Fire Emblem: Awakening – Not Just The Best 3DS Game?

Fire Emblem: Awakening – Not Just The Best 3DS Game?

For quite some time, Resident Evil: Revelations has been the 3DS’s best game. There’s been a number of good games on the system, not just Mario games either, but Revelations remained at the summit. This has all seemingly changed with the release of Fire Emblem: Awakening.

I’ve never played any of the Fire Emblem games, but I have always been aware of them. It’s always struck me as a franchise that would be hard to get into. After years of being told how good the games were, I decided to take the plunge. Awakening, from what I’ve been told, is the best entry point into the series. After learning the ins and outs of the core gameplay, thanks to the fantastic tutorials, the Fire Emblem experience could truly begin.

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It’s rare that I will spend over an hour or so on a hand held system (Persona 4 Golden and Pokemon Y aside). Fire Emblem: Awakening hooked me in for a straight three hours. The strategic value of each movement creates such a intense experience, even more so when permanent death is turned on. Figuring out the best way to approach battles results in each encounter feeling strangely fresh.

The rock, paper, scissors approach to equipment is a simple yet compelling touch that adds extra weight to each combat movement. Pairing up units to create a effective combination of support buffs is also a strangely satisfying feeling. It’s the little cogs, in the overall polished machine, that make Awakening such a fantastic experience.

The relationships feature is easily one of the most compelling parts of the game. Building up a effective partnership between two characters allows the game to grow in terms of quality and depth. The partnerships aren’t merely a minor feature of the game, they play a large part in how the player experience Awakening. I often found myself planning out which characters would partner who, all in the name of tactical advantage.

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Away from the brilliant gameplay, the story has kept my hooked. It’s nothing that will invoke a mass reaction in the way Bioshock Infinite‘s story did , but it is a nicely paced tale that’s serves a purpose. Even after a few days rest from the game, I could easily jump straight back in and not feel lost in the plot. Fire Emblem: Awakening is a utter treat on the eye. The presentation is fantastic and is the first 3DS, that I can recall, that makes the 3D look fantastic. I’ve never once recommend playing a 3DS game in full 3D throughout the game, until Awakening that is. There is never one point in which the 3D fails to look great. The cut scenes look gorgeous, with the 3D resulting in some truly beautiful imagery.

Fire Emblem: Awakening isn’t just the best games on the 3DS, it’s one of the best games released this generation. It’s a deep, rewarding, experience that offers a stern challenge (if you want it to) a long with a ton of replay value. The chances are the game wont make most peoples ‘top ten of 2013′ lists, mainly due to the system its on and that’s a great shame. For those who appreciate a quality games, finely crafted experiences that rewards the player, then Fire Emblem: Awakening is a game you must play. I would even go as far to say it’s worth picking up a 3DS just to play this brilliant game.

Sean Halliday


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