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Pikmin0207's Game reviews

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Pikmin0207's Game reviews

Post by World's Richest Merchant on Mon May 13, 2013 2:57 pm

So, out of boredom and trying to find new things to do, I've ended up doing reviews of games from time to time.

So, I've decided to write a little review about this game that a lot of people feel deserves compliments such as "best game of 2013!" "best game to ever exist!" "best FPS game ever made!" and "10/10!", known as Bioshock Infinite, with a full in-depth view from my perspective. Assuming anyone will even read this from start to finish.

Lets just start off with the gameplay.

Now, for the gameplay, this game REALLY didn't bring anything new for me that I've never seen before aside from Elizabeth who seems to help you out occasionally, but I wouldn't call it 'revolutionary', I'll cover that more later. But it definitely brought a new FEEL to the gameplay it provides. Now, don't take this as me saying the gameplay wasn't fun, because it was. The gameplay was very entertaining, as it was with Bioshock 1, Bioshock 2, and every other FPS game I have played, it just wasn't something I'd point to and say "I've never seen this done before!". Now, I understand the gameplay isn't going to be 100% something new, as this IS a new addition to a pre-existing series, and as such, is ALWAYS going to carry a few similarities, but that's not the point, I play Bioshock 1, and then play 2, and there is an undeniable difference in the gameplay, this doesn't have much of a difference from any other FPS game I've played in gameplay, but it is definitely fun. On gameplay, I'd give it a 7/10, solely due to the fact that this game is very fun.

Now, for graphics. This game DEFINITELY has some of the most incredible graphics detail I've ever seen in a game. The screenshots you see don't even begin to give you the concept of the graphics detail seen here. I'm not one for the shiny graphics, and I hardly ever care about them, but this game definitely was well done in graphics, I'd give it a 10/10 on graphics.

Now we'll move onto story, which I personally feel is this game's strongpoint, but it's a little overhyped by a lot of people in my opinion. Now, Bioshock 1 and Bioshock 2 were fun, and had really good gameplay, but they didn't really have an in-depth story that could draw a player in, especially Bioshock 2. Bioshock Infinite, however, unlike the first two games, almost entirely focuses on the story, which is not a bad thing. The story is interesting enough that sometimes your main motivation for wanting to play through is just find out what happens next. And I personally believe that this game DOES set the bar for other FPS games, but not all games in general. Most FPS games don't have much story anyway, and I'm sure if they did this game would have a lot more competition. But nonetheless, this game has a great story, which makes a lot more sense in the end. I'd give it an 9/10 on story, for being one of the few FPS games to have a truly interesting story.

Onto originality. I really don't feel this game has much originality. Like I said before, it DEFINITELY has a new feel, but it's really not as original as people would like to believe it is in my opinion. If you think it's the most original game to ever exist, that's great! But personally, I don't. It's a great game, but this really wouldn't be the first time I've ever seen a city in the sky, I've seen it in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess, Metroid Prime 3, and a whole bunch of other games. Now, I'm not saying it's the first game to have things that are unoriginal. Honestly, the only games I can really give a 10/10 on originality to would be the ones from years ago, I can't really give a 10/10 on originality to ANY game from this generation because one way or another it's going to have at least ONE thing that someone has done before. But this game really doesn't have much originality. I've not only seen a game with a city in the sky, I've seen it a lot, the only gun in this game that really feels like it has a unique visual appearance is the shotgun, the freedom fighters vs government battle scenario has been done again and again, and we've seen powers in all the Bioshock games, and many other games. Like I said before, it's incredibly fun, but it really doesn't bring anything new. As for what I said about the weapons, you might be thinking 'But this is a fiction story that is BASED in the 1900s-1940s.", well yes, it is, and there have been weapons that have resembled real-world weapons in all the Bioshock games to date, but in 1, the pistol (Smith & Wesson Revolver) and machine gun (Thompson SMG), were the only two weapons that were a copy of a real weapon, the shotgun also looked similar to a real weapon or something I've seen before, but it was different enough, especially when modded. All the other guns looked very unique to me, even the revolver, after it was modded, looked creative. Bioshock 2 was an even greater emphasis on this, with only the machine gun (once again, now as a minigun) and shotgun feeling unoriginal, but then once you mod the shotgun, it's very original looking. In Infinite, almost ALL of the weapons look like real ones, or similar to something I've definitely seen before.

