Some of my favorite tactical RPG’s are from the Fire Emblem series. With a new game recently announced, I wanted to take a look back at the previous games I had played. The quality of each game seems to vary quite a bit, so I want to highlight some differences. It could be from the graphics, story or game play that can be a little off from one title to the next.
Today, I will be stating brief comparisons of each title distributed in the United States in order of release date. Each section will include short impressions of parts that were done either well, or relatively poorly. This is not a complete review of any of these games, which may be done sometime in the future. Also of note, Fire Emblem Heroes will not be covered, as I have not had the chance to play it yet.
Here are the games that I will be covering:
- Fire Emblem (Also known as Fire Emblem: Blazing Blade)(Game Boy Advance)
- Fire Emblem: Sacred Stones (Game Boy Advance)
- Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance (Nintendo Game Cube)
- Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (Wii)
- Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon (Remake of the first Japanese game)(DS)
- Fire Emblem: Awakening (3DS)
- Fire Emblem: Fates (Covers 3 versions: Birthright, Conquest, and Revelations)(3DS)
- Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. (Remake of the second Japanese game)(3DS)
- Fire Emblem
Story: The writing is quite impressive. The fantasy writing here has all sorts of character development, both for the main cast and side characters if you manage to read all the support conversations. The moments can be funny, sad, dramatic, and sometimes intense.
Graphics: For the Game Boy Advance, the animations are quite fluid. It makes good use of the limitations of the device, allowing the cartoonish graphics to move and flourish in ways that make the battles seem flashy and wild. This is most noticeable when a critical hit is scored, and the attacker spins his/her weapon, or performs an acrobatic feat to add to the game’s visual style.
Game play: Much of the core game play seen in the rest of the series is here. While a hard game with the permanent character death system, there is plenty of other neat features that highlight what the series is known for. Features like the weapon triangle, counterattacks, and attack ranges all are adequately polished to introduce the series to western audiences.
- Fire Emblem: Sacred Stones
Story: This game’s story was written almost as well as the previous game. More of this story covered the politics of each country found in the game. The game also branches out at one point, where you either follow Eirika or Ephraim, then the two sides reunite later. Some dialogue changes depending on who you choose to follow, even after the two stories merge again. This game has no story connection to the previous game.
Graphics: This game has the same graphics as the previous game, with most familiar character types having the same animations. There are new classes and monsters introduced in the game, and they match the same graphical quality as the rest of the game.
Game play: Much of the core game play is mostly the same here. It should be noted that there are additional optional battles you can participate in between chapters for extra experience points and gold. When characters are promoted, you now have two options for character class changes. Some characters can be promoted twice, giving them three or more choices for final class sets.
Go to page 2 for Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn.