Developer: Intelligent Systems | Year: 2013 | List Price: $39.99 | Buy from Amazon
I never intended to play Fire Emblem Awakening. However, after being pestered by Baobab to give this game a try, we made a deal that I would play Fire Emblem Awakening if he watched the anime series Toradora! (which, by the way, is one of my favourite anime series of all time). Unlike Baobab, who hated watching Toradora! with a passion, I do not regret fulfilling my part of the deal. Fire Emblem Awakening is undeniably one of the best games available on 3DS. Having never played another Fire Emblem game, I cannot say how it compares to it’s predecessors, but I can say that this is one special game.
The beginning of the game is pretty cliché: your character wakes up in the middle of a field with amnesia. Chrom and Lissa, along with their butler Fredrick, find you, take you in and you join them in their adventures. Along the way, you meet new characters and they too join the team. The story itself is interesting, but not anything special. What really makes this game shine are the characters that you fight alongside. Every character in the game has a unique personality and as the characters fight together, you unlock support logs, conversations between them that further develop their character.
My favourite part of this game, however, is that you get to play the matchmaker. When the support between two characters of the opposite gender reaches the highest level, they get married and have children. Because of the way the story works out, these characters can play alongside their parents and also have the ability to marry other characters in their generation. Getting married as the avatar is even better because you can literally marry anyone from either generation as long as they are of the opposite sex. Being the female character, I went with the obvious choice of Chrom, but there are actually a lot of other options out there.
The gameplay in this game is quite enjoyable. Fire Emblem Awakening is a strategy RPG that makes use of a grid system, making the game easy to learn to play. However, the game itself can actually be quite challenging if you crank the difficulty setting up. This, along with the enormous amount of support logs, gives this game plenty of replay value.
Fire Emblem Awakening is available exclusively on the Nintendo 3DS and it is undeniably one of the best games on the system. If you own a 3DS, don’t think twice about picking this one up.
Design: 10/10 Everything in Fire Emblem Awakening just works. From the relationships to the battle system, it all works seamlessly. The main story itself is decent, but the optional paralogues really pull the whole experience together. The dialogue is also very well translated, unlike many other games ported from Japanese.
Visuals: 9/10 The medieval European atmosphere is portrayed beautifully on the 3DS. The combination of anime and in-game cut scenes look great, though the in-game characters don’t have feet, which was an odd, but pretty insignificant stylistic choice. The character artwork is quite pleasing and attractive (especially *ahem Chrom and Lon’qu)
Sound: 9/10 The music in this game is pretty intense and really gets you into the mood to fight the baddies. The only issue is that the game could’ve made use of full voice acting instead of short phrases and grunts.
Value: 10/10 With a 35+ hour storyline (not including the extra time when you die), this game is already a meaty package. But the support logs, varying difficulty settings, and just overall quality really makes the game worth your time and money.
Total: 48/50 (A+)
List Price: $39.99 | Buy from Amazon
Right now, I just completed Fez on my Playstation Vita and I am working towards a Platinum on Persona 4 Golden. Look forward to those reviews as I will be writing them eventually.