Tag Archive: Fire Emblem


Tetris 99’s sixth Maximus Cup has been revealed to be a crossover with Fire Emblem: Three Houses.Maximus Cups are special online events held in Tetris 99 where players can unlock a variety of themes or prizes if they earn at least 100 points within a given time period. Previous Maximus Cup prizes included a Game Boy theme in honor of Tetris’s 35th anniversary, 999 My Nintendo Gold Points, and a Splatoon theme.

This month’s Maximus Cup will reward players with the Fire Emblem: Three Houses theme if they earn 100 points between 8am on August 23rd (UK time) and 7:59am on August 27th (UK time). Although the announcement came from Nintendo of Europe, there’s little doubt that this will be a worldwide event.

Tetris 99 is one of the bonuses of having a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. It comes free with the subscription whether you pay monthly, quarterly, or yearly for the service. Players can take on 98 other Tetris players at the same time in a surprisingly addictive battle royale mode as you try to outlast your opponents and be the last Tetris player standing.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses is the latest exclusive hit for the Switch, receiving both critical praise and sales success. As the title suggests, players get to choose which of the game’s three houses they will belong to, and the story changes drastically based on this choice. It’s the fastest selling entry in the long-running tactical-RPG series to hit US shores. It’s also not the first time Nintendo has decided to pair one of their console exclusives with the Maximus Cup, doing it before with Splatoon 2.

This crossover makes a ton of sense for Nintendo. Cross-promoting two of their biggest hits on the Switch only helps to raise attention for both brands and can help either push Nintendo Switch Online subscriptions, or make gamers more aware of Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Not to mention, both games either just released DLC, or has announced more coming down the line, and this helps keep both brands fresh in the minds of gamers before the impending holiday rush.

Tetris 99s Big Block DLC gave the game some offline modes for players, even though its biggest appeal lies in its online mode. And Fire Emblem: Three Houses has four waves of DLC coming over the next nine months via its expansion pass, including a higher difficulty mode, more characters, maps, and story content.

There are more than a half-dozen Fire Emblem games that never came to our shores, but in 2008, Nintendo released Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon for the DS—a remake of the very first Fire Emblem game—here in North America. That decision gave me hope that we would start to see more of the Fire Emblem games we never received finally cross the Pacific in some form or another. Flash forward almost a full decade later, and I had all but given up on the idea. Naturally, then, Nintendo releases Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia—a remake of the second-ever Fire Emblem game, Fire Emblem Gaiden—rekindling my hopes. And—if Shadows of Valentia is any indicator—the idea of continuing to bring over old games in the series remains as sound as I thought it did almost 10 years ago.

Shadows of Valentia takes place at the same time as Shadow Dragon in Fire Emblem chronology. While Marth is freeing the continent of Archanea in the east, the continent of Valentia to the west is war-torn for different reasons. The dragon gods—Duma from the north and Mila to the south—have withdrawn their boons to the people, and the respective nations that fell under each god’s purview are crumbling because of it. Two children who bear a special brand on their hands, Alm and Celica, are unexpectedly thrust into the center of it all. Each will try to bring peace to Valentia in their own way, not realizing how connected they truly are. It’s your typical Fire Emblem tale of kings, queens, dragons, and magic.

Because Fire Emblem Gaiden never made its way to the West, it’s hard for me to compare this remake to the source material beyond obvious differences. For example, following in the footsteps of more modern games in the series, every major character has their lines fully voiced (and fantastically so). There are also fully-animated cutscenes, while each character has had a more modern redesign given to them that pops off the screens of the 3DS.

Doing some research, though, led me to find that Fire Emblem Gaiden was often described as the “Zelda II of Fire Emblem.” This is because the game introduced some drastically different gameplay like dungeons and town exploration, and even side quests from NPCs that were quickly abandoned by the series as a whole after poor reactions. All of that radically different gameplay returns here in Shadows of Valentia, but what’s interesting is that since this is a first for Westerners to experience this in Fire Emblem—with features like “My Castle” in Fire Emblem Fates helping to pave the way—it actually feels like a natural progression for the series that I surprisingly enjoyed and quickly adapted to. It may have been far-reaching in 1992; in 2017, it feels like Fire Emblem is just growing in new and wonderful ways.

