The Fire Emblem series while not making its way to the United States until 2003 on the Game Boy Advance has been a popular Nintendo franchise in Japan since 1990. There was a great deal of hype and anticipation around Fire Emblem Awakening before it was released.
Fire Emblem is a strategy role-playing game, and as such is very story-heavy. The story of Fire Emblem is quite a difficult one to describe as there really is not a great deal to it, but at the same time it actually did keep my attention. The basic premise is that a ruler of a neighboring city is acting weirdly suspicious and you have been sent to investigate if there is a potential threat. During your investigation, all hell breaks loose and you find yourself fighting off what appear to be zombies all the while trying to save the world. The story is not perfect, but it does make you want to find out what happens next.
The graphics in Fire Emblem Awakening are just jaw dropping, pushing the technical limits of the 3DS hardware. The great graphics and the character design is very impressive, and makes the story more interesting and engaging.
Fire Emblem Awakening can be enjoyed with the 3D turned off, but this is a game that has clearly been designed to be played with it enabled. The 3D effects here are amazing and some of the best that the Nintendo 3DS has to offer.
The game play of the Fire Emblem series is that of your typical strategy role-playing game. Fire Emblem Awakening does not really stray away from the formula that fans of the series have come to expect and love. The game sees you taking your unit of warriors and moving them across a series of tiles encountering an enemy and engaging in Pokemon-like battles. The fight sequences are pretty epic and while there is a great deal to understand, it does explain its game play mechanics very well.
As well as fighting various enemies sometimes you will be required to capture an item. The game may not sound all that exciting, but it is one of those games where you tell yourself you will have just one more go and still be playing an hour later.
Now you can progress through the game only doing things that relate to the main story. But there are a ton of side quests that you can take on. These are great for obtaining new items and leveling up your characters, but I found them to distract from the main story.
Despite me having a great time with the game, Fire Emblem Awakening is a really tough game to recommend. If you are a fan of the series and own a Nintendo 3DS, then without a doubt this game will be a must buy. But if you are not too keen on strategy role playing games, or have never played a game in the Fire Emblem series before then this is a game that you will want to try before you buy.
If the game does not grab you in its first hour then chances are this is not a game for you. But if it does hook you then this is a game that has over 50 hours of game play to keep you busy with.