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

krismii
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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Currently Playing: Sonic Mania & Fire Emblem Warriors

Double Jump Kris MiiTwo “Currently Playing” posts in a row? How about that?

I splurged a little in getting a couple of new games for the rest of this month. A little Sonic the Hedgehog and Fire Emblem seemed to be just what was needed!

I’ll admit, I nearly forgot about Sonic Mania! The game came out last August, and I had been planning on buying it then. However, other games wiggled their way in and considering that Sonic the Hedgehog is a franchise that I haven’t dabbled in as often as I used to. The original Sonic 1, 2, 3, and Sonic and Knuckles games were not part of my collection while growing up. Rather, the 3D games that generally didn’t get great reviews (but had amazing music) were the Sonic games I played and, honestly, enjoyed.

I didn’t get a chance to actually try playing the original Sonic the Hedgehog games until we had gotten Sonic Mega Collection for the GameCube. Even then, however, the GameCube was mostly used for Super Smash Bros. Melee and the Legend of Zelda games. Seeing the few original levels from those games being put into Sonic Mania, however, has given me a load of nostalgia. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how well the rest of the game plays out!

Considering Fire Emblem Warriors just arrived, I’m not sure how long it’ll be until I get back to Sonic Mania, though… Fire Emblem is a franchise near and dear to my heart, and it is so deliciously fun to mow down enemies in the Warriors installment of the series! I’m not very far into the game just yet, but I don’t think it’ll be a game that will take me long to get through.

Have you played Sonic Mania or Fire Emblem Warriors? What do you think of them?

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Friday Favorites: September Nintendo Direct News

Double Jump Kris MiiLast week, Nintendo had a direct that showcased over 40 different game titles for their 3DS family of systems and the Nintendo Switch. While Rachel and I briefly talked about what we had liked about the direct, today I’m going to go a little more in-depth with some of my favorite news.

frifavessept2017direct

Project Octopath Traveler

Rachel and I downloaded the demo for this game a couple of days after the direct, finding the trailer that had been shown to boast awesome graphics and fantastic music. While we’re not very far into it just yet, we’re definitely excited by what we’ve been seeing! We can’t wait to meet the other characters when the full game comes out.

Fire Emblem Warriors

I made everyone else shush when this game came on. There wasn’t really anything new aside from Lyn being showcased (yay!), but I’m still looking forward to the game. One of the best aspects of Fire Emblem is the characters, in my opinion, so to see a bunch of fan favorites in a different styled game will definitely be interesting. That, and I’ve enjoyed Hyrule Warriors, so I’m hoping Fire Emblem Warriors will be fun to play as well.

Arena of Valor

While this game is available to download from Google Play (with Batman!), it’ll be interesting to have on the Switch. A multiplayer online battle game sounds fantastic, and I’ll probably be awful at it when it comes out, but it looks like too much fun to not try! Anyone have this game from Google Play already?

Nintendo 3DS Titles

Considering that Rachel and I recently got the new 2DS XL’s, it’s nice to hear all of the news for the 3DS family of systems, especially since there were rumors of the Switch being Nintendo’s flagship for both console and handheld games with its portability. Lady Layton, Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, the rerelease of Apollo Justice and the original Gold and Silver versions of Pokemon… There’s so much in the future to look forward to!

What are looking forward to the most from Nintendo’s latest direct?

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Friday Favorites: Fire Emblem Warriors Wish List

Double Jump Kris MiiHow has everyone been this week?

With more and more information being shown for Fire Emblem Warriors lately, I’ve been thinking about what kind of characters I would like to see in the game. I’m aware that the game is focusing mostly on fan favorites from Fates and Awakening, it seems, but I can always hope, right?

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Shinon from Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn

I loved this grumpy, sarcastic sniper when I played through the game. His character development through Path of Radiance was also really interesting to me — not dealing well with his commander’s death, deflecting to the enemy, finding his way back to the right side while also trying to figure out himself — and his sniper skills weren’t bad at all.

Mae or Boey from Shadows of Valentia

Mae and Boey were both a couple of my favorites from Shadows of Valentia, and I think both of them would be interesting additions to Warriors. Their personalities and skills would fit right in, and I would love to see their reactions to some of the other characters in the Warriors world!

Tiki from Archanea/Awakening

I want to be able to stomp around as a dragon in Warriors! The Corrins may have that ability in the game, or perhaps gain it during the story mode, but I would still love the idea of being Tiki and changing into a dragon to destroy your enemies.

Matthew from The Blazing Blade

Rather, any thief/ninja character would be fine with me, but Matthew was always cool. In the Warriors game, I imagine thief characters would be some of the faster ones, with swift combos and, perhaps, one-hit kill special attacks. I would love to see thief mechanics in the Warriors game!

What are some of your Fire Emblem Warriors hopefuls?

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Video Game Bundles

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy September!

As kids, Rachel and I tended to wait until Christmas or our birthdays for new video games and consoles but, as adults, we squirrel away some money for these kind of occasions. Getting a new game here or there isn’t bad, but when they’re hard to find consoles or such, bundles look more appealing…

Usually when a shiny new game or console comes out, plenty of stores offer some sort of bundle to include the game or console with other trinkets. Generally speaking, these trinkets usually aren’t anything that we’d be interested in — such as little posters or figurines that, while look cool, would do nothing more than collect dust.

