Review by Reknamarken999

"Not a Radiant Dawn for a tired series on a new console..."

“Not a Radiant Dawn for a tired series on a new console …”

Intoduction

Fire emblem, the series that spawned the immortal “Are Marth and Roy in this game?” question. A series that is now ten games strong and 4 games strong here in America. It even has its own stage and character in the highly anticipated Super Smash Bros. Brawl. A series made by Intelligent Systems, the geniuses behind, such games as Paper Mario and Super Metroid. And up until now, the geniuses behind Fire Emblem.

Graphics

Now, Graphics are not a real important part of this series, but it still could use a lot of improvement. Now, the actual character portraits are not bad, at all, and neither are the scenes where you get still pictures to complement the loads of text. But, the part of the graphics you will be seeing most often, to be quite frank, is very lacking. The characters on the field are somewhat blob-like, and not that colorful. The battlefield, where the game usually takes place, is not that bad, but not great either. It really depends on the level's setting. Battle Animations are also still good, if a little over the top, But, sadly, none of these graphics are on the level they could be at. They look more like 2004 Gamecube graphics, rather than 2007 Wii graphics.
Rating: 4/10

Gameplay

If you have played fire emblem before, you should know the drill. Click on a character; move it near an enemy, click attack, watch fight, rinse, repeat. After gaining enough experience, you level up, and get some random stat-gains. Now, the trademark of the Fire emblem series is the fact that when a character dies, they don't come back. There have been no changes here. On another note, is that you can transfer data from Fire Emblem Path of Radiance. If a character was gotten to level 20/20 in the previous game, they can get bonuses in this game, seeing as all characters from FE:PoR have returned, except for Largo, who was shafted due to Berserkers getting taken out of the game. The main flaw in gameplay here is how stale it has gotten. The only other change worth mentioning is the addition of a third tier, which feels like a move to make this seem more original than it actually is.
Rating: 6/10

Sound

Now Fire emblem has always had a decent soundtrack, and this game is no different. While it can't stand up to game soundtracks like that of the Final Fantasy games, by no means is it bad. I mean, with 85 songs, there is variety, and it has some great tracks, like the Black Knight's theme, and the Series' main theme.
Rating: 7.5/10

Story

Now this sadly is where the game falls flat on its face. Most of the Fire emblem games are able to presenting intriguing story, but this game… just doesn't. It feels to much of a carbon copy, seeing as less than 25 of the games characters are new, and a lot of these appeared in the last game, as NPCs. Now the actual story is divided into four parts. The first part is by far the best, and the most original. The second is way to short, and really uninteresting. The third part is the longest, and the oddest. It is fine for the first half, but in the second half you are always switching between what groups of units you are using, making this part not as fun as it could be. The final part is fun, if you like overpowered units fighting overpowered units. The fault here is that the story makes little sense, but I cannot go in-depth here, as I'd be spoiling the game. Now, I am going to tell you what ruined this game. In the last few Fire Emblem games, there has been a system of supports. These were witty conservations where characters really developed. In this game, they changed that. Now any character can support with any character, but the conservations are 2-3 lines long, and don't show anything about the character at all. This really ruined one of the main charms of the series.
Rating: 2/10

Play Time/ Replayability

Now, this games Play time varies. If you are a perfectionist, and someone who reads all of the story, I'd say it could clock in at 60-75 hours, depending on how perfect you want the game to be. For most people though, I'd say the game is 50 hours tops (most likely less, though). Now, this game really doesn't have anything to unlock. You can unlock a harder game mode, and you may play that, but more than two playthroughs is a stretch for a causal fan.
Rating: 5/10

The Last Word:
This game gets a 5/10. If you are a fan of the series, get it, but I do not recommend it to someone wanting to get into the series. Not really worth the fifity dollars you will shell out for it.


Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 11/12/07

Game Release: Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (US, 11/05/07)


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