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.