Selling over an impressive 1.8 million units worldwide, not only did Fire Emblem: Awakening revitalize Nintendo’s flagship tactical turned based RPG, it proved to the video game community that hardcore games on a handheld still had a huge audience.
With the long standing mechanic of permanent death for units lost in the fray, what transpired was something RPG games try to do but often fail at: creating deep emotional bonds between the player and their characters. And with this success, the newest iteration of Fire Emblem will arrive soon, with features poised to change this series even further (like normal feet!)
Taking place on increasingly challenging grid based maps throughout solid story progression, Fire Emblem Fates comes in two version: Birthright – a less punishing experience for newcomers that is inline with the traditional FE experience and Conquest – the version that even challenges series’ veterans. That being said, both titles offer insight into an opus of a story, especially with the aforementioned character attachment that Fire Emblem has always been known for.
The main gameplay changes made to Fates compared to previous iterations are the additions to the “weapon triangle” – swords still beat axes, axes beat lances, lances beat swords, but now a second set incorporates physical vs ranged cs magic. As well, weapons no longer have limited durability; this finite resource is now changed to a permanent handicap on other stats, such as an extremely powerful sword that lowers speed and defense.
New to the series is the “My Castle” feature, where players can create and develop a base for their army by adding and upgrading a variety of shops, farms, lodgings, and even a bathhouse, all for the sake of building up character stats and interaction. With StreetPass, players can even visit other bases to buy items, recruit characters, and even fight in battles.
Finally, in both versions, there is online multiplayer with fully customizable rules, and instead of using a fog of war, turns are now limited up to 5 minutes, pushing for intense strategy with a friend or stranger!