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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Fire Emblem Warriors Not a Series Homage... and Advance Wars Has No Love

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Maybe we should've done the Memorial Day article on Advance Wars.

We've brought up almost everything from the Fire Emblem Direct again besides... Fire Emblem Warriors. It's not something I care about, and the latest news from Famitsu magazine will make it something I care about even less.

The biggest takeaway is this:
The characters that appear are generally from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light and Fire Emblem Awakening, as well as Fire Emblem Fates. This won’t be a gathering of the protagonists from across the series.”
This is in contrast with Hyrule Warriors, which IS a gathering of characters across the whole series, as you can figure out by all of the game-themed DLC packs. (And I didn't get it despite actually being interested in its characters because I sure ain't interested in Warriors gameplay.)

I guess it makes sense if you look at the results from the Fire Emblem Heroes Choose Your Legends ballot. (Check out the excellent analysis from Kantopia.) The top-scoring characters that weren't main protagonists are all from Fire Emblem Awakening or Fire Emblem Fates.

By the way, just to support my point from my Fire Emblem article about Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valencia, Fire Emblem Gaiden got the least amount of votes for its characters of any Fire Emblem game. It wasn't exactly close. Really, no one cared about or liked Fire Emblem Gaiden.

It doesn't matter that Ike is, by far, the most beloved character in the entire Fire Emblem series if you combine his appearances in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, which you absolutely should because the way the Choose Your Legends ballot was set-up was rigged to have the Tellius characters’ votes split. Ike still dominated even in spite of that.

Still, it's clear that most of the fanbase is now made up of Fire Emblem Awakening and Fire Emblem Fates freaks. 

In other news, Fire Emblem Warriors will have blonde protagonists, instead of the standard blue. But, hey, Chrom and Marth are gonna also be protagonisting, so not to worry: The cadre of losers are headlining the game! Oh, and apparently the other lords aren't going to be in there because there would be too many sword users and that's boring. (Which I'm forced to agree with given that I would agree with that point were it said about Super Smash Bros. — and I'll make that point in an upcoming article, actually!)

Chrom is going to be stuck at 20 forever. He's going nowhere. Drop him.
(This is literally here just to break up the text with anything.)

In other news, Intelligent Systems had some interviews with Eurogamer. One was about how the team needed to fill in the gap between Fire Emblem Fates and the upcoming Fire Emblem game for the Switch, so they made Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valencia. Apparently, they didn't consider something that wasn't a Fire Emblem game. (It's also not much of a gap, either, so I don't know what kind of company pressures demand that SOMETHING has to be released for the sake of releasing it.)

What could've been released instead? Well, the other interview was about Advance Wars. Yes, that should excite all one of you Advance Wars fans reading this. (And you know who you are.) ...Or... depress you.

Advance Wars Days of Ruin Chapter 16 Hope Rising
If you're me, your hope is FALLING.

Apparently, the reason Advance Wars is on hiatus is that it's not neo-Fire Emblem. What that means is that “it's harder to create relationships between its characters compared to Fire Emblem [so they] don't have a clear idea of what kind of setting it could have.” Now, I thought Advance Wars: Days of Ruin had pretty good characters and relationships. Not everything should be like what Fire Emblem has become.

...Fire Emblem shouldn't be like what Fire Emblem has become.

This all reminds me of how Shigeru Miyamoto can't come up with something for the F-Zero series unless it has some kind of new gimmicky controller, so F-Zero isn't allowed to have a new game. No, F-Zero was never about gimmicky racing controls. It's about hardcore, high-speed racing. Similarly, Advance Wars is about deep strategy and wars, and NOT making you feel bad for treating your units as disposable minions (unlike Fire Emblem where they have names, faces, and stories). There's definitely a market for that out there.

Every new news about the Fire Emblem series makes me believe that the Fire Emblem game on the Switch, which will be the first new Fire Emblem game to be on a home console in a decade, will be more like Fire Emblem Awakening (but in high-definition!) than the grandiose and actually amazing Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. Every other part of the series is certainly getting its inspiration from the wrong place!

