My Top 10 Favorite Fire Emblem: Awakening Official Arts

A few weeks ago, one of my favorite YouTube channels, Ghast, made a video talking about his favorite official art pieces from Fire Emblem: Awakening. If you’re interested in watching the video to get his thoughts, you can check it out below.

Awakening is, as I’ve said before on this blog, far and away my favorite video game. Despite its shortcomings and plot holes, it’s an incredibly fun game with an insanely high replay value. Beyond that, the art in the game is breathtaking, even now with the game just having passed the six-years-old mark1I unintentionally started writing this post on April 19th, which just happened to be six years to the day after FE:A was released in Japan.. My brother-in-law got me the Fire Emblem: Awakening official art book for Christmas a few years ago, and I’ve gone through it a few times since then. In addition to having some wonderful art in the book2Which will be part of the focus of this post., the cover is pretty stellar too.

In the book, you get to see the official character art for all of the characters in the game itself. Much like how some of the characters in the game are written much better than others, there are definitely some characters whose official art is more striking than other characters. It’s worth pointing out that there isn’t necessarily overlap between these two lists, as two of my favorite characters in the game – Noire and Morgan — have some of the worst official art.

With that, I decided to follow Ghast’s lead and write a post sharing my ten favorite official character arts from Fire Emblem: Awakening. I likely will get into spoilers here, so if you don’t like those, don’t read. All official art comes from fireemblemwiki.org. Except for Virion’s which comes from a different Fire Emblem wiki which I won’t link to as it tends to have scummy ads.

Before I hit my actual top ten, I’d like to point out that this list was difficult to cut down to just ten. My final cuts from this list were Kjelle3Let’s talk about how inconsistent the official art work for the children characters is for a moment. For some characters like Cynthia, the official artwork has their mother’s hair color. Which totally makes sense, considering all children characters are tied to their mother in Awakening. But for other children, they have seemingly random hair colors. If you go off of official art, it seems like SullyxKellam or SullyxLon’qu is canon because of Kjelle’s hair color. Be consistent. Also, I’m fairly sure a major reason I don’t like Noire’s official art is because in my headcanon, she’s a redhead thanks to TharjaxGaius., Basilio4Good art, despite being the warrior class, which I can’t stand the look of. Ghast calling out the fact that Basilio is basically wearing a wrestling championship belt made my day., Sumia5Arguably the best fit of character to official art in the whole game.Sadly, it’s because Sumia’s character is basically the Mary Sue trope that dreams of love and horses., and Chrom6Chrom’s amiibo is badass. His art is good, but not quite as good., in that order. Think of them as 11-14 on this list.

10. Gregor

As long as you don’t support him with Nowi, Gregor is one of the most entertaining characters in Awakening. He’s fun, he’s lighthearted, and he’s a flirt without being obnoxious about it like some other characters7Looking at you, Inigo and Virion.. Gregor’s official art captures his easygoing nature really well between his baggy clothes and his mid-laughter smile. He’s not my favorite art by a long shot, but he is one that I think anyone who has played the game can look at and go “yep…typical Gregor”.

9. Lon’qu

Lon’qu is very much the silent assassin archetype with a heart of gold underneath8I would have gone with tall, dark, and handsome, but Lon’qu is decidedly pale. Though he almost qualifies as tan by Awakening’s standards. There’s not a ton of racial diversity in Awakening, but we’ll get to that later in the post.. His paralyzing fear of women combined with the fact that he’s a hell of a swordsman keeps people from getting too close. But when you read into his supports, Lon’qu is just a gentle protector who never wants to fail at keeping someone he loves safe ever again. The butterfly on his scabbard is a nice touch, as it symbolizes the kindness Lon’qu has without overtly stating it.

8. Cherche

As Ghast said in his video, Cherche is muscular as all hell. While many of the female characters in Awakening are demure or have relatively petite builds, Cherche is one of two female characters in the game to be well-toned. Even the notorious tomboy Sully isn’t as muscular as Cherche, which is goes to show how much better the writing in the game could have been had the built out the fact that Cherche looks like she could complete an American Ninja Warrior course without breaking a sweat. The goofy wyvern wing collar is offputting to me, which is really the only thing that keeps Cherche outside of this list’s top five.

7. Cordelia

Let’s start with the frustrating thing — this isn’t even Coredlia’s best official art. Her Warriors art, while clearly designed for a higher power system, is so much better. Maybe it’s because she’s less pink-themed in the Warriors art. That said, of course the prodigy of the game is going to have a Brave Lance in her default art. She can do everything perfectly, so why wouldn’t she carry the lance that takes the most experience to use. Cordelia’s story pre-child is one of the most frustrating of Chrom’s army9Her unrequited love for Chrom wouldn’t be so bad if Chrom’s supports with all of his marriage partners aside from Robin weren’t garbage. That said, the what little bit of the Cordelia/Severa relationship we get once Severa is born is amazing., but her art and usefulness in the game more than makes up for it.

6. Say’ri

I get that at a certain point you have to stop having marriage-capable characters. And yes, Say’ri joins three chapters after you get your last marriage-capable adult character (Cherche). But that art though. It’s like a L’Oreal ad spontaneously started in the middle of Mulan. The gale force winds that Say’ri has to be standing in during this shot are clearly not pushing enough hair into her face to be realistic…but come on. This is art is a main character waiting to happen. Instead, we’re stuck with Say’ri being a character that moves the plot along because she just happens to be yet another minor-role noble that isn’t Chrom10Between Say’ri, Virion, Flavia, and Basilio, you recruit a surprisingly high number of nobles from other kingdoms besides Ylisse..

5. Gerome

I get it. He’s Batman. Clearly he’s a walking, talking Batman motif11Just like Batman, he doesn’t talk much.. But good lord, do I love it when good guys wear black in films and video games. It really messes with people who expect good guys to wear white while bad guys wear black that was once a huge deal. Gerome was going to make this top 10 anyway because he’s well designed, but that fact by itself vaults him over some of the other art on this list. Even if he’s forced to wear his backup mask because he gave his real one to Lucina for her Marth cosplay.

4. Lucina

Lucina has a lot of official art. Not only that, she has a lot of good official art. That said, of all of the art that’s been officially released of her — and even if you include most of the fan art I’ve seen — this is still one of my favorites of her. Despite the fact that you have to use Chrom on every map and despite the fact that your avatar character is in the game, Lucina is the real hero of Awakening. This pose manages to combine the regal nature of Lucina’s background and status as heir to the Ylissean throne with the innocence of her youth at the time of the game. It’s not my favorite official character art for the game, but it is one of the most emblematic.

3. Virion

Virion is a TERRIBLE character. He’s almost Azama levels of bad12And Azama is cringeworthy. Seriously though, Azama’s only redeeming factor is that he has the most entertaining kid in Birthright.. I mean, yeah, he’s a fine archer, blah, blah, blah. But I skip every dialogue where he talks. He’s just that grating of a personality. And yet his official art is amazing. He’s a pompous nobleman who thinks he’s god’s gift to women who deserves a date for tea with any attractive woman he sees. And you know what? This art captures that. Bravo on the art. Still skipping his dialogue.

2. Cynthia

Of all the official art for Awakening, Cynthia’s feels the most real to me. I could definitely see this ball of energy young woman bounding around on a pegasus acting like a super hero trying to save the day. She’s just so happy at all times and that comes through in the art. Beyond that though, she’s one of the few characters that really still feels like she’s trying to cling to whatever little bits of her childhood she has left, if only because it keeps her sane. You know you have great art when all of that can come through from your official photo. Yet, it wasn’t quite enough to get the top spot on my list.

1. Flavia

Flavia can kick your ass. Period. Remember how I said earlier that Awakening doesn’t do a terribly good job of having a racially diverse cast? I mean that in the sense that their main characters really aren’t. Yes, you have the taguel and manakete species represented, but they’re not human. And you do have some minority race villain characters. But the only two minority race characters that have any positive importance to the story are largely NPCs for most of the game. Yes, you can get Flavia and Basilio in Chapter 23, but you’re limited to marrying them to your Avatar then. And that’s unfortunate. Wouldn’t you want your main character’s child to have a mother who looks like she can kill a dragon with her bare hands, yet still uses her sword just because it’s fun? Her art practically screams hero13And not just because she is part of the Hero class either.. It’s so good. How isn’t Flavia a bigger part of Awakening?

What’s your favorite character art from Fire Emblem: Awakening? For that matter, who’s your favorite character from the game? Drop by the comments and talk Awakening with me…it’s a damn good game.