Case in point were the bundles that ThinkGeek were offering with the SNES Classic console. The SNES Classic itself is only about $80… I’m not convinced that the extra toys that come with the console even out the high price of the bundles. Is it really another eighty bucks for a mushroom plush, a mug, and a calendar? Most of the bundles looked nice, especially the Zelda-themed chess set, but I’m more interested in the console itself rather than the add-ons.

Of course, there are bundles that I wouldn’t mind getting. I’m honestly considering the Fire Emblem Warriors bundle that Nintendo is offering. Along with the Switch version of the game, you get a duel-sided poster, art cards, and 3 CDs of the game music. The art cards and poster look nice, but what I’m really interested in is the music. Video game soundtracks are my favorite kind of music, enough so that I don’t know anything on the radio nowadays.

The Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon bundle doesn’t seem too bad either. It comes with art cards and a code to get 200 pokeballs along with a version of each game. Rachel and I were considering it so each of us would get a game out of the deal and she could keep the art cards.

Price-wise, both bundles are about eighty dollars (which seems to be the magic number of this post). It’s about twenty bucks more than what the game would be by itself, but music comes along with it! It’s also the price of both Pokemon games put together, so that doesn’t seem too bad either.

It’s a shame gaming is such an expensive hobby, isn’t it?

Do you take advantage of video game bundles? What do you think of them?

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Nintendo E3 Spotlight Thoughts

krismii
While we weren’t able to watch Nintendo’s Spotlight live due to obligations like day jobs, we did catch up with some streams and videos that had saved the spotlight for people like us. We knew it was only for about a half hour, but we still had high hopes for our favorite video game company. Nintendo mostly showed off trailers for some upcoming Switch games, which were nice, but a little underwhelming, to be honest.

rachmii
I had been looking forward to the press conference all day. After the 25 minutes were up, I found myself saying, “That was it?” A lot of the games they showcased were games we already knew about. I think I was expecting a lot more, especially since the Switch had recently come out. I was expecting a line up of games that they had up their sleeves, but that didn’t seem to be the case.

krismii
Still, it was nice to see more close-ups of some of the upcoming games. In particular, I’m excited for Fire Emblem Warriors! I’m a little disappointed at the lack of diversity with the characters that were shown, I’ll admit, as the main characters seem to all be sword-wielders. With such a large cast of characters that the Fire Emblem franchise has at its disposal, I’m sure we’ll see more battle techniques even though I’ve heard that only characters from Shadow Dragon, Awakening, and Fates will be in the game. Which, again, is a little disappointing considering all the wonderful characters from other Fire Emblem worlds, but I suppose they had to draw the line somewhere.

rachmii
That does look like a good game. I’ll admit that I’m excited for a new Yoshi game. It looks adorable and the graphics look amazing. The music for it was chill too. I’m also happy that they mentioned how they are working on Pokemon “Stars” for the Switch. I wish they had more to say about it, but the confirmation was enough for me. The trailers were all well and good, but I felt the conference itself was a little dry. The Microsoft press conference put on a show, but Nintendo just had green screens and called it a day. And yes, it’s about the games, which I enjoy, but I like to be entertained as they talk as well.

krismii
I believe Nintendo’s Spotlight was intended to be quick with a few trailers before they handed the microphone, so to speak, to Nintendo Treehouse to showcase demos and more behind-the-scenes looks at the upcoming games. Nintendo always liked to do more hands-on demonstrations rather than put on a stage show just for fans to watch. I’m sure there’s much more going on than we were able to see with just the Spotlight showing. Going to an E3 showing is definitely on our bucket list!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Yeah, I know. But I think I was expecting more games, too. The Switch just came out with not that many games to show for it so I was expecting Nintendo to show off a bunch of stuff. I mean, what they did show was great and I’m looking forward to a lot. Nintendo will always and forever be my favorite. And I had a feeling that Luigi’s Mansion 3 wouldn’t be a thing, but they didn’t announce Animal Crossing. I wasn’t getting my hopes up for either one, but I hope they create one or both in the future!

krismii
Yes, I’m sorry neither of those games on your wish list got announced. I personally didn’t really have any wish list for what I wanted to see at Nintendo’s E3 Spotlight. I knew that Fire Emblem Warriors was a thing and I was pretty content with Breath of the Wild, although I’m definitely looking forward to the DLC content (except for maybe the Tingle armor…). Metroid Prime may be a franchise that I’ll have to try again one day, and I’m looking forward to trying out Skyrim on the Switch, but there was nothing for me to really get up and cheer about. With that said, I’m totally content with the announcements and am looking forward to seeing more of Nintendo’s work.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I’m excited for Breath of the Wild’s DLC as well as the Amiibo for it. Those look awesome! But, yeah, I agree. Nintendo does great work and I was happy with everything they announced. I’m looking forward to trying new games on the Switch that we wouldn’t typically play. Between Nintendo and all the other press conferences, I think the rest of 2017 is going to be a great year for gamers.

What did you think of Nintendo’s E3 Spotlight? Let us know in the comments below!

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