Birthright was hard to get into, but turned out to be a pretty good game later on. I don’t think I like the direction the Fire Emblem games are heading.
This is the first time we’ve had to choose between Fire Emblem versions. Usually I only have to do that with Pokemon so it was weird when I did for Fire Emblem. Birthright was my first choice and I got Conquest later on.
If you’re familiar with Fire Emblem or Shining Force you’ll know exactly how this game plays. Every character on the map will have a chance to act. It’s up to you to decide how to play each other and learn everyone’s strengths and weaknesses.
Fire Emblem still plays like classic Fire Emblem games, but the support system from Fire Emblem Awakening is back. You can pair up your favorite pair of characters and build their support which will make them stronger when they fight with each other. I really enjoyed pairing different unit up because it unlocked special dialogue between the characters that I used and I got to learn more about them this way.
Birthright has a excellent soundtrack. I loved the battle music that played at the beginning of the first few chapters and during optional side quest. What little voice acting that this game has is also really good in my opinion. I wish there were more cutscenes too because they’re freaking gorgeous, but I’m getting off topic here.
I mentioned how good the in game cutscenes were. They look fantastic, but I can’t say the same about the rest of the game. When you’re not looking at the beautiful cutscenes you’re looking at sprites and they’re not bad looking, but they could look better. Pokemon X&Y showed us how good a in game character model could look in a 3DS game so why couldn’t we get that kind of detail in Fire Emblem Fates?
Some of the “cutscenes”, if I can even call them that, are a joke. You’re basically just reading a wall of text and watching your sprites smash into each other while screaming out nonsense.
Fire Emblem Awakening had more in game cutscenes and in my opinion looked a little better too.
One of the main features of Fire Emblem is getting to know new characters. In Birthright they’re… okay I guess. Most of the characters that I met in Birthright weren’t very interesting in my opinion. Ryoma, Azura, and Takumi were my favorite characters in Birthright. Those aren’t my only favorite characters, but it’ll take way too long to list them all. I was slightly disappointed in the characters this time around, but I still enjoyed getting to know them nonetheless.
Fire Emblem has always told good stories in my opinion, but Birthright feels a bit on the weaker side when compared to games of the past. I actually took a few weeks off from playing this game because I wasn’t interested in it. The story started off pretty interesting, but got really stale for a bunch of chapters and eventually picked up again around chapter 17 or 18. Chapter 20+ were all around good chapters, but since it took so long to get interesting I couldn’t place this any higher then the good category. The game also didn’t explain why the king was so evil or why that thing would happen to Azura every time she sung or even who the hell Azura was to begin with.
If she was really the king’s daughter wouldn’t he have at least mentioned it before? I’ll just call it weak storytelling and hopefully the Conquest side can shed some light on things.
I didn’t really like anything about the castle that we get at the beginning of the game. I know this serves as a main hub for the main protagonist, but I preferred Fire Emblem’s Awakening world map and being able to travel around it over being stuck in a castle any day. There’s no point in feeding your pet dragon because you rarely get invaded by enemies and that makes the whole system pointless in my opinion.
Low Replay Value:
There’s not much to keep me coming back to Birthright. Hopefully Conquest will do that, but Birthright was just boring for a while before it got good. When it did get good it was fantastic, but I had to go through a good majority of content for that to happen. I love the theme of Hoshido and the gameplay, but I expected more since Fire Emblem Awakening was so good.
Birthright is a good game despite what I criticized the game for. The gameplay/soundtrack is fantastic, the characters are okay, and story is just good enough to avoid it being in the negative portion of this review, but it doesn’t have much replay value and I don’t know when, or if, I’ll go back to it.