Arts & Entertainment Editor
Intelligent Systems returns to its roots of brain-straining difficulty in “Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest.” Released in a set alongside “Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright” and the digital-only “Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation,” Conquest caters to the long-time fans of the series.
In addition to the permanent deaths the series is well known for, Conquest reintroduces adversity used in earlier Fire Emblem games such as “Shadow Dragon” and “Mystery of the Emblem,” as well as bringing new features to mix up the play style from 2013’s “Fire Emblem: Awakening.”
They include limited money and experience, defense and timed chapters and a secondary weapons triangle. These are merely thorns attached to the rose however.
Conquest offers a compelling story in which your main character (known by default as Corrin) is born to the malevolent kingdom of Nohr, the kingdom that kidnapped them at birth.
Corrin then seeks to end war with his or her birth nation, Hoshido, by reshaping the kingdom from the inside.
Other wonderful features include the customization to Corrin-your unit whose hair, body type and voice can be changed, as well as accessories for the rest of your units.
The cutscenes and character models are better than they ever have been before, (the units actually have feet now) and the Street Pass features have received a massive upgrade from Awakening in the form of visiting the castle bases of people you pass by.
There’s so much to discover, and it’s only a third of the game.
Conquest is worth an 8/10.
Birthright’s arrangement is similar to the series previous iteration, “Fire Emblem Awakening,” so it might provide an easier transition for those coming straight over from it.
The route allows the player to grind out character stats on the map with generated enemy spawns, much like Awakening did, allowing the player to boost their characters to levels high enough to make the later portions of the game easy and acquire more in-game currency to purchase more weapons and supplements.
It also gives the player the freedom to freely roam around the map.
Birthright, is set mainly in the Hoshido region, which has a distinct flavor reminiscent of Tokugawan Japan, which provides a contrast to the Nohr side.
The entire route was rather bland. The characters all had distinct personalities, which was appreciated, but their support conversations were lackluster. Online comparisons of the original Japanese and the official English translation shows that a good bit of this problem lies within the translation.
The Birthright route also fell short with its presentations of the chapters, which grew slower and slower and became more and more repetitive as the route moved on.
Overall, Birthright route is a solid 7/10. It was enjoyable and definitely worth the time to play, but it doesn’t have a lot of replay value.
Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation” stands as the third route players can choose from, and it’s currently available on the Nintendo eShop. It allows for the player to choose neither Hoshido nor Nohr and forge their own path forward.
Some might call it the “true” path, since it reveals mysterious elements from the other two stories which players can explore in Conquest and Birthright. Not only are new characters revealed, but characters act completely differently to the player’s new circumstances.
The only frustrating thing in Revelation is that the player spends a considerable part of the earlier chapters almost overwhelmed with enemies and lacking their own support.
But that is the nature of being indecisive.
It can be said that your unit, Corrin, will likely be stronger than the rest of your units for the rest of the game because of all of the experience they’re hogging.
Revelation stands as the mid ground between Birthright and Conquest as far as difficulty goes, and it offers unique challenges on certain maps. Some require players to merely escape or to activate certain elements on the map known as “dragon veins.”
Another interesting bit is to see how characters from Hoshido and Nohr interact. They find that maybe they’re not so different after all, and it creates opportunity for vivid and memorable character interaction.
Revelation also deserves a 8/10.