Radiant Dawn: Has its flaws, but also charm.
Opinions seem all over the place about this game, but I personally like it. Personally, if you want sheer spectacle this Fire Emblem really delivers. The series has never featured battles on this scale before, and some chapters stand out as truly epic in scope not seen in the series since the 4th game. Chapter 2-E and the last few ones of Part 3 in particular are, to me, some of the definitive examples of Best Level Ever
in the series.
3rd tier promotions also add to this, it's a huge Catharsis Factor
to see your units' stats approach the 50s
and gain insanely overpowered skills with really over-the-top animations. And you'll need them for some of the late-game bosses. Some of the final bosses in this game... well, nothing really felt like a real "boss fight" in the FE series until now. The Final Chapter is one of my favourites in the whole series.
The plot is sort of weird. While it may be horribly cliche by regular JRPG standards, it's radically subersive by Fire Emblem ones. It's refreshing to see the Black and White Morality
of Path of Radiance get deconstructed, and the game eventually devolves into a fight that could be called Good Vs Good
, or at least White vs Grey. Well, that's sort of thrown out the window by Part 4, but it was cool while it lasted.
The game does have some serious flaws though, mainly the lack of development for new characters due to a heavily dumbed-down Support system. The difficulty level is also a bit all over the place, it's justified by the story but sometimes Gameplay and Story Segregation
is a good thing. The localization also messed up BAD here, by renaming "Normal, Hard and Maniac
" modes "Easy, Normal and Hard", causing many players to jump into the wrong difficulty level for them and get destroyed. There's a bit of an imbalance in the parties too, with Micaiah's getting way more bad units than it deserves, and Ike's being nearly unstoppable.
Speaking of localization messups, there's another big one. The Japanese version had an extended script when playing on Hard or Maniac. The translation only used the Normal mode script, which causes a few plot points to be heavily cut down. Part 2 suffered HORRIBLY from this, losing a huge chunk of the villain's motivations and Elincia's character development. This seems a very bizzare localisation decision.