I Dream of VGs: Fire Emblem Heroes

Fire Emblem Heroes
Everybody in their lifetime has always wanted to create a dream team of their own favorites. Whether mixing superheroes together into their very own league of heroes, to building a team of the best athletes known to man; everyone has their favorites. With Nintendo’s latest mobile game, fans of the popular Fire Emblem series may have that dream come true. To the uninitiated, Fire Emblem Heroes is Nintendo’s fourth mobile game based off the strategic JRPG series that is known for its sheer difficulty,  intricate storylines and exotic cast of characters. Though for the mobile version, it creates a very simplified version of the series.

To start things off, you (the player) is summoned by accident by a group called the Order of Heroes, an organization who’s objective is to protect the heroes of the Fire Emblem universe from being slaves and should be left alone to live freely. The order is led by a red-headed and cheery character named Anna and the royal siblings of the kingdom of Askr, Alphonse, and Sareena. They inform you that their neighbors and former allies the Emblian Empire has invaded the Kingdom of Askr and worst off have begun to enslave the heroes of the Fire Emblem universe. In the heat of battle, you are revealed to be able to summon heroes to fight on your behalf (a key mechanic in the game) such as the posh and pompous archer named Virion. Throughout the short story, you have to defeat the heroes in their worlds to free them from Emblian control.

Gameplay is pretty simplistic as it uses its own form of a rock-paper-scissors since the original game had its weapon triangle (Sword beats axes, axes beat lances and lances beat swords). In Heroes, it’s Red beats green, green beats blue and blue beats red. The Maps are small for a four versus four. Though it’s mostly the same mission of killing all enemies on the map so if you’re expecting something on par with an actual Fire Emblem game you’re going to be a tad bit disappointed. For playing the game, it can be a bit of a pickle as you control the actions with your finger. Abilities and equipment are managed differently where some support abilities like buffing or healing require you to move your unit to another allied unit; another is how the particular skills like the multi-attacking Astra have a countdown that goes down when attacked or attacking.

The game has an interesting yet conflicting art style when it comes to the characters. For starters, characters like Tharja and Lucina do have that vibe of a similar artist, but when you look some heroes like Arthur or Hector, it has a different style from a different artist. Though this can be good to have different artists if this was a card game, since this is a video game, this can be really confusing to some people due to the style. The chibi-style animation for the combat is cute as you watch your heroes fighting the enemy. A unique feature that makes the art interesting is that there is a “normal” picture of the character and a “Damaged” version, showing the character’s clothes or armor damaged; giving the vivid distress to their situation. The top notch is the voice acting in the game. Not full dialogues but interesting snips and quotes done well. To make things interesting, the voice actor’s names are mentioned in the character’s stats as well.

The only major gripe of this dream team of a game is acquiring heroes for your army. In Fire Emblem Heroes you use a currency called Orbs, which are used for summoning heroes. It costs 5 orbs a hero(which the price diminishes the more summons you use) So 20 orbs net five heroes randomly. However, the free orbs are limited in the game until you have to spend money on buying orbs for heroes. Luckily, the game has given free heroes for players to get and acquire (and before this review, Nintendo has released an event to acquire the narcissistic Wyvern Rider named Narcian and released 4 new heroes onto their shop). However, to get some strong heroes from the start you will have to be dependent on acquiring them randomly, so acquiring the heroes you want are heavily dependent on chance. You can also increase the rarity of your heroes too, which is expensive too and can be a grind if you end up with a low rarity hero.

So when it comes to this game, it’s the fantasy football and dream team build up for any Fire Emblem fan that enjoys collecting and building their dream team of heroes they want. Sure the story isn’t deep, and the game’s acquisition of heroes is limited for those who don’t want to spend a dime; the art style and ease of access do make it a real fun game to play. So whether you want to kill some time dreaming of Camilla and Lucina fighting Marth and Roy or battling Hector in the arena with Takumi, this game is not bad for a spin off mobile game. Hopefully, this game will improve in the future, and we might get to see new heroes. Heck, I’m still dreaming of the day I can have Ike and the Black Knight fighting side by side in my dream team. Until that day happens, I can dream and be satisfied with my team of favorites for the time being.

