Published on April 3rd, 2013 | by idnthav11
Review: Fire Emblem: Awakening
Developer(s): Intelligent Systems
System: Nintendo 3DS
Release Date(s): April 9, 2012 (Japan) February 4, 2013 (North America), April 19, 2013 (Europe), April 20, 2013 (Australia)
Perfect (or close enough to it)
Fire Emblem is a long running franchise by Nintendo since 1990. The series is known for its strategic, turn-based, role-playing gameplay where you take control of the protagonist and his unit to strategically move and position to defeat enemies on the field, protect an NPC or defeat a boss. Fire Emblem: Awakening is actually my first Fire Emblem game, previously never even turning to give the games a look but giving this one a go, I absolutely regret nothing. The biggest problem I had was getting the game itself. Thanks to not enough games being printed, it was almost impossible to get the game on release, I eventually got the game. 4 weeks after rigorous searching in multiple retail stores and online stores. I had extreme high hopes to try this game out since it was my first one. Of course the wait and small frustration had diminished it quite a lot but, after beating the game I completely forgot about the incident.
Thanks to Nintendo for this great story description that avoids all kinds of spoilers and a few links that describe the world a bit more:
“The world is ruled by the Divine Dragon Naga, with a fondness for humans, and the Fell Dragon, Grima, destroyer of humans.Prince Chrom of the Halidom of Ylisse and the Shepherds, his personal militia, find you collapsed without memory. They help you to your feet, so you join them on their journey.The Risen, undead soldiers of unknown origin are plaguing the land. A mysterious warrior wields a second treasured Falchion, which should not even exist. The neighboring theocracy of Plegia is populated by worshippers of the wicked dragon. Are these troubling events connected somehow? As you fight alongside Chrom and his Shepherds, you are pulled into a major conflict that will change the world forever.“
Click to go to the official Fire Emblem: Awakening website.
Fire Emblem: Awakening carries an amazing story, so fantastic I was quite obsessed with the game. It had tons of classes and memorable units with their own distinct personality. A feature that was added to FE:A was the ability to create your own character. The creation would consist of 3 builds (age wise) 5 hairstyles (per build), 5 faces (per build), 3 voices (per build) and 20 haircolors overall and, of course, you can name him/her! The appearance of your avatar will affect your in-game 2D portrait, map sprite, and 3D battle model to match. Your character starts off as a Tactician a mage/sword user; later through leveling (levels 10-20) you can promote to a Grand Master using a “Grand Seal” or you can change your class completely using a “Second Seal” the avatar is the only one that can switch between all classes. FE:A has 16 base classes all of which can be promoted, some between 2 classes. There are 4 particular classes that do not have higher class but can level up to 30 instead of 20 cap. The Second Seal is a useful item that allows characters to change their overall base class. Not every class is available for each character but you can change classes as many times as you want. As usual each class levels up in their respected traits, speed, luck, attack etc. etc. but the interesting thing was the skills they learn. All of which and to cover up spoilers, will affect you later on.
It’s just all up to the player to decide what skills they want, what class they want to be, who pair up with and what weapons to give.Fire Emblem: Awakening gives the player a nice choice of how hard they want to experience the game. Classic or Casual; the choice of losing a character permanently if he/she dies in battle, or getting them back after the map has been completed. Normal, Hard and Lunatic; pretty obvious there, the difficulty of the game.Fire Emblem has some intense gameplay in which every move you make counts. Enemies on the field carry different types of weapons and spells, each affecting the other. Weapons in the game include: swords, lances, tomes, axes, staves and bows. Each weapon has its advantages and weaknesses affecting the units in their own way too.
Fire Emblem: Awakening introduced the “Pair-Up” system; in which you can select a unit and pair them with another to raise the support unit’s stat bonus,support unit’s class bonus, and the support level bonus. The pair-up system also has support level of D, C, B, A, and S, the higher the level the better the boost. For each level achieved, characters have witty dialog between each other. I do have the give them mad props for writing dialog for each character to each level of support. I am quite the lore enthusiast and had to see all the conversations they had, I found myself obsessed with training all my units up with one another with made it all worth it, for me at least. The “S” level is a bit different than the others. Fire Emblem: Awakening introduces marriages between characters, which is where the “S” level comes into play. Male and female characters can be married depending on which units you pair up frequently of the opposite gender. To avoid spoilers, I will only mention that whoever you pair up will affect the later game.
One of the things I have to mention is the the amazing music they made for the game. It’s phenomenal, the battle music fits perfectly to each scenario, the music is so distinct you will probably find yourself humming to it early on. The cutscenes are beautifully rendered I will post a video below to show off how gorgeous they look. The game also has plenty of DLC to buy, maps that will allow you to recruit characters from previous games aka Roy and Marth. Each map at the cost of $3.00 or you can buy the triple pack they come in for about $6.50. I highly recommend buying the 3 pack, it’s a better deal for great short stories. Nintendo has stated that they will try and release one map a week. I’m sure that will add up quick. I will have no regrets in buying them though. I almost forgot, this game other modes! Double Duel; a local multiplayer mode where two players with the game form a team or 3 characters each and collaborate to defeat enemies in a tournament-style battle. Exchange Teams through StreetPass, kind of self-explanatory. Last but not least Spotpass, it basically gives you even more characters from other Fire Emblem games (you can choose to fight them, recruit them or buy weapons from them), new maps and items. I’ve only done the Spotpass stuff which still gives a ton of extras to mess around with.
Despite the fiasco of the game not being in stock for about 4 weeks, it ended up being worth it. Fire Emblem is a truly captivating game that really allows the user to feel and connect with the characters, the marriages, the skills you learn, the weapons, and each move you make in the battlefield. The beautiful music and stunning cutscenes the game just molds together amazingly. As a newcomer to the series this game really got me hooked to buy upcoming titles. I may even go back to buy previous installments.
Final Score:5 out of 5
Check out the stunning trailer for Fire Emblem: Awakening below!