Whew. I dunno how many of you have actually been keeping up with my Video Game reports, but it's been a long 6 years of many, many games. It is fitting that my last Video Game review would be my favorite series, Fire Emblem. Anyways, here's my last Video Game report for you all.
Two kingdoms are at war: the Kingdom of the Dark, Nohr and the Kingdom of the Light, Hoshido. You are an Avatar, born to the Hoshido royal family but kidnapped and raised in Nohr. As the two kingdoms face each other in battle, which side do you choose? Your family by birthright? Or your adopted family's conquest?
Unlike Pokémon games having similar storylines, though there are two versions of this game, the storyline changes completely depending on the route chosen. This game features a branching story starting from chapter 6 where you choose to side with one of the two kingdoms, or perhaps join neither:
In Birthright, you follow the Hoshido side, fighting off the Nohr invasion. Birthright is much more akin to Awakening, being a lot more easy. It has external battle to grind levels and money and the maps are almost all rout enemies or defeat bosses. Overall, the story of Birthright is easily the best of the three as it is very well presented and the second half of the story quickly picks up on the drama, leading to a satisfying and sensible conclusion.
In Conquest, you follow the Nohr side, leading a revolution to change Nohr from the inside. Conquest is more akin to pre-Awakening games. Funds are limited, there are no external battles, and challenges vary from survival, defense, or turn count limitations. For those more used to Awakening, this route can get frustrating because of the traditional Fire Emblem style of limited funds and out-of-chapter level grinding. The story is bizarre at times, leading to some confusion as to the reason you are playing this route over the other two as you are constantly subjecting yourself to really illogical decisions at times, even then the only prospect of joining is not to fight the Nohr siblings who are the only justifiable reason to even join it in the first place.
In Revelation, you choose neither side, but instead, rally them together to fight off a mysterious third force. I will not spoil much else because this route should be experienced after completing both Birthright and Conquest first. Other than that, maps are a balance between the two other routes, mainly having defeat the bosses and rout the enemies, but there are other options here and there and special map gimmicks. Story wise, it lands somewhere in the middle of Birthright and Conquest. It first seems nonsensical, but it quickly becomes the best route for the sake of the characters you've grown to love in the divided routes. The only problem is the pacing of unit acquisition as you will quickly find yourself with many new units in a short period of time and, for me, by the time both royal families were in, I seldom used any other non-royal character and only when there was extra room for some.
Regardless of route chosen, the game is slightly more difficult and challenging than Awakening. Veterans of the series from before Awakening will more than likely welcome this change. Many broken aspects of Awakening, namely Pair Up, has been significantly nerfed or reworked. Pair Up and the Dual System now works as follows: Having two adjacent allies means that they will team up in battle, the supporting character attacking on the lead unit's first attack. Pairing Up two units gives the partner a gauge. As attacks fly, the gauge is filled and, when filled, negates the next attack on the partner. It will always block Attacking supports and both systems can be used by the enemy as well. However there are many welcome changes. For one, no weapon durability. In exchange, weapons have bonus effects like reducing opponents stats, preventing crits, and others. The weapon triangle has been reworked to incorporate Magic, Bows, and Shuriken in the mix, giving all weapons more usage in battle.
Marriage and children return, but achieving marriage gives more than bonus stats in battles. Spouses share their base class with each other as well as passing these down to their children. Online has been added so players can visit each others bases, battle and buy skills off of their characters to put on their own. Your character is more customizable than ever.
The My Castle feature is a wonderful StreetPass and Online feature that allows you to build a base filled with numerous side features and important building like Armories and Staff shops. PvP functions have returned where you can challenge other players to a 5v5 match up in one person's base and fight for battle points to acquire bonuses.
While it may not be as newcomer friendly as Awakening was, for a true Fire Emblem experience for those who played Awakening only or have yet to jump into the series, this is a great place to start.
Nonny's Rating: 9/10. In every aspect, this game improves Awakenings. I was happy to see how much content I was given for an $80 package. It was well worth the money and there is more content to come with DLC. If you liked Awakening, I highly recommend playing this game.
Nonny's Tips: Adjust quickly the new Weapon Triangle and be careful of the weapons you choose. Even for veterans the new Weapon Triangle takes some adjusting and can make the difference between a completed map, or a complete reset.
For Awakening users, say good-bye to over using Pair Up. Now you will need to make more critical choices either to give a unit protection, or more offensive sting.
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