Fire Emblem: Awakening Review

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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?

Either FE7 (simply called Fire Emblem on Western shores) for the GBA or FE9/FE: Path of Radiance for the GameCube would both be good places to start out. PoR also has a direct sequel for the Wii (FE10) called Radiant Dawn.

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?

Path of Radiance has the most accessable mechanics, Fire Emblem for the GBA is the first western release, and Awakening has a casual mode. Path of Radiance is the best option in my opinion though. As long as you use the main character a lot and follow virtually any guide when you have problems you should be fine as it is incredibly easy. And arguably one of the best too.

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?

Lots of great advice given already, but just in case, and to be clear, Fire Emblem isn't a contiguous series, baring a few recurring elements. So if you're interested in Awakening you don't need to have played a previous one, if that was your intent.

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.

Meh. Playing Path of Radiance (Gamecube release), I had several characters die right off the bat on me and didn't much care. Why?

Because Soren was a worthless twat, and the few other characters that died were nigh-on useless. One of which, a healer.

Perhaps its because I was lucky. Perhaps its because I had Titania tearing the respawning 3x3 grid of Bandits a whole series of new ones with her axes. Perhaps its because I funneled my bonus XP into the characters I actually used. I don't know why exactly, just that the loss of those characters never affected me negatively.

In fact I had plenty of cash so that when the game let me build weapons, I had rather cheap, Overpowered weapons to swing about for many a crit.

Nothing really changed later on either, let me tell you. I'm also quite sane, and hate it when a game proposes some rather insane idium like "Hey, insignificant bugger #50 died, GAME OVER MAN!".

You don't like losing characters? Fine. I don't like wasting my time. That's what your suggestion would do, waste my time. So guess what anyone sane with my preferences would say to that suggestion?

The permadeath feature always bugged me when I played the DS game, Shadow Dragon I think (my first Fire Emblem game) So a mode where they leave the screen is good so I can get used to the game and enjoy the story, then replay it and feel the tension of the permadeath!

Great review, picking this up when I can!

Fun fact: this game was leaked in EB Games stores in Canada. I got a call on Monday saying I could pick up my preorder the next day, and I did, so I have my copy right here next to me, nearly a week before it was supposed to be released.

You can't buy 'em any more, though, because the stores were told to stop selling them early. I'm one of the lucky ones. So far, I'm loving the game, though sometimes the growth rates seem a bit... high. Like, I 19 Strength and 17 Magic at level 13. And now, after a class change to Barbarian, I've capped Strength (the cap is 30), and I'm only around level 10. 'Course, you need every stat point you can get, so I'm not complaining. It's just different, is all.

SuperSuperSuperGuy:
Fun fact: this game was leaked in EB Games stores in Canada. I got a call on Monday saying I could pick up my preorder the next day, and I did, so I have my copy right here next to me, nearly a week before it was supposed to be released.

You can't buy 'em any more, though, because the stores were told to stop selling them early. I'm one of the lucky ones. So far, I'm loving the game, though sometimes the growth rates seem a bit... high. Like, I 19 Strength and 17 Magic at level 13. And now, after a class change to Barbarian, I've capped Strength (the cap is 30), and I'm only around level 10. 'Course, you need every stat point you can get, so I'm not complaining. It's just different, is all.

I'm so super jealous of you right now... *pets new shiny 3DS XL* Soon I will have something to put inside you!

EDIT: It's supposed to be "Shepherd" isn't it? I know Mass Effect's been pretty big for the past few years but still...

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 always liked asymmetrical armor stylistically, but yeah I guess it isn't practical. As for the butterfly mask, it's to hide his identity, wasn't that obvious? That's what masks are for after all.

It's such major-league bullshit that this game isn't out in Europe until some time in April.

chstens:
It's such major-league bullshit that this game isn't out in Europe until some time in April.

THIS!!!

OH DEAR LORD, NINTENDO, Y U NO LOCALIZE A BIT FASTER?!

I mean for the love of god, I understand that you want Pokemans translated into every language on earth because you can't expect every 6-year-old to speak English but FE never was and never will be something for kids. Give me that shit in English NAO (or even better get rid of the fucking dumbass region lock and let me import that shit >:C )

Ho yes, FE, how I eagerly await you.

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.

Because it's not true. Playing with 1 man down isn't suicide, the game is perfectly playable with a replacement character. Hell, in most of my run throughs of Rekka No Ken I took the time to train up Nino, a level 5 mage who joins your party for about the final 6 chapters. I've also completed the game just fine after using Marcus (a level 1 paladin who joins you at the start of the campaign) to kill pretty much everything, so he sucked up most of the EXP. Also, in the Sacred Stones the game throws 3 trainees at you, who are level 1 units that must hit level 10 in order to be promoted into a tier 1 class (mage, druid, pirate, fighter, cavalier or knight). One of the said trainees is thrown at you near the end of the game and is unable to withstand more than 1 hit from anything.

Why no video review?

TJC:

chstens:
It's such major-league bullshit that this game isn't out in Europe until some time in April.

