Genre: Strategy Developer: Intelligent Systems System: Switch

0000000 I'll make this one short and sweet. No, this game is not the heavenly game experience that will get an 85 or 90 from me. Far from it. But the game is really good. Part of the reason it doesn't get that 85 or 90 is because it simply doesn't warrant that kind of rating-- Like most other reviewers of this game point out, the story is lackluster. More to the point, the story and elements are very childish. Not all adults want to play Halo, Gears of War, etc and adult gamers have been habitually ignored by EVERYONE. I for one, am sick of it. I'm not going to give any game that coveted 85+ score without some adult themes in the story. Also, I haven't given Three Houses a review yet-- I had wanted to come back and play through it a second time before doing so, but one of the great things about Three Houses was the romancing of a character of your choosing. They backed away from that and you got a surface-level platonic scene with the character of your choice in this one, which just left the player unsatisfied.

0000000 The somniel was full of gimmicky side-games that were either too long (The Tower) to invest time into, or gave you worthless rewards (bond points). Any fan of the game is going to buy the DLC, and the DLC gives you a lot of help on Hard or Maddening, however at the price of making the game feel too easy. That said, I'm glad I bought the DLC because the DLC missions were very fun to play and the rewards (money, bond scrolls for much needed bond-points, and great Emblem characters, most notably Soren who can use his book to attack units from far away) were good. I just feel like hard mode was anything but. If I knew it would have been this easy I would have done Maddening on my first playthrough. That said, the fact that it was relatively easy (given the 10 uses of Time Crystal) did make for a more casual and relaxing experience, which wasn't necessarily unwelcome. On Maddening you're still given 10 uses, which in my opinion, it should be less. Maddening should be difficult, and 10 time crystal uses are not going to do that. Mangs is currently doing an ironman and is doing just fine even while banning himself from even 1 use of the time crystal on maddening. (For those who don't know what an "Iron Man" run is, it's a run where you have to keep playing the whole run without a unit that dies) I'm probably not as good of a FE player as Mangs, who has over 100k subscribers on his youtube channel, but it still shows just how weak we've become as gamers.

0000000 Overall, still probably one of the best FE games to date, mostly due to the game staying with the gameplay and experience that fans of Fire Emblem (I include myself in this group) all love. The game does not disappoint with the graphics and battle animations, and will get accordingly a high score for graphics-- it deserves it. Same with Gameplay, but I believe I've given consistently high scores to all games in the Fire Emblem series for game play. Game Play is a bit nebulous of a concept and in the future I'd like to provide a more in-depth review for a game if it ever has adult themes or content (without being a shooter, which I despise). In that in-depth review I'd like to break down the categories of gameplay and story into elements such as character development, dialog, overall story for Story, and level design, game design, side quests, etc. But that would be a lot of work and I think should be left for games that are truly aspiring to be great. And this game did not.

0000000 One last note on difficulty-- I am giving it a 7. A 7 is still a pretty difficult game and I think is the right rating for this game. The difficulty is a bit unbalanced since the skirmishes will be more difficult than the main storyline battles. That said you still needed to do them in order to level up your characters. I certainly used the time crystal a good deal but I never hit the 10 use limit. Mainly the difficulty was knowing which skirmish battles were doable and which were not -- in some cases the level design for a skirmish was just broken and you had to forget about it and try a different skirmish battle instead.

~ Adam Henderson

Game Difficulty Rating:

90% Masterfully choreographed battle animations
85% Beautifully written music compositions
80% The Emblem Rings provided a fun and innovative experience.
88% Just really fun. However there was no gameplay-storyline synergy.
78% 150 hours of quality, enjoyable gameplay.
70% Lacked imagination. Childish dialog and themes.


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