Vision Quest (FE8U)
By pandan (Posted by Pwntagonist)
Posted On: 06/12/2020 1:18:44 PM
Average User Score: 5.0 (1 reviews total)
View Count: 740
Download Count: 0
The continent of Yaska is home to six nations, but the largest and most powerful is Nevan, an Empire composed of states that swear allegiance to the Emperor. In the rural state of Belaro, Lord Gradin, head of state, imposes cruel taxes on the people and jails those that cannot pay.
A young farmer, Storch, along with his hometown friends, fear the worst. Seeking to protect themselves and their families, they look to procure funds through less than savory means. Conflicted, the group begins their plunge into banditry in hopes for a better tomorrow.
Posted on: Jul-07-2020 2:34:17 PM by Pwntagonist
I just finished the game on hard mode. Before I give my thoughts, here are some things to keep in mind about my run. I don't read any dialogue so I won't be commenting on the story. I also use rewind pretty frequently, sometimes don't reset for lost units, and very rarely reset for lost side objectives such as chests and villages. The fact that I was able to beat the game suboptimally is a good thing.
This hack is easily in my top 2 FE hacks ever (the other being Sword of Heaven and Earth), and it goes without saying that I found it more fun than all of the official FE games I've played as well. Both this hack and SoHaE do something extremely well that no other hack or FE game I've played has been able to do, and that is have an engaging and challenging endgame without the need for self-imposed rules. The enemies were tough all the way through the game, but it didn't feel like I was getting nowhere by training my units--at some points a unit may have been able to one-round some types of enemies but it was never a consistent sight after a certain point, unlike in most FE games.
As for the map design, there's no denying that this hack really turns up the enemy density in comparison to most other games. But this isn't a bad thing, I would argue this level of density should be the standard amount. There were rarely points where I felt my units had nothing useful to do, in fact I felt more often that I barely had enough actions to survive and I had to be very efficient in using them. What helped this was the constant encouraging of the player forward. There's very few non-defense missions that don't have some sort of anti-turtling incentive. This is something I want to see every hack do. Hacks lacking in anti-turtle incentives just do not do enough to challenge veterans of the series anymore.
I am not going to comment much on the "player unit balance." I personally think this factor in gameplay is very overblown and what matters much much more is the relative player:enemy strength, which I've already said that this hack nails, as the enemies are consistently tough and there's no one player unit that will solve all your problems.
The one thing I didn't really like was the fog of war maps. I know the creator has an affinity for fog of war, but honestly there is no reason for there to be this many of them. On top of this, I felt that the fog was too often taken advantage of in annoying ways that only served to increase the number of times I had to attempt the map. Of course I can point at the fog wyverns that appear in many FoW chapters which I know is a complaint you've gotten a lot but it's a very valid complaint. But a more specific example of this is the map in which you get Onderdonk. There's a village in his movement range right after you recruit him but if you visit the village you suddenly reveal a meticulously placed sniper who can immediately attack him. This is really frustrating design in my opinion, because there's not really any purpose to the fog. To begin with the mechanic is flawed as it takes away the player's information and forces them to never take any risks, but when you exploit those risks at every possible turn it just makes the maps really unfun, in my opinion. Still, the fog of war maps were never offensively bad to me but I could see someone really getting turned off of the game if they are playing ironman or not using rewind.
Anyway, this hack is like a 9.5/10 for me. This is pretty much the gold standard of FE hacking and going forward I think we are gonna see a lot of hacks follow Vision Quest's example.