Thursdays | Dream of Love

So I had no idea what to put up as a post this week, as my creative juices were pretty low this week. Valentine’s Day is always a draining experience for me, primarily because so many of my friends look to me to help them figure out something to get their  significant other or want my recommendations on how to make up with their partner with an extravagant holiday. It probably has something to do with my reputation of being a hopelessly romantic queen of flirting – I guess you could sum that up as Casanova – but seeing as I’ve distanced myself from dabbling in romantic relationships recently, maybe you can see why I’m just ready to hole myself up in solitary confinement.

There’s nothing wrong with Valentine’s day or romantic relationships, except for the fact that one is just a commercialized holiday spurred on by the one-upmanship of youth today. I personally just have an ideal of my dream girl and the way our relationship will play out, you know? So far, no one’s actually fulfilled that ideal – well, one woman came close, but that’s a long touchy subject story I won’t bore you with.

The dream girl is older than me, taller than me, college educated with a degree in Psychology or a liberal art, well-versed in the ways of the world and generally a cool, calm and collected individual. We’d meet at a library on campus, get paired up for a project or id end up spilling a Butterbeer frappuccino all over her nice suit at a Starbucks and we exchange contacts so I can pay her back for it. Cheesy, I know, but what dream love isn’t?

The thing is though the dream lover doesn’t always exist. We get so invested in the partner that we want, which is usually a far cry from the type of partner that we need, that we never find our relationships good enough. If you’re always comparing your current partner to your dream partner, it’s not very likely that the relationship will go smoothly. It’s okay to have an ideal relationship or partner so long as you remember that reality is reality because it forgoes the wants and desires of the imagination. So make sure you tell your significant other that you love them, whether they are your dream partner or not.

Jaz Thomas, signing off.

The Monday Post by Kat!

In the spirit of valentines day, I am sending out this poem for all of you non-romantics and broken hearted individuals.  It is short an not so sweet.  I hope you enjoy it, as always, feel free to comment and share your thoughts, your opinion matters and will shape what I post here.  Thanks for reading, Kat!

Broken dream of love

How tempting it is

To love and to be

Loved, to believe

In another being

 

How sweet it can

Seem, to have such

A thing, called love

That is not love

 

How false it is

To think of love

As something we

All dream of

 

How debilitating

To lose the love

You never had for

He loved you not

 

How luxurious it

Felt, to be one

Together.  at last

But never forever

 

How treacherous

To be fooled by

The cruel hearted

Who know not love

 

How sweet it is

To at last be

Free, alone with

Your broken heart

 

How it was a dream,

Nothing more than

The manifestation of

You lonely mind

 

How it lacked

Sincerity and truth

But it tempted you

For you wanted love

Sundays with LeKeia

 

American Dreamin- Jay Z

Piggy backing off of last week’s topic we explore another aspect of the American Dream and what it means for those in impoverished areas. I have linked a live performance of JayZ’s  song ‘American Dreamin’.

In this song Jay describes life in inner city America where college is too far to seem obtainable and many resort to illegal activities, drug dealing.

I chose the live performance because you can better understand the lyrics and the expression of the artist.

Have a great week!

Saturday Dreamback: “Attack of the Alligators!”

Attack of the Alligators!
As the progress of science can aspire the greatest dreams, one wrong incident or unexplained problem can lead to that dream becoming a real-world nightmare. Dr. Victor Frankenstein witnessed his dream becoming a nightmare before his eyes, as did John Hammond and seeing the outcome of his park of dinosaurs. These nightmares also go for Dr. Orchard in this episode of Thunderbirds. To those not familiar with Thunderbirds, it’s a TV show made in the 1960s that use marionettes and models; telling the story of the Tracy family and their organization International Rescue. Their job is rescuing people from industrial disasters, just like this episode of Thunderbirds called “Attack of the Alligators!” where International Rescue witnessed a real-life nightmare.

