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S&S Review: Fire Emblem Awakening

Title: Fire Emblem Awakening 
Format: Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: February 4, 2013
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Price: $39.99
ESRB Rating: T

Fire Emblem Awakening is finally hear, and it looks to be the best Fire Emblem game ever to be released.  The Nintendo 3DS' flagship title for the first half of 2013 is what the 3DS needed, a wonderful game that can move a lot of units.  This is what Fire Emblem Awakening brings, it'll probably go down as one the best 3DS titles to date.

Story and Presentation:
Although this game has been highly anticipated for quite some time now, I'm sure that there are a lot of people who've never played these games before.  I'm sure this new game will make a lot of new fans for the series. On to the story, the game opens up to your player created avatar awakening to a group of soldiers, called the Shepherds.  The Shepherds are a band of warriors that protect the citizens of Ylisse, a tough name to spell and pronounce.  The kingdom has been targeted by a group of bandits, and the Shepherds aim to protect it.  That's not all that threatens the kingdom of Ylisse, a group of strange beings called, the Risen, are busy terrorizing citizens and attacking towns.  You also have a mysterious masked warrior named Marth, who wants to see the world burn.  The narrative is definitely wrapped up in a ton of layers, and is filled with interesting characters that you'll instantly connect with.  Since there are a lot of different antagonists, the story can get a little convoluted at times, but it still manages to hold your attention.  The visuals are stupendous, the 3DS' hardware does a lot of good for the game.  It can compete with Resident Evil Revelations as the best looking 3DS game.  Character models, the dozens of environments you'll be battling in, it all looks wonderful.    The anime inspired animation cutscenes are also great to look at as well.  The music is just as good as the visuals, the orchestral score will nest in your ears, and live there long after you've put the game down.  From inside out, the game is definitely a technical stunner.

Core Gameplay:
The gameplay in these games is really what draws a lot of people in, sure the presentation is top notch, but the challenging yet rewarding gameplay is what makes this game special. I'm saying this now, this was the easiest Fire Emblem I've played.  Since the previous games were so tough, that doesn't make this game a run in the park.  It still has it's challenge, just not as much as previous titles. The title is a pure strategy RPG game.  Each lengthy battle has you strategically moving your characters around a grid like map, trying to get in the best position to take down each enemy.  You have your three basic weapon units as well, swords, lances, and axes all form a rock-paper-scissors style relationship with one another.  You'll want to learn which weapons bests the other, this will be essential in your success.  Archers have an advantage against airborne enemies, while magic spells can really help against heavily armored foes.  There are a lot of different percentages that go into each encounter.  This is the beauty of this game, every action has different outcome depending on the enemy you're going up against.  The game really puts the emphasis on the positioning more than previous games in the series.  Especially the positioning with other characters as well.  The allies can have relationships on the battlefield, and they can even fall in love with one another, giving them additional stat boosts.  The class system hasn't gotten the big overhaul previous sequels have gotten, but it's definitely a lot better.  Leveling up a specific class is a lot easier, and it doesn't lock you into a certain role.  This time around you switch up your classes, making for some pretty powerful characters.  The story is pretty lengthy, and it'll take you some time to work through all the chapters.  If you're looking for a game with some meat, Fire Emblem is the perfect choice.

Final Thoughts:
Fire Emblem Awakening is the Fire Emblem game we've been waiting for.  It's possibly the best 3DS game we've gotten in the past year.  The visuals and music are some of the best on the portable system, and the gameplay is just as addicting and satisfying as before.
S&S Rating: 9/10

2 comments: Leave Your Comments

  1. Wow, I didn't know tactical RPGs like this were still made.

  2. Yea they're pretty rare nowadays.