“Fire Emblem Awakening” review

[Ed. note] This review was written by Jesus Acosta, but was posted by Parker Shannon due to technical difficulties.

The “Fire Emblem” franchise has had a long history of games dating back to the dawn of the industry. Now, with “Fire Emblem Awakening” on the Nintendo 3DS, the franchise shows it still has a lot of flame left.

Square by square you move your team.

“Fire Emblem Awakening” is a tactical role-playing game much like “Final Fantasy Tactics” in which you move units turn by turn to defeat the enemy. There are several classes of units to chose from when starting a match to help with battle ahead. Some come in handy more then others in certain situations.

Do you want archers and mages to be able to attack from a safe distance, or go in with swordmasters and wyvern riders to get up close and personal? It all depends on you, but be careful because this series is known for its permanent-death penalty.

Should your character die in battle, he or she will not return. Harsh, yes, but new players or people who don’t want to deal with that can set the game to casual mode, which will just have your characters come back after the battle. One annoying note is that if either your created character or your companion Prince Chrom’s health hits zero, you’ll automatically get a game over – even on casual. In Classic mode I can understand, but on casual seems it seems harsh.

Why does he look so similar to a previous “Fire Emblem” hero?

If you want your characters to perform better, it might be a good idea to pair them up.

Your characters can fall in love with each other which does add to the story later. When they are out next to each other in battle, their affinity grows and modifies combat. The higher the affinity, the better they perform together. They can move characters out of the way and negate damage, increase stats or even tag-team attack an enemy. All of which looks good on the 3DS with the different variety of characters.

Character models look all great except for one part. Every characters feet look like stumps in the ground. its seems like they spent too much time on on the rest of the models that they just dropped the ball on the feet.

The story itself really keeps you enticed with you creating a character that is found passed out in a field by the would-be prince Chrom and his shepherds. You then set off fighting other nations and monster warriors known as Arisen. These creatures pop out of a portal in the sky and attack the shepherds but from this same portal comes a shadow of the past, a person resembling Prince Marth from years ago. With this the game takes several twists and turns that keep you coming back for that final battle.

To help tell this great story are beautiful CG anime-style cutscenes reminiscent of “Appleseed XIII.” There are only a few, but they are placed really well in the story. Most of the game is just text with few lines of dialogue that play whenever new text comes up. Most are grunts and small phrases, which is nice, but with the amount of already spoken lines, I’m confused as to why the whole game isn’t fully voiced.

With only some spoken dialogue, you’ll be stuck reading this.

The gameplay is deep, and it can be extended with the inclusion of downloadable maps that have their own story.

Also, Streetpassing with other players gives you the chance of trading items and teammates with people you’ve met.

This game overall is great, and if you’re looking for something for your 3DS, “Fire Emblem Awakening” is not a bad choice. Even with a lack of full voice acting and annoying instant game overs, this is currently one of the best games on the 3DS. With a story and gameplay that keep you enticed, whats not to love?