Tag Archives: Fire Emblem

Review: Fire Emblem Echoes Shadows Of Valentia (3DS)

Intelligent System are onto another winner with the release of the latest entry into the Fire Emblem universe, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows Of Valentia. The game is a remake of an earlier title that was never released outside of Japan until now where it had the title Fire Emblem Gaiden.

The game does have an aged appearance to it but this isn’t a bad thing and in fact, marks a very welcome change to the series even if it’s only for this outing. I’ve played quite a few of the FE entries and as an SRPG, they’re 100% solid and will challenge the most hardened strategy fan. One thing that was new to me was the ability to roam about dungeons in 3rd person mode which is a great way to roam about and find treasures. When you encounter enemies in this mode, the game switches to the familiar style of gameplay with the landscape showing the enemies and your group ready for combat.

The main protagonists are Alm and Celica, a pair of teenagers, who lead two different armies, are thrown into combat against the evil empire hellbent on taking over the land known as Valentia. As you progress through the main story, you’ll begin to unravel lies and truths that you thought weren’t there at all. It’s a great storyline which I can’t wait to see where it ends and is definitely one of the better stories in the series. There is a Casual and a Classic mode where the latter sees fallen comrades stay dead for the entirety of the game so you need to make very careful choices…or not get too attached to the characters.

You can also scroll through characters in your party and see their fatigue levels, this determines how they behave and perform on the battlefield. The moods are shown via the emojis so they’re easy to read and if anyone is feeling down in the dumps, you can feed them some bread or offer them a drink to lift their spirits. Using special abilities in battle also uses the characters’ HP and can be topped up this way as well. Along the way, you’ll have battles with enemy soldiers and some lackeys known as Terrors which can be challenging.

There’s a new addition to this title called a Convoy which allows you to swap out items between your different groups when you come across a village which is a handy inventory management tool. When you find items that you can’t carry anymore, you can opt to send them to the convoy. You can also recruit many different characters, each with their own motives for wanting to fight. You can also change the class they originally start with if you find your army lacking a mage or fighter, for example. This can only be done when you come across a statue of a deity known as Mila’s Statue. Another feature that Mila offers is a turnwheel option which is used to bring your Alm or Celica amiibo into the game to use in battles. You can also give up some of your health in battle which is then used to summon an Illusory Hero, which can then be used as a temporary ally. It’s also worth noting that previous amiibo such as Marth, Robin, Lucina, Roy, Ike, and the yet to be released Corrin can also be used in the game to summon Illusory Heroes too.

Another thing to note is that this game is entirely voiced and spoken in English which is a first for the series and adds another element of immersion and depth. Add into the mix some extensive and feature rich DLC that will be available and you’ve got yourself a very solid game that will allow you to sink 50+ hours and completely lose yourself in a new FE adventure.

*Thanks to Nintendo for the review copy*

Final score: 8.5/10

Review – Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE (Wii U)

Idols, J-Pop, Mirage Masters and Japanese locales, this game is on the fast track to becoming my favourite Wii U game so far. Let me tell you why.

Developer Atlus have crafted something really special in Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, splicing and skilfully blending two fan favourite series’ with Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem. The end result is something that shouldn’t work as well as it does but comes charging out of the gates and stands as a shining example to the dedicated team who know their stuff at Atlus.

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The game revolves around evil entities known as Mirages and the people who can vanquish them, Mirage Masters. Humans with a Performa power harness this ability to use the good Mirages to battle against the evil Mirages. The beauty comes from having characters such as Tharja, Chrom and more from Fire Emblem to dish out the physical side of damage in battles. The Shin Megami Tensei element comes to the fore when your characters are using magic in battles.

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The game features RPG elements in that after each battle, you can level up your character and abilities, although for the most part this plays out automatically without letting the player select which core abilities to upgrade. This is ok though as the characters maintain a nice balance throughout the adventure and never come across too overpowered.