How Did They Do?: 5 Things I Want To See in Brave Frontier 2

Back in October of last year, I wrote a post talking about five things I wanted to see in the newest version of Alim’s mobile game series, Brave Frontier. The original version of Brave Frontier is the best mobile game I’ve played ever, enough so that I once made the argument that it’s in my personal top ten video games that I’ve played1I don’t know that I’d keep my original list the same, particularly now that I’ve played Pokemon Black and Civilization VI, not to mention the original Brave Frontier’s regression as a game over the last 12 months. That said, those changes wouldn’t be enough to remove the original Brave Frontier from my top 10 list.. Last month, despite confusing release news coming out of Alim throughout the end of 2017, Alim released Brave Frontier 2 for Japanese audiences. A global (translated) port of the game has not yet been announced, but I did pick up the game2The game itself is free, but you can make in app purchases. in Japanese to play.

While this means I have no idea what’s going on in the main story, playing for the last couple of weeks allowed me to form some thoughts on the game specifically related to the things I was looking to see in my previous post. So how has Brave Frontier 2 done in terms of improving on Brave Frontier? Let’s look at the five items on my original list.

1. Top-tier evolutions available for all units

My suggestion: Implement a Fire Emblem: Heroes style system where all units get a top-tier evolution out of the gate, even if it takes a lot of time and resources to get to them.

What BF2 did: Brave Frontier 2’s evolution system is almost a weird hybrid between Fire Emblem: Heroes’ unlock potential system and the original Brave Frontier’s evolution system. While you still need fodder units for evolution in Brave Frontier 2, you don’t lose level progress when doing so. Additionally, every non-fodder unit does have a full, five-star evolution as of right now. That said, the original Brave Frontier started out this way too. I can give a grade on this, but it’s definitely one that’s partially incomplete one.

How BF2 did with this want: B, with the potential to go higher if fodder units get higher evolutions, but the potential to go much lower once they start releasing new units.

2. Eliminate the gacha system

My suggestion: Eliminate the gacha system by implementing a system where you pay for units with in-game currency.

What BF2 did: Eliminate the gacha system by implementing a system where you pay for non-fodder units with in-game currency. Fodder units still have a gacha system, but no resources of note go towards this system.

How BF2 did with this want: A. The fodder unit system remains from the original game, but it was the only gacha system of the game that received no notable complaints. The cost per unit is a little steep, but the unit bundles that Alim has released thus far look like they’ll offset this. Time to hoard gems3Brave Frontier 1 and 2’s in-game currency. in the event the chosen one’s batch shows up in Brave Frontier 2.

3. A better arena experience

My suggestion: Keep, or improve the speed of, regular arena mode while replacing Challenge Arena and Colosseum with a chain battle system similar to Fire Emblem: Heroes’ Arena Assault mode.

What BF2 did: Replaced all arena modes with an Arena Assault style mode, only a more hardcore version where you can’t pick new units after each round.

How BF2 did with this want: C-. Alim found the one way to make a chain challenge unenjoyable, all while removing a reliable way to get in-game rewards. It’s definitely a different experience, but it’s not a better one.

4. Reduce the number of social game features required for top-end rewards

My suggestion: Like the title says, reduce the amount of the game that requires having in-game friends/guilds to complete.

What BF2 did: No social features outside of equipping a friend unit in each map exist.

How BF2 did with this want: B+. I’ve never said this in a mobile game before, but Brave Frontier 2 actually needs slightly more social features. I’m not advocating for the return of guilds, but the ability to send items to friends would be nice. Add those in and this jumps to an A+.

5. Improve the build customization system

My suggestion: Extend Brave Frontier 1’s summoner customization mode — a feature not released until three years into the game — to all units from the game’s launch.

What BF2 did: Extended the summoner customization mode to one additional unit, Rin, but scaled the customization features back fairly significantly in the process.

How BF2 did with this want: D-. Seeing a second protagonist unit get the summoner treatment is good, and this grade could be slightly higher if I understood the story. That said, this game is supposed to be set around 20 years in the future, so you’d think weapon and summoner technology would have advanced. In that time, we’ve gotten…a knockoff of the Ember Celica…and that’s pretty much it.


Featured image By Source, Fair use, Link

My Least Favorite Pokemon of Each Type

Early last year, I had this bright idea to write a post talking about my favorite Pokemon of each type. That post, much to my surprise, was my 5th most viewed post in all of 2017. Fuck if I know why. But between that and my compulsive addition to having Poketube videos on in the background as I do systems adminning, I ran across another video that made me want to make a Pokemon based list.

One of my favorite Poketubers, Ace Trainer Liam, recently put out the video below wherein he goes through his least favorite Pokemon of each type.

