaevin leads the Scoia’tael who are fighting against how the humans treat the nonhumans in Vizima. The Order are fighting the Scoia’tael because they have hurt humans. They are also monster hunters like Geralt. I chose the Scoia’tael for this game because I want them to have equal rights. The Order also has issues with racism against nonhumans and their leader is a problem in this game. I cannot say why because it is a major spoiler, but he is.

Who are the real monsters?

The Witcher slays monsters, but sometimes he meets evil people that are like monsters. Chapter 1 is a major example. The Witcher goes to a town where a Beast is leading barghest that are killing people. I offered to slay the Beast and that’s when things got interesting. This Beast only comes when people have committed vile acts. Well this town is full of evil people who have done terrible things like murder. Not only that, but they blame a witch named Abigail for their suffering and attempt to burn her.

Interesting Start to The Witcher Games

I did really love this game! I would encourage anyone who is interested to see how the games started play this game. But, there were technical issues in Chapter 5. The game is old and for some reason was having trouble with all the enemies on the screen during the Vizima battle so it would crash. Luckily, setting the graphics to low fixed it until the fight  scenes was over which ended after I did a couple of main quests. Still, I played the game for 70 hours and only had trouble during not even one hour of gameplay.

I also love how this game foreshadows The Wild Hunt. He is an optional final boss in the game and I encountered him during a side quest in Chapter 1. He’s a creepy looking ghost with a long skeleton face. You can fight him as a final boss depending on what you do with the main villain of the game. I do really love this game for it’s story (especially during the later stages), the introduction to major characters like Triss, and the choices in the game.

Have you played The Witcher? What are your opinions on The Witcher games?

 

Why I Love The Witcher Series: The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings

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I bought The Witcher 2 not too long after I finished The Witcher 3.  There are several similarities to The Witcher 3 such as the combat, side quests, and contracts. The two big differences were graphics which were unique due to the bright lightning and younger looking Geralt and the world is basically separated into small sections and chapters. There’s no massive world to explore, you just stay in one area at a time. It was still nice to explore the area since they still had a good amount of depth to them! leader

Plot

The game begins with Geralt being accused of murdering Foltest even though he helped Foltest and then being tasked with finding out who is the kingslayer. There is also the subplot of  continuing to get back Geralt’s memory after he lost his memory at the beginning of the first game.

Characters

Iorveth and Roche

These characters are basically the two sides you pick in the game. Iorveth is the leader of the Scoia’tael, the elves fighting against the humans, while Roche is a leader of Temerian’s Blue Stripes army. If you choose Iorveth, you are siding with the non-humans and their cause and if you choose Roche, you care choosing to side with the humans.

Saskia

She is known as the Dragonslayer, but she is actually a dragon. Phillipa controls her through a spell throughout the game and is the only one that cure her of the spell. If the spell is not lifted, Saskia will die in battle.

Phillipa

She is the leader of the Lodge of Sorceresses. She loses her sight in this game due the Redanian king. If Geralt helps her, she will help him save Saskia. She is also behind the assassination.

Sile

Sile is a powerful sorceress whom Geralt first meets when he helps her kill a Kayran. She was a major part of the king’s assassination. She forces Saskia to fight for her when she is trapped by The Flaming Rose (knights who hunt monsters, but are also against magic and non-humans) . Geralt can choose to spare her at the end of the game if he decides to warn her that Letho tampered with her teleportation device.

Letho

The kingslayer who is also a Witcher. He is the major antagonist of the second game and will only appear in the third game if you spare him. The reason he does all this was because he was hired by Nilfgaard who promised they would rebuild his Witcher school if he helped them.

Morality

The Witcher 2 has moral choices that affect the story depending on what you choose. The first major one that reflects the majority of the game is choosing humans or the Scoia’tael. The Witcher is between the two, he is human but also considered non-human by other humans. The humans put non-humans in separate locations and hurl racist insults at them. The Scoia’tael want equality, but they achieve this through violence such as destroying towns. I ended up sided with the Scoia’tael because I wanted them to have the same equal rights as humans especially after I saw the nonhumans being slaughtered by humans.

