Fire Emblem Warriors - Switch Review


This morning’s review of Fire Emblem Fates was not a coincidence as I finally found the time between everything else in order to finish it before the release of Warriors. Now having a better understanding of the cast, save a world brought to peril with twin monarchs as they gain help from other heroes across time and space to fight once again against the dreaded chaos dragon.

Being a big fan of Omega Force and the fact that they've made Hyrule Warriors (and all the rest of the core and spinoff series) I had high expectations for their take on Fire Emblem. Now while I came away pleased with the experience I wasn't wowed like I've been in the cases of Hyrule, Berserk, Arslan or Dragon Quest. Unfortunately in this case Fire Emblem plays it a bit safe and Warriors feels like a faster take on the ideas implemented by Heroes on the mobile.

Like the above mentioned mobile title, Warriors puts into place twin royalty of an entirely new realm at the helm as the story’s protagonists. Starting off at the end, it isn't long until the clock is wound back on the twins and the game's tutorials take over with some of my favorite cast members such as Chrom and Lucina making appearances.


The core gameplay is solid with the tried and tested warriors engine clocked into ten whether playing full screen with a pro controller or comfortably on someone else's couch in handheld mode. Both methods work and the only noticeable difference is that the map is a bit tiny on large stages when in handheld mode. Outside of that factor, there are no issues with the gameplay and even from that point of view the modifications to the system are clear to see. Materials no longer need to be manually picked up meaning you’ll be missing a lot less and the mounted units both on a horse, pegasus or dragon are amazing to fight and fly with.

The core idea behind Fire Emblem’s combat system makes a solid transition as the Rock / Paper / Scissors elements work perfectly with the various units that stand in your way. While over leveling can always overcome a disadvantage, Sword users of the same level will have a harder time with Axe wielders who will have a tough time against those of the Lance who have an easy time against swords. Archers and flyers are the same principle as you’d better be careful about who exactly is on the ground if you want to keep those health bars in check.

It’s not unusual to have partners running around the field and be able to switch between them as you need to. What is unusual however is that Fire Emblem knocks that number up to four with another four that while you don’t have direct control over, you can still command them and the other three that can be switched between. Sending these units over to conquer a fort, assist another unit or fort of your own or even stand guard because you need to make sure a location remains safe. Having seven units under your command was brilliant as it bring in more strategy to the equation as leaving them to their own devices will often not bring about the best of results.


While it can seem like a lot of characters to have on the field as they can all level up, get new equipment and be enhanced, it fits right in with Fire Emblem’s “Dating Simulator”. Now while boosting relationships between characters won’t be yielding babies this time around, it will give the player items that are required to craft crests to use better items and unlock skills to make characters more powerful. Better than that, pairing two characters will allow the one being controlled to summon the other for an attack once the gauge is filled as well as take a hit keeping you safe.

So where’s the issue? The issue isn’t in the gameplay but in how the story unfolds. Fire Emblem Warriors plays it too safe by essentially having the twins “re-experience” both Awakening with Chrom, Lissa and Robin as well as Fates with Corrin and her two batches of siblings from Hoshido and Nohr. Outside of that very little feels original even in a brand new world that comes full circle with the Chaos Dragon having to be defeated once again. That was honestly the best part however once it happens, that’s it. Roll credits.

Unlike a lot of other Warrior entries, Fire Emblem’s main storyline is over way too quickly. Unlike Hyrule, Fire Emblem doesn't have a twist like the one in which once Ganon was defeated it wasn’t the end but instead the start of the second Ark where things get really good. It’s not to say that the level of content is poor however as alongside the main storyline are history scenarios which will add in multiple hours each but in terms of original story I felt there was none as it put pieces from various recent titles together under into the Warriors engine.


Overall Fire Emblem Warriors is good but it’s not great as it didn’t take chances that it could have like Tokyo Mirage Sessions did by blending in the Shin Megami Tensei elements. I do hope to see another entry and the Switch was perfect for a Warriors title both at home and on the go, but I hope that the next one takes risks and truly makes something original because they had all the makings to do so like with Hyrule and Dragon Quest.

Game Information

Platform:
Nintendo Switch
Developer(s):
Omega Force
Publisher(s):
Nintendo of America
Genre(s):
Hack & Slash
Mode(s):
Single Player
Coop
Other Platform(s):
Nintendo 3DS

Source:
Purchased 




Article by Pierre-Yves
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