Review by gwithy16

"A Great Sequel to Path of Radiance"

Even though Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn doesn't have me playing for many hours in a row like Path of Radiance (PoR) did, it does not make it a bad game. In fact, Radiant Dawn is just how a sequel should be made. It continues three years after PoR, and ties both of the games together. I recommend you play PoR before Radiant Dawn so you can clearly understand the story and know the returning characters. However, it is not a requirement.

Gameplay:
In Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, you start out as the Dawn Brigade. I actually found the beginning of the game a bit harder than the middle and then end because the units are much weaker, and the opponents can evil kill the weaker units in one hit. Fire Emblem has units with swords, axes, lances, magic, and the bow and arrow. Some weapons can hit from further away, such as the Javelin, Hand Axe, and Steel Bow (there are many others, these are just examples.) Some Units are much stronger than others, partly becase of class changes. For example, Sothe is much stronger than Edward because Sothe starts at a higher class than Edward. The main change when you switch classes is your stats will all increase. Once you get to level 20 and level up, you will switch classes. To gain levels, you recieve experience if you kill an enemy, get hit my an enemy, or hit an enemy. You will get more experience if you defeat enemies. This is part of the strategic gameplay in Radian Dawn. Some of your characters may be able to kill an enemy in one hit, but you want to spread experience around by hitting them first with weaker units.

When the battle begins, you can choose units, repositon units, and trade items. After that, the battle starts. You choose which units move first and which move last. The gameplay seems very simple, you click the unit, move, and attack, but it's really not. You have to make sure none of the enemies can come in from angles which you don't have guarded. Also, when you go up to attack a foe, it shows the hit %, damage given, and critical hit % (for you and the enemy.) This is a very nice feature to have because you can see how many people you need to kill a foe. One bad part about the gameplay is it does become somewhat repetitive. Among the chapters, you will coe to battles where you say, "I've seen this before." To me, it's not much of an issue, because I just want to kill as many Begnion soldiers as possible. To clear the map, there are different objectives such as defeat leader, seize, and route all enemies. It's nice to have variety in the objectives. Overall, the gameplay is very enjoyable, mainly because of the variety of characters and their strengths and weaknesses.
Gameplay Rating: 9/10

Graphics:
Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn does not have eye-popping graphics, but it really doesn't need them. The cut-scenes are very nicely done, and the environments look fine. Outside of battles during conversations, the characters are very detailed and look good. My only complaint is the character appearance during battles. They look blocky and have no detail in their face/clothes. Overall, the game looks a bit better than PoR, but still, the graphics could have been better.
Graphics Rating: 7.7/10

Story:
Ah, here we are. I have seen people complaining that the story in Radiant Dawn is worse than PoR, and I have to agree. How much better is it in PoR? Not much. The story in this game is very well done. There are many un-needed lines and conversations, but for the most part, it all comes together. The story in PoR was so amazing, I don't think many games can top it, but Radiant Dawn's story is well written. I won't go into detail (due to spoilers), but I can say that many characters from PoR tie into the story, which is great if you played Radiant Dawn's prequel.
Story Rating: 9/10

Difficulty:
I will admit, this game is very hard. Harder than most games I have played. I got many game overs through my play on normal. But the challenge is great. You can play it on easy (which is what I recommend if you didn't play PoR) or normal. You unlock hard mode after beating normal mode. One part that is frusturating is having a character die that you like. You cannot revive characters, so you could be close to beating a vey tough map, and one of your favorite characters could die. Do you reset or continue? I would reset. As I said earlier, they through pretty bad characters at you in the beginning, but don't worry. You will get much stronger veterans as you go through the game. Some chapters are very easy, and some could take you many, many tries.
Dificulty Rating: 9.4/10 (In a good way)

Sound:
The music in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn is very good. Each chapter has different music, and it is always good to hear. I don't remember one time where I disliked the music. If you dislike the music, I would like to know why. There isn't much to say here other than Radiant Dawn has a great, no, fantastic soundtrack.
Sound Rating: 10/10

Replay/Length/Conclusion:
The only reason you would want to play it again is to try the game on a harder difficulty, whic will be a huge challenge if you go from normal to hard. The game is very long, and should take you at least 50 hours. There is no multiplayer, but there doesn't need to be multiplayer. Fire Emblem is a great single player play through, in fact, it's one of the best the Wii has to offer. It is a game where even if you have never played a Fire Emblem before, you can pick it up and play on easy mode, or if you are a long time Fire Emblem fan, play normal mode and face a pretty good challenge. The only reason you should not by this game is if you are out of money, or you just don't know how to play RPG's. There is a ton of stuff to mange with your characters, villians that you can't wait to kill, and cool characters. So go get Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn!
Replay/Length Rating: 9/10


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/26/07

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


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