Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest Reviews
Fans waiting for the next Fire Emblem will certainly not feel cheated by Fates: The nerve-wracking decision over risking a character's life with every move has not diminished. That said, with its many attempts at innovation falling short of their marks, and its core gameplay lacking the refinement seen in its predecessors, perhaps Nintendo should signal a tactical retreat and focus on making the best Fire Emblem possible.
To say this game has significant issues is an understatement, and the blame can't be placed on one team. These issues range from simple gameplay mechanic choices that go against much of the internal logic the game was founded on, story issues that seem to have no place existing in the game in the first place, localization issues butchering the grammar and flow of many important points, and a business practice that uses and abuses its customers. While this isn't the worst Fire Emblem game I've played, I can't in good faith suggest people buy this game as it is.
Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest is a punishing strategy RPG that marches forward and never looks back.
Fire Emblem's gameplay is second to none, but Conquest sports a lackluster narrative and questionable dialogue that brings the whole experience down.
There's something that definitely seems to be missing from Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest. The challenge is certainly there, but it brings its own sacrifices, as well. Ultimately, the narrative feels a little worse off for its separation into three parts, and despite each telling a complete story, there's something nagging about the "What if?" that always seems to come to mind while playing. Despite that, the characters and the challenges provided give so much that, aside from its shortcomings, it's still a compelling story, and an excellent role-playing game.
While 'Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest' can stumble in a few places, namely the melodramatic plot and a few structural annoyances, this is ultimately a great SRPG that should please series fans. Some of the newer mechanics don't work quite as well as they should, but the tweaks to the core gameplay go a long way to making this a challenging, and immensely satisfying game.
There's nothing that gets your blood boiling and your heart racing like a hardcore strategy-RPG with perma-death, and Fire Emblem Fates fits that mold to a T.
A tough, tactical adventure
Conquest is very lucky that its gameplay and localization are so excellent, because its tired story leaves much to be desired.
By the end any notion of nature versus nurture is long forgotten. Tragedy falls on both sides of this war no matter what you or your hero do. Friends and family die or permanently retreat with regularity. Fire Emblem is both an adorable game about cute anime kids becoming friends and lovers, and also one of the cruelest and most unforgiving virtual death marches you'll ever play. Don't hold all that death against Fates: it's the game's birthright.
Whether new to the franchise or a long-time fan, there's something for everyone in Fire Emblem Fates' three games. Unfortunately, when you find what you're looking for in one, you might be disappointed when it's then not present in the other titles.
The look has been upgraded and is much sharper now, along with many new animations that make it feel more cinematic. Combine all that with a rather amazing soundtrack and the presentation is top notch, and one that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Fire Emblem: Fates takes two steps forward and one step back for the series. It still retains and expands on many of the great Fire Emblem elements, but Fates slips on a few important aspects.
There's little doubt that Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest delivers on every front that it promised fans, serving up an interesting narrative and tough-as-nails gameplay.
What this all makes for is a much tighter and more precisely balanced game than Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright, where decisions matter, even in Casual mode. The story in Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest is stronger, but still feels somewhat like filler meant to set up the true narrative to be revealed in Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation. While this feels like a vastly superior game, it also feels very much like part-two of three, in a three-part title. Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest is an excellent, challenging SRPG that requires a great deal of forethought and precision, rewarding the player for hard choices, and keeping your characters in play. While the story is stronger with more engaging characters, it still feels like another "bad ending" setting up the player to have to purchase the third campaign when it releases in March.
It often lacks the accessibility and sense of fun of Birthright, but for Fire Emblem and strategy veterans this is still an excellent entry in the series.
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.
In a series underwritten by amnesiac orphans, Fire Emblem Fates breaks away to tell a story about memory, family, and the self, meditating on the decisions that define us and how we regret them.
If you are a fan of Fire Emblem or tactical games in general, Fire Emblem Fates will not disappoint.
Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest is proof that less can be more. Harder, more intense and balancing a better plot between the two games, it's Fire Emblem at its purest.