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Fire Emblem: Awakening Review

Fire Emblem: Awakening Review

Fire Emblem: Awakening is the latest installment in the famed tactical RPG series. It follows Chrom, a prince of the kingdom of Ylisse, as he leads his army of soldiers against mysterious undead creatures and rebelling armies. You however, play as the amnesic main character with an unknown past. Customizing your character truly makes the experience so much more special and being a tactician plays perfectly into the notion that it is your job to lead your army’s every movement.

As a turn-based strategy game much of the gameplay takes place on a battlefield grid. The game will make you care about each move you make down to the last detail, as mistakes can be very costly. Your team and the enemies each get one move per character in which they can attack, heal or use items, or pair up.

Teamwork is key in Fire Emblem: Awakening as relationships play a big role in strengthening your battle tactics. Pair Up allows two characters to fight along side one another in the same space, acting as one unit by giving bonuses in stats such as hit and chance of landing a critical move. One character attacks as the other provides support and occasionally attacks as well. It is a nice feature for slower characters as, for example, they can be paired up with a flying unit for more mobility. After finishing a face off with an enemy, both characters will also gain relationship points.

The Fire Emblem series has been using the relationship mechanic for a while now, but Awakening takes it further by allowing you to marry two characters or further strengthen their bond of friendship. After a battle, if you have used a pair of two characters enough, they will be able to have a support conversation that boosts their relationship level. This is huge improvement over the past Fire Emblem games where you would need to have two characters next to each other for them to gain any relationship points and support conversations could only be triggered on the field. Pair Up fixes this and makes relationship building easier.

Support conversations provide a nice break from battles as each set of dialog is nicely written and is one of the most entertaining parts of the game. The couple or friends start at level C and when a couple reaches level S they will be married. Married couples are almost unstoppable on the battlefield blocking, dodging, and attacking with critical strikes more often then characters can do on their own.

New to the Fire Emblem games is the addition of the barracks feature. When it is lit up after a battle you can check on certain units. They will gain relationship points, EXP, or find a useful weapon. The game also recognizes when a character has a birthday and they will get bonuses added to their key stats.

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