THIS!!!

OH DEAR LORD, NINTENDO, Y U NO LOCALIZE A BIT FASTER?!

I mean for the love of god, I understand that you want Pokemans translated into every language on earth because you can't expect every 6-year-old to speak English but FE never was and never will be something for kids. Give me that shit in English NAO (or even better get rid of the fucking dumbass region lock and let me import that shit >:C )

Ho yes, FE, how I eagerly await you.

This could so very easily turn into a rant on how I despise some European countries' view of english.

chstens:

TJC:

chstens:
It's such major-league bullshit that this game isn't out in Europe until some time in April.

THIS!!!

OH DEAR LORD, NINTENDO, Y U NO LOCALIZE A BIT FASTER?!

I mean for the love of god, I understand that you want Pokemans translated into every language on earth because you can't expect every 6-year-old to speak English but FE never was and never will be something for kids. Give me that shit in English NAO (or even better get rid of the fucking dumbass region lock and let me import that shit >:C )

Ho yes, FE, how I eagerly await you.

This could so very easily turn into a rant on how I despise some European countries' view of english.

Please elaborate.

A Smooth Criminal:

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.

Because it's not true. Playing with 1 man down isn't suicide, the game is perfectly playable with a replacement character. Hell, in most of my run throughs of Rekka No Ken I took the time to train up Nino, a level 5 mage who joins your party for about the final 6 chapters. I've also completed the game just fine after using Marcus (a level 1 paladin who joins you at the start of the campaign) to kill pretty much everything, so he sucked up most of the EXP. Also, in the Sacred Stones the game throws 3 trainees at you, who are level 1 units that must hit level 10 in order to be promoted into a tier 1 class (mage, druid, pirate, fighter, cavalier or knight). One of the said trainees is thrown at you near the end of the game and is unable to withstand more than 1 hit from anything.

Yeah, that's true. Unless we're talking about the Hector hard campaign (which I still haven't managed to finish >_> ). Fire Emblem's interpretation of Hard actually is Nintendo Hard and fucking unforgiving. Every single lost EXP stings like a bitch.
Normal while challenging is still lenient with even more than one mistake (and since you could grind yourself silly in Sacred Stones was less than important... also yay amelia <3)

parintachin:
Why no video review?

Short of a proprietary device that Nintendo sends out to a few select developers and press, there isn't a method for cleanly capturing video from the 3DS.

TJC:

chstens:

TJC:

THIS!!!

OH DEAR LORD, NINTENDO, Y U NO LOCALIZE A BIT FASTER?!

I mean for the love of god, I understand that you want Pokemans translated into every language on earth because you can't expect every 6-year-old to speak English but FE never was and never will be something for kids. Give me that shit in English NAO (or even better get rid of the fucking dumbass region lock and let me import that shit >:C )

Ho yes, FE, how I eagerly await you.

This could so very easily turn into a rant on how I despise some European countries' view of english.

Please elaborate.

For instance how, in some countries, english isn't even taught in primary schools, how certain countries are so in love with their own languages that they refuse to speak english and how certain people I've talked to completely refuse to acknowledge english as a global language.

I would like the court to recognise that I am not a native english speaker, I am Norwegian.

chstens:

For instance how, in some countries, english isn't even taught in primary schools, how certain countries are so in love with their own languages that they refuse to speak english and how certain people I've talked to completely refuse to acknowledge english as a global language.

I would like the court to recognise that I am not a native english speaker, I am Norwegian.

The court recognises the statement.

As a non-native speaker myself, I share this sentiment and agree whole-heartedly with you.

Gatx:
EDIT: It's supposed to be "Shepherd" isn't it? I know Mass Effect's been pretty big for the past few years but still...

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 always liked asymmetrical armor stylistically, but yeah I guess it isn't practical. As for the butterfly mask, it's to hide his identity, wasn't that obvious? That's what masks are for after all.

Well obviously but my complaint is that its over the top. Marth seemed liked a fairly practical guy so why is he wearing a butterfly mask, a bandana or balaclava seem far more appropriate. As I said, its a fairly petty thing to complain about as, from what peeps on this thread have told me, the designs are by the guy who did alot of the 'No More Hero's' characters who were stylised but simple enough to not be clustered. Im sure it will turn out fine.

I know this is a weird and probably very silly question, but how do they both have a Falchion. A legendary sword that is unique. Damn now i am gonna have to play though it my self too to find out. Fire emblem has always been in my circle of friends and my brother plays it very religiously but you cant ever get me into it because of the ridiculous dificulty. since we are on that topic fuck "day breaks" from the gamecube version.

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,

the fully armored arm and bare other arm is a style of armor used mostly for 1 handed sword style. the armored left(or right if your a left handed person) was used mostly as a second gaurd to deflect attacks or block if the armor on it was thick enough.

OT: had to buy the bundle to get a copy of this cause theres so few of them being shiped up here. oh well needed a 3ds anyways and this ones purty:)

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?

