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Fire Emblem: Awakening Review

  • Gameplay
  • Story
  • Graphics
  • Soundtrack
  • Battle System

The Fire Emblem series has never really been one of Nintendo’s most popular series. It wasn’t bad by any means in fact, most of the games are very well regarded by the people who’ve played them but it’s just never really taken off.

For example, I first heard about Fire Emblem back when Marth and Roy were included in Super Smash Bros. Melee but I never really bothered checking the franchise out. This changed with Fire Emblem: Awakening.

When Fire Emblem: Awakening first came out, the 3DS wasn’t doing so well because of its lacking library, however Fire Emblem: Awakening was widely regarded as not only the best game on the system, but one of the tactical role playing games of all-time.

So what exactly makes Fire Emblem Awakening so great? Well, let’s take a look.

As stated above, Fire Emblem: Awakening is a Tactical Role Playing Game which means you’ll spend a majority of the time commanding your units in battle.

Fire Emblem: Awakening - Tutorial Battle

Screenshot of the Tutorial Battle

You’ll meet a total of 30 characters during the game, each of which have unique classes and have unique, well-written back stories. Such as Henry, a dark mage who can find joy in almost every situation, or Sully, a tough as nails female knight.

You can also unlock 13 more characters by using Fire Emblem: Awakening’s support feature which allows to link 2 of your units together to fight as one, strengthening their attacks, and their relationships.

After being paired up enough times, your units will form close bonds, becoming great friends, and possibly get married. Once they are married, you will be able to unlock their child after a certain chapter and their child will be able to join your team.

An example of a gorgeous cutscene taken straight from the game.

An example of a gorgeous cutscene taken straight from the game.

Also, Fire Emblem Awakening has perma-death, which means that once one of your units is defeated in battle, you will be unable you use them ever again. You can turn this option off if you want to do so but it will take away one of the more interesting aspects of the game, so I recommend not doing so.

The only real problem with Fire Emblem Awakening’s gameplay is that after being used for a certain amount of times, your weapons will break and you’ll have to find new ones. While this encourages you not to get used to just using one weapon, it sometimes means life or death for one of your characters which can be quite irritating.

Now moving onto the story. You play as Robin (or whatever you desire your name to be), man (or woman, depending on your choice) who has amnesia.

You wake up in a field surrounded by three strangers; Chrom, Lissa, and Frederick, who are part of a group called the Shepherds.

After helping them out with a battle, they decide to let you join their group. You eventually discover that Chrom and Lissa are the Prince and Princess of Ylisse, a country at the brink of war with the neighboring Plegia.

The story is very well-written and while few and far between, has some very beautifully animated cutscenes. Fire Emblem: Awakening also has a lovely soundtrack, which does a phenomenal job of setting the tone for each scene/battle.

This is definitely one of my personal all time favorite games, and I couldn’t recommend it enough. If you don’t have a Nintendo 3DS yet, go ahead and buy one just so you can play Fire Emblem: Awakening. Trust me, its well worth it.

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