Now for the question, does this game beat Bioshock 1 and 2? Personally, this didn't even feel like it had anything to with 1 and 2 at all until I got near the end where it started linking it all together. Yes, I get that it's a city in the sky versus a city under the ocean, but that's not all that lacked the thing in Bioshock that made it Bioshock. There was always that sense of mystery, or some freakish thing running at you with a gun, or some monstrosity patrolling the place just waiting for someone to dare to mess with it, this had none of that. It's conflict is between two factions of normal people in a city in the sky. While this game is EXCELLENT viewed by itself, if you play 1 and 2, and then play this, it doesn't feel like the same game anymore at all aside from controlling powers from one hand and shooting from the other. Another thing is the minigun, in 2, Subject Delta obtains a minigun as his 'machine gun', which makes perfect sense - he's a big daddy, which have already been seen to have incredible amounts of body strength. Booker Dewitt is a normal human, yet seems to be able to wield this gigantic minigun with no problem whatsoever, and not even have much trouble with recoil. Another thing is how upgrades were handled. In 1 and 2, I actually enjoyed the fact that the stations only permitted one upgrade per station, because then I felt like I had to really make a decision what I wanted, and what would be more useful to me until I could find another station. In infinite, you can get as many upgrades as you want from a single station as long as you've got the money to buy it, which, unlike 1 and 2, money isn't just easier to get, you can carry as much of it as you want, so you can literally just spam upgrades like a madman pretty early on in the game, and the stations are not far apart. Another thing was that in 1 and 2, the upgrades applied a visual alteration to the gun, which I personally thought was really cool, in Infinite, the upgrades provide no visual difference whatsoever, which is a bit disappointing. Also, with purchasing the upgrades, you don't really need to be too cautious about it, because the only use for money other than buying upgrades is buying ammo and refills, and ammo on this game is not only INCREDIBLY cheap, it's somewhat pointless to even buy unless you just like to stock up, because Elizabeth normally just throws you a full load of free ammo for whatever gun you're using when you get low anyway. Another thing is how health works. In Bioshock 1 and 2, it felt more challenging because EVERY hit took down your HP by at least a little, and the only way to refill it was to use one of your medkits. On Infinite, you have a shield gauge and an HP gauge, the shield gauge refills on it's own, so as long as you can get it to refill (which does not take long at all) you will never have to worry about your HP. You cannot carry medkits, however. Medical kits purchased at the store instantly recover HP versus giving it to you to use later when you need it. But the shield is strong enough to resist a ton of blows before it breaks, and then it'll just regenerate anyway, so unlike 1 and 2 where you were desperately fighting to survive, you're pretty much an OP guy with a shield here. So while I wouldn't say this game is better than Bioshock 1 and 2, I wouldn't say it's not as good as them either, it's equally as good as the original, it's just not at all the same as the original, not even enough to feel like it's part of the same series.

Another thing about the weapons is just how they were handled period. In 1 and 2, each weapon felt like a 'tool', the revolver was great for those moments with weak enemies, or 1-2 enemies that aren't with anything else, it's also really accurate, making it work as a pretty good sniper weapon. The tommy gun was just good for mowing down crowds, the shotgun is good for strong enemies and close-quarters groups, the grenade launcher is good for really tough enemies, huge swarms, and anything potentially dangerous you might encounter, the chemical thrower is good for when you want to deal status effects, and the crossbow is the ultimate sniper weapon in the game, same goes for 2, and you could carry ALL of them at once. But in Infinite, all of the weapons feel like any generic FPS - there's quite a few of them, and while each one falls under a class that has a purpose, they all feel like it's just stats versus an actual tool to help you beat the game. Plus, unlike 1 and 2, you can only carry two guns at once, and there's none of those fun moments where you get the next gun to take down enemies with, instead, you find yourself just picking up the guns enemies drop - like any other FPS game. Which isn't really bad but I honestly would have preferred if it stuck to the way Bioshock 1 and 2 did it.

