Path of Radiance brought the franchise to the next gen: just about everything you want in an RPG is here.

User Rating: 10 | Fire Emblem: Souen no Kiseki GC
The Fire Emblem series has been around here for quite a while, but Path of Radiance is the first console game in the series to be released outside of Japan. Contrasting with their portable counterparts, the game works incredibly well on a home console, and is one incredible journey.

GRAPHICS:
The graphics on the game are fair; the animations for the battles look nice, and the overworld is not very detailed but not horrible either. The big thing here are the CGI cutscene, which look amazing, but are very few in the game. The art on the characters is also very good, with the looks on characters faces being beutifuly designed. 3.5/5

SOUND:
The music of the series has always been good, and Path of Radiance is no exception. The music in the game is very high quality, with some tunes really sticking to your head, though the battle songs can get repetitive, since the variation is mostly in the cutscenes. Voice acting in the CGI cutscenes is pretty solid too. 5/5

STORY:
Path of Radiance tells the story of the mercenary Ike. He is a member of Greil's Mercenaries, a company comanded by his father. Thoughout their works, they encounter themselves with the princess of their kingdom, Elincia, and help her on the way to get back her throne, since here country was dominated by another, leadead by the Mad King Ashanard.

I'm purpousley doing a simple job on explaining the story, since it is a great tale. The charactets have a lot of personality, making you really care about what is going on. Besides that, the story ends up in a typical war storyline, but are the side stories and things that are going in between the main plot that makes this game. There is a lot going on, so you will have to pay attention, and it is worth, since the multiple things that are going on have a satisfying conclusion.
5/5

GAMEPLAY:
The game is a strategy RPG. In it, you have to move your characters though the battlefield, killing other characters until you fulfil your objective, which can be seizing a castle, killing a specific enemy, etc.

This game play safe with the Fire Emblem formula. What I mean by that is that in terms of the battles themselves it is pretty much the same, with the classes being similar, but it does try to mix things up, and with great results. First of all, the different types of magic, like wind and fire, are now separete types, not just one like in the previous games. Now, they too have their own triangle of effectiveness (one is super effective on the other). It adds more strategy in the game, since you have to balance up your team a bit more now.

Besides the mages, there are now beast creatures as well. There are cats, tigers and some other animal/humans that can help you. Again, this is a great addition, since they add more to your team, and help balancing on the battles. On the battles, you have to move your character up to an enemy and attack it; if you attack more than its hit points, he goes down; if not, he just stays damaged. The same aplies to you, and if one of your characters die, they stay dead thoughout the whole game, so you better be carefull.

Outside of the battles, we have quite a bit that was added. Before going into battles, we have more options on base. We can now do support conversations there, look up on some info, and buy weapons there. One of the best features of the game however is that you get experince from battles, which gets reserved so you can use on a character on the base and level him up there. It makes training some characters much more manageable, and is a welcomed feature. The other big thing of the game are skill. Now, they were present in other games, like Assassins being able to do one-hit kills, but now you can assign them idividualy do a character, which adds to the strategy to the game.

If I were to say something negative about the gameplay, is that its dificulty is erratic: some stages are very easy, but the next one is near impossible. But it ultimately comes down to a big game of chess: you really have to pay attention to everything.

The game can take up to 30 hours to beat, depending on how much you pay attention to the story and do other stuff, and since the gameplay is really fun and simple, the replay value is high.

So, all in all, the gameplay additions of Path of Radiance are welcomed, and make a fun series even more exciting.

5/5

OVERALL:
Path of Radiance is one of the best games in the series, since it has a great storyline balanced with great gameplay. It is one game everyone should experience.

The good:
-Deep, involving storyline
-Beautiful cutscene
-Great soundtrack
-Gameplay is as strong as ever
-Additions to it make it a bit more manegeable, and ultimately more fun

The bad:
-Cutscenes are too few in between