A re-engage to the Fire Emblem series

It has all led up to this moment. You, the player, are ready to face your most trialing fight ever, pushing through the gates with your allies by your side. You engage with Marth, dealing the final blow to Sombron. Everything is at peace or was it just a dream? 

The long running game series, Fire emblem, just released the newest installment to the series called Fire Emblem Engage. The game released on January 20, 2023. It features many callbacks to the previous successors in the series, including  the most popular characters from each respective game title. They all have skills that are exclusive to them, referencing to how they played back in their respective title. 

The game is based in the region of Eylos with a total of 5 kingdoms. The kingdom in the middle of the region of Eylos is Lythos, the kingdom from which you reign. The kingdoms that surround Lythos are Fierne, Brodia, Elusia, and Solm. In this game you are a Divine Dragon named Alear needed to collect all 12 emblem rings to save the region from Sombron. 

This game is a strategy-based game, with each chapter being a new different map with selective enemies that will spawn as more turns go forth. Enemies can have a multitude of different weapons, with each weapon changing the unit’s range. If they are an archer or a Mage their range is a bit bigger than a melee user. There are also different movement types those would including infantry, Calverley, flying, and armored. A weapon triangle is also in affect when considering who you go up against. Sword units are good against axes, axes are good against lances, and lances are good against swords. There is a martial arts group that’s effective against ranged opponents like daggers, bows, and mages. What happens when a sword goes up against a axe? Well, the axe breaks, leaving them unable to counterattack for that turn and the next round of combat they participate in. This can lead to taking down bosses with ease or leave your units stranded unable to attack. 

The game’s main gimmick is the emblems, with each emblem providing specialized skills and weapon classes to those who equip their emblem. In total, there are 12 that you can claim from the primary campaign. You acquire them by progressing in the story. Emblem’s also provide skill inheritance so your favorite skills from a certain emblem can still be equipped, even if you aren’t wearing that specific emblem. The effect doesn’t stack however if you are wearing that emblem along with the skill. Along with skills, it allows the heroes that have the emblem equipped to “engage” with them, basically giving them the ability to do a powerful attack that can either do a lot of damge or knock out a troublesome foe. The range of the attack can change depending on the emblems weapon of choice.

Intelligent Systems

In terms of the gameplay, there are multiple maps that have enemies you have to defeat in order to progress in the game. Each chapter has one map outside of a couple of chapters that feature more than one map in them. To win these chapters, you need to defeat the big boss conveniently waiting on the other side of these maps, without getting your player defeated.. That doesn’t sound too bad until you realize that if you are playing on classic mode, when your allies are defeated they die and won’t come back. They implemented a system that allows you to go back in time using an item called a ‘time crystal’ that can be used to rethink your game plan if it didn’t work out the first time. The game gives you plenty of characters throughout the main campaign, so if you lose one there will always be someone to replace them.These maps are really time-consuming and can take up to an hour to defeat. But considering that there are only 26 total chapters, it makes a lot of sense. This mostly resides in the fact that a boss could have multiple HP bars take time to defeat.

This game is heavily based on the story and characters involved, with each character having their own personality, abilities, and connections. This leads to a lot of character development and attachment, especially when they are defeated in battle if you’re playing on classic mode. The game has some genuinely good plot twists that I didn’t see coming. This game’s story is really engaging considering the fact that you can support individual characters with yourself or with one another, providing insight into their respective feeling towards each other, giving them more depth. The villains too had really good backstories, making their motives a little bit more understandable.

The game’s soundtrack is phenomenal. I was enjoying the music to every single map even if there might’ve been a serious conflict occurring. Fire emblem is known to have two different soundtracks of the same song, but one is used for the over-map theme and the other for in combat which can give a more serious yet hopeful outlook on the fight. I also appreciate them for this because it made the hour-long maps at least a bit of a dance party. 

The game also offers some post game content, allowing you to complete prologues which aren’t required to beat the game.,  These prologues can grant you the ability to unlock more characters to your roster. The game also offers already released DLC for 30 dollars.The DLC Includes more emblem rings of other important characters along side items to help you with the game. 

Alongside the release of these games was a banner for the mobile game variant. They had a new game celebration with some log in bonuses along with a banner which you could pull for some of the new engage characters. The Grand Hero Battle unit was your mother Lumera. If you bought the game however you could be gifted 5 orbs in game, along with the three of the mobiles game weapons in Engage if you input the code that you recive in the nintendo eshop. 

This game was a delight to play through and a great homage to everything they have built up to in the past 33 years. Even with over 3 decades of this franchise being around, they still have the ability to make new games that feel new and different from each other. I would highly recommed this game to anyone who loves great stratagy games along with loads of character development.