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Rekka No Ken
Rekka No Ken, or simply "Fire Emblem" as released in the states, is a tactical RPG where three young heroes lead an army to battle against treacherous nobles, a league of assassins, and a mad wizard bent on ruling the world. The game is easy to learn, the gameplay is polished, the auto-save makes it ideal for gaming on the go, and the sprite art and animations have a lot of character beneath their simple designs. With three difficulty levels and two versions of the 30+ chapter campaign, the game is a challenge for any skill level, though it would benefit from the restrictive tutorial being skippable outside of Hard Mode.

Beyond that, the Support System is one of the best features of the game, turning player units from pawns into unique, identifiable characters with their own hopes, dreams, and struggles beyond the main plot. Supporting allows player unit pairs to advance relationships, subplots, and stat bonuses when near each other in battle, and adds a lot of replay value to the game. This is good, because restarting is basically the only thing to do after beating the final boss, forcing the player to abandon a literal army of characters they've nurtured to power. Rekka No Ken would have greatly benefited from a post-game like Fire Emblem The Sacred Stones' Creature Campaign, with level gauntlets and random battles.

The game's other main weakness is Eliwood, who is out-shined by Lyn and Hector as both a unit and character despite being billed as the main protagonist. Eliwood is The Mario to Lyn's Fragile Speedster and Hector's Mighty Glacier, but often ends up merely mediocre by comparison due to stat growth. Worse, his Wide Eyed Idealism is much less interesting than Lyn's Action Girl compassion, Noble Savage pride, and tragic backstory, or Hector's Blood Knight tendencies clashing with responsibility in the face of his older brother's impending mortality. Lyn's case is especially frustrating, as she becomes largely irrelevant after the tutorial and never gets to make good on her oath against the bandits to who killed her tribe.

These are relatively minor complaints, though. Rekka No Ken is a great game with challenging but accessible gameplay, memorable characters, and plenty of depth beneath its simple surface. It may not be perfect, but fans of tactical games and more traditional RPGs should both find plenty to love here.
Rekka No Ken is definitely an awesome game and it with Advance wars defined how saw turned based gaming. I think Eliwood's layout is little forgivable in that I feel like he falls into the old Generic protagonist trap; Well rounded but boring, both in personality and playstyle.

I think Lyn does get revenge on those bandits fairly early on as well? During the first 5ish missions, they encounter the same group and murder the hell out of them. The only thing is that she doesn't make a huge deal of it at the time which is sort of underwhelming.

I feel like having played more FE games, they're a little complacent in their plot and would like to see a bit more experimentation [then I haven't played any since Shadow Dragon due to not having the ability to figure out a DS ROM for the untranslated version and not having a 3DS for the other]. The characters definitely make this game as even with the minimal interaction you get with some, you can get a general feel for their backstories and I know I've replayed it personally to get more of the support convos; them taking it out of the Radiant Dawn and not having it in Shadow Dragon was disappointing for me [though I can understand their choice in the latter as a remake].

Cheers and thanks for the good review.
comment #19832 Fauxlosophe 12th Jun 13
I think Lyn does get revenge on those bandits fairly early on as well?

Nope, different bandit group. Lyn even specifically asks them which group they belong to when they first meet, and is willing to let them go since they're not the ones who wiped out her tribe. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is because the bandit group that is responsible for wiping out her tribe are in FE 6, to which Rekka No Ken is a prequel, but I haven't played 6 myself to know for certain.

All the more reason I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Lyn to graduate from assist trophy to playable character in the next Smash Bros (hey, a guy can dream right?).
comment #19833 Wryte 12th Jun 13
Ah, that would make a lot of sense. I assumed there were at least fought somewhere between mission 3-7 but I guess I just took the narrative unity for granted and a tie-in to the 6th game would make sense. I did download the ROM for it but I only beat it about a third of the way so I can't say myself.

As to Lyn in Smash Bros, I would really think about getting the game then. Which is to say the 3DS as well. As it stands I'm too broke to just get it for the new FE and the 3D hurts my brain anyway.
comment #19849 Fauxlosophe 14th Jun 13
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