It said it took me 42 hours to finish Fire Emblem: Awakening but with all the quitting and reloading of saves, I think the actual tally is somewhere in the 60 hour region.
I tackled Fire Emblem: Awakening on hard difficulty. It was a mistake I would later regret. I made my way through a couple of chapters without much resistance but then I slammed right into a wall of instant deaths. I would have to grind some levels before I could march forward.
Many of the battles were through trial and error. I could have won many chapters with losses but I couldn’t stomach the casualties. I maintained that perfect streak until the final chapter. By then I just wanted to cross the finish line so I sacrificed a couple of non-essential characters.
There were a handful of main characters that contributed to the narrative; their deaths didn’t result in a game over screen but I treated their deaths as such. I wish I realized there were different tiered characters earlier though. I would have kept a nucleus of characters safe and let the secondary and tertiary chaff fall by the way side.
I wish Fire Emblem: Awakening had an “Iron Man” mode – a mode where I could not cheese my way into preserving every character. I lacked the will power to not exploit the old quit and reload. It was just too easy on Nintendo 3DS.
The relationship building, class evolutions and the benefits of terrain and position management were engrossing mechanics. I enjoyed the strategy of Fire Emblem: Awakening but I felt all the filler in-between each battle was just that: filler. The banter, equipment management and navigation across the world felt basic.
The writing was fine but I didn’t enjoy how the tiny blurbs of voice acting prefaced some of the text. It was jarring and I’m just not a big fan of this method of including voice.
Despite my issues with how they handled the voice work, the animated cutscenes and beautiful soundtrack made up for that minor foible. It’s a Nintendo game, high production values are a given but sometimes I forget the attention to detail they include in their core centric franchises. I didn’t think they would animate the sprites on the map with such detail. Especially when they poured in so much effort into the 3D models.
There were a number of things that I expected from my first Fire Emblem game. I expected a smooth polished experience and I got that. I also expected an enjoyable strategy game where every action had meaning. I would have gotten that if I didn’t succumb to temptation. There were details that I didn’t agree with but they were minor. I enjoyed my first Fire Emblem game and I would not hesitate to pick up another one for the Nintendo 3DS. Next time, I’ll be sure to not start on the highest difficulty available.
For more information on FIre Emblem: Awakening, visit the official website.