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Fire Emblem: Awakening
Format: Video Game|Change
Price:$44.95+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on April 27, 2013
why bother with this......

problem is.... this is a lacklustre half hearted effort

stick it on the 3DS and you end up with 3rd rate graphics on a console that has sooo little power the graphics and sound feel like they are from the 90s

unless they had a tiny budget or not enough time?

claims to have excellent graphics, well..... u cant have 1080p on a tiny plastic screen, can you? plus 3D is just a migraine-inducing gimmick.

people have been accusing me of many things, but i am a strict reviewer, and demand nothing but the best, since i am an experienced gamer and a serious reviewer.

i dont understand, why not make a proper game on the PS3? welcome to 2013, game developers!
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on February 4, 2013
They didnt make enough copy and not enough art books.

This is unacceptable.

Even though i love JRPG, this game deserves 1 out of 5 since it messes with fan's mind.

Plus i think call of duty vita is better than this game
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on August 15, 2013
I really liked this game at first. Then all of a sudden I am in a battle where the units are at level 50 and my units are only at level 20. I have entered all the battles on the map to level up but now I am stuck without any way to level up because there are no more battles on the map except the one that progresses the story, which is the one that is 30 levels above me. Forty dollars is a lot of money to pay for a game that doesn't offer other ways to level up so that the game can be played out. Please give suggestions if there are any so that I can continue to play this game that seems to be very interesting.

Bewildered in Maryland!
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on May 12, 2014
+Pair-Up system
+Reliable and friendly User-Interface (options menu too)
+Casual mode allows a more relaxed and fun alternative to gameplay
+Fanservice for those who wished for it... it's there for your every whim
+Fairly decent voice-acting
+Variety of characters that you are bound to like at least one
+Character customization
+Graphics & animations (along with enabling 3D mode) are impressive

-Story is cliche and with plot holes... the bad guys are shallow
-Voice-acting is also cliche despite the overall performance (for an anime-style game anyway)
-Unbalanced difficulty and lackluster maps
-Fanservice is also creepy, pointless, and meant for men mostly
-Most characters lack substance, or reason to be there (I'm looking at you, Ms. Nowi)
-DLC is not substantial
-Lacks as much strategy as other titles
-Grinding required to handle tougher challenges (which eliminates the whole point of "strategy")

While I did find the game as a Strategy Role-Playing Game decent enough, there are some other spots of the game that just don't seem to do it for me. In fact, I find it more of an RPG pretending to be a Strategy game, and the story is NOT special. I'll explain why:

Story (3.3/10)
Other reviewers will say it's story is great, Amazon will say "Immersive story", and other sites may say "one of the best stories ever told". If a good story means "shallow bad guys that have no substance and overly dramatic moments for unreasonable situations and fanservice, alongside unnatural and inconsistent hair color", then... that's a great story. But I'm saying that the story is NOT that great. Heck, most of the Fire Emblem games had very weak stories, and this one is no different.

What you get here is another full-blown cliche that's just presented rather well this time. But no amount of pretty visuals or decent voice-acting can make up for such pointless moments in the story, if there is a story. There's just no real good reason to care about what's happening or about the characters, despite the variety. Enemies also have no meat on their bones, and are simply just there for one thing; to be the bad guys. While some of you are okay with this, it just doesn't cut it in this day and age anymore. They are there, just to be defeated, because that's what heroes do.

Plot holes are also another issue. A lot of the stuff that happens in the game are never explained... they just happen just because. There's just no history or sense of consistency within the events that happen (it's like watching filler episodes of an anime like Bleach). I suppose in medieval times it certainly felt that way, but if there is going to be a story worth telling.... there should be reason behind everything that happens, not just "Hey, I'm a hero. let's a kill a baddie, and do it again tomorrow. Oh look, a transexual just teleported in front of me, and killed two more foes I could have easily dealt with... and now he/she's gone. Hmm. Oh well."

