Fire Emblem: Awakening Review

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Fire Emblem: Awakening Review

Fire Emblem returns to handheld after a long hiatus.

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Oh no! Nonononono... I don't need a Nintendo 3DS sized bill to pay right now! Thank you for the review, but oh my goodness! My insides are twisting with indecision!

in before "shut up and take my money!!!"... oh wait... :P hahaha :P so excited for this game, why monday can't come sooner? :P

PowCoJG:
Oh no! Nonononono... I don't need a Nintendo 3DS sized bill to pay right now! Thank you for the review, but oh my goodness! My insides are twisting with indecision!

DO IT. BECOME ONE WITH THE FLAMES OF THE EMBLEM. *RIDICULOUS CULT GIBBERISH CHANTING*

OT- Glad to see this game get a review here, and a positive one too! However, it raises a fun game design question, is it a bad idea to make a game where you aren't the protagonist, but rather an important secondary character? Can this be a better choice in some ways? I can see the reason why. Think of how many books are narrarated by secondary characters, such as Sherlocke Holmes (I feel like one of those e's doesn't belong...). In many ways this allows for the protagonist's thoughts and motivations to be a mystery to us and to be revealed to us over time. It also fits quite well with the popular method of writing a character as a blank slate while still allowing there to be a defined character driving the plot. However, it removes the feeling that the player is driving the plot, which, unless accounted for, can ruin the feel of a game.

Justin! My man! Good review. I'm so glad i bought the US 3ds, not the EU, I'll have it on the 4th from eshop, instead of waiting for it's EU release.

Does that screenshot seriously say "You can call me Marth"? SERIOUSLY?! I'm having a bit of a fanboy-gasm right now.

Marth is my hero...

that's guy's only "named" after marth, or so he claims

i thought support actions only technically altered the order in which your units do things, not necessarily limit their actions

also, sometimes knights are just too strong for their own good so they end up stealing all the kills and this is a better way to use them as the armor clad jerks they are, but without overshadowing your units on foot lol

Revnak:
snip

The original Fire Emblem for the GBA was a major part of my childhood :D
I just haven't had cash for a 3DS :/

PowCoJG:

Revnak:
snip

The original Fire Emblem for the GBA was a major part of my childhood :D
I just haven't had cash for a 3DS :/

Little Pet Peeve for me here but what you call the "original" FE was actualy the 7th, but just the first released in the west.

PowCoJG:

Revnak:
snip

The original Fire Emblem for the GBA was a major part of my childhood :D
I just haven't had cash for a 3DS :/

Meh. I came to terms with the fact that I would be getting a 3DS when this game was announced well over a year ago. When it came out in Japan I knew I had literally no other choice. However, I am glad I waited. Now I can get the fancy Fire Emblem 3DS. It is neat.

I found out about this last week, thought about asking for a 3DS bundle for my birthday, looked up some stuff and decided this game might as well be a pass for me. Now I'm not so sure.

Revnak:

PowCoJG:
Oh no! Nonononono... I don't need a Nintendo 3DS sized bill to pay right now! Thank you for the review, but oh my goodness! My insides are twisting with indecision!

DO IT. BECOME ONE WITH THE FLAMES OF THE EMBLEM. *RIDICULOUS CULT GIBBERISH CHANTING*

OT- Glad to see this game get a review here, and a positive one too! However, it raises a fun game design question, is it a bad idea to make a game where you aren't the protagonist, but rather an important secondary character? Can this be a better choice in some ways? I can see the reason why. Think of how many books are narrarated by secondary characters, such as Sherlocke Holmes (I feel like one of those e's doesn't belong...). In many ways this allows for the protagonist's thoughts and motivations to be a mystery to us and to be revealed to us over time. It also fits quite well with the popular method of writing a character as a blank slate while still allowing there to be a defined character driving the plot. However, it removes the feeling that the player is driving the plot, which, unless accounted for, can ruin the feel of a game.

I believe the GBA Fire Emblem had the player character as a tactical adviser and it worked pretty well.

Eric the Orange:

PowCoJG:

Revnak:
snip

The original Fire Emblem for the GBA was a major part of my childhood :D
I just haven't had cash for a 3DS :/

Little Pet Peeve for me here but what you call the "original" FE was actualy the 7th, but just the first released in the west.

Right. I just kind of failed to elaborate on that in my post. Apologies!

Revnak:

PowCoJG:

Revnak:
snip

The original Fire Emblem for the GBA was a major part of my childhood :D
I just haven't had cash for a 3DS :/

Meh. I came to terms with the fact that I would be getting a 3DS when this game was announced well over a year ago. When it came out in Japan I knew I had literally no other choice. However, I am glad I waited. Now I can get the fancy Fire Emblem 3DS. It is neat.