Fire Emblem 7 is the best one of them all.

It has the best characters, the best visuals and a great story.

WendelI:
I know this is a weird and probably very silly question, but how do they both have a Falchion. A legendary sword that is unique. Damn now i am gonna have to play though it my self too to find out. Fire emblem has always been in my circle of friends and my brother plays it very religiously but you cant ever get me into it because of the ridiculous dificulty. since we are on that topic fuck "day breaks" from the gamecube version.

Won't spoil anything, but yes there is a in-game reason for it.

I'm hoping I'll be able to get my hands on a copy. GameStop had stopped taking pre-orders on it a few weeks ago due to 'allocation' errors or whatever. A week before I could understand, but there were a full 18 days before the game came out when I went in. Buh.

Sounds very exciting. I am wondering if I should have played the Fire Emblem on the DS, though? I see Marth in the screenshots and while I've played way more than my fair share of Smash Brothers, I'm fairly unfamiliar with his story outside of what Melee and Brawl gave me.

ecoho:

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,

the fully armored arm and bare other arm is a style of armor used mostly for 1 handed sword style. the armored left(or right if your a left handed person) was used mostly as a second gaurd to deflect attacks or block if the armor on it was thick enough.

OT: had to buy the bundle to get a copy of this cause theres so few of them being shiped up here. oh well needed a 3ds anyways and this ones purty:)

As I said, I understand this, alot of gladiator imagery had a similar set up but he's not even sleeved. Leather or some kind of thick cloth would make more sense. Anyways, its not that big a deal, I just hope this is were they draw the line for future FE titles. I just don't want the MC running round swinging the bloody Buster Sword or Lightnings weird flip knife thing.

This game does have a quick restart that is not "Return to Home menu, close program". Instead you can hit L+R+Start, and the game will quickly restart.

...It is a very handy shortcut, especially when your favourite character gets flattened by an untimely enemy critical hit...

Also, the reviewer seemed to forget the last North American installment of Fire Emblem was Shadow Dragon on the DS, though frankly I would forget about that game too. We unfortunately missed out on the much-improved sequel remake, which was Nintendo's first trial of Casual mode and Avatar creation, but Awakening definitely polished everything up.

Also a feature that's starting to come into play is the SpotPass content. You can summon teams of legacy characters to buy items from, battle, or recruit the team leader. You can do the same thing with StreetPass teams, but you'll hire their Avatar instead. Technically this means you always have a source of new characters if any of your main team kicks the bucket, though these are personality-less bonus characters with no support conversations.

Other handy shortcuts:

-You can turn off the slide guides by pressing A on an empty tile and going into options. By turning the tutorials off, you have access to all the game's features such as Trade and Pair Up without having to read the tutorial guide for it in a later chapter. Tutorials are disabled by default on Hard mode or higher but it's handy to know if you start on Normal mode.
-Holding A allows you to fast forward movement animations and the battle scene.
-Pressing Start allows you to skip battle cutscenes.

My verdict on this game? One of the very best Fire Emblem games ever made with real stellar production value to boot, and one of the must-own titles on the 3DS.

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!

There's actually a 3DS/Fire Emblem: Awakening bundle.
http://www.joystiq.com/2013/01/14/fire-emblem-awakening-3ds-bundle-retails-for-200/

Slycne:

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?

Lots of great advice given already, but just in case, and to be clear, Fire Emblem isn't a contiguous series, baring a few recurring elements. So if you're interested in Awakening you don't need to have played a previous one, if that was your intent.

From what I saw in the Demo, there's some sort of time-travel shenanigans tying it into FE 1 though.

I'm enjoying the game so far but... why does everyone have hooves instead of feet? It's like they've all sunken into the ground ever so slightly...

Never played a Fire Emblem game before, yet felt compelled to get the 3DS Fire Emblem bundle since I was still looking to get a 3DS. So happy I did, I can just sit in one place playing for hours, surrounded by a 360 and PC and not be compelled to use either. I love seeing the relationships develop between characters, it's a great little extra to the game. I like playing on an easier difficulty so I can put characters together in battle based on who I want to see have support conversations and not worry as much about terrible deaths. The lower difficulty seemed good for a time, but a few of my characters started seeming really overpowered. I decided to experiment in one battle, and only deployed two characters.... completely destroyed the enemy /endrant

PedroSteckecilo:
I'm enjoying the game so far but... why does everyone have hooves instead of feet? It's like they've all sunken into the ground ever so slightly...

I've noticed that, in interesting story moments I don't pay attention to it, but often I just stare at their feet for entire conversations in a state of confusion.

Well... Only two months until it releases... here... *sigh* God this sucks.

I hadn't played a fire emblem game before I heard about this one. Now I've been playing Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword, just to see what they were like and I really enjoyed that one. I can't afford a 3DS, but there seems to be a lot of good games coming for it. T_T

Definitely downloading as soon as funds allow

TheKasp:
Well... Only two months until it releases... here... *sigh* God this sucks.

cant you just download it? Thats what i did.

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