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Speaking of the battles, the battles play out in very Persona-like dungeon environments that are easy to navigate thanks to having a very handy map displayed on the Gamepad. The battles are fantastic and I found myself experimenting with different characters and their abilities in order to trigger the Session sequences. These sequences are basically where the fighters in your team jump into the fray after you attack, resulting in some very satisfying combos with some really cool animation scenes. There are some beautifully animated cut scenes as well, which help in giving the story a nice flow. They add a stunning anime style to the game as well.

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And looking at the Gamepad, it’s also used to display text messages from other characters providing handy info and tips along the way. It also progresses the story along, adding a nice narrative element to the game. I’m around 10 hours into the game and thoroughly enjoying it. I’m a sucker for any game that faithfully recreates the streets and characteristics of Tokyo. I believe it really helps with the immersion into the game and also gives me nostalgic value when playing as well.

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All in all, this game features some awesome character designs; beautiful anime cut scenes, stunning battles with well-choreographed animation. The soundtrack from the Avex Group is a standout with the composition being handled by Yoshiaki Fujisawa, previously responsible for Love Live!

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Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is a game that crafts an unforgettable experience with a couple of series’ that on their own are amazing and fun to play. Put them both in the same game and really, you couldn’t ask for more.

Thanks to Nintendo Australia for providing me with a copy to review and a copy for my recent giveaway as well.

Final score: 8/10

 

Japan Art For Fire Emblem Crossover Title Looks Stunning

Nintendo Japan recently dropped some artwork for the Wii U version of the upcoming , Shin Tegami x Fire Emblem title which looks absolutely exquisite. Feast your eyes on the sumptuous artwork below. There’s the standard Wii U version:

FE Wii U

Here’s a look at the Wii U bundle:

FE Wii U bundle

And finally the Collector’s Edition:

FE Wii U collectors

Gorgeous, right? Here’s hoping the artwork remains unchanged for the Western release!

Nintendo Direct: New Release Dates Confirmed

During today’s Nintendo Direct conference, CEO Satoru Iwata revealed release dates for some eagerly awaited titles on the 3DS.

First up was Fire Emblem which now has an official release date of April 19 2012. The official name is “Fire Emblem: Kakusei”, Kakusei translates to “Awakening”.

He also showed some gameplay such as the game’s free map the skill systems but he steered well clear of the DLC that was mentioned in Nikkei earlier today. For more info on that, click here.

 

Next up was a title that I’m personally waiting for which was Kid Icarus which now has a release date of March 22 which is still being tweaked as I write this but I’ve played a demo and it was amazing full of colourful detailed graphics and fast action.

He also revealed that Kid Icarus will be shipping with 3 on 3 team play as well battle royal play. Also these modes will be compatible with both internet and ad-hoc network modes.

 

As well as these two massive titles, Iwata san also mentioned the release dates for some other titles in development. Mario & Sonic at London Olympics will be hitting stores on the 1st of March while Level-5’s latest, Girl RPG, will be out on March 8 and March 15 is when we can expect to see Dynasty Warriors VS.

 

He also mentioned some games that already had release dates previously mentioned, these can be found below.

  • 1/12: Ghost Camera
  • 1/12: Ace Combat 3D
  • 1/19: Rhythm Thief R
  • 1/19: Beyond the Labyrinth
  • 1/26: Resident Evil Revelations
  • 2/24: New Love Plus
  • 2/16: Tekken 3D Prime Edition
  • 2/16: Theatrhythm Final Fantasy
  • 2/23: Harvest Moon: Hajimari no Daichi
  • 3/8: Metal Gear Solid 3D
  • 3/8: Hatsune Miku and Future Stars Project Mirai

Trailers for both Bravely Default Flaying Fairy and Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance were also shown but no firm dates for release as yet. All we know is Bravely Default is due sometime in 2012 and Kingdom Hearts 3D will be out in March 2012 as mentioned ar Jump Festa.

Only one Wii game was mentioned which was a title by the Made in Wario team, called Kiki Trick which is due out on January 19.

So all in all, the future for the 3DS is definitely shaping up and looking a lot better than the March launch which saw only one or two must have titles. The 3DS will be a powerhouse to be reckoned with in 2012 and that’s only the first quarter, we still don’t know the rest of 2012 will hold for the 3DS. Watch this space.