You and your monies... *shakes fist*
Well, hope you enjoy it! :D

Anyone else getting that un-easy feeling that FF's having a negative influence on FE? I don't mean in story/character traits but in character design. There seems to be a hell of alot more belts on display and why does the MC have one fully armoured arm and one thats completely bare. I know theres some fighting styles out there that use this but his right arms not even sleaved and why is Marth wearing a butterfly mask, were there no bandanas on hand? I know this complaints petty but I liked the practicality of the previous games weapons and armour and I don't want it to fall into FF's design choices, you know, bigger/more elaborate the better. Soldiers have to be practical, I know its fantasy but stupid is stupid,

PowCoJG:

Revnak:

PowCoJG:

The original Fire Emblem for the GBA was a major part of my childhood :D
I just haven't had cash for a 3DS :/

Meh. I came to terms with the fact that I would be getting a 3DS when this game was announced well over a year ago. When it came out in Japan I knew I had literally no other choice. However, I am glad I waited. Now I can get the fancy Fire Emblem 3DS. It is neat.

You and your monies... *shakes fist*
Well, hope you enjoy it! :D

I plan on getting it once I have monies. I do not right now.

I have been looking forward to this for a long time. My 3DS is finally getting love. :)

-Dragmire-:

Revnak:

PowCoJG:
Oh no! Nonononono... I don't need a Nintendo 3DS sized bill to pay right now! Thank you for the review, but oh my goodness! My insides are twisting with indecision!

DO IT. BECOME ONE WITH THE FLAMES OF THE EMBLEM. *RIDICULOUS CULT GIBBERISH CHANTING*

OT- Glad to see this game get a review here, and a positive one too! However, it raises a fun game design question, is it a bad idea to make a game where you aren't the protagonist, but rather an important secondary character? Can this be a better choice in some ways? I can see the reason why. Think of how many books are narrarated by secondary characters, such as Sherlocke Holmes (I feel like one of those e's doesn't belong...). In many ways this allows for the protagonist's thoughts and motivations to be a mystery to us and to be revealed to us over time. It also fits quite well with the popular method of writing a character as a blank slate while still allowing there to be a defined character driving the plot. However, it removes the feeling that the player is driving the plot, which, unless accounted for, can ruin the feel of a game.

I believe the GBA Fire Emblem had the player character as a tactical adviser and it worked pretty well.

No, it didn't work well because they did next to nothing with it. Occasionally a main character would look at the screen and say a couple things dirrectly to you. That's about it. These occasions were also given next to no meaning by any other part of the game. You were the least important character essentially, which is not really a significant change in design and is in many ways essentially not a change at all considering the responsibilities and traits of your tactician in that game are essentially the same as the ones you have when that character is absent.

PunkRex:
Anyone else getting that un-easy feeling that FF's having a negative influence on FE? I don't mean in story/character traits but in character design. There seems to be a hell of alot more belts on display and why does the MC have one fully armoured arm and one thats completely bare. I know theres some fighting styles out there that use this but his right arms not even sleaved and why is Marth wearing a butterfly mask, were there no bandanas on hand? I know this complaints petty but I liked the practicality of the previous games weapons and armour and I don't want it to fall into FF's design choices, you know, bigger/more elaborate the better. Soldiers have to be practical, I know its fantasy but stupid is stupid,

Technically the art designer is stealing from No More Heroes, because he was an art designer for No More Heroes. And Speed Grapher. Really, the designs are just more seinen and video gamey, not necessarily more like FF.

A game I really like and planned to buy turns out to be good? Fuck Yeah!

PunkRex:
Anyone else getting that un-easy feeling that FF's having a negative influence on FE? I don't mean in story/character traits but in character design. There seems to be a hell of alot more belts on display and why does the MC have one fully armoured arm and one thats completely bare. I know theres some fighting styles out there that use this but his right arms not even sleaved and why is Marth wearing a butterfly mask, were there no bandanas on hand? I know this complaints petty but I liked the practicality of the previous games weapons and armour and I don't want it to fall into FF's design choices, you know, bigger/more elaborate the better. Soldiers have to be practical, I know its fantasy but stupid is stupid,

I think you have a valid complaint. One of the biggest charms of Fire Emblem's visuals was that everything wasn't over the top and impractical looking. While the screenshots in the review don't look nearly as overly-complex as the costumes in FF they do look a bit more over the top than other Fire Emblem games.

The Fire Emblem series is great, but at the same time it really makes me sad that the similar series Shining Force was never able to stick to it's roots and got SEGA'd into obscurity.

That's what I love about the Fire Emblem series, the basic gameplay of today's new release is essential the same as the original game way back when on the NES. And whether it's being released on portable or on console the developers and their fans are just A-Okay with that.

