Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright - 3DS Review


It’s funny how things can turn out some days. Nick who reviewed Birthright’s counterpart Conquest last year I believe picked it up after I did, which is funny, because I took a trip south of my own Canadian borders to hang out with both him and Robert for a week during that time. Only truly getting to it now as I felt I had a hard time sliding into it compared to Awakening. There’s plenty to enjoy but I have to agree with Nick with how it compared to Conquest before I get ready to jump into Revelations.

While the idea of an amnesiac surprises NO ONE these days, Fire Emblem Fates put a bit of a twist on it. Starting off with choosing Corrin to be either Male or Female (not unlike Robin in Awakening), “she” wakes up one morning with her servants booting her out of bed. Soon being tasked with leaving her home and her siblings on a mission, she finds herself meeting up with another set of supposed siblings.

Having an identical amount of brothers and sisters from two opposing and at war nations, Corrin must choose whether she goes down the path of Hoshido (Birthright) or the path of Nohr (Conquest) as she either sides with the family she was born into or the family that raised her. From here, the primary choice was that of the physical or digital edition acquired with the other available as DLC at half price.


Birthright was touted as the “easy” path and counterpart to Conquest which was supposed to be harder and less accessible in terms of how easy it was in order to gear your party for the tough battles that they would be facing. Having now gone through both I’ll agree that it is easier in terms of its difficulty for scenarios but at the same time I found that it wasn’t written as well as Conquest was.

In a lot of ways it felt like it was always missing just that little bit of something as it failed to capitalize on its enormous cast in favour of just spitting out each scenario until the credits rolled. Maybe this is why it took me so long to slide into Awakening’s sequel as once I finished and moved to Conquest, I simply couldn’t put it down while it took everything I had to finish Birthright.

Story elements aside for a moment, the rest of the systems were fantastic and continued along the more “accessible” route that Awakening put into place allowing characters to return to the garrison for the next fight instead of being permanently removed from the game. That option is still there for the more hardcore players if they choose to but sometimes, and in admission Awakening was my first real Fire Emblem, I have no idea how to pull something like that off as just one critical hit is enough to send a person to their grave.


What I loved with the gameplay system is the customizations for either a quick and dirty run with no theatrics or the whole nined yard enchilada with all of the toppings that you could think of. It really caters to both style of players in which I personally like to have my units move quickly across the field and simply play the numbers game otherwise what would be a five to ten minute battle scenario becomes fifteen to thirty just because of the animations.

The rock / paper / scissors x2 system that is in place was just as smooth as ever though there were some moments in which you simply knew that winning was not an option. Swords beat axes which beat spears that beat swords. Magic beat bows which beat the “misc” category in which shurikens can be found which beat magic. Adding in ground troops, flyers and riders and you really had to constantly worry about who was where upon the battlefield which brings into play one of my favorite systems. Fire Emblem’s Dating Sim!

Because of the lack of “oomph” to the campaign phase I was happy for the present dating simulator that has plenty of dialog and funny situations for characters to get involved in. It’s a small distraction that allows players to go through the what ifs of if someone were to fall in love with someone else or become best friends with another while ignoring the person they came in paired with at the beginning. More than this is that the system gives you access to couple’s offspring through the paralogues which in some cases are brutally hard and will test your decision making skills or the amount that you grinded through the side missions.


Overall while Birthright wasn’t a bad experience though it lacked a lot of what its counterpart offered. Conquest had heavy dialog at every turn and didn’t feel like it was simply rushing you into the next battle along your way to the credits. I would have liked more in that regard from this side of Corrin’s family.

Game Information

Platform:
Nintendo 3DS
Developer(s):
Nintendo
Publisher(s):
Nintendo of America
Genre(s):
SRPG
Mode(s):
Single Player
Other Platform(s):
NA

Source:
Purchased 


Article by Pierre-Yves
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