Now for my views on this game's 'revolutionary AI', Elizabeth. Really, this NPC did not feel 'revolutionary' to me. Different, maybe. But nothing that no one else could have ever done if they had thought of it. Really, the only thing Elizabeth does is provide you with dialogue throughout the story, open up tears for you if one is present, and toss ammo, salts (EVE hypos), and medkits to you when you need them. Oh, and she provides drama moments throughout the story where she storms off like a 5 year old girl being told 'no' by her parents.

Overall, I give this game an 8/10.



Last edited by Pikmin0207 on Mon May 13, 2013 6:01 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Pikmin0207's Game reviews

Post by Fluffy on Mon May 13, 2013 3:04 pm

I just read most of this review. Nice work, Pik. I'd be inclined to let my cousin read it and see what he thinks. Razz

DO MORE GAME REVIEWS!!

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Re: Pikmin0207's Game reviews

Post by World's Richest Merchant on Mon May 13, 2013 3:42 pm

I added a little bit more to the review just before the closing bit there. Razz

And I'll definitely be doing more reviews soon. Razz

Also, if anyone has a game they'd like to suggest I review next, let me know!

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Re: Pikmin0207's Game reviews

Post by Admiral Kojan on Mon May 13, 2013 5:49 pm

Nice review. The only thing I would change is to make the title of the game that you're reviewing much more prominent. It took me a bit to figure out that you were reviewing Bioshock Infinite. Other than that, fantastic.
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Re: Pikmin0207's Game reviews

Post by World's Richest Merchant on Mon May 13, 2013 6:01 pm

Yeah, kinda forgot to mention that... Razz

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Re: Pikmin0207's Game reviews

Post by World's Richest Merchant on Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:55 am

So, it's been awhile since I did a review, despite me stating that I was going to do these from time to time... xD

Today I'm reviewing Fire Emblem: Awakening, for the Nintendo 3DS.


Having played Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones before playing Awakening, I'll be comparing the two throughout the review to provide my views on how the game has changed in the years since Sacred Stones.

I'll be breaking this review up into individual subjects, just like my last review for Bioshock Infinite.

That said, I'll start with talking about the gameplay. The game plays much like past titles in the Fire Emblem franchise, turn-based, you move all your units, then the enemy gets a turn to move all theirs, units fight each other, etc. The core basics of the game remain, but there's been many changes.

One such change, is the combat system.

In Sacred Stones, selecting the "attack" command on a unit would immediately throw them into battle, if you wanted to change the weapon your character was using, you would need to use the "items" option on that character, change it, and THEN use the attack command. Awakening speeds this process up by allowing you to switch weapons with the X and Y buttons before you actually engage in the fight, it also gives you an idea of how effective each weapon will be, and let you easily compare which one would be the best choice.

In Sacred Stones, fighting did become slightly repetitive, as it was entirely predictable, the only variation to combat was the occasional critical hit, which enemies rarely could ever have the chance to do. Awakening makes the combat more interesting by throwing in character skills, and my favorite part, teaming up, I'll explain both separately.

Character skills come from the class your character currently has, and are obtained as they level up. Assassins, for example, can obtain Lethality, where they kill an enemy with a single blow, or Dark Mages, who can obtain Vengeance, where they deal half the enemy's damage total along with the damage they'd have normally dealt. The chance of these skills taking place is decided entirely by the stats your character has, making them random, and thus making the fights unpredictable, while also adding an extra strategic factor to the game; "Should I have my assassin save this guy, or go for this heavier unit with a chance of killing him instantly?" "Should I send my Tactician to fight this enemy, or use Rally to boost everyone else's stats?", these decisions can mean life or death for your units. This also provides a greater reason to use other units, versus just a small handful that you're comfortable with.