Revnak:

-Dragmire-:

Revnak:

DO IT. BECOME ONE WITH THE FLAMES OF THE EMBLEM. *RIDICULOUS CULT GIBBERISH CHANTING*

OT- Glad to see this game get a review here, and a positive one too! However, it raises a fun game design question, is it a bad idea to make a game where you aren't the protagonist, but rather an important secondary character? Can this be a better choice in some ways? I can see the reason why. Think of how many books are narrarated by secondary characters, such as Sherlocke Holmes (I feel like one of those e's doesn't belong...). In many ways this allows for the protagonist's thoughts and motivations to be a mystery to us and to be revealed to us over time. It also fits quite well with the popular method of writing a character as a blank slate while still allowing there to be a defined character driving the plot. However, it removes the feeling that the player is driving the plot, which, unless accounted for, can ruin the feel of a game.

I believe the GBA Fire Emblem had the player character as a tactical adviser and it worked pretty well.

No, it didn't work well because they did next to nothing with it. Occasionally a main character would look at the screen and say a couple things dirrectly to you. That's about it. These occasions were also given next to no meaning by any other part of the game. You were the least important character essentially, which is not really a significant change in design and is in many ways essentially not a change at all considering the responsibilities and traits of your tactician in that game are essentially the same as the ones you have when that character is absent.

Hmm, been a while since I've played it so my memory may be a little off but as much as the player character avatar might have been unnecessary I felt it never detracted from my enjoyment of the game.

If I were to play it again now though my opinion of it might be quite different.

The one thing I don't like about this kind of permadeath is it just feels unecessary. If your any distance into the game losing a signle character becomes such a massive handicap that even if the game doesn't fail you immediately you have to restart anyway since the next battle's going to crush you since you're not at full strength. I recall doing this a lot in Final Fantasy Tactics. It's just not worth trying to raise a lv 1 character back to lv 37.

-Dragmire-:

Revnak:

-Dragmire-:

I believe the GBA Fire Emblem had the player character as a tactical adviser and it worked pretty well.

No, it didn't work well because they did next to nothing with it. Occasionally a main character would look at the screen and say a couple things dirrectly to you. That's about it. These occasions were also given next to no meaning by any other part of the game. You were the least important character essentially, which is not really a significant change in design and is in many ways essentially not a change at all considering the responsibilities and traits of your tactician in that game are essentially the same as the ones you have when that character is absent.

Hmm, been a while since I've played it so my memory may be a little off but as much as the player character avatar might have been unnecessary I felt it never detracted from my enjoyment of the game.

If I were to play it again now though my opinion of it might be quite different.

It never really got in the way, it just never really did anything is all. It was superfluous. It gave a tiny growth bonus and was recognized with less dialogue than some of the game's lesser bosses.

I'm actually saving up to buy a 3DS ESPECIALLY for this game.

No one can comprehend how much I love the Fire Emblem franchise. Fire Emblem Rekka No Ken is my second favorite game of all time (Megaman Battle Network 3 being my first, yes they're both handhelds).

This is one of the few games I'll admit I'm a pure fanboy of.

archvile93:
The one thing I don't like about this kind of permadeath is it just feels unecessary. If your any distance into the game losing a signle character becomes such a massive handicap that even if the game doesn't fail you immediately you have to restart anyway since the next battle's going to crush you since you're not at full strength. I recall doing this a lot in Final Fantasy Tactics. It's just not worth trying to raise a lv 1 character back to lv 37.

Actually, this is kind of just a player choice. It also adds punishment for dying, which in my opinion, ALL games should have.

In a lot of games nowadays, when you die you just start from a checkpoint that you hit about 2m away. In Fire Emblem when your character died, you either made the choice of going back to the start of the level, or you carried on with that character permanently gone. In my opinion it's a genius death system. No matter what, the player is punished if they die, but the player chooses how they are punished for their death.

It also adds a player attachment to the characters. When one of your favorite characters in the game dies, you feel a lot sadder than you would if there was no permanent death. It immerses you in the game and creates an emotional link.

And in this game, they did add casual mode if you don't want to deal with the death system.

Also, have you ever tried playing Fire Emblem with no restarts? It's hard. It makes you think twice about doing the Arena and it makes you so much more cautious while playing.

I don't want to seem like a nit-picky jerk, but...

Slycne:
There have been a few other titles in the series over the years, mostly on the home consoles

In the American releases at least, there have been 4 handheld Fire Emblem releases: Fire Emblem (GBA), FE: The Sacred Stones (GBA), FE: Shadow Dragon (DS), and this one, whereas home console only got 2: FE: Path of Radiance (GC) and FE: Radiant Dawn (Wii). So "mostly" would go to the handhelds, methinks =X

Bluesclues:
I don't want to seem like a nit-picky jerk, but...

