Community Review: Fire Emblem Fates

It's been a long wait for Australians, but Fire Emblem: Fates came out a few weeks back -- both versions. How are you finding it so far?

My Oculus Rift arrived last week, so I've mainly been messing around with that. Also, I'm not a huge fan of the Fire Emblem series, so my opinion isn't really worth jack shit regardless!

Is this one worth investing time in? I tried pretty hard to get into the last game on the 3DS but failed pretty miserably. Is Fates a better intro? Should I be giving it another try?

How are you finding the game in general?


Comments

    Ive been playing it all weekend. My thoughts (overall a good game):

    M/M and F/F - relationship options are very limited, but at least there is a step in the right direction.

    Why cant we A+ support with more people?

    Story is not as good as awakening, but that may change once I go through all of the paths

    I dont like any Males in birthrights > . >

    Buying this......has actually made me play the previous one more.

    in Fire Emblem Awakening I'm still trying to work out best pairings, but will probably push through to the end without worrying too much about best children characters, I like the squad I have built for myself albeit they are quite weak. I think I'm past halfway.

    I scored the special edition of Fire Emblem Fates though, everything's on the same cartridge apparently as 'one game?'

    I know what I'll do. I'll turn on no-deaths mode in Fates and push through to get my feet wet, and continue on with Awakening until the end. Then I'll replay Fates 'for real'.

      'One Game' is not true, it's three games on one cartridge.
      You play a few chapters, then decide which game to continue on the path of.
      You then get a main menu choice to start the game again from the chapter that splits pathways.

    Story / characters are better in awakening, but cleaned up a few things in the mechanics for the better in this one (no more weapon durability issues, and you can forge better ones).

    The biggest disappointment for me is that when characters pair up and make a baby, the offspring produced will be for a specific parent - full dialogue between the primary parent and child, but the secondary parent just gets generic dialogue regardless of who they are that can be completely out of character.

    Classes now seem to be more hard set per character, and it's a lot more of a convoluted path via other character relationships to change to other classes. No more popping a seal to just change to any base class, there needs to be a path there. I'm still lukewarm on whether this is better or worse.

    I'm about 40 hours through Birthright because I grind too much, and I expect to do a reasonably quick burn through on Conquest once that's done so I don't completely burn out by the time I hit Revelations.

      Seals are so hard to understand, in Awakening. I think perhaps they let you do too much with them? It makes sense if they (tried to) peg them back a bit.

      Does this still hold true - most classes should reach 10 (or 20?) and then pop a seal, then once that unit/class reaches the next threshold, they'll have their best possible stats?

        Absolutely!
        In my game, some characters started maxing one or two of their stats by Advanced class level 15, but RNG is going to mess with everyone one way or another.
        Always try to get them to 20 before promotions.
        But! If you can't wait, you can buy an item later on that will allow a character to add +5 to their max level, if you need extra stats. Getting EXP at that point may be a bit rough though.

          Cool, thanks. I mean I don't want to de-rail this article into being about Awakening but I'll definitely use these (three or four) campaigns to experiment and try different things in each of them.

          Like, I've got the two early-game mages in Awakening married. I'm putting them through to Level 20 but do I Master or Second Seal them? Their child will be a beast but I'm worried I'll finish the game before using him or her.

            Master Seals promotes units to Tier 2 classes, Second Seals doesn't really promote units, more like reclasses them as a different Tier 1 class. It's a side-step rather than a promotion.

            I would probably recommend Master Sealing them as different Mage classes (for Skill inheritence purposes). I ran into your concern about not using them in Fates; got to Chapter 20 before recruiting the kids and only ended up having 3 story levels to finish once I had recruited all I wanted. It was a shame, because I spent a lot of time looking at pairings.

        If the character has not done any promotions level to 15 (for the skill, unless the skill os garbage) then use heart seal to get the character into a more useful class and proced to level to 20. Then promote.

    I really dislike what they're doing with classes these days.
    Everything used to be so tight and strategic; everyone had a specific role that you had to abide by or else they dead.
    Now I don't even know what they're doing with Malig Knights and Adventurers and stuff. Why? Dark Knights are a jack of all trades, master of none. You really don't need a flying unit axe-wielding version of that, especially when the character stats don't much help on the offensive magic front. (Malig Knights get great skills though, like, 9/10).

    Still, it's a pretty decent Fire Emblem game.

    Also, best baby making sim of 2016.

    I think fates is a superior game in almost every way, the pair up mechanic is nerfed but in a good way that makes you think tactically and it is still usable.

    The characters seem better except for corrin, the writing seems a tad bland at times however.

    Up to chapter 18 of conquest and happy with the story so far.

