Vast, gorgeous (and confusingly delivered), Fire Emblem Fates sees Intelligent Systems at the very top of its game.
Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright is a fantastic balance of tactical challenge and accessibility. Even after I finished the story, I found myself returning to the battlefield again and again to unlock more conversations between friends and test my army's might against Nohr's finest. I'm addicted to Fire Emblem Fates, and that's fine by me.
The best Fire Emblem yet, with more depth of gameplay and options than ever before and yet still perfectly accessible for new players.
Fire Emblem Fates smartly revises a quarter-century old battle system and offers ever more reasons to care about your little chess pieces, but neither version does enough to welcome new players.
Birthright takes Awakening's combination of narrative flexibility and tactical strategy and makes it even better
Fire Emblem Fates is an emotional war game
Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright polishes the series' time-tested strategy combat and adds intimate, exciting interpersonal relationships.
With Fates, the series hasn't frayed under the pressure. Instead, Intelligent Systems has created one of the most narratively ambitious games to hit a Nintendo platform. Fire Emblem Fates lets you explore the value of familial love and friendship, then offers you the option to go back and kill everyone you love, while loving everyone you killed.
Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright is a great followup to the amazing Fire Emblem: Awakening. The story is solid, the tactical combat is great, if simplistic in this version, and the characters are wonderfully endearing. The game excels in providing options, letting players tailor how they want to experience this world. If you care more or equally about the romance and social aspects of Fire Emblem, this is the version you should be playing.
Birthright is probably the best starting place for newcomers. Not only does it offer unlimited grinding opportunities to beef up your party, but the actual missions mostly consist of easy "rout (kill) the enemy" parameters. The tale is also relatively open and shut, following a traditional storyline from a macro perspective, while keeping the complicated relationships intact. That's not to say it's a waste of time though, as you can still jack up the difficulty and add in permadeath if you want, and you still have to win those battles.
In that sense, as a stand-alone title Fire Emblem: Fates: Birthright is not a particularly good game, though it's not a bad one either. It's an above-average tactical RPG with excellent production value and moderately good gameplay scenarios, but it feels surprisingly one-note and dissatisfying if taken on its own merits as a self-contained game.
Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright is amongst the best tactical videogames of all time. While it's not the wholesale reinvigoration that Awakening was, it is the refinement of three decades worth of game development, from a team who have fundamentally defined the handheld tactical genre.
Fire Emblem Fates exemplifies the best way to approach a sequel. It maintains and iterates on Awakening's best qualities, while also introducing new systems that have a profound impact alongside a richer and more poignant story. It's more than just a worthwhile successor to a recent hit. Taken as a whole, it's the best Fire Emblem to date.
Fire Emblem Fates is an incredible package and an experience that rivals the very best the 3DS has to offer.
A captivating story and strong cast of supporting characters, along with the very well designed gameplay and impressive breadth of pure content make Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright, Conquest, and Revelation a must own trilogy for the Nintendo 3DS.
Fire Emblem: Fates is a fantastic turn-based strategy game. If you're worried about the multiple versions, you don't need to be. You'll get a full experience with a single campaign, but it's great to know that you can keep going and discover new content long after beating a single path.
Regardless of which version of the three editions you buy you'll be in for dozens of hours of top-notch turn-based tactics – plus a bit of old-fashioned Japanese melodrama
Fire Emblem: Fates is easily one of the biggest and most intimidating entries in the series, but the refined systems and sheer breadth of content, mixed with a colorful and memorable cast of characters, makes this a grand offering for both Fire Emblem faithful and newcomers alike.
I don't think there are any bad Fire Emblem games, and despite that Birthright still manages to be one of the better ones. Conquest and Revelation already have a lot to live up to...
A tactical triumph for the 3DS.