“If I give you a cookie, can we team up during the coming battle?” – Gaius
Not only is Awakening a brilliant addition to the series, it works as a great entry point for those unfamiliar with the strategy game genre or Fire Emblem series. You might want to bring a friend or an army of them for this review.
Fire Emblem Awakening is an epic tactical RPG on the 3DS. Your main in-game objective is to defeat your opponent on a gridded battlefield. Like chess, each character class has different roles to play with its own strengths and weaknesses. You can choose whichever unit to bring into battles and equip them accordingly. The choices include: knights, archers, thieves, mages, Pegasus-riders and more, the combos are limitless.There are several difficulties for those who want to play casually up to those who want to play like a lunatic.
The artwork is even more beautiful than other games in the series. Each character feels unique with my favorite being Gaius, “a little sugar in my tank and watch out!” It’s actually funny how he joins your team but I don’t want to spoil it for you because it’s too sweet…hehe.
The customization of the main character allows you to choose his/her strongest and weakest stat, voice, hair color, and hairstyles. Also as you level up you can evolve your units into stronger classes as well as change into completely different ones.The conversations are well written, I especially like the voice-acting of the characters when they're in a battle. I often randomly quote them but that might just be me and not a normal human thing to…“my sword hand twitches.”
The game also has a marriage feature which allows units that have bonded and supported each other to tie the knot. This also increases their stats when paired or next to each other in battle. No I’m not kidding about this, you can actually experience the joy of sending your future child into battles that may decide the fate of the world.
Awakening's soundtrack is compelling playing the right piece for its specific situation, my favorite song being, And what if I can’t? What if I’m unworthy of her ideals? Intriguing title isn’t it? You can check out the song here.
The battle animations can be viewed in third-person or first-person or skipped entirely. I have to admit watching your unit cast a fireball in first-person is a great addition. The variety of options let you play the game any way you want. The story is enough to keep you going and the support conversations for pairs range from quirky to dramatic and everything in between. The game also has side missions which you can choose to participate in, rewarding you if you do so.
Where I feel Awakening shines the most is in its characters, you cannot help but get attached to them. Each character has a different personality and they get along with each other differently. For me, leading my band of close-knit companions into battle after battle lands Fire Emblem on my list of favorite games.
In the face of adversity, the bonds of friendship are forged. Although defeat and loss in war are inevitable, it is no excuse to give up. As a leader, you must persevere through pain regardless of how the odds are stacked against you. Whether you’re an Ylisean soldier or an “average” high school student, it’s not the about the challenge but the outcome and how you deal with it.
Keep it Reel!
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