The second major choice is what to do with Letho. On one hand, he kidnapped Triss, he killed the king, and you really do not get his story until the last act. But, if you listen to his story, he was hired in exchange for his Witcher school being rebuilt (which was never going to actually happen). He was tricked and does not realize this until nearing the end. I chose to spare him.

Other major choices involve Phillipa and Saskia. Phillipa loses her eyesight during this game and you can choose to help her when she loses her sight. Saskia is a dragon who is forced to rampage on towns. You can choose to kill her for being a “monster” or save her. I saved both her and Phillipa.

Aged like Fine Wine

Despite it’s age and lacking the massive open world of the third game, this game was really good. The emotional story with multiple choices and multiple endings made for a thrilling adventure. The story caught my attention from the beginning to the end. I loved the art style of the game and I also like the smaller worlds to explore. I highly recommend trying this game if you’ve beaten The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

What did you think of The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings? What do you think of the struggle between humans and nonhumans in The Witcher games? Would you spare Letho?

Why I Love The Witcher Series: Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt

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I have been a fan of The Witcher since I decided to pick up The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt  when I saw that I could get the complete edition for $20. I did not know too much about the game beforehand. All I knew about the game came from watching Conan reacting to The Witcher 3 and he was mainly focused on the unicorn scene. After playing it for myself, I saw a beautiful world filled with lore, complex characters, and a thrilling story.  After buying The Witcher Enhanced Edition  on Steam, starting the novels, and knowing that The Witcher Netflix series is coming out this month, I have decided to write a series of posts about The Witcher starting with the first game I played.

Characters

Geralt

This game is full of amazing characters! I love Geralt. At first, his voice seemed dry, but I began to love his humor and wit. I also love how much he cared for Ciri.

Ciri

Ciri is also a fun character. She has a strong personality that starts with her as a child. I enjoyed playing as her as well because her combat was really fast.

Triss and Yen

Triss and Yen are also amazing. I am really impressed by how women are represented in The Witcher 3. Triss and Yen are both strong sorceresses. Triss has more of a fiery personality and she is in all three of the games. Yen is introduced in this game, but I love how mature she was. She is a motherly figure to Ciri and she was very independent. Even though she is helping Geralt find Ciri, she is following her own path. She is also extremely intelligent.

Dandelion and Zoltan

Dandelion and Zoltan are Geralt’s main companions. Dandelion also writes in the journal entries of the game. I noticed immediately how much he flattered himself. He definitely fits the bard stereotype with his ego (especially when it comes to his ego about his writing and poetry), but he also truly cares about his friends. Zoltan is a dwarf who is strong, bold, and caring. He is not afraid to speak his mind and he has fought and survived many battles.  He really looks after Geralt even it just means having Geralt sit down and have a drink with him.

Story

The main plot is mostly about finding Ciri and stopping The Wild Hunt. But, there are also multiple plots that overlap such as the Bloody Baron’s story and King Radovid’s hatred of non-humans. These plots also come with multiple endings and finally the final ending. So you can play through the game multiple times to find different ending to both main and side quests.

There are also a ton of side quests in this game. I don’t even think I finished all of them in my first playthrough. There are story side quests, treasure side quests where you find gear or gear sets, and contracts where you kill monsters.

The nice part is that despite having two previous games, the game does its best to explain what it can to you. There are backstories in journal entries. You can choose your own story that happened in The Witcher 2 even if you’ve never played it. Characters like Triss that appeared in all the games are fully developed in this game. I understand more about the characters and the lore now that I am playing the previous games and reading the books, but this game still did a great job at making this a good game for first players.

Humor

This game is really funny. Geralt’s dry humor really makes me laugh. The first time he really made me laugh was when he met a scholar at the first inn who listed his various titles and Geralt said he was a “Witcher. With tenure”. I also love the scene where he gets drunk at Kaer Morhen.

