Fire Emblem Awakening is the 13th entry in the Fire Emblem series. Luckily for us, this game managed to get localized unlike the Fire Emblem released back in 2010. The game takes place a few thousand years after the events of Fire Emblem Akaneia. Chrom and his Shepherds seek to protect the Exaltdom of Ylisse from the threat of the Risen.
The gameplay is typical for a Fire Emblem. As with all Fire Emblem games, this game utilizes the RNG, or Random Number Generator. The probability of an attack landing, a critical hit, a skill activating, or what stats are boosted upon leveling is determined by this. Unfortunately, this system isn’t perfect, as many a gamer can attest when they miss a 98% hit and their opponent manages to land a 3% critical attack.
New to the series is the Pair-up mechanism, which allows you to pair units together and boost a unit’s stats. This is extremely helpful for training weaker units. Not only that, the other unit has a chance to attack the enemy unit or defend you from an attack from them. Defeating an enemy while paired up helps raise the support level for them, which in turn increases the chances of a Dual Strike or Defend.
The game also introduced Second Seals, which allow characters to be reclassed. This essentially lets characters level up infinitely unlike in previous Fire Emblem games. Personally, I like this feature because some characters of mine were always hitting the level cap in previous games. coughEWANcough.
Characters !Spoilers ahoy!
As with all the Fire Emblems this game features a huge cast of characters. The player also gets his or her own character as well, who plays a key role in the story. I really liked this feature as well because it gets people invested in the story.
This game also has the Support Conversations. And can I say that it really helps flesh out the characters? You learn so much about them through the conversations and it really helps add a whole new dimension to the game. There are tons of support conversations in this game, and the Avatar can support with ALL of the characters in the game.
However, as I began unlock more and more conversations, I started to notice a trend. And I realized something. It’s a little ridiculous how often pies come up in the conversations. Heck, if I decided to pair Chrom and Sumia up, I’d see him marrying her because she made such great pies for him. And that’s not the least I’ve seen of the pie phenomenon.
Also for the first time in FE history (that I’m aware of) there are child characters that you can unlock when certain females reach S-rank support with someone. Naturally, the Avatar can reach S-rank with any opposite gendered character.
The children characters are also very diverse as well, with unique personalities. Here’s a little tidbit from Lissa’s son, Owain.
“The gauntlet is thrown! Let our extremely protracted duel to the death begin! But let us not, in our haste for glory, forget to observe the one sacred rule of combat! …When I’m shouting a move name, you have to wait for me to finish. I shall extend the same courtesy to you, as a fellow brother of the Justice Cabal.”
All in all, the characters are really fleshed out and they all have very interesting personalities that make this game a pleasure to play.
The plot is fairly standard with a saving the world gig. The twist is that in one timeline, Chrom and the Shepherds were unable to save it, and the fell dragon Grima pretty much destroyed everything, save for the children of some of the Shepherds. In order to prevent this future from happening again, Naga sent the children back in time. Hence the whole “Anything can change!”
As the Avatar, there are several choices you could make in the story that seemingly has an effect on the plot. After agonizing for a little bit, when you make your choice, lo and behold! Nothing really changes. Only in the endgame does the Avatar have an effect on the story.
The graphics in this game are really beautiful. The maps are in a beautiful 3D and the character sprites look great. The battle animations are really nice as well, and there is an option to control the camera angles and speed of the animation. The only complaint here would be a style issue concerning a lack of feet with all the character models. But that is easily ignored in my opinion.
The animated cut-scenes in this game are gorgeous. Instead of going for 3D like its predecessor Radiant Dawn, Awakening preferred to use 2D animation with great effect. It ends up looking a lot like an anime, which fits this game’s art style.
The English voice-acting in this game is superb, with all the voices seeming to fit the characters perfectly. And for those who don’t agree, the game has dual audio, allowing someone to watch all the animated cut scenes in Japanese. The game isn’t fully voiced though, so it’s inevitable that the voices don’t always match the written dialogue which was a little jarring in some situations.
Something that I’ve always enjoyed in-game were the lines that a character would say before dealing a critical hit. The lines can vary from “Pick a god and pray.” to “Don’t mess with a bunny!”
The background music was unmemorable for me save for a few tracks.