Allow me to preface this by saying that I absolutely LOVE the Fire Emblem series. I’ve been grabbing each game since The Sacred Stones and I’ve loved each of them. They are maddeningly difficult, insanely addictive, and incredibly fun. The whole premise of a game that is almost an expansion of chess, where your moves and decisions have to be 2 steps ahead if you hope to keep your characters alive!
Then Fire Emblem Awakening came out… and OH MY GOD WAS IT AWESOME!!! The story was awesome, the characters were lovable and memorable, the cameos were respectful and appropriate, and the character interactions were terrific, even the newly added marriage feature works well and allows you to do some customizing to a second generation of characters. Though honestly, the only characters worth marrying in my opinion (for the main character anyway) are Lucina and Tiki. I mean the others really did seem forced.
Anyway… then the announcement comes out that a new Fire Emblem is in the works, but no… not one, THREE! Conquest, Revelation, and Birthright, three separate story lines all surrounding the same characters… meaning that I was going to be gaming for a while. Seriously, each Fire Emblem has ridiculous replay value, so this was going to be a while.
Well… I just finished all three and how did I feel about them? Honestly… I thought they were good as far as Fire Emblem goes. Were they a smash follow-up to an otherwise perfect game that set the bar through the roof? Honestly… not really. Don’t get me wrong, they’re good, I’m glad I played them, and I’ll definitely replay them at some point, but it’s not like Awakening, which was one game that kept me plugged in for months on end and has me at the point where I want to replay it again even now.
So what were it’s good and bad points overall? Let’s take a look. The gameplay is pretty much the same as before. Each game starts off in the same place, you’re a prince that has never left his castle. However, eventually he’s called upon to make a choice between his supposed birth family (Birthright), the family that raised him (Conquest), and the high road (Revelations).
My main problem with this setup is it’s kind of a nature vs. nurture story where you’re faced with the ethical quandary about where your loyalties should lie; with the people who raised you or the people who are truly related to you. The problem is that… this is not the case. SPOILER ALERT!!! You’re actually related to neither side. I get that this was done so that your marriage options would be equal on both Birthright and Conquest, but doing it this way makes the decision a lot less of an ethical quandary. I honestly found myself saying… ‘Well wait, if I’m not related to you, why did I side with Hoshido in the first place!?’
Minus points for the plot flaw…
Other than that, I just really didn’t feel this story as much. You really didn’t know what was going on until late in the game, at which point they dump a large amount of exposition on you regarding the game’s primary villain. It really doesn’t hold up as well as I would have liked.
Honestly, of the three, I liked Conquest the best. This story arc was the standout from the other two. It gives the hero constant ethical quandaries between being loyal to your family and doing what is right. It was also the most challenging of the games, bringing us back to the lack of leveling roots.
The character interactions are okay, though I don’t really feel anything for them… unless you decided to marry one of the main characters, at which point things became uncomfortable and incestuous. (I mean seriously did anyone really NOT marry Camilla?)
Yeah, I don’t believe you!
I mean I know that you’re not related to any of them and as such you’re not breaking any laws of nature… supposedly, but come on, the taboo is still there. Even if the person isn’t blood, you’ve still been raised with them, there is still a familial relation, so even if you’re technically not related… well… Honestly, I have a hard time believing that if someone would be okay with marrying their sister, whom they recently found out wasn’t their sister, they’d then have a hard time with an actual familial taboo. It’s… awkward to say the least.
(Marry Scarlet, the story actually takes an unexpected turn.)
Now onto what I did like. The castle. Oh yes, I LOVED customizing my castle and battling people via streetpass. The added challenge of putting up impenetrable defenses really pushed this game back into ‘great’ territory. Allowing you to run through the castle, to have every armament you need at your fingertips, and having additional character interactions pushed this movie into the ‘win’ territory.
Do I like this game? Yes.
Do I recommend this game? Yes.
Was it a stand out: Ehh… not really.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good game. The problem is that if you played Awakening, you have to curb your expectations a little. It gets points for bringing a lot of new material to the table: Divergent storylines, a home base, and interactive decision-making, are all a plus for this game, however the overall story itself is somewhat weak. If you’re looking for the standout in this series, go with Awakening. That said, I wouldn’t recommend skipping this one. Like I said, it brings a lot to the table, it just needed a bit more fleshing out.
Anyway that’s my thoughts. Am I spot on, or way off? Let me know below.
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