Then teamwork, this is something I really liked about the game compared to Sacred Stones. Sacred Stones offered little in the way of units working together to succeed. Sure, you could have a melee unit attack an enemy, then move an archer behind them and attack again, but that's just generic combat, the "teamwork" is artificial. In Awakening, pairing units up is beneficial. When paired, the supporting unit can attack an enemy alongside the main unit, without sacrificing that unit's turn. Fighting while paired also provides stat bonuses, and a chance for the supporting character to block an attack, saving the main unit from damage. It's not the most notable change, but it's something that adds something more to the game.

Outside of the mechanics, the most major difference is how the classes work. In Sacred Stones, Paladins were outrageously overpowered, with Manaketes being the only units that were truly superior. Awakening clearly made a much better effort to balance the units.

In Sacred Stones, Paladins were so overpowered, that I literally just stuck my other units in the back, and let them hang around, while my Paladins did all the work. But that's not simply because I wanted to use the absolute best units, that's not it at all! It's not that I wanted to use Paladins only, I had to use Paladins only, because every other class is so weak that they die in just a couple of turns, which, in Sacred Stones, death is a big thing, since characters cannot be revived.

Awakening changes this entirely, I found myself using all units in various situations. Paladins are still pretty good, but they're not overpowered. Even Manaketes have been toned down, which is good. Another change to Manaketes that I really liked, is being able to find, and later, purchase Dragonstones. Manaketes require a Dragonstone to fight. Dragonstones in Sacred Stones, and in Awakening, both have 50 uses in total. The difference, is that once a Dragonstone broke in Sacred Stones, there was absolutely no way to replace it, which leaves an otherwise perfect unit completely useless to your team.

The other plus, is that even if something does go wrong, and a unit dies, Awakening has two modes: Classic, and Casual. In Casual, units WILL revive after the battle is over. In Classic, it's exactly like Sacred Stones. I personally preferred Casual, as it helps with units that start out particularly weak, but end up very good later on. In Sacred Stones, death limited your choices far more than it should have.

Another improvement to the classes, is the thief. In Sacred Stones, you needed keys to open chests and doors. You still do in Awakening. However, as an alternative to keys, you could have a Thief open these same doors and chests in Sacred Stones! ... The downside is that doing that also requires an item - the lockpick. Yes, that's right! This class's only real reason to exist is made counter-productive by one of the poorest design choices I've ever seen. But Awakening changes this, Theives now have a lockpicking skill, which allows them to open doors and chests without needing a key or anything of the sort. This may seem slightly overpowered, but it's really not! Thieves have very low stats for fighting, even as assassins/tricksters, they still fail to match up with other units. So if you bring a thief, you need to keep in mind that you are bringing someone who can't fight that well, in the place of a unit that might have been able to handle enemies better, just to open chests and doors with ease.

One very minor change to the combat, also, is that you can change how the battle animation is played, you can slow it down, speed it up, or even change the perspective between an automated angle, a first person perspective of the fight, or a side view.

So, it's clear that the combat is improved, but what about other aspects of the gameplay?

There's several improvements there, too!

For one thing, side-quests. Sacred Stones offered one main progression path, and that was it. Awakening offers completely optional levels that are just as fun as the main progression. In a few of these, you even obtain some nice extra characters you don't get in the main progression.

The only downside is that you cannot simply replay any of these missions, unless you start over from the beginning. You can, however, replay the maps themselves, which I'll explain later on.

The inventory has been improved by a small amount. It's not dramatically different, and that's a good thing. The inventory didn't need any significant changes, and I'm glad they mostly kept it the same. What changes have been made, are mostly for convenience, although some of it confused me at first.

You can still transfer items back and forth to your convoy (main inventory), however, ALL items are shown in the inventory. I'd have loved a "convoy only" filter, but there doesn't appear to be one. Nonetheless, it didn't take long before I figured out how it was working, items that are in the convoy will not have a character portrait behind them, and have "x#" beside their names. Despite how different this felt at first, I grew to like this, as it allowed me to quickly trade items between all characters and the convoy, unlike in Sacred Stones, where trading between characters, and putting items in the convoy, were two entirely different features.

