SRPG Game 21 – Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblems wrap-up

 FACTS

  1. Turn type: Player turn/enemy turn
  2. Maps: Medium to large. There is terrain that gives bonuses.
  3. Character Customization: None.
  4. Character Development: Standard XP level system, with promotion at level 10 with an item.
  5. Party Size: Typically 12-15 units on a map although you get many more.
  6. Equipment: You can equip one weapon at a time, and have 3 in reserve. There is no other equipment.
  7. Game Flow: You play stages 1-20 in sequence, no repeats, and if you fulfill certain conditions you can do the last two stages.
  8. Saving: Between battles.
  9. Death: Permanent.

 IMPRESSIONS

I think that with this remake of FE1 and the new scenario, FE has finally hit its stride. This is the first FE game I would recommend even to Fire Emblem fans — it’s still lacking a number of things that are in later Fire Emblems, but it’s playable in a way that the first two aren’t.
Part of this is the massive interface improvements, including skippable animations, inventory management between stages, and being able to see enemy movement ranges. The graphics are also of course much better than the Famicom games. The difficulty of this game is a bit uneven, though — the first stages are the hardest, and the game gets easier as you go on.
The story is still fairly simple, although there is more dialogue and a somewhat more complex plot than the first games.
I mentioned in one of the posts that one thing I really appreciate about FE3 in comparison to other games I’ve played is the variety in the stages. It’s not just “defeat all enemies” and you move your guys through the stage. You have to stop thieves from destroying villages, convince enemies, avoid killing certain things, open doors and chests, and such. 
I still feel that at some level FE just isn’t for me. I find the permanent death too frustrating — the only way I can play these games is to use save states. I generally limit it to one save state per stage so that I’m not just playing casually and resetting any time I make a small mistake. But I can’t deal with playing 30-40 minutes on a stage and then having to start over because I made one careless move or one mistake.
It’s two years before the next FE game so that will be a while in the timeline of this blog.

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