Fire Emblem review
A Legend in the Gaming Industry

The good:

-masterfully developed characters and storyline
-interesting lore
-addicting and dynamic gameplay
-fresh take on combat
-immeasurable replayability
-stellar soundtrack

The bad:

-terrible multiplayer.


Fire Emblem 7: Rekka no Ken (or just Fire emblem here in the States) is the first Fire Emblem game released in North America; Nintendo decided to release this game to us after Roy and Marth's popularity in the hit game Super Smash Brothers: Melee. It follows the stories of three lords: Hector, Eliwood, and Lyn, and is a prequel to Fire Emblem 6: Fuuin No Tsurugi (the one with Roy). It is part of the popular Fire Emblem franchise, a tactical strategy RPG series that is renowned for its well-developed plotlines and characters as well as the prominent feature of permanent character death.

In this review, I will be basing the score on a few categories. They are:

Without any further ado, let’s get to it.

Gameplay 9.5 out of 10
The gameplay of Fire Emblem is often compared to chess, however it is far more complicated than that. Each unit is unique; having their own stats, personality, and appearance. When one dies, they're gone forever. You can't spawn another one at a base somewhere. This means you have to be extra cautious with your moves. Each unit is a member of a certain class (e.g. mage, pirate, mercenary, shaman, thief, etc.) which can only use certain weapons. For example, a cavalier can only use swords and lances. When he upgrades to a paladin, however, he can use axes too. The weapons in fire emblem are part of a "weapon triangle," where, like in Pokémon, one type has an advantage over the other. With weapons, axes beat lances, lances beat swords, and swords beat axes. Bows get left out. Magic is the same way: Dark beats Anima/nature, Anima/nature beats Light, and Light beats Dark, with staves left out. This, with the addition of terrain (which can add evasion or defense to your character), makes for very strategic gameplay, especially when no two chapters are similar.

One other key aspect of Fire Emblem is Character Promotion and leveling. This is what makes Fire Emblem a strategy RPG rather than just a Strategy game. Each unit is, as previously mentioned, unique, both in stats and personality. Each unit can be leveled up to a maximum of 20, and basic classes can be promoted after that to a more advanced class (e.g. cavalier to paladin) which has better stats, abilities, and usually more weapon choices. This aspect of training each unit to be more effective, rather than being stuck with a character who doesn’t change at all through the game, keeps everything fresh and new as you manage your small army. The game is constantly changing and keeping you on your toes.
This game also has a simple, yet effective, Rock-Paper-Scissors type combat system. Like in Pokémon, there are multiple weapon types that have advantages over each other. Physical weapons (Swords, Lances, Axes, Bows) work in a “Weapon Triangle” where axes beat lances, lances beat swords, and swords beat axes. Bows are left out and are neutral to all. Magic (Anima/Nature, Dark, Light, Staves) also has a weapon triangle; Anima beats Light, Light beats Dark, and Dark beats Anima. Staves are left out as they do not do damage, they are mostly for healing. This triangle, however, doesn’t seem as influential to damage and combat as the physical weapon triangle does, as it is usually more effective to simply attack mages with a physical attacker.
The weapons in this game are very diverse. You would think there would simply be good weapons and bad weapons, but in actuality, every weapon is pretty balanced. For example, The simple Iron sword does not do much damage, but is lighter, more accurate, and easier to use than the powerful Silver Sword. While the silver sword is definitely better, it is perfectly reasonable to use only iron weapons throughout the whole game. However, the weapons are far more complex than this. There are tons of specialty weapons, such as the Heavy Lance or Armorslayer, which do extra damage to heavily armored opponents (knights, generals, cavaliers, etc.); In addition to these there are weapons that defy the weapon triangle. For example, the Lancereaver is a sword that is effective against lances and weak to axes, instead of the other way around. Long-range magic also exists, which has a range 5 times longer than normal magic. These tomes only have 5 uses, however, before they break.
The gameplay of this game is fantastic, and has truly gone above and beyond others in the genre. With its addicting and dynamic nature, you’re sure to be hooked playing through the chapters over and over again. The only real problems are the seemingly unimportant Magic Triangle, which isn’t really a problem at all. I give Gameplay a 9.5 out of 10.
Story/Characters/Lore 10 out of 10
This is where Fire Emblem really shines. Fire Emblem 7 has such a well-written and developed story, I’ve grown more attached to these characters than many in long fantasy novels. Each character is so well developed in the small time they talk, it’s incredible. Every single character has support conversations with others. These are small bits of dialogue that you can unlock between two characters after they fight together in battle for a period of time. These aren’t just additions to the story, they affect combat as well; when two characters have support together, they will gain stat bonuses if they are close to each other in battle. Support conversations get progressively stronger as you unlock more of them. Each character is allowed 5 supports with other characters total. A single support takes three conversations to maximize effectiveness, thereby allowing only one person with which a character can have perfect support. When you do get a perfect (or “Rank A”) support, many of these pairings will get special endings together. For example (spoilers spoilers spoilers), Jaffar and Nino, when they get an A support, will get married after the final battle with the Dragon. They have children and live a happy life. Bounty hunters, however, will chase down Jaffar, and he leaves so as to not endanger his family. Nino leaves in search of Him. (end spoiler) These supports do not always end in marriage, but they often do.
The character development is what’s really special, but the Story itself is fantastic as well, with the addition of these characters. I don’t want to go into much, but Eliwood’s father, Elbert, is captured, and Eliwood leaves in search of him. Along the way, they discover a much greater plot to bring destruction across the land as a man named Nergal attempts to control powers that are beyond him. Introducing plenty of interesting enemy characters as well as having 30+ chapters (35 or more if you count Gaiden Chapters) to play through, the story of Fire Emblem 7: Rekka no Ken will definitely leave an imprint on your view of video games, questioning how it is possible that people claim games are not art when this masterpiece exists. It rivals, if not exceeds, the storytelling capabilities of many famous pieces of literature. This game easily receives a 10 out of 10 here.
Replayability 9.5 out of 10
This game is so replayable, it’s not even funny. I’ve played through this game at least ten times, and you don’t even want to know how much I’ve played the other games in the series. This game offers hard modes of all three stories, making you want to play each one at least twice. When you beat Eliwood’s story, you Unlock Hector’s story, which includes about 3 or 4 more chapters, new characters to use, higher difficulty, and, of course, a view of Eliwood’s story from Hector’s perspective.
The limit on support conversations encourages you to play the game again and again until you unlock each and every one. It’s truly a blast learning all you can about your favorite characters. You can challenge yourself, doing things like solo runs, using only one type of weapon, using a handful of 3 or 4 characters throughout the whole game, the list goes on and on. Not to mention that the game itself is so *bleep*ing good you want to play it over and over and over again.
I give this game a 9.5 on replayability, only because I know some people won’t play this more than once. For some it’s just not their cup of tea, or one time is enough, and I understand that. This game is not for everyone.
Music 9 out of 10
This game has really good music. Some of it is catchy, some epic, some sad, some just plain beautiful. Whatever the situation is, this game has the perfect track for it. Final Battle? Play Unshakable Faith. Sad scene? Play Reminiscence. Eliwood does something awesome? Play One Heart. The best part is that you can listen to all these masterpieces in the sound room, one of my favorite features in any game and something I think should be used more often. While a lot of the tracks are pure bliss to listen to, some aren’t anything special. Not bad, just not great either, so this gets a 9 out of 10.