The story begins with a businessman named Mr. Blackmer riding a boat to the manor of Dr. Orchard and his assistant Miguel. Blackmer heard what the doctor was working on as it was something that would attract potential interest. Dr. Orchard willingly showed Blackmer on what he was working on with the native plants of the swamp; a miracle drug that could solve food shortages and world hunger. This drug was called Theramine, and it was something so important that Dr. Orchard only wanted to show to Blackmer. As Orchard and Miguel began to show what the drug can do by showing the effect on rabbits, a menacing shadow watches and overhears them from a grated window outside. That person is Culp, the local boatman who ferried Blackmer to Dr. Orchard’s manor. He overhears the conversation and witnesses the results of Theramine, as his dreams of making himself filthy rich begin to manifest.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, The Tracy brothers Virgil and Alan are piloting the giant green airship Thunderbird 2 on their way to repair their communication tower. Their father Jeff Tracy overseeing the operation, as he hopes that the problem is on their half on earth other than with John’s half. In a quick repair, Jeff manages to reconnect with John Tracy in space.
All while back at the swamp, Culp and Blackmer are forced to stay at the manor due to a storm that rolled in. Everyone’s hunkering down while Miguel hands the laboratory keys to the ever watchful eyes of Mrs. Files the housekeeper. Blackmer, Miguel, and Orchard get ready to retire while the glaring eyes of Culp stare at an unaware Mrs. Files. Once everyone asleep, dreaming about the good Theramine will bring to the world, Culp makes his move as he quietly pilfers the lab key from Files’s room and heads to the lab. There, Culp finds the Theremine and pours it into the vial, but his carelessness causes him to spill the rest of the drug into the sink. He quickly covers his tracks by replacing the missing drug and washing the sink, yet he has already opened Pandora’s box as the drug enters the swamp through the drainage system. By the next morning, Blackmer congratulates Orchard on his drug and is static to see this on the marketplace soon. As he’s on his way back to the River Station, both Culp and Blackmer are unaware that the miraculous dream of Theremine has given birth to a nightmare. Their boat becomes a target for alligators that have mutated into enormous monstrosities. Back at the manor, Miguel has noticed the fake vial of Theremine as he calls the doctor and Mrs. Files. Orchard begins to fear what could happen if the drug got loose, only to hear the sound of Blackmer’s gun. The group ran outside to see the two fighting off the giant alligator. Despite Blackmer’s attempt, the mutants destroy the boat and casting both overboard, which prompts Miguel to try and rescue the two. Eventually, Miguel saves Blackmer while Orchard makes it back to his manor just as the giant alligator and two of its monstrous friends arrive near the mansion, the smell of fresh meat wafting their nostrils.

Orchard and the rest of them now hide inside the laboratory, the only safest space in the entire house. Orchard and Miguel find themselves in an awkward situation as they know the local military might not be a match for the situation, but Mrs. Files provides an alternative by suggesting them to call for International Rescue. Miguel makes the call, which is picked up by John Tracy aboard the massive space station called Thunderbird 5. John reports what Miguel has told him, and even the family find the news surprising. Jeff sends Josh Tracy out with the silver rocket-like jet called Thunderbird 1 to scout what they are dealing with, while Virgil, Alan and Gordon Tracy ride in Thunderbird 2.

Back at the manor, the giant alligators continue to tear and rip apart the house in their attempt get inside the house. Some of the debris flies and knocks Orchard out, leaving the remaining group in a desperate situation until they could hear the noise of Thunderbird 1’s engine. Scott reports that he could see the giant brutes close to the house, which would make it hard for the team to fire their ordinance without risking collateral damage to the people. First thing Scott did was create a diversion by firing a rocket near the beasts, causing them to retreat to the water so that he could enter the manor. He gets inside in the nick of time to evacuate the group from the laboratory, which is about to collapse from the exterior damage done by the giant gators. They begin to contemplate their escape from the nightmarish hellhole that the monsters are causing, only to notice a secret passage behind the cabinet. This discovery would be good news, but it soon revealed that Culp survived his brush with the alligators and now is holding the group hostage. The boatman threatens to unleash more nightmares with the vial of Theremine if his demands were refused, which would mean more of those giant alligators. With the alligators outside and Culp holding them hostage, Scott and the rest trapped by these monsters.