That is a big no-no. You don't do that, ever.
Oh yes, speaking of "no-no's", there's a character named Nowi whose name is Nono in Japanese. She looks and acts like a child (an adolescent child), and yet... she's supposed to be 1000 years old. Yep, that's right... a 1000 year old barely-teens girl. This feels like an excuse to fanservice her for those creepy pervs who are into minors between the ages of 12 and 15 in real life. How could you possibly see a girl who looks old enough to be your little sister in middle school to be 1000 years old, especially if she acts like a middle schooler? Living for 1000 years doesn't serve a purpose to her character at all, other than for a man's fantasy. But hey... that's okay, it's not pedophilia or whatever philia you'd like to call it because her AGE is 1000 (ahem, sarcasm), much like the vampire boyfriend from Twilight isn't a pedo because he LOOKS like a teen. >.>

Overall, the story is not immersive, it's cliche, with creepy fanservice. Most of you may disagree, but you obviously have not either played all the Fire Emblem games, nor have played enough games with better stories (*cough*, Chrono Trigger, Bioshock and Silent Hill 2, ahem... The Last of Us too...) that know how to make you care without needing to be overly complicated or stereotype anything. But I suppose given the genre is mostly Strategy (or an RPG pretending to be a Strategy game), it's hardly surprising... it's just disappointing. The Command & Conquer Red Alert series kinda does the same thing.

Gameplay (8.4/10)
It is without a doubt, one of the best in a Fire Emblem game. What's new is the Pair-Up system (no, the marriage system is not new, it's actually in Fire Emblem 4. It's just that the Western audience never got to play it), which allows you to combine two units into one, giving the leader of the pair-up benefits like stat boosts or better chance of critical hits as examples. But whether you pair up or not, if two characters of the opposite gender battle next to each other enough, they will have conversations that improve their support for one another (ranks C, B, A, then S for marriage), and they can eventually get married and have children, which are basically new units with mixed traits from both parents (and there can be conversations with them too). I won't spoil how that works, though.

Reclassing allows a character to... change their class. For example, if a character is a Tactician, you can choose to make him/her anything else (most of the time). And while characters have limited options, at least the good thing is that this feature is not forced... meaning you most likely will never actually need it to progress through the "story" or challenging areas of the game (except for perhaps higher difficulties and going for "classic" mode). You can also do it as many times as you want, so no need to fret about wasting any Seal. Also, using a Second Seal allows your character to continue to level up nicely, while a Master Seal pretty much makes a character level slowly (so it's suggested that you use a Second Seal if a character levels too slowly).

Casual mode removes the grief that plagued other Fire Emblem games; losing characters permanently upon defeat. You can choose to go Casual regardless of the difficulty too. I don't see why most people hate that feature being on there... you are not being forced to dumb down. And besides, it allows you to enjoy the game with relaxation if you really want to (having a choice on how much challenge you want, be it difficulty level or in-game choices is always more viable than not having a choice at all... being forced to play one way is not for everyone).

However, I find the difficulty balance and map challenge to be a bit broken. Normal Difficulty, you are strolling about defeating enemies you excel against like you should (with a bit of leveling against side-mission enemies). If you choose to go on Hard or higher, you basically have to grind (a lot) and/or use exploits to win. There's just no way to progress without being cheap yourself, and even that's hard to do. The maps are also not as tactical as other FE games.
In fact, I find myself hardly finding a way to outsmart my foes (whether it's the lack of need to make an effort, or regardless of the effort, it's nearly impossible to do so due to the boring and non-diverse map design as well as the ridiculously large maps and quantity of enemies). If you ask me, you should just stick to Normal, because at least it won't be unfair (or boring for some people since you won't need to grind NEARLY as much.

Also... the DLC is nothing special, and they mostly feel like cash-ins. And what's the deal with not being able to create a custom character that's not white? There are black NPC's in the game! Dat's racist.

At least the Options menu is extensive and flexible in nearly all aspects of your playtime.

Graphics (7.9/10)
For the most part, it's charming, It's certainly an improvement from other FE games, and you will mostly notice it during battle between units and during cinematic cutscenes. Other than that, it's pretty much the same 2D sprite when playing in general.