This game’s final score is a 9.5 out of 10. Godlike.
Fire Emblem 7 is, as of November 3, 2012, the best video game I have ever played, only rivaled by legends such as The Elder Scrolls series and Pokémon. I do not truly think anything will ever surpass it in my eyes, but if something ever does, I look forward to it. You will notice that not even my favorite game of all time gets a perfect 10: I don’t think any game deserves a perfect 10, as everything has its flaws. I rarely grade anything above a 9, so you should know that this game means business. I would buy a copy of it if I were you, as soon as possible. You need to experience this. All true gamers should experience this.
Fire Emblem 7 is what made me start to think of video games as works of art. They are beautiful collisions of every art form, blended together with immersion and an interactive nature. The Visual, Dramatic, Literary, and Musical arts are all blended into these wonderfully brilliant pieces of media. I think if these games were popular, rather than Call of Duty and Halo and such, the public would see what a real gamer looks like. Gamers do not hate any game without reason. Real gamers love games in every genre, and do not simply play what is popular. Do I like Call of Duty? Yes. Do I think it is revolutionary or a legendary game, as its sales and popularity suggest? No. It is not special by any stretch of the imagination. Fire Emblem 7 and games like it are what I wish the public eye to see, not these casual games that people take way too seriously. Maybe then we, gamers, can be looked upon by the world and respected, rather than disregarded and ridiculed.

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0 thumbs!
Dragg12 Nov 26, 12
If you think 7 is good then you should try FE: the sacred stones. Honestly, IDEK how that game got in my house, but if it werent for fire emblem and Diablo 2 I would be a basetball player right now, not a gamer. Actually I read your FESD review, and I think you already played this game based on the way you reviewed that one, because I dont remember support convo's in FE7, but, if you havent played Sacred Stones, GO GET IT NOW.
0 thumbs!
The4thFang Nov 27, 12
Dragg12, I've played both, and I think this one is better. FE8 was my first fire emblem, though, and definitely the one that I've put more hours into. While I don't think it is as good as this one, I think it gets alot of unnecessary hate and is severely underrated for the addition of Valni. (as well as a few other things.)

As of now, the only North American fire emblem game I have not completed is Radiant Dawn (but I am in the process of completing it.)
Last edited by The4thFang :: Nov 28, 12
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