Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
100 Greatest Videos Games Of All Time
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Empire Visits The Hobbit's VFX Team
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
4Music's Size Does Matter
Introducing your new favourite app
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

PACKSHOT
Fire Emblem: Awakening

GAME DETAILS
Released
08 April 2013
Format
Nintendo 3DS
Developer
Intelligent Systems

LATEST GAME REVIEWS
Tales Of Xillia 2
3 Star Empire Rating
Metro Redux
4 Star Empire Rating
Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition
4 Star Empire Rating
Ultra Street Fighter IV
4 Star Empire Rating
Last Of Us Remastered, The
5 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Last Of Us Remastered, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Mario Kart 8
5 Star Empire Rating
Titanfall
5 Star Empire Rating
Dark Souls II
5 Star Empire Rating
Forza Motorsport 5
5 Star Empire Rating

Fire Emblem: Awakening


submit to reddit

Fire Emblem: Awakening (2013)
Review
The Fire Emblem series has traditionally been a bit of a non-entity in the UK, the series absent from these shores for the first fourteen years of its existence. Since then, it’s built up quite the following, and fans who’ve grown attached to the fantasy-themed strategy games will be pleased to know that Awakening stands out as one of the best in the series.

Your customisable character begins with trademark amnesia, a plot element that’s overly used in Japanese games and a lazy way to foster mystery. However, the swords-and-sorcery war epic that unfolds is bold and engaging, seeing you battle to save the land of Ylisse from a bloodthirsty rival nation dabbling in dark magic. From preteen mages to warrior rabbit women, there’s impressive variety in the squad members available to recruit, alongside the more familiar assortment of knights and soldiers. The story is replete with nods to earlier entries, some mere fanservice; others hugely important and leading to major plot twists.

Like most tactical RPGs, each round sees you positioning units and choosing actions, though a merciful fast-forward accelerates each individual assault. Newly introduced to Fire Emblem are team-up attacks between party members, which become more potent by improving partnerships outside of battle and co-ordinating efforts on the field. It’s a subtle point, and one no doubt inspired by the popularity of relationship games in Japan, but one that fosters quite the attachment between you and your team members. It also encourages greater consideration of unit placement to take advantage of these combos. Perhaps because of this, a more casual mode is also introduced, eliminating the ‘permanent death’ factor of characters that perish in battle that Fire Emblem is known for.

Annoyingly, there’s no real direction – positioning behind an enemy gives no attack benefit, for instance – which seems counter-intuitive considering the depth given elsewhere. Also, while cutscenes and battle animations are beautiful, the top-down grid format of combat rounds is minimalist at best. Players will need to keep a sharp eye on the battlefield to notice area effects or sparkles indicating hidden treasure. Certain functions (such as an ability to pair heroes together and move as one) are poorly explained, leaving you unclear as to their effectiveness.

Beyond these quibbles, Awakening’s gameplay feels refreshed and speedy despite its turn-based nature, and its mix of deft storytelling and likeable characters will keep you captivated throughout.


Reviewed by

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Rogues Gallery: Powers Boothe
Sin City's Roark talks us through his most memorable baddies

Richard Attenborough: In Celebration
Saluting a man who made a lasting impact on cinema and beyond…

Exclusive: Luc Besson Talks Lucy
'There is no bullshit with Scarlett Johansson'

Video: Daniel Radcliffe Talks What If...
On Gordon Ramsay, swearing and date movies

The 24 Best Film-Related Ice Bucket Challenges
The viral craze that won’t quit takes in some of Hollywood’s finest

Who Shot First? The Complete List Of Star Wars Changes
An exhaustive chronology of George Lucas' post-release tinkering

Film Studies 101: A Film Buff's Guide To Movie Movements
Everything you need to know about cinema's key groups

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)