Fire Emblem Reviewathon: Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword (2003, GBA)

Fire Emblem Blazing Sword was the seventh entry in Nintendo’s turn based, strategy, rpg series. This was the first game in the series to be localized for an English audience. Most gamers in the west were introduced to Marth and Roy via Super Smash Bros Melee for the Nintendo Gamecube. Fire Emblem 7 was the second Fire Emblem game for the Game Boy Advance and the first of the two we would get in the west. Fire Emblem Binding Blade( FE6) was considered to be not worth localizing. As someone who is playing it right now in preparation for the new game releasing Friday, I can see why.

Fire Emblem Blazing Sword (FE7) is a prequel to FE6 and stars three lords who face off against the Black Fang on the continent of Elibe. Fire Emblem 7 is very balanced and features decent characters and a good challenge. FE7 also introduced a tutorial to make the introduction for new players easier. I will be critiquing this game on these criteria:

Gameplay: Obviously, all video games will always come down to the gameplay. However, the genre of the game is also super important and this will determine how much I will weigh each category. For instance, if the genre is well known for excellent story and characters, gameplay might not be as all important as normal. In fire emblem, I will be awarding this game out of 40 points. Sub categories include:

Controls: out of fifteen

Difficulty: out of ten

Mechanics: out of fifteen

Plot/ Story/ characters: Not all games require this to be good but a good rule of thumb is with RPGs this matters. I will be rewarding this out of 20 points.

Replay value: Out of ten

Music: This is self explanatory, the system also is kept in mind. This is out of 10.

Personal opinion: out of 10

Graphics/ Presentation: out of ten

Now for the actual review, ready your blades and together we ride!!!

Gameplay:

Fire Emblem Blazing sword is a tile based, turn based, strategy game. The player takes turns moving units and attacking opponents towards a goal. Fire Emblem also has classes and various characters that can be leveled up and even promoted. The characters are often a large part of the fun, Fire Emblem always chooses a smaller group of characters you get to know over the systems based in real time strategy games where you can use buildings to churn out copies of the different units. Fire Emblem also is well known for perma-death. This means that if a character dies on a map, they are dead for good and it will even change how the other characters react in the credits. Because of this, you must make every turn count and most Fire Emblem purists try to prevent any character from dying. For those of you Awakening players, these early games don’t have quite the ability to grind under leveled units as the 3DS titles but there are certain options for experienced players such as arenas where you can bet gold for experience in battle. Fire Emblem 7 also has three main characters (lords) who each have their own story path. Lyn’s path is the tutorial and is the easiest of the three lords. It is worth noting that if  you go from Lyn’s path to Eliwoods, the character levels will carry over. Eliwood’s path is the main quest line and includes both Lyn and the other main Lord, Hector. Hector’s path is the hardest and his version of hard mode is easily equivalent of the later Lunatic modes in later games.

Fire emblem games have a weapon triangle, similar to rock paper scissors. Swords will beat axes, axes will beat lances, and lances will beat swords. The magic triangle is similar, anima magic beats light magic, light magic beats dark magic, and dark magic beats anima magic. Flying units like wyverns and pegasi are weak to archers and certain weapons are super effective against certain other units. Keeping this is mind is very important and the game encourages you to pick your team and make sure they get the required experience to win. If you are not strong enough you may find yourself unable to continue and will have to restart. This might not happen to you but it can happen if you are not careful. Fire Emblem runs off a system of random number generation for both level ups and combat. Unlike FE6 which has awful RNG, FE7 is way better in this department. I have heard that FE6 and FE7 use the same system but I never had the trouble with FE7 I did with FE6.

I would overall say the gameplay in this game is top notch.

Controls: 9/10

Difficulty: 8/10 (extremely well balanced)

Mechanics: 8/10

25/30 for gameplay

to be continued

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