Fire Emblem: Awakening (Nintendo 3DS)
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|Price:||£33.85 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Delivery Details|
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- The fantasy storyline is told through 3D visuals and movies
- Create your own personalized character and fight alongside heroic characters on the battlefield
- Team up with your friends and fight against a group of enemies in the local multiplayer mode
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- Platform: Nintendo 3DS
- Media: Video Game
- Item Quantity: 1
Fire Emblem: Awakening offers a unique blend of in-battle strategy, vast character customization, and 3D cinematic graphics that appeal to a wide range of gamers. In this fantasy adventure for the Nintendo 3DS, you have the power to turn the tides of battle in an epic war against a dark dragon. Your fire-breathing foe threatens to destroy the entire empire with help from his armies of the undead. But, with your loyal crew of fighters, you could be the one to stop him for good.
In this game, you’ll join Chrom, brother to Ylisse’s empress and commander of its forces, in a fantasy world teetering on the brink of war. It’s your duty to guide a team of Ylisse’s finest soldiers - knights, mages, archers, and more - against the marauding Plegian bandits. To succeed, you will need to carefully choose the units you take into battle. As you lead your team through battles across maps that span entire kingdoms, your army will grow. Some characters are willing to join you quickly, while others may need more persuasion. Each character earns experience in battle, leveling up and gaining strength and abilities as they do so. It’s up to you to guide their moves, choose their weapons, and direct their attacks.
- Immersive Story and Visuals: The fantasy storyline is told through 3D visuals and movies.
- Deep Cast of Characters: A large selection of characters is at your command, each with unique personalities and background stories, and different class types and skill sets.
- Downloadable Content: Extensive downloadable content will be available for purchase and will offer opportunities to acquire new maps, new story elements, new playable characters, new classes, and rare items and weapons.
- Customisation: Create your own personalized character and fight alongside heroic characters on the battlefield.
- Strengthen Bonds in Battle: Team up characters to strengthen their friendships on the battlefield. The closer they grow, the better these friends and allies will fight together.
- Local Multiplayer Mode: Team up with your friends and fight against a group of enemies in the local multiplayer mode.
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For those new to the series: Fire Emblem is a strategic RPG, but it is more similar to Advance Wars than to Final Fantasy Tactics. At the start of the battle your units are placed on the map, and while in there they serve a different purpose depending on their class (e.g. knights are good at melee combat but unable to use ranged attacks, healers help with keeping your units alive but are very weak and thus are an easy target for the enemy). Each map has its own objective and fulfilling it will move the story forward. AI in the game is very good and most times you can bet that if you make the slightest mistake, your opponent will use it against you. That is why in FE:A you can choose a casual mode at the beginning of the game in which your units will not be gone forever when their HP fall below 0, as they do in the classic mode.
As I've mentioned before the latest installment in the series brings some nice enhancements to the gameplay, my favourite being 'support' option. The characters who stand next to each other raise their support level which increases the chance of blocking the enemy attack or even attacking together with the 'supported' unit. This feature is very useful and absolutely essential if you want to play on the classic mode and/or on higher difficulty levels. Other new feature is the concept of children: when two units raise their support level to maximum, a child is born which has got the combined skills of both parents available for disposal. Even if you get them slightly late in the game it is still worth aiming for it because the support dialogues between characters can be very entertaining.
The game takes about 40-50 hours to beat (especially if, like me, you like the gameplay so much that you take on most random battles) and that doesn't include DLC maps which are available from the eShop. The graphics is gorgeous and the battle animations don't get boring even after many hours of looking at them (but you still have got an option to skip them if you wish). In my opinion that game alone is worth getting a 3DS for and with so many good games on the horizon you definitely won't regret the purchase.
Just one final tip: whenever you see two random enemies bunched together on the map, take them on first, and you will get some extra money and the reward for getting rid of them.
Then things began to take a turn for the worse. I'd chosen 'classic' mode as I'd been advised that this is the way the game should be played. The game introduces new characters as the chapters go on and soon I was pleased as punch to find myself with a flying horse to play with.
Impressed with the range that the character could travel I quickly moved in on the enemy's archer for a quick kill. This didn't quite go to plan, and on the enemy's turn (it's a turn-based strategy style game by the way) I soon found my lovely flying horse to be no more....
The thing about the 'classic' mode is that once a character dies they're gone forever. Which is important as there are limited amounts of new characters introduced and each of your characters build up a relationship with each other, even eventually getting married if they're that way inclined. The stronger the relationship between the characters, the more they will help each other out in battle. Everyone's expendable, however if you lose your central characters (yourself or Chrom from memory) then it's 'Game Over' time.
I quickly learned the hard way that the characters shouldn't be treated as disposable fighting machines, and that keeping them all alive until the end of the battle is really the aim of the game. Switching to 'Casual' mode switches this off and your characters will be back, happy as Larry after the battle, but really this takes away an important strategic element of the game; that of careful tactical planning and constraint.
So I carried on, an important lesson learned and began to progress further into the game. I have to confess (before I do I'll just say that I'm not normally a fan of such weak tactics as this, well apart from maybe in Football Manager) that being able to reload your game and replay a poorly fought battle is a useful aid for the novice. I don't like to think of this as cheating, more as a second-chance for a naive player such as myself. As time has gone on I've learned more about the types of tactics required, it's something I've started to do less and less. I don't think it's anything to be ashamed of, who wouldn't want to turn back time and prevent someone they know from being killed?
There is a fair amount of depth to this game, not all of it is immediately obvious. Items and weapons are both collectable and purchasable as you go through the game which is pretty straight-forward, as is forging weapons which increases certain stats of weapons you own.
An important part of the game however is 'levelling up', everyone's favourite RPG pastime. It's easy to go into every battle gung-ho with your strongest characters but this will prevent your weaker characters from gaining the experience to 'level-up' and become stronger and this will almost certainly come back to bite you in the bum later on in the game. Instead, careful tactics should be used to ensure that whilst you win the battle and don't lose characters you also allow some of your weaker characters to get in on the action and get some experience. I've been pairing-up weaker characters with stronger ones which seems to be working quite well so far.
Overall I'm having a fantastic time with this game. The first few chapters ease you in, but the game soon becomes quite punishing and I think this is all for the better. Visually is a mixed bag of treats, the main game plays out over an old-school 2D map, the battles and some cut scenes take place in an impressive (for the 3DS) 3D engine, and there's some nice anime bits thrown in for good measure. I'm not too far into the game so far but I can tell that it's going to be quite a long journey and some extra DLC is available for those seeking more. If you're on the fence I recommend trying the demo in the eShop, I'm sure it's not to everyone's taste but it's definitely worth having a go whether you think this is your type of game or not. You may be surprised at how much fun you have!
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