There is one thing that gives me a glimmer of hope, though, and that's this quote from Nintendo's Kenta Nakanishi in the Eurogamer article:
One of the goals with [Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valencia] was to let people who were only introduced to Fire Emblem from Awakening onwards enjoy the older games of the series”
Why would they care if newbie fans could enjoy older games of the Fire Emblem series unless they were planning to do SOMETHING with the older games of the series?

...You could also read the Advance Wars thing as a glimmer of hope, but if you read it like you would the F-Zero situation, then you know that the hope should be dead. 

...But... as Brenner of Advance Wars Days of Ruin might've said, “Hope never dies.” 

Ludwig wants to make sure everyone appreciates the double-meaning of “Advance Wars Has No Love” in the article title. That's because it has no love from its developers because it has no love as an important part of the game. When Ludwig isn't explaining his own jokes, he's a busy Koopaling over at Miiverse at NNID PrinceOfKoopas, where you should Follow him. (He also makes jokes there, but doesn't explain them. ...Though, perhaps Miiverse users need the explanation more than KoopaTV's readers.)

Ludwig despises the newer Fire Emblem games for good reasons, and also because they devoured a good friend (and former KoopaTV staff member) and transformed him into a boring, lifeless husk named Chrom.
This should explain why Ludwig thinks Marth is a loser, too.
Click here for what the Memorial Day 2017 article actually was. It COULD'VE been on Fire Emblem.
How do you think Advance Wars handles networking vs. friends?
Fire Emblem: Three Houses is out, and Ludwig does have some hope for it. He might even buy it, if convinced.
Advance Wars did get a remaster in 2023! But it still isn't a brand-new experience.


  1. I'm not really a fan of Advance Wars gameplay for the most part. I haven't played beyond the second game, but basically if you want a good mission rank there's ONE strategy you can use. And the limited turn mission requirements in Black Hole Rising are nothing short of asinine.

    1. So does that mean you're happy about its...demise?

    2. More that I'm not sad about it and don't see it as a mistake if they decide not to make any more installments. You're correct in saying there's a market for "NOT making you feel bad for treating your units as disposable minions," I mean, look at Starcraft and its sequel(s).

      But for something like that to work in a TBS setting it needs to bring more strategic depth to the table than the Advance Wars series did for me.

    3. So why can't that be the direction that Advance Wars goes in? It's always been the more depth-ful turn-based strategy vs. Fire Emblem, which clearly wants to go into more traditional RPG routes than strategy ones.
      Just... have Advance Wars keep going into that depth. Bam. Differentiation.

    4. The trouble is that when you're utilizing actual military units and hardware as video game units, you're limited by the unimaginative nature of said military hardware. With a few exceptions, Advance Wars units can do 2 things: Move, and attack, and they only attack in one way per each type of unit. Contrast that with the wealth of options available to you in a game like Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.

      Fire Emblem itself has fewer action options for FFTA, but the very thing that differentiates it from Advance Wars--the fact that you want to not lose ANY units EVER--makes up the ground lost by this. The game forces you to be clever or else lose out on a character you might have been leveling up for like 10 scenarios, in other words a significant investment. Even MORE depth is added when you try to not let characters lag behind in levels or over-rely on Jagens.

      Advance Wars, on the other hand, forces players to be clever by imposing annoying "mission rank" requirements that as I previously stated tend to shoehorn them into a single viable strategy, and limiting your players to a single strategy in a STRATEGY game is Not A Good Thing™.

    5. ShinyGirafarig is probably better poised to defend Advance Wars here than I am, but as of Advance Wars: Days of Ruin there are tons of really imaginative sci-fi stuff in there.
      The thing is, is that the actual military units and hardware aren't there to simulate actual warfare. They're selectively chosen to be in the game to fill a new niche.
      So they added Bike units not to simulate or be restricted by the non-imaginative limitations of what having infantry on bikes would be like, but rather to change the formula by having mobile infantry units.

      There are two parts of any new Advance Wars game: The story/Player vs. AI, and multiplayer/Player vs. Player. Mission rank obviously only applies to the former, and you don't have to get S-ranks to progress through the whole story. Totally your choice to get them. There are typically only small rewards for getting them.

      I'm not an expert in this, but I'm pretty sure in single-player strategy games there is always some optimal strategy. In PvP there shouldn't be because there would be counters to the most powerful thing, hopefully.

