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Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade. The original Elibe adventure. The sixth entry in the franchise stayed in Japan and would only see western eyes via translation patches and emulation. Is it worth to dig through the internet just to play the sequel to Blazing Sword?
Let's start with the good. The story is by no means something we have never seen, but it works pretty well. It certainly feels more grand and engaging than FE7's intimate, unfocused, small-scale plot. I've heard that this game is a copy of Mystery of the Emblem's plot, but I don't see it. The worldbuilding is done much better than in FE7 as well, with your lord traveling across the entire continent instead of a quarter of it. Characters such as Zephiel, Lilina, Roy and Milady have left a great impression on me, and that's something I cannot say about young Eliwood or Nergal. Nergal in particular is put to shame compared to Zephiel's gray, fleshed-out, non-cartoony character. Zephiel is one of the few villains I actually agreed with, even though I knew what he was doing wasn't moral. He's such a joy to watch and fight against.
As for the bad... For starters, the hit rate system is very punishing on the player — it WILL make you miss a lot more than FE7 or FE8, which will put a stop to your plans more often than it should. Weapon ranks also grow much more slowly than in the other GBA games, but this inconvenience pales in comparison with the overabundance of enemies with long-ranged weapons. For the second half of the game, you'll find a ton of Sleep/Berserk staffs, ballistas, and mages with Bolting, Purge and Eclipse. If this wasn't bad enough, this game has the nasty habit of spawning enemy reinforcements that move on the same turn, meaning you'll be ambushed suddenly with no way to predict where they would even come from. It should also be mentioned that the Golden Ending is only accessible if you have collected all the legendary weapons, which itself is no fun task what with its player-unfriendly maps.
In conclusion: FE6 is the kind of game that would benefit greatly from a remake in the style of Echoes: Shadows of Valentia that fixed its crippling gameplay issues, because otherwise, it's a pretty good and fun installment. One of my favorites.
FE 6 is a personal favorite of mine, and I think that overall it's a great addition to the Fire Emblem series.
6 takes the style of it's predecessor FE 5 and brings in elements from FE 4 and especially FE 3 to create a mixture of the classic games on portable software. The gameplay is as solid as it's ever been, but it's good to see that it added some features that would become mainstays, such as moving characters on the map before a chapter begins or the support system to add to the backgrounds of the varied characters.
Before going over what's good however, it's best to go over the bad; 6's plot is very by-the-numbers, and while it takes some of the political struggle from the Jugdral titles, it's overall a very bare story akin to Mystery of the Emblem. (Book 1 especially) The cast also tends to be criticized for being flat, but in my personal opinion I think the actual issue is that there isn't as much time to get to know as much about them due to how many characters there are, and it's easy to bypass supports that go greatly into detail about them. Not helping this is while every character is "usable" some characters just don't cut the mold and are frowned upon such as Sophia or Gwendolyn. Lastly there are the infamous "ambush spawns' which are not fair in the slightest and should have been retired some time ago, or at least made optional.
Those are some of the big negatives, but they do come with positives. 6's level-design is actually pretty good, it encourages moving forward at a brisk pace, and requires the player to find the best strategy to quickly and efficiently beat the map without losing units. As previously mentioned, all characters are actually usable if one wishes, though the trouble to reach that point may not be worth it in some cases, it still means that if someone likes a character enough they can use them, and they have a lot of interesting tidbits surrounding them thanks to the support conversations that often make them more than just stats with portraits. The soundtrack is as phenomenal as ever, with tracks such as "Beyond the Distant Skies", "Shaman in the Dark", and the wonderfully catchy "Reclaim the Capital". Finally the replay value of 6 is fantastic, with so many characters to experiment with, two whole different levels of difficulty, and the incentive of the Trial Maps and the exclusive characters it gives the player upon multiple completions, FE 6 may just be the most replayable FE.
In summary, FE 6 has some pretty noticeable issues, but it makes up for that with the things it does right, and makes for a great addition in the series as a whole.
FE 6 is my least favourite in the series, so fair warning: those who like the game might want to look away now.
When the series was first released in the west, the first game we got was oddly, a prequel. That ended on a Sequel Hook. So naturally, many would be interested in checking out the game that came before. Unfortunately, Blazing Sword was very much a Surprisingly Improved Sequel in comparison to this game.
It arose from an effort to greatly simplify the series after the SNES installments, and to return the series to its roots: Mystery of the Emblem. But there's a difference between returning to your roots and, well, this. All Fire Emblem games follow the same basic plot structure, but this game's feels like a Cliché Storm even by their standards. Its plot is nearly a direct copy-paste of Mystery of the Emblem's, and the characters are some of the most obvious Expies immaginable.
This was the first game with support conversations... and it shows. Radiant Dawn's dumbed down supports and Shadow Dragon's lack of them were bad enough, but this game has characters who manage to be bland and flat even WITH supports, which in my opinion is even worse. Alan and Lance are huge offenders in particular, hard to believe they preceeded Kent and Sain. There are a few hidden gems though, like Astol and Ingrene. Ironically, the most interesting characters in the game are the main villains Zephiel and Idoun.
Gameplay-wise, the game also has issues. It features some of the biggest Tier Induced Scrappies in the series, both of the pre-promoted (Juno, Garret) and Magikarp Power (Wendy, Sophia) variety. The main character, Roy is by far one of the series worst due to his insanely late promotion, leaving him stuck as a dead-weight Lv 20 unpromoted unit with bad stats (think Eliwood, but with bad defences) for most of the game. And the maps are filled with irritating Bolting mages to take advantage of him and unpromotable Thieves. The difficulty level of the game is pretty brutal overall, throwing things like Killer Axe users at you as early-game bosses, and just getting worse from there. There's a desert fog of war chapter with Wyvern Lord reinforcements, to give you an idea of how bad it gets.
Fans of FE 7 won't even like what happens to the characters, as fan-favourites are reduced to bit-parts or killed off early.
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