    I'm really enjoying it. I probably should have played Birthright on hard and found it annoying that I couldn't make it harder in the game (apparently you can make it easier but not harder). I'm playing Conquest on normal though because I heard it's much harder. I'm actually really enjoying it much more. I think I'll just use it as an excuse to replay it later on.

    I actually didn't mind durability in awakening as I liked to make use of weapons efficiently. I think I'm a little disappointed with the story. I guess I thought the story would be more interesting because you would get a lot of "oh that's why that happened" moments when you play the other game but I haven't come across any of that yet. I think there is a bit of imbalance with some of the classes. I wish I wouldn't be so limited to the types of class each character can be.

    Overall though, It's an awesome game. The characters are great, I always find it hard choosing who I want to use. I really like the base building in this. Can't really go wrong with a fire emblem game! I would love it if they made this for consoles as well.

    Last edited 06/06/16 12:19 pm

    I'm not that far in because I keep getting distracted with all the Challenges. It's the same as Awakening. I get too hung up on playing matchmaker and creating my super powered children.

    Otherwise, I am pretty addicted at the moment. I'm up to Chapter 8 of Birthright and I am pretty sure I'll tackle Conquest and Revelations after this.

    They ran out of Fire Emblem Fates Special Edition =(

    0/10 bajillion

    I've almost finished Conquest and my opinion is that it's alright. The story always seems to be the weakest part of any Fire Emblem game with a standard "Bad guy wants power and war, good guys just want peace" plot and Conquest is no different. It's the characters that are the real focus of the games though and Conquest has its fair share of interesting folk.

    Gameplay is the typical strategic "Rock, Paper, Scissors" match ups of the previous game but the Fates games make it a lot clearer as to what matches up with what via a colour system on the weapon icons. Birthright (Or at least the Hoshidan units in the case of Conquest) mixes up the weapons a little but really they're just analogues for the typical weapons. My biggest complaint would be that Conquest has a big difficulty spike in the last third and the design is a little lazier than I thought it would be but I'm managing ok. Second to that would be that there's a lot of cruft in terms of classes and items so the strategy becomes a lot murkier in terms of how you should develop your units.

    In summary, if you've enjoyed Awakening or any other Fire Emblem game then Fates is more of the same with a few tweaks both good and bad. Newcomers may be better off with Birthright than Conquest but if you're up for a challenge then Conquest is definitely the better choice. The three game split was a weird choice, but I'm definitely going to get Revelations this week though I don't think I'll get Birthright.

    Liking it way more than Awakening. Have played every localised Fire Emblem game, and have enjoyed starting with the different feeling Hoshido nation instead of just a a generic blue-haired FE protagonist like Chrom was (though I must add Lucina's later story developments eventually made Chrom more interesting). And then in Conquest going back to European-style nobles with gameplay that is better than ever, super balanced where I now feel the enemy has an equal chance, unlike Awakening where the team-up ability was overpowering. And the maps, especially the Conquest ones, have been a breath of fresh air for the series, the gameplay in Conquest is almost perfect. Birthright takes a more Awakening approach of 'route the enemy' but I felt with the gameplay balances it feels much more engaging than the wide-open maps of Awakening did.

    I've also enjoyed the story a whole lot, have only done Birthright and Conquest though. Using Awakening again as a comparison point, which had a story I felt was terribly structured (though had a good first act and a decent finale (and amazing post-game; the Future Past dlc story is better than the core game's in my opinion) this game I've felt the narrative push me continually forward and have felt engaged by it. The characters are cool too, feeling new while keeping some of the classic FE staples, the new ninja class and characters being awesome.

    Like a previous poster said, however, the children units aren't done as well as they were in Awakening. In fact, to me, Awakening's children unit with Lucina as their leader were the best part of that game, logistically and story-wise, also as characters (I liked all the children characters in that game). In Fates the children feel tacked onto the story. It's not much an issue to me, but compared to Awakening where the children were the best part, it's a bit of a disappointment.

    All in all, Fates is a return to form to the franchise for me personally, after Awakening went all out to become a commercial success at the cost of gameplay balance and a more than generic story. They've kept the marketable aspects in but brought back a lot of the challenge and took a risk with the three-path story premise. In fact, it's the sort of sequel I want the next Zelda to feel like, as to me the recent Zelda's have felt to me the same as Awakening has in their uninspiredness. Highly recommend.

    So far I've played through both Conquest and Birthright. I played through both on Casual so I could get to Revelation and play on Classic. I do intend to revisit the other two campaigns at a later date, but I got the Special Edition and I wanted to get to Revelation as soon as possible.

    That being said, I'd advise all but the most confident FE players to play through Conquest on Casual the first time around. I barely survived some of the later chapters, especially the final mission Night Breaks Through. Conquest is by far the hardest campaign and you'd be better off playing it on Classic Mode after you've done some experimenting with it on Casual. It is just that difficult at times.

