Well... The Sta.sh update deleted my old journal. Sigh. And the rich text editor is still horrendous to use.
Not much is going on in the Life of the Wild MF. I'm up to my eyeballs with various temp jobs, which has meant that I'm not in the mood to do anything but lurk around. I've been playing Fire Emblem 7 (Rekka no Ken, GBA old school baby). I'd never finished Hector Hard Mode before, and now I'm feeling pretty fine and ridiculously smug about it.
Now I'm struggling through Fuuin no Tsurugi (FE6). I'm have less fun with it. I think it's because the general age of the characters is between 10-15, rather than the wider ranging 15-30 in the prequel. I keep wanting to tell Roy to go back to school. He's obviously a brilliant commander, but Roy: You are 15. You have the world experience of a gnat. I can't believe you're the general rallying Lycia against Bern. I really really can't believe it. Zephiel was kick ass at your age in the previous game, I can't believe you're a serious threat to him this time around.
Also, getting support conversations while playing intelligently is much more difficult in Fuuin. It's a real downside because without the support conversations I don't care about the characters, so when the levels get difficult I would rather turn off the game than figure out what I'm doing wrong so I can continue the story. Again, I'm noticing this the most with Roy. Without support conversations he comes off as really bland. Eliwood had a bit of this problem: father and son are both good people, very calm, considerate, and virtuous. Because of this polish and maturity (in 15- and 17-year olds, again) they seem as though they're done developing as characters. I found that extremely dull. But as soon as Eliwood and Hector started to banter in their supports, I fell in love with Eliwood's gentle humor and pride. Just knowing that Eliwood would tease Hector about not being as good of a student when they were studying to be young lords together gave him enough depth of personality that I wanted to see how Eliwood would develop as a character. Roy feels as though he's finished all of his development, and the support conversations that I have been able to trigger haven't suggested that there's more to him. There's quite a lot going on with Wolt, but Roy just seems to react to rather than interact with Wolt.
Finally, there are not enough kickass ladies early on in Fuuin. Ellen is a badass healer, and Dorothy is fantastic, but this game would be so much better if Guinevere could take a similar role to Lyn from the beginning. I dove in to Rekka because Lyn was so mind blowingly awesome, and her conversations with everyone, and particularly Florina, were great. Even though the first ten levels of Rekka only had Lyn, Florina, and Serra as ladies of awesome, the cast was small enough, and because the story focused around Lyn that I felt there were enough ladies. With Fuuin, I felt that the first levels were just Roy, Wolt, Lance and Allen. So much Roy, Wolt, Lance and Allen. It's nice from a gameplay perspective that the cast expands very quickly, compared to Rekka, but I don't get to know these characters terribly well, and the new female characters seem over powered by their male companions when you get two or three dudes to one lady for every new level.
I think a lot of these problems are just because Fuuin was made before Rekka, and Rekka was specifically designed with a new come Western audience in mind. Rekka starts out much more slowly, because we're in a tutorial for Lyn's story. But the slow build, with only one or two new characters per chapter, I get to know everyone better, and I'm more interested in the story. The stakes are much higher in Fuuin, since there's an all out war leading up to the possible world destruction, but the lack of personality to the characters negates the destruction going on around everyone. Anyway, I'm going to try to get further in this, because despite all my complaints, the characters are fun, and the plot is engaging--it's just not as good as the game I played before, and so I feel a little let down.