      In The Wonderful 1237, which is a strategy game, you can... pretty much do almost anything you want and win because the catch-up factor is so strong (endorsement minigames), as long as you use it.

      I think it's really hard to have many viable options as the "most optimal" strategy, balance-wise, since you need to be able to anticipate a player's creativity and basically decide, "Well, should this be viable or not?" Having many viable optimal strategies sort of just would mean it's not much of a challenge to begin with.

    6. My main problem is the timed missions in the second game, Black Hole Rising. In order to get the blueprints that unlock the missions that enable Neotanks for each faction, or whatever else you need to do (I think at least some of the Factory destruction missions are timed) you're absolutely FORCED to use optimal strategy or there's basically no way in hell you're going to get the objective in the limited turns you're given.

      I don't hold with players being forced to use a single strategy that's the ONLY strategy that works to clear a level, beat a boss, etc. People should be able to play the way THEY want to play, not the way the GAME wants them to play--especially when not even in a PvP setting--the game needs to be fun for THEM.

    7. Well, THOSE missions are... meant to be hard.

  2. Moral of the story is that waifus ruin everything. It ruined squid game for me and now it killed Advance Wars.

    1. So what if a Western developer handled it from now on?

      I'd suggest Kuju based on Battalion Wars but they're not even putting it on their portfolio of games on their website.

    2. That would be the best like how Western studios worked on franchises more prefered in the West like Metroid and Punch-Out! They should go back to doing that.

    3. (You should probably weigh in on Lheticus's comment thread above this.)

      Nintendo probably needs more decent studios in the West to help make games, instead of continually contracting with Artoon/Arzest in the East.

    4. Not Advance Wars but there is a indie game called Wargroove made by a British developer Chucklefish that is clearly meant to be Advance Wars with a fantasy skin rather than a modern warfare skin. Hopefully the final product will be great.

      There is Warbits for mobile but the presentation is so bland that I have trouble even finishing the final level because of how bland it is. Maybe I'll give it the good ol' infantry+artillery strategy a go to at least finish this game.

    5. (Read what's in the parenthesis!)

      Wargroove according to the developers is outright a spiritual successor to Advance Wars 'cause they're disappointed it's not in the current generation.

      Warbits seems very highly-rated in the App Store, though.

    6. Yes I see you want me to debate someone but not in the mood to do so now.

      Not that hard to be highly rated in the App Store with all the garbage out there. It is a competent game but the presentation is very boring.

    7. ...'kay.

      So by presentation, do you mean, like, personality? No characters?

    8. Yes there are characters, but characters are trying to be "2 kewl." makes me not want to finish their campaign. I decided to just follow someone's perfect score walkthrough so I can it get over with it.

      Can't tell if me not thinking of a good strategy a sign of my impatience at just wanting to finish the game as soon as possible and not wanting to start over each time just for an optimal strategy or my mind is not as sharp at these kind of games as they used to be. We will see whenever Wargroove comes out if I can finish it without looking at a full walkthrough.

    9. Sounds groovy.

      Could you figure it out by replaying an Advance Wars game, or are all of the strategies just naturally ingrained in you?

      Alsoooo I don't have a feel for how much you enjoyed PvP Advance Wars — if you, say, hung out in WiFi all day stomping people or wot.

    10. That was years ago but I used Isabella a lot who is considered one of the best characters so hard to rate me on that.

      I barely can get the hang of ARMS when I played the TestPunch. I did win matches but I felt it is sually because the player was worse than me. I do not think I am very good with fighting games in general.

    11. I mained Isabella too. ^.^
      (And Forsythe)

      Rawk didn't like ARMS at all. I want him to write about it but I doubt I'll be able to convince him to (unless y'all request it!). Basically, he feels like the feedback the game provides is very unsatisfactory to make it more than just repetitive punches.

    12. I played the first week of the TestPunch but was not motivated at all to try the second one which had a few other different modes and an extra character. I do like Mechanica though. The only one who I got the hang of in actually winning matches.

    13. Do you think there's enough feedback?

      I think one of his biggest issues would be the sound effects for the punches and how they don't really get more intense when you hit harder. He wants more exaggerated feedback like, say, Smash 64.

      But it also has HD Rumble, so...


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