Fire Emblem Warriors [Game Review]

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Title: Fire Emblem Warriors
Developer: Omega Force, Ninja Team
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform:
Nintendo Switch (also available for the 3DS)
Category:
Hack-and-Slash Action RPG
Release Date:
October 20, 2017 worldwide
How we got the game:
Pre-ordered a physical copy

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Fire Emblem Warriors is a crossover game between Koei Tecmo’s Dynasty Warriors series and Intelligent Systems’ Fire Emblem series. It’s the second such crossover since Hyrule Warriors — using characters based on the Legend of Zelda franchise — for the Wii U back in 2014. I had enjoyed Hyrule Warriors and playing with some of my favorite characters in a new game style back then, and being a sucker for the Fire Emblem series, I was looking forward to Fire Emblem Warriors as well.

gameplay

Being a hack-and-slash game, the gameplay consists of the player taking control of up to four characters on a given map and demolishing the opposition. Each character attacks by the player more or less button mashing, but if you wanted to be more precise, there are combo attacks that you can trigger by pushing buttons in a certain order (generally the Y and X buttons). The more enemies one defeats, the quicker one can unleash a special attack that can be particularly devastating on hoards of enemies and even the sub-boss characters, such as Fort Captains. The controls themselves were fluid and responsive, which is excellent considering how quickly one is dropped into the fray of the battles, even if there were times when it seemed my character was running too quickly for me to make a turn!

Characters can be given orders on the battle map, such as directing one person to fight a certain enemy or to guard a teammate. While the player can switch between four characters, there is usually four additional teammates on the map to aid the playable characters. The AI of NPCs was well-done, in my experience, as the majority of them were eager to complete the goals and sub-quests that popped up with the map.

The majority of the characters in Fire Emblem Warriors are sword-users, but there are a few who use lances, axes, magic tomes, bows, and dragonstones, which are a special item to some unique Fire Emblem characters to transform into a dragon. Like the Fire Emblem games, characters are able to level up in their weapon rank, allowing them to use stronger weapons and attacks as the game progresses. In Warriors, this is achieved by crafted crests, which are used for attacks, defensive purposes, and enabling special skills. Crests are crafted with materials that enemies drop as well as collecting items from characters themselves when they increase their Support rank with one another. The more two characters fight together — by being on the same map, helping to guard one another, healing each other, or by literally pairing the two up as a support pair — the higher their Support will be. A Support Conversation between the two characters can be unlocked once they reach an A-Support rank.

The major flaw with the gameplay is how little diversity there is amid the weapons and characters themselves. Slashing away at enemies with swords is fun and all, but having more variety would have definitely helped me explore the maps of the game multiple times and giving it more replay value. Daggers and shuriken, lance-users on the ground instead of being regulated to Pegasus Knights, more axes and magic, beaststones for laguz from the Radiant series…

To go along with the lack of weapon diversity is the character roster. It mainly focused on the cast from Awakening and Fates, along with Marth as one of the Fire Emblem series’ first protagonists. Fire Emblem Warriors stars a pair of twins who both use the sword as their preferred weapon. The Heroes that we must track down as per the story mode all use swords as their preferred weapon. While I have nothing against any of the characters that are on the roster, I would have loved to see characters from more Fire Emblem games.

Let’s get Ephraim from Sacred Stones as a lance-user Hero. Hector from Blazing Blade can be the axe-wielding Hero. There are laguz characters from the Radiant series — Ranulf, Lethe, Tibarn, Naesala — who could be Heroes in their own right. Lilina from the Binding Blade as not only a mage Hero but also another female.

Perhaps it would have been a little too much to throw so many different timelines into Fire Emblem Warriors, but there was so much more weapon and character variety that could have been packed into the game!

graphics-music

One of my favorite things about the Nintendo Switch is the graphics. The graphics of every game we’ve played so far on this little console have been crisp, clear, and beautiful, and I loved seeing the dynamic Fire Emblem Warrior battles on the Switch. The animated movies were fairly well-done, being on par with most of the animated scenes in most of the more recent Fire emblem games.

