So, I’m out of town at the moment, and I’m away from my PS4 and all console gaming. All I’ve got is my 3DS and my phone with a PS1 emulator to play some Spyro. I figured that now would be a good opportunity to go back and restart my Fire Emblem Awakening campaign. This game has a lot of replayability due to a storyline dependent on my actions and a couple different difficulties and game modes. As it turns out, my second playthrough is even better than my first, and it’s been a great experience all the way through. I absolutely love this game, and I don’t think it will ever grow old.
*(There will be Fire Emblem Awakening storyline spoilers in this article)*
Here’s my background with Fire Emblem, to start with. Before Awakening, I had never played a Fire Emblem game. Aside from Advance Wars: Days Of Ruin and Halo Wars, I haven’t played any other strategy game. This one is by far the most tactical and requires the most strategy. Because I was a relative n00b to the genre when I first played FEA, I played on Casual gamemode and on the easiest difficulty. Basically, Casual means that your units respawn after a battle, so you can use them in the next skirmish. This time, I played on Classic gamemode, on easy difficulty, meaning that if a unit dies, they’re gone for the duration of the entire campaign.
Last time around, Chrom married Sumia, and my avatar, who I named MC after Master Chief, (don’t judge) married Sully. I don’t recall any other marriages. I saved a handful of people, but couldn’t save MC’s daughter, Gaius, or Libra, the war monk, mainly, though there may have been others to save that I didn’t notice. As far as training my soldiers is concerned, I put a lot of effort into strengthening Ricken, Sully, Frederick, and Anna. I hardly ever used a healer.
This time, it’s so different. Chrom married Sully, and MC married nobody, somehow. I managed to save Libra (unlike last time) on top of many others, but I still couldn’t save Gaius. This time, MC was an absolute tank, which in comparison makes Tharja a nuclear bomb that one or two-shots nearly everyone in a single turn due to her high Speed, which allows for double strikes. In reality, her class was a Dark Knight with high stats, though. Frederick, Anna, and Libra provided heavy support for the most part near the beginning, whereas Lon’qu, Tiki, and Basilio took over near the end. Lissa did the majority of my healing. Without her (and the occasional assistance of Libra and Anna), my team would have been ruined.
Sadly, it wasn’t enough to keep Ricken and Gregor around for more than just a few matches apiece, and Henry didn’t survive his initial match (but I don’t like him much, so he was my decoy while I stormed the Risen Chief). There were a couple other difficult matches in which players have died, but I restarted those levels since I couldn’t afford to live without those soldiers, such as once when Lissa died. I swiftly restarted because it would be a lot more difficult without her healing abilities on my side.
I love that I choose how I want to play each match. I love that each playthrough will be different from the last; it keeps things fresh. For example, in Casual mode, I could just rush in and kill everyone with little strategy. This time, in Classic mode, I had to be very careful. I was required to level my fighters well, and I had to think about who will have which roles. In battle, I had to think deeply about every move, and I needed to be cautious because one misstep could mean the death of a fighter.I love that Awakening has something for everyone, from a simple playthrough all the way to a tactical duel in which every move must be planned perfectly. Storyline portions can be skipped or watched in their entirety, and the gameplay is fun enough to keep me coming back for more. Fire Emblem is versatile, and it challenges me to be the same. It trains me to think ahead, to think on my feet, and to always be a step ahead of the rest.
Fire Emblem: Awakening is one of my favorite games of all time because it provides a unique experience for me no matter how I want to play the game. I can be challenged, or I can feel like a master of war. I encourage everyone to give this a try; maybe you’ll fall in love with the game just like I have. Now I yearn for a Wii U Fire Emblem…
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