Review by Meatbun
"It's so radiant, you ought to wear sunglasses."
Now when you give a game a score on GameFAQs, the description of a 10/10 is "perfect on every level, couldn't be any better." Now let me get this straight right away--Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn for the Nintendo Wii is not a perfect game; but it's still perfectly deserving of a ten. It may be lacking in some areas, but in others, it will completely blow your mind. And there's one thing for sure: Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn is one of the best games on the Wii, and a must-have to add to the games on your shelf.
Sure, it looks like it could run on the old 'Cube, and it maybe it could, but it would really be stretching the system's limits. For the most part when you're on the battlefield the scenery will look pretty drab and get old fast as you find yourself looking at the same rehash of a building or field one level after another. However, the game really shines in its cutscenes, which are very crisp and easy on the eyes.
When you're on the battlefield most of the music is quiet and repetitive. It's far from memorable, but you wouldn't want blaring epic music to distract yourself during a battle anyway. The sounds are pretty good. Swords clashing sounds like swords clashing, or close enough anway. Sound effects aren't perfect, but they fit the mood pretty well. Now if you heard a quacking sound every time you fired an arrow or a moo every time you hit an enemy with an axe, that might get annoying after a while (But that doesn't happen, thank god).
I'm going to be serious about this. Whatever you've heard about the story is wrong (Unless you've heard that it's really good). The story in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn is very, very well written. If you've played Path of Radiance, then you know the story of Ike and the Mad King's War. If you haven't played Path of Radiance, play it before you play this game, because Radiant Dawn is a direct sequel and you don't want to get lost. Now I can't go much into the story, but it takes place three years after Path of Radiance and it's divided into four parts. The first part involves a group of vigilantes who call themselves the Dawn Brigade who are fighting for the liberation of their country, Daein. As you move on in the plot you will meet other characters, many of them returning from Path of Radiance. Once you get into Part Three, the story starts into a roller coaster ride of thrills, chills and plot twists. Now if you've played Path of Radiance (which you're going to now if you've read this review), you know the story was exceedingly good and could have been described as "epic". Well, the story in Radiant Dawn takes everything that was still left open in Path of Radiance and uses it to its full potential in order to make a story that is even better. I would like to address, however, if you are going into the game expecting to see the return of the charming support conversations, they are missing from this latest installment. This is probably one of the game's most striking flaws, and it is unfortunate, but looking at the sheer length and depth of the game my only guess is that the support conversations were sacrificed in order to make more room for better things.
Of course, the gameplay has to be good or the whole game would fall apart. Well, guess what all ye tacos, it's good. It's really good. The Fire Emblem series is all about giving you a small cast of characters to choose from and then pitting them against impossible odds. Your job is to see them through each and every obstacle they face. Sometimes you will be fighting dragons, sometimes mages or archers or beasts, but one thing's for sure: You're always going to be hugely outnumbered, and you're going to have to use all your strategic skill to get through with even a finger left. Well, Radiant Dawn does this as well as the other games in the series before it, except it does it better. Battles are now more fun than ever with an extremely improved combat system. The game is also monstrously difficult, but don't let the word monstrously bring you down. That's a good thing. This is a strategy game. If you don't need to use strategy to get through it, it's not fun. Well, believe me when I say that Radiant Dawn is going to make you use strategy. And if it's bogging you down, you can use the new Battle Save feature that's been added to this latest game in the series. Now you can save at any point in a battle and return to that exact point. It may sound like cheating, but it will really help you out. The reason it's a good thing is because if a character dies in this game, they're out for good. They don't come back in the next chapter. They don't come back in the final chapter. They're just gone. So in past games, if you lost an important unit, you would have to start all over. In Radiant Dawn, you no longer have to do that. Now you have battle saves. These new battle saves can make you start at any point in the level after you die and save you hours of replaying the level after accidentally moving a weak unit right in front of the swordsman that snuck past your defenses. And now you can buy battle saves for only 49.99, completely packaged with a free copy of Radiant Dawn for the Nintendo Wii! Limited time only! </commercial>
Well, that about rounds it up. There's not much more to say about this game except that it's really, really good. Intelligent Systems did a lot of things right with this game, and if you want to do the right thing, get your butt down to a game store and add this game to your shelf at the next available opportunity. You won't be disappointed.
Final score: 10/10
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 01/06/08
Game Release: Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (US, 11/05/07)
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