Joystick Reviews: Fire Emblem


This is my first review. One of the best mobile titles in the series.

Hello, students of West Lafayette Jr/Sr High School.  I am the Joystick, and I shall be reviewing various video games, for your entertainment and enlightenment! Our first game shall be a classic staple of strategy that also features a dating simulator. From Japan’s Intelligent Systems, it’s Fire Emblem!

Fire Emblem is a turn-based strategy game with more lore and characters than you can shake a sword at. Set in a far-off and still unnamed continent with countless kingdoms, there are multiple games to play, all with different stories and mechanics. For this review, my focus will be on the 2012 release Fire Emblem Awakening, a good starting point in the series for beginners.

Awakening is a solid game that is easy to dive into for series beginners. You play as the Avatar, a customizable character that can be male or female. You can also choose their name, features, and age as well. After a short tutorial, you wake up in a field with no memories; however, you soon meet Chrom and Lissa, two siblings, and their guard, Frederick. Following a short battle with bandits and then some mysterious zombies and teaming-up with introduced allies Sully and Virion, your story begins in Ylisstol, Capital of Ylisse. As the new tactician of Chrom’s Shepherds militia, you must stop the outbreak of war with neighboring Plegia, but that is merely the beginning of your incredibly long journey.

The game is simple to learn yet difficult to master. Each character, or unit, has different stats and classes, and those determine what skills they learn in battle. From striking five times at half damage to healing over time, these skills are important. What’s even more important is the main feature of the game. Permanent unit death is enabled in Classic mode, meaning that if your units are defeated, they die for good. For newer players, there is Casual mode, which returns your units at the end of battle. Each unit also has different weapons, such as swords, axes, lances, healing staves, bows and four kinds of magic. The weapon triangle determines their effectiveness. Swords beat axes, axes beat lances, lances beat swords.

Your units develop over time. Units can converse and interact in support conversations off the battlefield to the point where, if you develop them enough, they can get married. That brings us to their children, who come back in time to help you. These child units have the strengths, weaknesses, and skills of their parents, so mix and match away, folks! Seriously, the possibilities are endless.

Overall, Fire Emblem is a solid series that will stand the test of time. With memorable characters, a greatly interesting story, tactical battles and strategy, and playing God with romance, the series has a lot to offer. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to strategize and think deep about what comes next.


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