I also love the scenes with the trolls especially the troll named Trololo. The name was funny enough  but he also sings and just randomly says “Trollololo”. There was also a funny scene where Philippa is an owl and Zoltan thinks she’s a real owl so he gives her a perch to sit on and wants the owl to  learn to speak and play gwent.

Massive World to Explore

There are five main locations in this game: White Orchard, Vizima, Novigard, Skellige,  and Kaer Morhen. They all have different environment, different people, and different cultures. Even within the maps themselves there are differences such as the poorer towns outside of a castle.

The worlds have maps full of questions marks where you can explore and find treasures, caves, or monster dens. The monsters in the worlds are full of variety. There are journal entries for each monster so you can learn about them and how to fight them. Some of these monsters were genuinely terrifying like the Leshy.

Combat

The combat mainly consists of using swords, but there is also a crossbow for flying monsters and underwater monsters. I loved the swords because they are so fluid. I also love the movements with the pirouettes. It makes the swordplay almost look like a deadly dance.

I also love the use of signs like Igni for fire and Quen for shield. They can be used in combat or dialogue.

Finally alchemy is a major component in battle. Making potions can strengthen weapons, heal Geralt, or be used against monsters.

Expansions

The main game also comes with two massive expansions that are almost like two separate games.

Heart of Stone

Heart of Stone centers around vampires. You have to fight against Olgried Von Everec who cannot die. It also features a literal toad prince boss which was funny due to the concept, but awful to fight.

Blood and Wine

This gives an official ending to The Witcher games. Geralt is set to find out who the monster is that is killing guards by the ruler of Toussaint.  Geralt inherits a vineyard for his help and this world is a whole new map. I love owning a vineyard while also exploring this high fantasy world.

First Witcher Game

I really loved this game and consider it one of my favorite games of all time. It also got me to play the other games on Steam and get the novels so I could get more background on Geralt and the other character.

Was The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt your first Witcher game? Have you played the other games or read the novels? Are you looking forward to the Netflix show?

 

 

 

Thoughts on Edelgard’s route

Full spoilers for route!

Edelgard’s character interested me which is why I chose The Black Eagles route in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. was a strong leader of her house and getting closer with her revealed things she kept hidden from the others. She was kind, but also had been through a lot when she was younger.

Edelgard’s route is basically where you side against Rhea and the Church of Seiros. You join up with Edelgard as the Flame Emperor to fight against Rhea to end her rule so Fodlan can be more equal instead of a class system based on nobility and Crests.

I got this route by getting Edelgard’s Support up to a C+ and talking to her on 2/8.

Why did I pick this route?

Getting closer to Edelgard and The Black Eagle’s story both influenced me to pick this route.

Talking with Edelgard, I found that she had been experimented on along with her other siblings. The experiment was to see if someone could have two Crests. All of her siblings died except her. She got The Crest of Flames from the experiments. That’s when I thought she might be The Flame Emperor and it turned out I was right.

Rhea was not seen is a positive light in this story. I did not spend time with her so that did not help things. Jeralt appeared to be suspicious of get so I became suspicious. Then, it seemed like she thought whoever went against the Church should be killed. After I found out she did something to Byleth during her birth, I really didn’t trust her.

The Black Eagles also shows the bad side nobility and the class system, blaming Rhea and The Church for causing the class differences. Bernadette has been abused, Dorothea was a Commoner who was treated like dirt until she started singing. Petra was forced to attend the Monastery and her father was killed by Caspar’s father.

All Edelgard wants is for Rhea and the church to no longer rule Fodlan so the emphasis on nobility and Crests can be changed to equality for everyone. She blames Rhea and The Church for everything that happened to her family.

What happens in this route?