The 3D is rather impressive, though. I figured it would be tacked on, but it's not. In the gameplay, in the cinematics... everything, looks pretty awesome in 3D. There's not much to complain about the looks of the game, other than that the transition between dialogue or cinematics and gameplay... it feels out of place. Oh yes, speaking of dialogue...

Voiceover (6/10)
While it's decent for the most part... it's just cliche as well, besides the story. Unnecessary grunting and screaming, and overly dramatic at some points. Melodrama would be an understatement, especially in situations that just don't call for it. Here's an example: Someone walks into a door and actually breaks their nose, and soon pass out. Commencing funeral and overwhelming tears. That's how your typical anime is like, unfortunately.

Oh, here's another thing... the voiceover for the dialogue in-game is something like this:
Avatar (Dialogue): Y-yes... Thank you, Chrom.
Avatar (Actual Voiceover): Thank you, Chrom.
Chrom (Dialogue): Ah, then you know who I am?
Chrom (Actual Voiceover): Hm?
Avatar (Dialogue): No, actually, I... It's strange... Your name, it just... came to me...
Avatar (Actual Voiceover): Huh?
Chrom: (Dialogue): ...hmm, how curious.
Chrom (Actual Voiceover): Hmm.

Seriously?! 80% of the dialogue in-game is just a bunch of grunts, questioning sighs, and screaming that fill in for conversations! That's terrible. If they can bother putting in noises for dialogue, they could have actually put in some voice-over like they did for some parts of the game! I'm disappointed by this... and I don't give a flying ho-hah if it was because of "money". Frankly, that's an overused and weak excuse, and not good enough for the lack of dialogue.

Sound (7.6/10)
Every sword clash, every enemy attack, every magical property... everything fits, simply put. There's not much to say here, other than that there's always room for improvement. The music is charming and fits the setting of the game too, and I don't need to explain why.

Replay Value (8/10)
If you like to explore other marriage options, then that may get you to replay the game's story. Other than that, there's not much reason to go back other than to test yourself on how you can deal with the absurd difficulty levels or how fast you can beat the game with no mistakes. But, thanks to Spotpass function and an item called "Reeking Box", you can fight as many foes as you want in all sorts of team formats, challenging yourself and never having to rely strictly on the story for a battle.

You also don't have to worry about the "Point of no Return" trope with this game, either.

Overall (6.9/10)
This game is something a lot of Strategy or RPG genre fans will like, as well as anime fans. The Casual mode allows everyone else to not be scared away, and the support conversations are a nice touch (and there's a lot of them too). Everyone else... you should approach this game with caution. Find a rental first, or borrow a bought copy from someone else. It's not as great as most people claim it to be. No game really is, but this one is just too obviously bogged down. You'd be a fool (or insane) to think this is the best Fire Emblem game, or best game in general, to date.

Edit: Just so you know, a 6.9 to me qualifies it as a good game. In fact, let me break it down for you:

10 = Legendary
9 = Must Own
8 = Excellent
7 = Great
6 = Good
5 = Fair
4 = Subpar
3 = Terrible
2 = Garbage
1 = WTF?
0 = It exists?!

My rating system is pretty much like Angry Joe's rating system.
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on July 15, 2015
EDIT: I decided to change it to 4 stars. Not because of the replies I got, but because I thought it over. I still stand for what I say. Also, I have over 90 hours in because I mostly play it as I do my daily exercise on my stationary bike. I hate exercising, but playing keeps my mind entertained and really helps make time go real fast. Fire Emblem games are great when it comes to saving/bookmarking right away.


It actually pains me to give it 3 stars instead of 5. I've been a Fire Emblem fan since FE6 (the first FE for us outside of Japan).

There's way too much fan service for me to fully enjoy the game. Not to mention, grinding. So much grinding. Fire Emblem didn't used to include these things (or at least not heavily).

