“Fire Emblem: Fates – Birthright/Conquest” came out almost two weeks ago, and I’ve been heavily enjoying my copy of Birthright, the easier, more “FE: Awakening” game of the two. This isn’t going to be a formal review, however, as I’m…only halfway through the game. Don’t take that the wrong way – I’ve been playing nearly every day for at least a couple hours. So why am I only at the halfway point? Well, there is both a real life reason and in-game reason for that.
Firstly, though, for those who haven’t seen previous blogs of mine or aren’t familiar with Fire Emblem in general, the series is a set of action-strategy games set in fantastical lands where, pretty often, wars break out among different groups within the country. You play out battles, moving your team of characters (or units) around a grid to attack or defend against enemies. Up until recently, the older games were renown for being perma-death, where if you lost a character in battle, they STAYED dead. No revives, no continues, nothing. The newer games, “Awakening” and “Birthright/Conquest” are a bit more beginner-friendly in that regard, as both added modes where units are revived after a battle ends. Many of these games also have a detailed support system between characters in your team, and you can even get married (and spmetimes produce children to use as additional units) if your rank with someone is high enough. It’s all really addicting gameplay and the series has eased me into the genre because of it.
But let’s get back to “FE: Fates – Birthright” and why, despite this addiction, I haven’t made much progress. The real life reason is that I’ll be driving my mom to physio soon enough so she can get more strength back in her recently patched up shoulder/arm. Unless I decide to go off into town and do other things, I’ll be stuck in a waiting room for over an hour. I figure stretching out my time with this game for that purpose (since I only have one other “new” game left to play on my 3DS) would make for a great time waster. As for the in-game reason, I’ve become addicted to the online system (aka My Castle). Being able to visit other people, collect supplies for weapons and items, recruit other players after battles and create/upgrade my own castle has taken up a ton of my time. Not that that’s a bad thing, because I’ve also been generally taking my time with this game as opposed to plowing through like I did with “Awakening.” I’ve been grinding up some, actually bothering with the support system than just hooking everyone up and calling it a day, and making sure I get a ton of money to buy better stuff. All in all, “Birthright” has been a lot of fun to delve into so far.
I’m still looking into more games in the action-strategy genre, but the Fire Emblem series has still been a great jumping on point for me. I would definitely encourage others looking to try out action-strategy games to give the series a shot. While I don’t know if I’m brave enough to tackle one of the older, perma-death games, I’m definitely going to keep up with the series as long as it keeps coming out.