It starts when Byleth goes to the throne after becoming one with the goddess. Edelgard interrupts to steal the Crests and you can choose to spare her even though Rhea wants her dead. Sparing her enrages Rhea and you see her true form as The Immaculate One. After that you fight to take down Rhea, but you die in the process.

5 years later, you come back to life and help Edelgard. First comes taking down The Alliance. You fight Claude and then can spare or kill him. Sparing him results in him leaving and The Yellow Deer join you.

Next, you must fight The Blue Lions. You cannot save Dimitri. He has become ruthless in his attempt to kill Edelgard and protect Rhea.

Finally, you take down Rhea. She wants to be called Seiros, her true name, and she changes to her dragon form. Rhea is enraged and grieving. She has lost her mother, the goddess, because Byleth left. She hates Byleth and Edelgard and wants them dead. Her anger leads to her setting her safe house, The Blue Lions castle, aflame which puts all citizens in danger.

Thoughts on the route

My thoughts changed throughout.

First, I felt regret pretty quickly. At first, I wanted to help Edelgard build a new land that would be equal. But, I had to hurt old allies.

I really liked Claude so I felt bad attacking him, but I was glad I could spare him. That made me feel better that he would help me.

Then, Rhea had a cutscene. In it, she was mourning her lost mother because I had deserted her. I felt really bad for her because she was visibly distraught. That was the first time the route had painted her sympathetically, but it was already too late.

Next, The Black Eagles. Mercedes was so sweet to me and Dimitri was always kind. But, I had no choice. That and I couldn’t save Dimitri. I felt so bad that I had to attack them because of the route I chose.

Getting up to the fight with Rhea was worse. I had to go through Manuela and Flayn. Flayn was my student. I again had no choice due to the route I had chosen, but I was crying.

Having to fight Cyril at the final fight was also terrible since he was really nice as well. I was also sad that Rhea had to die too. She did have a choice to surrender, but she was enraged and wanting to fight back.

But, the ending did make it worth it. Edelgard was able to bring peace to Fodlan. She dismantled the class system and the reliance in Crests for power. Her rule was truly more equal according to the ending.

Class and Power in Edelgard’s Route

At the start of the game, characters have classes of Noble or Commoner. Nobles have power. They look over government, have their future planned for them.

Commoners are the lower class. Dorothea has been mistreated by nobles. She talks about bring talked down to or getting nasty stares because she was living on the street. The nobles only paid attention to her when she became famous for her voice.

The Church of Seiros also wields considerable power. They lead Fodlan and everyone must obey them. They also emphasize Crests which are another form of power. Those who wield Crests are generally nobles and they use these Crests in battle to gain the upper hand.

Students start to learn about the problems with having a class system when they interact with students from different classes.

Dorothea and Ferdinand are an example of that. Dorothea states that she does not like Ferdinand. She calls him a bee. He tries to figure out why but it also really kind to her. He bakes her treats and listens to her. Finally, at the end of their Support, she tells him why. She was just starting to sing and she was bathing in a public fountain and caught a young Ferdinand who saw her, glared at her, and then ran off. Ferdinand states that he was actually marveled by her beauty but became scared. Ferdinand never really saw her as being different due to his higher class while she knew they were different because she had been mistreated as a Commoner.

Also being in a higher class system isn’t always seen as positive. Bernadette was abused by her dad. She panics and is afraid of people because she became friends with a Commoner and her dad had him beaten almost to death. That’s why she hides from people. She’s afraid of them getting hurt. She also was originally just going to be married off, but then she was dragged to the Monastery.

Edelgard destroys the concept of nobility and Crests so that no one can have power over someone else. She tries to make everyone’s power equal so they cannot use it against others. Hopefully in her rule, people can be equal and Commoners , Nobles, and Crests can no longer be used as a class divide.

What do you think of Edelgard’s route? What are your thoughts on the themes of the game

Fire Emblem: Three Houses Update and Alternative Route

white cathedral interior
Photo by Immortal shots on Pexels.com

I just got back into Fire Emblem: Three Houses last weekend after my friends playing it made me miss the game. It turns out that I was actually getting close to a major reveal so I am glad I decided to finish the game! I just started the alternative route before starting this post so I can also discuss it on this post!