Slycne:
There have been a few other titles in the series over the years, mostly on the home consoles

In the American releases at least, there have been 4 handheld Fire Emblem releases: Fire Emblem (GBA), FE: The Sacred Stones (GBA), FE: Shadow Dragon (DS), and this one, whereas home console only got 2: FE: Path of Radiance (GC) and FE: Radiant Dawn (Wii). So "mostly" would go to the handhelds, methinks =X

Heh, well if you want to get more nit-picky I said other titles, so disregarding Fire Emblem we'd be tied. Everyone's wrong no one wins!

Thanks I'll make an update.

Slycne:

Bluesclues:
I don't want to seem like a nit-picky jerk, but...

Slycne:
There have been a few other titles in the series over the years, mostly on the home consoles

In the American releases at least, there have been 4 handheld Fire Emblem releases: Fire Emblem (GBA), FE: The Sacred Stones (GBA), FE: Shadow Dragon (DS), and this one, whereas home console only got 2: FE: Path of Radiance (GC) and FE: Radiant Dawn (Wii). So "mostly" would go to the handhelds, methinks =X

Heh, well if you want to get more nit-picky I said other titles, so disregarding Fire Emblem we'd be tied. Everyone's wrong no one wins!

Thanks I'll make an update.

Good point. Now I feel like even more of a jerk, thanks :P haha

Gah, now I'm going to have to go get Fire Emblem and trade up my 3DS for a 3DS XL. No way am I playing a game like this on that tiny screen!

I was already getting the game anyway as it seems to bring back EVERY system from every FE game ever (the pairing system does sound like a min-maxer's nightmare though). I do wonder how the DLC for the game is going to go as there are a LOT of character in it that have never been shown overseas such as the characters from Gaiden and the Jugdral titles. The character design also looks much improved as the old titles kinda bordered on bland in that department

A Smooth Criminal:
I'm actually saving up to buy a 3DS ESPECIALLY for this game.

No one can comprehend how much I love the Fire Emblem franchise. Fire Emblem Rekka No Ken is my second favorite game of all time (Megaman Battle Network 3 being my first, yes they're both handhelds).

This is one of the few games I'll admit I'm a pure fanboy of.

archvile93:
The one thing I don't like about this kind of permadeath is it just feels unecessary. If your any distance into the game losing a signle character becomes such a massive handicap that even if the game doesn't fail you immediately you have to restart anyway since the next battle's going to crush you since you're not at full strength. I recall doing this a lot in Final Fantasy Tactics. It's just not worth trying to raise a lv 1 character back to lv 37.

Actually, this is kind of just a player choice. It also adds punishment for dying, which in my opinion, ALL games should have.

In a lot of games nowadays, when you die you just start from a checkpoint that you hit about 2m away. In Fire Emblem when your character died, you either made the choice of going back to the start of the level, or you carried on with that character permanently gone. In my opinion it's a genius death system. No matter what, the player is punished if they die, but the player chooses how they are punished for their death.

It also adds a player attachment to the characters. When one of your favorite characters in the game dies, you feel a lot sadder than you would if there was no permanent death. It immerses you in the game and creates an emotional link.

And in this game, they did add casual mode if you don't want to deal with the death system.

Also, have you ever tried playing Fire Emblem with no restarts? It's hard. It makes you think twice about doing the Arena and it makes you so much more cautious while playing.

It just doesn't feel like you have any real choice. Pressing on with one man down is suicidal. I don't necessarily mind, permadeath, I just don't see why it couldn't just cut out the middleman and give you an immediate game over when any character dies since anyone sane will reset.

"My friend" has never played a Fire Emblem game and would like to get into the series. Which game should "my friend" start with?

NoPants2win:
"My friend" has never played a Fire Emblem game and would like to get into the series. Which game should "my friend" start with?

The one on the GBA that's just called Fire Emblem is a good place to start.

Sacred Stones lets you grind for levels, so if that's appealing to you, go for it.

Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn are the best ones.

Shadow Dragon is bad, skip it.

archvile93:
It just doesn't feel like you have any real choice. Pressing on with one man down is suicidal. I don't necessarily mind, permadeath, I just don't see why it couldn't just cut out the middleman and give you an immediate game over when any character dies since anyone sane will reset.

My route has been to let characters die if it feels like an appropriate moment. Sometimes the young lad that recklessly rushed into battle to prove himself really is just reckless. There is more than enough redundancy in the roster that you can loose a fair share of the characters. And even if 99/100 times you're restarting I still feel it's an important system to keep around because it does force you to weigh your investment with these characters. If it's some fluke first turn death sure, but if I'm 1/2 and hour into a chapter and otherwise doing well, that's another story. I still feel like there is an increased tension to it, despite however hollow it actually is.

Also if the game automatically restarted on any death you'd also run a team of really boring characters, ie practically all knights all the time, and you'd be playing the same team over and over.

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