Getting to towns and dungeons is done via utilizing a limited overworld map with paths laid out before you, and you can see ahead to where most of the battles that mark major chapters in your adventure will occur. While Shadow Dragon displayed a linear overworld map at times, you use Shadows of Valentia’s to actually plan your next move. It is larger, has branching paths, and allows you to bounce back and forth between Alm and Celica’s different bands of characters, each traversing their own course and occasionally interacting with the other at certain points. The overworld map helps get across the idea of the duo actually fighting a war, moving the frontlines and themselves closer to their goals with each victory, and being able to see how far they’ve come in such a simplistic way gives a sense of scale that we don’t often get in Fire Emblem games.

Once you do visit a town or dungeon, you get very different experiences from anything we’ve seen before from the series. Towns are made up of a few different locations (taverns, homes, blacksmiths, etc.) and you select where you want to go from another map. From a first-person perspective, you then can look around the room with a targeting reticule to pick up items or talk with the various townsfolk to shop, learn about the world, or potentially unlock a small sidequest. Unfortunately, the sidequests are a bit dull, and are always of the “if you get me item x I’ll give you item y” variety. Often times I wouldn’t even bother with them unless I already had the item in my possession, but they do give you something else to do beyond fighting all the time.

Dungeons, meanwhile, are explored from a third-person view as you walk around in them much more like traditional RPGs. There are often exclusive treasures to be found and secrets to be uncovered in dungeons, whether they’re abandoned caves, ancient ruins, or enemy forts. If you come across an enemy in a dungeon, you can potentially avoid it; if you touch the enemy, however, the world shifts to a more traditional Fire Emblem grid where Alm or Celica and a small contingent of their allies will have to fight a tactical-RPG battle. It took some getting used to, but I found the rewards within dungeons made them definitely worth exploring.

Dungeons are also where you now can change classes for your party members. Many dungeons have statues that, when prayed to, will bestow new classes (and higher stats) on your most experienced party members. I loved this feature, because no longer did I have to spend all my coin or search desperately on battlefields for the right items (which would trigger the all-important class increase in previous games). Certain characters listed as “villagers” also have the added benefit of changing their class to whatever you wish. If your group is mage-heavy, you can force a villager to take up a sword or lance, or vice versa. Or, you can make more mages or more soldiers, and try to dominate the landscape with one offensive dimension.

Not all the changes Shadows of Valentia introduces were welcome, though. In an attempt to keep the combat process streamlined, every unit has a default weapon that will never break. Whether it’s a lance, sword, or magic tome, the traditional Fire Emblem weapon durability remains gone like it was in Fire Emblem Fates. Also removed, however, is the ability to carry multiple weapons, so no longer can you carry a variety of gear to defend yourself with depending on the scenario. You can carry a special weapon to replace the default that will never break—like a silver lance, brave sword, or a blessed bow—but you are stuck with that weapon for the entirety of a battle no matter what gets thrown at you.

This lack of improvisation was disappointing from Shadows of Valentia, and the only thing worse than this is when certain classes do get two weapons to carry—like magic and a sword, or a bow and a sword—they will always default to their original. I prefer the old way where the last thing I attacked with is what I would now defend with. This way, if my bow-carrying soldier was attacked by a mage from a distance, they could still defend themselves (had I used the bow previously), instead of being helplessly pelted by dark magic while holding their default sword every time.

That’s not the only issue with weapons in Shadows of Valentia. One of the pillars of Fire Emblem combat has been the rock-paper-scissors, axe-sword-lance weapon triangle that has always been present in Western releases of the series—yet it is noticeably absent here. Your enemies have axes, you can acquire axes (for sidequests), but none of your units can actually use them. All that your non-magic units can use are swords, bows, and lances, and a larger focus was put on black and white magic with your mages. White heals units, black is offensive, and all magic requires some sort of HP sacrifice now. The HP sacrifice was an interesting twist that added some difficulty to the game, but the balance that came with the weapons triangle and the more simplistic use of magic in previous games is sorely missed here. Even by the time I beat the game 30-35 hours after I had started it, I was still unsure of what units did well against which others.

Speaking of how long I played this game, that’s a long time to do the same objective over and over again, and not until the last couple of battles does your objective change. It is always just obliterating your opponents—no lasting so many turns, defending objectives, or capturing objectives. I miss the variety from previous Fire Emblem games that required me to change my thinking somewhere along the line beyond “strongest units on the front lines will run roughshod over my enemies”.

