Fire Emblem Fates is the latest game in the Fire Emblem series that came out in February 2016 for the United States. It is a tactical, turn-based role-playing game. I meant to have my review done sooner, but it just took me awhile to beat the games. In Fire Emblem Fates, all three paths are fun to play and have something special going for each. I think my favorite out of the three is between Conquest and Revelations… sorry Hoshido. Anyways, Fire Emblem Fates is another great addition to the Fire Emblem series with its unique approach that is worth playing.
** Review **
This is the weakest point of Fire Emblem Fates unfortunately. The main plots of each version were not as dark or complicated as some fans were hoping for, though they have their moments; the main story ended up being too simple or straightforward. There wasn’t much time to get to know the characters either as there is a lot of them to recruit and fight against; I wish the games had more sidequests that introduced new people one at a time and gave time to get to know those already in your army with more cutscenes and so on, but everything felt rushed. Conquest does better than Birthright in terms of characters, but Revelation does better with the story overall despite some of the mistakes that were made.
The support conversations also fell short. There are some great ones, but most of them were okay to forgettable. This is more of an issue for Birthright than it is for Conquest. For those of you who are not familiar with Fire Emblem, characters bond every time they fight next to each other and eventually start talking with each other outside of battle; they typically have three to four events (usually labelled C, B, A, and then S for marriage). Anyways, there were some wasted opportunities or otherwise ones that were too similar to each other when they could have done something completely different. In My Castle, you can interact with everyone which is a neat feature, but it can be improved to be less repetitive and more intriguing to further learn about and connect with the characters.
The gameplay has been changed significantly, mostly for the better, to make for more strategic approaches to each map and for balancing. In Awakening, as much as I enjoyed that game, pairing up characters is all you really did. In Fates, things are different as there are now Attack and Defense stances. Even the enemies are smarter and stronger as they finally have the same abilities as you do. I won’t go too much into explaining all the differences, but you can see the attention to detail here. It is appreciated since they could’ve just went with keeping everything the same to play it safe, but instead they saw the opportunity to fix and experiment with the formula.
The changing missions for each chapter in Conquest and Revelations are also appreciated. Defeat the boss, destroy obstacles, escape in a certain amount of turns, and so on make things unpredictable, helping the chapters stay interesting. Birthright, however, remains similar to Awakening in terms of overall objectives in how there are rarely any variations from “Rout the enemy” (as an example) to be easier for beginners to the series.
The music in each of the versions is good I think with most of the tracks having enough variations to give a different feel between kingdoms. Some of it is carried over from Awakening, but that didn’t bother me much since it also had a nice soundtrack. The main song that plays into the story, “Lost In Thoughts All Alone”, is a beautiful tune that in itself has differences between games.
Fire Emblem Fates is still a good collection of games, despite all of the criticism. You may want to play Fire Emblem Awakening prior to playing any part of Fire Emblem Fates to get a better understanding of what I’m talking about and to have an appreciation and a sense of what they’ve done right and wrong (plus, Awakening is one of the best 3DS games in my opinion). I look forward to seeing what they will do next for the series.