Thunderbird 2 arrives in the situation as Virgil struggles to get in contact with Scott. The gators continue to tear the home apart, which is so very heavily damaged that one might wonder how it can still stand. Still close to the building, Virgil asks Alan and Gordon to prepare tranquilizer guns to incapacitate the monsters once Virgil drove them away from the house with Thunderbird 2’s thrusters. They managed to get 2 of the three giant alligators, but one remains near the manor. Alan leaves Thunderbird 2 and tries to distract the creature away from the house, which proves to be successful. While back in the house, Scott tries to reason with the deranged boatman into lowering his gun, sadly it doesn’t work. Back outside of the manor, just as Alan had everything in the bag, he crashes his hover vehicle and is knocked out. The Tracy brother is now facing the gigantic mutated gator, the beast ready to attack. Luckily for Alan, his brother Gordon fires the tranquilizer and save the injured Tracy brother from becoming gator chow. Culp sees the now tranquilized gators and makes a demand to International Rescue that he’s going to make his getaway and that if they try to stop him, he will dump the last vial of Theremine into the swamp. Scott and Virgil have no choice but give into Culp’s demand, but Virgil tells Gordon to get into the yellow car-shaped submarine called Thunderbird 4. The demented boatman believed that the dream of hitting the market with Dr. Orchard’s Theremine had gone smoothly. However, unknown to him, a fourth giant alligator emerges from the water and devours him. The living nightmare now eating the man who started this whole mess due to greed. Virgil fires a missile from Thunderbird 2, killing the last croc and ending the ultimate nightmare spawned from the Theremine drug. Orchard is now fearful of the fate of Culp’s vial, for should that Theremine vial break, the nightmare will start all over again. Gordon searches for the bottle in the watery depths of the swamp and finds it, reassuring everyone that there will be no more giant alligators; this puts the nightmare at an end.

After a successful mission, Jeff Tracy congratulates his sons on a job well done and informs them the drug will be under control to avoid any more nightmarish examples like the giant alligators. He also tells them that the family friend Tin Tin has returned from her shopping excursion and would love to hear their story. Tin Tin then informs Alan that she has bought him a birthday present though his birthday won’t be for a few days. Alan’s curiosity perked as he wondered what Tin Tin got him; she would tell him that his birthday present is in the bathroom. As Tin Tin leads Alan off, the rest of the family wonders what she got Alan.
To Alan’s surprise, Tin Tin shows him a funny sight: a small alligator with a bow wrapped around its neck swimming in the bathtub. Tin Tin tells Alan that he always thought it would be nice for him to have a pet, Alan is surprised that he’s got a baby alligator; however Tin Tin informs him that the gator is, in fact, a fully grown “pigmy alligator.” Alan laughs, after enduring a nightmare of giant alligators, now welcomes the sight of a small one.

In conclusion to the whole story of Attack of the Alligators, how Dr. Orchard’s Theremine can unleash an ecological nightmare despite good intentions. Though luckily we don’t have to worry about super drugs that will make alligators monstrous, we still can worry about our nightmares in the real world.

Thursdays | Bad Dream

Mackenzie Caruso was not one to take dreams seriously, even in spite of her degree in anthropology. Many cultures that she had studied in the last three years of university believed in dreams as signs from their gods, be them good or bad. But for Mackenzie, dreams were nothing more than the physical manifestation of her subconscious’ many worries. And by that logic, the dreams of her girlfriend being attacked or killed in some desolate ruin were nothing more than concern for the younger woman.

The aspiration to become one of the world’s greatest treasure hunter would instill anyone with a sense of fear, even if it seemed implausible. But the scariest thing about Cheri was that she made it sound like she could do it.

