Fire Emblem Gaiden
Review by Juigi Kario
"The Zelda 2 of the Fire Emblem series."
I will try to write this from an unbiased point of view, but if I do.......well, it will be too late for you to do anything about it, so I would have to apologize. Anyway, in case you didn't know, Zelda 2 was, natch, the second game in the Zelda series. It's easily different from ALL the other Zelda games, but it was the least liked of the Z games for mediocrity. So is Fire Emblem 2 an identical story? Let's see for ourselves.
Most graphics are ripped from the first Fire Emblem. But there's one small improvement: no more cursor being seen on an enemy's turn. This can be good or bad depending on how you look at it. But I decided to add half a point for that anyway.
Actually, I can't understand the game's story. But apparently, Alm is caught up in a rebellion and is now leading it. An identical thing happens with a girl named Celica as well.
FE1's music may not have been ripped at all and the normal Fire Emblem theme may not have been used, but at least the music is still good.
You still battle on a map ala Advance Wars or the original Fire Emblem, but there are no shops or villages, and the few units that aren't recruited outside of battle without a condition to meet are ones that need to survive throughout a particular battle first, and during that particular battle you can't control them. Alm and Celica still have to survive even though there's no throne to be taken over; you need to kill all the enemies on a map to clear it. On most maps, you have a limited amount of turns to clear it before your army retreats. Unfortunately, this helps a cheap strategy of just killing one enemy per go and then letting turns run out before one of your own troops gets nailed. Not that you need that cheap strategy. Cave maps, meanwhile, regenerate their enemies when you exit them and reenter them. A cheap stream of experience. Weapons also cannot run out of uses, but that lowers the level of tediousness. Well at least there are shortcut commands so that you can have your troops go on the offensive and make a full scale assault or gather together with their leader. So FE2 is lucky it had the shortcut commands. Too bad a later FE didn't.
Even if you take advantage of the cave maps, you still will probably have a fairly difficult time getting past Chapter 3.
The biggest flaw in this game, but it is so in ANY Fire Emblem. Only one really difficult choice to make, and you might be tired of fighting the same monsters again and again that without multiplayer (which this game doesn't really have anyway), this game should probably be left alone for a LONG time.
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 11/29/02, Updated 02/24/03
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