A Fire Emblem veteran's opinion.
Fire Emblem Awakening is pretty much a celebration of the entire series. The mechanics are a "greatest hits" of past games: Gaiden's world map, Geneology's marriage system, FE 6
's supports, Sacred Stones brancing promotions, and finally New Mystery's Avatar system, they're all back and better than ever.
The Avatar though, is the real star of the game. They're probably the best example of a player-created character I've ever seen: generic enough to be relatable, while still having dialogue and an established role in the plot that makes them more interesting. (Unlike New Mystery's fairly-bland Avatar) They act as a way to immerse beginners into the world, while giving veterans a sort of "super unit" to play around with. There's a reason they're in Smash Bros.
This game takes the FE 4
approach to characters: not having as many but given them all huge amounts of development. Unlike FE 4
, every possible pairing has unique conversations, meaning no Crack Pairings
here. This unfortunately results in a comparative lack of "platonic" supports though, which does hit a few characters hard. (Mainly the Spotpass ones) A problem I've found though, is that pretty much everyone has at least one character they outright hate
out of the cast (yes, even me)... which, if anything, means the game succeded at being the most immersive FE yet.
The plot is pretty much a Cliché Storm
... but an intentional one. It's meant to be Troperiffic
as applied to the Fire Emblem series, and Fire Emblem isn't really known for stellar plots anyway. There are a few twists here and there though.
The biggest flaw I've found is in the difficulty. Being a veteran, I played Hard mode right off, and the first few chapters lived up to that name... but by the halfway point, my characters got so powerful every battle was a Foregone Victory
, to the point I lost interest in the game. And the thing is, Lunatic is definately not my thing. New Mystery had a difficulty between Hard and Lunatic, which I think this game could have benefited from.
There are also... some flaws in the localization. Most of it is top-notch, like with Gregor and Nowi, but some attempts to inject humor went horribly wrong, such as Chrom and Sumia's supports, which changed one Through His Stomach
moment into a Running Gag
about pies that reeked of Unfortunate Implications