Review by Krazyhand101
"Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance 2?"
The newest Fire Emblem game for Wii is the tenth (fourth outside Japan) installment to the series. Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn is a direct sequel to the Gamecube game, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. In this game, just like all the previous Fire Emblem games, you control a group of units that possess various skills and abilities and try to lead them to victory by clearing chapters.
Not much has changed from the traditional combat style that has been used in all the Fire Emblem games in the past. It uses the turn based fighting style where you command your team to fight enemies to advance in the game. This is a game where no major change in gameplay was needed. The basic rock-paper-scissors weapon triangle is used where swords trump axes, axes are good against lances, and lances have an advantage against swords and so on. As you use the characters, they will gain experience to level up and become stronger. Random number generator is used for determining outcomes of the battles and in determining stat growths for level ups. It is possible to get bad results with the RNG if you have bad luck, but in most cases you can use the newly introduced battle save feature to prevent this in most cases. The difficulty is a bit challenging, but the battle saves make the game less frustrating. Another change that was added was the third tier promotion of units and the SS rank in weapons. A little change was also made to the bonus exp system, first introduced in Path of Radiance, for the better.
Storytelling is done using the anime style drawing with still backgrounds, just like it has been done in the past. The use of text is heavy and if you hate reading through the text, you won't be enjoying the game as much. The FMVs are simply amazing but not enough of them are present. The game has a terms and characters encyclopedia built in, for background info on the game and the units, but if you haven't played Path of Radiance, you will be missing the full backstory on most of the old characters.
This area could have been better. This game has better graphics and battle animation than Path of Radiance but not near perfect. The amount of detail in the battle scene is pretty cool, like when generals dodge attacks now, they use their shield and not just sidestep and also if you have a wall in the middle and an archer shoots at someone, they show the wall in between as well. The variety in the setting of different chapters is pretty good; they include citystreets to dark caves to castles to even clouds. The cel-shaded cutscenes are a nice touch to the game since they are very well done.
The music in this game is fantastic. It suits the game really well. While the addition of voice acting could've been better, it would be tough to pull it off successfully for a game with an extensive storyline such as this. The event recap narration in the beginning of every chapter is a nice addition.
Previous Fire Emblem games have a great story line, and this game continues the trend. The game is divided into different parts and it starts with you commanding the Dawn Brigade, a group working towards freeing their homeland Daein from oppression of the Begnion empire after the country was defeated in the Mad King's war a few years ago (Path of Radiance). The story only gets better as the game progresses, and controlling different armies at different points in the game gives you a perspective from their own point of views.
The number of characters usable in this game is overwhelming. You can always play the game with a different difficulty and use different units and get the items and units you might have missed. There is a harder difficulty to unlock for more challenge, and the latter part of the game is a bit different the second time around. However this time, there are no trial maps or arena mode to unlock.
Overall, the game formula hasn't changed that much from the previous installments. The data transfer option is a nice optional addition to the game. The Wii's functions aren't used for this game, but it's not necessary for a game like this. If you're a fan of the series, enjoy a good storyline or if you're looking for a strategy game that will make you use your brain, and keep you busy for a good amount of time, then look no further, this game is perfect for you. If you have played and enjoyed Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, this is a must have. If you don't like turn based strategy games, heavy text based story, and do not have a lot of patience, stay away from this game.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/14/07
Game Release: Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (US, 11/05/07)
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