Review by kurthnaga

"The Radiance of the Second Radiant"

--Introduction--

Radiant Dawn is the 10th game in the series, but only the 4th game out in Western release. It is the direct sequel to Path of Radiance and the only game of Western release to be a sequel to any other Western release game. The game (unfortunately) does not use any of the Wii's special functions like point and click and there aren't any online capabilities. In fact, this game seems like it wasn't even made for the Wii, perhaps they were planning on GCN release? It really does not matter, so I will continue on with the game, starting with the NAR (North American Release- this term will be used frequently!) name: Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn.

When most heard that the game would be called “Radiant Dawn,” they were quite mad. We were just getting used to calling it GoD, or Goddess of Dawn, which is the translation of the Japanese Name: Faiā Emuburemu: Akatsuki no Megami . Then right at E3, RADIANT DAWN! We were shocked. Just the fact that they used Radiant in both this and Path of Radiance just shows their un-creativity. At least the other name changes still were creative. Well nothing we could really do about it, plus we were just happy we got a release date! Anyway, we're done in this section, now to the next!

--Gameplay--
As I said above, the game looks as if it were meant to be on the GCN. They defiantly could have implemented the Point-and-Click functionality of the Wii, but instead, they chose to keep it simple with button combinations on the Wii-mote and, if you chose to, play on the Classic Controller or a GCN controller. The button combos can come to be a bit tricky, but you will learn soon enough for the way you are playing. Also, once you pick a way to hold the Wii-mote or use the classic/GCN controller, don't switch. It's better to keep the way you play always, because then you'd have to learn a whole new set of button combos. The gameplay is good though, and it won't lack your expectations. New gameplay features such as Battle Saves make the game easier in Easy and Normal mode, but that feature is taken out in Hard mode and replaced with the old Suspend. Also, BEXP comes in mother-loads, but it takes a lot to level up a character. And skills are new and improved too. Some characters come with skills that take no capacity, such as Edward has Wrath with no capacity taken off. When you take skills AWAY from characters in this game, you can put them on a scroll for another character to use. This is helpful when you are only allowed fewer numbers of units and need an extra boost to some characters. Also, DO NOT sell your scrolls and skills, as you may need them later in the game (especially the final chapter!). These and other new features make the gameplay superb compared to Path of Radiance!

Gameplay rating: 10/10

--Storyline--
As you may already know, Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn is split into 4 parts: Part One: The Silver Haired Maiden revolves around Micaiah, a silver haired Daein girl who has special prowess that can heal other people just by touch. Another power she has is Foresight, which helps her and the Dawn Brigade, a little band of Freedom fighters marked thieves by the Begnion Occupation Army, know when danger is near. She, her love interest Sothe (who you might remember looking for his ‘family, but not by blood'. This is obviously Micaiah, as they had known each other since they were little and depended on one another for support), and the rest of the Dawn brigade help the lost Prince Pelleas gain sovereign of his kingdom.

Part Two: Of Countries and Kings revolves around Queen Elincia, and the uprising in her courts. One court member, Ludveck seeks that Elincia give the throne to him, her being too young and inexperienced in court. Elincia refuses, and Ludveck gains supporters, although most are inexperienced boys looking for excitement. Elincia captures Ludveck although, stopping a civil war from starting.

Part Three: Intersecting Vows shows the return of the Greil Mercenaries, as a new war between the Laguz Alliance, an alliance made up of three of the four Laguz countries, Gallia, Phoenicis, and Kilvas, and Begnion. The Greil Mercs get mixed in the fighting, and soon end up fighting old friends like Sothe. But when the Goddess Yune is released from the medallion, the two groups come together to fight Ashera among one another in Part Four: Gods and Men

Part Four: Gods and Men revolves around three groups: Micaiah's Group, Tibarn's group, and Ike's group. At the beginning of the part you choose who's on whose team, giving you the chance to make ultimate teams. The Part begins with Micaiah's group, Then Ike's, then Tibarn's and the cycle practically repeats. The endgame will be like nothing you've ever battled though, so be careful!

Overall Storyline: 10/10
--Visual/Sound--
All Fire Emblem games have good sound and visuals, and Radiant Dawn got the record for best. The opening theme is the all familiar Fire Emblem theme, and when you watch the Class Scroll things it extends with the all familiar theme Together We Ride. Unlike in Path of Radiance, the people ACTUALLY hit each other in battle animations (If you didn't know, they don't really HIT the people in PoR, it just looks like it because of fast motions and camera angles). The map visuals are better than they were in PoR, but not too significantly. There are more CGI cut scenes, and more beautifully produced in this game. The eighty-somtin songs are all awesome and great once you can listen to them over and over and over. The still pictures are good, and the character portraits are there too. You'll get all that you expect for Visuals and sound in this FE game.

Overall- 10/10

--Playtime/Replay-ability--
All Fire Emblem Games take no less than 15 hours, and that's if you're a master and have been playing forever. If you are reading this then it would probably be your first time to play and will take you no less than… Oh lets say 50 or so hours. I had… 89? Well I leave my game on while I sleep and when I'm at school so minus about 20 or so hours. You'll have a lot of fun in those 50 or so hours, so you don't worry. Also, as with all Fire Emblem games, the Replay Value is high. This gives you chances to use other characters and try other supports and give different people different skills and such. Also some characters can only be recruited the second time through and beyond so there is huge replay value there!

Overall- 10/10

Final Recommendation:
If you like strategy and RPG games then I defiantly suggest you buy this one. If you notice my overall rating for the game isn't 10/10. This is for reasons that some may consider Spoilers, so I cannot explain why I gave an 8/10. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this game and if this is your first FE game I hope you get into the series and play more!


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 02/25/08

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


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