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"Fire Emblem: Fates" Review

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J.–Since the release of “Fire Emblem Awakening” in 2013 and the long-running tradition of having its characters appear in the popular “Super Smash Brothers” series, the strategy RPG franchise has finally gained a large amount of traction in America.  Now, albeit a bit late, here is our review of the latest entry in the series, “Fire Emblem: Fates.”
The series is a long running one, originating on the Nintendo Famicom in Japan (the Japanese equivalent of the NES) back in 1990. Today, over 25 years after the series’ inception, “Fates” comes to American shores on the Nintendo 3DS. This entry was incredibly well-received, selling out within a week and becoming an instant hit.
The main draw of “Fire Emblem: Fates” is that it has two versions not unlike the Pokemon games: “Birthright” and “Conquest.”  You will have to decide with which warring army your loyalty lies–either the conquering, medieval Nohr Kingdom, or the peaceful Japanese-themed Kingdom of Hoshido. Choosing one or the other gives you different party members, gameplay styles, and outcomes to the plot.

Photo Courtesy of Gamespresso

However, once you’ve chosen one of the two sides, the other will regard you as a traitor and an enemy, with familiar faces serving as your enemies. This is an incredibly unique decision, which pits you against people you’ve already met in the game, rather than the faceless “bad guys” we’re so accustomed to in games–and it makes “Fates” all the more enjoyable because of it.
Once you’ve played one or both paths, “Revelation” is a mysterious third path available for download. It’s believed to be the true ending to the story. These multiple routes offer massive replayability to “Fates” and allows you to experience the game in three completely different ways. Which path will you choose?
Photo Courtesy of Gamespot

As far as functionality goes, the game is flawless. Building on the gameplay style of “Awakening,” it plays the best of any entry in the series. The strategy aspect has been innovated with the loss of weapon durability and inclusion of new weapons, creating a new dimension of strategy to the game. Now, instead of managing how many hits left your sword can give before breaking, you’re wondering if one unit’s ranged knives can stand up to the powerful enemy ax-wielder. It’s a both an exciting new aspect to the game and a refresh of the longstanding style that the game has had for decades.
The class system has been expanded as well. In order to suit the new army of Hoshido, familiar classes like mercenaries and mages have been restyled as Samurai and Diviner’s for the Japanese-styled “Birthright” version of the game. In addition to this, there are tons of new classes as well. This adds not only more to manage in the game, but even more replayability in the vein of focusing on changing units or on classes you didn’t use the first time around.
Photo Courtesy of Moviepilot

Overall, “Fire Emblem: Fates” brings a lot to the table. It serves to both innovate and improve upon the tried-and-true model the series is known for. It’s a guaranteed hit for both longtime fans of the franchise like myself, and it’ll be a great opener for newcomers. It’s sure to capture their interests and bring them into the rich history of the “Fire Emblem” series.
Overall, both versions of “Fire Emblem: Fates” are fantastic games that I cannot recommend any higher to fans of RPGs or strategy games in general.
So, pick a side, choose your path, and see what Fates has in store for you!