For fan service, there's coupling. I was never interested in lovey-dovey stuff. Though it is pretty cool that you recruit new characters by marrying couples, it really doesn't add much to the story. In fact, the dialogues from the characters interacting from the support feature are rather dull. On past Fire Emblem games, I used to love the interaction. The characters had richer personalities. On this game, the reason their personalities aren't as rich is because the player has the choice of marrying any man to any woman. This creates a more generic feel to them. It sure adds more replay value, but affects the feel of the story in a bad way.

Speaking of dialogue, there's a lot of cussing this time. I'm actually very surprised since this is a Nintendo series. Not only does it bother me but it also makes me miss the creativity used in the past games. The past games were very creative in the dialogues to make the characters not sound cheesy when in despair or in anger. Very clever wording was used instead of the typical, "Damn it all to hell!" kind of dialogue. Now it's all the typical kind of language you see everywhere in other games and movies. Quality went real down on writing style. Real down.

Then we have grinding. Wow. Lots and lots of grinding. I'm down to 90-something hours and I feel as though I'm not even halfway in the game. Heck, I don't even remember in what part of the story I'm in. I'm spending most of my time grinding and building character stats and relations to recruit more characters that in turn make do more of the same thing all over again. In past games, recruiting was much more simpler. Sure, I could skip doing all of this, but then I wouldn't be "enjoying" all the features of the game.

The game is ridiculously hard. FE has always been an insanely hard game (especially because of permanent deaths) but now it's even worse. It's cool that you can turn perma-deaths off but veterans like myself like to turn it on. However, I'm actually regretting it. I had to pay for DLC to get a map that helps gain EXP very, very easily. But even with this map, the game just keeps getting way too hard after each map in the story (did they make this on purpose so we'd pay extra?). Enemy units love to concentrate on either Chrom or the weakest character that you have at the moment. Also, when enemy units appear out of nowhere, you don't have a turn to organize your units to counter attack accordingly. Because once they pop up, they attack right away. This wasn't the case in past FE games.

Anyway, this whole review seems like I'm whining, but the game is not that bad. It's just pretty disappointing. I really loved the Fire Emblem series for what it was. However, I guess all these changes had to happen in order for the series to survive. Fire Emblem Awakening was going to be the last game in the series, but since the sales went off the charts because of all the fan service, the series will keep on going. If fan service is the only way to keep it alive, then so be it. I still want FE to live. It won't ever be the same anymore but it's better than no FE at all.
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on March 21, 2014
I wasn't interested in playing Fire Emblem at first--I had ordered this because my husband wanted to play it. He kept insisting that I try it, so I did. Then he never saw our 3DS again. The end.
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on May 23, 2013
It seems that every established series in video games always has "that one game" that really stands out among the others. An entry that is loved and embraced not only by the series' niche audience, but shines as a beacon to attract even more people than usual; a game that has all of the defining facets previous entries had, but expands them to new heights and combines them in such a way that really makes the overall experience shine in ways that elevates the quality of the entire series. With this game, Intelligent Systems and Nintendo has done such a thing for the Fire Emblem series, one that has always been known for amazing quality. It would be hard to really extrapolate on what makes FE:A so great because honestly, everything about the game is of the highest caliber. Everything the series is beloved for is intact and refined and expanded to previously unseen levels here. Fire Emblem: Awakening, is not only the best Fire Emblem game, it is arguably the best 3DS game to date. It is that good.

At its core, Awakening is a tough-as-nails SRPG that appeals to the hardcore tactical role playing fan above all others. The stakes are high, the battles are tough, and death is death. This is the way Fire Emblem games have always been. There's no hand-holding. If you make a mistake that costs you the life of one of your most beloved characters, there is no spell or salve that can save them, and the only way to get them back is to restart the game and redo the battle, hopefully with wiser strategy than your previous attempt. Fire Emblem as a series has been around for over twenty years, and in that time, Intelligent Systems has refined and expanded the mechanics to perfection, and this is definitely evident while playing Awakening. There are various rock-paper-scissor strength-weakness strains to keep in mind, dozens of classes to upgrade your characters to that all have their own benefits and stat-growth differences, and of course the pairing system is deeply incorporated into the game.

