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Almost Perfect
The gameplay of FFA is not "deep" in the way that Final Fantasy Tactics is deep, but it still can require a great amount of strategy with very flexible difficulty. What I found most notable about gameplay, though, is how smooth and accessible it is. You can skip attack animations, cancel moves quickly, check what any term means anytime, AND YOU CAN SKIP THE ENTIRE ENEMY PHASE. It saves time, and heightens immersion; you're fighting a war, not playing a game.

Visually, the only complaint is the static portraits, which is at least understandable with so many characters. Otherwise, everything looks great: In-battle sprites, attack animations, character designs, and those delicious uber-cutscenes.

I was not impressed by the soundtrack, but everyone else appears to be, so I won't speak to it.

So, why is the game "almost" perfect? The story. It is bland. Not unbelievably bland. Not So Bad, It's Good. Just bland. There's a lot of obligatory political intrigue that isn't intriguing. The villains are plain evil (though Gangrel was at least entertaining). The main characters are completely unambitious (never do they try to learn about the identity of Masked Marth, or the origin of the Risen, or... anything at all that isn't placed in their lap). The final conflict just sort of shows up at the end of the game with a brief warning a few chapters beforehand. The most interesting aspect of the world, children coming back from the future, is barely explored in the main story. Really, the only good thing about the story is Masked Marth, whose personal story is emotional and handled with subtlety, but even that is just a few moments of the game. Thankfully, the Support mechanic is utterly absorbing and the side characters interesting, so the game doesn't feel "hollow". Compared to the rest of the game, the meh story is a minor gripe.

Other than that, the only complaints are how long it takes to unlock each individual Support, considering that's all you'll probably want to be doing in repeat playthroughs; and the lack of post-game content. By the time you've unlocked all the characters and married off who you want to marry off, you'll have an enormous, epic army, and not much to fight against (unless you want to buy DLC, which gets expensive). All in all, it really is a marvelous game that anybody could sink time into. 9/10!

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Fire Emblem is back, baby!!!
I will first admit I have never played any Fire Emblem games (maybe one, but I can't remember at this moment). So when I heard about Fire Emblem Awakening, I felt nothing towards it. Actually, it was during this time I was way more engrossed with the idea of owning Pokemon X and Y (I do, btw). However, when I finally decided to go pick up my 3DS, I needed to get some games. I ended up with getting three; Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and Fire Emblem Awakening.

When I started to play Awakening, I became consumed by the story and characters. I got to make my own character and control her as I ventured into this new world. Upon meeting the Shepherds, mystery begins to arise and I drive in deeper and deeper so I can learn more about what is to come.

Let's talk about the good. For hard core gamers, this is a treat. Strategy is a must, and teamwork is completely necessary. Illusion of choice is prominent in dialogue, which fleshes out the characters. This is more of a Nintendo version of Mass Effect. For casual players, there is the option of making the game easier to play. Humor is properly handled, and the overall tone of the game is never truly lost. Replay-ability is high, as you can mix and match different teams together to create the deadliest army you ever saw. Also, romance for certain characters actually do play out, likewise with relationships. They do affect how the strengths of characters deal with enemies and attacks.

Now for the bad. For casual players, this game can be a challenge. It's also hard to pick up again after not playing it for so long, but thankfully you can still find your place. It's also not too forgiving, so I recommend using bookmarks and battle saves as much as you can. Some of the romances and relationships seem a little off or sappy, but there are multiple options. Although some characters can't be paired up, and some make you feel very weird (young characters).

Final verdict: buy this game. It is very good and a must play for teens and older. FE fans, your game is here.
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Fun and Addictive!
Awakening is awesome. It includes just about every feature ever included in the Fire Emblem series, and adds even more. This game has everything, which makes sense since it was expected to be the last one.

The battle animations are beautiful (once you're used to the characters not having feet). The characters, which I feel are the best part of the game, are all diverse, likable, usable, with surprising depth, and the generous amount of humor helps balance out the game's darker themes. With plenty of side quests, the option to grind, and hilarious DLC chapters, there's lots of room to level up and learn more about the interesting soldiers at your disposal. The story, while not perfect, still sets the stage for all of these great ideas to come together in a relatively smooth fashion.

On the subject of story, it is rather weak. Some story arcs feel a bit rushed since this game includes three wars to fight, not to mention a time skip. The main story runs on quite a few cliches. You play as the just, but slightly naive hero fighting against an evil cult bent on destroying the world. The bad guys are evil just for the sake of evil, and some of the things they do are just plain boneheaded. Walhart was my favorite antagonist because he actually had a sensible purpose for all the evil he committed, making him formidable, yet sympathetic.

Regardless, plenty of fun can be had in Awakening, if not from the story, then from the sheer OVERWHELMING amount of content jammed into this game. I'm currently doing my fifth playthrough, and I'm still having a blast! You'd be surprised how much some voice grunts during dialogue can add to the experience. This game is definitely one of the harder additions to the series, but luckily, Casual mode was included, allowing newcomers to play without fear of losing their units forever to death. This game certainly sets a new standard for the series, which I will anticipate in the new entries to come.
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Once back into the frey!
I obtained this game for Christmas and I have not looked back since. This game has quickly became one of my favorites. Excellent writing and character interactions as well as a way of integrating some interesting ways of putting your own character into the story which influences many of the endings for the characters in the game. Whatever I say about this does not give it justice as while the game has a few flaws but it is not enough to hold it back from being a great game. it is an amazing pick for any strategy gamer and story lover. With a couple endings in total and some interesting twists and turns which could be surprising and not so much for those who can find and connect points together. It holds up just as well as the story of Lyn, Hector, and Marth as well as the stories of Ephraim the Restoration King and Erika all of which and more can be brought along on this adventure as DLC characters as well.
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(Spoilers Included!) My Awakening to the Series
Strangely enough, as much as I loved playing as the Fire Emblem characters in Melee and Brawl, I never found interest in their games. That changed when one of my friends introduced the Disgaia series to me. I was not only enthralled by the action packed battles, but the intelligence and strategy needed to pass though the levels. When Fire Emblem Awakening was announced for North America, I took a look into it, drived by my love for the characters and genre. After I played the demo, the rest was history.

Fire Emblem Awakening has a well structured plot with many clever twists. From the revealing of Lucina to the genius plan devised by the Avatar to best Grima, many of the predictions I made about the plot were thankfully wrong. I love all of the characters, minus a few (Stall seems a little generic). All of them have unique personalities to distinguish one from the other and I constantly find myself remember 80% of the characters' names and personalities. The presentation is also good. At first I was turned off by the fact that there are only 9 animated cutscenes, but the dialogue between the characters more then makes up for it. Heck, the voice grunts also improve the experience. I honestly felt Chrom's emotions when his sister fell, even though it was just through dialogue. The battle animations are good and some of the maps are outright gorgeous.

Gameplay is as simple as moving your units by selecting them and moving them. However, by using the pairing, support, and twice attacking system, strategy takes a whole new turn. Besides going over the gameplay from previous games, it is mostly self explanatory. There are numerous items that you can obtain, but I find myself paranoid of breaking certain items like Ragnell. This also brings up DLC. The DLC is fantastic, and can easily increase your game time by 10-20 hours. From the Champions of Yore maps to the Challenge maps, there is a map for everyone. I especially love the Exponential Growth map, which can quickly make units like Lucina a beast.

Overall, this is my favorite 3DS game. I have clocked in many hours onto one file and I look forward to replaying the game again and again. This is a game that every 3DS owner should own, no matter if you dislike the genre or not. This is the perfect strategy game for beginners of the genre, and even to veterans. This game is HARD!
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