As I did in my last list, I will not reuse any Pokemon on my list even if they’re dual type. For example, if Pidgey was my least favorite both Normal and Flying type1It’s not. Pidgey may be garbage, but I don’t hate it., I’d only use it once on the list, so as to make this list as diverse as possible. Additionally, since I made my last list, I’ve played through Gen V, but still haven’t had the chance to play Gen VI2As my life in the last six months has been a ball of chaos.. With that said, since some of those Pokemon do resurface in Sun/Moon, they may show up here. All images are courtesy Bulbapedia.

Normal – Blissey

Let’s begin with a Pokemon I detest because of how annoying it is to take down in both the mainline games and Pokemon Go. Blissey is the definition of a wall. You’re probably not going to get hurt by it unless you’re massively underleveled, but you’ll need to spend far too much time and far too many resources to beat it. Had Chansey never gotten an evolution, it would have been difficult to beat, but fine. Blissey takes the worst things about Chansey and cranks them up to eleven.

Sighs of Relief For: Zangoose, Watchog

Fire – Charizard

I can already hear the rage coming from the internet for this one. That said, as someone who played Pokemon Blue within six months of its release, then didn’t play another Pokemon game for nearly ten years, I ended up playing through Gen I a ton of times. This led to developing some very strong opinions about Gen I mon, of which I always felt that Charmander was objectively the worst starter. Yeah, Charmander itself was cute, but all its evolutions served to do was to ramp up the difficulty of a buggy game. I get that the anime made Ash’s Charizard a pseudo-god, but it just feels like they were compensating for something3See also: Charizard getting two mega evolutions when all other Gen I starters only got one..

Sighs of Relief For: Pyroar, Typhlosion

Fighting – Hitmontop

I understand Hitmontop is arguably the best of the Hitmon line. I get that it has a purpose in competitive battling. It’s a good Pokemon. I just hate it. It is one of the worst designed Pokemon to ever get put out by Game Freak. Just…why.

Sighs of Relief For: Passimian, Medicham, Chesnaught

Water – Goldeen

I understand Goldeen’s place in Super Smash Brothers as a joke Pokemon. I hate when it pops out of the Poke Ball every single time, but it’s still objectively funny. In the games, Goldeen and Seaking are not great. They’re outclassed across the board by nearly every Pokemon. So…why bother making the signature move of this weak goldfish a necessary HM to complete later games? I get that this isn’t Goldeen’s fault, but the fact that it happened further soured my opinion on a Pokemon that I wasn’t fond of initially.

Sighs of Relief For: Mantine, Feraligatr

Flying – Zubat

GO AWAY CAVE HERPES! I’M JUST TRYING TO GET TO THE NEXT TOWN!

Sighs of Relief For: Ledian, Mega Pinsir

Grass – Meganium

Gen II is arguably the best generation of Pokemon to ever be made4My ranking would be Gold/Silver > Black/White > Diamond/Pearl > Red/Blue/Yellow > Sun/Moon > Pokemon Go > Ruby/Sapphire. There’s only two things that make this statement one that can even be debated. The first is that the Elite Four just isn’t that good5A problem is shares with Sun/Moon.. The second problem is that Gen II’s starters are all hot garbage. I generally find myself abandoning whoever my starter is no later than Goldenrod City. I usually pick Chikorita because it’s the one I feel the least bad about leaving in a box. I know the Pokemon Center and Professor Not Oak will take good care of it. That way it doesn’t have to grow up into a Meganium.

Sighs of Relief For: Chesnaught (Again), Cradily

Poison – Tentacool

Zubat, but for water.

Sighs of Relief For: Garbodor

Electric – Luxray

Remember how on my favorite Pokemon list I talked about how a major reason I hate the Electric type is because of how cute everything is? Nearly every Electric Pokemon I hate is cute. Except Luxray. Luxray is a beloved Pokemon that I can’t understand the admiration for. It’s…fine? But people treat it like it’s a godsend to the Electric typing. Yeah, it has three evolutions. But so does Magnezone. Sure, it’s a lion, but lions are the worst of all cats6And I LOVE cats.. If you’re going to pick an overrated Electric type, just pick a Pikachu clone. Don’t talk about how Luxray is so great when it’s basically the Bernie Kosar of Pokemon7Decent, but grossly overrated by its fanboys..

Sighs of Relief For: Plusle, Minun, Dedenne

Ground – Groudon

It’s not that I hate Groudon. It’s an overpowered beast. That said, it’s one of my least favorite legendaries, from one of my least favorite Pokemon games, in a typing where I like a ton of the Pokemon. In the end, it was a debate between a legendary Pokemon and a bat with a ball sack dangling from it. Groudon loses solely based on the childish humor factor.

