Fire Emblem Awakening (Backlog) Review

Before I finish my next Fire Emblem Fates review I wanted to share with everyone on what I think the best game on 3DS  is. 

The Great:

Gameplay:

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Fire Emblem has always had great gameplay. Many games have borrowed from it and added in their own features through the years, but Fire Emblem has always remained king in Strategy/RPG games. Fire Emblem: Awakening is no different. This Fire Emblem game added a new way for us to play Fire Emblem by letting us group fighters together. This allows a deeper layer of strategy when planning out attacks. I didn’t have to worry about my healers because I would have them grouped up with a strong Warrior unit. If I needed to heal my units I would simply switch to my healer and heal them.

Another big change to Fire Emblem is the ability to travel on the world map. In previous Fire Emblem games we went from chapter 1 to chapter 2 without having a chance to catch our new characters up to our veteran units. That’s no longer a issue in Awakening. I could take a break from the action when things got too hard and grind my weak units up to my stronger ones. It made boss fights a lot easier and helped me get to know everyone because of the dialogue I would unlock by grouping certain units together.

Story:

Chrom and his team find you unconscious in middle of nowhere and you have no memory of who you are. That sounds really generic doesn’t it? That’s the story in Awakening when you start, but as you remember more of yourself and progress in the story it gets much better. Even though this game is four years old I’m not going to spoil it for anyone that hasn’t played it yet. That’s all I’m going to give you. All I can say, er… write, is that I really enjoyed the story from beginning to end.

Sounds:

What little voice acting that’s in this game is good. The cutscenes are great, and the soundtrack is good. Sounds on the battlefield are what you would expect from the series. Nothing in this game sounds bad in my opinion.

Characters:

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Chrom, Lissa, Tharja, and Lucina are my favorite characters, but I can easily name like 10 more if I wanted to. The characters in Awakening are well written, have personality, and can be pretty funny too. I wish the companions in Fates had the same charm as Awakening’s characters do. I would have probably liked it a lot more then I did.

It’s Good For New And Veteran Players:

Awakening lets you customize your experience to your liking. Are you a hardcore Fire Emblem player that wants the classic Fire Emblem experience? Or are you a new player that simply wants to enjoy the gameplay and story? It doesn’t matter which one you are because you can customize the options to suit your playstyle. Usually when one of your characters fall in battle they die, but there’s an option that changes that and it really helped get some people I know into the game because their mistakes don’t cost them as much as it would in previous Fire Emblem games.

Replay Value:

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve played through this game over the years and I don’t care much to find out. Awakening is a addictive game that I play more than Pokemon on my 3DS. It’s great and I try to play a different way in every playthrough and I love that about this game. It lets me play my way without punishing me for it. Well… I can still be punished if I make a wrong move, but that would be a user error and that’s not on the game itself.

 

The Good:

Graphics:

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If I had reviewed this game when it released this would be in the great category, but many great looking games have released since this game. The sprites, environments, and map are decent. The game itself shows it’s age a little bit, but it’s still a good looking game when compared to it’s predecessors. The character models still look really good while the maps that I battle on only look okay.

Romance:

The romance in this game is really cheesy, but it’s the good kind of cheesy. The more you fight alongside your companions the more they’ll like you. The maximum affinity you can get with a companion of the opposite gender is a S ranking. Every rank gives you stat bonuses when you pair them up or just have them right next to each other. Once you reach a S rank you’ll have a child with that NPC and your child will fight alongside you in battle.

Character Creator:

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You have your basic character creator here. It’s nothing fancy and won’t wow anyone, but it gets the job done. You can choose from a few hairstyles, and three different face presets before you start the game. It’s nothing special, but it’s a good start for a game that’s never been known to have a character creator before some of the recent entries in the franchise.

The Verdict:

Awakening is the best game I’ve ever played on the 3DS. It has awesome gameplay, a really good story, great characters, and so much more. It’s gotten more play time from me than most PC games do and I’ll happily play it some more because it’s that damn good. This game is what made me buy a 3DS and I’ve discovered some pretty great games because of it. Fire Emblem is still king of it’s genre.

100

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9 thoughts on “Fire Emblem Awakening (Backlog) Review”

  1. I still put the crown on Final Fantasy Tactics or Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together as king of the SRPG, but hot damn, FE: Awakening is magical. I hadn’t played that level of SRPG *since* the two I mentioned first. It’s so, so good.

      1. The GBA version was my crack :]. I’m not a FF fan, but I love some of the spinoffs that series has. FF Tactics, FF14, and I even liked Dirge of Cerberus a little.

      2. The PS1 version was the first game I had ever maxed out the timer with at 99:99:99. Had Cloud and Worker 8 recruited, leveled to max, all skills unlocked, etc. So much fun.

        …I guess it didn’t help that I was an unemployed 15-year old with only a handful of PS1 games to choose from.

  2. Excellent review! Awakening is what rekindled my interest in the FE franchise, thanks to its customizable difficulties and avatars. Intelligent Systems kept up the momentum with Fates, but Awakening is where the revolution started. I’m glad it happened because FE may have disappeared as a series otherwise. Great choice to have as your favorite 3DS game! It’s certainly worthy!

    1. I remember that Fire Emblem was almost cancelled as a series before Awakening’s success. Fire Emblem Fates is good, but can’t compete with Awakening to me.

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