If you still want a more traditional Fire Emblem experience, however, fear not. There’s nothing we can do about the missing weapons triangle—which will always perplex me about this game—but exploring towns and dungeons are optional for the most part. Although I found they added a lot of depth to the experience and the world (and characters and classes to my party), I imagine some purists out there might recoil at the dramatic shifts in gameplay. It’ll make the experience even more difficult if you avoid them, but if all you want is classic Fire Emblem grid-based tactical-RPG and unit management, then don’t worry: outside of a couple of mandatory sections, you can just move from battle to battle to battle on the overworld map.

And, in that regard, Shadows of Valentia is still very much a Fire Emblem game. The main game is broken down into five acts, and while I will say the first act was a bit of a pushover, there was a huge spike back up to what we expect from this series in terms of difficulty from there. In fact, it may be one of the hardest Fire Emblem games I’ve ever played, and the Classic mode touting permadeath will still plague you and your party if you’re not precise and careful with each move you make on the grid. Casual mode—which definitely wasn’t around in Gaiden—at least also returns from more recent iterations of the series, allowing deceased party members to return after every battle. Should Alm or Celica fall in either mode, however, it’s an instant game over.

Another new feature to help with the difficulty is the Turnwheel. Both Alm and Celica get these new artifacts early on in the adventure, and they have two purposes. The first is by inserting items called Cogs into the Turnwheel, you can rewind the game three full turns; it’s a great way to save allies who you would otherwise lose to permadeath. Turnwheels are also how you utilize Amiibo in the game.

Yes, Nintendo’s cute little figurines are compatible with Shadows of Valentia, but depending on what Amiibo you use on the Turnwheel, you’ll have different effects. The brand new Alm/Celica two-pack adds character specific dungeons and battles to the world map. Meanwhile, non-Shadows of Valentia Fire Emblem Amiibo, like Lucina, can be summoned as allies in particularly difficult battles. Finally, Amiibo not related to Fire Emblem, like Mario, will summon monster creatures to your aid. It’s a nice way for Amiibo to be used in the game without really breaking it.

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is a game more than deserving of a second chance from the East, and a first chance here in the West. It was ahead of its time when it first released as Fire Emblem Gaiden, but now comes across more as a natural evolution of the series with an audience that should be more open to the ideas it pushes in regards to Fire Emblem gameplay. Not everything is perfect—like the noticeable absence of the weapons triangle—but it is a more-than-worthy culmination of the tactical-RPG series’ life on the 3DS.

Publisher: Nintendo • Developer: Intelligent Systems • ESRB: T – Teen • Release Date: 05.19.17
8.5
It’s funny how a remake of a game that never originally hit the West can feel like such a step forward. There are a couple questionable choices, like the removal of the weapons triangle, and series purists might grumble over some other changes like dungeon exploration, but overall Shadows of Valentia feels like the next great step in Fire Emblem.
The Good New features like dungeon exploration, navigating an overworld map, and new ways to change character classes feel like the natural evolution of the series.
The Bad Lack of objective variety, and removal of the classic weapons triangle and weapon choices.
The Ugly How much HP you get from consuming raw ingredients like butter and flour. Desperate times call for desperate measures, I suppose.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is a Nintendo 3DS exclusive. A review copy, as well as Alm/Celica Amiibo, were provided by Nintendo for the benefit of this review. EGM reviews games on a scale of 1 to 10, with a 5.0 being average.

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You are the ocean’s gray waves

Nintendo has never been afraid to try something new. Sometimes those gambles pay huge dividends, and other times, they end in disaster. But the Big N keeps innovating, and its most recent change of pace comes with its beloved strategy-RPG series, Fire Emblem. Instead of giving us one adventure, this time Nintendo and developer Intelligent Systems has split up it’s most recent chapter into three perspectives dubbed Fire Emblem Fates.

In Fates, players assume the role of Corrin, a young prince (or princess) from the land of Hoshido who was kidnapped and raised by the kingdom of Nohr as one of their own. When Corrin comes of age and the war between the two kingdoms reaches a fever pitch, you learn the truth of Corrin’s upbringing, and are faced with a game-altering decision: Return to Hoshido, stay with Nohr, or forge your own path towards peace and choose neither.

