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'Fire Emblem'

A GBA Review

Fire Emblem is a tactical role-playing game published by Nintendo, and technically the seventh entry in the Fire Emblem series, but the first to be localized for western audiences. It was released in North America in 2003.

You begin the game as Lyn, a sole survivor from a bandit attack on the plains of Sacae. She meets the mysterious tactitian, you, and together you go off on an adventure to learn all about Lyn’s secret heritage.

Beyond that quest lies the true nature of Fire Emblem; the evil wizard Nergal is trying to bring the dragons back to the world in order to steal their life essence, and so Lyn must team up with old and new friends in order to thwart the wizard.

Fire Emblem on the GBA is quite possibly my favorite game for the system. The storyline in itself is pretty good, but there’s so much more to it, and it’s all very character-driven. There are numerous adventurers you can find throughout the game, and all of them have a story to tell… if you use them.

Furthermore, you can’t truly beat the game that is, you can’t see the true ending unless you complete the game twice. You first have to move through Lyn’s story in order to activate Eliwood’s story. Then, you must defeat Nergal with Eliwood as the hero. Finally, you can play through again as Eliwood, or you can use his friend, Hector, which to me is way cooler than the stiff lord of Pherae.

There are certain goals you have to achieve throughout the story and throughout the stages in which you battle in order to discover the true ending, but if you can do it, it really brings a whole new level of depth to the story line, a very sad level in fact.

The Good

Obviously the storyline is great. The characters are awesome. The music is phenomenal. The game play is simplistic and intuitive. Since it is a turn-based strategy game, there’s not too much forethought required to advance, and worse comes to worst, you can restart a stage and bring different characters, plus you’ll know the layout of the land.

There is nothing overly difficult when it comes to just playing the game, but getting to the true ending can be time consuming and restrictive. It is worth your while, however.

The Bad

Is there anything negative? I’m hard pressed to find a bad or displeasing feature of Fire Emblem. The graphics aren’t the best I’ve seen for the GBA, but they’re still pretty good. The game even has a feature that lets you connect to the Game Cube if you own Fire Emblem Path of Radiance.

No, that’s not a bad thing, although I never understood why I couldn’t connect my GBA in order to play games through the Game Cube and on my television… seemed like a missed opportunity for Nintendo, right?

I mean, you kind of do this with Pokémon Stadium if I recall correctly, but hey, I don’t want to get into another game just yet.

What I want to talk about is how great a series Fire Emblem is, and in America, we got started with a great game. While great games are few and far between, this is an A+ game, and one I’ve played through at least 20 times.

Is it better than the other Fire Emblem games? You decide. Thanks for reading!

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'Fire Emblem'
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