Sighs of Relief For: Gligar

Psychic – Spoink

Psychic has a ton of wildly divisive Pokemon. On one hand, some of my favorite Pokemon are Psychic typing, either singularly or in part. That said, some of my least favorite Pokemon are also Psychic typing. The most detestable of these is Spoink and its Sisyphan task of bouncing for the rest of its life otherwise it dies. I get that it’s a gimmick for an otherwise weak Pokemon. But…that’s just not how animals work. Just no.

Sighs of Relief For: Unown, Bruxish, Espurr8I have super mixed opinions on Espurr. On one hand, I love its evolution line and move set. On the other hand, THOSE SUPER DEAD EYES.

Rock – Onix

Look. I want to like Onix. I really do. It got screwed over in the anime. It’s the anchor Pokemon of the very first gym you face in the main games. But here’s the thing — it’s a disappointment. It’s bulky, but not as much as you’d think it would be. It’s faster than you’d think, but not fast enough to actually do anything. And it doesn’t hit hard. At all. Really after Gen I stopped having Wrap/Bind be trapping moves, Onix was worthless. Of all the Pokemon on this list, it’s by far the one I have the most disappointment with.

Sighs of Relief For: Minior, Archeops

Ice – Glalie

Despite what the internet might tell you, there’s no such thing as a bad ice type. Sure, they have tons of weaknesses and are often frail, but they hit hard and have some of the best designs in all of Pokemon. The exception is Glalie. Glalie is terrifying. How do you go from the adorableness that is Snorunt to…that? Throw in the fact that Snorunt also evolves into one of my favorite Pokemon, as well as Glalie’s horrifying mega evolution, and you’ve got literally the only ice type I can’t stand. There’s honorable mentions below, but it’s not close.

Sighs of Relief For: Beartic, Walrein

Bug – Ledian

Has anyone ever beat a Pokemon game with a Ledian on their team? I can justify using almost any Pokemon in game9Though Gen II does have some rough Pokemon base stat wise., but Ledian is one of those rare exceptions that I can’t see any use for. I mean, I guess maybe you could use Iron Fist Ledian with Mach Punch, Ice Punch, Thunder Punch, and Focus Punch. But at that point, why not use Hitmonchan?

Sighs of Relief For: Armaldo, Buzzwole

Dragon – Haxorus

I know a lot of people hate Lickilicky, but the real worst name in Pokemon belongs to Haxorus. I’m sure it’s a fine Pokemon in battle. But between its disappointing design and its horrendous name, I’m never going to use it.

Sighs of Relief For: Turtanor, Guzzlord

Ghost – Gengar

I recognize that this bias is 100% is due to my Gen I and Gen II experience with Gengar. There’s just so many other Ghost Pokemon I’d use than Gengar, even though I know full well that Mega Gengar is an awesome. Maybe it’s because I couldn’t get one of my own as a kid because I had no friends to trade with10Thank god for the GTS.. Maybe it’s because I just preferred Haunter because of its appearances in the anime. Regardless, I just don’t care about Gengar.

Sighs of Relief For: Trevenant, Alolan Marowak

Dark – Shiftry

How is this a Dark type? Really though. I don’t get it. I mean, it’s clearly a Grass type. But how isn’t this Grass/Fighting? I understand that it would have been inferior to Breloom within its own generation, but I don’t care. Of all of the Pokemon types that don’t make sense, this one frustrates me the most.

Sighs of Relief For: Mightyena, Stunky

Steel – Klefki

Very much like the Ice and Ground types, there aren’t that many Steel types I actually dislike. I’m just indifferent about them. Skarmory and Magnezone are great, and Metagross and Aegislash are powerful as all hell. Beyond that though, I genuinely don’t care strongly about any Steel types. Klefki gets this spot solely because of how tired I got of seeing it as a Spikes setter when battling online in Pokemon Moon.

Sighs of Relief For: Bronzong, Forretress

Fairy – Azurill

I get why baby Pokemon were implemented in the games. There needed to be something more to the breeding system than just passing down broken moves for competitive battling. That said, Azurill is bar none the worst baby Pokemon out there. It constantly looks like it’s going to cry. I get that I’m not the target market for this Pokemon, but why release just a sad looking Pokemon as one of the first you reveal for a new generation? Gen III was terrible.

Sighs of Relief For: Dedenne (again), Magearna

What’s My Pokemon Team?