What’s nice about Fire Emblem Fates Special Edition is that it offers all three paths on one game card, even allowing you to jump straight to the fateful decision on repeat playthroughs. This is a boon, because if you otherwise wanted to explore all three perspectives, and learn all the details there are to learn about this latest Fire Emblem world, you’d have to buy the games separately as Birthright (Hoshido story), Conquest (Nohr story), and then Revelations (neutral story) as a DLC coming nearly a month after launch. It’s like Pokémon, but for plot points.

Unfortunately, of the three stories, the only truly satisfying one comes from Revelations. Not to spoil anything, but key plot details are hidden by siding with one family or another, and although playing through both Birthright and Conquest offers you an overall greater insight into the cast of characters, only Revelations feels like a true Fire Emblem game in terms of the stakes that are on the line and the role your avatar plays.

Besides the altered narrative of each title, the three games also offer slightly different gameplay experiences from one another. Birthright could actually serve as a great starting point for newcomers to the series. It provides the most experience points to level characters up, and gold to upgrade and purchase the best weaponry with—all while giving you a taste of what to expect from other Fire Emblem games, even with its singular “destroy all enemies” goal of most missions.

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Conquest is for the more experienced Fire Emblem player, and provides a harsher playthrough. Experience points and gold come at a premium, and you’ll have to truly outsmart the computer if you hope to advance, not to mention make full use of every advantage you might have on the battlefield. There are also more varied goals like capturing points, or defeating only a certain number of enemies amongst the mission objectives.

Lastly, Revelations strikes a balance between the two, offering up more opportunities for gold and experience like in Birthright, but providing the variety of objectives and true strategic gameplay seen in Conquest. Having played every game in the series since Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, I again found Revelations to be the most satisfying of the three, because it provides the most true to form experience—even if I can appreciate how the other two can appeal to players of different skill levels and familiarity with the franchise.

Once you get past these nuances in plot and gameplay difficulty, the three games play very similarly. The core Fire Emblem mechanics of moving sprites around a grid-based battlefield in a chess match of sorts—with different character classes and weapons having advantages and disadvantages against certain enemies—returns here, and remains relatively the same since the series’ inception over two decades ago in Japan.

There are also a few new features to help punch up the familiar gameplay. Once you choose your path, players will acquire their own fort where they can have Corrin interact with the troops to further relationships (leading eventually to marriage, and then children who can fight by your side) or boost everyone’s stats via items. Building on the StreetPass battles introduced in Fire Emblem: Awakening, Fates now allows it so that you and your friends can invade each other’s forts, with each fort’s customization adding to player resistances. For example, having a fully upgraded weapons hut might add several points into your fighters’ strength (attack) stats. This limited multiplayer aspect adds an interesting wrinkle to the replayability of the game.

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Not every addition is a winner, though. Fates adds a brand new Phoenix mode that should actually be called “Baby Mode”, or “Why Even Bother Playing This Game” mode. One of Fire Emblem’s staple features is its permadeath, where when a character dies in battle, they stay dead. The difference between permadeath in Fire Emblem and other strategy-RPGs, like XCOM for instance, is the fact that keeping all your characters alive affects not only the ease with which you might prepare for upcoming battles, but alters subplot storylines, too.

Awakening’s Casual mode first took a shot at softening this by allowing characters to come back after each battle. Here, at least, you still had the rush of needing to complete a conflict in order to see your units return to action. The strategy part of the game stayed intact, even if the stakes were lessened. Phoenix mode, however, turns you from an armchair general into a blunt weapon of destruction by allowing each character to come back to life after every turn, removing all semblance of consequence for your actions. And while it is only an option, one I only tried for the sake of this review before starting a new game and switching back to Classic permadeath, the absence of ramifications took a great amount of joy away from playing the game, as nearly every decision was meaningless.

Some of the fun I’ve derived over the years of playing this franchise has been quitting back to the main menu and restarting missions to try to discover that perfect strategy that would get my entire team through each conflict. It lengthens the experience artificially, but seeing every character’s special ending made it worth it for me, especially knowing I had earned it. Whether it was splitting my forces and flanking enemy bosses from both sides, using higher-leveled units as scout teams while leaving the bulk of my force behind to protect the rear, or slowly moving all my units forward like a phalanx of death towards my objective, solving the survival puzzle that leads to an ultimate victory was always worth it, no matter the time investment, and is at the heart of what makes this a great strategy-RPG series. Fates seems to be trying its hardest to be an introduction to the series in many ways, but to those newcomers, I still recommend at least trying Classic mode first before switching over to Casual or Phoenix mode.