Another improvement to the convoy, is the storage capacity. In Sacred Stones, you had a storage limit of 100 items. In Awakening, your storage seems to be unlimited. While this seems to make the game a bit too easy, by making you not have to choose what to keep, and what to lose, I don't mind the convenience either way, as it doesn't have a major impact on the game, and has no impact on how enjoyable it is.

The game also offers a much more convenient shop system than what Sacred Stones offered. The idea of each level having a shop with different items remains, however, in Sacred Stones, you had to bring up a shop before it would show you which items it had, which became inconvenient very quickly when you found yourself checking several shops, just trying to find one item. Awakening provides you with a quick little popup listing of everything the store in that level has to offer, without you needing to access that store at all.

Also, in regards to shopping, is much more convenient purchasing, and selling. In Sacred Stones, you had to select a character before it opened the shop for that character, and then you could purchase things for them from there. In Awakening, you open the shop, select the buy tab, and then you can very easily go from character to character, buying whatever you need, the same goes for selling. The extra convenience, is that if you're only buying stuff to stock up, you can select "convoy" and have the items sent directly to your main inventory.

Another change to shopping, is forging items. Through forging, you can give a weapon a custom name, and/or improve various stats, such as how often it will perform a critical hit, how much damage it deals, etc. I didn't use the forge too much, however, as it's costly, and weapons can break in this game just like they do in Sacred Stones, when their durability reaches 0. I found it much more logical to just replace weapons when they broke, versus upgrading any of them.

But that's not the only change to shopping in the game, as there are also traveling merchants that show up across the map. These merchants offer rare items, as well as normal items at a discount. I found this quite helpful.

Since this ties into the replayability of the game's levels, I'll be talking about that next.

Throughout your world, enemies will randomly spawn over maps. This was in Sacred Stones as well, and it was almost exactly the same. I do like the feature, however, as it keeps things interesting, and gives you a chance to level up your units a bit more. These random spawn battles take place on the same map as the level did, so it gives you the chance to play on that same map once more.

Now for how the merchants tie into this: If there's a Merchant on the same map as the enemies, this merchant will appear as a unit on the map, and fight any enemies that attempt to attack. Note that this unit cannot be commanded by you, it is an allied NPC that acts on its own. It's nothing major, but it's a nice little feature. If the merchant is killed by enemies, however, the merchant will be removed from the map when the battle is over, adding sort of a "defend the merchant" situation, which can sometimes be interesting in a more difficult battle.

In addition to these random encounters, are bonus teams. Bonus Teams are a wireless feature, which lets you fight "phantoms" of characters from the previous titles. At first, this really caught my interest, and I immediately set out to get Seth as a unit, as he was one of my best in Sacred Stones. This was really the only thing that disappointed me: Yes, you can get these units in your squad, but they lack dialogue. They have an intro message, and something they say when you attack them, but afterwards, all dialogue they have is limited to the following:

"..."

"...!"

"...?"

"!!!"

And that's it. That's all they say. They don't even have art that is similar to the other characters, it appears to be stock art, and their head models... They barely match how the character is supposed to appear. I understand that it probably would have been a bit too much work to do HD models and character art for all of these classic characters, since it spans the entire franchise, but dialogue would have really added something to them.

On top of that, they're ridiculously overpowered. Not even Paladin-level overpoweredness that was seen in Sacred Stones. These units are literally so overpowered that almost nothing hurts them at all, they have loads of HP, and one-shot nearly anything, even if they're a class that can't generally do a lot of damage. This, along with the lack of a personality, stock art, and low-quality models, made me not want to use the bonus teams whatsoever.

But the bonus teams are not a waste. When you spawn a bonus team, they appear on the map randomly, much like the random enemy spawns you normally see. The plus side to this, is you know what units they will have, and what level they will be. This makes them EXCELLENT for leveling up characters, as you can just beat these bonus teams, and never run out, since you can fight the same team over and over again if you want to, just on different maps. The even better part, is that you get Renown with every victory, which can be used to get you a lot of nice bonus items!

