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Happy upcoming Valentines Day! I'm definitely in the lovin' mood after spending some time with Fire Emblem this week.

I'm going to be real honest about it, Fire Emblem is my favourite soap opera. It's a great tactical experience, lots of options in battle, encourages very smart play, blah blah blah. That's all great, but for me, the real focus is all about fostering these little battlefield romances.

Fire Emblem has a interesting relationship system where placing units next to each other on the field, or pairing them up so they move as one combined unit, will let them share sympathetic bonuses. Aside from generic buffs to attack rating, accuracy, agility and so on, combined units will also randomly work together to compliment each others talents. A burly knight may jump in front of spear to protect her squishy mage friend, or an archer may rain down some long distance payback on behalf of his thief accomplice. The more one particular pair works together, the tighter the bond between them will be and the more effective they become as a team. Great for the strategy end of things.

But they also become friends, or lovers. Between battles you can listen in on conversations between your units and watch as their relationships grow. This has quickly become the highlight of the game for me. I'm a big romantic softy and even early on I've got my own set of cute awkward romances going that I want to see develop. I want to see the far flung day when these crazy kids get together and have little warrior-babies of their own.

It can be a heart-breaker though. Fire Emblem works on a perma-death system. Once a person is down, they're gone. It can be devastating to lose one half of a battle-couple to a unlucky critical or a poor move. I'm trying to keep it legit and roll with my losses, but sometimes it's hard. I've already lost Sully the tomboy knight just as she started warming up, and I had to restart a match twice to keep hayseed-cum-warrior Donny alive, I can't let him die so far away from the farm and his mama!


- See you on the other side Sully.

This game plays your emotions like a fiddle. Definitely a great choice for some Valentines gaming.

* - Guys, what's with all the shooting and hollering and carrying on? Is that really necessary?

* - Another counter-point to Allistair's blog. Can we all just agree that violence isn't necessary but kinda-really-super-fun sometimes? Yeah, I might not be the best person to weight in on this...

* - Roberto needs our help gathering some material. If you can remember any interesting or particularly c-blogs about feminism be sure to hook him up with a link.

* - Wow, WORDS. Voltech clearly loves some Ratchet and Clank action!

* - Action, sport, fighting, shooting, and just about every other kind of game have been lifting RPG elements for years now! Dead Space 3 takes those lessons and RUNS with them. Nice write up by a new blogger, be sure to take a look!

A - I don't know if the industry is heading to another crash, but I do agree it could use a shot of self-confidence.

A - That DoktorGirl finally plays some Silent Hill and starts with.... Downpour? Oh lord. Well the good news is it can only get better from there. Also, do you like stabbing faux-English dudes in the face? Then you should probably enter to win a copy of Dishonored!

A - Yup, Spector was being a self-flattering, borderline-pretentious, snowflake again.

A - I don't achievements for the most part. But I'm glad they are around because other people seem to enjoy them. I honestly don't understand people when they say achievements "ruined" a game, or games in general, for them.

M - Caseydilla ALMOST survived her Dead Space experience. Great musing by a new blogger!

A - CommandZ is hoping games can learn to take themselves more seriously as art.


D - Randy is such a lovable goof! It's a real shame he can't seem to make a decent game that doesn't have Boarder or Lands in the title.

C - LukasRocks gets a little personal and faces up to some problems. Reading his other blogs I'd have to agree that he seems to have some issues. Hopefully he can get it sorted out and learn from it all.

I - New contributor yay! Welcome to our little family Taylor!

I - And another new contributor! In true Dtoid fashion he introduces himself with creepily intimate physical contact!

$ - Feel guilty about using an in-game mechanic to avoid sleazy micro-transactions? Not likely!

T - Bibbly encourages everyone to avoid Dead Space 3 like it was the space-plague.

F - Watch a middle aged man stumble through video games in what sounds like the best show ever! Seriously, this sounds like a lot of fun.

L - tee hee, perverted pokemon.

F - Is this a thing? Do game dev schools ask their students to write diary style updates about their stuff on gaming blogs? I don't mean to be a jerk, but it seems like every other month there is a different "what I did this week in Game-School" poster or two. Getting to be a pattern.



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