Speaking of which, the pairing system in particular is one series' defining aspect that Awakening takes to new heights. Having two characters battle side by side results in their bond level growing. The more their level grows, the more they boost each others' stats in future battles and once you reach certain milestones in their bond level, they can have incredibly well-written and localized conversations that are greatly entertaining and result in deeper development for each character in the story. Men and women can even reach a fourth bond level in which they marry. This results in the ultimate boosts in their pairing up, obviously, but also affects their children. Time travel is a part of the plot, and the adult children of married couples you have in the game can and will meet up and join with you as you play. It's an awesome expansion to a system that was always great in past FE games. I love the pair-up system in Awakening.

If you're wondering how much content is in Awakening and if it's enough to justify a purchase, don't worry. I played the game for forty hours and wasn't even half-way through the story. I took it slow and really dug deep into the game as I went along, not to mention times I had to restart after losing a comrade in battle. It's just such a fun game to play, and it's got a TON of content that will scratch your SRPG needs for as long as you need it to. This could easily become a 100+ hour game if you wanted it to. I also must praise the game for its DLC options. The DLC in this game doesn't feel like slapped-together, half-hearted attempts to milk the player of more money, and it also doesn't feel like content that should have been in the game from the beginning. In my opinion, the DLC in FE:A is what DLC should be, enjoyable content that adds to the overall experience in a substantial way, and one that delivers faithfully on the price you pay for it. Bravo Nintendo!

It's worth noting that Intelligent Systems has given the player a plethora of options to customize how their game will play. One of the main characters is entirely customized by the player, which is always a treat to see in a game. You can select whether you want the brutal, difficult "classic" style of play, or a more "casual" mode, where death merely means losing a character for the duration of that battle. It's a wise move and really opens up some options that makes playing the game much more inviting to those who wince at the thought of losing a character for good. There are also several different difficulty options that makes the game appealing to a plethora of gamers of differing backgrounds and constitutions. You can pretty much customize anything you can think of with this game, ranging from important aspects such as difficulty down to seemingly trivial parts such as animation speeds. You name it, it's probably an option. Very nice.

The art direction and graphical style in this game is just stunning. Past Fire Emblem titles had a more old-school anime look going on, but Awakening definitely bespeaks a more modern style, with tons of detail, color, and more maturity. Character art that shows up during dialogue is incredibly pleasing to take-in. It's all so detailed and the characters are so expressive in conversations, and every one is very unique. I really can't praise Intelligent Systems enough for their attention to detail in literally every single area with regards to the graphics in this game, and how incredibly well they implemented the 3-D. During battles, you'll notice things like rain drops or snow flakes falling, god-beams shining down onto the field, birds and bats flying over the field and under your view, fish swimming under the beautifully rendered waves of an ocean or river. I mean, every single detail is just astounding. Battle animations have so much style and impact to them, and you can select several different angles to view them from, including first-person, which can be very surreal. If you get a critical hit in battle, a super stylish graphical flourish will flash across the screen, along with a very memorable quote from your character. Changing the class of your character will change their in-game model's appearance greatly, as will equipping them with different weapons. I really can't praise the presentation of the game enough. The 3-D is not essential to the gameplay, but it definitely enhances the overall experience by leaps and bounds. This is no cheap layered 3-D, but actual depth that really impressed me and I'd say playing with 3-D at max is essential.

I also must mention the audio. All of the characters' voices are very appropriately cast, and although dialogue is silent for the most part, the small little Zeldaesque expressions they make while talking really fleshes out each characters' personality. The soundtrack in this game is simply astounding. I even went so far as to import its Original Soundtrack from Japan, it's that good. The thematic unity throughout the whole soundtrack is quite amazing to take in and every track is memorable. Some tracks are absolutely beautiful, and it's all quite emotive. Great work by Hiroki Morishita (who has always done fantastic work on Fire Emblem) and Rei Kondoh (who also contributed much to Okami's brilliant soundtrack as well).

