Fire Emblem games are Strategic RPG games of the finest quality. I’m relatively new to them, as my first ever Fire Emblem game was Awakening, the one before these. It’s a series that used to be known as real hardcore games, where you’d lose your fighters forever when they were slain in a fight. Permadeath kept a lot of people from entering this series, but that changed when Awakening had a casual mode too.
In May 2016 Fire Emblem Fates finally reached European shores, so for a lot of people it was time to choose: Birthright or Conquest? It’s a quirky idea to release the games this way, two separate games. You might want to remind me that Pokémon has been doing this for years and years, but that’s really not the same. In Fates, both game tell an entirely different story, from the viewpoint of the two opposing factions. And to top it off, when you’ve finished them both you can play on with the third part, Revelations.
For me it was clear from the beginning: I would go for Birthright, as it’s very much the story of the “good guys”. The intro to the game is so well made, so engaging that it immediately made me feel strongly for my main character. She stands at the centre of a conflict between long-time rival kingdoms Hoshido and Nohr. My YvoCaro is a part of the Hoshidan royal family by birth, but was raised by the Nohrian blue-bloods from a young age, as it seems she was kidnapped by them.
In Birthright, she sides with their blood relatives, and who wouldn’t when you have witnessed how ruthless and evil King Garon of Nohr is! Still, even when she now meets new brothers and sisters, and Azura who seems to have been kidnapped from the Nohr Royal Family herself, I could still feel her conflict and pain. After all, the people she grew up with feel as real family.
The game felt a lot like playing Awakening to me, I even think I had more trouble in the fights in Awakening then in Birthright. The battles never really posed a problem, I had ample resources, and characters that joined my party sometimes already had high stats to begin with. Like Prince Takumi and beast man Kaden. Maybe I shouldn’t have played it on casual mode in hindsight.
I really liked the addition of the castle, where YvoCaro could kick back and relax a bit. The Streetpass feature, visiting other players’ castles, was great. It felt good to get new resources in their castles of a kind I didn’t have myself. After all, my tree for instance gave peaches, and in other castles I could get different fruit. I was able to add new buildings, fortify my castle and do castle fights, allowing me to level up a bit more by doing castle fights. Several of my company turned out to be excellent cooks, so I could feed my troop To enhance their stats.
In conclusion, I can totally recommend this game. The story is good, the battles are great though if you choose to play casual like I did, they might be too easy. Aside from the story battles there are a ton of side missions to keep you occupied. The visuals are great, but I did sorely miss one thing. I recently played Bravely Second, where almost everything is spoken in good voice acting. The voice acting is almost absent here, aside from some grunts and generic exclamations that keep coming back.
If you want to know more about the way the three stories make one complete story with lots of revelations, you might want to read this blog by mr.Panda that will give you the entire picture!
I finished both the Birthright and Conquest routes. Gonna warn you, Conquest is considered to be one of the hardest games in the series (If you play on hard or lunatic, casual or classic). I couldn’t even get the couples I anticipated near the very end! Though, it has the more endearing characters for me. Doesn’t mean Birthright doesn’t have it’s fair share!
Who are your favorite characters so far? You mentioned you really like Corrin/YvoCaro, in which case, I really like them to, due to the fact I can relate with them a bit. My favorite characters on this route are Takumi, Saizo, Kaden, Sakura, Kage, and Oboro.
My favorites would have to be Takumi, Kaden and Reina. I love the beast she is riding, so awesome in the battle scenes. I like the diviner, but somehow they hardly ever seem to hit target. Whereas Takumi and Kaden are doing an excellent job!
I picked Birthright too, as I normally pick the good guys in games that give you a choice. After finishing Birthright I immediately started on my Conquest journey. It’s considerably tougher, although I am enjoying it more thanks to the quirkier cast of characters.
After encountering several of the Nohr characters on my journey so far I had gathered that much, that they are definately quirkier!
I am glad you like it. It is indeed an awesome game! If you thought Birthright was too easy, playing Conquest will satisfy your need for a challenge. It is neither impossible nor brutal, but it packs a good punch.
Good to know, I’ll surely get it. I’m curious about the other side of the story!
Oh the VA … gah, I had so hoped they might do better than Awakening.
Right? I must say the grunting and exclamations really get on my nerves!
Great review! It’s great that you enjoyed it! I agree that Birthright is a bit easy, but it does feel harder on higher difficulties or on classic. It’s definitely not as hard as Conquest though!
Thanks so much for the pingback! I really appreciate it!!