Fire Emblem review
One of Gameboy Advance's greatest games

The good:

Great sprites
Story is pretty good
Battle system is fairly simple
Control an army
Long length

The bad:

Nothing new or interesting
Gets a bit boring after a while
If you lose a unit in 1 battle, he/she is gone forever


Fire Emblem, for those who are new to the series, may find this to be a fair bit like Heroes of Might and Magic. Well, yes...it is a lot like that.

You are playing on a square-like grid, with many units ready to kill some enemies. You start with 1 unit, and as you progress, you gain more units. Soon, you get a big army. There are 3 good guys who lead their own platoons of medievil soldiers, and they end up joining forces in order to kill the evil emporer (not spoiling...I also forgot his name).

The game starts off with Lyn having to save her grandfather from death against his rival. However, Lyn runs into a lot of Bandits. With you as her leader, Lyn has to kill the Bandits. Later on the track, she meets two horsemen. They all help her kill bandits. Then she meets more people and kill the bandits with them. When they reach the castle, Lyn and forces have to go through the squad of evil soldiers to reach Lyn's Grandfather's rival (I swear they made his name way too hard to spell =/). After his death, Lyn manages to save her grandfather. A year passes and Eliwood learns of some evil. He and his army join up with Hector and his army. Later along the track after many enemies die, Hector and Eliwood meet up with Lyn. Together, the three and their armies kill all of the upcoming enemies.

All I did there was sum up the story. Trust me, it's way more interesting than that, but is that all? There's many backstories I can't quite remember, but all I remember is that they're very interesting.

Don't forget those sprites. Intellengent must've spent a lot of time decorating the sprites to look good. And they do look very good. Check out Lyn. No boobs, but quite good pixels and such. Also, the backgrounds look like they took hours to construct. I love the appearance of the game. The flashy actions even look great.

However, they're just flashy. I don't see any blood coming out of these trolls when Lyn cuts them into a million pieces, or when a swordsman is carving Guy into food I eat all the time. No, instead, they flash and lose HP. Pretty unrealistic, but you may need to remember that this is a game for the Gameboy Advance, and it's all pixels, so blood wouldn't look too well; in fact, it'll ruin the overall appearance unless it is done well. As well as the backgrounds and characters are done, blood probably wouldn't be Intellegent's strongest point (hey, look at Paper Mario, there's no blood because they know they'll do badly).

Unless you have not played a Fire Emblem or a Heroes of Might and Magic game, this game doesn't show anything new. It sticks to their style. While they do it in a good way, it's also nice to try something different. Also, it's not protrayed in an interesting way. I found myself playing this for about an hour a day and then putting it down due to the fact that I'm not patient and this gets boring rather quickly. Why? Other than the movements and commands, you're not really doing much. The attacks are done for you, so there's no need for you to press buttons like in Kingdom Hearts or select a command like in Final Fantasy. No, the dudes just carve them up with the weapon you choose, or healing themselves with the healing item you choose for them to use, or standing in the area you picked for them to stay at.

One thing to remember is you must choose where your characters are staying on that turn carefully; putting a low defense character like Florina near a squad of archers is not a smart idea, and will result in her death. Maybe not death, but she won't be coming back for the rest of the game. You can't afford to make too many mistakes, otherwise, you won't have an army. Don't worry, though. You can either make Lyn, Eliwood and Hector die, or just quit. By making those three die, I mean get themselves smashed in battle. If those three die, game over. If you really want to win, choose where your units are going to stay during that turn carefully.

If you are not bored as easily as I am, you will be able to spend quite some time on that game, because it lasts for around about 40 hours. Quite a while. There are 21 chapters, and while they don't take too much time each, playing them on different difficulties will equal a long amount of time.

I think that it's the time to summarize this review now.


Gameplay: 4
The gameplay is just select a unit, move him/her somewhere on the field and, if you can, attack the opposing unit. I think that the only fault here, is the fact that doing this for 40 or so hours will get very boring. While it does get challenging having to think about what unit will do what, it also gets a bit boring. The gameplay sometimes hurts my brain, but at least I'm doing something. It's actually pretty good, but maybe a bit boring. I would've liked it more if you did more than just sit there, watching your unit slash the enemy.

Controls: 5
Since the Gameboy Advance doesn't have too many buttons, this has the perfect control scheme. You have a select button, cancel button, d-pad for moving and a pause button. There isn't much else. It's quite easy to master too. Not too anal either.

Story: 4
A good story. I think it's quite a good story and not much can be done to it that won't make it be a bad experience. The events that happen in the first 10 chapters gets covered after the 11th chapter.

Sound: 2
I hate pixelly sound. It never sounds good. I don't care how much effort got put into this section, I don't like it much. Since the Gameboy was never good at producing good quality sound, it was not really praised much. This is a handheld, why does it need to be distorted so badly? I don't like it, end of story.

Lifespan: 4
As said, it lasts quite a while. Then again, unless you're a die-hard for these sorts of games, you'll probably get bored of this for a while, then come back in a couple of hours.

Funfactor: 4
Gets boring, but if you're into this sort, you will get into this game a lot. The multiplayer option, however, sucks. A field would've been nice. 1-on-1 spars are naughty. They should die and bring in a field for us to travel and kill each other on.

Bottom line:

If you're into this sort of game and want to carry it around everywhere, get this game. However, if you want multiplayer action, go for Heroes of Might and Magic.

Fire Emblem gains 4.3/5.0

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