I haven’t been in the mood to write fiction lately. Really, I haven’t been in the mood to write a whole lot of anything1For context, I wrote this post back at the end of November. I was struggling to write ANYTHING at that point. I just didn’t post this until now because other stuff took precedence.. That’s not to say I’m not writing. I’m writing plenty for work. I wrote a 35+ page outline for my next story project that only one set of eyes besides my own has seen. But I just haven’t felt like writing.

At the same time, I’ve been watching/listening to a ton of videos on YouTube. While some of those videos have been for the aforementioned writing project, a large portion of them have been video game videos — in particular Pokemon and Madden 18 videos. As I mentioned in a few of my previous posts, I like taking concepts from Poketube posts and trying to write them up to see how I’d answer them, albeit in non-video format2I did the whole “let’s talk on YouTube about things” gig. It wasn’t my thing. Podcasting, on the other hand, I really loved..

This post was inspired by a pair of videos, the first of which is a video from a Poketuber named Ace Trainer Liam. His form fight series is one of my favorite series to watch on YouTube, however the premise of this post follows the video below.

As the video indicates, the four components of my post are to be as follows:

  1. What trainer class would you be?
  2. How many Pokemon would you have on your team and why would you have that many Pokemon?
  3. What Pokemon would you have and why?
  4. What would their moves/abilities/etc be?

You’ll notice that I took a slight deviation from the original format in the post, if only because I believe the idea of why I have a certain number of Pokemon on my team is less interesting than the Pokemon themselves. So, let’s get right to it.

What trainer class would you be?

To make a relatively accurate estimation of what trainer class I’d be, I needed a better understanding of all of the various trainer classes in the Pokemon games. I’ve played a high percentage of the main story games at least in part, though there’s a few generations I haven’t played all the way through3I’ve played about 50% through both Gen IV and Gen V, while I haven’t played Gen VI at all. to know every trainer class that’s out there. As such, I relied on a series of videos made by one of my favorite Poketubers, TamashiiHiroka to gain a better understanding of the various classes. The video below is long, however, you can just watch from about 1:37 to 2:05 to hear about the class I picked.

This video is the third of three videos talking about all of the trainer classes. Watching all three videos led me to realize there’s so many more Pokemon trainer classes than I thought there were. I was originally debating between the Ace Trainer/Veteran4A class featured in the first video in the series. class and Pokemon Ranger, however I ultimately landed on the Pokemon Ranger class as my choice. It’s a relatively flexible class, which I like as I tend to have pretty fluid teams. Rangers tend to be protective of Pokemon, both wild and not, as well as other trainers. Considering the fact that I’ve gone out of my way to avoid hitting even the smallest animals while driving — as well as the fact that I’m pretty protective of people I’ve trained at my job (especially when they’re newer) — I think this class makes a lot of sense for me.

How many Pokemon are on your team and why?

Six. The answer here is always six in my mind. While trainers in the game don’t always carry six Pokemon, I feel obligated to do so, as it’s rare that I make it to the first gym of a Pokemon game without a full team of six Pokemon. So that’s what I’m doing.

What Pokemon would you have and why?

I’ve decided to pick the six Pokemon I enjoy battling with the most in the main series games rather than any other specific Pokemon types. By doing this, I’m leaving off some of my favorite Pokemon5Alolan Vulpix/Ninetales remains one of my favorites in so many ways, but it just misses the cut off here., as well as Pokemon I’d use if I were creating an all-generations Pokemon team6Jynx was the hardest cut from this team., and even Pokemon with my favorite gimmicks in the game. That said, I present to you the six Pokemon that’d be on this team, as well as why.

Toxapex
Along with Chandelure, Toxapex was my favorite Pokemon to use in Pokemon Moon to run around Poni Island with to level up my lower level Pokemon for evolving. It’s the tankiest of tanks, particularly if it has time to get set up, and manages to be one of the few Poison Pokemon I’ve ever carried on my team for the majority of a main series game.

Hypno
As a kid, I didn’t have friends to play Pokemon with. Since the Psychic type was broken as hell in Red/Blue and my lack of friends meant no access to Alakazam, Hypno was regularly my difficult Pokemon killer. Though I tried using Hypno again in later generation games — with little success — this spot is a throwback to a time where I made due in Pokemon with what I could find.

Sylveon
I love the versitility of the Eevee line, particularly when the Eeveelutions can do things you wouldn’t expect them to do. Prior to Gen VII, I didn’t realize that Sylveon’s hidden ability was Pixilate, which converts Normal type moves to Fairy type moves. This opened up a new world for me, making Sylveon the Eeveelution I have the most fun battling with…even if I do love Vaporeon the most.

