Fire Emblem Awakens in America

Official cover for Fire Emblem.

Developer: Intelligent Systems

Publisher: Nintendo

Photo by Courtesy of Google Images

Official cover for Fire Emblem. Developer: Intelligent Systems Publisher: Nintendo

Gavin Leavitt, Staff Writer

Hit video games in America usually fall under a few categories. First, there are the big-budget, blockbuster military shooter games. Everyone has heard of them – Call of Duty, Battlefield, Medal of Honor, just to name a few. These games represent what many Americans would consider the cream of the crop in games: impressive, realistic graphics coupled with online competition. The second type of best-seller is the party game. Names like Just Dance, Rock Band, and Madden are familiar to most everyone who’s played a video game. Other hit selling games usually include flagship titles from big companies like Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed, Sony’s Uncharted, and Microsoft’s Halo.

Fire Emblem: Awakening is not one of those games. It’s a game for the 3DS, a handheld console not capable of the amazing high-definition graphics found on home consoles. It’s a strategy game, devoid of the action-packed gunfights and mindless fun of your average hit game. Although published by Nintendo, Fire Emblem would hardly be considered a “flagship” title. It wasn’t developed in America or even Europe. Despite all of these missing elements of the typical best-seller, Fire Emblem: Awakening still managed to become a best-selling game.

Awakening is a turn-based strategy game (sort of like chess) set in a medieval fantasy world. The game revolves around a group of peacekeepers called the Shepherds who protect the Halidom of Ylisse. You play as an amnesiac tactician who is discovered by Chrom, the leader of the Shepherds. Recruited into their ragtag band, the tactician must organize troops, divvy out weapons and supplies, and direct each unique member of the Shepherds to defeat enemy armies.

Fire Emblem manages to be both simple and incredibly deep. Each unit has its own personality, back-story, and character class. There are sword-wielding Myrmidons, nimble Pegasus Knights, mysterious Dark Mages, balanced Cavaliers, and many more to choose from. Each different character has a unique set of advantages and disadvantages, so it’s up to the player to formulate a strategy that takes advantage of their army. In addition, each character can “Pair Up” to increase their prowess and even develop relationships.

In addition to having deep gameplay, Awakening also has a great story. From besting corrupt rulers like Mad King Gangrel and Emperor Walhart to unraveling the mystery of the undead “Risen” and the Fell Dragon Grima, players will discover a plot full of twists, turns, and mysteries. The interesting story and brilliant writing are complemented by the amazing soundtrack and great voice acting, providing an incredibly polished and complete experience.