I’ve always been a sucker for Fire Emblem music, and Fire Emblem Warriors would be no exception… except for most of the, erm, “suggestions” that continued to pop up in the first half of the game. Since everything on the battlefield happens quickly, so do character dialogue boxes popping up with someone talking about someone else being trouble or telling you of a new quest that has arisen. The cacophony of the battle was interrupted much of the time for the game to continue on, which threw me off a bit at times. It was tolerable especially when I reminded myself that it went hand-in-hand with the chaos that was supposed to be the battlefield. It was quick and exciting, even if the voice acting had me rolling my eyes once in a while.
storyLike most Fire Emblem games, the story was a bit cliche, with it being way too focused on bonds and support among one another, and you defeat a dragon at the end.

The story opens with the royal twins of Aytolis, Lianna and Rowan, sparring with their friend Prince Darios of Gristonne. Monsters appear from Outrealm portals, attacking the castle, separating the twins from their mother, and starting the twins on their journey to protect their homeland. They journey across the land to find Heroes that have been displaced in time, Heroes that have Gleamstones to power up the Shield of Flames to defeat the evil dragon Velezark.

The characters spend much of their time focusing on friendship and their bonds with one another, which is a bit corny but sweet message. The twins work and grow together with the help of the other heroes to ultimately succeed in the end. The story itself had a few plot holes or threads that could have used more closure — such as the Darios subplot — but it wasn’t too bad for game.

replay-value

Fire Emblem Warriors has the story mode and a history mode. The story mode has about 25 “chapters,” or battle campaigns, in it while the history mode allows players to battle in scenarios from past Fire Emblem games that were re-imagined for Fire Emblem Warriors. Each has different levels of difficulties and goals, giving one a few more challenges if one wishes to replay the game.

While I wish that the roster wasn’t so sword-user heavy — really, seeing a thief character or more axes and lances would have been wonderful — and had characters from more Fire Emblem games rather than focusing mainly on Awakening and Fates, I did have a lot of fun with Fire Emblem Warriors. There’s something so satisfying about the hack-and-slash aspect of the game, and I know I’ll pick it up again.

Fire Emblem Warriors gets…
4-lives
4 out of 5 lives.

Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments! 

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Friday (Least) Favorites: Mario Party Mini Games

Double Jump Kris MiiSo Rachel and I have Mario Party Top 100 and it’s…. Eh. We’ll probably talk more about the game a little later. It’s nice for nostalgic reasons, I suppose, but there was so much more that the game could have been, you know?

To cope with how the Top 100 was not all we were hoping for it to be, here is a least of my least favorite Mario Party mini games!

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Paddle Battle

This one-versus-three mini game in the original Mario Party was such a pain if you were the solo player. Honestly, many of the one-versus-three mini games back then were usually skewed in favor of the team with three players, but you could really tell the game didn’t like the solo player as much whenever Paddle Battle was picked to play! It was also one of the those games where you had to rotate the control stick rapidly and completely — anyone else here old enough to remember getting palm blisters from those kind of games?

Three Throw

A 4-player game in Mario Party 4, Three Throw was one of those games that I was lukewarm about. The mini games based off of sports I was never that fond of, and Three Throw was at the bottom of the list. Instead of standing in one spot and trying to find a rhythm to make the perfect shots (before another character claimed the basket, of course), I think I would have preferred to battle it out on the court with the characters, punching opponents away from the baskets in order to score some points.

Button Mashers

Button Mashers is a duel mini game from Mario Party 5. Depending on how well both your opponent and you do in the game, it can get difficult. The game makes the players catch blocks from the sky, and each block has a corresponding button on it. To avoid getting crushed by the block, one must continuously mash the button. The longer the players stay standing, the more blocks fall and the more buttons the players must mash simultaneously. It’s a bit of an annoying stretch trying to mash more than two or even three buttons at once!

 

Any Microphone Games

I really didn’t understand why this mechanic existed. It was annoying to have the extra “controller” that was the microphone, and there was a collective groaning all around. I was less than thrilled to find a game or two that has to use the microphone in Top 100…

What are your least favorite Mario Party mini games? Which ones were you disappointed to see in Mario Party Top 100?

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L.A. Noire

Double Jump Kris MiiIt’s amazing that the Nintendo Switch came out just this year and already there’s over 500 games in the works right now that can be played on the console either through physical cartridges or digital downloads via the Nintendo eShop.

