Review by paperclip007
"From a newcomer's perspective- excellent."
Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn is the newest title in the Fire Emblem series. This game, like all the others in the series, is a strategy role-playing game. I think it is an amazing game, with only a few flaws keeping it down. I will tell you my opinions on all the pros and cons of this game from the perspective of a newcomer to the series, which I am.
Amazing. The gameplay in this game is almost perfect. As a newcomer, I thought it was very easy to get the hang of the controls and was addictive the minute I started playing. Most of the gameplay is built around chance, like hit and critical hit percentages, and stats, like physical and magical damage. But my favorite part of the gameplay was the leveling system. You gain experience based on your level, the level of your opponent, and whether or not you killed your opponent. Once you get 100 experience, you level up. The unique part of the leveling system in this game is the growth rates, which determine if you go up in a stat or not. An example of this is if you level up and you have a 40% growth in magic, your magic stat will go up approximately 40% of the time when you level up. It's really impressive, and it makes it so that any character can become good or bad. Another important part of the gameplay is the fact that once a character dies, they're gone forever. This forces you to add a bit more strategy into the way you play the game, since you can't just randomly sacrifice one of your units and get them back later on. Overall, the gameplay was phenomenal.
In my opinion, the story is one of the game's weaker points. Radiant Dawn is a sequel to Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance for the Gamecube, which I have never played before. Despite this, I found the story to be very easy to understand since what happened in Path of Radiance was explained quite well. Overall, the story was good, but not very impressive. They could have done a lot more with it. A positive part of the story is that it has a massive twist towards the end that I doubt anyone could predict ahead of time. Overall, the story was interesting and easy to understand, even for someone who's never played Path of Radiance, but a lot more could have been done with it.
Many reviews criticize the graphics of this game and say they don't take them to the Wii's full potential, and I agree. Except that I personally thought the graphics were well suited to the genre of game that it is. The cut scene graphics were very good, and the character animations were fluid and dynamic. The background textures were all right, but they didn't include enough detail, and you ended up looking at almost the same background every time, except pasted on different maps. Overall, the cut scenes and character animations were great, but the textures could use a little work.
This is my least favorite part of the game. It's not because of the music, which was pretty good, or the sound effects, which were also good, but the voice acting. Terrible. 90% of the characters in this game had just awful voice acting, which just ruined most of the cut scenes. It's a good thing that cut scenes are rather rare in this game, or otherwise I would have given this an even lower rating. Overall, the music and sound effects are good, while the voice acting was sub par.
This game is long. Really long. On your first playthrough, even on easy, it can require up to 40+ hours of your time to finish, and that's not including any resets. The good part of that is, in my opinion, it didn't feel dragged on at all. I managed to enjoy myself throughout all 40+ hours of playing. Overall, very long, but not stretched out at all.
This game can be very replayable, depending on how much you can get into it. It requires at least two playthroughs to get every character, and even more to unlock every info conversation. And then, with over 70 playable characters, you can keep playing over and over again, trying out different characters to use. The only problem with this is how long the game is, since it can take forever to beat that game multiple times, but, in my opinion, it's worth it. Overall, the game has replayabilty, but the amount depends on how much you get into the game and whether or not your a perfectionist.
Buy it. Or, if you're having any doubts, at least rent it to see what it's like. It's a very fun game that's challenging and has great gameplay, playtime, and replayability. I fully recommend buying it if you're into strategy games.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 05/05/08
Game Release: Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (US, 11/05/07)
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