Scizor
Hi. I’m a bug and I’m broken as hell. Scizor was the first Pokemon I learned any sort of competitive Pokemon strategy with and, though I don’t battle online often, it’s almost always on my teams as a result. My in-game Pokemon Ranger trainer would use the non-Mega Scizor version that I learned first, though I tend to go between the set you’ll see below and a Mega Scizor set somewhat commonly, depending on which Scizor I want to bring in.

Chandelure
This spot almost went to Tsareena or Victreebel, as the Pokemon Ranger class historically carried at least one Grass type Pokemon with them. That said, I generally don’t carry Grass types aside from using Cut and the ones I do carry (Parasect, Venusaur, Lilligant) aren’t ones I really like fighting with. Instead, I went with the ghostly chandelier and all the chaos I can cause with it. Oddly enough, I run a relatively similar setup to what Ace Trainer Liam runs in the video at the top of the post, though with some differences you’ll see in the next section.

Articuno
I don’t care that Articuno is garbage competitively. It’s my favorite legendary and I love using it in the main games. A bit earlier this year, I managed to complete the Pokedex in a Pokemon game for the first time ever, which involved me trading away an Articuno for Tapu Lele to fill my next to last slot. It made me a little sad to do so, but the bird of the North is showing up on my team here to make up for it.

What would your team’s moves/abilities/etc be?

For each Pokemon below, I’ve listed a name, gender, ability, nature, held item, and moveset I’d have them use on my team. Names come from what I’ve actually named these Pokemon in game. I’m not picky about natures when I actually play, but since I’m putting together a full team for this exercise, I figure why not. Links go out to Bulbapedia if you want to learn more about these Pokemon/their moves/whatever.

Toxapex
Name: Salacia
Gender: Female
Ability: Merciless
Nature: Modest
Held Item: Black Sludge
Moveset: Stockpile, Toxic, Venoshock, Surf

Hypno
Name: Rolex
Gender: Male
Ability: Inner Focus
Nature: Quiet
Held Item: Lum Berry
Moveset: Psychic, Shadow Ball, Substitute, Dazzling Gleam

Sylveon
Name: 8-Bit
Gender: Female
Ability: Pixilate
Nature: Modest
Held Item: Pixie Plate
Moveset: Echoed Voice, Hyper Beam, Psyshock, Calm Mind

Scizor
Name: Frank
Gender: Male
Ability: Technician
Nature: Careful
Held Item: Metronome
Moveset: Swords Dance, Bullet Punch, Fury Cutter, Roost

Chandelure
Name: Hololight
Gender: Female
Ability: Infiltrator
Nature: Timid
Held Item: Firium Z
Moveset: Will-o-Wisp, Hex, Flame Charge, Confuse Ray

Articuno
Name: Skaoi
Gender: Genderless
Ability: Pressure
Nature: Bold
Held Item: Leftovers
Moveset: Roost, Ice Beam, Hurricane, U-Turn

5 Things I Want to See in Brave Frontier 2

Although I don’t talk about it much on this blog, one of my favorite video games of all time is Brave Frontier. It’s a mobile game that a fellow blogger named Jun introduced me to in late 2013. I’ve been hooked ever since.

Brave Frontier is a turn-based strategy game where you play as a summoner who summons deceased heroes and villains from a war between gods and humans. The game features numerous modes, including an in-depth story mode, player versus player arena modes, cooperative raid and guild modes, and more tedious single player challenges such as trials and grand quests. Your units are largely obtained through the game’s gacha summoning system, though there are a handful of units that can be obtained for free throughout the game’s story mode or via special events. While Brave Frontier’s in-game currency can be obtained in some amount through normal game play or via special events, the currency can also be purchased via real money.

While I adore (most of) the gameplay in Brave Frontier, there are some things I’d like to see improved. One of the game’s makers, Gumi, recently announced Brave Frontier 2 with an anticipated release in winter of 20171The winter 2017 date was correct at the time of publishing this post, however the game has since been announced to be delayed until winter 2018.. With that launch in the (hopefully) not so distant future, I wanted to take a look at five things that would, in my opinion, help the user experience as Brave Frontier 2 readies to launch.

1. Top-tier evolutions available for all units

In Brave Frontier, there are currently (as of October 7, 2017) 222 units that have the ability to evolve to the game’s top rarity tier, Omni evolution. While this does give the option for some team variety, unless you’re regularly summoning for new units, you’re likely not to end up with a diverse set of units capable of performing well in all game modes. Clearly you’ll need different skills for different challenges, however if all units — including legacy units that never received an Omni evolution — had full evolutions, it would allow for greater team diversity and a more engaged player base. After all, if a player can take their favorite units into battle often, they’ll play the game more. Not to say my favorite unit hasn’t received a new evolution for two years or anything.