Lastly, there's the writing/story in this game. It should come as no surprise by now for you to hear me say that the story, dialogue, characterization is all simply top-notch. The plot itself is intriguing and thrilling from start to finish. I'll refrain from sharing any spoilers here. Just know that political intrigue abounds, and world saving ensues, and it is all quite a ride. There are even parts in the story that brought tears to my eyes and left me breathless. I am honest when I say that it is only the rarest and highest quality of games can do that to me. People who say Nintendo doesn't make mature games needs to play this and face some of the truly dark and sorrowful moments this game has in store. Events are surprising and no one is truly safe, and that is when you know you've got a great story on your hands. This is a genuinely compelling game. Some pivotal story events play out in incredibly well-crafted cutscenes that will knock your socks off. These moments are too few and far between in my opinion, but they definitely enhance the story when they show up. The story is top-quality in Awakening from writing to presentation, to be sure.

The characters, of which there are roughly 40, are all unique and genuinely lovable. The numerous pair-up conversations are always enjoyable and range from being hilarious to downright moving. Many of the romantic pairings really develops the characters well. Each pair has a unique story together that is elaborated upon as you unlock a new bond link between them over the course of the game, and it's awesome. These practically innumerable character relationship stories feel like sub-plots unto themselves, and gives Awakening a wonderful dating/social simulation feeling to it. Most of the "S Rank" marriage proposal conversations has such sweet, touching dialogue that it just melts your heart and makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. I literally feel like a better person while playing this game and that is entirely thanks to reading some of the conversations you can unlock in here. You really come to love the characters over the time you spend with them. This game is such a precious gem, and I really can't praise its writing and fantastic localization enough. Intelligent Systems hit it out of the park.

Fire Emblem: Awakening is one of those games where everything, down to the tiniest detail, comes together to create a truly special experience. Literally everything in this game impresses me, and every time I play it, another meticulously crafted detail pops out at me and just makes me marvel at how amazing and well thought-out of a game Intelligent Systems has made here. They're a fantastic developer in general, but they really out-did themselves with this one and I really hope they make a direct sequel someday. I know this review is long and gushing and I'm sorry for dragging it out, but this game seriously deserves it. This is easily on my shortlist for game of the year, and I'm confident to say this is most definitely in the top three 3DS games you can buy right now, alongside Super Mario 3D Land and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D. It definitely deserves all of the praise it has gotten, and I give it my highest recommendation. So go out and buy this immediately, get lost in the countless hours of SRPG perfection, and become enraptured by the wonderful experience of Fire Emblem: Awakening.
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on July 29, 2013
Pretty good game. Others have amply described the good bits. Two things I didn't like:

The plot is pretty good, but, without giving away any spoilers, the punch from the dramatic scenes throughout the story is sapped by future developments. It happens on many occasions. I found it to be rather cowardly and it would have been a better story overall if they didn't do this. Also, several times during the story, you are asked to make an important choice, but a lot of the times the choice you make has no appreciable impact on the development of the story.

I also found one aspect of the gameplay somewhat annoying. When a defending unit kills an attacking unit with a counterattack, the tile that the attacking unit was occupying is vacated, allowing subsequent attacking units to move into the same space. Thus, sometimes counterattack kills can be a disadvantage, because the defending unit is vulnerable to being killed by subsequent attackers. It seems anomalous to me to actually hope that your defending unit does not kill an attacking unit in a counter attack. Sometimes, if you are in a situation where you are finishing off an enemy unit, it's actually advantageous to equip your weakest weapon so that you have enough power to finish off the unit you are attacking, but not enough power to counter attack kill units that attack you in the next turn. Final Fantasy: Tactics sidestepped this gameplay anomaly by having a downed unit leave a corpse in their tile, preventing subsequent units from occupying the same tile, which I prefer.
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on February 26, 2018
Received the World Edition instead of NA. Bought a “new” version and yet there was a black sticker placed over the label directly on the bottom right hand corner of the artwork. Clearly placed to cover up the region graphic. Packaging had been re-sealed. Game seems to work but annoyed and offput I paid the new price for an item that has been opened and advertised as otherwise. Will most likely return.
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on May 29, 2017
Been a fan of Fire emblem for a long time. This game didn't delivered. It sucks.
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