    In contrast, Birthright was a cakewalk. I pretty much just rushed through that campaign on Casual, although I feel like it wouldn't have taken me that much longer to clear it on Classic. If you're new to Fire Emblem, it makes for a good starting point, although I highly recommend that you at least try Awakening before picking up Fates.

    Revelation is a good time so far, although I've been taking it much slower. I appreciate how it cherry-picks the best map designs from both Conquest and Birthright whilst also coming up with new ideas that are unique to it. The first unique Revelation map is basically a dungeon crawl that I especially enjoyed. I'd really like to see more stuff like that from Fire Emblem in the future.

    The combat system improves upon the pair-up mechanic that Awakening introduced, which ultimately stops pairing everyone in your army from being overall the smartest strategy. Having to decide which stance you want to take in fights is a lot more important now, something that I really appreciate. If there's anything that I feel that Fates is missing, it'd be the absence of Light magic. I'm guessing we won't be seeing it again for some time, if ever.

    I do feel like Awakening was a better experience overall, especially in regards to story. It took me a while to figure out why, but I eventually realised that Awakening features the same cast fighting through multiple conflicts of increasing severity whilst Fates only features one overarching conflict. While I did appreciate the extent that Fates explored the war between Hoshido and Nohr, I didn't feel like the overall cast came together as a group of friends. Instead, Fates' cast came together to take part in the war instead of fighting for each other. They didn't stick together after a conflict like the cast of Awakening. I also found Awakening's cast to be more appealing overall, although that might just be a side-effect of playing an absurd amount of Awakening.

    In closing, I really like Fates. I'll definitely be returning to it after clearing Revelation, although I still feel that newcomers to the series should start out with Awakening before trying Fates. That and there's no shame in playing Conquest on Casual.

    Last edited 06/06/16 2:00 pm

    i started with Conquest on Hard, but with Casual (death return for next battle)
    got 6 or 7 battles in and got stuck retrying the same mission over and over 5 or 6 times, decided that wasnt fun and then dialled down to normal difficulty. best decision i made. enjoying the game so much more.
    also, i decided i wouldnt worry if i lost a character mid battle, to the point where i won some battles with only 3 or 4 characters left (on Hard, not Normal)
    story wise, i actually really really like it, i dont think its particularly better or worse than Awakening, just different, but good different.
    ive only spawned 2 child units so far. but i have been spending a suprising amount of time grinding online battles in other peoples castles because even though it doesnt give you xp it does let you grow your relationships. not sure if it levels your equipment abilities or not.
    i love that they got rid of weapon durability, but once you get to weapon efficiency B and get B rated weapons, the weapons now how deficiencies after using them. so even though you do more damage, your next attack gives you -5 or -10 to your avoidance stat. or you strength and skill stats take a -2 hit and take 2 turns to turn back to normal. this was a dick move in my opinion. ive found myself staying on C level weapons even though my characters can use B level.
    i actually like the castle building mechanic. you can make it as tedious or efficient as you want and doing online battle will actually help you to build and upgrade buildings faster and help you unlock extra items as rewards.

    ive been a big fan of FE games since Gamecube days (then i went back and played previous iterations) and this game is different enough to feel that the game series is progressing. i am however pissed that the localised version removed some stuff from the Japanese version. but its weird when my avatar is a female, my husband is flirting and i have to physically blow on my 3DS for the microphone to respond and react in game.

    id rate this game easily above 90%, but im a big FE fan who gets lost in story lines even if, by most standards they arent compelling.

    Last edited 06/06/16 2:18 pm

    FEF: Birthright is my first game in the series and I'm loving it so far. The dual importance placed on the tactic and RPG elements are great and I found myself getting sucked in incredibly quickly. As someone who gets incredibly attached to characters in games, the constant threat of permadeath makes for a terrifying, but ultimately meaningful experience.

    I even have a good old fashioned love triangle happening between my childhood friend and my butler, because screw class stratification. I bang who I want.

    Will I wife Old Mate, or the polite gent who brings me tea? Time will tell!

    About 20 hours into Birthright so far.
    Not really loving the story...the writing seems really weak this time around. Not sure whether it's legitimately bad or if I'm just getting too old for Nintendo's campy writing style.

    New characters and plot twists just seem to seem to be introduced so quickly that no time is taken to emphasize the gravity of, say, a death or new ally or important turn of events - feels much more "gamey" because of this.

    I remember feeling the importance of each mission in Path of Radiance and the insight that my relationships with the characters brought....can't really think of much noteworthy about Fates' story or character relations.

    The gameplay is ok.......

    Clearly I'm no good with change.

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