Who can BF learn from? Fire Emblem: Heroes

Unlike Brave Frontier, every unit in Fire Emblem: Heroes can be evolved to an end stage evolution. Granted, the evolution system in Heroes isn’t nearly as good as the one in Brave Frontier, but they have every single unit available to evolve into the game’s top-tier of units. Of course, combining this idea with my second suggestion would only further allow players to use their favorite units more frequently.

2. Eliminate the gacha system

If you’re not familiar with a gacha system or a gacha machine, basically you put in your money/game currency/whatever, then you get your item/unit/prize at random from whatever is in the pool of items/units/prizes. Make sense? Brave Frontier takes that system and modifies it ever so slightly, providing some gacha pools with limited units or limited types, as well as occasional pools with unit rate ups. That said, when your game has 1700+ total units, and roughly 1200 of those could be pull from various gates, your odds of getting the unit you want aren’t great. There’s a better way…and it’s even been done by Brave Frontier before.

Who can BF learn from? My Little Pony: Magic Princess, King’s Raid, Brave Frontier Japan, and countless other games.

Many other strategy games allow unit acquisition via straight unit purchase, either via in-game currency or real money. Yes, better units require more currency. But that’s to be expected. Brave Frontier Japan actually has a unit pull system where you’re guaranteed the unit you want to get at anywhere between two to six times the cost of a random unit purchase. There’s so many ways to give players access to units to play a game besides a gacha system. I’d hope Brave Frontier 2 chooses one of those systems.

3. A better arena experience

Arena modes are Brave Frontier’s biggest player versus player modes. One of the modes — normal Arena — is a good mode, albeit a tedious grind fest. It was my favorite mode in the game until the final world of the main story came out. The other two modes — Challenge Arena and Colosseum — are loathed by much of the player base. Challenge Arena was grinding turned up to 11 before it vanished for good, while Colosseum is just as much about surviving RNG as it is constructing a good team. If only there was a game that has a good PvP arena strategy mode…

Who can BF learn from? Fire Emblem Heroes

Oh wait. There is. Though I get that the grid based game of Heroes is quite a bit different from Brave Frontier’s game style, the principles behind Heroes’ modes are good. Arena Assault in Heroes forces you to fight a chain of teams with your teams where you can’t repeat your own units. This is essentially a simpler, less time consuming version of Brave Frontier’s Challenge Arena. Heroes also has chain dungeons that force you to start every room over with the same units, though their health hasn’t regenerated. There’s a lot of potential to pull from here to improve one of Brave Frontier’s best, but most maligned, modes.

4. Reduce the number of social game features required for top-end rewards

Most of Brave Frontier’s top-tier items require you to play the game’s two social modes — raid and guild raid. As a solo player who doesn’t like the social aspect of mobile games, this is incredibly frustrating. Add in the fact that guild raid in particular is dominated by pay-to-win players and you lose the more casual player quickly. So. How do you solve this? Surprisingly, we need to turn to the console world to fix a mobile game problem.

Who can BF learn from? WWE 2K18

One of my favorite parts about any sports or fighting game is career mode. WWE 2K18’s career mode looks awesome for many reasons, but the biggest reason is that there’s no paid microtransactions in the game. There is additional DLC you can download for the game, but this is a huge step for WWE, as well as one that Brave Frontier 2 could benefit from. If you want to build a base of high level players, make the high level rewards available to everyone that puts the time into the game — not just those who burn their money to do so.

5. Improve the build customization system

One of the most interesting parts about the current iteration of Brave Frontier is the Omni unit build customization system. Omni units like this one not only have base abilities on their attacks, skills, and leader skills, but these skills can also be improved through the use of omni skill points once the units are otherwise maxed out. The problem is that there’s a lot of overlap in terms of skills unit to unit, plus resetting the unit’s skills costs in-game currency to do. So. How do we fix this?

Who can BF learn from? Brave Frontier

Oddly enough, Brave Frontier 1 may have already given Brave Frontier 2 the answer via it needs via the game’s Summoner Mode (the final mode of the main story line). In that mode, your avatar character has the ability to equip different weapons, change elements, boost specific stats, and swap freely between extra skills on the mode’s main screen. This seems like the logical next step for unit abilities within Brave Frontier 2. Not only would this type of system allow for greater customization of units, it would add more strategy to building your team for specific modes, dungeons, and challenges.