A game that’s gotten quite a few people excited is the anticipated detective game L.A. Noire.

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L.A. Noire for the Switch will be out in North America tomorrow, the 14th. It’s an action and adventure game that places the player in the role of a hardened detective that solves murders. It’s rated M for Mature, a rating that Nintendo generally doesn’t deal with considering family-friendly the company is.

While any new game for the Switch is exciting, I’m unsure about this one. Rachel and I have the XBox 360 version of the game and… we didn’t get too far. We honestly bought it because, at the time, we were itching for a new detective-like series after having gotten hooked on the Ace Attorney franchise. L.A. Noire was definitely grittier than Ace Attorney, and we missed the epic music and characters from the latter series. Considering we didn’t use the XBox 360 too often, we also probably weren’t used to the controls either.

However, that was a couple of years ago. Perhaps this time around, if we have a little extra money to splurge, we’ll try picking up L.A. Noire again for our shiny Switch.

What about you? Is L.A. Noire something you’re interested in? Did you ever play an earlier version of the game?

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Friday Favorites: Mario Party Mini Games

Double Jump Kris MiiMario Party is one of those series that really tests friendships, like Monopoly. Most of the earlier installments of the series were much better, in my opinion, with mini games and the boards that you travel around for stars. With Mario Party Top 100 out today, I thought I’d share some of my favorite Mario Party Mini Games. It’ll be interesting to see which ones make it into Top 100!

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Mushroom Mix-Up/Hexagon Heat

Mushroom Mix-Up from the first Mario Party (and its Mario Party 2 counterpart, Hexagon Heat) was a classic. Following the colors of Toad’s flag, players had to scramble to be on top of the correct mushroom before all of the other colors fell into the water or lava or whatever danger was below the mushrooms. While you could ground-pound on your opponents, the easiest way to prevent them from reaching the last mushroom standing was to just position yourself right at the edge of the correct color — if time was on your side, then your opponents wouldn’t have any room to jump over you to safety.

Fowl Play

Fowl Play was a duel mini game in Mario Party 3. It was a silly game where you had to catch the chicken before your opponent. It was a quick little bugger that left footprints for you to try to follow if you lost sight of it. The chicken also resembled a Cucco from the Legend of Zelda series, and I always thought that the mini game was a nod to the times when Link has to catch chickens in his games.

Team Treasure Trek

Two-versus-two mini games were always fun when Rachel and I were on the same team. In Mario Party 4, Team Treasure Trek was always a favorite. Starting off in a maze, one partner would need to find a key while the other finds the corresponding treasure chest before the two needed to meet up with each other. It was an exciting race against the clock kind of game where we always hoped that our opponents would get most lost than we did!

Dungeon Duos

Another two-versus-two mini game from Mario Party 4, Dungeon Duos was an awesome obstacle course where you needed to work together with a partner to escape the dungeon it took place in. Timing was key, both with speed and precision when it came to completing the game. Not falling into the chasms helped too.

Chomp Romp

Despite usually trying to eat you, I always liked the Chain Chomp characters in Mario games, especially when they’re portrayed as almost dog-like. In Chomp Romp, you appear to be leading your “pet” Chain Chomp through a park. Your whistle brings the Chomp charging in a straight line to you (very eager to greet you, I suppose) and you need to skillfully direct your buddy through the obstacles in the park to reach a safe place to play.

What are your favorite Mario Party mini games? Which ones are you hoping are in Mario Party Top 100?

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3DS/2DS Designs

Double Jump Kris MiiDue to the Nintendo Switch being out with such fantastic games, we’ve neglected our 3DS and 2DS family of consoles lately. Looking up some news about the handheld consoles, it’s a little surprising to see all of the new editions and covers for them.

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Nintendo Everything just recently revealed that Target is taking pre-orders for a new Legend of Zelda 2DS Edition. A cheery green-and-yellow combination definitely reminds me of the colors of Link’s homeland, even if I prefer darker shades to represent Link.

Seeing the new edition takes me back to all of the other editions of the 3DS and 2DS consoles. There were several Pokemon-themed 3DS covers, along with other Legend of Zelda decals and, of course, the Super Mario Bros. There was also the beautiful Galaxy-themed 3DS that I was, honestly, once upon a time considering getting.

