Excited For: FIRE EMBLEM: AWAKENING

It was only recently that I became aware they were making a new Fire Emblem game – it’s definitely been a while! And I’m amazed so far. It’s coming out February 4, 2013 (SOON!!!) and I’m really excited. I’ve never-ever bought a handheld game since GameBoy Advance was the latest system. Nothing like my favorite Tactical game to take my money! Since they made me go home today for being sick, I woke from my much needed nap and downloaded the demo for AWAKENING. They only let you play the prologue and Chapter One (or some of Chapter One?), meaning just about ah….I think it was 2 or 3 battles total. Probably 2.  Sorry, my brain is fuzzy with the flu.  But it was enough time to introduce what I’m guessing are their core characters. I won’t rehash it all here since you could easily see all that in the trailer and the numerous youtube videos about it.

But I DO want to GUSH about how amazing the cel shaded 3d characters look!!!! They have finally perfected it, they look flawless! The last time I played Fire Emblem was with their first Fire Emblem on GameCube, with Ike as the main guy….titled PATH OF RADIANCE.  It was good and I definitely put in dozens of hours in to that game. But it was also their first foray in to 3D, and one could definitely feel that many areas were lacking. The models were looking better than I expected – I think Japanese companies excel at creating 3D characters that look like 2D/anime-style…..but it was only nice when they were still. The animation was absolutely awful….it was slow, clunky, unnatural. You even had to wait like 2 or 3 seconds of watching the characters just stand there during battle, after you had issued the orders to attack, because it was….loading! They seem to have known about this issue so the game devs included the option to switch of Battle Animations, which I of course did. Each battle would take me 40-60minutes to complete, especially since I kept restarting whenever someone died. So those couple of seconds, which sound like a short amount of time in words, can actually add up a lot. It feels like eternity when you’re playing. Another thing that sucked about the older game – no controller reset button so you have to walk to the TV to restart.

But yeah, AWAKENING appears to have everything fixed. The American voice acting is decent, nothing to complain about so far but nothing incredibly stand-out either. No load times in the battle animations…you can even fast forward through them if you hold the “A” button, or you can hit START to skip it completely and go to the experience screen! You can easily skip all of the dialogue and such if you had restarted, which is extremely convenient. I made use of it when I died during the demo after a careless mistake. You can’t save so I had to do everything all over again, and it was a very painless experience.  With the stereoscopic-3D turned up on the 3DS, the movie sequences look great as well.  It’s a nice subtle touch to have the character dialogue windows popping out over the rest of the screen.

MORE CHANGES:

  • Two gameplay modes now. Fire Emblem is a series I respected a lot because it was pretty hardcore – death was permanent, and losing certain characters closes off other potential allies in the field and dialogue. So I always had to restart from a save because I never wanted to “miss out”. This made every decision I made during battle even more important….virtual lives were at stake! With AWAKENING, there’s a “Casual Mode” now. It lets you save “anywhere”, which I assume means you can even save during battle. It also makes death non-permanent. Not sure how that works, I haven’t let anyone die yet except my main character…which triggers a GAME OVER, hahaha.  I won’t be using Casual Mode because permanent death is one of the things I admire Fire Emblem for.  But it’s cool they added that for the lazy peoples.  I guess.
  • Adjacent characters add bonuses. If this was something that RADIENT DAWN had, then my apologies…but I haven’t played that one. It’s pretty neat. If you position your characters in adjacent tiles on the battle grid, they will give each other stat bonuses or even attack together for a double hit :D You can also specifically team up two characters together, and they will 100% move and attack together. It looks to be a pretty powerful way to play, though it does limit your movement and quantity of characters.

Another thing I was excited to see in the demo …. the appearance of a character named MARTH!!!!

Left: Chrom; Right: Marth!  Both wielding their Falchions.

Left: Chrom; Right: Marth! Both wielding their Falchions.

I think most Nintendo fans will know his name from the SMASH BROTHERS franchise, but Marth was the main character of the very first Fire Emblem on the NES. So he gets a special place in my heart, and probably in any F.E. fan’s heart. You can see him in the official trailer linked above, at the 1:21 mark. The character in AWAKENING certainly has a similar build and hair as the original Marth, as much as a 3D character can look like a pixel mosaic sprite of ye olden times, but the voice actor they have for “him” sounds like a female to me. Maybe this is because they loved her acting ability and just had to hire her for Marth. Or maybe it means this Marth is not really a guy, like everyone in the game was assuming? Sadly, the demo ended after “his” introduction. Smart on their part, I was left severely wanting more.  I think AWAKENING occurs like hundreds of years after Marth’s story, so I’m really excited to see how this all fits together….by all accounts, despite what I said about his voice, that guy REALLY looks like the real Prince Marth.

