Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright Review (Nintendo 3DS)

Fire Emblem Fates Review

Fire emblem Fates: Birthright is a turn based strategy game for the 3DS, and the fourteenth game in its series. It follows the war between two kingdoms, with the player being able to decide if they want to join one side, the other or neither depending on the game. As a long time Fire Emblem fan, I was pretty happy to see the result of this game and everything it had to offer!

Compared to Fire Emblem: Awakening, the previous game in the series, the game has made a rather large advancement. Two units beside each other do will do a double attack together while, if you pair up units with one another, they’ll block the 2nd and 3rd hits of each attack, and will occasionally guard the first hit as well. Another new feature is the dragon vein which are special tiles that can change battles entirely. The best thing about these are that depending on the map, the player may not be the only one to use them, meaning that it could be a race to see who can get to one first. The weapon triangle system was altered as well. Now that there are six different weapon types, they redesigned it, assigning two types to each color. Interestingly enough, all weapons besides staves have unlimited uses, which makes things quite a bit easier to manage.

The difficulty, of this game is pretty flexible. With there being settings that suit those who’ve never touched a strategy game before in their lives to those who conquered the previous game’s Lunatic+ mode.

The story is pretty interesting with quite a few twists. I do believe there are a few chapters where fighting just doesn’t make sense to me, and a few cutscenes that feel out of place, but overall the story is still great. Dependent on which side the player has chosen, they’ll fight with the siblings on the other side which is something I found rather interesting. I have always loved the whole “War between two countries” scenario where you are the deciding factor of who wins.

The music in the game is great with many memorable tracks. My only issue with it was the overuse of the games main leitmotif, Lost in Thoughts All Alone felt extremely overused, and got tiring quickly. Mostly due to it being sung by one of the main characters in just about every occasion.

The artwork and models are absolutely stunning. The character designs by Yusuke Kozaki are breathtaking, and while I have a strong distaste for anything CGI animated, I really like how Fates handled its cutscenes. While the modeling was really good, there still seems to be textures clipping. For example, there is a scene in game where Elise’s arms phased through her skirt as if it was not physical. However, this is easy to overlook as many games still have this issue.

One of my personally favourite additions has to be the my castle feature. I really enjoyed setting up my kingdom in a very aesthetically pleasing way, and visiting my friends for resources and battles as well. The bond unit system also made it really fun to send off accessories to my friends in hopes of getting a new unit with shared stats as well as appearance.

Fire Emblem Screenshota

Characters are important, and while I understand the that the team was working on three different stories at the same time, I didn’t really like the returning characters from the previous game, even if some of them were explained in a different route. It felt extremely off to me.

Another new feature is the ability to support to A+ or even S rank with characters of the same gender. This shows how far the gaming industry has come, and it brought a real and genuine smile to my face.

All in all, Fates is definitely a great game, and one that no one should skip out on. I really enjoyed it, and as a fan of the series, I’m glad to say that it’s amazing. No matter which side you decide to pick, just know that it’ll be quite the journey!

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