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Of course, there wasn’t a reason as to why I would need to buy a special edition 3DS other than the cool designs. They’re extra ways to show off your love of the fandom and Nintendo’s products but, practically and financially, they weren’t needed.

Perhaps one day if I have money to burn, I’ll splurge on an extra console. For right now, though, I’m content with the basic designs that I have for my 3DS and 2DS systems. After all, they both play games well, and that’s the most important part of the systems, right?

Has there been a certain 3DS design that made you want to get an extra console? Can you think of a future design that you would like to see?

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Friday Favorites: Pokemon Movies

Double Jump Kris MiiPokemon: I Choose You is a movie special that came out in for limited theater times in the US to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the Pokemon anime. It’s a loose retelling of the Kanto saga with plenty of references to the newest generation of Pokemon from the Alola region.

While we have not gotten a chance to see it, it is amazing to think that I Choose You is the twentieth Pokemon movie! We’ve always had fun watching the Pokemon films, even they do tend to make us cry by the end of them, haha!

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Pokemon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea

Elements from the Pokemon Ranger games were shown on the big screen in this movie, something that I always found interesting. Aside from that, this movie had plenty of adventure and suspense (even though we all knew everything would turn out okay in the end because it’s Pokemon). I enjoyed the setting and scenery, with the main setting of the movie just reminded me of The Water Temple from the Legend of Zelda series, and it was the last Pokemon movie to use traditional cel animation for the animate the movie. It helped that the legendary Pokemon that starred in this movie was the adorable Manaphy!

Pokemon 4Ever

My favorite aspect of the Pokemon 4Ever movie is that it has some really fun time-travel elements to it! I always found the plot to be interesting, especially with the fun little twist at the end, and the animation was well done. The Lake of Life and the forest scenery were really beautiful. Celebi and Suicune were always a couple of my favorite legendary Pokemon as well.

Pokemon 3: The Movie

My fondest memory of this movie is the theme song, in all honesty. The Johto region’s theme music was always one of my favorites! This movie had a bit of a creepy side to it, with the Unown dimension and little Molly’s wishes for her family to return. This movie had some pretty epic battles to it as well, which is what the series is known for.

What are your favorite Pokemon movies? Have you seen Pokemon: I Choose You?

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First Impressions: Super Mario Odyssey

Double Jump Kris MiiLike the rest of the gaming world, Rachel and I have been playing Super Mario Odyssey since it arrived at our house! And my opinion on it thus far is probably in the minority…

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We’ve had Super Mario Odyssey on pre-order for a while so we would have the game delivered to our house the day it was released. The majority of the gaming world was going crazy for the newest 3D Super Mario game, and with good reason. So far, it plays wonderfully, even if the controls took a little getting used to with the Joy-Con, and the levels remind us of the classic Super Mario 64 — different worlds that you can hop in and out of with collectible items to help power up your ship to reach even new worlds.

I like the game, from what we’ve played so far. However, unlike many other Nintendo fans, I find the 3D Mario games as just okay. Don’t get me wrong, Super Mario 64 was revolutionary for its time and it’s a fun game, but it was never a game that I would willingly turn on to play by myself. Likewise, Sunshine and the Galaxy pair were not my cup of tea. Sunshine just didn’t hold my attention at all and the first Galaxy game made me feel dizzy. It turned me off from playing the second Galaxy.

So when Odyssey was announced, I figured it would be a decent game. The Switch is a fantastic console and the mechanics from Odyssey’s trailer looked different enough to keep me interested. I was mostly impressed with Mayor Pauline singing the theme song! The music is entertaining!

After playing through the first few levels of Odyssey, I’m not completely on board with it. Not yet, anyway. I’ll finish the main story with Rachel, but I’m not invested in finding every Power Moon like I was with every shrine in Breath of the Wild. At this moment, I’m more interested in continuing Fire Emblem Warriors or even going back to the DLC for Breath of the Wild.

Super Mario Odyssey is being praised as one of the best games to be released, but I’m not seeing it just yet. It’s a good game, sure, but probably not one of my top favorites.

How are you liking Super Mario Odyssey so far?

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