This seems to be Nintendo’s strategy with Fire Emblem Fates in a nutshell. If you’re willing to dig a little, the strategy core that has made this series so popular remains fully intact. Meanwhile, it offers a variety of options to players of all different skill levels, and even provides multiple storylines molded around potential play styles in an attempt to lure in new and old players alike (with certain aspects obviously not appealing to everyone). In a game about choices, though, the biggest grievance comes from the central one. After playing all three stories, it felt largely unnecessary to split Fates into three parts. Revelations provides the most well rounded experience—one that long-time fans should gravitate more towards— with Conquest and Birthright really just adding nuance and character development to what would’ve been fine as a standalone plot. All three still work as solid additions to Fire Emblem’s long-running strategy-RPG pedigree, though, depending on what exactly you’re looking for.

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Developer: Intelligent Systems • Publisher: Nintendo • ESRB: T – Teen • Release Date: 02.19.16
8.0
Whether new to the franchise or a long-time fan, there’s something for everyone in Fire Emblem Fates’ three games. Unfortunately, when you find what you’re looking for in one, you might be disappointed when it’s then not present in the other titles.
The Good Each game offers unique challenges to appeal to every level of Fire Emblem fan.
The Bad Phoenix mode turns you from a calculating general into a blunt tool of destruction.
The Ugly Me singing Azura’s song in the shower. I just can’t get the damn thing out of my head.
Fire Emblem Fates Special Edition is a Nintendo 3DS exclusive. A review copy was provided by Nintendo for the benefit of this review. EGM reviews games on a scale of 1 to 10, with a 5.0 being average.

The first details of the Fire Emblem game for New 3DS were revealed alongside a new trailer that was shown during today’s Nintendo Direct.

To start off, much like the player character in Fire Emblem: Awakening, the hero of this new game will also be customizable. Unlike Awakening, however, the player character here will be the center of all the attention instead of just supporting the narrative lead.

Set in a world where two feuding nations are on the brink of war, the reason your character is so important is because although you were raised by the royal family of one of these nations, Nohr, a land bent on glory through war, you are actually part of the royal bloodline of the other nation, Hoshido, a more peaceful and honorable place. When this revelation comes to light, you will be forced to choose: blood or loyalty.

Not only will your choice affect the narrative, but also the difficulty. The Hoshido choice provides a more traditional Fire Emblem tale, whereas the Nohr choice will be a more harrowing experience.

This first Fire Emblem for the New 3DS will be released sometime in 2016.

EGM Game Over Podcast 024: Barry Burton’s Deep-Fried Cephalopod

The EGM crew brings you the Game Over Podcast, our end-of-the-week conversation where we discuss some of the biggest recent events in gaming.

[Hosts] Brandon Justice, Andrew Fitch, Ray Carsillo, Josh Harmon, and Eric L. Patterson
[Date] February 1st, 2013

[News] We`re pretty sure Sony just announced their day to announce the PS4, could Resident Evil be rebooted, torture is blacklisted from the upcoming Splinter Cell, Jonathan Blow hates games, and we have yet another tragic developer death as Junction Point closes.

[Now Playing] God of War Ascension, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Killzone Mercenary, Tearaway
[Review] Fire Emblem: Awakening

Want to send feedback to the show? Drop us a line on Twitter: @EGMLogin

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Fire in the sky

While the strategy-RPG might be considered mostly niche in terms of audience, a few franchises have permanently ingrained themselves  into the hardcore-gaming community. And fewer still represent this better than Fire Emblem. After its first several chapters were Japan exclusives, Fire Emblem crossed the ocean a decade ago and hasn’t looked back since, as we’ve seen one title in the series on every Nintendo system since the Game Boy Advance/GameCube era. So, if Fire Emblem were to continue this streak, it was only a matter of time before it graced the 3DS’s dual screens. And thus, we have Fire Emblem: Awakening, featuring the same core tactical turn-based strategy gameplay we’ve come to love.

Now, before we even get into the story, we need to talk about something that’s never been seen in a Fire Emblem on this side of the Pacific before: In Awakening, you’re allowed to customize your character. Sure, it’s not as detailed as something you might get in an open-world game, but you still get to name your character, choose their gender, hair, and facial features, and develop an immediate bond with them.