Another sketch of Marth floating around the internet from AWAKENING:

Marth, AWAKENING.

Marth, AWAKENING. Looking Princely!

What Marth used to look like:

From spritedatabase.net ... Marth from his NES days.

From spritedatabase.net … Marth from his NES days.

Because why not, here’s also Marth from Smash Brothers:

Super Smash Bros. Brawl version of Marth.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl version of Marth.

Hope I don’t seem too fangirlish.

Marth rules.  (^_^)v

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9 thoughts on “Excited For: FIRE EMBLEM: AWAKENING

  1. I have a PSP :( no N3DS. Gotta say that path of radiance was amazing! Favorite character in the game was the outgoing and cheeky swords girl Mia. I even managed to knock a critical hit with her on the Crow king and “Killing” him in one blow (since he cant be killed due to story plot) and also killed the final boss with her. Really felt bad for Jill though (the Wyvern rider) who also had a soft spot in my heart. Wont spoil the BG story too much, but shes a pretty tragic character.

    So yeah! I’m Jelly that you have the system to play the upcoming new one :P

    • I forgot about Mia, she was my favorite too!!! Made me want to name everything after her XD She’s swift and SO LUCKY, so even with her paltry HP she was great in battle! I thought Jill was in the older games as well but can’t really remember much about the stories anymore…did you play Radiant Dawn too?

      Full disclosure, I don’t own a 3DS ^^; But my boyfriend’s been willing to lend his to me!

  2. I only have DS and PSP. I’m thinking of upgrading my dying DS to 3DS just not sure about that. This game does look pretty awesome though! Although I’ll probably upgrade mine when the new Ace Attorney and Professor Layton games come out :)

    • Oooh, if you do upgrade, the 3DS XL is 100x more worth it than the regular 3ds!!! That’s actually what I been playing on, the XL screen is amazing. Didn’t realize till I got my hands on it that the DS’ screen size was so tiny before! No more squinting to read stuff, haha. There’s a Professor Layton Miracle Mask game that I’ve tried for a few minutes on it, it’s BEAUTIFUL……the stereoscopic 3D really shines there, and they do such a great job with the graphics. It’s so cool how the parallax shows up in that game too, definitely one of the “worth it” ones for 3D!

      • Yeah..I have no choice to eventually upgrade. What I heard is that the regular 3DS doesn’t load the original DS games as well..thats why I’ve been hesitating and hoping that they’d come out with a better version…
        I haven’t really checked for 3DS XL if that problem is a bit better…I own a lot of DS games..so it’d be a waste to have to trash them.. DS had some pretty epic games…
        Professor Layton is kick ass..I’ve played all the games..playing the last one actually right now…Last specter. Can’t wait to try the newer ones..its also fun..Even on DS the cut scenes are super good…

  3. Yeah the 3DS is getting many great RPG titles that people loved from back in the day, I still love my DS Lite and R4 cartridge… playing pokemon and such. But I know the guy I argue everyday with said that its kinda reviving the DS since it had a dude amount of games before, and also the new love for big screens suddenly lol. Marth is AWESOME!!!

    • It almost seems like Nintendo is heavily focusing on their handheld systems now, even over their regular console!! The Wii U launch was TERRIBLE…..when the original Wii was gonna be released, Nintendo World had several systems of it out on the floor for people to play with several weeks before launch. With the 3DS (not the XL), they had such a huuuuge marketing campaign…. Remember in Union Square, they had 3DS’ chained to people so you could try it out? XD That was so cool!! And then with the Wii U, there was like no good games to launch it with AND nearly everything for the Wii U at Nintendo World pre-launch was just crappy, crappy slideshows. Maybe 2-3 demos with timers on them…and craaaappy slideshows. A lot of them weren’t even trailers or movies for the games. Wth!

      I’m guessing it could be since in Japan, handheld is their biggest market…maybe they want that to spread here desperately.

      At least with the talk of the Zelda: Windwaker remake and other titles for the Wii U in the Fall, things may improve for their traditional console. But ya, seems like handheld/3ds is where it’s at right now.

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