The first game I want to talk about is the one which has held most of my attention since it’s release; Fire Emblem: Three Houses.
This is actually the first Fire Emblem game I have owned – as is the case with most Westerners, my first introduction to Fire Emblem was in fact through the Super Smash Bros. series. The sword-wielding characters have always intrigued me, so I was eager to get the new game on release after having read into it and seeing what the game is about.
The premise appeals to me in several ways. I love fantasy RPGs, and I’ve always been a fan of the job/class system, particularly where it is possible to change character’s jobs.
You will also be given the choice between Classic or Casual mode when you start the game. I have opted for casual for my first playthrough as a newcomer to the series, simply because the classic mode features “permadeath” for characters that fall in battle – you will not be able to choose them again. I already find myself wanting to start a second file to test out this classic system, and test myself to see if I can actually avoid such a fate for my characters.
I have so far racked up 40+ hours playtime, and most of that is simply through the battling portions of the game. I would say that the battles are highly enjoyable, the different battlefields offer various tactical challenges (reduced movement in desert/forests, reduced visibility in fog, trap/enhancement tiles etc.).
Possibly the most intriguing mechanic for me is the fact that you are a professor in an academy, and your fighters will be your students (as well as yourself). Each week you will lecture and instruct them to increase their skills, which then in turns allows them to learn new abilities and move on to new classes. It is certainly as aspect I have been enjoying, it’s just something different that you don’t see a lot of, and it’s also quite reminiscent of Final Fantasy VIII’s Balamb Garden and their SeeDs.
The characters themselves all have plenty of personality – I have no doubt that you will quickly decide who you like and who you dislike. However there are plenty of opportunities for your opinions to change – there is a support system where the relationships between all characters develops and provides benefits in battle. Once their support levels are ready to increase, this can be triggered through a cutscene between the characters in question. I have actually found myself starting to come around to some of the characters that I was not that fond of, simply through seeing their personal growth in these cutscenes.
All in all, this is absolutely a game I can recommend for any Nintendo Switch owners, I have been having a great time with it and I really look forward to completing it and having another go in classic mode!
- Platform: Nintendo Switch
- Release Date: 26/07/19
- Genre: Tactical RPG, Fantasy