So, I beat Super Mario Bros. 3 for the first time…

SMB3 Banner

During the past month, I played through every level in Super Mario Bros. 3 and defeated Bowser — for the first time. Having been raised on Super Mario World, the everlasting rival to Mario 3, I wondered what to expect from the game almost universally considered one of the best of all time. Would I love it or proclaim it an overrated relic as I cling to my Mario World cartridge?

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A Silent Voice: The Movie // Review

A Silent Voice

A Silent Voice is a difficult film to watch. It’s both heartfelt and heartless, slow and introspective, choosing to follow a former bully instead of his victim. It pulls few punches in depicting the cruelty of children, and deserves praise for focusing on such a heavy subject without coming across as heavy-handed. While Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name easily overshadowed it (and every anime film release in 2016), A Silent Voice still deserves special attention.

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Fire Emblem: Where to Begin?

Where to Begin

Let’s pretend that you’ve never played Fire Emblem before, but you’re interested in giving the franchise a try. Maybe you’ve played Fire Emblem Awakening, but don’t know where to go from there. What you’ll find below is a game-by-game breakdown of every Fire Emblem and the audience most likely to enjoy it. Or if you’re the impatient type, I choose which game is best for newcomers at the end.

I’m disregarding spin-offs because Fire Emblem Warriors or Tokyo Mirage Sessions have no place in this discussion. I considered Fire Emblem Heroes, but decided against including it. It’s a neat approximation of a traditional Fire Emblem, but isn’t the real thing.

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Fire Emblem Remake Overview

FE Remake Overview

Since Fire Emblem Awakening, the long-running franchise has become one of Nintendo’s more prominent franchises in recent years. Despite that, roughly half the games aren’t officially available in non-Japanese languages, but that’s gradually changed . . . sort of. Although remakes don’t replicate the original games entirely, they’re a better substitute given the technical limitations of some of those earlier games.

If the remakes aren’t perfect emulations, what’s the difference between versions?

NOTE:┬áThe official translated subtitle for the first Fire Emblem — Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light — is too damn long, and the shortened Shadow Dragon is the subtitle for the DS remake. Therefore, I will use Blade of Light instead of Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light.

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15 Ideas for Fire Emblem Switch

Fire Emblem Switch

The upcoming Fire Emblem on Nintendo Switch is currently a complete unknown beyond a vague 2018 release date, leaving fans with a blank canvas to paint our hopes and expectations. Because I am always looking for opportunities to make hilariously inaccurate predictions (*cough* Let’s Predict Fire Emblem Warrior’s Roster *cough*), I present 15 ideas that I would love to see included in the next Fire Emblem.

I namedrop subtitles for almost every Fire Emblem title, so I recommend checking my Overview of the Emblem if you’re getting confused. And yes, I realize that newer games need updated descriptions. That will come sometime soon.

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“10 Steps to Story Structure” with Your Lie in April

10 Lies of April Structure 2

Over a year ago, I tried explaining the three-act structure using the anime Your Lie in April, but felt that I didn’t do a decent job at that. And now I’m tackling the writing about writing thing by diving into the ten distinct moments that a story needs. This came from 5 Secrets of Story Structure by K.M. Weiland, available on Amazon’s Kindle for the low, low price of zero. So to illustrate these moments, and strengthen my understanding of them, I’m using Your Lie in April once more.

Needless to say, I’m spoiling the hell out of Your Lie in April. If you have even the smallest interest in watching it (which I highly recommend), hold off.

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