I managed to squeeze past once last game before 2015 comes to a close. Fire Emblem: Awakening was the 3rd game I’ve played, and completed, from the once obscure Fire Emblem series. Back in the day, Fire Emblem on the Game Boy Advance ignited my interest in the series. I also believe that was the first time the series came to North America. I can also thank Marth and Roy from Super Smash Bros. for introducing me to it. Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones was my second title, and although it wasn’t as memorable as the first game, I found myself thoroughly entertained by the gameplay. Unfortunately, I missed out on the rest of the titles, and I’m currently saving up the small fortune that is required to buy them now. I find the games have a way of pulling me in to the story, and they have a certain charm that makes me care about the characters.
How Far I Got
I have completed the main story line, and all of the Paralogue chapters. I have unlocked every possible support conversation for ‘Robin’, Chrom, and Lucina with every unit I recruited. I believe I’ve also recruited everyone I possibly could in my path through the game. I definitely enjoyed playing matchmaker with my units way too much though. I did choose the casual no permanent death option during my playthrough. I knew I’d waste too much time trying to keep everyone alive if I played the traditional Fire Emblem way. Total time played: 79hr 01min 53s
I haven’t really played many turn based strategy games to compare this one to, but I thought there was a nice variety of unit types, abilities, and weapons. There is an annoying little durability mechanic on the weapons that cause them to break over time. I’m not a fan of this mechanic, but I did plan around it successfully. Each unit is a unique character with their own personality. You create your own customized avatar at the beginning of the game who is the strategist in the story. Some of your actions influence elements of the story as well. As your units fight beside each other, they gain support levels. This unlocks dialog between the units, and makes them stronger when fighting together. Some units can also fall in love and get married. The children that sometimes result from this will have similar abilities as their parents. It’s up to you whether they marry for love or optimal stats. There is also a permanent death option which can add some harsh consequences during battles.
I don’t consider myself a fan of anime, but I really enjoyed the art style on the cutscenses. They were definitely some of the smoothest animations I’ve seen on the 3DS. I really wish there were more of them though. The battlegrounds are on a flat 2d plain, but they still look crisp and clean. When the units fight each other, the battle is shown in 3D. You can also switch to first person mode during the fight to see it from the perspective of your unit. I thought this was a nice touch. All of the character designs are unique, and they seem to fit in well with each personality. My biggest complaint: No one has feet for some reason…
Depressing melodies play when bad stuff happens, and upbeat music plays when the characters are lightly teasing each other. Overall, the music fits in well with what’s happening. Each character has a few spoken phrases that can get repetitive after awhile. Swords make tinging sounds, and spells go pew-pew. All the audio definitely met my expectations.
My Overall Biased Opinion
I loved the story, and I actually cared about most of the characters. There were also many humorous parts to the story that I found entertaining. I also really enjoyed the addition of having a customized avatar play an important part in the story. Of course, I named mine after myself, and enjoyed the immersive storyline that played out. I have my copy of Fire Emblem Fates preordered, so I can’t wait to start the next adventure in the series!
SPOILERS AHEAD!! You have been warned.
Favourite Story Moment
When my avatar sacrificed herself to stop Grima (and herself) once and for all. It was a nice touch having all the characters say “goodbye” during the ending, as a beautiful sunny scene was present. Honorable mention goes to my avatar becoming Lucina’s mother.
The unbreakable ancient sword wielded by a long line of royalty: Falchion. My Lucina and Chrom cut there way through many foes with this timeless blade.
Favourite “Oh S@#%” Moment
When Grima is devastatingly summoned despite everyone’s best efforts to prevent the catastrophe. The look on Lucina’s face during the cutscene summed up my feelings exactly.
The Wellspring of Truth bonus map. The optional side mission pitted me up against reflections of all my units, with all of the same stats and abilities. It was quite challenging taking them down while trying to stop Aversa from getting herself killed. I remember my Assassin Owain, and my god-mode Lucina were especially troublesome.
Lucina, of course. Her Amiibo was actually the reason Fire Emblem Awakening got moved to the top of my list. I like her tenacious spirit, and the honorable way she handles most situations. Her badass sword skills are also awesome. In my game, Lucina was my avatar’s daughter. After the main game, she married Gerome and lived happily ever after. I thought they’d make a cute couple since they both seemed to like hiding behind masks. I also used every stat boosting item I could on her. She was almost able to solo most maps by the end of the game. Honorable mention goes to Priam. I had to beat, what I thought was, the hardest map in the game to get him. His overpowered army was no match for my maxed out Lucina paired with Chrom (and an inventory load of Elixirs).
Most Tedious Gameplay Moment
Grinding support conversations, but that was a self inflicted. Thank you to whoever decided to bring the English version of The Art of Fire Emblem Awakening book to North America next August. That ended my mad quest to see every support conversation.