So for bonus teams - Fight them, but don't recruit them when you win.

Another thing to note, is that bonus teams work like merchants during random encounters. They'll fight alongside you during these random encounters. But this can be a bit of a burden at times, as they'll be wasting the EXP you could have obtained, by killing these enemies for you.

The next new thing, is the Hammerne, which is an item that can be used to restore the durability of ALL items a character is currently carrying. I have mixed feelings on this item. For one thing, it can only be used in battle, and sacrifices the user's turn, secondly, to restore the items you want restored, that means equipping a character with a bunch of pointless gear that they probably can't use, just so you can restore it all without using several Hammernes, as they cost about 2,000 bullions.

I myself would have preferred to see a true "restore durability" feature, but the Hammerne is better than nothing.

But we're still not done with gameplay, because now we're moving on to the overall difficulty of the game!

First off, Awakening offers three difficulty choices, this is already an improvement over Sacred Stones, which gives you only one. The progression is also a great improvement. Sacred Stones was essentially mindlessly easy until the very last handful of levels, where it became absolutely brutal and nearly unbeatable at times. Awakening gradually builds up to the much greater difficulty, and sometimes offers challenges outside of just "tougher enemies", such as cases where the environment is rapidly bursting into flames each turn, or you have enemies spawning on the sides of the map, that gradually build up and make it more difficult, making you have to come up with a strategy to move faster. But it never just brings down the brutality hammer, and suddenly transforms to some insane massacre of your team, it gives you a chance to adjust, which is good. If you WANT to be thrown into chaos, play the harder difficulties.

However, the final battle was significantly easier than Sacred Stone's. I'll put this part in a spoiler, if you don't want the situation of the final boss spoiled for you, don't open the spoiler:

DON'T OPEN IF YOU DON'T WANT ENDGAME INFO:
For one, the boss is right ahead of your team, in a straight path. Unlike Sacred Stones, where you had to fight your way through one of the most brutal levels in the game before you got to the boss himself. This boss does, somewhat, make up for it by endlessly spawning enemies every single turn, including healers, as well as having an insane amount of range for his attacks, and being able to deal ridiculous amounts of damage, while shrugging off most of your attacks.

However, this doesn't amount to Sacred Stone's final battle, when you consider the fact that after going through such a ridiculous battle, and beating the boss, you're not done yet, because that leads into the NEXT boss, which is even tougher, has around 100 HP (which is a lot), can one-shot most units, takes nearly no damage from even the best weapon in the game, and ALSO has respawning allies, which sometimes respawn on the ONLY tiny path to the boss, which completely blocks off whatever units you have left, forcing you to fight your way to this ridiculous boss... Awakening was nowhere near as hard, but I can't really call that a bad thing.

The next thing about gameplay, is changing classes. In Sacred Stones, there were several different items for getting a character to the Tier-2 of their class. Fighters and Knights, for example, needed Hero Seals, and so on. There was also one item known as the "Master Seal", which let you upgrade ANY class to a Tier-2 class. Awakening handles this differently, as the ONLY seal is the "Master Seal", making class upgrades much, much easier.

Another difference, is Awakening lets you see the stat differences between the two classes the character can become, unlike Sacred Stones, which only gave you a generic description of what the class is.

Then there's the Second Seal, a new item in Awakening. Before going into details, allow me to explain what it changes:

In Sacred Stones, once you upgraded the class of a unit, you could never change their class again. Once they reached level 20, they also stopped leveling up entirely.

In Awakening, the Second Seal changes this. It allows you to change the class of any unit, Tier-1 units at level 10 can become any other Tier-1 class. Tier-2 units below level 10 can also become any other Tier-1 class, but at level 10, a Tier-2 class can choose to become any other class you want them to become, as long as it's available for that character. As an alternative, you could wait until a character reaches their highest level, use a second seal on them, but keep their class, and restore their level to level 1, while maintaining all their original stats, allowing you to build them up even more. Which is actually sort of necessary if you want to be able to handle the game on higher difficulties.

