Retro Review #1- Fire Emblem (GBA)
Hey, thanks for dropping by! This is Luigi12901, with the first edition of Retro Review. This time, I'll be reviewing Fire Emblem, a strategy RPG for the Game Boy Advance. Released in Japan on April 25th, 2003 and November 3rd in North America, this was the 7th installment in the series and the first to be released outside Japan. It was developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo. It garnered an 88.3 rating on Game Rankings, making it the highest-scoring Fire Emblem game in the series overall.
(Fun Fact- Fire Emblem is actually mentioned briefly in Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door for the GameCube. Talk to the little boy in 'Petalburg' during the first chapter, and he'll mention that he's been playing a lot of GBA games lately, but one of his favorites is Fire Emblem. He later mentions the original Paper Mario on the N64)
In the game, you control Lyn, Eliwood, Hector, and their comrades in their quests to prevent the continent of Elibe from breaking out into another war. There has been peace in the land for nearly a thousand years, but signs of conflict are beginning to show and the peace is starting to unsettle. Your army will be put through thirty-plus chapters and intense turn-based fighting. Often your party will be outnumbered three to one, so good strategy is the key to victory. You must take advantage of every trick you're given in order to succeed. The weapons triangle (swords best axes, axes best spears, and spears best swords) is one such trick. (There is a similar triangle with magic spells) But what really separates Fire Emblem from the rest of the pack is the fact that if you lose a character in battle, they're gone forever, and will not come back. There are plenty of characters to recruit along the way, and you'll definitely become attached to them as they grow stronger and more powerful.
The game has a fairly high difficulty (especially compared to Shadow Dragon from the DS). The first ten levels are mainly tutorial in nature, and help you get used to the finer points of gameplay. Over the next twenty levels (plus a handful of optional side quests), the difficulty increases until the endgame, which is very challenging, even if your party is high-level. Keeping all your characters alive through the end is extremely rewarding, and provides an excellent challenge. Upon defeating the game in normal mode, you can unlock a harder mode of the game, which makes you take less characters into each battle, gives you less gold to buy weapons, and throws 'fog of war' at you, which diminishes how much of the battle field you can see at once. The visuals in the game are very crisp and clean, and they still look great today. The music and sounds of the game, while nothing extraordinary, are appropriate throughout and never get annoying.
· Gameplay- 10/10
· Replayability- 9/10
· Graphics/Audio- 9/10
· Overall- 9.5/10 (Incredible)
(Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think, and if you have any suggestions for future editions, let me know!)