Student Update

All of my students are now extremely helpful in battle since they have Master classes. Edelgard is a Warrior so she can solely use her axe in battle. Hubert is a Warlock whose focus is using dark magic in battle to defeat enemies. Ferdinand is a Wyvern Rider who uses an axe on a wyvern so he can fly and take out enemies. This also makes him incredibly strong. Lindhardt is a Bishop so he can use some offensive magic, but he mostly focuses on healing. Caspar is a Grappler who uses his fists in battle and can do multiple damage to an enemy. Bernadetta is a Sniper. She does not like fighting so it works that she just hits people far away with her bow. Dorothea is my Dancer which gives her really good offensive magic like Meteor, but also allows her to heal allies. Petra is an Assassin which allows her to use both her sword and bow in battle. She is my strongest fighter because she deals a lot of damage with her sword. Finally, my character, Azura, is the Enlightened One. I fused with the goddess so I now can heal, use magic damage, and use my sword in battle.

Story

All of the big reveals started happening while I was playing so spoiler warning! First, I found out that the gentle librarian was actually Solon who wants to use dark magic. He can turn students into beasts and also massacres your home village.

Then, another betrayal happens. The sweet red-head student you don’t teach in the Black Eagles named Monica is actually this evil woman, who kinda resembles a mad clown, called Kronya. Considering that Monica was kidnapped by the Death Knight, it is possible that Monica actually died and Kronya is merely pretending to be her. Kronya kills Jeralt and then attempts to kill you as well.

This is when another reveal happens, although I saw this one coming. Solon uses his powers to send you to a dark realm which reminded me of Kingdom Heart 3‘s World of Darkness except there are no landscapes here. That’s when it is revealed that the green lady in your head is actually a goddess. You fuse with her to escape and gain a new class!

You then sit on the throne because Rhea wants you to and  find out that Edelgard is the Flame Emperor and she tries to stop Rhea. This goes into why I chose the alternative path.

I just don’t trust Rhea. She executes anyone who resists her. I found out that when my character was born, her mother died and the baby was abnormal and had no heartbeat. Rhea admits that she put the goddess inside of me. I’m guessing that means that the baby and the mother were supposed to die during childbirth so Rhea saved the baby by infusing her with the goddess. She probably really only did that because she wanted the goddess back on earth.

Alternative Route

It started around the beginning of month 2 when I approached Edelgard and she asked me to accompany her. She traveled to see her father so she could officially become Emperor. She uses her power to get rid of the Prime Minister who tortured her so she could get two crests.

She then uses this power to summon an army. She reveals herself as the Flame Emperor during the battle in the Goddess Tower. After defeating her, I had a choice to save her. When I did that, I really made Rhea angry. So angry in fact, that she turned into a giant Dragon called The Immaculate One. So turns out the demure goddess was actually a terrifying dragon. This means that she was hiding her true nature. So I am grateful I was able to choose this route.

After fleeing the scene, I am now at a hideaway with Edelgard. I was locked out of all school activities since I was no longer working there, but I can still interact with the students. Since Edelgard lives, she is planning an attack on Rhea and asking all kingdoms to join her. She is detailing all Rhea has done so the people will turn on her. I started the battle and defeated Rhea. I got to the time skip and I am now back at the school with the students.

Coming Towards the Finale

I am really looking forward to see the alternative route! I hope to defeat Rhea as I do not want her leading Fodlan. I am glad I went with the alternative route first and I plan to do the normal route afterwards. I just wanted to side with Edelgard because I trust her more than Rhea! I also spend so much time with Dorothea that a romance option came up so I’ll have to see what happens after the war is over!

Have you chosen the alternative route for The Black Eagles? Do you trust Edelgard or Rhea more?