A redheaded woman who only stood at 5’4″ (and 3/4), a round baby face with dark freckles splattered across the bridge of her nose, a sun-kissed complexion with full lips. The anthropology major that had introduced herself from behind a tower of textbooks, who had won her over with the confident power oozing out of her every pore, who was sometimes mistaken for a child when it came time to pay admission for the movies or museums. The idea that her love could be taken from her simply for following a dream had Mackenzie shooting upright in bed, a cold sweat molding the silk of her nightgown to her back. The dream she had so abruptly dragged herself out of had ended with Cheri taking a bullet to the leg and being unable to run from the burly man advancing on her. Restrained by faceless goons, her dream self only watched in horror as Cheri had turned to beam at her with the barrel of a .45 pistol against her lobe. The ringing of a single shot drowned out her girlfriend’s last words.

An ivory hand snatched at the cellphone on her nightstand, the familiar ping of a received message sounding as she brought the phone to her face. A slender finger hovered over the touchscreen, cerulean light casting shadows across her face as amber eyes skimmed across the text message on her screen:

My Mackenzie senses were tingling. Are you okay? You’re still sleepin’ probably, but sweet dreams love~ ❤ ❤ ❤

She felt her breath hitch in her throat at the message, hastily unlocking the screen and calling Cheri as she brought the phone to her ear. The dialtone sounded as she pulled her blanket to her chest, bottom lip caught between her teeth, releasing only when the familiar voice on the other end cooed at her, “Ohoho, well, someone’s not keeping up with their beauty sleep, not that you need it – you’re like the queen of beauty. What can I do for you, love?”

She sighed softly at the other woman’s praise, brushing back the fringe of chestnut brown hair she usually kept pinned up. Her forehead found her knees, fingers twirling anxiously in the long bangs framing her face. “I just…wanted to hear your voice. What are you doing up so late? It’s -” A glance spared at the white numbers in the corner of her phone screen. “-almost 1 in the morning.”

There was a shuffling on the other side of the phone, a muffled conversation for a moment before the response. “Oh, just a little late night run. Couldn’t really sleep.”

She could hear a snort of a laugh in the background, and a masculine grunt at the “Shush!” from her love. “Who are you wit – ”

“Can you hurry that up, lass? We’ve only a handful of time to get this job done, the guards’ll be active soon. You can cupcake up all you want soon as we’re done here!”

“Yeah, yeah, I got it, I got it. Gimme a sec!”

“Cheri?”

“Sorry, love, but I’ve gotta call you back. Real busy on this end, see you in a couple of hours! Cor meum cum corde tuo!

 Mackenzie barely managed a rushed goodbye before the call disconnected, and she was left with the Latin phrase ringing in her ears. My heart is always with you. She swallowed hard as the realization of what Cheri had mouthed to her at the end of her dream. Slowly, she replaced the phone on her nightstand and lowered herself back to the surface of her bed, pulling her blankets up to her shoulders. Dreams were the physical manifestation of her subconscious’ concerns, but Cheri could take care of herself.
She wouldn’t allow herself to believe otherwise.

The Monday Post by Kat!

Today’s post is a poem inspired by the political turmoil of the past few months.  It is called Sailing on A Dream, I hope you enjoy it.

Sailing on A Dream

Oh say have we now forgotten

That which to our country, we have pledged

And can you no longer see

What constitutes justice and liberty

Who now can say we are united

Or that our countrymen stand beside us

When there are those who wish to leave

That in another land they may find reprieve

But say, is that not who we are?

A land of men who travelled far

To reach the land where men are free

A Republic founded on Democracy

But now our country some reject

Because of who we did elect

In uncouth ways some proudly gloat

Others, like vermin, leave our ‘sinking’ boat

Our country, some say, will surely drown

Tell me now where these facts are found

For our government is split in three

So no such power, can one man see

The blame each says is not on me

But on him and her and he and she

It should come to no surprise

When asked who is to blame, they say, not I

For what we know is truly right

The American people must always fight

As the lady’s light sends its beam

And we sail along the American dream

 

Thanks for reading, see you next week- Kat!