Of course, this also means it’s unlikely that we’ll see much of this particular roster of characters again beyond maybe a Smash Bros. appearance down the line, because your interactions with each and every one of them—especially for your created character—are critical. This leads to another feature never before seen in North America: the marriage/bonding system. By fighting alongside characters in battle, you develop trust; later on, if set to fight side by side again, the characters will get bonuses to certain stats like Critical Hit or Attack Avoidance. And if that trust builds up high enough, and if the characters are of the opposite sex, they can get married and have children—who later can fight for your cause!

A brand-new tactic—never before seen in any other Fire Emblem—can help with this bonding. By sacrificing a turn (strategy fans know how much of a risk this can be), two characters can team up and occupy one square. In the past, certain mounted characters could help move another character; now, though, that second character can also fight should the main character be attacked—and, thus, can also level up. This is a great mechanism to help evenly level up your forces—and advance your battlefield position.

And speaking of leveling up, each character has a new Skills feature that allows them to equip five unique skills—earning a new one every 5 to 10 levels. These skills can help in combat, increase stats, or give a variety of other bonuses depending on the terrain and scenario. Some are simple, like a plus-2 to defense, while others are more elaborate—like giving you a plus-10 to hit if your enemy’s wielding a particular weapon type.

All these combat adjustments and additions are all well and good, but the heart and soul of an RPG is the story. And though Awakening gets off to a slow start, the story’s just as immersive as any previous title —and you’ll soon find yourself as attached to these new characters.

Awakening begins with your character face-down in the mud and unconscious—but soon found by Chrom, Prince of Ylisse (the continent you find yourself on). Immediately, the cheesy RPG stereotypes start flying; not only does your character have amnesia, but you’re also immediately welcomed with open arms into Chrom’s band of merry men (and women) who fight to keep Ylisse safe from outside forces. And not only that, but you’re immediately made chief tactician, too! How convenient. And so begins the heroic, swashbuckling adventures of Ray the Tactician! Er, or…whoever you should actually choose to be. Like I said, it’s a slow start to the story, but you’re soon caught up in a conflict that’ll span two continents as you try to quell a threat millennia in the making.

A slow start to an RPG story is a more than forgivable offense, as it’s rare that they start off with a bang. That’s not to say there are no unforgivable flaws, though, with Fire Emblem: Awakening. If you choose to play the game with the traditional “permadeath” feature on, you may find your forces dwindling faster than you’d like. This isn’t uncommon in a Fire Emblem game, and there is an option to turn off permadeath via Casual mode. Still, I would’ve loved an easier way to restart battles where I lost characters, instead of having to restart the game over and over. I suppose you could say I should’ve just turned permadeath off, but that wouldn’t be getting the full Fire Emblem experience—and I still like the idea of being punished for letting one of my characters die. But restarting the whole game repeatedly became a chore, and I stopped caring about certain characters (I’m looking at you, Frederick!) after a while.

The biggest letdown, however, is easily the graphics. The animation style for the story cutscenes is fantastic; it exudes a level of detail rarely seen on any console, never mind a handheld. The problem comes from the sprites used on the battle grid that fail to take advantage of the system’s 3D. In fact, much of the game avoids using the 3D feature, which makes me wonder why they even bothered with it. And the few times 3D models are used—mostly during battle sequences—they look blocky and appear to have no feet. I questioned Eric L. Patterson, our news editor, to see if he wasn’t seeing what I wasn’t seeing; he agreed that all the models looked like Rob Liefeld designed them as they pranced around the battlefield on their tiptoes.

At the end of the day, though, these are minor complaints. Fire Emblem: Awakening stands near the pinnacle of the series, as it blends rarely seen elements and a few new twists of its own into the tried-and-true combat and storytelling. Awakening is one of the few must-have’ 3DS titles.  

SUMMARY: Aside for some minor annoyances, this is probably the best Fire Emblem to come to the States yet. Strategy fans everywhere should rejoice.

  • THE GOOD: As pure a strategy experience as you’ll get anywhere.
  • THE BAD: No simple way to restart battles.
  • THE UGLY: The 3D character models look like they were designed by Rob Liefeld.

SCORE: 9.0

Fire Emblem: Awakening is a Nintendo 3DS exclusive.