Also, another point I'd like to make in regards to the gameplay, is the wasted potential for multiplayer. The game does appear to have some multiplayer, but it's for streetpass, not anything where you can play with anyone, anywhere. Even then, it's not anything where you can battle each other, which is a bit disappointing. It doesn't ruin the game, but I'd have loved to have seen it happen.

The last part of the gameplay, is the relationship system. When characters fight alongside each other, they gradually build up a relationship. When characters become better friends with each other, they not only fight better together, but they also provide you with a bit of character development by having conversations with each other, allowing you to get to know the characters a bit better.

In addition to this, characters can even go as far as to get... married? Yes, characters can marry each other. This has very little impact on the game, however, except for changing their "life after the war", and increasing how well they work together when teamed.

Except for one thing: In some cases, the character's "future child" will appear after they are "married", this ties into the game's plot, which I won't spoil. But, the end result, is you get a few extra bonus levels to play, where you get some nice extra characters.

I think I've just about covered everything to do with the gameplay now, so I'll be moving on to the graphics aspect of the game.

The graphics in the game are actually quite decent for the Nintendo 3DS, where we've mostly seen visibly low-quality textures, and somewhat lower-quality animations, which are to be expected on a handheld. Fire Emblem: Awakening has pretty good visuals to offer, and in some cases, actually looks almost console-like. The animations are very smooth, which is refreshing for a 3DS title. I noticed a few sections where the landscape textures were very visibly blurry, but it's nothing that couldn't be ignored, or excused for the fact that this is a 3DS game.

We also have the cutscenes, which appear to play out in a sort of 3D-anime style, which looks really nice, and is very well done. I also felt the voice acting during these cutscenes was well done. I honestly wouldn't mind seeing this same thing done to create a sort of Fire Emblem movie of sorts, but knowing how past Nintendo... "movies" ... have turned out, I think it's best they don't do that.

The only thing that REALLY bugged me about the graphics is the fact that the characters don't seem to have feet...? They have these little... things... that stuck out of the ends of their legs. It's not very noticeable, except for on heavily armored units. Nothing major, but it's there.

For the story, I honestly really liked it. I was surprised how much story the game had to offer for a Nintendo game! The characters feel like they have personality, there's pretty good character development, and some interesting plot twists along the way. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, so I won't go into too much detail here, but I will say that they did take a lot of typical cliches, but used them just right where they made something that was entirely predictable end up being something unpredictable. Razz

Though, one thing that DID bug me:

Lets say Nowi gets married and you recruit her future child as a unit. Now, this child is from the FUTURE, which means their existence is entirely dependent on the PAST. If Nowi dies, she clearly dies before she'd have actually had the child, yet the unit remains, completely untouched, despite the fact that it is now truly impossible for them to exist. PARADOX. This IS irrelevant in Casual mode, however.

For originality... I haven't played many of the other Fire Emblem titles, but I have seen videos, and based on that, I can tell you that Awakening has a lot of new things to offer, and I can't honestly say I've ever played a game that is exactly like it. It has its own feel to it, and definitely draws you in. Most originality I've seen in the modern day gaming market.

Is Fire Emblem: Awakening better than past titles? In my opinion, yes, it definitely is!

Do you need to be a fan of original fire emblem games to be able to understand and enjoy Awakening? No, not really. It wouldn't hurt to look into the general story of Fire Emblem, especially the first few games, but it's not necessary, as the game explains itself very well.

Do you need to be a strategic genius to play the game and enjoy it? No! Sure, having some skill and experience with strategy WOULD help you, but the game can definitely be enjoyed by anyone, as it's easy to learn.

Finally, my rating for this game:

All things considered, between the gameplay, the several improvements, the story, and everything else good about this game, with only a few minor nitpicks I have about it, I'd give it a 9.2/10. Definitely one of the best games I've played in a long time, and #2 on my top 10 games of all time, beaten only by Metroid Prime 1, and that may very well be solely due to nostalgia.

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