It was a perfect storm of variables. Nintendo announcing the amiibo functionality of Metroid: Samus Returns. Me owning a copy of Metroid Prime: Federation Force. A surprise sale of Zero Suit Samus amiibo (at around $3.75-$4.00 per figure). Me getting extended at work yesterday. All these events aligned, so now I’m the proud owner of a Zero Suit Samus figurine.
There’s a slight feel of regret, but it goes away as soon as I remember that this figurine cost me just $4.00, and that it works with two games that I own (Super Smash Bros. is the other one).
The novelty of AI-controlled fighters in Super Smash Bros. no longer appeals to me. Meanwhile, the Zero Suit paint job in Federation Force doesn’t seem to be as useful as the regular armored Samus paint job (double slow beam vs double missiles). But the in-game advantage that it offers in Samus Returns is huge – it gives you an energy tank that automatically replenishes Samus’ health. I’m not sure how many times this can work; if it’s once per day then it’ll really be helpful. And it also unlocks the Sound Test which I prefer over the exclusive art that the other amiibo unlock.
So, $4.00 for in-game advantages in two Metroid games? I have a decent looking plastic figurine for display? Worth it.
This past weekend, I realized that I’ve gone through several games already and have barely made any progress in Fire Emblem Fates Conquest – I play it occasionally, grinding on Boo Camp and collecting gold, but I’ve been stuck on the same stage and have not gotten any S rank Support Conversations yet. So I made it a point to shift my focus back to this game and move a couple of steps forward.
After five attempts, I finally made it past Chapter 23 with only one casualty, Ike (Fire Emblem amiibo are awesome). It was an acceptable loss as I could spend Gold to recruit him again, which I did. Before falling in battle, he had levelled up twice to 25 and he gained his Aether skill (I was wondering why he didn’t have this).
Now I have clear goals for this game: Get all Support Conversations to Rank A, partner up everyone and start recruiting their children. These are goals that I can work on with spurts of playtime, so I won’t need to put a halt on my Bravely Second playthrough.
The next match in the asterisk boss gauntlet of Bravely Default was a little underwhelming, especially coming after the previous one. This group consisted of a Vampire, an Arcanist, a Red Mage, and a Spell Fencer. The main strategy of the group is to overwhelm you with a barrage of status ailments like Poison, Charm, Sleep, Fear, and Death. This should have been harder had it not for accessories and skills that negated status ailments – having the proper setup made this fight a breeze.
The next and last match is a little harder to describe. The group consisted of a Templar, Hunter, Time Mage and Spirit Master. The Templar provided defense, the Time Mage and Hunter used spells and skills that damaged the group, and the Spirit Master provided healing and support. The previous matches prepared me well for this bout but while I didn’t lose the match, it took me a long time to win.
Again, despite the pacing issues of the game in terms of the plot, Bravely Default did a great job in developing and giving exposure to the asterisk bosses. They’re so memorable, their appearances in Bravely Second are great fanservice.
What a rush! I just beat matches three and four of that final asterisk boss sequences in Bravely Default and despite playing on Easy mode, I had a lot of trouble beating both groups!
The third group consisted of a Performer (modern version of a Bard), a Pirate, a Monk and a Dark Knight. The Pirate and Monk did the heavy damage, single target physical attacks while the Dark Knight did heavy damage group attacks. The Performer provided whatever support was needed – stat boosts, BP gain, etc. I lost this fight twice before I figured out a winning strategy.
The fourth match was against a Conjurer, Black Mage, Summoner, and Salve (potion) Maker. This bout was brutal – I lost three times, all on one hit KOs for my entire party.
I love that both matches couldn’t have been won through sheer brute force; a strategy was really needed in order to come out on top. This is where Bravely Default’s awesome battle mechanics and job system shines. Two more asterisk boss battles to go!
The second group of asterisk bosses waiting for me consisted of a Knight, a Swordmaster, a Ninja, and a White Mage. The main strategy of the group is to be defensive and outlast you.
On Easy, the White Mage casted Reflect on both parties to prevent me from casting offensive spells on them and healing/boosting spells on us. Meanwhile, the Knight served as the main tank to soak up damage while the Swordmaster and Ninja took turns attacking.
It was quite easy to figure out how to beat this group – with lots of healing items, its hard to lose a battle of attrition. I found the first battle to be more of a challenge, despite having fewer opponents.
On to round three!